Saturday, November 14, 2015

Mooning over Memphis

Drama Mama....I get did Memphis, and you didn't have time to post during the process...sooooo can we see some pictures?

Absolutely! That, and I have no idea what to write for this evenings NaBloPoMo challenge. So here it goes in no certain order, a few favorite moments from the process.

1. Family Photo: This was during intermission for a 10am matinee...yes you read that right! We were belting high G's at 10am. One of the Aurora Company's interns was kind enough to keep an eye on our little one during the show. It was one of those RARE moments when we were all dressed, fed, and happy.
Gator (Eugene H. Russell, IV) and Felicia Farrell (Me). The family that acts together...

2. Radio: if you haven't seen Memphis this number has probably the longest dance break of the whole show. It's a magic moment where the kids on the "streets" of Memphis are able to put aside their racial differences and are brought together by the unifying power of the good music that the lead character Huey Calhoun is playing. AND it has a double-dutch segment. WHAT? Growing up in NYC you could often find me outside playing double-dutch so I loved watching this number every night. Don't look too hard I am not in this photo. Alas no double-dutching for me. 
Photo Credit: Chris Bartelski

3. Colored Woman: 
'Some got chances, some got choices, 
Some got freedom in these states. 
Colored women got few chances, 
Got few choices on our plate'. 
--Colored Woman, Memphis 

The first few lines of Colored Woman are chilling,this song rocks in every way. It's the kind of song little musical theater babies dream of singing when they grow up. Vocally it was terrifying until I found my groove. Acting wise it was one of the moments I connected with my characters struggle and pain so completely. It was such a huge song in the arc of my character and I think a big moment in the show that I wanted to nail it every time. 

If you know the show, you know that in this moment the record that Felicia, an aspiring singer, had been scrimping and saving to finally make is broken by Huey's mother. Any show where the record broke it two PERFECT halves was a good moment...let's just say it didn't happen often. I have done this song with only 1/2 of a record, pieces of a record, but thanks to the magic of stage managers, never no record at all. 

My co-star Travis Smith, who also won a Suzi for Best Lead Actor in a Musical, so lived and breathed the roll of Huey Calhoun. No matter what I felt before I stepped on stage I was always infected by his energy and believability and it made me connect to my own character's hurts, joys, and struggles in a new way every performance. 
Photo credit: Chris Bartelski. Colored Woman, Memphis. Huey Calhoun (Travis Smith) and Felicia Farrell (Me)
 I always have to pee somewhere in every show I do and I'm too afraid to miss an entrance to go.

4. Ain't Nothin But A Kiss: I wish there were more numbers like this in the show. This number is set in the club Delray's, and there were so many onstage shennanigans that went on to bring this club to life. There was an amazing band that backed us the whole show, but half way through the run I notice that Skyler my "piano" player is actually playing and improvising on the melody. The audience had no clue because the piano isn't mic-ed but just a small testament to how talented and humble this ensemble cast was. P.S. I make some really, REALLY ugly faces on stage.

Skyler Brown(Piano Player), Felicia Farrell(Me). Ain't Nothin' But A Kiss.
Photo Credit: Chris Bartelski. 

5. Any Moment Spent with my Cast: Goofing off with this huge talented cast and crew everyday was a blast. Getting to know the 20+ people in my cast and crew was such a delight. They had so much passion in everything they did big or small. Really, I could go on and on about Memphis but I'll stop here. I hope you Enjoyed!

After the final performance...that's one good looking group of people. Cast, crew, directors, designers.

Me and My dressing roommates.
Feeling very Molly Ringwold, Sixteen Candles-ish that day.
Yes my shirt says Bye Felicia!

Winner of Best Featured Actress in a Musical:
Megan McFarland. My other dressing roommate!
Don't ask me what my wig was doing. 

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