Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sitzprobe is NOT a Dirty Word

'Big Dollhouse' from the Broadway Production of "Hairspray"

With just under two weeks until opening, tonight was the sitzprobe for Hairspray and it was rather amazing. For those unfamiliar with the term, a sitzprobe is the first time the cast of a musical or opera sings with the band or orchestra. The only dialog is that used to cue the music or whatever happens to take place during the music.

When I was in college (back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth), we had a sitzprobe for just about every show. The few musicals I've done since then, rarely had them. The great thing about doing one, is the cast really gets ramped up about the show when they finally get to hear what they sound like with more instruments than just a rehearsal piano. And tonight was no exception. 

The band (I hesitate to use the word 'orchestra' when there are only six of them - three brass/woodwinds; a drummer; a guitarist and two keyboardists in this case) was nothing short of amazing! Fitted with wireless mikes by our equally amazing sound crew, singing with the musicians was both exhilarating and inspiring. Typically, there is no dancing or movement during a sitzprobe, though we all tapped our feet, wiggled our hips and generally got into it. And tonight the cast seemed to really bond more than ever before, supporting one another and cheering each other on in a way I was worried wouldn't happen. And personally, it was a relief to hear my singing voice making a comeback after lying dormant for almost 10 years. Six weeks of rehearsing have made me re-think my proposed retirement from musical theatre. I still got it, bitches!

If you want to see Uncle P sing in a dress and dance in heels (and you know you do), you can still get tickets to the MCCC/JTMF co-production of Hairspray by visiting or calling the Kelsey Theatre box office at 609-570-3333. But hurry, they're going fast!

Here's a clip from the U.S. National Tour of my personal favorite number, "Big Doll House:"

More, anon.

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