Friday, May 28, 2010
We've been pretty down and dirty in the trenches with The Regulars for the past few months, and it's about time to change that! No, don't worry, we're not overhauling the show halfway through the run. We're not THAT mentally unstable. Well, at least most of us aren't...
Instead, we're hosting one fancy-pants party! So find a frilly dress (or one with some slink, if you prefer), get those tight pants pressed and join us for
Come meet the company and also have a chance to rub shoulders with some amazing people from the Chicago theatre scene. Mingle, much on appetizers, and move to the crooning of the very special and always wonderful Vallery Dolls.
We're changing out of our blacks and getting into black tie, and it just may look something like this:
Ok, so maybe my dress isn't that frilly, but there will undoubtedly be one of the Junction boys doing their best Captain Tight Pants.
This is also your chance to help Hobo Junction bring all-new, fresh, original comedy to Chicago. Help us raise funds by bringing friends with you and joining in our raffle for some shiny prizes. There are great plans on the horizon, but we cannot move forward without your help, and we all might as well have fun while doing it!
Monday, May 24, 2010
We have made it to the halfway point!
That means you only have three more weeks to see
To get you inspired to purchase your tickets, peruse these motivational posters created by our own Bryan Campbell. These are the very same posters that spark the energy in our cast every night, as they adorn the back side of our awesome wall.
Don't judge. Unless you do it silently.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am saddened to announce the passing of a Hobo Junction guest artist and friend. Early last week, George the Techie Mouse moved on to a land where there are no cats and the streets are paved with cheese. George's tenure with the Junction was short, but in that time he was able to secure a cameo in the opening performance of "THE REGULARS" and was the highlight of the production team's tech week. A quiet observer, it is possible George was trying to secure an internship, as he was frequently found following company members around the Apollo Studio space and observing their actions.
George will be missed, but his memory and certainly his...aroma...live on in the Studio space.
We survived another weekend!
We had some fantastic audiences this week, they were very into the show and the energy in the space was incredible. On Sunday, we had some very special guests from POINT BREAK - LIVE!, so thanks to those folks for coming out!
Reviewer Colin Douglas came to the show Friday night, read his review here!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Good Morning Blogosphere!
I bet you thought I'd forgotten about you now that the production phase of the show is over and we're up and running.
Not so much!
Opening weekend has come and gone with a couple of reviews in and everyone feeling more confident now that we have three shows under our belts. The only snafus of the weekend were purely technical, so great job cast! Chris, Josh, and I were all so proud of the work these nine people put forward and can't wait for you to join us in the fun.
In fact, we are SO excited to have you come see the show, we are offering a special deal for this coming Sunday, May 16. Simply call the Apollo Box Office at (773)935-6100 and mention the special code, "Sunday!....Sunday!...Sunday!" You must say it like a Monster Truck announcer. Because that's how we roll. With that special code, you will be able to purchase 2-for-1 tickets! Not too shabby, eh?
Until this weekend then, rest up. Then get amped up and come out and see THE REGULARS!
Please. C-Rex and Josh really want you there.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Ladies and gentlemen.
The time has come.
Grab your pepper grinders and hold on tight.
The Regulars opens tonight.
Thank you to all the folks who came out to our free preview last night! The show looked great and it seems all the blood, sweat, and tears may have just paid off. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous for this run, but there were hardly any mistakes (I messed up two cues - the only person who noticed was Josh on one light cue), the energy was high, the songs were spot on, and there was much laughter.
I'll try not to get too sentimental now, as we must remain focused, the battle rages on!
Make sure you have your tickets, and I shall see YOU at The Apollo Studio!
Here's some snazzy shots courtesy of Mz. Sarahflo Harmon
Our own romance novel cover.
You know what's cool? Schooling your fight choreographer in lightsaber duels via iPod Touch and Android.
See? I totally win.
Pssst...hey...yeah, you...are you a server or similarly employed by a food serving establishment? Bring a pay stub, ID, or other such proof and we may knock a couple bucks off yer ticket price at the box office!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Hi there, my name is George. I'll be your guest blogger today!
So last night, I was able to sneak into The Apollo Studio to take a peek at how Hobo Junction's THE REGULARS was coming along. I had heard a lot about it and just had to see for myself.
I got there early, even before the stage manager, Amy, showed up. Took a look around the cozy space, then figured the dressing room would be a good place to wait for people to show up and action to happen. I heard some people arrive and then start to work out in the space, setting up a wall and then Amy was chatting with a pretty cool guy with a beard named Andrew Marchetti to get a second opinion on the lighting design. Sounded like a lot of fun! Pretty soon after that, Eli Branson came into the dressing room. He saw me, but I didn't want to get in the way, so I found a cozy corner to observe from. The night went pretty normally as rehearsals go from that point on. I stuck my nose out to watch the run of the show, but made sure that I wasn't disrupting and people didn't see me. It was fun watching it from backstage!
Once the run was over, Josh wanted to work a few scenes and finesse certain actions. When he started working on "Time Share" with Maddy, Jake, and Cyra, I wanted to see what was happening out front, so I tried to very quietly sneak out to the house. I forgot I have terrible stage fright, and the second I touched the deck and the lights hit me, I froze. Cyra saw me first, and then the whole cast was shocked at my appearance. Josh came over to me with a milk crate, maybe he wanted me to sit on it like Ashley's character, Sunny. Either way, I just wanted to see the show, not be in it, so I scooted along back to the tech booth where all kinds of interesting things seemed to be going on. During the "Time Share" song, Amy, Bryan, and Danelle were chatting with me, trying to get me to come out. I was so mortified and embarrassed that I had disrupted a scene that I just wanted to sit behind the BOCA ticket machine for a little while. Bryan said he was going to get me a Starburst, which I thought very hospitable of him, so I shifted to behind the amp under the sound board. Danelle and Amy heard me, and then I saw this sweet ride show up on the floor - hard black plastic, rectangular with some kind of thinner plastic lining. Looked pretty awesome to me, and my feet were a little tired anyway, so I hopped in. Turns out, it was Danelle who found such an awesome mode of transportation for me! After I got in, Amy escorted me out and dropped me off on Lincoln Ave. right outside the theatre. I guess it was for the best, I didn't want to be a distraction!
As I walked down the street, I thought of how epic this show will be for Opening Weekend as well as the free preview tonight. Lucky humans!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Want to see THE REGULARS?
Stoked to see Apocalypse Now meet TGI Fridays?
Strapped for cash?
Never fear! We have your solution!
FREE Preview of
Thursday, May 6
The Apollo Studio
2540 N. Lincoln
Be the first to experience the madness.
Just don't let the squids get you.
Seating is limited. House opens at 7:45pm. Get there early!
Tech Day Three.
Pardon me while I just pass out in this corner over here...
Oh, wait, you probably want to know the inside scoop of rehearsal last night, huh? Well, pass me that Diet Coke and pull up a chair. Or milk crate, if you're a hardcore fan. But if you were a hardcore fan, you would have donated that milk crate to the show...
Anyway, back the the matter at hand.
Last night consisted of much tweaking and polishing and patience. We ran a large chunk of Act One to help me solidify cues first off, as we were also working with the fancy monitor backstage that Joe rigged up for us. As I can't be backstage, I don't know what it sounds like during the show, but seeing as I did not hear complaints about it, I'm assuming it works well! It definitely improved some of the rhythm issues we had with folks singing behind the set before.
Sarahflo then came in and did some fun photo calls. She also caught Beau and I celebrating May the Fourth with our Android/iPhone lightsaber apps. Yeah. We're nerds. It was awesome and kept me smilin'.
We then ran the show from start to finish, all cues, all lights, all everything. By the end of the night, we were all exhausted, but prepared for the last push in the next two days. Tomorrow we run run run the show, and Thursday is our final dress/free preview!
See you all there!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Tech Week Day 2
Fueled by the greasy goodness of Hoagie Hut, we embarked on a cue-to-cue of the show garnished with some directing sprinkles from Mr. Zagoren. I kept running from the lightboard to the front of house while executing sound cues, Joe kept bouncing from the front of house to my laptop to fix sound cue levels, and the actors were supremely patient, cooperative, and even a little slaphappy through the entire process. Show is lookin' good! Now that the cues and transitions have been ironed out, the run through tonight will be a good indicator of how insane the show is going to be for the actors, for the stage manager, and the audience.
While I recharge and catch up on my mental energy, enjoy the following pictures from a photo shoot of the cast and the pretty people portraying "Kurt" and "Miriam" in photographic form for the show.
Why do the bubbles go down?
Maddy tries her hand at Wint Face. Wint tries her hand at Chilese Face.
Fight Choreographer and Fight Captain get into it at Irish Eyes.
Long lost siblings...?
Music' Makin' Men!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Tech Rehearsal Day 1
It's official. THE REGULARS have invaded The Apollo Studio.
The technical day started with Luke Harmon driving down in the ZAG XT to help me load up and transport our lovely wall up to the space. After fun shopping at HOBO and Menards for ropes, tarps, and bricks, The Wall was secured, my car was loaded with props and tools and we hit the road. I was very happy with how well the flats handled the drive. There was a significant part of me that was afraid they would catch the wind on the interstate and act like a sail. Thanks to bungees and a copious amount of rope, the buggers didn't budge until we told them to.
Arriving at the space, the lovely Breahan Pautsch, Sarah Harmon, and Mama Harmon helped us unload both cars and soon the deck of The Apollo was covered in milk crates, cardboard boxes, and restaurant accoutrements. First order of business was to assemble the wall, which went up quickly and easily thanks to carabiners and thumbscrews. While tweaking and working on the set after Build Day, I kept hearing a tiny voice in the very back of my head say, "What if it's too wide?" Even after measuring numerous times and obsessively checking the floor plan, I simply had to see this monstrosity in the space. And it fit with six inches to spare. Chris Jacobs arrived and my minions began to tape boxes together and paint milk crates while I added a few more structural elements to the wall. The rest of the time spent before the actors arrived consisted of Joe Griffin and I playing with QLab and sound levels as well as some pretty lighting.
When the actors did arrive, I gave them a tour of the space and we had our costume parade (with music brought to you by Harry Belafonte). They look amazing. Janna Weddle really outdid herself on this production. What was even more amazing was watching fight call in the battle damaged costumes. After fighting with each other, the run of the show began. While the cast was expending energy onstage and getting used to the space for the first time, it was a run for me in every sense of the word. Not only was I running sound cues just as in rehearsal, but also running back and forth from the tech booth to the front of house to check lighting cues and faders. Even though I felt like three million things were running through my head and I was fielding just short that number of questions, I was having a ball. Tech week is magical as you see all the production elements click together instead of just sketches and discussions around a kitchen table. The show is becoming real and with the amount of laughter generated from the run last night, it's going to be real funny as well.
Josh teaches the cast the customary way to tie an apron.
Part of the costume parade. I think Carla's costume is hilarious, it's just missing a riding crop.
Music Makin' Boys sharing secrets.
About to start fight call. No one can resist the fist pump.
Want to get a sneak preview of the show FOR FREE?
We are opening our final dress rehearsal on Thursday, May 6 as a free preview.
Curtain is at 8pm, and space is limited, so plan early to arrive at The Apollo Studio to snag a seat and be among the first to experience the madness.
I'd like to make it a rule that every rehearsal needs to end with the dance from Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance."
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Rehearsal Day 24: Last Day at Stage Left
End of Regular Rehearsals
Here we go. We're done at Stage Left's rehearsal space (thanks to Laura and all the folks there!). Last night consisted of lots of fine tuning. Elyse worked a little more swing dancing into "The Billy Bar" for Danelle and Bryan. Josh and Carla brushed up the "Miriam" blocking. What really needed some good focus was the final "Hero Reprise" scene. What worked at first was slowly turning into a "Seasons of Love" type line across the front of the stage. That or the cast looked like they were about to burst into a kick line (which could have been fun...). Chris and Josh worked along with the actors to find levels, spaces, windows to make it much more visually stimulating and interesting. The best part? A tableau that just screams "Star Wars" movie poster. (Josh says "Vacation", C-Rex and I are sold on the "Wars." Yes, we are all huge nerds.)
After a quick break, we moved on to a run of the show. There was some new energy and intentions behind some of the lines, and all the notes from Josh and Chris are being taken into consideration along with the actor's own choices to make the characters more real.
After the run, we packed up all the boxes, crates, props, and costumes and loaded it all into my car to be ready for TECH WEEK on Sunday! I was impressed with the capacity of my vehicle, as it fit: 7 plastic milk crates, 2 large crates (1 full of props), 5 cardboard boxes, 2 large armfuls of costumes on hangers, 1 dolly, 2 actors, and a stage manager after rehearsal. Thank you Ford Motor Company for making the Mercury Milan so roomy!
This weekend will consist of me wearing both Stage Manager and Tech Director hats as I further fine tune and plan out tech week. In other words, I may be having a lot of conversations and meetings with myself. At least I have and excuse/reason to be talking to myself for once!
Rest up this weekend, friends, for come Sunday, we RIP IT!!
Or, we play with Lightsaber iPhone apps! :-)
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Rehearsal Day 23: Final Music Tuesday
What happens when you put together a full cast, Thai noodles, Chips Ahoy, Double Stuf Oreos and shake well?
Last night was the last night to really bang out the harmonies, rhythms, diction, and other trouble spots in the songs. The cast has always sounded good on their songs, but last night everything started to fall into place. Our biggest sticking point has been the choruses of certain songs and getting the timing and harmonies down for the cast members singing behind the set while a soloist is out front. There was no hesitation last night, every single person was on their game, knew exactly what note to hit, and blasted it. Also, since Josh wants to cast to "save themselves" when they flub a line, I was able to be off book a bit more and really enjoy some of the vocal fun that was going on. As a teacher, I give the ensemble and A+ for doing their homework on Monday night after rehearsal!
The next item on the agenda was a line-thru of the show, with score but no singing. The trick? It was done in complete darkness. (Well, except for me and my computer and MagLite in the corner). We did this exercise when I worked with Hobo Junction on their last show, Horrible. It helps the actors really listen to each other and find new nuances as they cannot see their scene partners nor are they trapped in their blocking. For those who had never done this activity, it really brought some new things to the surface. Jake Autizen mentioned he was able to see character arcs much more clearly by just listening and without the distraction of Pitcher Hands or dollies. As I was running music cues, the one and only Dan Krall was sitting next to me and the man could not stop giggling the entire time. I believe this is the first time he's really been able to hear the show from start to finish in this final state. It's great to hear this kind of feedback. Beau stuck around on Sunday after his fight rehearsal, we also had a couple of other guests that night and they all enjoyed it thoroughly. Here's hoping the rest of Chicago feels the same way!
Also during our music rehearsal, Sarah Harmon came down and transferred the cream of the crop of pictures from Build Day and Sunday Night's rehearsal. Once again, enjoy this photo special...
Beau...this may be be epitome of "L for Loser."
But we still love you!
This is a point in the show that is hilarious, yet slightly disturbing. Josh says "I can't believe we're actually doing this..." C-Rex's response: "It makes sense in context!"
Fist Pump Debate:
In compiling a list of the best fist pumps of all time, we have come up with:
1. Bender in The Breakfast Club (This is not up for debate. This is fact)
2. Bastian in The Neverending Story
We now need your help in filling out the top 5. Thoughts? Leave 'em in the comments!