Rehearsal Day 9: Stage Combat Sunday - The One We've Been Waiting For
Tonight began the choreography for the largest fight in the show. You can imagine a show that was inspired by 300 and Apocalypse Now would have some epic fights. Earlier this week, Beau emailed me his outline for the fights against Simon - and I couldn't wait to see some of his ideas in action. And action is exactly the way to describe the first three hours of rehearsal. To begin with, Denise (Carla Kessler) attacks Simon (Bryan Campbell) on her own. Bryan and Carla worked with Beau alone for about an hour to block out and solidify the lead-in to the fight with the rest of the cast. This also signified the return of the SPATULAS OF STRENGTH. The two of them worked with Beau diligently to get every strike, block, and kick precise and into their muscle memory.
After the first hour of Simon's intense fighting skills, the rest of the Regulars joined in to take their shots at Bryan Campbell. The original plan was to block out just the first section or two of the fight, as it is extremely intense. Beau began to bring out and introduce the weapons our servers would be using...crates, tongs, pepper grinders, rolling pins, frying pans, and dishtowel nunchaku. What seemed like it would be beyond ridiculous was all that and even more. Be it excitement, passion, or just the prospect of being action heroes, we were able to block out the entire fight. The actors are so invested in every move and put so much intensity behind every strike and block that Josh, Beau, and I had our jaws on the floor as they ran through the moves. As we have just started, the moves are far less than half speed now, but when you get a good slap or Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the face, you just have to say "Oh!"
Enjoy the following photos from the process. Just as with Molly's song, I would love to post more, but don't want to give away the whole shebang. Let's just say that I'll be surprised if the cast isn't hurting in the morning...
Just a moment between a Fight Choreographer and his actor.
This is what Beau was demonstrating. Angry faces!
Something about a small woman and her spatulas...I'd be afraid to cross her in a dark alley...
Sunny and her awesome crate are down.
I couldn't tell if this was Maddy's actual reaction or a character choice. Either way, I love it.
Oh yeah, we did some scene blocking, too...
Rehearsals will only get more intense from here on out. We have pretty much covered the scenes that have just one or two people in them, now we tackle the large group scenes. Monday night we will cover two songs and two straight scenes with the whole cast, Tuesday we learn the last two songs we haven't covered yet, and Wednesday is off book day for the actors. Big things coming up - We open in a month and two days!