Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some words from the Ugly Duckling himself...

My name is Jeremy Adams, and in SMT's production of Honk! I play the leading role of Ugly, the aptly-named ugly duckling.

I am a martial artist who moved to Seattle a couple of years ago from Big Sky country of Montana, and over the past couple of years have been auditioning for local and professional musicals as a triple threat.

This is a very intriguing role for me as an actor, partly because the usual approach of method acting can be a bit tweaked due to the fact that Ugly's introduction on the stage is as a newborn.

No back story to make up there, at least until the second act, when several months have passed. The experiences seen in the first act are the very first ones that begin to create his character.

As far as quick changes go, I have an easier job than almost anyone else in the cast. All but three of the performers in the show are double or triple-casted, and have numerous costume changes, from duck to goose to frog back to duck, etc. The only costume change I have is during intermission, along with the snow-blinded transformation into a swan. Suffice to say, the amount of work you do is not always defined by which role you have ;)

Just as Ugly undergoes many changes during the show, I feel much more seasoned as a performer, which is largely in part to the fact that every actor is able to bring his or her own ideas to the show. This is one of my favorite things about Seattle Musical Theater in general, is the fact that creativity is encouraged and not repressed. Being able to bring one's own ideas to the table is, in my opinion, nothing but beneficial to the free spirit of any cast.

The children, of course, are the ones that sink into it the most, when the show is kid-friendly. But as we like to say, Honk! is an adult show disguised as a kids' show, as many of the hidden jokes would pass right over the young ones' heads, but be perfectly obvious to adult viewers.

You go through the rehearsal process, get used to all the jokes, laugh at the mistakes...then when performance time comes around and the audience is present, they begin laughing, and you nearly lose it onstage all over again simply due to their reactions.

As for the children...again, when the ugly duckling transforms into the swan, they absolutely love it, beginning to cheer and clap when the hope rises and the hero returns. A reaction like that is something I think every actor lives for.

There is now one weekend left, and the ugly duckling hopes you gain the opportunity to come and see it. We have a top-notch cast, high morale, and three more performances remaining to end the run with a bang! Don't miss it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A couple of pictures

Here are a few shots from one of the last dress rehearsals. Come see the beautiful finished sets and costumes that Jason and Deane created for our wonderful cast.



Taking time to talk to us from our local watering hole...

Greetings to all. As you may or may not know, my name is Peter, and I'm performing the parts of Greylag and Drake.

A little background about me: I grew up in Seattle (went to Roosevelt High School), but a little over six years ago I decided to go to Texas for college (I know, I know...). After that I spent a year and a quarter on the East Coast working with a couple different theatre companies, and then moved back to Seattle just over a year ago.

In the past six months I've started looking for theatre work around town again, and so it seemed perfectly natural to audition for SMT, with its reputation for presenting strong musical theatre pieces. Working on Honk for the past month and a half has been a complete blast. If I had to say one thing that surprised me, it was the stuffing (not the Thanksgiving kind, talk to John about that). I knew that we were going to be padded, but when we actually had it all on, it forced a lot more changes to my physicality than I was expecting.

My favorite moment from opening weekend may seem a little odd to some, but I actually like it when things go just a little wrong. It forces me to think outside of the ruts that I may have gotten into and live in the moment fully. I'm not going to talk about the specific moment, but suffice it to say that something small happened, and it was enough to force that moment of new creation that can sometimes be hard to find in a show that you've done a dozen times. And honestly, it's when things happen that are unexpected that theatre really shines. A movie will be exactly the same no matter how many times you watch it. With live theatre, the unexpected happens, and then you get to see how the characters react to this situation that no one has ever seen before. We all try to keep those times to a minimum of course, for everyone's sanity. But when it happens, it can be a lot of fun.

Monday, November 9, 2009

From our very own Mother Goose...

My name is Erin and I'm playing a variety of ensemble roles in addition to Dot, a fun-loving goose who has to put up with her mostly-crazy husband, Greylag. I decided to audition for Honk not only because I was craving the chance to do another show (this is my 6th show at SMT) but because I love the music and story in this show. It covers so many different styles, has clever lyrics and very hummable melodies. Plus, I think the moral of the story, to appreciate people's differences, is one that is timeless and very appropriate for the world we live in.

There are so many moments in the show that I love, but I think the most powerful moment for me is the is the end of Act I when Ugly and Ida sing their duet. At this point in the show they are both searching for each other but neither one has given up hope that they will find each other. It helps that we we have two VERY talented people in these roles, but the way it was written, with their beautiful counter melodies; I just think is very powerful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

And Now a Word from One of Our Ducklings...

I got to be in Jane Eyre last winter and loved it so much that I decided to try out for Honk!

I get to play a duckling (quack!), a froglet (ribbit!), and a goose (honk!...I think, but I'm not so sure anymore since that's the sound a swan makes).

Something that surprised me about the show is how funny it is (sometimes during rehearsal it's hard to hold back a laugh).

My favorite moment in the show is when I hatch as a duckling because it's nice to stretch my legs out after being cramped in my egg for so long.

Quack!, Ribbit!, Honk!??

-Alder S. (age 11)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Our Rehearsals Continue...

Once again, the TURKEY-CAM, has been back at rehearsals for Seattle Musical Theatre's production of HONK! The designers have joined us, and we are seeing incredible additions to the show at every rehearsal. The set is becoming a reality, our running crew is in place, the lights and projections are being added, costume fittings are occuring - all is coming together like water off a duck's back!

Here is Drake, singing about the duckyard in the show's opening.

Once hatched, the ducklings are taken to the lake for their first swimming lesson, by their father.

Ugly's swimming lesson is much more successful.

Come see HONK! at Seattle Musical Theatre, November 13 - 29, 2009!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Rehearsal Footage

The TURKEY-CAM brings you some long awaited rehearsal footage!

Our first video shows Ida, the Duck, and Maureen, the Moorhen, discussing why they put themselves through having children.

Next, we get another look at Ida. All her other ducklings have hatched and now she must wait for the BIG EGG. As large as the egg is, it is still hers... it's just "Different".

Ugly, the occupant of the BIG EGG, has met his family - and is teased and taunted by his brothers and sisters. His father thinks he is a turkey. (I mean, REALLY!) The barnyard has had its chance to poke fun at him as well. Ugly shares with us about being "Different"

Later, Ugly encounters Lowbutt, a domesticated Chicken, and Queenie, a domesticated Cat. They share their not-so-politically-correct views of the world with Ugly.

The TURKEY-CAM will be busy at work over the next few days to bring you more footage from HONK!, The Ugly Duckling Musical.

Come see HONK! presented by Seattle Musical Theatre, November 13 - 29, 2009!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Honk Orchestra

Yesterday, the TURKEY-CAM was privileged to walk into the first orchestra rehearsal for HONK! This amazing group of musicians are busy rehearsing and fine tuning their parts. The orchestra, here is heard rehearsing "A Poultry Tale". In their "down" time. the orchestra members can be found playing gigs at the barnyard's local "nest-cafe", giving yet unheard "tweetment" to jazz standards. I have even heard rumors "flying" around the barnyard - apparently they have been offered a record deal by Polygram Records, Warner Brothers, and Keebler Crackers. Their new record label is better known at "Poly Warner Cracker".

Come see HONK! at Seattle Musical Theatre, November 13 - 29, 2009


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Illustrious Leader

Here, the TURKEY-CAM finds our Director, Ann hard at work. The cast was also very hard at work, learning the choreography to "A Poultry Tale", when our 'Classic Poses', were apparently neither 'Classic', nor 'Posed'.

Ann got our 'ducks in a row', and now our fancy footwork is far less 'fowl'.

Ann can now add "Works well with fowl, felines, and amphibians." to her resume!


Monday, October 26, 2009

The Barnyard is Tuning Up!

Hello, My name is John, I am another member of the barnyard. I will be portraying the...well, how should I put it... the self-basting, self-boasting Turkey... yes, he is a bit full of himself. As Kathy said, rehearsals are in full swing, and the barnyard is tuning up their Quacks, Honks, Gobbles, Tweets, and Bgadehrs. I, using my soon to become 'infamous' TURKEY-CAM will be bringing you some views from the barnyard and beyond.

Here is a little snippet for you to enjoy. A look at our Music Director working his 'magic' with our actor portraying Drake.

Bgadehr! .... uh, I mean GOBBLE!

Honk, I tell you, Honk!

So, we begin a new venture!

Let me go ahead and introduce myself, so you're not confused, saying to yourself, wait a minute you're not Knoopie! No, I'm not... my name is Kathy Derby and I'm a new contributing blogger with SMT. I had the pleasure of doing The Producers with Doug (who blogged throughout that process), I played Shirley Markowitz, was an usherette, a "beer stein" follies girl, and was proud to partake of the general ensemble craziness.

This time around, in what couldn't be a MORE different show than The Producers, I'm playing a chicken, but not any chicken, a DOMESTICATED chicken. I'm playing the role of Lowbutt, which now checks two things off on my to-do list that I never thought would happen in my theatrical career, 1) playing a chicken (there's just not a lot of shows with talking chickens in them) and 2) having the word "Lowbutt" on my resume.

But I'm all about expanding my horizons!

We're in week 3 of rehearsals, or I should say, we just finished week three. If you don't know anything about the show Honk, it's really a delightful show. It's sweet, with a really lovely message about acceptance and believing in yourself. It's essentially the story of the Ugly Duckling, with some twists and turns (and singing and dancing) thrown in. I'm actually really happy to be doing a childrens show, though it's a relevant story for adults as well; they will also enjoy it thoroughly. There is quite a lot of smart humor mixed in with the things that children will love, so something for everyone.

One of the things that I really enjoy about SMT is that they try to do really balanced programming. I love the fact that they do engage the community by offering a show that will appeal to a younger audience every season, I think that's so important. And this one is really spot-on when it comes to meeting that goal.

It's got a barnyard full of animals, a cottage with a cat and a chicken (me) it's got a neat villian (another cat), and a two endearing heros, Ugly and his mother, Ida.

My character that I'm playing is really fascinating for me. She's definitely not really a villain, but she's also not a protagonist in the story, she's much more of an antagonist, but only in that she's very sheltered. A lot of what she brings to the table is an interesting life lesson that is really hard for anyone, let alone children to learn. Some people live with blinders on, and they can't and don't want to see beyond their little sphere of influence. It's not that they are bad people, either, it's just that is the way they have chosen to live their lives, and it takes a lot of shake them from their comfy ways.

She lives with her friend, Queenie, who is a cat, and their entire world revolves around the fact that they are so comfortable in their home, and they don't really want to leave, nor do they want change, per se. But change does come, and it's very interesting to see what comes about when that particular monkey wrench comes knocking on the door to their cottage!

It's a really fun part for me too in that I get to be very comedic, over the top and I just get to have a lot of fun with her.

More to come, in the meantime, can I hear a HONK from the collective peanut gallery?


Sunday, October 4, 2009

"It's the only kind of music that ve Huns und our Honeys love to sing"

I want to take a minute to thank the SMT folks for asking me to do this blog. And "bravo" to this amazing cast and crew. You've all helped make "The Producers" a wonderful experience. It was more fun that I could have imagined.

Thanks to you too, for taking time to read all my blatherings.

Oh, and make your plans to see "Honk" opening Nov. 13 at SMT.

Doug K./Franz

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday night

Check out our new review on Talkin' Broadway!!

Only two more shows left. For tickets check out the SMT link to the right or call 206-363-2809.

Thirty minutes to curtain.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"It'll Run for Twenty Years..."

...actually only three more performances. If you haven't seen us yet, what are you waiting for? For tickets see the link to your right, or call 206-363-2809.

Time to slip into my lederhosen and put on my helmet. Hey, we start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"He's Done it Again"

Saturday night. Our fifth performance and things are humming along (See the lovely chorus girls to the left? If you haven't seen the show, you don't know what you're missing).

The curtain speech has started, a blind fiddler is practicing right next to me. O.K., it's Nick, one of the amazing ensemble members.

Now the overture starts. Time for the antics to begin!

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Opening Night...it's Opening Night!"

it's here. Thanks to all who have helped get us to tonight. I especially want to thank the crew and the staff at SMT for making this a great experience.

Please come see the show, if you're so inclined. And keep checking the blog. I'll post some pictures during the run.

Ja wohl


Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Oh, sorry, wrong office" (Act II Preview)

9:40 p.m. - Everyone sets their costumes, props and such. Act II begins.

10:35 p.m. - Busy, busy, busy. Time for the finale!

10:45 p.m. - Preview finished. Vunderbar!!

11:15 p.m. - Stranger at the U-Village QFC tells me the show was great. Time for da sleeping. Ya.

"All ve heard vas yodeling"

It's preview night, and I'm gonna try this live blog thing again.

7:35 p.m. - Pep talk (and some notes) from our director, choreograper and stage manager backstage.

7:49 p.m. - An odd "calm before the storm" has fallen over the dressing room.

8:02 p.m. - Curtain speech, overture and "Opening Night" (the butterflies in my stomach have begun).

8:22 p.m. - Leo is hysterical. Audience is laughing (whew)!

8:35 p.m. - A bevy of beautiful showgirls just passed by on the way to the stage for "I Wanna Be a Producer." Roger, Carmen and I pace backstage.

8:55 p.m. - Roger (Buddy) makes his entrance. Time to "Keep it Gay"!

9:25 p.m. - Sweaty, exhausted, Intermission. Wait...we still have to do Act II!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Vat you say is 'Beak a Leg!'"

Live! Backstage at SMT during our Final Dress Rehearsal (bear with me as I try some live blogging via my I-Phone).

8:05 p.m. - The orchestra just started the overture. Sounds good.

8:32 p.m. - Just moved the stage left wall unit into place for the "I Wanna Be a Producer" number. Justin sounds like he's having fun.

8:55 p.m. - "Der Guten Tag Hop Clop" -- Vunderbar (well, almost).

9:10 p.m. - Onstgae Ulla is singing "When You've Got It..." Backstage many "little old ladies" are preparing for the Act I finale. It's indescribable!

9;25 p.m. - Intermission (hurry, change into you next costume!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"You'll Endeavor..."

I tried file this entry on Saturday from our all-day tech rehearsal, but couldn't make things work.

Things are coming together awfully quickly now. On Saturday, we were fitted with body mics in the early afternoon and then got to sing with the orchestra. It's always such a thrill to sing through the score with the orchestra that first time. After a dinner break (with our food provided by the SMT board...thanks SO much) we ran through the show, stopping and starting to work set changes.

And all the while our great music director, Paul Linnes (pictured) kept us in line...musically.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Take advice, don't think twice"

We did a full run-through of the show last night. Whew! Lots of hard work from everyone. Things are coming together. We've added lights (thanks, Richard Schaefer), the set is taking shape (bravo, Dan Suiter) and I heard the orchestra for the first time at a recent rehearsal. Excellent.

AND I got to try on the lederhosen last night (!!). Another run-through tonight. More updates tomorrow.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"What Nice Guys"

We had a full-day, dance-and-scene work rehearsal today. I had some review with choreographer Jenn in the morning of the two "Franz" numbers. Then on to some scene work. All the while costumer Carl Bronsdon was fitting people into assorted outfits.

The ensemble worked all sorts of group numbers today. They are a talented, hard-working bunch. One minute they might be playing a theatergoer, then a little old lady with a walker, then a tap-dancing storm trooper. The costumes will be flying backstage, let me tell you.

When lunchtime came I got to leave (lucky me!), but the ensemble folks had to return to work the rest of the afternoon. I salute you amazing guys and gals.

The picture here is of our stage management team, Kira Willson and Carine Hutchison. Both very "nice guys."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"He's the German Ethel Merman Dontcha Know."

Back to rehearsal after a few days off. Monday night we did a stumble-through of Act II. Things seemed to run fairly smoothly and the highlight for me was to be able to sit back and watch the big "Springtime for Hitler" number (if you know the show, at this point my character is...um..indisposed).

Showgirls (and guys), great fanfare and tap-dancing Nazis. And the highlight: Buddy Mahoney. I wont give away too much more, but I think he could bring down the house.

The photo is from the courtroom scene near the end of show. It was taken with my phone, so it's not the best quality, but I think you can see the lovely work Dan is doing with
our set.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"So Keep Your Strindbergs and Ibsens at Bay..."

Tuesday's rehearsal involved more blocking and singing ("You Never Say Good Luck on Opening Night"), and for me, some dancing (both "Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop" and "Haben Sie Gehort Das Deutsche Band"). God bless our choreographer, she has the patience of a saint. I think I may finally be getting it.

Before leaving for the night I helped SMT's production manager Dan Suiter carry in a stair unit and then I decided to stick around and watch the "Keep It Gay" scene when Max and Leo ask Roger De Bris to direct their new show. Very, very funny stuff. The rest of the cast had better watch out or Buddy and Ryan (as Roger and Carmen) may just steal the show.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"The chasing and yelling continued..."

Another short rehearsal for me on Monday night. We revisited the Act II scene I mentioned in the last post, but this time worked in Justin (who plays Leo Bloom) and Adam, Nick, Joshua and Jesse (who are all playing policemen in this scene).

The chasing and yelling continued and I tried juggle a crutch, an imaginary gun and my script. As before, we ran the scene several times and then at an actor's suggestion, we ran through the music for the "You Never Say Good Luck on Opening Night" number. We hadn't sung it in awhile, so it was good to refresh the memory (thanks, Andrew)!

Dance review was next. After checking with stage manager Carine to make sure I wasn't needed, I headed home. But not before catching sight of Kat (who's playing Ulla) being lifted up off a desk in the lobby while rehearsing "When You Got It, Flaunt It."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Oh, ze Meadows und ze Mountains und ze Sky..."

Hi Seattle Musical Theatre fans! I'm delighted to be blogging about my experience rehearsing and performing the role of Franz Liebkind in "The Producers."

A quick history. I'm a Seattle native who has performed at many different theaters in the Puget Sound region. "The Producers" will actually be my fifth show in a row at SMT (I was seen in "1776," "Cinderella," "Jane Eyre" and "Guys and Dolls" last season). It's a great place to work (I guess that's why I keep coming back), and "The Producers" is one heck of madcap, exhausting, whirlwind.

We have now been rehearsing the show for three weeks, and today I was called to block a scene in Act II. Our chroeographer Jenn Littlefield was working with the (amazing) ensemble when I arrived on "The King of Broadway" number. While they took a lunch break, director Bill Hamer worked with Andrew (Max Bialystock), Buddy (Roger De Bris), Ryan (Carmen Ghia) and myself in a scene involving running, chasing and gunfire. After the blocking was set, we ran the scene about 10 times. Nothing like repetition to set things in your mind. As I left for the day, the ensemble was returning from lunch to do some more choreography review.

That's it for today. I'll be back early next week. Oh, and the title for this entry is taken from the lyrics of my first song in the show, "In Old Bavaria."

Friday, August 21, 2009


Welcome to the SMT blog. Tune in here to join cast member Doug Knoop for a behind the scenes peek as we put together the massive undertaking which is The Producers.