Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I have just returned home from a rehearsal in which Larry-O and I blocked our big number and our two scenes of dialogue.
Here's the setup. Katisha (yours truly) is "an elderly lady" who has her sites set on Nanki-Poo (the hot young tenor). But due to the kinds of ridiculous and improbable plotting for which W. S. Gilbert is famous, Ko-Ko (that's Larry) along with two other characters fakes Nanki-Poo's execution (something to do with the city being downsized and losing state funding because of a dearth of executions... seriously). Then, because they realize Nanki-Poo is the son of the Mikado (the Emperor) and killing him would be decidedly un-cool, they need to bring him back while preventing Katisha from getting her hands on him (otherwise, he's skipping town). So Ko-Ko must woo Katisha and win her. He sings a song about a bird killing itself for love ("Tit-Willow"), which does the trick: she falls for it/ him. Then she coyly asks, "You don't mind if I'm just a little teeny tiny wee bit bloodthirsty, do you?" He replies that bloodthirstiness is quite fetching, and they sing this little ditty.
There is beauty in the bellow of the blast
There is grandeur in the growling of the gale
There is eloquent outpouring when the lion is a-roaring
And the tiger is a-lashing of his tale...
A volcano has a splendour that is grim
And earthquakes only terrify the dolts
And for him who's scientific there is nothing that's terrific
In the falling of a flight of thunderbolts...
The director is blocking us as if we were in a Betty Boop cartoon... Larry is all arms and knees pumping and I am sort of vamping as if Betty were doing her Mae West impression. At the end of it all I pull him offstage with my arm around his neck, as if he were a drowning man being rescued from a pool.
The really fascinating thing is that Larry and I can do this scene, and really act it outrageously, and it's very funny and cartoonish. And then, with the other Katisha (for my part is double cast)... well, there is a very different feel. This young woman is actively flirting with him... and it works... and it's completely different, and also very funny, and it works, and I am so not doing it!
So I am cooling off with sparking water and cold strawberries, my voice just a little hoarse. It is a good kind of tired.