BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Countdown to Opening Night

July 15
7:50 AM 2014
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Countdown to Opening Night

Countdown to Opening night....

So this Wednesday, the 16th of July, is going to be our official press opening for Fiddler on the Roof. Goodspeed has a wonderful opportunity for actors to run the show for a few weeks as if it were previews and then officially open it at a later date. It really gives the company, at least I feel, the opportunity to really sit into the piece, experience, play, and work on all the little nuances so that it is ready for the critics and audiences alike. For the most part regional theatres don't have this luxury and this is where I really think that Goodspeed excels when it comes to putting on a show. They take the time to truly craft the most exceptional piece of theatre that they can by giving the appropriate amount of time to live with a show before it is ready for the press. With this coming it gave us the opportunity to work some new moments as well as really tighten choreography. Now with Parker gone that duty falls to our dance captain, Curtis Schroeger, to maintain and assess what needs to be looked at before the show has it's press opening. So for the past few days along with our director, Rob, we took the time to really invest in what was happening on our stage, to make it the best possible show we could give. Again it was truly great to be able to take the time to really examine each breath and each beat. The beauty of Fiddler is how truthful it is in its story. It isn't just a piece of fluff. It really has stood the test of time where a lot of musicals have been forgotten by the way side.

However before all of the excitement of opening is to go down we did manage to throw in a little fun here and there these past few days and into our day off. Once again there was another birthday (There are gonna be a few more throughout this blog, I can assure you). This time is was my buddy Matt Amira's most special day. This one just turned 22!!! (Collective groan). So for the celebration we again trotted over to The Gelston House for some birthday cake and food. There will be many a party at The Gelston as it is one of two restaurants in East Haddam. There's not much to do close by, however it is stunning here so we take it in trade. It was truly a great celebration and it was so nice for Matt as his family and girlfriend were in town to join him as well as see the show. Like my friend Max, Matt is an exceptional human being (we really did get lucky with this cast). A CCM grad, Matt has a booming voice and heart of gold. I'm proud to call him my friend and he is killing it every night in that bottle dance with the rest of us.

BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Countdown to Opening Night
Isn't he handsome?!?!
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Countdown to Opening Night
David Perlman, Charles South, Matt Amira (The Birthday Boy), Kathryn Boswell (Matt's girlfriend and singer/actress extraordinaire), and Dereck Seay
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Countdown to Opening Night
Top (Charles South, Max Chucker, Dereck Seay); Bottom (Me, Elizabeth DeRosa, Michael J, Farina)
BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Countdown to Opening Night
Michael J, Farina plans his next throw!!!

Now with the birthday and shows out of the way Sunday night we decided to do a little late night Cornhole tournament. For those of you who don't know, this is a magical game that I learned to play when I was on tour with the National Tour of My Fair Lady. If you don't know the rules, they are quite simple. You have two teams consisting of two players. On either side of them is a Cornhole board, which is raked and has a hole in the center. Your job is to throw your teams beanbags on the board or in the hole. On the board is 1 point, in the hole is 3. The strategy of the game comes in when the other team lands on the board too they take a point away. So if you have 3 bags on and your opponent lands 2 you only get 1 point. Make sense? I know it might not sound exciting but trust is, especially around midnight with a super moon. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't an Olympic event in the next tournament (I can dream, right???). For the most part I did pretty well if I do say so myself. Even though I haven't played in a couple years, the art of the cornhole has not escaped me, lol. It was a grand night for all as we had a few veteran players as well as getting to teach our cast and crew who didn't know the game just how lucky they were to know this very special game. Overall show wise and entertainment wise the weekend was pretty successful. We just are incredibly thankful for the time off, what with 8 shows this past week plus understudy and cleanup rehearsals. It was much needed to say the least. I look forward to opening night of Fiddler. I haven't been this proud of a show I have worked on in a long time. Everyone on that stage and backstage is working 110% to be the best we possibly can. And I think we have done it. If you get the chance and are in Conn. Make sure you come to East Haddam and spend some time in Anatevka with us. Till next time....

BWW Blog: Jesse Swimm of Goodspeed's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF - Countdown to Opening Night
Top (Darren Matthias masters the art of the cornhole throw) Bottom Left (Max Chucker and Charles South) Bottom Right (Max Chucker and myself...winning)

About the Author

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Guest Blogger: Jesse Swimm Jesse, has spent the last 20 years working extensively throughout New York, Nationally, and Internationally. He was Action in Broadway choreographer Joey McKneely's hit international production of "West Side Story". Jesse was also a member of the European tours of "A Chorus Line" and "Grease" for which he was the dance captain and set over 5 companies throughout Europe. Other productions include “High Button Shoes” at the Tony Award winning theatre The Goodspeed Opera House, “Swing”, “Beauty and the Beast”, "Footloose", "Singin' in the Rain", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Anything Goes", "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown", multiple productions of "A Chorus Line", numerous industrials and a few years at the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. Jesse also completed the role of Bobby in a newly revised version of Kander and Ebb’s “The Rink” at The Cape Playhouse starring Leslie Uggams and was in China for the Macau International Music Festival in “Guys and Dolls”. Jesse was the Dance Captain/Swing on the Cameron Mackintosh/Trevor Nunn/Matthew Bourne National Tour of “My Fair Lady” direct from London’s National Theatre in the West End. Most recently Jesse was a part of the 1st National Tour (original cast) and closing Broadway company of Mary Poppins where he understudied and performed the role Bert as well as the US regional premiere of Mary Poppins at the Tuacahn Amphitheater in the role of Bert. Currently Jesse is playing the role of Nachum the Beggar at the Tony Award winning Goodspeed Opera House.

Jesse has also worked with such legendary Broadway director/choreographer/producers as Cameron Mackintosh, Trevor Nunn, Matthew Bourne, David Marquez, Tony Award Winner Andy Blankenbeuhler, Tony Award nominee Lara Teeter, Michael Butler, and Nightmare Creations duo Melissa Williams and Carla Kama who are choreographers for international music sensation Prince. Jesse, a California State University of Fullerton alumnus, is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. He is also the proud dad of a rescue dog, and encourages everyone to open their homes to a four-legged friend.