BWW Blog: Ed Dixon of L'HOTEL - Week of Rehearsals in Glorious Pittsburgh

Monday, October 20

Day off. I had been hearing about "The Strip" ever since I arrived so Deanne Lorette aka Sarah Bernhardt and I trundled off to have lunch there. The surprise is that it's not some Vegas area as you might imagine from the name. It's a very down home neighborhood with a lot of local produce and outside markets. One set of stalls looked like something you might have found in Omaha in the 1950's. Surprising.

Tuesday, October 21

We started the day with TWO birthdays, Brent Harris (Oscar Wilde) and Kati Brazda. (Isador Duncan) The cake was that famous almond torte from Prantl's Bakery which I'd heard about before I left New York. Of course I didn't have any... carbohydrates, blah, blah, blah... but everyone else went nuts for it.

We started at the top of the show with Evan Zes, the Waiter's entrance with the marvelous Bizet Petite Galop music... and finished staging it. It's killer and starts the show on just the right comic note.

Sam Tsoutsouvas (Victor Hugo) and Brent Harris (Oscar Wilde) arrived and we worked on their opening scene until lunch at which point I went to Market Square.

After lunch the rest of the company arrived and Ted staged all their entrances except the Young Woman, Erika Cuenca, who is the last to arrive. Erika is a local actress and she is SUPERB.

Wednesday, October 22

We reviewed and then did the entrance of the young woman and worked on the whole act all afternoon until the end of the day. At the very end, we finished that section and just touched on the end of scene one with Wilde and the Waiter. It was very moving. The whole last hour of rehearsal I was on hold with the US government trying to solve a problem, and walked all the way home still on hold. A half hour after I got home a very nice young man came on the phone and politely solved my problem. All in all I held for 100 minutes. Ah, government.

Thursday, October 23

We started the day with a read thru of scene two. I thought it was exciting because all the actors really know who they are now and it went marvelously. But Ted pulled me aside after and pointed out some quibbles. So we listened again and I realized he was right. We started staging it in the afternoon but I knew I was going to do some rewriting. I went home and did it immediately. It came to me easily and I was simply thrilled with the whole process. I truly LOVE writing.

Friday, October 24

We read thru the rewrites early before rehearsal, just me and Ted and I was thrilled to see that I still liked them. Sometimes when you've slept on them, you regret changes. And then the actor's came in and we read it together. Everyone got excited. And then, just before lunch, Ted pointed out a problem time-wise at the very end of the act. I thought it was going to take forever to fix, but just before lunch I saw the answer and finished before I went to lunch so that I wouldn't even have to think about it. Then we came back after the break and continued staging the first part of scene two.

Saturday, October 25

We started the day with the first part of scene two and continued that until lunch. I made the mistake of going for a gyro salad. Never go for a gyro salad. Then we started work on the very end of the first act. It has two parts. The first part involves the waiter and Oscar Wilde. We worked on that for about ninety minute and then Sarah Bernhardt arrived to do the very last bit of the act with Sarah and Oscar. It went really well. And then after working all day, Ted went to a big fund raising event. Ah, the life of an Artistic Director who's also Managing Director... and also the director of your new play.

Sunday, October 26

We went all the way back to the beginning and did everything that we had worked through all week. It is an amazing thing to see a whole group of people start to share a vision that you've had in your head for years. I walked into the auditorium before the matinee of THE GLASS MENAGERIE and was once again struck by how beautiful the Pittsburgh Public Theatre is and how unbelievably lucky I am to be having this extraordinary group of people bringing my play to life.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day off. Started the day on the phone with my fabulous agent, Gary Epstein. (I start most days this way.) And then I met Broadway legend, Nenora Nemitz for lunch. She drove me to the top of Mount Washington and it was a GLORIOUS day. Then Jenn, the company manager took me grocery shopping and I collapsed in a heap. Did I mention that it was a GLORIOUS day in Pittsburgh? I hear there may be snow in the next few days, so I'm reveling in the mild weather... so far.

The gigantic Starbucks in the Steel Building Lobby where I start every day with some high octane people watching.

Deanne Lorette, our gorgeous Sarah Bernhardt.

Evan Zes, who is HILARIOUS as the Waiter.

Daniel Hartley, our handsome Jim Morrison soon to be beardless.

The peerless Sam Tsoutsouvas as the imperious Victor Hugo.

Tony Triano who IS Rossini.

The whole company rehearsing with Ted Pappas.

Lenora Nemitz and I on the top of Mount Washington.

The view of Downtown from Mount Washington.

Next on Stage

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From This Author Guest Blogger: Ed Dixon