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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.

Isn't he handsome?!?!
David Perlman, Charles South, Matt Amira (The Birthday Boy), Kathryn Boswell (Matt's girlfriend and singer/actress extraordinaire), and Dereck Seay
Top (Charles South, Max Chucker, Dereck Seay); Bottom (Me, Elizabeth DeRosa, Michael J, Farina)
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....

Top (Darren Matthias masters the art of the cornhole throw) Bottom Left (Max Chucker and Charles South) Bottom Right (Max Chucker and myself...winning)

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From This Author 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 (read more...)