Harvey's Broadway Blog: WOW!!!!

Harvey Returns! Welcome to The Return of special new series on BroadwayWorld.com - four time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein's personal MySpace blog of bringing his brand new musical, A Catered Affair to Broadway. We'll be exclusively picking up Harvey Fierstein's blog as he shares his first hand reports from rehearsals to Opening Night (and beyond). Check back for updates as rehearsals get underway!

NOW THAT WAS SOME WEEK! A Catered Affair and then some!

Let me start by saying that it was a great week. Lots of hard work. Wonderful responsive audiences. And some silly fun times backstage as we made ourselves at home in the beautiful Walter Kerr Theatre. We started the week off with our dress rehearsal which is no longer really what I would call a dress rehearsal. Thanks to modern media needs, the entire center section of the orchestra was blocked off for the performance so that a handful of photographers could shoot the photos they will need to accompany reviews and stories etc. So it's really more of a photo call than a dress rehearsal.Can you imagine performing to an audience that is shoved to the sides of the theater?

Obviously, it's a necessary thing. But, man, what a silly way to face your first house. Instead of being nose-to-nose with human beings, we were EYE-TO-EYE with camera lenses, and photographers running up and down aisles to get shots they wanted, and the incessant clicking of the shuttters. YIKES!!! And let me tell you something: CAMERAS DON'T LAUGH BUT THEY SURE ARE NOISY.

Toward the end of the show I have a very tender moment with Faith Prince who plays my sister. It's just the two on us onstage quietly connecting but all I could hear was CLICK CLICKCLICK CLICKCLICKCLICK CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK-

Okay, enough bitching from me. Where do I get off bitching about cameras when I'm always shoving mine in peoples' faces to get the shots I share here with you?

What the heck, I think I'll bitch a little bit more: I felt just awful for the audience members who had hoped to be the first to see our show. I know that they got in for free, but still, we are in the entertainment business and I never want to feel that we couldn't give our audience the absolute best we had to offer. I think we gave them a pretty good show, but I do hope they will come back and see us again without the PAPARAZZI.



It's been very exciting to hear the new material and rewrites. And the new orchestrations are just out of this world. Just beautiful!

And the work that MR DOYLE and his CREATIVE TEAM gets done every day is simply amazing. We are essentially story tellers, after all, and we utilize all of our skill and craft to bring a story to the audience in the most exciting, stimulating, and satisfying way that we can. And when you've got the caliber of theater artists onboard that A Catered Affair has, it's a wonder to behold their new inventiveness each new day.

SO THERE HAVE BEEN LOTS OF CHANGES THIS WEEK. Of course the basic tale does not change, but the fine tuning that's been accomplished in 5 short days is amazing. In fact, I can't wait to get to work to see what tomorrow brings. Actually, I know what tomorrow brings, but I ain't allowed to tell you just yet. We've got to make sure it works first. Experimentation and enhancing is what previews are for. DARN, THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!

You may well be asking, "So, is the show any good?" Well, the reactions from our audiences have been terrific. I've already begun to receive mail speaking of how touched folks are by what they're seeing. And the lovely people who come to the stage door after performances have also had marvelous things to say. Truth is, as the show grows and is fine-tuned, we can hear the reactions grow more and more enthusiastic. It's most encouraging. MOST ENCOURAGING.

Of course not everyone is going to love what we've got to offer. Ours is no Boulevard comedy with tap numbers. A Catered Affair is a story about real people with conflicted emotions and complicated troubles and very hard to realize dreams. And we are telling this story in an honest and true and unadorned way which makes our efforts kind of revolutionary. AND when you attempt to do something new and revolutionary you've got to expect that there will be those who either don't want to get it or just aren't willing to take this paraticular journey with us to a brand new place. Thankfully, for them, there are a ton of other Broadway shows for them to enjoy.

But for those who arrive at THE WALTER KERR THEATER with an open mind and available heart we offer, if I may quote one fan letter, "A SINGULAR THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE OF BEAUTY AND EMOTIONAL TRUTH...THE MOST EXCITING SHOW I'VE SEEN IN A DECADE... MISS PRINCE AND THE REST OF THE CAST HAD ME LAUGHING AND CRYING.". How's that for a fan letter? And, NO, it's not from my mother!

BUT ALL THIS SHOW BUSINESS has me exhausted so I'm going to bed. Those who follow my blog on MySpace know that not only am I opening a new show, but moving into my new house at the same time. I think I've earned my exhaustion. So, I bid you good night. But if you want to know what WEEK TWO OF PREVIEWS brings....




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