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Harvey's Broadway Blog: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow...

Welcome to the debut of a very 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 out-of-town tryouts to Opening Night (and beyond).  A CATERED AFFAIR also features a score by John Bucchino and is being directed by Tony Award-winner John Doyle. Prior to Broadway, the new musical will play at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre beginning September 20th and then hit the Great White Way at the  Walter Kerr Theatre with previews beginning on begin March 25. The cast includes Broadway favorites Faith Prince, Tom WopatHarvey Fierstein, Leslie Kritzer and Matt Cavenaugh. Group tickets for the show are now on sale..

YESTERDAY, TODAY & TOMORROW...

...seems a fitting name for this week's blog as I plan for what's coming up, take care of the daily stuff, and look back down the path that brought me here.

TODAY

I want to start with today because it is an exciting one. Today marked the end of the third week of rehearsals and the final week before we leave for San Diego. I think we're in pretty terrific shape (he said repeatedly knocking wood and spitting between his fingers to keep away the evil eye).

As you can see from this photo, Constantine Kitsopoulos (is that the best name?) is still drilling harmonies into our little brains. The score is so terrific. Emotional, accessible but intricate and exciting... just a joy to listen to and to perform. But sometimes those idiosyncratic rhythms of Mr Bucchino's can drive a person crazy. Especially if you are trying to sing, perform complex blocking and... yes... ACT all at the same time. Still, that's what we get paid for and making it look effortless is the hardest part of the job sometimes. That, my children, is what rehearsal is for. But I gotta tell you, when it all comes together it's a glorious thing.


And while I'm showing group shots, here are a bunch of the cast sitting on the sidelines watching our fellow performers rehearse. Mr Doyle does not like to waste his own time or that of his actors. Therefore some of us are only now getting to see parts of the show that we are not in. Now that all of the individual pieces have been formed, he is bringing the larger picture into focus by running entire sections together. Faith and Tom were doing a scene when I shot this photo, so here are the rest of us watching them work. Featured in this photo are Matt Cavenaugh, Katie Klaus, Phillip Hoffman and Heather MacRae.


And here is Tom Wopat actually rehearsing a scene. (Ain't he a cutie?) That's costume designer ANNIE HOULD WARD in the yellow skirt studying the scene, and our production stage manager CLAUDIA LYNCH keeping us on track linewise.


Speaking of our costume designer, here is a peek at KATIE KLAUS trying on one of her outfits. Ain't she too precious? No one would ever guess the show took place in 1953, would they?


Now I've told you about John Doyle's practice of snatching props out of our hands and placing them in a box when he thinks said props are not helping to tell the story. Well, FAITH was busily preparing scrambled eggs for her husband and daughter while trying to keep up with a rather speedy patter song and she kept spinning around and opening drawers and slamming cupboards until finally she laughingly threw her arms in surrender and declared, "I know these people are poor, but if you want her to feed her family, you gotta give her at least a spoon."
Here's our trooper Faith Prince on a break... 


And here's Leslie Kritzer in the box!!!


So, obviously we're still having a lot of fun in the rehearsal room. As I've said before, it's a terrific cast under the direction of a fabulous maestro, and the material...? Well, what can I say? Any show that puts Kristine Zbornik and Matt Cavenaugh in bed together has my attention.

Actually, they never are in bed together, but I couldn't resist publishing this photo because I just can't figure out what they could have possibly been talking about. This is one of those photos that inspire funny people to make up captions. Let me know if you come up with a good one for this.


As long as I'm posting photos of MR CAVENAUGH, may I offer a more flattering view?


So, I guess that just about covers TODAY.

TOMORROW

I Fed Exed my luggage to San Diego this morning. All of a sudden that made the whole trip real for me. My calendar has had the dates marked for some time, but it wasn't until I looked in my underwear drawer and saw it almost empty that I realized I really was going away. SCARY. But also exciting.

They sent photos of the set being loaded into The OLD GLOBE. I'll post a couple when it starts looking like something.
And I sent out an email to friends and family with my contact information. Tomorrow I will go to the store and lay in pet supplies to carry my babies over until I get back. So this is really it. 

And the most exciting prospect is that when I return to my underwear drawer and my babies it could be with a brand new wonderful show. HOW FREAKIN' EXCITING IS THAT? But first another week of rehearsal in New York.
As for...

YESTERDAY

I wrote LA CAGE AUX FOLLES with Jerry Herman back in 1982. So much love and good humor fill that piece... It has always been a joy to experience for me over the many years of revivals and tours and amateur productions.

You may have read that the CHOCOLATE FACTORY in London will be reviving the show this holiday season in an all new productions. I'm so excited.

Meanwhile, David Gallo, scenic designer of CATERED AFFAIR, just sent me a news clipping that a prep school production of the show was closed down on their opening night this very evening in Orlando. The Catholic Prep School's principal called the show highly inapropriate for families.

My friends, I've got to tell you that I always assumed that LA CAGE would fade into obscurity quickly because the fact that someone was gay would no longer be fodder for prejudice and farce. It hasn't happened. Still, I am glad that LA CAGE is out there, and that there are teachers putting the show on with their students so that one TOMORROW some ill informed Bishop would not call the show inapropriate but instead would say, "That's a great show about family values."

STAY TUNED!

Group tickets for A CATERED AFFAIR are now on sale. Click here to visit/subscribe to Harvey's blog.


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