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Hairspray National High school premiere

jacobp
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joined:12/6/05
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Hairspray National High school premiere#1
Posted: 6/25/08 at 7:36pm
This past weekend I was involved in the first amateur production of Hairspray produced by MTI and EdTA. It was performed at the high school International thespian festival that takes place every year at the University of Lincoln Nebraska. The cast was comprised of high schoolers from across the country. Im from PA and the other end from California. It was an AMAZING experience and I just thought if you're interested I'd tell you about it. Last year at festival auditions took place with over 400 high schoolers auditioning. Then over the course of 6 DAYS two weekend rehearsals theis full scale production was produced. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman both worked with the entire company and was there last night to see the show they told us afterwards this was the most rewarding production of hairspray they have seen. Both were amazingly down to earth and veryyyy funnyIt honestly was a dream come true to meet them as you can imagine, let alone Marc PLAYING HIS SONGS at rehearsals. AHHHH. I play Wilbur and throughout rehearsals I had the privilege of watching all of these performers learn their stuff in such a short amount of time. If yuou have any questions let me know.....also a few pix! http://www.edta.org/educational_events/festival/coverage.aspx
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It sounds like a blast. I'm glad you had a great time.
"I mean, sitting side by side with another man watching Patti LuPone play Rose in GYPSY on Broadway is essentially the equivalent of having hardcore sex." -Wanna Be A Foster. "Say 'Goody.' Say 'Bubbi.'" ... "That's it. Exactly as if it were 'Goody.' Now I know you're gonna sing 'Goody' this time, but nevertheless..."
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andrewcomp
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Haha, my friend was supposed to play Penny but she couldn't make it to one of the meetings, so they couldn't cast her :) True story. I was going to audition but I wasn't inducted at the time.
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millie_dillmount
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Great pictures!
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
olitwist2
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Thats funny! A friend of my DID play Penny!
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Copeman63
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Heya Wilber! I saw the show opening night in Greeley! You were awesome! I also saw the OBC a week after opening, so it was quite the experience to see an amateur cast, but I thought you were all great!
If Lincoln were alive today, do you think he'd be pleased with his tunnel?
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withoutlovewithoutU
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AWESOME!!! Looks Amazing!

"If we don't live happily ever after at least we survive until the end of the week!" -Kermit the frog "I need the money... it costs a lot to look this cheap!" -Dolly P. "Oh please, Over at 'Gypsy' Patti LuPone hasn't even alienated her first daughter yet!" Mary Testa in "Xanadu" "...Like a drunk Chita Rivera!" Robin de Jesus in "In the Heights"

"B*tch, I don't know your life." -Xanadu After that if he still doesn't understand why you were uncomfortable and are now infuriated, kick him again but this time with Jazz Hands!!! -KillerTofu
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mateo
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Congratulations! That's amazing.

The picture of you, Marc and Scott is gorg. I love that it's a candid, of a posed picture.

Great makeup on Edna. I love Penny's dress and hair. And can I get an amen for a curvaceous Dynamite.

Congrats again.
"Zac is sweet as can be. He's very much just a sweet kid from California who happens to have a face that looks like it was drawn by Michelangelo, (if Michelangelo did anime)."
-Adam Shankman.

"I haven't left this building since Windows 3.1!"

"Celebrating a birthday this week: Rene Descartes is 412! Do you know who he is? Then why are you watching this show? You could probably get into college and even get one of those job things. As for the rest of us; Amanda Bynes is 22! Yay!"
-E!'s "The Soup"
Updated On: 6/26/08 at 12:16 PM
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Marc Shaiman
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Well, Scott and I are sitting in the airport here in Nebraska, it's hailing outside and our flight is delayed...

Luckily, the vibe from experiencing this production of HAIRSPRAY will get us through the nightmare of this afternoon's travels back to NY

Oh My God, it was FANTASTIC!! SO much fun! Every single performer excelled far beyond what we ever could have imagined. The show played for it's audience like friggin' gangbusters. A bigger reaction than Broadway. I wouldn't and can't even single anyone out, it wouldn't be fair nor possible, but, what the hell...My program is in my luggage, so I only have character names to offer...

Even before the show started, I, of course, started crying just during the director's pre-curtain pep talk backstage. Then after some speeches, the show started, and this audience of fellow students in love with theatre were so giving and attentive and LOUD, it was fantastic!

Tracy was perfect with a great voice and incredible comic timing that got HUGE laughs ("It Takes Two" was a tour de force, what hysterical different staging!!), as was Penny, she got EVERY laugh a Penny can get. Edna was revelatory, we were in shock and heaven, I can't possible express how great he was without seeming like his mother. Wilbur was funny, heart warming, just perfect.

Link and Seaweed, besides being great singers and dancers were, please don't arrest me, UNBELIEVABLY SEXY.

The Von Tussles were the perfect villains, Corny was a corny dream, Lil' Inez was ON FIRE. Even parts like "Mr. Spritzer" were played with such detail and, I must repeat myself, incredible comic timing, I just can't say enough about how good these kids are.

The gal playing Motormouth landed EVERY possible laugh and then went on to give a performance of "I KNOW WHERE I'VE BEEN" rivaling any other I've seen/heard. Scott wept openly in the finale when Edna sang "and if you don't like the way I look, well I just don't give a damn" from the sheer joy of being part of a show that gives the lead roles to performers usually banished to one comic bit if they are lucky. I could go on and on....I wish I had the brain cells and computer AC power to list every scene and performer.

And the direction, dancing, musical directing, all of the crafts were amazing, especially considering how FREAKING FAST they put this on, I actually am still in shock over that.

This organization EDtA is mind-blowing. The intricate details they have worked out for the few thousand lucky teenagers who are part of this "conference" (or whatever the correct term is) is amazing. If I had something like this to be part of when I was 15 or so, my heart and head would have exploded from excitement and contentment. There were, like, a billion separate "workshops" in classrooms all over the campus, teaching every possible facet of theater you could ever imagine.

And wonderful performances of shows every day that were chosen from around the country. We saw "The Effect Of Gamma Rays On Man In The Moon Marigolds" which was incredibly effective, a friend who happened to be there saw a production of "Master Harold And The Boys" that knocked him out, he was an emotional wreck he said (I am sorry we missed it), and last night's premiere of "RENT-School Edition (no curse words) blew the roof off the theatre.

I am devesatated we are missing the premier tonight of "SWEENEY TODD" School Edition" (slight cuts and key changes prepared by Sondheim himself, and having witnessed teenage girls trying to sing in Carol Channing's keys when I did HELLO DOLLY as a kid, I know this is an incredible new step in the way shows are prepared for high-schools). I know it is gonna be spectacular, based on what we saw this week.

I can't say enough about this Organization.

http://www.edta.org/

BRAVO!!

Anyway, I am running out of power!!!

-Marc Shaiman
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mateo
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"If I had something like this to be part of when I was 15 or so, my heart and head would have exploded from excitement and contentment."

I was thinking the same thing. Thanks for the review Marc.


Have a safe flight!
"Zac is sweet as can be. He's very much just a sweet kid from California who happens to have a face that looks like it was drawn by Michelangelo, (if Michelangelo did anime)."
-Adam Shankman.

"I haven't left this building since Windows 3.1!"

"Celebrating a birthday this week: Rene Descartes is 412! Do you know who he is? Then why are you watching this show? You could probably get into college and even get one of those job things. As for the rest of us; Amanda Bynes is 22! Yay!"
-E!'s "The Soup"
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Marc Shaiman
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OMG, flight is still delayed, two hours late...I may perform my own solo version of SWEENEY TODD here at the gate if they don't get it together!
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"I may perform my own solo version of SWEENEY TODD here at the gate if they don't get it together!"

Watch out for musicaltheatrefan3, he likes to scope out the illegal productions!
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
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myshikobit
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That's really cool. I have, like 2 points till i'm in because I'm a freshman, and I had a confliction with the school play and choir and my parents made me choose choir =(. And I only did choir because it was convenient, but then it kept conflicting with shows, so I quit. Best choice I ever made....
"There are only two worthwhile things to leave behind when we depart this world of ours: children and art." -Sunday In The Park With George
Updated On: 6/26/08 at 03:37 PM
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Congratulations!
Sounds/looks terrific!
Laughter is much more important than applause. Applause is almost a duty. Laughter is a reward. Carol Channing
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re: Hairspray National High school premiere#14
Posted: 6/26/08 at 11:29pm
just re-read my post. I meant I would sound like the actor (who played Edna)'s mother if I raved the way I wanted to, not that he sounded like HIS mother!
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nitsua
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Jeff Zicker gives me hot flashes.

ETA: I know him from the LVA. I wish I could fly up to see Sweeney Todd. He plays Anthony.

GO JEFF AND TIA!!!
"Writing is like prostitution. First, you do it for love, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money." ~ Moliere
Updated On: 6/27/08 at 03:28 AM
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re: Hairspray National High school premiere#16
Posted: 12/13/08 at 10:49pm
Marc, thank you for creating such an incredibly dynamic show. It was the most wonderful experience that anyone could ask for. I am blessed to have worked with you. Maybe again sometime =]

Yours Truly,

Sydney
"Musical theatre is like pizza and sex, even when it's bad, it's good." -Marc Shaiman

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