“Max and Paul are just trying to keep their architecture company afloat, but they accidentally hired the mob to build a police retirement home. They may never get the project done in this screwball comedy, but they are most definitely building madness.”
Love the script and wish you could relive the play OVER AND OVER AGAIN? Well, my friends, you can!
With the play opening just next week, rehearsals are in full swing. Lines have been learned, scripts have been abandoned, and new discoveries are being made. This is where the “play” part of a play begins.
Sean Faye and Alex Wright share a cup of coffee
Colin Simon and Sarah Lily share a little more than a cup of coffee as Matt Jayson “sits on book” (that’s theater speak for sitting with the script in front of you and offering up a line whenever someone forgets.)
A quiet moment backstage for our resident mobster to contemplate the meaning of the universe. (photo courtesy of Matt Jayson)
So who are all the people that keep this ship sailing? Presenting our director extraordinare Kevin Cochran! Not only a brilliant dramaturg, designer, and theatrical mind, he keeps his crew in line with a strategically placed family-sized bag of peanut M&Ms.
Kevin’s productions have won countless Ovation awards (that’s LA’s version of the Tonys), have been published by Samuel French, and have played bi-coastally with several Off-Broadway premieres. He is also one of the founders of the Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative.
Up in the booth is our resident sound and lighting god David Darwin. His eclectic musical library keeps our toes tapping in between scenes. He’s a regular at all the studios and if something’s filming in Los Angeles, he is probably lighting it. Everyone in the cast knows they’re hitting something right if they hear his giggle coming from the back of the room.
Kevin and David are hard at work getting the set put together for next week’s opening.
They even allowed resident playwright Kate Danley to come in and model the new look of tech day chic. Look for this dewy-faced fashion to be hitting the Paris runways next fall! Also, look for any of the flats she hit with a nail, because those will fall much sooner…
“Stumble Thru” is theater talk for the first night the cast works without their script in hand. They stumble through trying to remember their lines and where they were supposed to stand. The crew of pros made it look easy. Alex (our Gwen Gladwell) even had the page numbers memorized! Kevin (our director) would shout out, “Let’s go to the top of page 94” and she’d launch right into it without even having to look at her script!
One of the fun parts about doing a period play is finding juuuust the right props, sets, and costumes. Fortunately, Los Angeles is a trove of hidden treasures.
We found this 1910 violin case for our gangster, purchased from a man who collects, restores, and sells antique violins. These cases don’t offer much in the way of protection compared to modern day cases, so he frequently sells them. It is all wood and called a “coffin case.”
Turns out the last person to purchase such a case from him was going as a gangster for Halloween.
Kevin found a 1923 Dictaphone someone had been storing in their garage for years. It’s hard to find old Dictaphones with the hose and horn still intact.
Other props we’ll be pulling from the store room include an old manual typewriter, a vintage briefcase owned by the playwright’s grandfather, and a classic adding machine (purchased for use in GTC’s previous production of The Adding Machine.)
All these vintage finds add authenticity to a play and help the audience believe in the world. Plus, it is sort of lovely to think about all of these old workhorses who were destined for a scrap pile now being given a new lease on life and a glamorous career in entertainment. That’s certainly music to our ears.