Saturday, July 10, 2004

Rehearsal Garb Ain't Exactly Haute Couture

By the time you all see the show, you will see meticulously designed and created (and sometimes rented) costumes that evoke the era, evoke a character. And in some cases have been constructed to accommodate quick changes. Sometimes costumes weigh a lot. Sometimes they are cumbersome. And on the positive side, sometimes costumes make you begin to "feel" more like your character. Nothing like wearing a corset to help you understand the restrained world of the Victorians, as an example.

Well, actors typically don't get to start wearing their real costumes until quite late in the rehearsal process. Two reasons: 1. they're not ready and 2. the costumers don't want them to get dirty, torn, smelly!

To compensate for that, actors start to wear odds and ends in rehearsal to help them approximate what their costume will end up being. What you get is a motley assortment of folks in their idea of "rehearsal clothes."

At first I was observing the women taking it more seriously. Most of them wear rehearsal skirts...none of them period of course...just random colors and patterns and even skirt length and volume. You get to see some pretty precious combinations of t-shirts on top, random un-matching skirts, anklet socks and black, heeled character shoes. A couple of members of the Immigrant Ensemble were more enthusiastic, outfitting themselves in full-on schmattes. And then there was our Evelyn Nesbit, Jessica Carroll, wearing a tank top, dance pants tights...and a corset laced on over it.

At first glance the men seemed to be making few adjustments. Definitely many of them were wearing their own character shoes, rather than tennis shoes, I'm SURE at the urging of choreographer Tyler Risk.

But as rehearsal shifted from initial staging and blocking to actually running portions of the show, the men started donning jackets and hats.

Still, that resulted in some pretty funny combos too...nice boater hat, nice suit jacket, nice black character shoes...with a t-shirt, cargo shorts and athletic socks. You can start your wolf whistles any time.

Looking at our rag-tag cast at this stage, it's hard to imagine the transformation to come. But it always does come.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?