Bobby baby

Bobby. Bobby. Bobby baby. The first music rehearsal for Company was last night, and we began to learn the title song of the show. It’s the most difficult song in the show. (This recording starts the song at 6 minutes 50 seconds) The song is trying to simulate the mothering, incessant phone calls of Bobby’s … Read more

Bobby. Bobby. Bobby baby.

The first music rehearsal for Company was last night, and we began to learn the title song of the show. It’s the most difficult song in the show. (This recording starts the song at 6 minutes 50 seconds)

The song is trying to simulate the mothering, incessant phone calls of Bobby’s friends. They are always calling him and wanting to hang out, asking for favors, etc. To illustrate this, there are a lot of times when people are singing over one another, and sometimes people are literally jumping into the song.

It’s AWESOME.

The song is this entire cacophony of sound as the different characters chime in with “Bobbys,” “Bobby Darlings” and invitations to dinners, shows, whatever.

Another thing that’s prominent is a minor third (if you sing the first two notes of the national anthem, you have a minor third, for example).

Cool fact, the minor third is called the “Mother Interval.” For whatever reason, in every culture without fail, the minor third is the first interval an infant hears. Think of how your mom says your name when she’s trying to get your attention—it’s a minor third.

“Bobby” is sung over and over on this interval, and it represents the way Bobby’s friends “mom” him. Sondheim, the composer of Company, is a genius.

The cast of the musical includes 6 men and 8 women, all of whom are extremely talented musicians and actors. This show is seriously gonna be so good.

We’re actually going to do all the notes and all the harmonies. Some of the Broadway cast recordings available have a slightly watered down version of the song.

The song we worked on last night is just one of the many amazing songs in Company. This musical is going to test everyone’s musical ability, and it will be such an intense production.

April 4-6, 11-13 at 8 p.m., and April 7 at 2 p.m. in Rodman Playhouse.

How to audition

The auditions for the spring musical are in a few days! To warm us all up and to give the auditioners an idea of what to expect, Mount Union’s Department of Theatre hosted a master class on how to audition. It was a really cool event. We had a woman there, Lindsey, who Kevin Kern met … Read more

The auditions for the spring musical are in a few days! To warm us all up and to give the auditioners an idea of what to expect, Mount Union’s Department of Theatre hosted a master class on how to audition.

It was a really cool event. We had a woman there, Lindsey, who Kevin Kern met during a summer show. She demonstrated a song and a monologue and went through the motions of auditioning.

Here’s what we learned:

1. Treat your accompanist with respect. Accompanists, for whatever reason, get a certain amount of disrespect in some vocal settings. That’s not cool, ever.

2. Dress appropriately. You should look more like you’re ready for a job interview than having just come straight from the gym.

3. Walk in with confidence. If a director sees a confident person walk across the stage, he knows that’s someone he can trust with a part.

4. Introduce yourself. There is no need to introduce the piece you’ll perform. The director will likely figure it out.

5. Act the song you sing! A director isn’t only looking for vocal talent; he/she wants to know you can act!

6. Avoid character voices. The director wants to hear YOUR voice.

7. Try to avoid picking Sondheim and other difficult pieces. If the accompanist messes up, you look bad. Always.

8. Never say, “Oh I have a cold.” All it sounds like is excuses, excuses, excuses.  A director will be able to tell if you were sick recently.

9. Politely say thank you at the end of your audition and leave as confidently as you entered.

That’s how to audition!

Company’s coming!

Every other year, Mount Union’s Department of Theatre puts on a musical in the spring. The fall typically consists of two smaller-cast shows, and the spring features a huge show. They do plays and musicals every other year. My theory is so they can feature both actors and singers each spring. The musical in the spring … Read more

Every other year, Mount Union’s Department of Theatre puts on a musical in the spring.

The fall typically consists of two smaller-cast shows, and the spring features a huge show. They do plays and musicals every other year. My theory is so they can feature both actors and singers each spring.

The musical in the spring will be Company by Steven Sondheim.

First of all, holy crap Steven Sondheim. He is literally in his own category for musicals. If you look at musical theatre grad schools, they say to be prepared for modern musicals, 20s musicals, rock, Latin etc., …. and Sondheim.

The music is difficult and powerful. The rhythms are hard and the text is harder. A Sondheim show requires the best pool of talent a school can provide.

So this is going to be awesome.

Not to mention we have a new director, Kevin Kern. He, and the actors in the show, did a FANTASTIC job with Servant of Two Masters this fall, so I can’t wait to see what he does with Company.

We’re also having an audition master class when we come back from Christmas Break. We’re going to learn from people who audition all the time so we can put our best foot forward come audition time. Go Kevin!

We have such amazing actors and actresses here at Mount Union, and we have some phenomenal singers. This is going to be huge.

Keep the first two weekends in April clear on your calendar!