It's a very exciting time at Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella because we are just days away from moving out of our rehearsal studios and into the Broadway Theatre. It's truly astounding to think about how quickly time has passed since we started this process; it's probably due to the fact that as a company we have had so much fun. The atmosphere at rehearsal has been so warm and welcoming--something that definitely is trickling down from the people in charge--so it's the perfect place to have fun and just play.
As a kid I used to love play fighting with my neighbors. There was nothing like getting outfitted with sword and shield and having a battle royale in the cul-de-sac. So naturally, one of my favorite parts of rehearsing R+H's Cinderella has been getting to be a knight. Hearing the distinct "clink" of two metal swords colliding somehow makes wearing a dance belt ok.
Another one of my favorite parts of this process has been watching people's nicknames evolve. "Brie", aka Stephanie Gibson, is my personal favorite. During the workshop, the cast was given rehearsal props for a scene in the town square. Stephanie carried a slice of Brie cheese. And thus, Brie was born.
Someone in the music department has given our fabulous music assistant Brendan Whiting the nickname "Mary". Why? I have no idea. But he doesn't seem to mind and Andy Einhorn loves it so "Maer" it is!
Greg Hildreth, who is possibly the most jovial of all of us, always wears these great t-shirts with pictures of kittens on them. You would be shocked with how much joy one could create in a rehearsal by wearing a kitten t-shirt. Greg makes me smile every time he takes off his coat. Today I asked him if he would describe his style as "hipster" and learned that he prefers "Grandpa Chic." Greg's got a birthday coming up so if you know of any places that sell t-shirts with kittens on them tweet me @odyilliams.
It's no secret that I have a sweet tooth something awful. I mean its BAD. During a long day of rehearsal, nothing makes me more excited than someone bringing in treats, and holy cow, do we have some top-notch (and very generous) bakers in this cast!!! Almost every other day, something delicious shows up next to the callboard. I can't tell you how grateful I am for Branch Woodman, Laura Osnes, and Ann Harada in moments where my blood sugar is running low and I'm itching for something other than Altoids! I feel the need to give an extra special shout out to Branch who baked a brownie on top of a peanut butter cookie and stuffed it with a Reese's peanut butter cup. What?!?! I had 4 on that 5-minute break. It was without a doubt one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted, but alas, my days of eating those are long over. For you see, I wear a unitard in this sucker.
Our time at 890 Broadway is coming to and end. As excited as I am to be moving into the Broadway Theater, there is one perk of that building that I will greatly miss. Every day when you leave the rehearsal studio and head to the elevators you are greeted by the mouthwatering smell of popcorn wafting up from the movie theater below.
Overall, our time in the studio has been an absolute blast. From the crew to the creatives to the cast, our group is definitely one that knows how to have a good time on the daily. You know you've lucked out when you look forward to coming to work every day (even if it means waking up at the crack of dawn.)
Drama Desk Award Winner Santino Fontana doing a dramatic reading of my blog from last week.
Phumzile Sojola (Lord Pinkleton)
Stephanie Gibson as Brie