Hello all, It's Sean Patrick Doyle, your Songbird of Avignon... I know you haven't heard a chirp from me in over a week, as we've been NESTled up in the Longacre making all of the technical magic happen! And I'm happy to report that we've escaped tech week unscathed! Utterly exhausted, but unscathed! Don't quote me on it, but we very well may have set a record last week, teching a Broadway musical in a mere 3 1/2 days, and thankfully, that gave us plenty of time for cleaning and finessing.
This past week, all of us lady birds made the full transition into gorgeous gals, with the help of Richard Mawbey and Matthew Wright. A few jaws dropped among the cast, crew and producers, especially those of the hetero persuasion. "Remind me not to drink too much on opening," one technician whispered as he watched two 'gals' stretching their legs over their heads. And Producer David Babani had a bit of trouble keeping us straight, "Sean Patrick, no, sorry, Logan! Sorry. Who are you?" While I find it quite empowering to play these roles where we are as much man as we are woman, and you can truly act on whichever instinct you fancy in the moment, not all of the lyrics of "I Enjoy Being a Girl" apply to tech week! After sitting around in full beat for eight hours, stage management took pity on us, and we got to don our finale frocks with stubbly faces. One of our wig gals hadn't seen me as a man in two days, and thought I was an intruder! Ah, the joys of womanhood. Ladies (and I mean real ladies... as I do tend to use that as a general greeting!), I don't envy you! There's a lot of work that goes into becoming a femme fatale. Words to the wise: Don't put on a corset for four hours after eating a feast at Pigalle, and do NOT re-use Veet after only three days. I've just finished applying MAC to a LOVELY chemical burn on my right leg. "Pain is beauty" - Not just an expression!
In the midst of adding lights, costumes, wigs, sound, an orchestra, et al., we were swept away for a downtown adventure. All of the Cagelles were photographed for OUT Magazines 2010 Hot 100 and I happily report that we're sporting our jewel toned opening dresses for the story's opener - holding gold balloons that spell HOT LIST! Our makeup call that day was 8am, so we effectively worked 16 hours that day with breaks for lunch and dinner! The attached photo is us rolling out of the elevator at the shoot with full female beat and our male garb! The Starbucks isn't merely a prop... it is the OXEGEN of tech week!
To call that morning fun and enthralling would be such an understatement! And even then, it can't nearly compare with the excitement of our first audience! This is just a show that begs for a crowd. When Kelsey came out to a clamorous applause, which turned to a roar when our sillouettes were revealed, I just turned my eyes to God in sincere gratitude. What ensued was an absolute BALL (literally... as the audience finds out at the end of the opening number, with a surprise shattering of the fourth wall!!) And Douglas Hodge really let the cat out of the baggaaahge... I'm so humbled to share the stage with this sensitive and intelligent actor, who has dug beyond caricature to portray Albin's MANY facets with tenderness and honesty!
As with any production that has "show within a show" aspects, it takes that exchange between actor and audience to really find footing, and our crowds thus far have been so generous! We're tightening up moments during the day and throwing them at the wall in the evening to see what sticks! Official opening in just over a week!! "Open your eyes, you have [almost] arrived at. La Cage. Aux. Folles."
For more information, visit www.seanpatrickdoyle.com. To purchase tickets to La Cage Aux Folles at Broadway's Longacre, go to www.lacage.com.