An annual tradition

December 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Since 2002, each year at this time, Metropolis is proud to present our production of A Christmas Carol. Though we may reuse set pieces and costumes from year to year, each new director and cast bring about a refreshed telling of the holiday classic. This year, Metropolis presents an adaptation of A Christmas Carol written by our resident playwright Scott Woldman, with music by Micky York (who also directs this year). Scott and Micky put some extra time and care into the script this year, expanding and revising some scenes to make this year’s production even more delightful for our audiences. Here’s a quick look back at the last few years of A Christmas Carol at Metropolis with some photos.

Click here for more info, dates and show times for Metropolis’ production of A Christmas Carol, playing through December 24.

2007 Production

2007 Production

2008 Production

2008 Production

2009 Production

2009 Production

2010 Production

2010 Production

2011 Production

2011 Production

2012 Production

2012 Production

2013 Production

2013 Production

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Guest post from Christmas Carol cast member Lara Allison

November 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

IMG_3722Hello, my name is Lara Allison, and I am an actor in A Christmas Carol at Metropolis. I’m 12 years old and in seventh grade at South Middle School in Arlington Heights. I was in A Christmas Carol last year too, and I am SO glad to be returning. I had such a great experience last year, and I really hope this year ends up being just as, or even more, fun.

I have a few new roles this year. I’m playing Fred’s daughter, which is new to the script, and we also added an orphan part that looks interesting! I also get to reprise my favorite role of Ignorance in the last Christmas Present scene.

In rehearsals for the last month, the kids have been doing a lot of blocking, singing and dancing. This year’s “Fill Up The Bowl” song and dance scene is much more extravagant, and that takes a lot of energy!

Yesterday was basically the first rehearsal with all the adults and the kids. It was pretty exciting to be meeting everyone all together for the first time. I only recognized Holly (the stage manager), Micky (the director),and actors  Josh, Dave, Tyler, Margie and Claire who also are returning from last year. Everyone in the cast seems funny and friendly. I am super excited to do my 14 shows with them, including one show that my entire 7th grade class is coming to see!

Tech week is coming up and that looks like a lot of fun too, but it also seems like I’m going to have a lot of homework that week (there always seems to be more homework when you’re in a show)!  During tech, every element that isn’t produced by the actors comes into play – like the lighting, set and sound. It’s when the entire show comes together. I really hope the tech rehearsals go smoothly, and then . . . it’s show time!

I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. If possible, please come to one of our shows (playing November 29 – December 24) and enjoy A Christmas Carol 2013!

Happy Holidays!

~Lara

 

It is An Honor

November 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Guest post from Christmas Carol cast member David Nadolski

Following the lead of one of the young ladies (Tess) who played Tiny Tim last year, I have decided to take up the mantle of the blog and occasionally report from inside the trenches as we build the beautiful final project that you have come to love over the years as A Christmas Carol.

First, my name is Dave Nadolski and I have the distinct honor of playing the role of Bob Cratchit for a second time this year. As you probably already know, this is a very different kind of show for Metropolis where we bond with our community online AND on stage, and I am convinced that you will be very pleased with what our new fearless Director Micky York brings to this year’s version of the show.

Last year, I was both touched and heartened by being able to experience what for many grade schoolers was their first ever brush with an activity that has become very special and central to the person I am today and the values I hold… the theatre. And it was SO FUN to see! Because with arts funding on the consistent decline and an educational push toward numbered test results which somehow translate to determining a student’s worth… now more than ever is THE time in a student’s life where they can experience something different, and it has been a beautiful experience to witness.

So whether it be your first interaction with these things they call “blogs”, your first interaction with theatre, or that A Christmas Carol simply holds a special place in your holiday tradition and your heart, on behalf of the cast and crew I would like to say welcome, and thank you for being an integral part of a tradition that we hold so dear.

Warmest Regards,

David J. Nadolski
(Bob Cratchit)

No snowflake cliches

November 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

From our 2012 production of A Christmas Carol

From our 2012 production of A Christmas Carol

Guest post from A Christmas Carol director Micky York

This is my seventh Metropolis Christmas Carol. And even though each one has been different (If I were the type to use obvious holiday cliches, I might have compared each production to a snowflake. Luckily, I’m not like that.), it’s hard to not say, “This is how we did it last year” or “Once, we did it this way.” That’s just the way it is with a show that has become such an annual tradition.

For the last two years, we’ve worked with a new adaptation by resident playwright, Scott Woldman. I was heavily involved with the development of the script, as composer and music director, for those first two new productions. During those years, we on the production team were really able to experiment and try out new things and see what worked—and what didn’t. Scenes or bits of staging were reworked. Songs that were in the first production didn’t make it in the following year. (Actually, there are a few new songs this year too, but that’s just because no one is around to tell me not to do it.) The luxury of having Woldman around is that we can say “Hey, I’d like to add this bit of action or change around this bit of dialogue…can you make that happen?” and he’ll make a random idea fit into the framework of the story.

With any production, a director attempts to bring in something new, to put their own spin on things. And—don’t worry—I’m definitely doing that. But we also know the importance of tradition in a story like A Christmas Carol. So we’ve gone back to the original text and added some great new moments to the script. The moment Scrooge realizes it’s Christmas morning is a big one, and I hope those audience members who love that scene will be pleased to see it again.

And speaking of tradition, I’m still trying to figure out how I can bring these chickens back from 2009. Stay tuned.

Our Favorite Things: Five Course Love

June 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Amanda Bloom, Amy Malouf and Greg Foster in Five Course Love

Amanda Bloom, Amy Malouf and Greg Foster in Five Course Love

We asked the cast and director of Five Course Love to share some of their favorite moments about the show. These are just a piece of what they shared!

“I have to say that there are equal amounts of favorite moments onstage and off! It’s a whole other show backstage – changing costumes, wigs, getting roller skates on, untangling my phone cord… it’s a bundle of fun. One of my other favorite things Greg [Foster], Amanda [Bloom], Micky [York] and myself do before every show is we huddle together as a group, hug and pat each other on the back saying ‘got your back.’ It’s cool!” – Amy Malouf, actor

“There is a whole other show happening off stage. Holly (Assistant Stage Manager) and Rachel (Wardrobe Mistress) help me with a lot of my costume changes and one show we even had to switch out my microphone cord in the middle of the show, so there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. There are tons of favorite moments on stage, too. I love the phone cord section in Italy. One night, when I shushed Amy as she was choking, someone in the audience very clearly laughed and said something like, ‘Oh my god, she’s shushing her.’ Moments like that are always so much fun, but we’ve still got to stay in character and not get thrown by audience reaction. Germany might be the most fun for me. I have two songs where I get to go into the house and play with the audience. It’s always different and always a lot of fun.” – Amanda Bloom, actor

“When approaching a show, an actor needs to analyze his/her character, complete with a physical life and vocal sound. In most shows, one actor does this for one character. In Five Course Love, however, each of the three actors had to do this for five drastically different characters. As the director, it was the ‘drastically different’ part that required so much attention. Each rehearsal was spent working not just on music or dance or staging, but on characterization– how each of the 15 characters moved and sounded as they sang, danced and walked on stage. The attention to this part of the process is what makes seeing Five Course Love so enjoyable – as the show progresses, one becomes excited about who will show up next.” – Krista Hansen, director

The show runs through June 16, so you still have a chance to catch these and the many more memorable moments of Five Course Love

at Metropolis.

 

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