Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Comes a Train of Little Ladies

Today began with a continuation of our work with the gentlemen of the chorus. I thought I should post a picture of what they will look like to help you envision them better. That's them with the umbrellas and briefcases. Lots of inspirations for that look, from childhood memories of photos of the Tokyo Subway, to a picture in a book called The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions. Seriously.

Here's a Mikado Fun Fact--many Japanese businessmen will have their jackets tailored with a bright and expensive lining completely hidden beneath a gray or black exterior--glimpses of individuality beneath the anonymity. (Sort of an interesting metaphor for the role of the chorus in opera, in a way.) If you look carefully you might see a few of those in our production.

We also introduced Pooh-Bah and Ko-Ko into the mix. Things are really cooking. Our choreographer Sean Curran is keeping everyone on their toes, quite literally at times.
In the afternoon we began working with the ladies of the chorus. That is a sketch of them in their first look as Japanese schoolgirls. They will be showing up in kimonos later in the show.

So I was asked today what the significance of the title of this blog is--"Modified Rapture." Well, in the first act of the show, when Yum-Yum tells Nanki-Poo that she does not love Ko-Ko, Mr. Gilbert wrote the line "Rapture!" In the early rehearsals the actor playing Nanki-Poo was too happy when he said it. Mr Gilbert made the point that Nanki-Poo still could not marry Yum-Yum and called out "modified rapture" to instruct Nanki-Poo to tone it down. The actor misunderstood, thought he had said the line wrong, and cried out "Modified rapture!" Mr. Gilbert preferred this line to the one he had written and promptly changed the script. It is one of my favorite lines in the piece, capturing the delightful absurdity of the way Titipudlians communicate amongst themselves.

Tomorrow we finally meet the infamous Three Little Girls From School...Stay Tuned...
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