Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rutlhless - the Post-Mortem

My bass player friend Michael (who had a blog but recently shut it down, so I can't link to it) asked me if was going to give a final report on "Ruthless!", the show I just finished at the Oak Ridge Playhouse.

I'd love to give some great analyses of the show itself but I didn't see it. Literally. We were behind the set the entire show and could only hear the dialogue through a monitor in front of us. David, the Musical Director, had a TV from which he could see the action on stage and time the musical cues off the visuals but he was the only one who could see it.

Well, I take it back. I could see parts of the show twice. Once when the set opens up and we're wheeled out on stage to provide a lounge act-type backup to one of the numbers. There we were in our mustard yellow jackets and black bow-ties....and then we were gone again after the song was over.

The other time was at the very end - throughout the play, the mom, Judy, makes references to her husband Frederick who is never seen. She and her daughter are the only ones who know him, and all their relatives never seem to know who he is. At the very end, after everyone is dead and lying all over the stage Frederick finally makes an appearance - "Honey, I'm home!" - looks around bewilderedly, pours a drink, shrugs, and exits. That was me. I was a last minute addition as a cameo appearance.

So that was about it - the music was probably more difficult and complex than it needed to be. A lot was takeoffs and riffs on other musicals such as "Gypsy", "Hello, Dolly," etc. David is an excellent pianist but was too critical of himself - he was a nervous wreck by the time the show opened. I hope he manages to calm himself down. Cary, the drummer is great - he and I may be actually working together again soon in a horn band that's being formed by one of the members of the cast and her husband. Apparently they're looking to put together a performing group somewhat like the Tower of Power Horns and a regular rock/standards band, and needed a keyboardist and drummer. They'll be doing things like Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jimmy Buffett, and everything else you can think of. So I'm looking forward to that.

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