Posts by robert_wade@outlook.com

She Loves Me

»Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in The Upstagers | Comments Off on She Loves Me

She Loves Me

Last summer, I said the best set we’ve had was from Into The Woods.  This summer, I feel we topped it with the set from She Loves Me.  Honestly, I had never heard of this show and was not familiar with any of the music.  I can tell you now that this little show, upon which a number of movies were based–including You’ve Got Mail–with various degrees of adherence to the story, is one of those gems that every theater group should produce.  The biggest challenge for casting is finding a solid soprano with the acting chops to match.  The character of Amalia Balash really is the featured performance.  However, much like Into The Woods, the entire cast should be strong.  Choreography is nearly non-existent in this show, which makes it ideal for...

read more

9 to 5: The Musical

»Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in The Upstagers | Comments Off on 9 to 5: The Musical

9 to 5: The Musical

Okay, I saw the movie in the 1980 and thought it was funny.  A horrible commentary on society, but funny.  When The Upstagers put this show on the season I will admit to not being particularly excited because the musical play was done by Dolly Pardon herself.  Having three exceptional actresses in the lead, Kathryn McWilliams, Clarissa Martinez and Terra Wade, helped lift a so-so production up to enjoyable status.  As bad as the character of Franklin Hart was, it was a fun opportunity to play someone so different from me.  Thankfully, I cannot take blame for this set.  I was tasked, however, to resolve a few challenges the director put before us.  I’d never created a functional elevator door that needed to virtually disappear when reversed.  And since this...

read more

Into The Woods

»Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in The Upstagers | Comments Off on Into The Woods

Into The Woods

From the category of “shows we never thought we’d do” comes the 2015 presentation of Into the Woods, the spectacular Stephen Sondheim hit musical.  Featuring a number of well-known fairy tales (Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood) intertwined with the original tale of the Baker and his wife who long to have a child, this show is a cautionary story warning that you must be careful what you wish for… and what you say. I am not a Sondheim fan, mostly because I don’t find the music enjoyable and, as a result, rarely find the story enjoyable.  Into the Woods has always been an exception.  Terra and I never thought The Upstagers would ever mount this production because the music is such a challenge to do...

read more

Soup Du Jour 2015 Revival

»Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in The Upstagers | Comments Off on Soup Du Jour 2015 Revival

Soup Du Jour 2015 Revival

Soup Du Jour 2015 This has been a busy season for Terra and me as far as the stage goes.  Terra made her directorial début with Souvenir.  Immediately afterward we began work on the 2015 revival of the show we world-premièred in 1998: Soup Du Jour.  Written by Todd Mueller, Hank Boland and music by Gregg Opelka, we had the distinct honor to be the first to mount this production.  Yours truly wrote an overture for the show as well as make some tweaks to the arrangements to fit our cast and the fact that we didn’t have a live band.  As a result, I receive royalties from the show. This time around, however, I got to direct the show and do a few things with it I couldn’t do before.  Most significantly was introducing a new song for the character of Ms....

read more

The Challenges of Being Current

»Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Experiences | Comments Off on The Challenges of Being Current

In order to do anything well, much less be excellent and succeed, you have to be current.  It really doesn’t matter what it is we are talking about: dancing, acting, building, finances, technology–everything goes through changes.  Even things that were old school and have a certain degree of longevity, also have a certain degree of “modernization” they go through.  Sometimes it’s purely a requirement in order to keep you fresh, interesting, popular.  Sometimes it’s truly a requirement in order to survive.  Musicians must pick up new styles and influences.  Dancers similarly must meld traditional styles with the new.  Consumers need to adapt to new technologies or risk always being a slave to those who adapted and embraced the...

read more