First coined in the opera world, the term Sitzprobe means ‘Sit and Play’. In the Moorhead High School Theater world, it means ‘All of the cast, pit orchestra, and artistic staff cozied up in the choir room’. Although our sitzprobe rehearsals may get a bit stuffy, it is our first opportunity to hear the voices of the cast accompanied by the musicians, which is pretty darn exciting if you ask me. Our first sitzprobe happened last saturday, which is also the day that the company enjoys a delicious pancake breakfast (made by many loving parents, and yours truly) together. With bellies full of breakfast, we entered a rehearsal full of brass, sass, and a whole lot of jazz. By the end of last Saturday, two things had become evident to me: Talent can be found in every corner of this theater company, and we are so excited to open this dazzling show!
This past weekend, our cast had one of many cast parties. This particular cast party was to celebrate and dress up for Halloween. We have so much fun offstage, maybe too much this past weekend, that makes it even more fun to perform together on stage. These bonding opportunities make for such a close knit bunch of kids that I am so grateful to know and be a part of. We do many other things to bond within the cast as well. With help from Meylar’s creative theater games and activities, and some of our own student made traditions, by time the show rolls around, each cast member feels at home in our crazy family of artists. Usually by this time in the rehearsal process, everyone is feeling comfortable and safe together. Maybe it is because of this comfort, that so many people are willing to do anything possible to make Chicago the best it can be. For example, HAIR! Tomorrow, Nov. 1, many girls in the cast will be chopping off their pony tails in order to have authentic 20’s bobs. Although this sounds nerve-wracking for some, which it is, everyone always ends up loving their new do’s. As for the boys, their hair will also be messed with next Saturday! By cutting our hair and learning to style it for the time period, we are becoming even more immersed in our own characters. I will never forget during JCS last year, when Drew Swenson walked into a Saturday rehearsal in his dreadlocks. It was like the finishing touch to his character development and instantly he had become Judas. This morning, Maddy Timm and I had similar transformations. We are now truly Roxie and Velma, with our bobs and opposite colored hair. I can’t wait to see the rest of the cast’s trust in each other and just how awesome we’re all going to look when the show opens in two weeks. The box office opened today and we couldn’t be more ready for you to buy your tickets and to give you the performances of our lives. Happy Halloween from the cast of Chicago!
There are so many reasons why I love MHS theatre. One of the many is how dig we deep into the show we are performing. We take the time to talk about the type of dance styles, voice techniques, and even costumes/hair from the time period. Meylar has shown us numerous videos of Fosse, silent movie clips, and other videos that have been a part of the inspiration to many dance numbers. Every person in the show has a different character whether it is named or not. We take the time to think about our character’s motivation for each scene and where they are coming from or going to. Each rehearsal is more than just learning dance steps, it’s also about diving into the lives of our characters.
Even without costumes in the rehearsals at this point, you get a great taste of the magnificent talent you’ll be enjoying in November.
Advance Ticket Sales area available online through the MHS Theater Box Office page on this website, starting on Friday, October 24. Buy early for the best seats, and remember, you’ll probably want to go to more than one performance!
The show dates are November 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 29 at 7:30 p.m., plus an extra Saturday matinee on November 29 at 2 p.m. (Thanksgiving Weekend – two shows on Saturday!!!).
Ticket prices are $6 for students and $10 for adults (ages 18 and over).
Through the years Moorhead has been known for creating exciting and extraordinary shows and this year will be no different. Along with these great actors, Moorhead has had an abundance of quality musicians to make the productions outstanding. This year we will once again have a very large pit. (more on that later) What is more captivating is you won’t have to worry about overlooking the pit because the pit will be right in the center of the stage donning tuxes and sparkling bowties. Recreating the jazz club feel from decades ago. Exciting, I know.
The music for Chicago is very different than what most musicians are used to playing. It is a unique combination of 1920s and 1930s jazz mixed with show tunes. The musicians love recreating the different style of music. The show is centered with the brass section and includes very complex trumpet, trombone, tuba and saxophone parts. All of these parts are in good hands, rest assured.
The pit is made up of twelve student musicians. Along with these students, we have also brought in eight professional musicians from around the area, including Matt Tinjum who is returning to play drums. With these professionals and students combined, I anticipate the best sounding pit-orchestra Moorhead has ever seen, and heard for that matter. I’ve attached an audio clip of the opening overture from the show above. Take a listen! Get Excited! I know I am.