Saint Aggie's '84

The history of a new musical as it comes to be…

6 Weeks ÷ 1 Post = This

Yesterday, the cast, band and crew of Saint Aggie’s ’84 headed off to the UK. They are going to do some sightseeing and see a show in London before heading up to Edinburgh by train. I’m leaving tomorrow (Monday) for the UK, but I’m heading strait for Scotland and will meet up with everyone at the Tech Rehearsal at the Church Hill Theatre on Wednesday. I haven’t even started packing and there are so many things to do around the house that have been neglected. Hopefully everything will still be standing when I get back in September.

So, even though I said I wasn’t going to do it, I’m going to cram everything that’s happened into one post. Well, not everything that’s happened, but everything involving Saint Aggie’s since I delivered the Rehearsal Draft of the script and score back in June.

We did the first read through of the show on June 7th and for the next few weeks after that Ms. Smith and Mr. Delano worked with the cast several times a week (amazingly during which time each had a separate excursion to New York City that made me very jealous). Somehow they got the show up and running, and to a point where they were able to run the play, by about the second week of July. When you look at it in terms of hours, it’s a staggering achievement. Everyone did a lot of heavy lifting and I am thankful for it. Here are some shots from a rehearsal at Scona.

By the way…it was about 35C in this space this summer.

My daughter Scarlett (aged 4) who I always bring along as my personal photographer took this shot of me as I looked on. (Perhaps I could have thought about shaving…)

There was a terrific article in the Edmonton Journal by Liz Nicholls about Saint Aggie’s that came out on July 24. I read it by the fire at Sylvan Lake where I and my family were just nearing the end of a week’s vacation, (I was having a nice relaxing time and while everyone else was working hard back in Edmonton). Here’s a link:

From Edmonton to Edinburgh

The printed version of the article filled the entire cover of the Arts section of the Saturday edition of the Journal and was accompanied by a great photo (although I hear some of the cast were cropped out) from this photo shoot.

By the end of July we moved into the Old Avenue Cycle Building for our short Edmonton preview run.

Here are some rehearsal shots from the Cycle Building. These were taken on July 26.

The show opened on July 28th and it was next to impossible to find a ticket for the entire run. Here are some shots from the run of the show.

We went into my studio on Thursday, August 5 and recorded the bed tracks for a cast recording. So far we’ve recorded preliminary drums, bass, piano and guitar. I’m sure some overdubbing will be happening soon. The cast will be coming in to sing in early September and hopefully in not too long we’ll have a really solid recording of the show. Here are some studio shots (thanks for taking them Adam – that is why there are no shots of you):

We went back into the theatre to do one extra show for people that hadn’t been able to get tickets the week before. That was on August 7. It was also a great opportunity to do a first run of the show with cuts. Everybody prepared for the run which did go very well.

At the end of the day we’d cut 23 minutes from the running time of the show and the cuts all felt pretty good. But we all realized that more cuts would be needed.

Over the next day or two we managed to find another 5 minutes of time which we implemented in a run through back at Scona on Monday, August 9. Some of these cuts didn’t feel as good. That is not to say that any of them are really detracting from the show, but still they are cuts that have removed pieces that are really very good just for the sake of time. Not that time is something that shouldn’t be respected. Having a short, tight show is really something to strive for and sometimes I wonder if anyone will even notice that anything was cut other than myself and the others working on the show. Still, I will be putting most of these pieces back into the show in the future. We had a run through on Wednesday night that felt really terrific and I’m excited for what is to come in Scotland.

On that note…g’night.

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