Monday, September 26, 2011

Leavenworth Summer Theater during the First Week of August

This summer I had the fun opportunity to play Mother Abbess in "The Sound of Music" and Mrs Pearce in "My Fair Lady with Leavenworth Summer Theater. LST first performed "The Sound of Music" in 1995, and it was such a popular success that they've included it in their summer season every year since then.

The musical is presented in this amphitheater with a lovely mountain backdrop. It's hard to imagine a better venue for it unless it was actually in Austria.

Though the cast members often change each year, a lovely local lady named Susan Gubsch has been playing the Mother Abbess since the very first show. She actually hit her 250th performance of the role during this year's season.

When I called up to audition for the role, I was told that Susan had already been precast. However, she was planning on missing a performance on August 5th to attend her son's wedding rehearsal dinner, and whoever was cast as her understudy would perform the role then as well as in a separate understudy performance.

I figured I'd typically only had 1 or 2 performances of all of the roles I'd played previously, so I decided it'd still be worth it to audition for the role and have those 2 performances.

Fortunately I did get the role and had a great time playing it.

I'd performed the role as a senior in high school (see "Senior Year Echos the Sound of Music"), but it was still nice to play it again.

I had almost 12 additional years of personal and dramatic maturity to add to my character this time. I've seen the tape of my old performance, and I'm a noticeably better actress now than I was then.

Plus it can now be added to my resume as having performed the role in a professional theater, which is much more impressive than a high school musical.

I randomly took this pic of our Rolph and Liesl just to reset my camera, and it actually turned out pretty cute!

Before seeing the show, I took mom and dad to the Aplets and Cotlets factory in Cashmere.

This same factory also makes health bars. You can see them pouring out the mix for them in this picture above. I tried a free sample of this particular fruity flavor. It was yummy! In a lot of health bars you can taste "filler" ingredients that don't actually add much nutritional value, but this was chock full of nuts, seeds, and fruit.

Aplets and Cotlets are essentially "turkish delight" with nuts (or without for those who can't/won't eat nuts). Those of you who have read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," will recognize turkish delight as the dish Edward receives from the Witch in return for leading her to his brothers and sisters.

I also took mom and dad around to the little shops in the Bavarian village. This one sells "Butt Rub."

And here's a flying pig made out of an empty propane tank!

My parents decided to come up for the August 5th performance rather than the understudy performance on June 29th. They wanted to see "My Fair Lady" as well, and that show didn't begin it's run until the end of July. By coming when they did, they were able to see me as Mother Abbess on Friday night and as Mrs Pearce on Saturday afternoon.

Here's Liz our lovely "Eliza Doolittle." Her fiance, Henry, played the Henry Higgens understudy. I thought it was hilarious that "Liz" and "Henry" were cast as "Eliza" and "Henry."

This is when Eliza first enters and Higgens says he's not interested since "I already have all the records I need of the Lissen Grove lingo."

Here's me demanding to know on what terms Eliza is to stay here.

Me irritated at Higgens for exhausting Eliza with endless drilling.

The maids (and me in the corner) chasing Eliza because she's running wild in "I Could Have Danced All Night."

The maids catching Eliza as she falls off the chair. I'm wearing a very hideous bathrobe with equally awful nightgown and cap. My husband insists I'm never able to own an outfit similar to that one!

Here we are singing the Servant's Lament. Mrs Pearce isn't scripted to sing this in the score, but our director listed me as singing it in ours.

At the doorstop when Freddy comes to call on Eliza.

Eliza back from the ball while Higgens tells us what happened.

Here's Colonel Pickering telling us what an exciting evening it was.

I also got to be a part of the Ascot scene where Eliza is first taken out in public dressed as a lady. This is at the horse race where Eliza makes the ghastly mistake of yelling at the horse to "Come on Dover! Move your bloomin' arse!"

In order to keep me from being recognized as Mrs Pearce, they disguised me well with this beekeeper hat. It worked! My own sister didn't even notice me until she heard my voice and found me by process of elimination.

During dress rehearsal, this costume actually fell down! Since I had a quick change from the "I Could Have Danced All Night" scene into the Ascot scene, I was given velcro instead of buttons. But someone accidentally stepped on my skirt during the first dress rehearsal which undid the velcro. When I tried to pull the velcro back together, the velcro on my blouse also came undone and my skirt fell down. Thank goodness for dress rehearsals! That would have been awful to have happen in a regular performance. They gave me a few buttons after that to make sure it didn't happen again.

After the show we took mom and dad to see Deception Falls. It wasn't as big as when we'd seen it before, but even in dry periods it still has a pretty large watershed.

And the next day we drove down to Medina to watch the Blue Angels fly.

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