Sometimes, I arrive at a rehearsal and the cast just doesn’t seem to be ready.
Kids are talking when they should be listening.
The director is pulling his hair out.
The CD won’t play.
One of the kids is sick.
There’s a general whiff of despair.
It happens to schools large and small, north and south.
Some rehearsals are just klinkers the cast has to work through.
Then there are rehearsal like the one I caught at North Salem Middle/High School, where the cast was firing on all cylinders more than a week before opening night.
I asked director Doug Coates about it and he agreed: This cast is readier than most he has had.
It might be the material. North Salem’s doing the loopy and fun “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a valentine to musical theater, with over-the-top characters — from a blindfolded-roller-skating-leading-man to a big star who’s not very convincing when she says she doesn’t want to show off anymore, to a couple of gangsters doubling as punning pastry chefs and a dowager who can’t seem to remember there’s about to be a wedding.
It’s one of my favorites and this year’s effort at North Salem Middle/High — yes, there are middle-schoolers in the show — looks like a keeper.
Here’s the Running Lines video I shot at North Salem. Enjoy!