Last Thursday was our final run-thru in the rehearsal hall in NYC. The space is located on 42nd Street in the heart of Times Square Theater District. I can’t help thinking that this neighborhood is going to be my home for the next year – beginning in February when we move our show into the Lunt-Fontanne. It’s been a long journey to this point. The initial reading of the script was back in June of 2008. We’ve had numerous puppet labs and dance workshops and script readings – exploring character, finding the physical language of the show, and fine tuning the amazing special effects. My anticipation was palpable as I prepared to fly to Chicago and step into the theater for the first time. For months, we have only seen renderings and used our imagination to envision what the sets and lighting will look like. In 48 hours, I’ll see Julian Crouch‘s design “in the flesh” as it were.
It’s always an exciting day with many surprises and revelations. I’m looking forward to actually walking up the beautiful staircase units that inhabit the Addams house. We’ve always had to stop at the 8th step in the rehearsal hall (the room’s ceiling always prevented us from going further). There are new Basil Twist puppet creations to introduce ourselves to, dressers and crew members to meet, (and more importantly, lots of Chicago restaurants to visit!). I’m a big fan of Portillo’s Italian Beef Sandwich – which I discovered during my last visit to Chicago this past March – when I played Amos Hart in the National tour of “Chicago” at The Oriental.
Chicago is a great theater town with smart and discerning audiences. We have all been working incredibly hard this past year to create a spectacular musical comedy for them, full of hysterical surprises, draw dropping visuals, mind-blowing special effects, and sensational musical numbers. I think Chicago is going to have as much fun watching our show as we did creating it.
-Kevin Chamberlin (Uncle Fester/The Addams Family)