Thursday, January 11, 2007

Merrily We Roll Along Reflection

On November 31st, and December 1st and 2nd, Cawthra Park Secondary school gave three breathtaking performances of the musical Merrily We Roll Along. The musical Merrily We Roll Along follows the career of Franklin Shepard backwards in time, from successful movie producer, to his beginning as a songwriter who, with best friend Charley Kringas and Mary Flynn, hopes to transform Broadway and ‘change the world’. Frank write the music, Charley writes the lyrics, and Mary writes the stories. As the years go by, they each become very successful, however, in the end drift apart as friends and loose sight of who they are and the friendship they once had. Cawthra Park’s production of Merrily We Roll Along was quite astonishing, in the sense that high school students were able to pull off a musical that needed so much maturity and focus. However, through their hard work and determination, Merrily We Roll Along became the wondrous show that it really is.

Being a part of Merrily We Roll Along was an experience that I will never forget, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to be part of such an amazing show. Going into Merrily We Roll Along I was not expecting it to have any real impact on me, however, the whole experience was very positive and enriching, and had a bigger influence on me than I thought it would. First of all, from Merrily We Roll Along I personally believe that I have become a much better performer. Through the guidance of Mr. Sprague and Mr. Zegman I believe that my acting has come a long way from what it was when we started the musical in September. Also, through my experience with Merrily We Roll Along, I have realized how much I love musical theatre and performing in shows. I have even thought about attending university for musical theatre. I also have decided that I will continue my education of music theatre by going to the Stratford School in the summer for their Musical Theatre course. Through this I hope to become a better performer and learn everything I can to get to where I want to be.

Rehearsals for Merrily We Roll Along began in late September after the auditions, and ended on November 30th, the day before our first student matinee. It was in these three months, through hard work and determination, that everything that Merrily We Roll Along was had come together. We endured many late night rehearsals, and even gave up our Sunday afternoons to be at rehearsal in order to make the show as spectacular as it was. However, things weren’t always good during rehearsals, they usually never are. One big obstacle we overcame was having to re-choreograph the whole show as soon as the set (which was bigger than expected) arrived on Wednesday, November 15th, just two weeks before the show. However, with the help of our amazing choreographer Candice Spykers, everything was re-choreographed and the show was really starting to come together. If it had not been for the hard work and focus of everyone during the rehearsal process, and the hard work displayed by Mr. Zeagman, Mr. Sprague and Ms. Wilson Merrily We Roll Along would not be nearly as amazing as it was.

I truly believe that one of the greatest experiences of Merrily We Roll Along was getting to know everyone in the cast. We grew so close to one another, and it was truly amazing to see a group of so many people, of all different ages, become such great friends. Over the course of the musical I can truly say that I have made some really good friends that I probably would have never talked to if it were not for Merrily We Roll Along. This musical truly did bring people together, and it was because of that, that Merrily We Roll Along was such a success. And I am so glad that I was given the chance to meet such amazing people, and take part in this experience.

However, my experience with Merrily We Roll Along was not always good. About half way through the rehearsals of the show I was told that some of my lines were being taken away as well as a transition, to be give to another member of the cast. You can imagine how hurt I must have felt being told that my part would be given away to someone else. I felt like I was not good enough to be part of the musical. I tried reasoning with the director in hope that I would get my part back, but I was unsuccessful. After that, I did not know what to do as I did not think that I was good enough to be in this musical anymore and wanted to just give up all my months of hard work. If it were not for the cast of Merrily We Roll Along I think that I would have quit, and would have missed out on such a wonderful experience. They told me that although it was not right what they did, I could not just quit and give up all the time and effort I put into this musical. They told me that I would just have to take what I had, and show them that I was good enough to play that part. So I decided to continue being an active member of Merrily We Roll Along, and although it was tough to watch someone else perform my scene, I hold no resentment towards anyone for what was done. I went out, did my best, and showed them that I was meant for that role. Know looking back on the experience, I believe that I made the right to decision to continue being a part of Merrily We Roll Along, and am so glad I did not give up on this experience.

Merrily We Roll Along was an experience that I can not even put into words, as it was just that amazing. The success of this musical was due to the hard work and determination of the cast, directors, choreographer, and everyone who was involved with this production. I learned so much through this experience, I made new friend, strengthened friendship with old friends and even opened up the doors for a possible future in musical theatre. Although I do not know what the future holds for me, I do know that Merrily We Roll Along was an experience that I will never forgot.

God is forever in control of Merrily We Roll Along.
By: David Alves

Thursday, November 30, 2006

We're Opening Doors

I thought i'd just leave a post to say that before I left for school, as I won't be posting as I will be way to tired after the shows. But when I get a chance I will post to tell you how everything went.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006



OKAY! So today was our dress rehearsal for the show and it went so well. I got there at around 8:o0 and brought all my stuff to the change rooms. We than all had to go to do hair and makeup in the caf. There were different stations for everything, and all the makeup people are amazing and so much fun. After makeup was done we had both a vocal and a physical warmup. Next, was costumes. Once everyone was changed into their costumes we were ready to go! It was pretty cool to have an audience since all the makeup people were watching the dress rehearsal. All the numbers seemed to be going well! Both 'Merrily We Roll Along' and 'That Frank' went very well and the show was off too a great start. Then came 'Old Friends/Like it Was' and 'Franklin Shepard Inc.' which of course WERE AMAZING! The fitst act went exceptionally went, and ended with 'Now You Know' which i felt was our best time ever doing it thus far.

Than the second act began. Since I'm not in that much of the second act it really allowed to kick back and enjoy the show. I was impressed with everyone, especially Adrian who as i said early has improved so much since September. The song 'It's A Hit' went very well, although not all the words are there yet which worries me a bit. Than next came 'The Blob' scene which I was a little bit worried about as it is quite hard, especially my part. But, to my surprise, it went very well and I was very proud of everyone for how well we all did. 'Bobby and Jackie and Jack' went well, as it usually does, and is just such a fun number to watch. Next was the reprise to 'Not A Day Goes By' which is just such an amazing scene, and is truly hardbreaking to watch. Mary is at Franks wedding, to Beth, even though she is still in love with Frank. This it is just a very touching scene to watch. Especially when Anne-marie sings by herself at the end. Next cam 'Opening Days' which has always been one of my personal favourites since i heard it back in June upon first listening to the CD. I am still a bit nervous about this scene, as they still are having trouble with the song, and keep forgeting the words. But i have complete faith in all them to pull through, and make it an amazing number. And Alex's audition is just amazing, and cracks me up everytime i see it. Soon enough the finale 'Our Time' came, and ended the show just how it started - AMAZING. And the dress rehearsal was over.

Tomorrow is our first matinee for the Grade 8 students of peel as well as some high schools. And than later in the evening is opening night. I CAN'T WAIT. It's finally time to perform the show that we have put so much time into.

p.s. i will attach pictures of the dress rehearsal. They are amazing!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

2 Days Till Opening Night!

I can't believe it. All our hard work is finally paying off, just 2 days until opening night and I am so excited. The time has definitely gone by so fast.

Well the past 2 days of rehearsal have been very intense as it is our dress rehearsal tomorrow and everything has to be perfect, as we must run the whole show without stoping. In order to time everything and such. So, yesterday on Monday, November 27th we had a rehearsal from 3:15 pm - 6:00 pm in full dress to run all of Act 1. And today we had a rehearsal to run all of Act 2, also going from 3:15 pm - 6:00pm in full dress. Both rehearsal went very well and i don't think that we'll have any trouble tomorrow in dress rehearsal putting it all together. We also have been reahearsing with mics for the past couple days so that the sound people can get all our cues. They're all working very hard, as there have been some serious problems with mics, including my own. But i know that everything will be ready for tomorrow and we will have an amazing dress rehearsal.

We must all be at school tomorrow for 8:30am to get into makeup and costume before we start the dress rehearsal which runs all day during school. Hopefully I can get to sleep tonight. I'm so exited!

Sunday, November 26, 2006