Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. BUTTERFLY) is in rehearsals for his latest play CHINGLISH in Chicago where it will have its world premiere at the historic Goodman Theater now-July 24 (opening night is tonight). DHH has graciously agreed to blog regularly throughout the rehearsal process to give our readers a glimpse into how a major theatrical production comes to life.
Overture, Curtains, Lights!
This is it, the night of nights!
No more rehearsing and nursing a part,
We know every part by heart!
As a baby boomer, I can’t help but remember, “This Is It,” the theme song (written by Mack David & Jerry Livingston) from THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW, whenever I get to an opening night. This evening, Monday, June 27, 7 pm Central Standard Time, is indeed “It.”
We had a very productive week of preview performances. The new ending which I wrote and Leigh staged at Tuesday’s rehearsal seems to work very well, giving our show a “button,” and our audiences a little more to think about as they leave the theatre. Leigh continued to polish the acting and production, while I trimmed lines that weren’t buying us anything. If a moment is neither funny nor adds to our understanding of the plot or characters, it’s gotta go. Two weeks ago, Act One ran an hour and fifteen minutes, without scene transitions. Today, including scene changes, it runs an hour and eight. As a writer, I geek out over those kinds of numbers, they make me incredibly happy.
Our final rehearsal was Saturday afternoon. This is always a bittersweet moment. I imagine it’s akin to watching your kid graduate from college (which I also expect to experience in the coming decade). This has been an unusually blissful rehearsal process. The cast gets along incredibly well, and we all believe so much in what we’re doing here. This Is It: when the creative team hands over the show to the actors and running crew. It’s been ours; now, it belongs to them. Read more...