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playing the same musical 9 times in two weeks

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Bardolph, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    So a little while ago I got hired for a pit gig for the musical Grease at some nearby high school. I went back to my high school today (I'm in college currently) to talk to a teacher about career paths. On the way to his room I ran into Mike, the auditorium manager. I asked him how things were going, he said there a musical coming up in a couple weeks, Grease. They still needed a bass player. So I told him hey, I'm playing that same musical next week. So with a phone call to the director I'm in for the job. So for one school I've got dress rehearsal and 4 performances next week and for my old high school I've got dress and 3 performances the week after. $200 for next week and $250 for the next, and I am quite the jolly bass man.
  2. I did Godspell in a regional theatre once. I thought I would get the goundhog day effect going on. It was like 12 shows over 2 weeks. I actually really enjoyed it. I just had the satisfying feeling of playing the songs more accurately each time, and hitting the cues better each time. I was a little tricky. There are a couple of tunes in Godspell that change time signature quite a bit. I had a great time, and would do it again in a second.
  3. I recently played in the pit band at our highschools production of Good News (lack of funds = unheard of plays). I didn't get paid or anything, but I discovered that playing "musical" music really gets to me. It was still a fun time though, I'll be doing it for next year's as well.

    Note, musicals will keep you on your toes if your not up on your keys 0_o
  4. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    No kidding, man. I had this pit gig a while ago and I was just sitting in for one night the bass player couldn't be there, so it was all sight reading. Between watching for key/time signatures, crazy page turns (friggen codas), and watching for cues, it was quite the workout. At least this time I have the score ahead of time.
  5. matt bass

    matt bass

    Apr 28, 2003
    Staffs, England
    Hey, what a coincidence. I've just finnished playing Grease for our school musical. Quite a fun show bass wise.

  6. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    I recently played ina high school production of The Who's Tommy. It was a great time, minus when the smoke machine set the fire alarms off on opening night :-X.
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Playing in pit orchestras is the best for reading chops. For some really interesting time sig playing check out "Man of LaMancha". "Le Miserables" is fantastic to for all kinds of different musical concepts, and there is no break in the music, so when you start the overture, it goes on and on. For pure fun and funky playing you gotta do "The Wiz".

    Ease on down the road baby. Never say no to musicals.
  8. Wildcat


    Apr 14, 2003
    The first performance I had after laying off the Bass for almost 20 years was for my Wife's High School Drama program's musical Little Shop of Horror's (she's the musical director..) what a trial by fire I had started playing a couple of months before and between the music and keeping up with the actors missed cues and such it kept me on my toes.

    Good luck and have fun.
  9. Playing in a pit orchestra can be a blast. Some of the music can be very catchy, and the faster numbers can be very challenging.

    Try to lock in with the drummer and the pianist and watch your key signatures. Also, it's extremely important to pay attention to the conductor, more so than in a straight orchestra setting. Bring a pencil with you to the rehersals.
  10. Shearstown


    Oct 15, 2005
    Bum-Ba-bum-Ba-Bum-Babum-bum bum bum
  11. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    My school is apparently doing Cats this year, and is one of the few schools that can do it. I don't get it, but yeah.

    I would almost do pit if it didn't interfere with track.

    For some reason, Pole Vault > Pit.
  12. basspunk2005

    basspunk2005 Guest

    Jan 31, 2005
    Iv played Little Shop Of Horrors before at my college, there were 4-5 performances and it was good fun. My sight reading got better throughout that.
  13. funk_dat_jazz


    Mar 10, 2006
    explain this wiz further:eyebrow:
  14. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    You don't know 'the Wiz'?:confused: :confused: :confused:

    It was a musical version of the wizard of Oz that tried to sound like MoTown.

    Diana Ross was Dorothy. Michael Jackson was the Scarecrow. I think Nipsy Russel was the Tinman. Richard Pryor was the Wizard.

    My two favorite to be in the pit were Rocky Horror and Once Upon A Mattress. Guys and Dolls was trickier to read tahn I thought, mostly because they transposed two of the songs differently. They started out a half step low, then got lowered another half step to acommodate a singer. Getting used to a half step change and then making it a whole step during the last week of rehearsal wasn't fun.

    Best Little Whorehouse was fun too. I wanted to be in Little Shop of Horrors, but they wanted me to be AudreyII in stead of on the pit. So I was in the play, but no one saw me.
  15. Musicals are alot of fun. I still can't get the music from Fiddler out of my head :oops:
  16. I would love to do a musical. Great discipline.
  17. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    My first musical from the pit was Godspell, on guitar. Eeeek...

    Since then, I've done Once Upon a Mattress (guitar), Seussical (bass), Godspell (again, this time on bass), Oklahoma (on drums), Grease (bass), and a couple of premiere performances of new works (all on bass).

    Mattress was rough. Crazy music that didn't make sense to my ear for a while. Grease was tough, just because the score was so messy. I hate handwritten parts. Seuss had some GREAT grooves in it.

    Musical playing is fun, but I must admit that I tend to get looser and looser with every performance (mainly to deal with the stress). Sometimes it helps me to get those tough passages, but sometimes I have to kick myself out of that "loose" mindset to really lock in.
  18. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Everyone in my family who isn't me was in Seussical, sort of.

    My son (Technically stepson. That will figure into this in a second.) worked at a theater school for a couple of years recently. His first opportunity to be an Assistant Director on one of their major projects was Seussical. He asked EVERYBODY to come down and audition for it. His Bio-Dad ended up as General Genghis Khan Shmits. His Mother and Sister (my wife and daughter) were Whos and they wanted me to be the mayor of Whoville, but with my work schedule, I couldn't do it.

    It's a strange play. But it was awesome. I was especially impressed with the lead actors they chose. To help make Horton look all enormous and elephant-sized, they picked two utterly tiny, but wonderfully talented gitls to be the Cat in the Hat and Gertrude McFuzz. Watching them rehearse was always surreal, because they just looked like they were normal-sized and he was huge until after rehearsal they would come down to floor level, and again he would be moderately large and they would be tiny. It never quit being funny.
  19. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    I was in Jesus Christ Superstar last year. It taught me more than anything else so far. Especially my alternate time signatures! I'll probably be in "a funny thing happened on the way to the forum" this year too.
  20. Bard -

    What you told him was "technically" true but not totally accurate.

    The Movie version of The Wiz (Michael Jackson/Diana Ross/et al) was a pale imitation of the Stage version.

    The stage version was awesome! It was nominated for 8 Tony awards and won 7, including Best Score and Best Musical. It featured virtually unknown actors/actresses when it debuted. (A notable exception is Stephanie Mills. Her role here launched her singing career. Dee Dee Bridgewater also appeared and won a Tony.)

    It's not so much "Wanna-be Motown" as much as it is "Straight-up 1970's R&B/Soul." I have played it before (but on Trombone, not bass) and it is a great gig for a musician!

    (Check out details on the Broadway Soundtrack here)

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