We are happy to welcome guest celebrity blogger Telly Leung, whose Broadway credits include Flower Drum Song, Pacific Overtures and the final cast of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent. Leung, who will play the role of Angel in the Hollywood Bowl's Aug. 6-8 starry production of Rent (directed by Neil Patrick Harris), will blog for Playbill.com all week; his third entry follows.
After a very productive rehearsal on stage at the Hollywood Bowl yesterday, we all learned A LOT. Some of the things we staged in the rehearsal room don't necessarily work in the real space — so we are back in the rehearsal room today to make the appropriate adjustments and changes to accommodate the large venue. It meant re-staging several of the numbers that I'm heavily involved in as Angel (like "Santa Fe" and "I'll Cover You") — but I'm glad we got to revisit them today. We learned a lot from our work yesterday on the set — and the new staging we created today is not only better storytelling, but it will help with sight-lines (which is a big challenge in that space).
Wait till you guys see the new version of "Santa Fe" that Neil Patrick Harris and Jamal Sims have created! They have Wayne Brady singing and dancing all over that stage (who knew Wayne could cut a rug like that?!), and the number is quite exciting. Wayne is SO fun to be in rehearsal with and we are constantly making each other laugh and surprising each other with new ideas on how a particular scene or song can go. He is so collaborative and I'm really enjoying having him as my Collins — and creating something new with him every day in rehearsal. I've always been such a fan of his improv skills on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" — and I feel like I'm getting to see it in action, every day in rehearsal! So cool and inspiring!
Tomorrow, we are back on stage, outdoors, at the Bowl. The crew at the Hollywood Bowl deserves a big shout-out. After they put our set together for our rehearsal on Monday, they had to strike it and take it apart for a concert tonight (Tuesday). After the concert is over, they will once again have to put our set back together for our rehearsal tomorrow! It is a MASSIVE, multi-level set — and it is nothing short of amazing that they are able to do this so quickly! I'm in awe.
So, I guess we are big deal. In the middle of our day, we had a big press event. TV crews and cameras came in to shoot some rehearsal footage. We gave them a peak of "Seasons of Love" and the end of the opening number ("Rent"). From what I was told, all the major news outlets were there — including E!, "Extra" and "Entertainment Tonight." So, maybe you will see that rehearsal footage on TV very soon!
Back to the Bowl tomorrow — and our first DRESS rehearsal! Keep your fingers crossed for all my crazy quick changes!
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