Had two amazing experiences in one on Monday.
1) They actually let me into Skywalker Ranch in Marin, George Lucas’ incredible special effects compound where the biggest special effect of all is Mother Nature in all her Northern California glory.
2) They actually let me into the recording studio (Lucas’ scoring stage to be more precise) to observe the recording of three songs for the new cast recording for the revival of A Chorus Line, currently having its out-of-town tryout in San Francisco.
For a show tune enthusiast such as myself (if I ever slip on this blog and use the phrase “show queen” please know I use it with love), it was H E A V E N.
Just standing next to the 30-strong cast while they belted “Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love,” “What I Did for Love” and “One” was incredible and the closest I’ll ever get to feeling what it’s like on a full-throttle Broadway stage.
But watching the process of musical director, producer, orchestrator, composer doing their thing to make a classic recording for the ages in a SINGLE DAY was extraordinary.
The cast members seemed remarkably relaxed and were only told by producer David Caddick once to keep their “go-to-it energy” up.
Charlotte d’Amboise, who plays Cassie, is probably the biggest star in the bunch (along with Tony-winner Michael Barresse, who plays Zach), and her husband, Broadway star Terrence Mann (seen here in “Lennon” but more famous for his Javert in Les Miz and Beast in Beauty & the…) was lurking about lending moral support.
Between takes the cast members joked around, stretched, lounged on the floor, chomped lozenges and sipped from water bottles.
Jessica Lee Goldyn, who plays Val and sings the big number “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” about, ahem, “orchestra and balcony,” clamped her headphones around her bosom and said: “Sing, boobies!”
The Chorus Line cast is writing up a storm on the show’s official blog. If you haven’t seen it, you must. A Chorus Line Blog
The crew from Broadway.com has made a terrific video of the recording session. Check it out