WHEELHOUSE workshop, day 5 of 7

(For the next little while, I’m focusing on my band GrooveLily’s new musical WHEELHOUSE, which premieres this spring at TheatreWorks of Silicon Valley.)

Whew! This morning we had a presentation for the TheatreWorks staff, running through the entire show for the first time. It was rough (since we’ve spent all our time writing and none rehearsing, it was certainly not a “presentational event” as Lisa put it), BUT effective – it was wonderful to have an audience and feel them react to the things that are working, even without rehearsal.

We also learned a lot – and the great thing is, all of us on the team (we three writers, plus Lisa and Meredith) agreed about what needs to change. One final song is getting the ax: our latest “downward-spiral montage” called “You Can’t Park Here.” It was definitely a fun lyric-writing exercise, and I’m quite proud of it – it featured Bren and Gene playing a succession of characters, all of whom treated us badly and wanted to get rid of us and our ugly RV: first a pair of musician-harassing Tennessee cops, then a pair of mean status-conscious old ladies in Idaho, and finally a pair of NorCal surfer dudes.
None of us will miss this campy song in the context of the rest of WHEELHOUSE – though I do have to share this stanza because it was so much fun to write.

(from the Tennessee cop verse, in which Bren and Gene as police suspect me of being a drug dealer)
LOOKS LIKE WE GOT OURSELVES A CUTIE IN A DEATH CAB
MY GUT IS TELLIN’ ME WE’RE LOOKIN’ AT A METH LAB
YOU COOKIN’ GLASS IN THERE?
*GET* YER HANDS UP IN THE AIR!
WE’RE GONNA TEACH YOU THAT YOU CAN’T PARK HERE.

Clearly, some of us may have been watching a little too much “Breaking Bad.”

We had a very exciting discussion about how to restructure the middle section of the show, and we are already sure that by the time our second presentation rolls around on Sunday, the piece will be in even better shape.

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