Saturday, December 02, 2006

Okay, so life has not stopped. I will be doing the Gypsy of the Year Competition on Monday and Tuesday.

I haven’t felt like talking about the Gypsy of the Year show until now. This is a benefit show to help Broadway Cares. It is staged once a year and it has become a huge Broadway community tradition. The New York shows get together and create original material for this performance. It is a lampoon of their own shows or someone else’s show or just Broadway in general. Pretty much anything goes and it is riddled with inside gags. Josh Rhodes a dancer in “Chicago” wrote and directed the opening number. He saw my show and wrote the number with me in mind. I am honored, thrilled, and also awed to be in the presence of such talented performers.

We had our first tech rehearsal at the Neil Simon Theater yesterday when it dawns on me; I am doing a Broadway production number. This is what people dream of when they think about doing Broadway. In the number, 16 dancers, a choir of 25 singers, and a full orchestra working their talents off surround me. Bob and I are explorers, dressed in safari outfits, observing the habits of the elusive Broadway gypsy. The dialogue is funny and inside, and they have let me customize it so it feels like a Jay and Bob routine. I am usually a one-man band (or make that a man and a puppet band) on stage. For this performance I have to count music, say dialogue between phrases, take cues, not run into dancers, hit a mark and try and be funny. It’s just another day for these Broadway performers, but a stretch for this out of place ventriloquist.

I can’t wait to do the show. I am slowly getting to know all the gypsies in the number. My love for dancers is well documented. This group is the cream of the crop of Broadway. They are much more talented than they can even comprehend.

This number is life, imitating art. On stage, I am the outsider looking in, and so it is in reality. It seems that my life as a Broadway performer has been crammed into just a few months of intense work. I guess this is New York time and I am used to the LA pace of things.
As you were,


Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds so great! And it looks like I'll be able to see it Tuesday. Hopefully it will all be taped for Broadway Cares and they have been in the past!

--Usher Bob

the other one said...

Looking forward to it on Tuesday. I'm sure you and the show will be fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Have a ball at the Gypsy of the Year.. And you will go on and do your show again and also find other challenges and joys.. and hopefuly your show will come back again to New York. I LOVED your show. Your talent was so inspiring to me. I've been working on my own solo show.. (no ventriloquism though.. that's such an art in itself) I'm a B'way Gypsy myself.. and been through numerous closings.. one was when afte 9 months out of town, and a lay off.. the show I was in was sold out at the Minskoff for months in advance, but the producers wanted to bring Sunset Boulevard in sooner... I think we closed in less than 6 months... Be sure to get a video/cd of your Gypsy of The Year performance... you'll treasure that forever.
Diana Brownstone

matthew wickline said...

Good Luck,jay.:p