Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
"INFINITY" AND BEYOND
We had barely returned to Nashville from the SPIRIT when it was time to welcome the new cast of the Celebrity “INFINITY”. Orientation was held yesterday morning at our Nashville studios. This promises to be an amazing group of performers with a wide diversity of national and cultural backgrounds. Cast members hail from Russia, The Ukraine, Britain, Canada, and the US. Several of the performers are returning to us from previous ship contracts, while others are experiencing their first cruise ship productions. Choreographer Bruce Stegmann, vocal director Brandon Thomas, production manager Garris Wimmer and GMC producer Bert Hensley were on hand to welcome this new INFINITY cast to our Gary Musick family. Rehearsals get underway today. I’m looking forward to seeing their first runs of their Broadway show this time next week!
AND THEY’RE OFF!
I just spent a fantastic week aboard the NCL “SPIRIT” while we installed a new cast. Our journey began in New York on August 9th, where we set sail for San Juan, Tortola, and the Dominican Republic. The SPIRIT returned to New York on Sunday, and we left the ship knowing this would be a great cast for NCL and GMC.
We all felt like this cast would be great on stage, but it was really gratifying to see how well they actually performed AND “lived” together. This is a definitely a tight cast! GMC production team members Brandon Thomas and Claire Williams were there to polish vocals and choreography. I honestly can’t remember a smoother install in recent years. The entire cast made it through opening week without missing any shows or having to swing parts due to injuries. The costume and tech runs went amazingly well, and the opening night performances looked like a cast of seasoned pros that had been performing together for weeks. The singers were spot on, and the dancers were clean and crisp. Great job everyone! I especially enjoyed spending time with the cast offstage when we visited San Juan and hung out together in Maharini’s (one of the nightclubs on the ship). “WHITE NIGHTS” and “TOGA PARTY” were favorite theme nights for the cast. Thanks for allowing me to tag along!
We also made some new friends while there. Quincy and Jan were travel agents on board for vacation from Denmark, and Lindsey and Graham were Canadian newlyweds sailing on their honeymoon. They befriended our cast and production team and we all shared a week of fun, great food and camaraderie. Meeting new people and making friends from around the world is always a treat when we’re out on the ships. I think I even convinced Quincy and Jan to bring a tour to Nashville to experience “Music City USA” and everything our city has to offer! And we almost convinced Lindsey to audition for us (she is a dance teacher in Toronto, but as she explained…”sorry, but that ship has sailed!”). Jan and Quincy promised to come see us if we make it back to Scandinavia anytime soon. Good luck with those parliamentary elections, Quincy!
We also got to renew contact with our long time friends Gareth Mogford and Morris Azouz. Gareth was originally a production manager for Celebrity Cruises and later became a full-time staff member responsible for all technical aspects of the theaters in the Celebrity fleet. He is now freelancing special projects for NCL and was on the SPIRIT to assist with the technical support during the cast changeover. Morris worked with us as the Lighting Designer for a couple of the Celebrity Millennium class ships about 8 years ago. Gareth and Morris have always been great friends and it was nice to reconnect.
Here are shots from our adventures on the SPIRIT. A huge thanks goes to the cast and staff on the SPIRIT for making this such a great week for our GMC family. Also, a special GMC “shout out” goes to the outgoing cast of the SPIRIT. Congratulations on completing a great contract! We wish all of you the best in whatever endeavors you pursue in the future!
Here are photos from "ON BROADWAY", one of the featured shows on the SPIRIT.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Meanwhile, David Patton, Mindy Johnson, and Stephen Kummer are halfway around the world doing an install on the NCL "JADE". Opening performances are still several days away, and they are making good progress with their four shows. Our team has great things to say about the JADE cast, too. We've been really blessed with a plethora of strong talent - and good people - this fall.
I have a lot of photos to share, but the connection here is too slow to upload them. I will post some shots when we hit land again. Take care and have a great week everyone!