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June 2001

The mesa's alive with CGD music

Julie Caron and Julie Arblaster have been the architects of the last two CGD extravaganzas at the lip sync. Here's how the two Julies put together The Sound of Music, featuring Tim Barnes and Mike Moran (right).

As directors, we usually get the ball rolling by sending a CGD-wide email out in March, inviting people to participate in the lip sync and help with ideas. We have found that this doesn't garner much response, so we quickly move on to in-person hassling, but it does give everyone an opportunity to join in, which we feel is important.

Before we even decided on the act, we heard that RAP had asked Tim Barnes to be in their group and we thought it would be hilarious if he was in ALL the groups. So we approached him to be in ours too. When we decided on The Sound of Music, we asked Tim at the lunch table how his air guitar skills were and if he would like to play a blonde woman. He replied, "Sure, great!" Maria was cast. As it turned out, RAP didn't put together an act, so Tim was in just SCD and CGD's lip syncs. Even still, Tim sacrificed all his lunchtimes (for CGD) and evenings (for SCD) during the last two weeks before the contest and definitely earned the lifetime achievement award!

In an attempt to gather ideas for this year's act, Julie Caron (Brigita) and Sylvia Murphy (Frederick) came up with The Sound of Music. (Disclaimer: Our circular logic cannot be translated into anything methodical that can be verbalized!) A meeting of interested people tossed around some other ideas (can't divulge these, as they may be used next year!) and then reached a consensus on The Sound of Music. Julie A. was in Australia during all this so Julie C. and Sylvia came up with the songs they thought would be good as a medley, based on what they deemed to be the most well known from the musical. Starting with "The Sound of Music" theme ("The hills are alive . . .") was perfect shock value for Tim's entrance, "My Favorite Things" introduced all the children and the Captain, "Do-Re-Mi" was fun and a classic and was an attempt to emulate SCD's choreography skills (an impossible task!) while still in keeping with the Rodgers and Hammerstein style, and "So Long, Farewell," gave it closure.

We (the Julies) sat down and worked out the lines and choreography and cropped together an audio tape. We then approached people in person to be one of the children until we had a core group of kids. Mike Moran had volunteered to cross-dress this year, so we decided he should be the youngest daughter. The rest of us lined up in order of height, and our characters were decided in that way.

Liesl—Roger Dargaville
Frederick—Sylvia Murphy
Louisa—Paula Fisher
Kurt—Julie Arblaster
Brigita—Julie Caron
Marta—Judith Berner
Gretl—Mike Moran
Captain Von Trapp—Rol Madden
We wanted a distinguished gentleman to play Captain Von Trapp. Soon-to-retire, distinguished, and with a military past, Rol Madden fit the role perfectly. We are so glad he said yes!

At that point--about five weeks before the Spring Fling--the main cast started rehearsing every other lunchtime. Two weeks before the event we lured people (again by approaching them in person) to be the "extras," the hills, windows, clouds, etc. This allowed lots of people to be involved without much time commitment. A prop night was held in the cafeteria the week before. Pizza and beer helped lure in this year's extended cast and behind-the-scenes helpers.

Hill1—Erik Kluzek (who fell sick and was replaced by Cristina Kauffman the day before the Spring Fling--thanks, Cristina!)
Hill2—Mark Stevens
Hill3 & Window1—Tim Hoar
Hill4 & Cloud1—Lisa Butler
Window2—Sam Levis
Cloud2—Alessandra Giannini
Sun&Moon—Isla Gilmour
Bed movers—Jerry Olson, Isla Gilmour, Tim Hoar and Sam Levis
Scene signs—Dani Bundy
This year Sylvia Murphy earned the title of producer in charge of sales (bribes) and marketing (fliers and playbills). Additional helpers: Stephanie Shearer, Vince Wayland and David Stepaniak. Wes Wildcat gave up his time to videotape our dress rehearsal.

The members of the EAC were very helpful with our plethora of logistical questions, especially Craig Hartsough and Tina Arthur. Bob Campbell was instrumental in getting the final audio onto CD. Betty Singleton, Velma Ryan, David Soule and Brannan McGill were also helpful with various tasks. A receptive audience (many CGD people made it down from the mountain) was very much appreciated.

Throughout the last few weeks, The Sound of Music has been playing incessantly in our heads, to the point where, in rehearsals, Julie Caron would say, "Okay, let's start at the very beginning," and one of us would reply, "That's a very good place to start!" (a line from a portion of "Do-Re-Mi" that we did not end up including). Another time we were streaming down one of the stairwells after rehearsal and we all started singing "So Long, Farewell"--there are great acoustics in the ML stairwells!

We had a great time rehearsing and were lucky to have such a talented and witty cast. We have a bunch of closeted thespians in CGD! The main cast went beyond the call of duty in the last few weeks: making, moving and storing props, fine tuning and helping to create the stage direction and other behind-the-scenes tasks. It was definitely a team effort. The actual performance was a blast, and everyone kept their poise despite the loss of shoes and lederhosen, wigs not keeping hair in place, quick changes, and Tim's spinning wig.

—Julie Arblaster and Julie Caron


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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
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Last revised: Thu Jun 21 11:00:53 MDT 2001