Why Hello, Old Friends!

I know.  It’s been a while.  You missed us.  Here are some things to catch up on:

  1. Hot Mess in Manhattan played to sold out crowds and rave reviews (even on the message boards).
  2. It looked like this: 
  3. One Night Only played to sold out houses and rave reviews.
  4. It looked like this: 
  5. And also this.  And more here.
  6. The Rescignos loaded in and announced some AMAZING guest stars.  They open TOMORROW!

We over here can’t believe we’re already opening the last show of Araca Project 2012.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for news of Araca Project 2013.  It’s lookin pretty awesome so far…

Hot Mess Composer of the Day: Ryan Scott Oliver!

As promised, here’s today’s Hot Mess composer of the day, inspired by Cait Doyle’s interview on his site.  Some of our fav RSO vids:

A heartbreaking duet:

A badass Berry:

And The Mess herself!

Look out for some Michael Mahler tomorrow and Drew Gasparini on Sunday. Have a great long weekend!

Hot Mess Composer of the day: Kerrigan and Lowdermilk!

You guys!  Hot Mess in Manhattan is HAPPENING!  They had their first show last night and played to a packed house.

As a celebration of the show, we’re celebrating one of their twelve (YUP. TWELVE.) composers each day.  This is late, but yesterday was Kerrigan and Lowdermilk day.  Here were our 3 picks:

The song that put K&L on the radar:

The song that makes us literally LOL:

And maybe the best combination of beautiful song + beautiful singers…EVER:

We’ll post vids from today’s composer, Ryan Scott Oliver, in just a bit.  Until then, Check out www.hotmessinmanhattan.com and get your tix!!

InterVIEWS-day TUESday: Matthew Van Colton

Welcome to InterVIEWS-day TUESday (Say it out loud. It rhymes.)!  Each week, we’ll feature a different Araca Project participant answering questions on all the hard-hitting issues, like which Friends character they most resemble.  This week, we’re celebrating the beginning of One Night Only’s run in Chicago (starting tomorrow! get your tix HERE) by bringing you not one, but TWO interviews from One Night Only ensemble members.  Here’s #2: Matthew Van Colton, who did not send me a photo like Katie did so I internet stalked him.  Enjoy!

Full name: Matthew Van Colton

What is your involvement in Araca Project 2012?

I am an actor in One Night Only, a completely improvised musical, which opens September 11, 2012.

Describe your show in one sentence. No semi-colons.

It’s pretty much like that movie Mulholland Drive except that it is nothing like Mulholland Drive.

What is your favorite thing about your show (no spoilers!)?

Those moments when the “magic” happens…when you connect with the other performers, and the audience and the music all at once. Because we’re making everything up as we go along, it is even more special than when it happens in a scripted show.

What was the first show you worked on in any capacity?

I brought startling realness to the role of Santa Claus in a school show when I was 6 or 7.

What is your biggest show catastrophe, on stage or off?

Pretty recently I split my pants doing (overenthusiastic) warm-ups about 4 minutes before I was supposed to be on stage. Luckily, a couple of clever people safety-pinned me and the show went right on.

What are your top 3 theatre experiences (as an audience member or participant)?

1. As a pretty young kid, I had the opportunity to sing by myself in front of some 1,000+ crowds both in an opera and at a public festival.  Even at a young age, I knew those were special experiences.

2.  In my late teens, I got to see a professional production of one of my favorite musicals, Assassinsby Stephen Sondheim. It’s dark, the subject matter is dark & political, and the show has some real depth. I felt like I “got it” and was excited to view musical theatre through a new, adult lens.

3.  The first show I performed in as a member of Actor’s Equity was here in Chicago. It was quintessential Chicago theatre: gritty, dirty, small, tough. I got to do an accent and cry and be drunk and get in a fight all in the same show! I got kind reviews and the show was an audience hit. I felt like I’d won the jackpot.

What was your favorite college restaurant?

Shakespeare’s Pizza in Columbia, Missouri. I just drooled a little.

What is your earliest memory?

From today? Can you remind me which day it is again?

What is your internet and/or social media obsession?

I still call the internet “the web”. I’m like, waaayyy behind.

If you were a Friends character, who would you be?

I’d like to say Joey, but friends would probably tell you Phoebe.

What was your favorite movie in each decade of your life?

Godfather, Tootsie, Silence of the Lambs, Inglorious Basterds. Oh! I left out Waiting for Guffman. I don’t know when it was made.

What is your favorite Olympic event?

Bar-hopping.

LIGHTNING ROUND:

Coffee or tea? Coffee please.

Mad Men or Breaking Bad? Sportscenter.

Mac or PC? Whatever you put in front of me and give me step-by-step instructions how to use. 

Manhattan or Brooklyn? A Manhattan with two cherries and no ice, please.

Hiking or biking? Yes! Both! And walking and running…

BONUS. Check out this vid introducing Matthew and ONO to the world:

Thanks so much, Matt, we’ll see you in September!  Until then, be sure to check out One Night Only’s websiteIndieGoGo page and preview show in Chicago beginning TOMORROW!

InterVIEWS-day TUESday: Katie Dufresne

Welcome to InterVIEWS-day TUESday (Say it out loud. It rhymes.)!  Each week, we’ll feature a different Araca Project participant answering questions on all the hard-hitting issues, like which Friends character they most resemble.  This week, we’re celebrating the beginning ofOne Night Only’s run in Chicago (starting tomorrow! get your tix HERE) by bringing you not one, but TWO interviews from One Night Only ensemble members.  First up is Katie Dufresne, who wins extra points for sending me a photo with her interview.  Enjoy!

Full name: Katie Dufresne

What is your involvement in Araca Project 2012?

I am an ensemble member of One Night Only, opening September 11th at the American Theater of Actors.

Describe your show in one sentence. No semi-colons.

One Night Only is a completely improvised musical in which the cast creates an entirely original and never-to-be-seen-again musical each night.

What is your favorite thing about your show (no spoilers!)?

If you don’t want me to spoil it, it’s probably best that I just say nothing. 

(We’re all ghosts).

What was the first show you worked on in any capacity?

My cousins and I put on a rousing satirical news show at the age of 7, featuring a pug as the weatherman. The show was titled ICUP News and the opening theme song ended with a toilet flushing. Comedy gold, folks.

What is your biggest show catastrophe, on stage or off?

Hard to choose. When you first start doing improv, I’d say about every other show is a catastrophe.

What are your top 3 theatre experiences (as an audience member or participant)?

1. The first broadway show I saw, much like Girts, was Ragtime. I still listen to that soundtrack and cry.

2. Watching TJ & Dave for the first time.

3. A personal favorite show of mine was a killer performance of Brouhaha: An Improvised Puppet Musical in a packed concert venue for Chicago Improv Festival. Some might say I’m too old to play with puppets. I say to them, go away I do not like you.

What was your favorite college restaurant?

The Cellar. It is hands down the best, most basement-y restaurant in all of Blacksburg, Virginia. Assuming you like damp, dark basements.

What is your earliest memory?

My younger brother, Phil, and I had gotten our very first (and only) pets: Goldfish! My mother, being the kind-hearted woman that she is, thought it would be nice to put purified water in their tank. Phil and I came down the next morning to say hello to our new friends, and what do we find? Two very exploded fishes. Turns out when you put purified water in an aquarium, all the stuff inside the fish wants to get out into that sweet, sweet pure water.

This is why we never got a dog.

What is your internet and/or social media obsession?

I love me some tumblr. Here’s a gem: http://whatshouldwecallme.tumblr.com/

If you were a Friends character, who would you be?

Chanandler Bong

What was your favorite movie in each decade of your life?

80’s - The Princess Bride

90’s- Tombstone

2000’s - Just Friends (SHUT UP! YOU DON’T KNOW ME! Ryan Reynolds poster>)

2010’s - TBD

What is your favorite Olympic event?

The back stories. I love me a good cry.

LIGHTNING ROUND:

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Mad Men or Breaking Bad? I have such big plans to watch them both

Mac or PC? Mac!

Manhattan or Brooklyn? Lakeview.

Hiking or biking? I’m what they call an “inside” girl.

Thanks, Katie, we’ll see you in September!  Until then, be sure to check out One Night Only’s websiteIndieGoGo page and preview show in Chicago beginning TOMORROW!

We're in!

A (brief) photo tour of load-in yesterday…

I was the door-holder.  I was very good at it.  I took this photo while I was holding the door.

These are very brave and strong people building scaffolding and hanging lights.

The beautiful stairwell at The American Theatre of Actors.  It poses a unique challenge to our load-in crews, but look at it!  It’s like it’s from a moooovie!

Other news from the weekend:

  • Both The Man With America Skin and The Rescignos were fully funded in their online campaigns!
  • Did you see our feature in Back Stage online?  You didn’t?  Get on it!
  • Aly Raisman upset Jordyn Weiber to qualify for the Women’s Gymnastics All-Around competition (and her parents flipped out watching her do it).
  • Crumbs brought back the $0.99 iced coffee special.
  • Cake released a pre-sale discount code! Visit our ticketing page and enter the code CAKESPECIAL for a $15 ticket.

Happy Monday, all!