The next chapter in my journey with the cast of Creative Ministries Performing Art Center's (CMPAC) A Christmas Carol, The Musical continues with their first sit-down reading. It was more of a fun information/getting to know you session.
First order of business was, sitting at the tables, Director Tim Pappalardo had everyone introduce themselves. Everyone had to say where they're from and their favorite holiday character. It was a fun variety that included anyone from Santa to the Grinch and certainly all of Long Island was represented.
Tim and Musical Director Chris McKee then went over their expectations with the cast of sixty. This is one of the largest casts CM has had in quite some time. One particular point emphasized was that this is mostly a straight singing production and very little dialog. Everyone is definitely ready for the challenge.
Also discussed were the different goals everyone would like to achieve. I was impressed at the different types of goals the cast set. I said I wanted to see a standing ovation at every performance and others set out to improve their singing or to simply spread Christmas cheer. Everyone's goal was taken down and at the end of the run, the goals are going to be reexamined.
A fun activity that got everyone acquainted with one another was Tim had everyone move about the room and when introducing themselves, they were to state something about themselves that made them unique. It was a beautiful mixture of talent and fun facts that ranged from photographic memories to being double jointed. Also learned was that this is going to be an extra special show for several of the cast members as it is their debut.
We also listened to the entire score written by Alan Menkin and Lynn Ahrens. This was a great thing to do as I don't believe many people were too familiar with the musical version. It is a beautiful score, but it seems the play version is more popular. I asked Tim if this was going to be a replication of the Madison Square Garden's show and he said "CM's version... will be influenced by the production produced at Madison Square Garden…, but will have its own flare to match the incredible score written by Alan Menkin".
And so my journey will continue with this amazing cast in the coming weeks once rehearsals start. The excitement amongst the cast is contagious. Of course, it is truly special CMPAC has decided to put on A Christmas Carol, The Musical as this production as it hasn't been on their stage for almost 15 years.