Quick summary: I'm playing for summer theatre at a playhouse in northern Ohio*. Time has blurred together and I have no idea what day it is. Since arriving we've had auditions for the first two musicals and a play (two shows left to audition). They cast the shows yesterday, and rehearsals began this morning. Our rehearsal schedule is 8:30-11:30, 1:30-4:30, 7:00-10:00, w/meals and sleep tucked in between. I've been prepping two shows, "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?" and an Irving Berlin revue called "The Melody Lingers On."
There are different challenges with each score. Black Leather is a (partially legible) handwritten score with several rock numbers, several swung numbers, and some church music references. The large group number harmonies get confusing, so I've taken to color-coded highlighting of different voice parts for easier reading. We start the Irving Berlin this afternoon. There is no show CD (although there is a CD called "The Melody Lingers On" - that's not it), so I've researched youtube, itunes and emusic for pianists who play Berlin with the right feel. So far I've liked: Willie "The Lion" Smith's version of Alexander's Ragtime Band and William Bolcom/Joan Morris' Berlin CD Blue Skies. The score has a lot of boom-chick writing (as in quarter notes LH-RH-LH-RH), so its up to me to 'fill it in'.
I love summer programs like this - everyone is committed to what they are doing, rehearsals are focused and I get a lot of practice time when I'm not in rehearsals. Lately I've been practicing a lot of stride piano, which is getting easier (slowly) and also different scales (pentatonic, etc). Other than that, I have a 24-hour gym nearby, free room and board, and library computer privileges. More randomness: because this is Biker Week, there have been nonstop influx of men on hogs.
*There are no gay midgets named Karl.