Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tomorrow Morning - at the Towle Theater

When I first walked onto the stage with my camera I felt happy. Like I had come home. The Towle Theater has given me an opportunity, one which I do not want to let go of. I want to learn, to do what photographers say you should not do, to create, make new, and most of all enjoy it . . . tremendously. 

My first time photographing theater was last year at the Towle Theater, for the season opening of the musical “Ordinary Days”. That day was nothing ordinary at all for me. It was extraordinary. That day had shown me how exciting ordinary can be. Today I stepped foot again on stage to photograph this year’s opening musical, “Tomorrow Morning”. The cast made this evening feel just as special as my first time at the Towle Theater. I loved the story. I loved the cast. I loved being back at the Towle Theater. 

Let me first introduce you to the cast, starting with their character name followed by their real name. I will use their character name throughout the blog so when you go see the musical (and you will after reading this blog) you will be in step. 

Spoiler Alert!!!!! If you believe you would lose something special by reading this blog before seeing the musical, then go see the musical first! Please do not continue with this blog. All of us owe it to the cast, production staff, musicians, and our sponsor, to be thrilled as if this were our very first time to the theater. This appreciation can be felt by all of them. So do not let this blog take that away from them, please.

Kat – Sara Jean Mergener

John – Taylor Okey 

Catherine – Carol Rose 

Jack – Michael Snider

Each of these couples have separate things going on in their lives.  One couple, Kat and Jon, are going to get married.  Another couple, Catherine and Jack, are getting ready for a divorce.  You see all four of them on stage as the musical begins.

John and Kat cannot seem to see enough of each other. John comes over to see Kat, the day before the wedding. As young couples go, they are pretty typical with a drive, and thoughts of happiness.

And as young couples go, John is, well let us say, playful as they practice their wedding dance.

Catherine and Jack do not have it so nice right now. Jack's actions, or none action as you might pick up in the musical, is why Catherine wants a divorce. Jack is no longer living in the house, and comes by to drop off keys and to pick up some things. As the process of divorce goes, there is attitude, anger on Catherine's part towards Jack.  A communication that most want to stay away from, including Jack.

Kat and John are quite happy being together. Watching this musical, I would rather be Kat and John at the moment, as you here Catherine and Jack argue about Jack staying late at work, and the cause for the upcoming divorce.  Catherine has some strong vocal parts throughout the musical.  Her vocal extenuates her emotions.  In fact I thought her vocal through the musical was so good I wanted more, anger or not.

The musical, the cast, set up a good contrast of Kat and John falling in love, ready to get married, thinking of the wonderful life they will have, with no end. Yet you see Catherine and Jack who had a beginning, and middle, and what is now an end tomorrow morning, to their falling in love at at the beginning. You see these couples as so different and yet so similar, because of the writing, directing, and performance of this cast. I could not help to reflect on my ups and downs in life.

Now, like most people ready to be married might do, John begins to have a panic attack, then reminisces a little to calm himself down.

Then John starts to imagine his wedding, and he sees himself naked, exposed, wanting to hide, as he displays those feelings in the musical.  This was a strong performance, and great vocal.

John has been wanting a career, and has been waiting on a call for a script he had written. He continues to write. Whereas Jack's career is what came between him and his wife, causing a divorce. Here I felt a bit pulled apart. I could relate to both. Wanting to become a photographer, yet my drive for a career as an engineer came between the marriage. Well, now I have the time to become the photographer.

Secrets time. This was good. When it started, it was like you could not wait to hear all the juicy stuff, the secrets, that each had inside. When all was said and done, it was funny, and not as bad as what I think the rest of us would have to confess.

Kat started with her telling us her secret. Each person came out at their own time to tell theirs, while all on stage seemingly invisible to each other, circling and taking turns "on the couch".

Kat receives the message on their blood test. All was good, and the nurse wished them a happy wedding day for them and their baby . . . oops . . . so Kat, a bit in shock not knowing she was pregnant, goes to see John to tell him the news.

Catherine has a child too, and reflects back, at the same time Kat is thinking about having a baby.

And, when Kat sees John, she could not tell him yet. Kat did not know how to bring the subject up.  She started talking about her sisters children and ask John if he would like that.  John, not knowing there was a message behind the question, answered cynically, which scared Kat from telling him.

Events for tomorrow morning are getting closer.  Everyone seems to have what they are wanting, the piece of paper for marriage or divorce. Each look happy that the end, or the beginning depending upon how you want to look at it, is coming tomorrow morning.

This next scene was funny, hot, sexy. John calls Kat and quickly gets bored with the conversation, so Kat asks if he is still there, John answers, this is Raul the pool guy who cleans everyone's pools. Kat quickly plays along, like this wasn't the first time they have done this.  There are slight changes of pace throughout the musical.  This scene catches you off guard and glues you to Kat and John.  John does well to change his voice to Raul.  Kat does a great job acting out her part as the housewife who's husband is rarely home, and dancing.

Then the red lights come on . . . for a reason . . .

On a picnic writing vows and sketching, or at home, writing who gets what in the divorce . . . which would you want?

Jack contemplates what went wrong in his life, while John plans for his future.  I enjoyed Jack's vocal in this scene.

Then the phone call . . .

Catherine called Jack, because their son took off from home. Jack found him and brought him back to his apartment. Because both Jack and Catherine have this common bond, their son, they use this emotion, this time, to clear the air a little bit. Making it a bit easier for one another.

Meanwhile, Kat finally tells John she is pregnant. John is in disbelief, more so because he realizes Kat had seen him earlier and new, yet did not tell him. This caused an argument. One couple almost losing their son, and another couple ready to have a baby, perhaps a son.

While one couple seemingly grows apart because of communication, the other becomes closer together because of family.

Now, each couple seem to be on the same path. One that is forgiving. One that is loving. This is the place where I want to be. One where the strength from each other, strengthens each other. This is the place where memories come from that bond us.

So we know Kat and John are getting married. Catherine and Jack now are ready to finalize the divorce. Catherine notices that this is the first time Jack has ever been on time.

And, Catherine notices Jack called here Kat too . . . it has been a long time since the last. Yes, these are the same couple, present and past. You felt it could be as the musical went on. The cast did an excellent job keeping both worlds apart at the beginning, then slowly and slowly you saw the worlds coming closer.

Kat also gets the wedding dress she wanted . . . not the one she thought she was going to get married in. John/Jack had it planned. Sort of like my popcorn popper story in my first blog of Towle Theater, "Ordinary Days".  Yes, I had to throw some of me into this blog, because I enjoyed this musical, "Tomorrow Morning".

You then see the past, looking into their future, and the present, looking into their past. There was a beginning, and now a middle. There is not an end, but a continued journey.

I enjoyed this musical. It brought back memories that will strengthen my life. The vocals fit the many different feelings of each scene. The set was simple, which allowed you to focus on all those feelings the cast had to present.

As always, none of this could have taken place if it were not for the entire team:

Production Staff

Director - Jeff Casey
Vocal / Music Director - Elizabeth Tuazon
Lighting Design - Jeff Casey
Set Design - Kevin Bellamy


Piano - Elizabeth Tuazon
Reed - Lauren Brechner
Guitar - Larry Sidlow
Bass - Kevin Mackowicz
Percussion - Roye Robley

And of course our sponsor . . .

Towle Theater
5205 Hohman Avenue
Hammond, IN 46320
(219) 937-8780

If you have read this blog, and plan on seeing this musical at the Towle Theater, please let the Towle Theater know, and if you would, add a comment to this blog on how much you enjoyed the performance.  This will let the Towle Theater, and me know, how much motivation my blog is generating.

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