August 28, 2008
Rob Lindley, actor playing Stuart Gellman:
“My father is a clarinet” says Noah about my character Stuart Gellman, based on Tony Kushner’s own father, Bill, who was a concert clarinetist. Stuart is often in a practice room playing the clarinet and brings his clarinet with him to the family Channukah party. The clarinet is one of the ways my character expresses himself.
I wish you could all be in the rehearsal hall right now. All of the actors are on a 20-minute break and musical director Doug Peck and our clarinet player Adam DeGroot are going through the music for the big Channukah Party in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE. The music is just thrilling!
I played the saxophone all through school, so when I was cast as a woodwind player I thought, “perfect - maybe I can play some of Stuart’s clarinet licks.” I soon discovered that it wasn’t going to be nearly as easy as I thought! But I have been meeting with Adam (for my clarinet lessons) so that we can perform the long clarinet solos (every thing from traditional Jewish Klezmer music to a Mozart concerto) as a unit. I am planning on videotaping Adam playing so that I can do my best to replicate the fingering of the solos and know when Adam is going to take a breath so that we can truly be in sync. Think of Glenn Close lip syncing to Kiri Te Kanawa in “Meeting Venus” - or something like that.
This is definitely one of those special shows that makes me feel like I’m sitting on a big secret that I can’t wait for other people to see. The rehearsals are breathtaking. I can hardly wait to see what the actual performances will be like.