Photos: Light Princess rehearsal

 
Emily and Brett crowns.jpg

I've been having so much fun rehearsing the new world premiere musical, the Light Princess, at the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia.

I play the Queen and the show has a multi-instrumentalist concept, where the characters are frequently expressing themselves while playing instruments at the same time! So I play the piano, guitar, accordion and viola in the show as well as act and sing!

Here I am with Brett Robinson, who plays the Princess. We wear crowns all day.

It's pretty rare to get to workshop and rehearse a play with the librettist and composer in the room! In our production, Alex Bechtel (composer) plays the Prince and the Witch, and Tony Lawton (book & lyrics) plays the Narrator, the Nurse and a whole cast of other characters.

In this picture playing the piano is my lovely King, Rob Tucker, my amazing show husband.

Our director Steve Pacek worked with set designer Nick Benacerraf to create the many magical, handmade moments that tell the story of the girl who has no gravity. This was an experiment for one of them, where we played with shadow puppets to tell the physical story of the Prince and Princess falling in love swimming in the lake. Or is it the sky? The world is upside down!! Love does crazy things to us!!

 

Jill Keys designed the costumes, and my dress definitely has audiences oohing and aahing, especially the children. Photo on the left is of the muslin mock-ups for the real costume as the costume shop of the Arden built it based on my measurements, and on the right, Keys' sketch for my full costume.

Slide whistle duet. @alexbechtel #tech #musical #actor #singer #musician #newmusical #worldpremiere #ArdenLightPrincess

A post shared by Emily Gardner Xu Hall (@schnopple) on

Heightened brand of silliness occurs when multiple actor-musicians are together. Unrehearsed.

 The cast of Light Princess recording a few songs. From left: Alex Bechtel, Rob Tucker, Tony Lawton, Brett Robinson and Emily Gardner Xu Hall

The cast of Light Princess recording a few songs. From left: Alex Bechtel, Rob Tucker, Tony Lawton, Brett Robinson and Emily Gardner Xu Hall