So. As You Like It. In the 80s.
The reasons–in my head–were straightforward enough: I wanted bloodless usurpations; so think corporate take-overs. I wanted a visual shorthand that would allow audiences to quickly understand who these characters were; 80s archetypes and stereotypical fashions and costuming can do the trick. And of course, I want music (we begin choreographing our first big production number tomorrow…too excited).
But not all things translate. And sometimes actors throw you curve balls.
Audrey. Goatherd. After appearing in Mister Roberts this past summer, there was no way I was going to work with real goats. I toyed with fake goats, possibly one on a leash–like a child’s pull-toy. But it just didn’t feel right. I talked to the actors about possible alterations, and asked them for ideas. A bit later, we were talking about what it is that Touchstone would find so alluring about a country girl, and I mentioned an old song (1986, babies!) by the Smithereens, “Behind the Wall of Sleep” in which the singer becomes obsessed with a girl because she plays in a band.
She had hair like Jeannie Shrimpton back in 1965
She had legs that never ended
I was halfway paralyzed.
She was tall and cool and pretty and she dressed as black as coal
If she asked me to I’d murder, I would gladly lose my soul.
Well, she held a bass guitar and she was playing in a band
And she stood just like Bill Wyman
Now I am her biggest fan.
Well, just so happens my Audrey, Stephanie plays bass. What if Audrey’s “goats” were her amps, and that Touchstone becomes her roadie? This could work, and thus Audrey became a rocker.
If only the song was in the ASCAP catalog… alas, it is not.
Monday, I’ll talk a little about how an actor can throw a curveball that ends up bringing other concepts into focus…