By Julia Morizawa
Macbeezy, the Macbeth Hip-Hopera: I’ve always wanted to be in a musical. I mean, I’ll be honest – I’m not a big musical person. I’m really picky with them and have seen very few that impressed me, especially on the 99-seat Equity level. And yet, I’ve still always wanted to be in one. The problem is, I can’t really sing. I mean, I enjoy singing, I totally do it in the car or when I’m alone. But I’m a little tone-deaf and just don’t sound that great. So when I heard about this opportunity in which I could be in a musical and have a rap number, I was like, “I’m in.” First of all, one of my favorite songs to karaoke is “Stan” by Eminem. And I’m actually pretty damn good at it. As long as I know the words and it’s not crazy fast like Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony, I can rap alright. So when Kelly Boczek-Petrie (co-writer and director) suggested I audition for the role of Donalbainia, my only question was, “Does she get a rap number?” And yep, she got one. What? What?
For me, Macbeezy really just consisted of mastering that one rap number and a handful of dance choreography. And I have to be honest, I felt way more nervous on opening night than I have, probably since the first play I was ever in, like over 10 years ago. To this day, performing in a musical way in front of people is like the most nerve-wracking thing for me. But I survived and had a blast in the process. I had actually been involved in a staged-reading of an early draft of the adaptation earlier in the year and knew I wanted to audition when the time came. It was great seeing how the script had grown and really improved over a course of just a few months. Plus, I loved the music! Again, I’m not really into musicals. And I mostly listen to indie-rock, so I’m not big on hip-hop and R&B. But I loved the music. If you saw this show, you’ll remember how brilliantly Kelly and Mark Petrie (co-writer and musical director) brought Shakespeare and hip-hop together. Again, something I had never seen or even heard of before (except, ironically the Kirk Douglas opened a hip-hop adaptation of Othello almost at the exact same time). I probably had four rehearsals prior to tech week, so most of my experience and growth with this show was literally throughout the six-week run. And it didn’t hurt that this show actually sold-out – like, actually all 99 seats – which, if you’re involved in Los Angeles 99-seat theatre, you would know, rarely happens. And now I have a musical on my resume!
Some lessons learned: the choreography for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” takes way more coordination than you’d think, Words-With-Friends is highly addictive, and Benito Cardenas (Angus) is soooooooo funny.
Well, there you have it. My 2010 Knightsbridge review. Now that I’ve contributed in this way to my theatre company, I guess I should work some more on the graphic design for our next production. Ahh…it never ends….