Usually, when one talks about "tech rehearsals" in the theater, it refers to the chunk of rehearsal time when lights, sound, etc are all being worked out. However, as detailed in a New York Times article today, a new production of the musical Company directed by Lonny Price is taking the term to a whole different level.
The show, which is gearing up for four performances with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall starting on Thursday, April 7th, 2011, features a cast of A-listers who it's been problematic to get in the same room together. The solution? Technology! For example, Neil Patrick Harris Skypes with his voice teacher and rehearses songs listening to MP3 tracks while driving (and there's always an abundance of drive time in Los Angeles). Jon Cryer relied on the video capability of the iPhone to learn some of his dance routines (and according to the article, has now developed the unique skill of beimg able to hoof it while looking down at his phone). Other cast members include Stephen Colbert, Patti LuPone, Craig Bierko, Anika Noni Rose and Christina Hendricks.
One of the joys of theater is usually working with the other actors, refining and deepening your work through the rehearsal period. It'll be intereseting to see how this process works for the show, as many of the actors come together at the last minute for Thursday's performance. Curious? You'll be able to check it out when Company is shown in movie theaters in June. Yep, that's right...in today's all-screens, all-the-time world, even live theater gets captured by the camera for a larger audience.