Author Topic: Les Mis  (Read 6975 times)

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FireBadTreePretty

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Les Mis
« on: Sep 07, 2011, 01:44 am »
Hello all!

This fall I'm Stage Managing our fall musical, Les Mis. However, I have already run into a problem. Because the show is a little operatic style, it is all music and no dialogue. Meaning that we might not have a script type form for me to write my cues and blocking in. Does anyone have any suggestions for writing cues in music or if anyone has transcribed the show into script like form, I would appreciate all the help. Thanks so much!

BayAreaSM

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #1 on: Sep 07, 2011, 03:02 am »
I have never read, done or even seen Les Mis, but a quick search on the internet for "Les Mis Libretto" gives me this Link. There's also a thread on SMNetwork that allows for members to request a script/score/libretto Here.

And finally, I believe if you use the search box in the upper right corner, you should be able to pull up some advice on the subject. For myself, I have used a pencil to Box the note that the cue falls on, then written the cue above the measure. Granted, I rarely work in scores, and tend to only use them for overtures and finales (since I work in ballet and I'm not given scores for some odd reason). I've also found other SMs to use post-it arrows to point to the exact note, color-code the arrows and just list the Q number on the tab.

There's also a thread on here with advice from HBelden that I found extremely useful when writing blocking into the score.

A little searching will get you everywhere on this site...

Maribeth

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #2 on: Sep 07, 2011, 08:47 am »
For writing a cue into a score, you can draw a horizontal line above the system the note is in, and then draw a vertical line or arrow down to the note it should be called on. Then, write the cue on the horizontal line. (Very similar to what BayAreaSM suggested). I know an opera stage manager who had stamps made, with "Light Q________" "Rail Q_____________" etc on the horizontal line, so she can stamp them above the system, and then draw a line down to the note in colored pencil.

loebtmc

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #3 on: Sep 07, 2011, 10:12 am »
quick initial qq- do you read music? that is key for shows that use scores as their libretto and there will be cues on musical counts/notes rather than on words.

babens

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #4 on: Sep 07, 2011, 10:33 am »
According to MTI's website the school edition comes with 1 Director's script as part of the rental package (the full edition comes with 25 libretto/vocal books).  I have not done Les Mis, so I can't speak with 100% certainty, but the other thru sung shows I have done have always come with a libretto as part of the rental package and I don't imagine Les Mis to be much different.

nick_tochelli

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #5 on: Sep 07, 2011, 12:37 pm »
You'll have a 'script' to block off of. My wife produced Les Mis last year at her high school and she had the traditional MTI book with the script in the front and the score was actually a separate entity because of it's size.

Even though it has more dialogue, Sweeney Todd is similar to Les Mis in structure, and it also comes as a script. There will be sections that are confusing where there are multiple groups singing different lyrics where you may want to put the music into your blocking script to keep track of it easier, but you should be ok with what MTI provides to you.

maximillionx

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #6 on: Sep 07, 2011, 12:59 pm »
When I did Les Mis, I used the libretto for my call book.  If there was a cue that happened on the music, I cut and copied the piece of music, put it in my prompt and put the appropriate cue on the appropriate note (I can read music though).  It worked well enough.

BARussell

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #7 on: Sep 07, 2011, 05:02 pm »
2 Words: Counted Script. It works really well if you don't read music well, or like me you read music but don't feel like dealing with the hassle of a score I find it the easiest solution for example:

1- 2 3 4
2- 2 3 4
3- 2 3 4
4- 2 3 4
One day more!
Another day, another destiny.
This never-ending road to Calvary;
These men who seem to know my crime
Will surely come a second time.


That way if anything happens in the opening music you can just write it like you would a normal cue. It's a lot of work but I've always typed my scripts unless they were formatted in a way that makes it easy to use which they never are, and once it's typed editing is a breeze.
"We don't negotiate with weirdos!"

MatthewShiner

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #8 on: Sep 07, 2011, 06:14 pm »
Sometimes you have to call off the score.

this is the piano score as PDF, shurnk, and the put into my word system of laying out my calling script.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

loebtmc

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #9 on: Sep 08, 2011, 01:02 am »
Beautiful Matthew (like mine, but so much cleaner...cuz I use pencil and flags...

- I like calling off scores (esp for shows like Candide and Smokey Joes and Les Miz) and fwiw, the national tour for Les Miz uses the full score to call, because there are so many cues that occur internally on counts or specific notes in the music. Counting is fine for normal musicals, but when you have pages of music and pages of cues, if you don't read music you need to learn the score really quickly to know when things need to fall.

good luck!


babens

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #10 on: Sep 08, 2011, 11:25 am »
I have found counting to be most useful for dance sections.  Big choral and ensemble moments tend to be easier to use the score, as others have noted, especially when you get into a huge, multi-layered montage type moment such as "One Day More."

MatthewShiner

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #11 on: Sep 08, 2011, 12:42 pm »
The only problem I have with "counting" and not reading the music is as a Stage Manager, you may get distracted in your counting . . . like with dealing with another cue issue.  So, if all you have is counts of 8 in the calling script, it maybe harder to follow.  I mean, it's not a terrible way to count, but may not always be ideal.

(And it also depends on how your designers work . . . i found if your lighting designer doesn't work off the score, chances are you won't be calling off the score . . . )



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babens

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #12 on: Sep 08, 2011, 01:33 pm »
Very true about the LD in essence dictating the way the show is called, even if they don't actually say "use the score" or "count it out."

I have found that if I am counting I will try to put in road markers into the pages and pages of beats (not that I've actually gotten into pages and pages), either noting something specific that will happen on the stage in the midst of the beats or noting changes/identifiable spots in the music.

lsears

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #13 on: Sep 09, 2011, 10:24 am »
I rarely use counting for exactly the reason Matthew mentions, something unexpected comes up and I need to be able to deal with it.  However, when working in opera, I do make sure that I can follow the music by counting rather than reading in case I need a back up way of following.  I was doing Giovanni a few summers ago in the Berkshires and a thunderstorm knocked out my audio monitor and I couldn't hear the orchestra over the rain.  I got through two numbers by counting along to the conductor camera before my speaker was fixed and the rain let up a little.  Not something I'd like to repeat, but I was thankful it was an easy count show.

Scott

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Re: Les Mis
« Reply #14 on: Sep 09, 2011, 11:40 am »

(And it also depends on how your designers work . . . i found if your lighting designer doesn't work off the score, chances are you won't be calling off the score . . . )


Caveat: In opera, stage manager will probably still be expected to help find the placement of the Qs on notes and call off the score, no matter how the lighting designer is working.

 

riotous