Welcome to the orchestra pit! This weekend, I will be your percussionist for the stage production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! at Newport Perfoming Arts Center in Nye Beach, Oregon. I am delighted by the musical score, which includes numerous parts for the xylophone and glockenspiel.
My favorite dance number is a song called "The Bombie Samba" which employs a drum called a "Cuica" or talking drum. The drum head has a thin stick attached to it which is played by pinching the stick between the fingers and pressing the drum head simultaneously. I bought the Cuica especially for this show and learned how to play it by watching youtube instructional videos on the subject. Gotta love the internet!
The 'Cuica' is the metal drum laying sideways, to the right of the bongos, with the towel in it to cover the stick. I keep a bottle of water handy to moisten the thin wooden stick, or the drum won't "talk." Next to the Cuica, I have some home made metallic drums, the coffee can sounds particularly sweet when hit with a glock mallet! I use the Woodblocks and Xylophone extensively in the song "The Ol' Bamboo." Lots of crazy sounds coming from my section, written in to the music are parts for Siren whistle, Bell tree, Mark tree, Vibraslap, Piatti, Cabasa, Tympani, China cymbal, Suspended cymbals, Ratchet and more. The music moves along at a good clip, I have plenty of penciled in notation to move to the next instrument quickly, in advance of the musical passage. This show is "Big action!"
Each time the curtain opens, I enjoy a short vacation.....cell phone gets turned off, my real estate business calls returned during intermission. Some of my finest closed transactions have started from a phone call from my favorite "office" in the pit! Real estate and music go together quite well.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! has been running for two weeks already, Jan. 20 at 7:00 PM and, 21st at 2:00 and 7:00 will be final shows. Get a ticket before it's too late!
Cost of tickets for adults is only $15.00 per seat. Call 541-265-ARTS(2787) for more information about this, and many other shows at the Newport Performing Arts Center.
We are very lucky to have so many fun things to do in Newport, Oregon! After the show, I suggest you take a walk down to Nye Beach and meet friends for a late supper at Nana's Irish Pub. Personally, I will order Nana's steak and kidney pie to celebrate a great show. After supper, a spectacular moonlight stroll on the beach is recommended, umbrella in hand, just in case!