We just finished our first week of rehearsal. It has been absolutely fantastic. It’s a lot of fun to discover a new world and new characters with other incredibly talented people.
One of the first things our director, Chase Ramsey, asked for cast members to do was to go through their lines and find ways to update the references their characters make.
What the Bellhop Saw was written in the late 1980s and published in 1990. It is definitely a product of its time. Some of the gags have been seen over and over again, and are just tired. That’s not how a farce should be. It should be fun, constant surprises at a crippling pace. How can that happen when the audience members are rolling their eyes at the stereotypical “Shave and a haircut, two bits” knock-knock joke? References to Robert Goulet (known for playing Lancelot in the premiere of Camelot) and similar celebrities can be totally lost on a modern audience.
When you begin to stage a play, it is very easy to get caught up in stage directions, which details the action performed in the first production of What the Bellhop Saw. Sometimes these directions can become a crutch as directors and actors seek to recreate what is written rather than discovering the action for themselves or trying something new that might be better.
Instead of celebrities from the ’60s, we have inserted references about people who are a bit more contemporary, like Ryan Gosling or Taylor Swift.
It is fun to see a script written almost 30 years ago as a living, breathing thing. It is still capable of connecting to people and inviting them to laugh. It just needs a little facelift (not unlike the one Robert Goulet received). It is really fun to be a part of the brainstorming that will result in an even greater production. We hope our audience will enjoy our updates.