Big changes have been sweeping across the globe recently, and the Mask and Wig Club doesn't seem to be immune. As the group gears up for its first show of the year, Around the World in a Daze, the 103-year-old club is getting a new, broadway-like look and a new high-tech feel behind the curtains. The man responsible for most of these changes is the show's director, D.J. Maloney. Maloney, a professional director in New York for 20 years, is doing his first show for Mask and Wig. His debut show with Mask and Wig will be nothing less than a satire on the world. "The modern world has become more international, a global community," said College senior Chris Heisen, the club's undergraduate chair. "After the 250th, we wanted to explore a broader topic." The show's acts range from "I was a Berlin Wallflower," which satirizes Germany reunification, to one warning about the water in Peru. To make the show possible, Maloney brought to Mask and Wig a system that Broadway has used for years. He said that in previous Mask and Wig shows, directors didn't come in with the right attitude, just doing what was needed without trying to make improvements. But, Maloney said, he wanted to "take it very seriously." In past shows, for example, performers would go to their downtown clubhouse, where rehearsals take place, right after classes and just hang around until their turn to practice came. "It took so much time," said College junior Michael Silberman, "last year, I didn't buy my books until the second week of classes. I didn't have the time before." Maloney decided to bring a more structured rehearsal schedule to the club. The cast members now get to the clubhouse only when they're needed, and they know how long they're going to be there. "Rehearsals are much more efficient now," said College junior Al Bingham. Maloney's changes should also be evident from the show itself. "Mask and Wig is going to have a different look," Maloney said. "I'm giving it a hi-tech show." The cast rehearsed the show to a computer-synthesized version of the music. Lightning cues will be used more than before to focus the audience's attention. And people who go to the show won't see the typical burlesque acts, but new, "more professional" ones which are better integrated into the show. According to Wiggers, the changes should be evident from the fact that the show using almost twice as much lightning equipment as past Mask and Wig shows, as well and new props and tricks. "It's going to be nearly impossible [to work all the lighta[," said one of the technical crew members. The director also stressed that the club members' attitude also had a lot to do with the changes. "Their attitude toward their work is superior," Maloney said. "I'd call them gifted amateurs. What I've brought to Mask and Wig is this whole new approach. It was time to give a little fresh air." Cast members agreed that the show will have noticable changes. The new show "will be much more professional, much polished, but retaining the flavor [of past shows[," said Wigger Bingham. "[Maloney] is bringing Mask and Wig to the point where it should be. He believes in us, and we believe in him." "It's something new," said Wharton senior Rob Calleja. "A welcomed change." These changes were probably most helpful in the last week of rehearsals -- better known as Hell Week. This week the cast for the first time rehearsed with the band. The technical crew set up the stage, the props, and the lights, and rehearses the lightning cues with the cast. Maloney said he hoped that what he brought to Mask and Wig would greatly help in the integration of the different parts of the production. It's here where "all the elements come together in one vision," he said. Around the World in a Daze opens tomorrow and will run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 until Spring Break at the Mask and Wig Clubhouse, located at 310 S. Quincy Street. Tickets will be sold on Locust Walk.Comments powered by Disqus
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