U-M Musical Theatre Presents Me & My Girl

[Music] Me & My Girl was written in the early 1930’s
and came right out of the spirit, the history, of Music Hall, and played on the West End. It opened in 1937. It was war time and the theatre where Me & My
Girl played was bombed out and they had to keep moving theatres. And Winston Churchill was committed to this
happy, frolicking, beautiful musical to keep the spirit of the people. So, I just love that that is its history and
I think why it’s relevant today in our audience. It’s been such a delight to come in every
day to a happy musical when there’s so much happening in the world. Every year when we choose musicals for the
season, we’re really thinking in terms of a student’s 4-year education. So while a student is here, we want them to
experience a new work, a contemporary rock musical, a golden age musical. So a show like Me & My Girl is one we haven’t
done for a while. It has a lot of roles, and equal for men and
women. Those golden age and earlier shows have great
big dancing and singing ensembles, so it gives opportunities to a lot of students. And it’s a show the kids didn’t know at
all, and they were actually horrified at first – because they didn’t know it. And then after the first reading, [they] said
“oh my gosh, this is really funny, did you know that?” [laughs] It’s like “yeah we read it, we
knew what we were trying to give you.” Now they are in love with it. Being inside of it, they just adore it. [Music]>>My name is Elliot Styles, and I’m playing
Bill Snibson in Me & My Girl. Bill is a guy from East London. He’s cockney, he’s lower class. He is a fruit seller and does odd jobs here
and there just to continue to live his life and to have a good time. He finds out that he indeed is the heir to
an earldom. He is the new Earl of Hereford and he has
to work his way up to being fit and proper to receive the inheritance. Me & My Girl has a ton of physical comedy,
specifically in relation to the props that are used. Specific jokes that the punchline is often
a physical punchline rather than a spoken punchline or a musical punchline. And in order to make that happen, so many
more specific things need to be done. There are moments in the show where I have
to be thinking 30 seconds ahead of myself. There’s a moment when I need to be telling
a joke and reaching into my pocket to grab the punchline of another joke while that joke
is still happening, prepping that with one hand while finishing the joke with another,
and then beginning it. And then by the time I’ve begun that joke,
I need to be planning the next one again. Every joke is stacked. Every next one is already happening before
it’s even seen on stage, which is exhausting.>>Malcolm Tulip has been both our physical
comedy coach as well as dialect coach. So having his support and his infinite knowledge,
and fun in the room, has been just incredible.>>Malcolm was a huge help. He’s a wealth of knowledge with this kind
of thing. Finding how to make each and every joke land
perfectly was so much of Malcolm, and him drilling it and making sure it was perfect. We spent hours and hours and hours and hours
and hours just drilling things and running things and making sure they’re going to
line up perfectly. Being able to have him there was invaluable, and incredible, and exhausting. [laughs]>>I think my favorite part of doing the show
has been seeing the students respond to it. And the students get to know it, and to be
so delighted by it. And to come to learn a style that they haven’t
done, and to see them gain respect for it. You see musical like this and it’s fun and
fluffy, but it takes a lot of technique and work to make it that way.>>It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked on
something, and it’s also the most rewarding anything has ever been. [Music]

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