Sitzprobe, anyone? Morristown High strikes up the band for upcoming ‘Anything Goes’

Victoria Fanning and Nile Birch, standing, sing 'Friendship' with pit orchestra during MHS rehearsal of 'Anything Goes,' February 2018. Photo by Katelyn Nagy
Victoria Fanning and Nile Birch, standing, sing 'Friendship' with pit orchestra during MHS rehearsal of 'Anything Goes,' February 2018. Photo by Katelyn Nagy
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By Leah Frantz

Showtime for Anything Goes is just around the corner, and you can feel the elation in Morristown High Schools’ theater department.

It’s time for the Sitzprobe, a German word that translates to “seated rehearsal.”

Pit rehearses for 'Anything Goes' at Morristown High, February 2018. Photo by Katelyn Nagy
Pit rehearses for ‘Anything Goes’ at Morristown High, February 2018. Photo by Katelyn Nagy

Originally used in opera and now applicable to musical theater, it’s when the cast and pit rehearse together for the first time.

The actors’ voices combine with the pit’s playing in a quest to create something truly magical.

Anything Goes is a very dance-heavy show, and the Sitzprobe allows the singers and musicians to focus on the music rather than the blocking and dancing.

The event is a professional, yet jubilant, rehearsal; it’s a time when the cast and pit bond as one artistic unit.

“The production is kind of like baking a cake, and the Sitzprobe is the part where you have all those ingredients and you start figuring out how much of one thing you want, and balancing out the others based off of that,” explained junior Logan Lenahan.

Morristown High School performs with a live pit that rehearses weekly. The full 23- member group, which includes violins, guitar and bass, adds professionalism and depth to the show.

The show pieces were composed by Cole Porter in the 1930s and are jazzy classics.

Cast and musicians at 'sitzprobe' rehearsal for 'Anything Goes' at Morristown High, February 2018. Photo by Katelyn Nagy
Cast and musicians at ‘sitzprobe’ rehearsal for ‘Anything Goes’ at Morristown High, February 2018. Photo by Katelyn Nagy

Tap- and jazz dancing tie into the music of Anything Goes.

“Most of the pit also plays in the jazz band, so it’s a nice transition from that to our show,” said David Gallagher, music director and conductor. 

“The tapping presents a fun challenge because the dancing creates a rhythm that needs to line up with the pit. The dancers need to be listening to the pit, but we also need to adjust to them. It adds a really cool extra layer to the music!”

The show runs for four performances only, and aims to leave you smiling, humming, and tapping your feet! Tickets are on sale now at https://mhs.booktix.com/.

SHOW DATES:

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2018, @ 7:00 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 9 @ 7:00 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 10 @ 7:00 PM
SUNDAY, MARCH 11 @ 2:00 PM

Leah Frantz is a member of the Morristown High School class of ’21.

MORE ABOUT ‘ANYTHING GOES’

anything goes poster

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