The menu includes photo-illustrated sections on Producing the 1997 World Premiere, The World Premiere Performance, and The World Premiere Banquet. We can tell you where to go, and what to expect when you get there, but be advised, all the detailed production notes are posted on the travisedwardpike.com/TEP_GRUMPUSS_LEGACY web pages. When you get there, you'll find photo-illustrated sections on each of the main topics. Taking them in order, Producing the 1997 World Premiere takes you inside the action, when Travis sets out to produce a world premier fundraiser of the sort that more typically, and without the complications inherent in producing a 99-minute motion picture production to be captured during a single performance, in a location only available for that one-night stand, with no allowance for retakes, takes more than a year of preproduction. That said, Travis was particularly qualified to attempt it.
On the big day, Trumpeters of The Life Guards, by permission of Colonel P.S.W. F. Falkner, Commander, Household Cavalry, heralded in the guests. The Cocktail Reception in the Great Hall began at 4:00 PM, with Music by the Angelique String Quartet. Acts I and II of Grumpuss were scheduled to begin at 5:30 PM. Intermission at 6:30 PM (with more refreshments), and at 7:00 PM, Grumpuss Acts III and IV were scheduled, with the Banquet in the Long Library scheduled to start at 8:15 PM. There was Chamber Music by the Angelique String Quartet, the Organ was played by Andrew Patterson, and the Piper was Stephen Duffy, Pipe Major. THe Master of Ceremonies was Raymond P. Huggins, MBE and the Dinner was catered by The Admirable Crichton, with Wonkie Hills as our Event Coordinator. There was no specific time allotted to getting the guests to go home, but the guests began drifting out around 10:00 PM and were probably all out by 10:30 PM or so.
The World Premiere Performance: Someone suggested that since he wrote it, he already knew all the words. Travis countered, "I know all the words, but it's saying them in the proper order that's the tricky part." In fact, Travis had been a rock 'n' roll singer, learned many songs by heart, most from their recordings, and when he sang a song by Fats Domino, mimicked Fats Domino's style and voice. Likewise with Harry Belafonte's songs. It came naturally to Travis who'd spent hours in front of mirrors, studying facial expressions for animated characters, and practicing various character voices for them, so it was only natural to him that if he was going to record Grumpuss, he'd record it in character. He not only learned the words in order, but in the voices he'd assigned to each character, and that allowed him to perform them as recorded, and mentally prepare "business" for the stage presentation, without having to concern himself with which character said the lines, or in what circumstances. He'd already directed his performance when he recorded the epic rhyme. He'd composed a number of music cues for the live performance with his brother, Adam, and David Carr, and inserted them in the copies of the rhyme he gave to each. Unfortunately, so busy with everything else, he never had time to learn when or where to expect them. And when Anna Scott, the fairy queen, on the day before the show, asked him to come by and go over her lines, he realized, he didn't remember what he'd written for her, nor his lines to her. They ran through her lines, and he ad libbed his, and told her not to worry. He knew where it was going, so if she did her lines, while his lines might not be exactly as written, her lines would still work. Praise her for the trouper she is, their dialogue was never a problem. Most of the amusing outtakes seen under the end credits of the DVD, have more to do with missed music cues and late stage entries.
The World Premiere Banquet: After their final bows, Anna and the young ladies hurried off to their dressing rooms to dress for the multi-course celebrity dinner, but Travis was caught up in making sure striking the set, stadium seating, lighting and marquee would all be down and gone by morning. In that, his friend, mentor and director of cinematography Peter Anderson, (who Travis says should also have received an associate producer credit), took that on so Travis, the host, wouldn't be late for dinner! It was a black tie affair, and the Tux from Moss Bros fit like it was tailored for him. Travis was on time for dinner, but before dinner could begin, the still photographers had to get all the publicity photos required at such an elegant and auspicious functions. Fortunately, all notables were brought to Travis and positioned by the photographers. With only 100 dinner guests (the original budget had called for 300), a long dining room table was set up in the Long Library, with Travis facing the entrance, his wife, Judy on his right, his mother, Elsie beside her, and David Carr, next to mother. Actress and film star Lynn Redgrave was seated on Travis' left, and next to her, her mother Lady Redgrave AKA actress Rachel Kemson. Across from Travis, his back to the entrance, sat the Marquis of Blandsford, now Duke of Marlborough, his lady friend on his right and Fairy Queen Anna Scott on his left. Most interesting, Travis kept discovering elements in his story present in Blenheim Palace, and includes several examples in this topic.
Below the photo illustrated topics, are links to Legacy Reviews & Fan Mail; Legacy Awards & Illustrations; and Legacy Talk Radio Interviews, all worthy of exploration, and now part of the legacy for this new Grumpuss 1997 Premiere Performance on DVD!
) Travis Edward Pike, Otherworld Cottage Industries, All Rights Reserved
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