by Hallie Quinn. @halliequinn_.
BRANSON, MO - Hell was raised on Tuesday morning at the historic Woodpecker Community Theater, where locally-acclaimed Matthew Tyler Ryan Bryan Christopher was given a pair of suspender trousers with no pockets at his Newsies costume fitting.
“Just screw everything I did during rehearsal, right?” grunted Christopher, while practicing different ways to sprint to his position during bows. “I’m playing Jack freaking Kelly, not some random ensemble baritone. Imagine Jeremy Jordan not having pockets in the Broadway run. Laughable! What am I supposed to do with my hands when I’m pondering, flirting, or scheming? No really, tell me?”
We sat down with Newsies director, Christine Sage, to see what her plans were in terms of reblocking with this unprecedented costuming choice.
“I never told him that he would have pockets,” sighed Sage, cleaning off her glasses to avoid disassociating again. “Now, he’s sliding his hands down his thighs where he thought he would have pockets during ‘Santa Fe’, and in every other song…and scene. This is classic Matthew Tyler Ryan Bryan Christopher behavior. Like, he kept ripping off his own shirt in Joseph rehearsals because he had decided that he was going to be shirtless in ‘Close Every Door’, like how Donny Osmond was in the beloved 1999 direct-to-video film version. It’s not like our costume designer would upset him on purpose.”
Costume designer at Woodpecker, Ameera Howe, was happy to clear up any and all rumors of deliberate sabotage.
“No, I definitely did it on purpose,” cackled Howe, squeezing a child’s size newsboy cap on a thirty-six year old. “This is my seventh show here with Matthew Tyler Ryan Bryan Christopher as the lead in the last couple years. When I told him he wouldn’t be shirtless in Joseph, he called me a snaggle-toothed hag and had his mom threaten me on Facebook Messenger. So Newsies comes along, I see him rehearsing with pockets, so I seam-ripped those bitches right off of his costume. Sue me!”
Christopher plans to sue Ameera Howe, and he has uploaded a pitchy cover of Alanis Morisette’s “One Hand in My Pocket” in protest. Woodpecker Community Theatre ensures that they are still a respectable, key part of the growing atmosphere of Branson, changing the lives of one unpaid actor at a time.