Other production challenges include mixing and matching the two worlds of the story. The worlds are separated by color: the “real” Hollywood scenes are very colorful, while the colors in the “movie” scenes are muted. But since several characters in each world are played by the same actors, there are additional problems.
“ For example, Jamie Banister plays Bobbi, our torch singer and detective Stone’s true love in the movie. But she also plays Gabby, the writer Stein’s’ wife, who isn’t too pleased with him,” Robison explained. “Costume designer Kitty Grenot had to create costumes that give each character an individual look, but in some cases, an actor has to transform into another character in about four seconds on stage.”
The complex and frenetic rehearsal schedules for a normal musical—the staging, acting and technical rehearsals, the separate rehearsals for orchestra and singers before they come together—were further complicated by the filmed scenes, which meant a movie shoot as well. So actors were rehearsing somewhere every day, and on the film set in the evenings and on weekends.