Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 25th

Music Man Mania is over in the Duxbury-Thompson household. The costumes are, for the most part, put away, the detritus of ladies picture hats vacuumed up, my spats are back in the drawer and, in general Tommy and I are being fairly sedate and trying to recover after a month of fairly frenzied activity. The show was both an artistic and a financial success and we're still hearing very good things about it from those that saw it. The needs much decision of minimal set worked in its favor and we're going to have to do some other old warhorse shows in a similar vein.

Catching up at work and trying to get everything in order for me to go out of town to Seattle for three weeks this July. Our agenda there is minimal other than R and R and family time so it should be fun. I'd like to get out some into the Cascades or over to the Olympic peninsula to rod around the country a bit. Haven't done that in decades.

Finished the next draft of the script I'm writing for The Seasoned Performers for their tour next year. Currently entitled 'Grimm and Bear It', various fairy tale villain archetypes are thrown out of their stories which does not bode well for any until they band together and overcome. Their necessary role becomes a metaphor for age and experience and hopefully all learn something and sing Kumbayah at the end.

Finally caught up with 'Mrs. Henderson Presents' on DVD with Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins. Great fun. I'm looking towards directing 'Anything Goes' (again) next season and I wonder if we can do some nude tableau vivant with it, or if that might be pushing the envelope just a bit for Birmingham...

Wednesday, June 25th

As promised, some photos from music man. Yeah, I know I'm getting grey and middle aged...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday, June 11th

Much to everyone's relief, 'The Music Man' gelled properly at the last minute into quite a good show. It's well paced, entertaining, visually striking and I haven't heard much negative about it at all (other than the usual beefs with the theatre's sound system - something outside of our control). Frank and Leah are on their came as Harold and Marian and the Birmingham News had nice things to say about them and about yours truly as Mayor Shinn. It is a tough role to screw up. It's so well written.

The decision, necessitated by budget, to go with minimalist set, worked. It leaves the stage open for the huge cast, puts most of the visual interest in the costumes and performers, and the use of the sepia photos evokes the time and place so well that no one is bemoaning the lack of the usual dozen rolling wagons carrying houses and libraries and ice cream sociables. The progression of color in the costumes and the projections in the second act also clarifies some of the themes and keeps the wrap up of the romantic plot, which has been deadly in some productions I've seen, moving right along. Especially as the sepia fades into technicolor during the kiss on the footbridge.

Four more performances to go and we are all psyched and we've got good houses who appreciate the material. We did do a special show this past Monday for a group of at risk kids and chaperones that was, to put it mildly, odd. The kids didn't get it much at first as singin & dancin Americana characters have no bearing on their lives or experience, but they started to get it in the second act and were well with it for the finale, cheering on Winthrop and the band as everyone gets their rewards.

Once the show is over, Tommy and I have to hunker down in house mode again. Recent gullywashers have made several new major leaks evident opened up by the construction and some things will need to be redone. I am not looking forward to it.