You Have to Move On/ Il Faut Avancer

sundayparkparis

Theatre du Chatelet, renowned Paris institution headed by Jean-Luc Choplin, recently presented Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s award-winning and heartbreaking SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. Lucky for those of us that weren’t able to hop on a plane to Paris during its run, the production was filmed and broadcast by Mezzo TV. And now, this new version is available to download for free, albeit for a very limited time.

The original Broadway production of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, directed by James Lapine, starring Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, was similarly filmed and quickly became a staple in the collector’s canon. For those of you who haven’t seen any of the original cast, or for those that could always use a refresher, enjoy the two duetting on “Move On.”


In this number, Dot appears to her great grandson (that of her lover George Seurat), also named George, who is struggling with his art

Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be-
Look at all the things you’ve done for me

When Worlds Collide

Next project on the slates is a musical entitled The Pokemusical – which promises to be a ridiculously fun romp as 90′s nostalgia takes the stage. 

Thrilled to begin telling this story to those that knew and loved the Pokemon craze/those that ask Polka-what?

Looks like we’re not the only ones who are fans of the mash-up. Pokemon Fashion blog PokeXFashion slams the world of high fashion into the slightly more animated one as pocket monsters hide surreptitiously behind models or grab the limelight instead.

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Even more at PokeXFashion

READ this line, read THIS line, read this LINE

A young Ian McKellen works through a line from Merchant of Venice in the RSC’s Playing Shakespeare from a few decades past.

The director seen here, John Barton, was asked to write a book about his robust knowledge of the Bard but promptly refused, stating that it was impossible to talk about Shakespeare without having living, breathing actors available to demonstrate the subtleties and poetry of the text. The result is a party full of some the acting greats taking apart classic texts piece by piece and uncovering centuries worth of subtext in the process.

What Are You Afraid of…and Other Tough Questions

See Rock City and Other Destinations is up and running! This show investigates the intersection of expectations and reality, telling human stories across six distinct American landmarks. Posters with central ideas from each of the vignettes below:

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The Most Widely-Known Question in the English Language


From Slings & Arrows, a gem of a show that follows the workings of a fictional Shakespeare festival akin to Stratford’s.

Directors like the fictional Tennant are an actors dream – insightful, brave, and brutally honest. The kind that are able to take usher a well-loved, oft-recited collection of words out of an actor frightened of his own greatness. This shows’ three seasons only get better as they progress and I would highly recommend a watch if you’re in need of a new TV addiction.

How many times have you heard this illustrious speech? What makes it memorable for you?

Look Who’s Here, He’s Still Here

Notes from the composer who revolutionized the musical theatre world by trying to tell honest stories and doing it well. A glance at Mr. Sondheim’s thoughts on a few of his own works.

Inset photos from here, here, and here

On Creating a Monster or a Masterpiece

Every once in a while, a show comes along that prods at you in ways that make the production linger in your mind long after the bows. One such piece is the National Theatre’s version of Frankenstein.

Had the absolute pleasure of catching a screening yesterday and haven’t stopped gushing about it since. The production was immaculate on a number of levels – brilliant direction by Danny Boyle, powerful adaption of the original Mary Shelley text, and some of the best scenic and lighting design I’ve ever seen. But the reason why this show’s now making its second tour in movie theatres after a sold out run over in London is thanks to the two leading men, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who alternate the role of the Creature and the Creator, Dr. Frankenstein, each night.

The play gives rise to the all important question of creation.

The Creature, although a rough piecemeal of a man visually, is an apt and accomplished leaner, quickly gaining a deep understanding of philosophy as well as the foibles of man.  He serves as an example of the possibility inherent in creation, but illustrates that without proper guidance a “work of genius” can take control of its creator. It reminds us of the responsibility each of us have to that which we create – be it children, art, relationships – and offers stark warnings of the result of neglect.

Frankenstein’s experiments with human life also take on new context in our age of biomedical advancements in stem cells and cloning. It subtly highlights the discussions surrounding how we can manifest life through scientific achievement, and asks us again to be accountable for our choices. It seems to suggest that the difference between re-imagining and meddling with human life is in the hands of those creating. To be flippant with our achievements may spell out a precarious future.

We are what we create, and what we create in turn helps to shape us. May you continue to guide all that you create until it is fully formed.

Populism, Yea Yea

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”

- Andrew Jackson

It’s official: our production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson will be hitting the stage this summer. As you guys know, I love it when history is made even more accessible through a good musical, and this show is no exception. Rock heavy and ridiculous, this tongue-in-cheek jaunt through the early 19th century tells the story of the U.S.’s seventh president in an entirely new light.

Why a faux-emo musical about an early American president? Because in case you haven’t heard, this guy was absolutely insane. In perhaps his most ridiculous display of badassery, when a man challenged him to a duel and misfired both of his pistols, Jackson sauntered over and beat the dude senseless with his cane. This valiant display of lunacy earned him the nickname Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson since the (otherwise harmless) cane was carved of hickory.

And because the creatives behind this show aren’t the only ones who understood what a crazy rockstar A.J. was:

Image Sources: Playbill.com and The Smithsonian

A Whole Slew of Angels in America

“In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead.”
― Tony Kushner

Angels, angels everywhere. Ever since Kushner’s acclaimed play burst onto the scene in 1993, it’s taken the theatre world by storm – a tempest kicked up by the wings of hundreds of different iterations of the angel figure. Take a stroll down memory lane and see how a number of different productions imagined this pivotal role:


1993, Original Broadway production

1997, Theater Dortmund

2001, Guilford College

2003, HBO series

2004, American Conservatory Theatre

2010, Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf’s commemoration of Amsterdam’s DeLaMar Theatre’s opening

2010, Signature Theatre

Which version is the most effective? It’s remarkable that despite their physical/design differences, these angels are all relatively close in terms of presentation.

Image Source

The Hipsters Are Coming, The Hipsters Are Coming! How Repackaging Broadway May Be Its Saving Grace

Is this the new face of Broadway marketing? If so, I don’t mind a bit. Faux faded images, main characters walking the street, everyone donning enviable indie-wear – all the makings of a hipster-approved production. And it’s about time we look for ways to show that the Great White Way isn’t only for older and financially privileged audiences.

These gorgeous shots from the new musical Once can be used to entice an entirely different crowd. And if Broadway wants to survive over the next 100 years, that is exactly what it needs to do. Attract younger audiences – they have the power of social media on their side and if they like a piece, they make it known. The generation’s habit of oversharing will be free marketing for the show, and give it the chance to survive in the high-stakes theatrical market.

Of course this photography is informed by the source material, the breakout indie hit with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, and aims to create that same honest and raw feeling as the film.  Now that story gets to come to life in a completely new way on stage.

And as much as I’m not a fan of the “hey-that-was-a-movie-let’s-turn-it-into-a-musical” trend, I have to admit that these images have been nudging me to get to New York and check out the show.



“Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You’ll make it now”

All of these beautiful instagram-esque images from the musical’s official site.

Words, Give Me Words

“In a poet’s pocket you often find the product of an active imagination”

- Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano has been and remains one of my favorite classics of the stage if for nothing else than it rejoices in wit and celebrates words. It places language on a pedestal and dances about it, gloriously flourishing pivotal moments with clever witticisms and elegant romantic passages. It reminds us to vary our vocabulary, to find millions of ways to express a familiar sentiment, to never tire of playing with vernacular, and to find the colors afforded by the combination of brilliantly combined phrases.

And if you weren’t convinced for any reason that Kevin Kline is an incredible actor, I urge you to check out his performance as the tireless poet himself.

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