saxikath: (theater)
[ profile] mwerble reminds me that I should tell you all when and where the performances are.

The Belmont Dramatic Club presents
A Murder Is Announced
by Agatha Christie, adapted for the stage by Leslie Darbon
Directed by CherylAnn Welch

December 1, 2, 9 at 8:00 p.m.
December 10 at 3:00 p.m.
Belmont Town Hall, 455 Concord Avenue, Belmont MA (accessible by 74/75 bus from Harvard Square)

Tickets $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and children under 18. You can reserve tickets by mailing a check payable to the Belmont Dramatic Club to Karen Sands, 7 Sherman Street, Belmont MA 02478. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For directions and more information, see Or ask me. :)

(For those for whom these things matter: A gun is fired during the performance. However, the overall tone is light, and it's not dark and heavy and scary. There is little to no off-color language. Probably fine for kids 10 and up, maybe younger if they're mature. It may be kind of long for little kids, though.)
saxikath: (help)
So, A Murder Is Announced is having a set build/put-in sort of thing this Saturday. If we get everything done, we won't have to have one the following Saturday, which would make all of us happy. If anyone is interested in helping out, we would love you forever.

Things start at 9. If you're interested, let me know and I'll get you details.


Sep. 21st, 2006 07:32 pm
saxikath: (theater)
I got cast!!

My part:
Dora "Bunny" Bunner: 45+ year old "dumpy", childish, woman who lives in the manor. She is not very bright, but is often too observant and too direct for social comfort. (from the audition blurbs)

From what I remember of the original novel, anyway, this should be a pretty big part.

...holy crap. I'm going to have lines to memorize...
saxikath: (Default)
The latest issue of the NEGASS newsletter has a quite positive review of the show. [ profile] cats_1981, you especially should see it.

(I could comment on his remarks about the vocals, but I won't...)
saxikath: (Default)
Wow, I'm tired.

Busy weekend, what with the show, and getting ready for my mom to visit.

My show... )

...Pirates... )

...and other stuff. )

Now I suppose I should do some work, except that I don't seem to have any to do yet this morning...
saxikath: (Default)
So, I'm in this Broadway revue. One of my solos is a song called "I Want to Be Bad," from a 1927 musical called Good News. The director's basically left it up to me what to wear.

Bearing in mind my general size, shape, and appearance, and the fact that my mother will be in the audience, any suggestions?
saxikath: (Default)
So, there's this opera company in Boston (a city remarkably lacking in opera, given the rest of its cultural scene), called the Boston Lyric Opera. I'd never been to one of their performances before tonight.

This year, they decided to do two free performances of Bizet's Carmen, outdoors, in English, on a stage set up on the Boston Common (a big park in the middle of the city). Tonight was the first performance, and it was excellent -- some fine voices, mostly local professionals, some of whom I think have promising careers ahead of them (many are young, in opera terms at least). From where we were, it was a good thing they had video screens set up, because you couldn't see the stage too well.

Because there were sixty thousand people there.

No, that's not a typo. They estimated the crowd at 60,000. You expect those numbers for a sports event (except at, say, Fenway Park, which only holds about 35,000), but for opera?

If the weather cooperates tomorrow, I bet there will be even more people there, between word of mouth and what I strongly expect will be very positive media coverage. If you're in Boston, I very much encourage you to go; it's wonderful music, well sung, and a great experience to be part of.

Sixty thousand people. I wonder what the largest audience ever for an opera performance was?


Sep. 13th, 2002 11:07 pm
saxikath: (Default)
I just got back from seeing Assassins as performed by the MIT Musical Theater Guild. The performance was mostly pretty good; as usual with a college show, it was a mixed bag, but there was some good talent up there (including [ profile] thedan, hilariously over the top as Charles Guiteau, lawyer/evangelist/self-promoter/assassin of President Garfield) and some imaginative staging.

I still think Assassins is perhaps the single strangest concept for a musical I've ever heard of. For those not familiar with it, it's a Sondheim show. No real plot, per se, but an examination of the people who have, or have tried to, assassinate US presidents. They talk to each other, and are observed by the Balladeer, who comments on them.

It's an odd show, as you might imagine. It speaks of the people who are disaffected, longing for attention, or determined to be remembered in history, and who see no other way to achieve that than to kill someone.

Sound familiar?

The show has all kinds of interesting resonances in a world of terrorist attacks. The same desperation that impelled a poor worker named Leon Czolgosz to shoot President McKinley may be what motivates the Al Qaeda members and others of the world to turn their sights on the United States and other prosperous nations.

It also touches on the national reaction to events such as this. After the assassination of Garfield (things don't happen chronologically in the show; it begins with Booth's assassination of Lincoln, and ends with Oswald's assassination of Kennedy, and the rest are mixed up), the ensemble sings a song called "Something Just Broke." The people tell where they were when they heard of the assassination -- actually several assassinations, as it ends up covering all the successful assassinations except Kennedy's -- and how they felt on hearing it. I know I can relate to the sensation that something, well, broke, and the world doesn't quite make sense the way you thought it did.

In the end, though, we can hope that the Balladeer has the right of it. In "The Ballad of Booth," he sings,

Listen to the stories, hear it in the songs.
Angry men don't write the rules and guns don't right the wrongs.
Hurts a while but soon the country's back where it belongs.

We can hope.
saxikath: (Default)
Well, so that's that. Another show done with. And very successfully, too. Big, reactive audiences who laughed a lot, and a cast who laughed a lot backstage, too. I'm glad I got to be part of it. Now if my neck would stop being incredibly irritated by either my makeup or the makeup removal process...

Now I have to get ready to go to Colorado next week.

But first, a couple of random tests. )
saxikath: (crystal mysterious buttercup)
Hurrah for opening night! We had a great, lively audience who laughed in all the right places, and in many places I wasn't expecting it. Very satisfying.

And then a bunch of the cast members & others went out for food & drink, and one member of the cast whose acting abilities I admire immensely complimented my performance, which made me happy.

I did it... I went on stage without singing. First time since junior high. Maybe I can do this acting stuff after all. At least in three-minute increments. :)
saxikath: (Default)
Well, huh. I should look at the list of people who list me as a friend more often.

Hi [ profile] palmwiz and [ profile] chanaleh! Two people from completely different pieces of my life, joining the people from various other pieces of my life who have also wound up on LJ. Intriguing thing, this livejournal.

In other news... I used free weights for my arm exercises today instead of the machines, for the first time in a while, and discovered that I now need to use 10-pound weights for biceps curls and triceps extensions. I was at 5 pounds when I started two months ago. Go me.

Semifinal dress rehearsal for the play tonight. Ours is going well. I get to turn into run crew once we're done, and help the people in "The 15-Minute Hamlet" with their quick changes, which is also fun in its way. It does seem a little chaotic, though; five one-acts, each with a different director, and no one person really in charge of the whole operation.

But, someone got my hair to stay up in a quasi-French-twist. Thanks to lots of bobby pins and hairspray. Ooh, crunchy hair!
saxikath: (crystal mysterious buttercup)
Memo to self: Don't iron clothes when it's hot and humid out. Blecch!

I'm ironing because I'm providing my own costume for the play I'm in this weekend. Come check us out!

Non Sequitur: one-act plays, presented by the MIT Community Players. Shows are this coming Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission, $6 for MIT/Wellesley students, and $8 for MIT community members, other students, and seniors.
saxikath: (Default)
Work: Currently back at Publicom (the place I was working on the North Carolina social studies project) for a week. Also have more math problems to write and probably soon a crossword book to do. (Memo to self: remember to bill them for the time & copying costs from getting copies of Boston Globe crosswords for them.)

Finances: Bleah.

Travel: Probably going to Colorado in a couple weeks... need to find out whether Mom is going to give me Little Red (her old car) or not before I make travel plans, since that will determine whether I fly back or drive back.

Theater: Next week is prod week for "Perfect Thing." I have to say, my part is hard on my self-esteem. :) I don't even have a name in the play (though I gave myself one) -- I'm just "Woman" -- and I'm the one of the three women in the show who is most blatantly rejected (and rejectable...) by the hero. Ah well, it's only three minutes. :)

Plus last weekend I participated in an informal reading of W.S. Gilbert's play "Engaged." Very very silly, and you can see germs of (and lines from!) many of the later operas.

Music: Good. Working on some new songs, including some Broadway stuff (a song called "I Want to Be Bad" from a 1920s musical called Good News, and also "The Wages of Sin" from Drood). Thinking about eventually having a recital with the theme of "Bad Girls." Anyone got ideas for good songs, especially classical ones, that could fit that?

State of mind: Enh. Not too bad, but (a) it's hot and humid, which makes me grumpy, and (b) I feel blah. Need a good creative project to shake me up. Improving the "finances" section above would help, too...

And that's the Kath Report. Aren't you thrilled?
saxikath: (Default)
This has been a pretty good day, all told. I didn't get enough done, but:

  • My new bodice for Legends (or anything else I decide to use it for!) came. No pics of me in it yet, but it's this one in forest green. Maybe should've gotten a size up; it's pretty darn snug. I mean, I know they're supposed to be snug, but breathing is good too...

  • I got feedback on the first batch of math problems I wrote for my current freelance project. There were a few little things to fix, but the e-mail began: "Thank you for the terrific manuscript. We are very happy with the items." This makes me happy, especially because they're paying me $30 a page, and a page only has a few problems on it, so it's quick money.

  • I found out I got cast in the MIT Community Players' summer show. This is the first time I've even auditioned for non-musical theater since about ninth grade (well, there was that one SCA play in grad school, but that hardly counted). The show is a set of five short one-acts. I'm playing a small role in one of them. So not a huge thing, but I'm glad to be part of it. And it's a great little play, called "The Perfect Thing," about a guy who wakes up one day to discover that he can say exactly the right thing to get anyone's attention. I know the author from the National Puzzlers' League, which makes it even more fun.

    So now I just need to get some more work done, and it'll be an even better day.
saxikath: (Default)
I've just returned from seeing Michael Frayn's Copenhagen, on tour here in Boston. I'd read the play, and thought it was amazing.

Now that I've seen it, I think so even more.

It's an extraordinary combination of history of science, examination of human morality and conscience, and musing on why we do what we do, and whether we can ever really understand ourselves. The play has only three characters: Danish physicist Niels Bohr, his wife Margrethe, and German physicist Werner Heisenberg, who was once Bohr's student. Heisenberg was one of the few physicists who remained in Germany after the Nazis came to power.

In 1941, Heisenberg went to visit Bohr in occupied Denmark. They went on a ten-minute walk. Something was said during that time that basically destroyed their friendship. Nobody knows exactly what. It probably concerned atomic research; whether Heisenberg went to warn Bohr that the Germans were developing a bomb, or to tell him they weren't, or to find out if the Americans were -- nobody really knows for sure.

Frayn gives us the three principals, meeting again after death, and trying to address just what happened. That's really only the starting point, though; in the course of trying to determine what happened, they range through their pioneering work in physics, and they apply some of the principles -- less precisely -- to human interactions.

Len Cariou as Bohr was magnificent. He was Bohr; he was "in the skin" of the character to the extent that you forgot he wasn't Bohr. Mariette Hartley as Margrethe and Hank Stratton as Heisenberg were less stunning; they were more obviously acting their characters rather than living in them. Margrethe came across a little stiff, and Heisenberg a little too smarmy, though both were notably better in the second act than the first. (In Hartley's defense, Margrethe has more interesting things to do in the second act.) Still, despite that, they were still extremely interesting to watch, and conveyed the characters well. Plus, they had such great material to work with.

The staging was different from anything I've seen before. There was a round area with three chairs in it, and extending from it a wedge that ran to the single entrance (used only at the beginning and end of the acts). The three actors moved around in ways clearly inspired by the physics under discussion -- lots of "orbiting" around the center of the stage, and shifting positions. The lighting was effective; I heard one person at intermission call it distracting, but I didn't find it so. They had also built a gallery of seats actually on the stage, behind the actors, so the show was done somewhat in the round.

It is by nature a highly cerebral play, one you have to pay close attention to and think about pretty hard, but there are also lighter moments, and some real emotional power as well. In short, if you get a chance, see it. Especially if Cariou is still playing Bohr.
saxikath: (Default)
If any of the cast of Gondoliers are out there reading this, can I just say -- you rock. You so rock.

We had our first full dress rehearsal tonight, and despite the near-catastrophe of having the light board memory get zapped and with it all the light cues (thank goodness our lighting designer still remembered them all and managed to reprogram them in two hours!), the show looks, and (perhaps more importantly from my point of view) sounds awesome. I am so pleased. I am so psyched. (Knock on wood.)

This is the first time I've ever directed anything (okay, I was nominally music director for something once before, but really what I was was the pianist). I got a lot of great talent to work with as a vocal director for this show, but I'm still pleased. Some young singers without a lot of training or experience have improved over the course of rehearsals -- and while the work is all theirs, I can at least hope that something I said or did helped along the way.

It's odd being in the green room before the show/rehearsal with everyone getting into costume and makeup... I've been in a number of shows with this group, so that routine is very familiar -- and now I feel like I'm a bit of an outsider there. I'm not part of that pre-show bustle this time around, and that's weird. Opening night will, I suspect, be weird as well -- all the work, all the effort, and I'm not going to be up there for the payoff. But I will be proud of "my" singers, that I'm sure of.

It's nice to have something to be glad about. I've been kind of drab the past few days, and certainly haven't been getting done any of the myriad things I should be doing. At least I made myself a list before rehearsal tonight, so I can try and be better focused tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, I'm going to exult in my show for a little longer, thankyouverymuch. (And knock on some more wood. I'm not normally superstitious, except when it comes to theater...)


saxikath: (Default)

January 2010

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