Crazy last few days. Got Merry Mount up and running just fine in the Hawthornicopia at Metropolitan Playhouse. Berit made up the maypole for it on Thursday and Friday before we opened Friday evening (so we had it mostly finished for Thursday night's final rehearsal). It became far more elaborate than I had anticipated - B got into it with her usual prop-making fervor and did something quite grand with it. But it did take two afternoons to make rather than one. We spent Thursday working on it at The Brick, toted it to The Battle Ranch for rehearsal, then kept it overnight in Petey Plymouth (I tell you, I don't know if I'll ever be able to not have a vehicle that can carry something 10' long inside it - it comes in really handy). Then we schlepped it over to Metropolitan Playhouse early afternoon Friday, and B went back to work finishing it in their lobby . . .
(while wearing my 1988 Devo tour shirt - which has been through a lot by now and still holds up!)
We weren't sure if we would need more flowers for the maypole or not, so we didn't get any that morning at the 99-cent store near us that we knew had them. B figured there were places close to the theatre where we could get them if we needed them.
I spent 90 minutes trudging around looking for the fake flowers B needed to finish the maypole (and an hour before that getting the props I had expected to get), finally taking the L train to Williamsburg and getting them there. I was not in a good mood when I returned, and my feet were blistered up pretty good actually (my current shoes seem to be great except for long walks). I was also nervous, as I had expected to have more time to go over my lines -- I had to understudy one of the speaking parts on opening night. So I did what I could with some help supplied by one of the actors in the show, Liz Toft, who works for a certain beverage company . . .
So, fueled by nerves and Red Bull, I did an acceptable job and the show went well. Went even better last night. Two more to go.
I got home from Friday night's show, sighing, thinking "Thank god I can sleep in tomorrow!" Then I remembered - B & I had to tech the new Penny Dreadful episode the next morning at 9.00 am. Oh, great (B wasn't happy either when I reminded her).
So we got up and did that. I didn't get to see the final performance last night, unfortunately (I was still stuck cleaning up after Merry Mount, but I got to see a semi-runthru at tech, and I got a few nice pictures:
Penny and Mister E argue again as director Christiaan Koop takes notes at tech.
I heard it went well last night. I wish I'd been able to light it better - it was okay, but I was really happy with my lighting of the first two episodes, and for this one, as expected, I had to use the lighting plot currently up for Bitch Macbeth, which is great for that show, but not for much else in the radically rearranged Brick at the moment (the seating platforms are gone and a large acting platform is in their place, with the light/sound boards in front of it, and the audience seated in two rows facing each other against the brick walls, with playing area up the middle). I did okay.
If you haven't seen any of the episodes of Penny Dreadful, you can check out the videos and synopses at the link above. It's worth it. I'm looking forward to directing the March episode.
Bitch Macbeth seems to be doing pretty damned well, too - I think the Time Out review helped (as well as nytheatre.com). We were going to see it tonight, but, for various reasons, I think we're going to wait now until next week (hope we can get seats . . .).
I've started doing some research for the graphic design of the postcards for the Gemini CollisionWorks shows coming this year (The Magnificent Ambersons by Orson Welles, Spell, Harry In Love, Invisible Republic) - I want the cards to look like great dust jacket designs from various eras of publishing (Harry should look very 1960s - Catch-22 or Portnoy's Complaint, maybe; Ambersons very 1900s), so I've been reading up on these designs. And as you can see here, Hooker and Moni are helping with the research . . .
I got a call this morning from my mom to tell me that my uncle John, her brother, had died. I hadn't seen or spoken to Johnny in years, for a number of good reasons, but we were close, he, his late brother David, and I, when I was growing up, and I have many fond memories of those times, all of which are seeming to come back today. So, not a cheery day.
I was more unhappy for my grandfather, who has lost both of his sons and a stepson who was very close to him (two in the past year). I talked to him and his wife, Jennie, for a bit earlier, and they're hanging on, but it's not easy, I'm sure.
I haven't thought very well of my uncle for a long time, but, yes, all those memories are coming back today, and I'm glad that those good times seem a lot more vibrant and real to me now than anything that has happened since.
It's much better that way.