collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
And here are the last three parts of the series I wrote for The Brick's blog.

A big thanks to Jeff Lewonczyk for editing these things for over at that blog, and all at The Brick for their assistance in making these shows happen.

Part 5: On HARRY IN LOVE )



Part 6: On HARRY, Some More )

Part 7: Postscript )

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
Now that the three shows are over, for those who didn't bother to click over and read the seven pieces I wrote about them, Berit, and myself at The Brick's blog, B(rick)log, to promote the shows through that outlet, I might as well reprint the whole series here for your dining and dancing pleasure..

Some of them are pretty long, so I'll put them each behind their own cut, and you can look at them as you please and at your leisure.

Here's the first four - an intro to the company, and pieces about Everything Must Go and Spell:

Part 1: INTRODUCTION )



Part 2: On EVERYTHING MUST GO )

Part 3: On EVERYTHING MUST GO and SPELL )

Part 4: On SPELL )

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
Final post in connection with the three August shows is up at The Brick's blog, B(rick)log.

The post itself is HERE.

Primarily, as mentioned in the previous post here, about influences, and containing several videos from Frank Zappa, Ernie Kovacs, and Negativland, and a mention of Harvey Kurtzman.

Don't play ball.

collisionwork: (spaghetti cat)
The last two nights have contained the penultimate show of Everything Must Go and the antepenultimate show of Spell. Tonight, the penultimate Harry in Love.

(I was friends with a Classics teacher at Northfield Mount Hermon - I never studied Greek or Latin but I was interested in it and we had interesting "language" talks - who was VERY firm, correctly, on the proper use of "penultimate," and the word and its variants have been stuck in my head, to be used far too often, ever since)

Nice houses, in both size and reaction, mostly. Spell is a hard show to get right on both sides of the text - performers and audience - and if you imagine, as I do, the actual "work," what the play is, what we're striving to accomplish, the connection, the communication, as an abstracted straight line with arrows at either end hanging in the air between stage and house, essentially connecting work and auditors, then Wednesday's Spell was a bit more as if that line broke apart and forked off into multiple smaller lines with arrows at the ends of them shooting off at stage and house - some hitting the performers and perceivers, some shooting off around them into walls, ceiling, and everywhere else.

The more I do this, the more it all boils down into purely technical things - the internal, "emotional" stuff will take care of itself, the text will take care of itself, if the rhythm and cadences, pace, focus, diction, projection, intensity, blocking, and light are all given the proper attention.

(and, yes, there's been some snippiness recently from playwrights - appropriately - on some blogs recently about directors using the word "text" when they mean "play," but I often do use "texts" rather than "plays" - not sure what the difference is exactly, but I know it when I see it - Spell and Harry in Love are "plays," EMG and the NECROPOLIS shows are "texts")

Especially focus. Everything else is almost a subset of that. I joke about it in Everything Must Go, but it's all about focus, focus, focus. Too many distractions going on too much of the time these days. Not enough focus. I'm getting old and crotchety here.

(hell, I always was - once I was at breakfast in my boarding school dorm, and the aforementioned Classics teacher, Scot Hicks - who of course had to have been in his mid-20s or so at this time - came in to the cafeteria, saw me, sat down at the table with a big grin on his face, and announced, "Ian, I've figured out what you are! You're a CURMUDGEON!" - I was 17 and I guess it's only gotten worse . . .)

In any case, Harry tonight. I am completely at a point of looking forward to the shows themselves, but dreading everything I have to do around them. I SO don't want to go and put up the Harry set, but . . . well, you gotta do what you gotta do.

I really need to figure out a proper photo call for each show, too.

Meanwhile, this morning, what does the iPod come up with as the first Random Ten from 26,103 tracks?

1. "Come On Down Maryann" - Ohio Express - Bubblegum Classics Vol. 5
2. "When the Record Goes Around" - The Playmates - Playmates Golden Classics
3. "Little Palaces" - Elvis Costello & The Costello Show - King of America
4. "Reject" - Green Day - Nimrod
5. "Watcha Gonna Do?" - The Evil - The Montells/The Evil LP
6. "Fingertips (banjo)" - They Might Be Giants - Apollo 18
7. "It's a Monsters' Holiday" - Buck Owens - (It's a) Monsters' Holiday
8. "Heart of Gold" - Johnny Cash - Unearthed
9. "Johnny Lee's Mood" - John Lee Hooker - Alternative Boogie 1948-1952
10. "Freak Trim (Kim Outs a Big Idea) - The Mothers of Invention - the MOFO project/object

Oh, hey, I got some new cat photos, too - most just from the last half hour, though Berit took this one a few days ago . . .
Moni Hug on Couch

I went around trying to get a good photo of Hooker this morning, but for once, he was pulling the Moni act and not holding still for a moment:
Fuzzy Hooker

And that's the best I could get. I went looking for Moni, figuring she'd be somewhere near the sleeping Berit, which she was, but it was hard to find her . . .
Moni and Berit's Foot

Hey, there she is, on the dirty clothes pile at the end of the bed, just above Berit's foot . . .
Moni on Dirty Clothes

Okay, off to finish the other blog post and get over to The Brick early so I can get the place set up and then actually relax for a while so I'm ready to do the show . . .

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
I've written two posts on Harry in Love: A Manic Vaudeville for The Brick's blog.

Part One is up now, HERE.

Part Two should be up tomorrow morning.

Though these are referred to as the last two there, I actually intend for there to be one more after these - maybe tomorrow afternoon - a final summary one with influential videoclips.

Now, off to tonight's Everything Must Go . . .

Richard Foreman
Reverberation Machines - Foreman
My Head Was a Sledgehammer
Dark Star poster

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
The next installment of my notes on the three shows I have currently up at The Brick is now up at The Brick's blog, HERE.
The Devils - poster
Oliver Reed - The Devils

That is all.

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
Here's the final promo email which I just sent out to the GCW list.

Anyone out there want to be on the mailing list and isn't getting these? Let me know - some of you may be getting them bounced because a) they're sent by BCC; b) they're sent from AOL; c) both of the above.

**********

You're getting this because you are on the GEMINI COLLISIONWORKS/Ian W. Hill/Berit Johnson email list - if you wish to be taken off it, please reply with REMOVE in the subject line.

**********

Oh, and -- if you've seen any of these plays, or plan to, please be aware that all three are registered with

THE NEW YORK INNOVATIVE THEATRE AWARDS
http://www.nyitawards.com/

and 25% of the judging for the awards is based on audience reaction. If you've seen the shows (or once you have seen them) PLEASE go to the site listed above to register and vote for our shows!

**********

ONE WEEKEND LEFT!
SEVEN PERFORMANCES LEFT!

THE TRIO OF GEMINI COLLISIONWORKS PRODUCTIONS AT THE BRICK ARE ALMOST GONE . . .

LAST CHANCE TO SEE . . .



SPELL - postcard front

Spell

a play by Ian W. Hill

" . . . like a wall-sized Brueghel painting, a sight to contemplate."
- Ellen Wernecke, EDGE


ONLY THREE PERFORMANCES LEFT!

Wednesday, August 20 at 8.00 pm
Saturday, August 23 at 4.00 pm
Sunday, August 24 at 8.00 pm

The story of a woman in trouble. Locked inside a cell (which might, or might as well, be her mind), an American woman who has committed a horrible, murderous act for what she considers patriotic reasons, but which she can only vaguely remember, is interrogated by military and medical figures as the voices in her head try to defend or attack her. A meditation on - among other things - whether violence can ever be justified, and if so, what limits are there?

with Olivia Baseman *, Fred Backus, Gavin Starr Kendall, Samantha Mason, Iracel Rivero, Alyssa Simon*, Moira Stone*, Liz Toft, Jeanie Tse, Rasmus Max Wirth, and Rasha Zamamiri.

EVERYTHING MUST GO - postcard front

Everything Must Go (Invisible Republic #2)

a play in dance and speeches by Ian W. Hill

ONLY TWO PERFORMANCES LEFT!

Thursday, August 21 at 8.00 pm
Saturday, August 23 at 8.00 pm

A play in dance and fragmented businesspeak. A day in the life of 11 people working in an advertising agency as they toil on a major new automobile account, interspersed with backbiting, backstabbing, coffee breaks, office romances, motivational lectures, afternoon slumps, and a Mephistophelian boss who has his eye on a beautiful female Faust of an intern. The day is comprised of endless awful business jargon interspersed with outbreaks of the musical-theatre inner life of the characters to a bizarre mix of musical styles and artists from the 1920s to the present

performed and choreographed by Gyda Arber, David Arthur Bachrach*, Becky Byers, Patrick Cann, Maggie Cino, Tory Dube, Sarah Malinda Engelke*, Ian W. Hill, Dina Rose*, Ariana Seigel, and Julia Sun.

HARRY IN LOVE - postcard front

Harry in Love
A Manic Vaudeville


a comedy by Richard Foreman
"In terms of skill and command, Hill and his company are in peak form here. I'm not sure that you'll ever see a Foreman play so successfully and accessibly mounted outside the Ontological Theatre."
- Martin Denton, nytheatre.com


ONLY TWO PERFORMANCES LEFT!

Friday, August 22 at 7.30 pm
Sunday, August 24 at 4.00 pm

Harry Rosenfeld is a big, neurotic, unnerved and unnerving man who believes his wife, Hild a, is planning to cheat on him (and he seems to be right). His response: drug her coffee and keep her knocked out until her paramour goes away. The plan works about as well as should be expected and, over several days, a number of people – the paramour, a doctor, Hilda’s brother, and an "innocent” bystander - are sucked into Harry's manic, snowballing energy as it becomes an eventual avalanche of (hysterically funny) psychosis. Who wrote this crazed farce? Well, before he became known as the writer-director-designer of his groundbreaking and legendary abstract stage spectacles, Richard Foreman was seen as a promising playwright in a more, shall we say, traditional mode, writing “normal” plays with standard structures, characters, settings, and events, unlike those that he was to become known for from 1968 onward.

with Walter Brandes*, Josephine Cashman*, Ian W. Hill, Tom Reid, Ken Simon*, and Darius Stone*.

**********

ALL SHOWS:

designed and directed by Ian W. Hill
assisted by Berit Johnson


at
The Brick
575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
½ a block from the Lorimer stop of the L Train / Metropolitan-Grand stop of the G Train
www.bricktheater.com

All tickets $15.00

Tickets available at the door
or through www.theatermania.com
(212-352-3101 or toll-free: 1-866-811-4111)
Want to see all three shows for the price of two? Preorder them here:
https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/store/122

* Appears Courtesy of Actors Equity Association

**********

hope to see you at the shows, and thanks for your continued support,

Ian W. Hill, arts
Berit Johnson, crafts
Gemini CollisionWorks

Gemini CollisionWorks is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of Gemini CollisionWorks may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/donate/1394

**********

Ian W. Hill/Gemini CollisionWorks online:

blog: http://collisionwork.livejournal.com
images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/geminicollisionworks/
info: http://www.myspace.com/geminicollisionworks
store: http://www.cafepress.com/collisionworks

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
My third entry on The Brick's blog, B(rick)log, concerning some of the inspirations and connections for and between Spell and Everything Must Go, is up, HERE.

Among the influences discussed:

Richard Hamilton - Today's Homes
John Heartfield - Butter

Today, rest. Three more performances of Spell, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday; two more of Everything Must Go, Thursday and Saturday; and two more of Harry in Love, Friday and Sunday.

SPELL - Ann & The Janes

Moira Stone, Fred Backus, and Alyssa Simon in Spell, from the tech booth, a couple of performances ago.

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
So, as part of promoting the shows, I'm writing some pieces about them over at The Brick's appropriately-named blog, B(rick)log.

The first piece is up, a rather long text piece (it has been suggested in future, correctly, that I break these things up with some pictures) about the origins, creations, and meaning of Everything Must Go (Invisible Republic #2).

You can find that specific post HERE.

That is all. Come see the shows if you haven't yet.

EVERYTHING MUST GO - postcard front
EVERYTHING MUST GO - postcard reverse

Five more performances of Everything Must Go.

Four more performances of Harry in Love.

Three more performances of Spell.

collisionwork: (Great Director)
Really good shows of Everything Must Go on Wednesday and Harry in Love last night. Not the most sizable houses for either, but large enough to feel good performing to, and both of them very responsive in all the right ways. Fun and rewarding.

We had the AC off during Harry for the first time last night, and while I have absolutely no way of proving if the sonic reduction affected things for the better or not (we got more laughs, certainly, than ever before but it could have simply been a friendlier house), I know it made my own performance subtler, more shaded, and more responsive to the vibes I felt coming off of the audience, and I felt like I was able to "play" them better. Fun.

Spell is off for this entire weekend (I miss it), so, as I may have mentioned, we're alternating EMG and Harry, which is a strain, as they're both physically demanding shows on me.

When I planned doing these three shows, I was only going to be acting in Harry, but then someone dropped out of EMG and rather than look to strangers in recasting, which I am always far too nervous about, and having no one else I knew appropriate for the part, I took it on myself. Not smart. I'm doing it okay, but I wish I was only acting in one show. I tried to diet and exercise to be more ready for doing both, but, unlike Hamlet last year, where I got it together pretty much as I wanted, I wasn't as ready as I'd hoped for these two. I can pull it off, but I suffer more the rest of the days when I'm not doing it.

Ah, well, just have to keep myself together, at least through this weekend - the next two days I'm looking at doing BOTH shows each day, matinee and evening, plus having to deal with striking and setting up the sets. Oy. Won't be doing anything like this again.

Spell got a nice little notice from Ellen Wernecke online at Edge, which was rewarding to see. Mixed to positive, really, without much in the way of pull quotes, except for this one, which may be my favorite one I've ever got:

" . . . Spell is, like a wall-sized Brueghel painting, a sight to contemplate."

We should be getting another notice for Spell, but really late in the run. I think we've got all we're going to for Harry. No apparent interest in Everything Must Go critically, unfortunately. Damn.

This morning, as I type this, here's the first Random Ten that comes from the 26,103 tracks on the iPod:

1. "You're Everything to Me" - The Orchids - A Taste of Doo Wop Vol.1
2. "Tiny Sick Tears" - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention - You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Volume 4
3. "Damn Good Times" - They Might Be Giants - The Spine
4. "So Come On" - Les Fleur De Lys - Jimmy's Back Pages...The Early Years
5. "She's Looking Good" - Rodger Collins - Soulin' Vol 3
6. "At Night" - The Killjoys - Raw Records - The Punk Singles Collection
7. "Homesick" - Homesick James & Johnny Shines - Chicago Slide Guitar Masters From Tampa Red To Elmore James
8. "Little Boxes" - Teenage Head - Teenage Head
9. "Is Anyone Out There?" - Altered States - Return of the Batcave volume 2
10. "California Dreamin'" - The Mamas & The Papas - Rock Archives - 60's, 70's, 80's

Sorry I have no new cat photos; I can't seem to get the camera and the cable that connects it to the computer in the same place at the same time.

Okay, more paperwork to deal with. Back to it . . .

collisionwork: (prisoner)
One of those mornings of aches and bad thoughts. So it goes. I'll be fine tonight. I have a show. Hope I have an audience.

Went out putting postcards at Fringe venues yesterday, but didn't make it to all of them as planned - I had forgotten why I had decided last year to only ever do it again by car and went on foot instead. Dumb. It's not the walking all over the LES/Village/Tribeca/Lower Manhattan that wears me out, it's the carrying 15 pounds of cards while walking all that distance that does it. And I was carrying more cards over more distance than I had before (in 2005 when I first did this I had just the World Gone Wrong card; last year it was two cards, NECROPOLIS and The Hobo Got Too High; this year, it was three - that did it). I got through a third of the venues (plus just as many non-Fringe theatres in the area), and I'll get the rest by car tomorrow - too much to do today to get set for the next five days and seven performances.

Tomorrow (or tonight), I also have to write my thank-you letters for the Materials for the Arts donors. Can't forget that. And something for The Brick's blog. Oh, and send some photos to The Brooklyn Courier -- I'll do that now . .

Ah, got some breakfast, too, in that little pause . . . feeling much better now.

Still, worried about houses for the shows. But then, I always do. And I have to be reminded that on shows of mine in the past which I remember having great houses for the whole run, my memory is pretty faulty -- whenever I mention the original 2005 World Gone Wrong as always having good crowds, Fred Backus reminds me that about half the shows were actually played to pretty sparse groups - especially felt when the cast numbers 21 people. The box office figures bear Fred's memory out better than mine, for that matter - WGW wasn't an especially expensive show, and, unlike usual, we made a profit from it, but the profit was a bit under $100. Not so great, really.

So, I should expect and bear through the slow middle weeks of a 4-week run to get to the bigger last ones. As with Ambersons, where we wound up having to turn a few people away at the last show.

I was expecting a review of Harry in Time Out New York today, but it's not online yet - don't know about the print edition. Unfortunately, the blurb for all three shows has been changed to include the reviewer's opinion of the production, and it's not good (it also might be all we get, rather than a review, which is fine by me). And unlike the Backstage review which basically says we did a good production of a not-good play, this one says we - well, very specifically I - did a bad production of an okay play. Great.

Not that I care about the opinion, but I care about the potential effect on butts in the seats - not that I think this will turn people away who were planning on coming to see it, but it won't bring any new people, I think. Oh, well.

And another two people died, who I had some kind of brief sharing-of-moments with that brought back memories.

George Furth was an actor and playwright who wrote the books for the Sondheim musicals Company and Merrily We Roll Along and co-wrote the underrated mystery play Getting Away with Murder with him as well. I worked as a tech on the 1994 revival of Merrily, on which both Sondheim and Furth were quite involved and present most of the time, and both of whom were quite friendly with all of us on the cast and crew - I was working for projection designer Wendall K. Harrington, who Sondheim particularly liked, so I got a nice shock at one of my first rehearsals when Sondheim dropped in a couple of scenes into Act One, saw Wendall sitting on my left, smiled and said hi to her, then plopped down in the seat on my right (as Wendall, who knew I was a big Sondheim fan, enjoyed my nervousness for the rest of the Act).

George was even more outgoing and chummy with everyone, and I liked him a lot - a great storyteller and very very funny and cutting while also generous and warm. I wish that I had realized at the time why he seemed so familiar to me - I knew he was also an actor but didn't place him from the many things I had enjoyed him in, especially Blazing Saddles, where he gets some memorable lines as "Van Johnson" ("The fool's going to d-- . . . I mean the SHERIFF's going to DO it!"), but also The Man With Two Brains, Sleeper, Myra Breckinridge and about every damn sitcom of the 70s. I would have loved to have heard his stories about those - and I bet he would have had some good ones and been MORE than willing to share them.

He enjoyed playing with the members of the company as well who were a bit starstruck by being in the presence of *S*T*E*P*H*E*N*S*O*N*D*H*E*I*M* by throwing out examples of especially human and silly behavior by The Great Songwriter, or needling cast members about their overdone attempts to not seem starstruck.

At the opening night party for the show at Sondheim's Turtle Bay townhouse, Furth walked in on a number of us lounging around the "composing room." I was sitting with my date at the grand piano, imagining the composition of all those great songs there, Malcolm Gets was sitting at the immense wooden desk, looking around with wonder at all the boxed original scores on the shelves, and several other actors (I think including Phillip Hoffman) were sitting on the big leather couch. George walked in, sized up the fanboyishness of the room, smiled, and casually said, "Actually, when Steve and I write, he's almost never at the piano - usually I sit at the desk there, and he sits over there on the couch." And EVERYONE on the couch jumped slightly. And George smiled again and walked out, chuckling.

Sweet guy.

I never met Bernie Brillstein, of course, but I saw him speak once, at Jim Henson's funeral service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and he had one of the best lines I've ever heard at a memorial service.

Brillstein had some hard acts to follow: Frank Oz had just given a beautiful remembrance of Henson, telling an incredibly funny (and long) story about his employer (and Oz's eulogy made it clear that Henson was always his employer and collaborator, but they were never really close friends - which was interesting) - then, after he got his laugh, Oz tried to say something else, but suddenly broke down and had to be helped from the podium.

THEN, Big Bird walked out, wearing a black armband, and sang, "It's Not Easy Being Green" in a broken, crying voice.

Okay, so, not a dry eye in the packed Cathedral, right?

Big Bird finished the song by looking up and saying, "Goodbye, Kermit." Now -- people were still wondering at this point if Kermit the Frog would actually outlive Jim Henson, since they seemed inseparable. Of course, Henson had made plans for the continuation of his characters, but no one knew that yet. So, now everyone's crying harder.

Brillstein is introduced, and has to take the podium after all this. He stands there a long time, crying himself (a friend who's a son of one of the Muppet performers said to me later, "My god, you saw a high-powered Hollywood agent CRY!"). Then Brillstein says, finally, in his best "tough agent" voice, "Jim always said, 'don't follow the Bird, nobody can follow the Bird.'"

Which doesn't maybe sound so great, but damn if it wasn't exactly what was needed to release the tension, get a huge laugh, and bring the day back to being one of joyful remembrance. Nice job, Bernie.

Okay, Berit's up and demanding breakfast and laundry duties from me. Off I go . . .

collisionwork: (eraserhead)
Finally, my body is getting the message. Woke me up at exactly 6.00 am this morning, kept me up about a quarter-hour, then let me fall back asleep until 8. About time.

Yesterday, excellent performances of Harry in Love and Spell (not that I don't have notes, but the shows were just great with good energy), and week two of the Gemini CollisionWorks August Trio at The Brick is down.

And Berit & I have two days off. Finally.

Except of course, for making a postcard run to the Fringe NYC venues, and doing some email work on the shows (notes) and the upcoming Clown Festival (technical arrangements). Tomorrow.

Today, we're hunkering down. The original plan was to arrange the day so we don't have to leave the apartment, but I think I have to go out for some groceries. I wanna go get myself a breakfast sammich from Alice & Ben's grocery next door, too.

Tomorrow, we go see The Dark Knight in IMAX. Just 'cause. We almost never see movies in the theatre anymore (when in Maine in Summer we've sometimes gone to a drive-in), so it'll be a nice change (in 2006, we saw INLAND EMPIRE twice in December, and that was it, in 2007, it was No Country for Old Men, also twice, also in December). Until I put on the new Criterion DVD of Mishima a few days ago, we hadn't had the TV on in weeks (and then we watched Vertigo two nights ago). Too much to do with plays to bother with others arts and/or entertainments right now.

But we just want to go somewhere cool and sit in front of a big screen right now and watch Big Things Go 'Splody. Well, I do and B is happy to join me.

We live so much at The Brick, it'll be nice to get away. How much do we live at The Brick? Well, I was amused to look up the space on Google Earth not long ago and see this exterior view . . .

Petey At The Brick on The Google

Yup, that's our good ol' Big Blue Plymouth (and I'm sure David Byrne didn't have a vehicle anything like this in size or form when he wrote the song of that name on The Catherine Wheel, but it's become our car's theme song anyway) - sitting, as usual, in front of The Brick (with our landlord's car that went up in flames right there directly behind us). Quite obviously, given the poster and signboard out front (for those who don't know The Brick, it's the little entranceway behind the tail of Petey) this was obviously taken during last year's Clown Festival, with the old door still on.

Yeah, it's just chance that Petey was there when the Google Car drove by, but it was a damned good chance, I can assure you.

Oh, and as that reminds me, just for fun, inside the cut, two videos: Talking Heads excellently performing Byrne's "Big Blue Plymouth (Eyes Wide Open)" live in England in 1982 - I wish there was more band footage and less artsy stock footage but whatever - and, apropos of nothing, Boris Karloff doing an ad for the Ronson Comet lighter in the late 60s.

Find a dangerous, windy place . . . )



In other news, the damned fine Bernie Mac has passed on, and the MAGNIFICENT Mr. Isaac Hayes has as well. He was the Duke of New York, he was A-Number-One (hey, maybe today's a good day to pull out Escape from New York, and then, by extension, a whole John Carpenter fun-fest!). He was also the artist behind the great Hot Buttered Soul album - which I can't access right now, as I only have it on vinyl - and, of course, he was Chef on South Park.

And he wrote the terrific "Theme from Shaft." Leonard Jacobs, over at his blog, does a great service by posting the entire opening title sequence from Shaft in honor of Mr. Hayes, which is valuable as you can see why Hayes' song was such a GREAT theme song for a movie, even more than just as a song on its own - the rhythms and sounds in that piece accompanying Richard Roundtree in his walk around a freezing cold Times Square (great period view of marquees and theatre posters!) are just beautiful (as is Roundtree's FINE coat). Beautifully shot by noted photographer Gordon Parks (here as director).

Okay, thunder outside - time to run and get the sammich and hunker down with some entertainment for the day. The "DO NOT DISTURB" sign is out.

UPDATE: Oh, right - We'll be posting some thoughts on the creation and meaning of the three current shows at The Brick's aptly-named blog, B(rick)log (and when I say, "we" it really means me but I'm hoping I can convince Berit to give her own point of view in an entry). An introductory note is up now. So that's something else I have to do tomorrow or the next day, write some more of these things . . .

collisionwork: (red room)
Okay, so now that I DON'T have to be getting up at 6.00 am every morning, and I'm trying to relax, get more sleep, and be rested for actually performing the shows, why does my body decide to start getting me up earlier and earlier?

To wit, this morning, at 4.11 am?

And then, just NOT want to go back to sleep?

Well, maybe, like yesterday, I'll get back to sleep for a couple of hours in a little bit.

Yesterday was supposed to be the first double-header day for us in our trio of shows running in rep at The Brick, but only two people showed up for Spell, so we called the show. I hate doing this, no matter how many people are in the audience, but it's a hard show to go through for at least one performer, and when I put it to the cast, some didn't care one way or the other, and several did, in the way of "love the show, but don't want to go through it for two people." The audience was very cool with it and agreed to come back (to the point of saying we could keep their money and they'd definitely be back) and I told them I'd comp in a guest for each of them if them wanted to bring anyone else (Robert Honeywell did this when he called two performances of Greed and it was a nice thing to do).

We had a house for the evening's Everything Must Go, performance #2 - which is going okay, but needs to be more focused and tight in the non-musical number sequences. I wondered, when staging the numbers, if any would get applause afterwards, and was self-conscious about not staging any kind of "button" moments or holds after the numbers to account for any response. We got some clapping last night after "Dry Bones," but no where else, I think. Not sure if there should be clapping encouraged after the songs or not . . . My feeling is mostly "not," but it's always odd to end a big dance number and just . . . move on to talking. Of course, it's not really a musical, it's a play with dances, but it does share some characteristics with musicals -- Gyda Arber solved a structural problem early on by noting that Becky Byers' "I Wish" dance number (as its come to be known in musicals) was placed WAY too late in the show compared to where it would be in a musical, and moving it back fixed a lot of problems (and gave us a light, comedic scene right where we needed one).

Hope people show up today. It's damned depressing calling shows . . . It happens, and probably we'll wind up filling the house repeatedly at the end of the run, but I hate this period in a month's run where you just can't seem to get anyone in. Berit says the original shows are "hard sells." Yeah, probably. Some might say going up against FringeNYC might have something to do with it, but I did as well in Augusts 2005 and 2007 at the same time as The Fringe as I've done any other time - but there I had World Gone Wrong, and noir is an easy sell . . .

So now, here I am, wishing I had more sleep so I can relax before the demanding task of playing Harry Rosenfeld in Harry in Love at 4.00 pm. Maybe in a bit.

So I'm playing around with the iTunes as I reload The Brick's iPod shuffle with songs to play in between shows at The Clown Festival instead of the ones that were on there for The Film Festival. I took a look at the "Top 25 Most Played" playlist, as I do often to see - since we usually play the iTunes on random - what the random iTunes brain likes to play the most. I had thought of posting a list of these "most played" songs last week, but at that point, the list was full of all the songs from the shows that I had to play over and over as I arranged them on CDs and/or edited them into different forms, so it was rather un-random.

Berit must be playing it a lot, as all of those songs are now gone from the list - even Regina Spektor's "Back of a Truck," which has been in the top 5 for over a year since I went through a spate of playing it over and over and over a while back.

Which is how B & I both listen to music at times - we get fixated on one song and then play it over and over and over and over again, many MANY times in a row. Here for example is the list of the 24 most played on our iTunes at the moment (from out of 53,229 tracks), and I'm POSITIVE the top 4, maybe even 5, songs are up there from B playing them on repeat . . .

1. "Candidate (1973 alternate version) - David Bowie - Diamond Dogs - 42 plays
2. "Showtime" - Electric Six - I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me From Being The Master - 38 plays
3. "Carlotta Valdez" - Harvey Danger - Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone? - 32 plays
4. "New Killer Star" - David Bowie - Reality - 28 plays
5. "Cracked Actor" - David Bowie - Aladdin Sane - 25 plays
6. "Starman" - David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - 25 plays
7. "All Together" - The Beau Hunks - The Beau Hunks Play More Little Rascals Music - On to the Show! - 22 plays
8. "Black and White" - Bellevue Cadillac - Swing This, Baby! - 22 plays
9. "Think" - The Siegel-Schwall Band - ...Where We Walked - 22 plays
10. "Bells" - The Beau Hunks - The Beau Hunks Play "Little Rascals" Music - 21 plays
11. "Ah! 'Tis Love" - The Beau Hunks - The Beau Hunks Play "Little Rascals" Music - 21 plays
12. "Dog Song" - The Beau Hunks - The Beau Hunks Play "Little Rascals" Music - 21 plays
13. "Intermezzo" - The Beau Hunks - The Beau Hunks Play More Little Rascals Music - On to the Show! - 21 plays
14. "Life on Mars?" - David Bowie - Hunky Dory - 21 plays
15. "Beloved Movie Star (Billie Wilder Mix) - Stan Ridgway - Holiday in Dirt - 21 plays
16. "Experimental Film" - They Might Be Giants - The Spine - 21 plays
17. "Rajah" - The Beau Hunks - The Beau Hunks Play More Little Rascals Music - On to the Show! - 20 plays
18. "Dial 'O' for Bigelow" - Fred Lane - Car Radio Jerome - 20 plays
19. "Hollywood Swinging" - Kool & The Gang - Wild and Peaceful - 20 plays
20. "I Just Want to Be a Movie Star" - Lester Bangs & The Delinquents - Jook Savages On The Brazos - 20 plays
21. "I'm in Love with a German Film Star" - The Passions - Thirty Thousand Feet Over China - 20 plays
22. "Dinner and a Movie" - Phish - Junta - 20 plays
23. "Hollywood Cat" - Trig Williams - Wowsville! - 20 plays
24. "Love and Death (radio spot) - Woody Allen - 20 plays

Okay, so who's the favorite artist in this household?

No, not The Beau Hunks, those are actually all random. Our Beloved Mister Bowie, as usual, is all over this list.

"Carlotta Valdez" however is the song of the moment, and usually winds up being the first song played in the car on the way home from The Brick each night. It's a musical retelling of Hitchcock's Vertigo, and I've kept meaning to put the film on when we got home for a while. Finally did last night and stayed awake for about 2/3rds of it (not the first 2/3rds either, I was up and down the whole time). Good song - I don't know where the hell I got it from, but I should look into that band some more . . .

Okay, I'm off to deal with box office worker issues and go over Harry lines again before getting some more rest.

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
And the final promo of the three:

SPELL - postcard front
SPELL - postcard reverse

NOW PLAYING -
the second in the trio of August 2008 productions
from Gemini CollisionWorks at The Brick:


The Brick Theater, Inc.
presents
a Gemini CollisionWorks production of

Spell

a new play

written, designed and directed by Ian W. Hill
assisted by Berit Johnson


A meditation on—among other things—whether violence can ever be justified, and if so, what limits are there and where does it end?

An American woman who considers herself a patriot has committed a horrible, murderous, terrorist act on US soil as an act of protest and, she hopes, revolution against the United States Government, which she believes no longer represents the law, people, and Constitution of the USA. She finds herself in a room where she is questioned for days by a man and a woman—who may, in fact be the same person and who could be either a medical doctor or a military general. As she is interrogated, her mind, which may or may not be sane, reinterprets her surroundings into a chorus of voices—witches, revolutionaries, bossmen, old boyfriends, fragments of herself—arguing over the validity of her violent actions while at the same time trying to deny that the monstrous act has ever occurred, or that she could be capable of such a thing, and trying to reveal her beliefs while at the same time keeping her true self a deep secret.

Spell. A play for this time of many frustrating questions with no good answers. A story for those who want to want peace but have violence in their hearts. A patriotic scream. An examination of a serious mental disorder. An incantation. A length of time.

The cast of this production is
Olivia Baseman*, Fred Backus, Gavin Starr Kendall,
Samantha Mason, Iracel Rivero, Alyssa Simon*, Moira Stone*,
Liz Toft, Jeanie Tse, Rasmus Max Wirth, and Rasha Zamamiri


at
The Brick
575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
½ a block from the Lorimer stop of the L Train
or Metropolitan-Grand stop of the G Train
www.bricktheater.com

August 7, 10, 20 and 24 at 8.00 pm
August 9, 23 at 4.00 pm


(ERROR ON POSTCARD ABOVE AND ELSEWHERE:
there is NO August 17 performance of Spell at 4.00 pm,
and there IS an August 9 performance at that time)

approximately 2 hours long (including one intermission)

All tickets $15.00

Tickets available at the door or through theatermania.com
(212-352-3101 or toll-free: 1-866-811-4111)

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
I just realized I never did a proper announcement for the first two shows that have opened here or at the company MySpace . . . so here it is:

HARRY IN LOVE - postcard front
HARRY IN LOVE - postcard reverse

NOW PLAYING! - the first in the trio of August 2008 productions
from Gemini CollisionWorks at The Brick:

The Brick Theater, Inc.
presents
a Gemini CollisionWorks production of

Harry in Love:
A Manic Vaudeville


The return of the 1966 comedy by Richard Foreman

directed by Ian W. Hill
assisted by Berit Johnson


Harry Rosenfeld is a big, neurotic, unnerved and unnerving man who believes his wife, Hilda, is planning to cheat on him (and he seems to be right). His response: drug her coffee and keep her knocked out until her paramour goes away. The plan works about as well as should be expected and, over several days, a number of people – the paramour, a doctor, Hilda’s brother, and an “innocent” bystander - are sucked into Harry's manic, snowballing energy as it becomes an eventual avalanche of (hysterically funny) psychosis.

Who wrote this crazed farce? Well, before he became known as the writer-director-designer of his groundbreaking and legendary abstract stage spectacles, Richard Foreman was seen as a promising playwright in a more, shall we say, traditional mode, writing “normal” plays with standard structures, characters, settings, and events, unlike those that he was to become known for from 1968 onward.

In 1966, he wrote Harry in Love: A Manic Vaudeville, which came very close to having a Broadway run, but due to creative conflicts, didn't make it. This “boulevard comedy” as Foreman calls it (he also compares it, accurately, to the 1960s plays of Murray Schisgal) remained unseen for over 30 years, until Foreman gave it to director/actor Ian W. Hill in 1999, for the third of the No Strings Attached festivals of Foreman’s plays that Hill produced at the Nada spaces on Ludlow Street, where it was done to appreciative audiences and got excellent reviews during its very short run, the only run this obscure work has ever had to date.

Now, Harry in Love is back, with half of the cast of the ’99 production, for a slightly-longer run in a slightly-larger production.

While we’re probably lucky and much better-off to have the Foreman we’ve had, it’s fascinating to see this (extremely funny) play which very well might have meant a very different career for Foreman if it had made in to Broadway. It's not what you probably know from him, but it still sounds like the Richard Foreman anyone would know from his later work – almost any line from this play, out of context, would not sound at all out of place in one of his later, more abstract plays. Really.

The cast of this production is
Walter Brandes*, Josephine Cashman*, Ian W. Hill,
Tom Reid, Ken Simon*, and Darius Stone*


at
The Brick
575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
½ a block from the Lorimer stop of the L Train
or Metropolitan-Grand stop of the G Train
www.bricktheater.com

August 8, 14, 17, and 22 at 7.30 pm
August 10, 16, 24 at 4.00 pm


approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes long (including one intermission)

All tickets $15.00

Tickets available at the door or through theatermania.com
(212-352-3101 or toll-free: 1-866-811-4111)

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

collisionwork: (GCW Seal)
So, Harry in Love: A Manic Vaudeville and Spell have opened and had two shows each. The third Gemini CollisionWorks show for the month of August opens the day after tomorrow. Actually tomorrow, now as I write this.

The postcards are on the way, and will be at The Brick late tomorrow or early the next day.

Here's the card and the promo announcement:

EVERYTHING MUST GO - postcard front
EVERYTHING MUST GO - postcard reverse

Opening TOMORROW, August 6 -
the third and final in the trio of August 2008 productions
from Gemini CollisionWorks at The Brick:

The Brick Theater, Inc.
presents
a Gemini CollisionWorks production of

Everything Must Go

a new play in dance and speeches

created by Ian W. Hill
assisted by Berit Johnson


A play in dance and fragmented businesspeak. A day in the life of 11 people working in an advertising agency as they toil on a major new automobile account, interspersed with backbiting, backstabbing, coffee breaks, office romances, motivational lectures, afternoon slumps, and a Mephistophelian boss who has his eye on a beautiful female Faust of an intern.

The day is comprised of endless awful business jargon interspersed with outbreaks of the musical-theatre inner life of the characters to a bizarre mix of musical styles and artists from the 1920s to the present.

Everything Must Go - subtitled (Invisible Republic #2) - is a constantly shifting dance-theatre piece in which anything that matters must have a price, anyone is corruptible, and everything must go.

Everything Must Go (Invisible Republic #2)
is performed and choreographed by
Gyda Arber, David Arthur Bachrach*, Becky Byers, Patrick Cann,
Maggie Cino, Tory Dube, Sarah Engelke*, Ian W. Hill,
Dina Rose*, Ariana Seigel, and Julia Sun.


at
The Brick
575 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
½ a block from the Lorimer stop of the L Train
or Metropolitan-Grand stop of the G Train
www.bricktheater.com

August 6, 9, 13, 15, 16, 21, and 23 at 8.00 pm
August 17 at 4.00 pm


approximately 95 minutes with no intermission

All tickets $15.00

Tickets available at the door or through theatermania.com
(212-352-3101 or toll-free: 1-866-811-4111)

*appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association

Profile

collisionwork: (Default)
collisionwork

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
1617 1819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 18th, 2017 12:01 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios