The new touring production of Les Miserables is here in Dallas! And I can't go, tickets are the most I have ever seen for a touring show here in Dallas. Tickets range from $70-$250. That is just to much, oh well.
Awhile ago I designed a local production of Les Miserables in a really small theatre. Click here to check it out. Pictured above are the programs from the new Le Miz, this is as close as I will get.
Last night was our Holiday party for the company I work for. It was at a place called Barcadia. You can enjoy your beverage while you play vintage video games such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers, Skee Ball (with real balls not just an app). Or you can play on a huge Connect Four or Jenga board.
Across the street was a bar call Beauty Bar. Inside was like walking into a time machine from the mid 1950's, it looked like a beauty shop. You can sit on vintage hair drying stations and sip your drink while taking in the atmosphere. It reminded me if your aunt had beauty shop in her basement or garage and never got rid of a thing. Anyway, I got a toaster oven that I wanted from my secret
Tonight I have to rework a model for the movie I am working on.
This past year Dallas' Good Morning Texas filmed live at the Wyle Theatre to promote the Dallas Theatre Center's production of It's a Bird! It's a Plane, It's Superman! and I was their to see it. I was also on TV for 2 seconds when the camera panned to the audience during the opening of the show. I am right above the Good Morning Texas logo. Check it out!
Joseph Kesselring the playwright
Joseph Kesselring was a young playwright born in New York City. He completed a total of twelve plays in his lifetime, but the one that made his name famous was Arsenic and Old Lace. This show was produced this past year at The Dallas Theater Center starring Broadway stars, Betty Buckley and Tovah Feldshuh, with jaw dropping scenery by Anna Louizos. In short, the play is about two elderly women poisoning lonely old men, thinking they are doing the world a justice. Along the way you laugh and get caught up in the antics of the crazy Brewster family.
In real life Mr. Kesselring based this story from a serial killer Amy Archer-Gilligan. This crazy lady would soon open up a family business out of her home called the Archer Home for the Elderly and Infirm. What was the weapon of choice to kill her rumored 60+ victims for there fortunes? "Arsenic with a pinch of cyanide" to quote one of the Brewster sisters. Ms. Archer-Gilligan was arrested and tried for murder. In 1924, Archer-Gilligan was declared temporarily insane and was transferred to Connecticut Hospital for the Insane, where she remained until her death in 1962.
You know she kinda looks crazy if you stare at the picture long enough. You are starring at the real life character that inspired the play.
The setting for the live stage show is an old, elegant home in Brooklyn. The set that the Dallas Theater produced was impressive, it looked like they scooped up an old house and placed it on the stage. DTC hired Anna Louizos to come in a create the ornate "murder factory" of the two charming aunts and crazy nephew, Teddy. To see Ms. Louizos' set for this show click here.
Detail is the key to having good looking sets even on a low budget. I have worked on many shows where budget was an issue. If you run out of trim and your funds are low paint it on. You still get the detail and it didn't cost you any extra. That also depends how close the audience is to the stage. I have painted on lots when funds were low. Can you tell from the picture what was painted on to save money? Look below for the answers.
Answer: The floor and the trim going up the side of the stairs were painted on to save money.
Below are pictures of the same scene in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies. The picture on the left was the London that has now closed and the picture to the right is the newly redesigned show that is playing in Austraila. Both are great, however, the picture on the right has much more detail. It is neat to see two designers tackle the same show and then have pictures to compare them by. What do you think? Click on a picture to enlarge.
I meet up with my mentor the other day, we saw a sneak peak at her set that's almost finished being built. This set is in an old building in Dallas, I think it was said that it was the old Ford assembling plant from years ago. What's neat about this building is other people rent out areas now that the plant is closed. Her set will be, once finished built and painted, shipped to the Eismann Center. After the show plays at this theatre it will taken to another theatre, let's say a mini tour. Looks like I am painting on Sunday with a couple of other scenic painters.
Enjoy reading my encounters in and around theatre set design.
"The object of art is to give life a shape" -Shakespeare-