Thursday, February 09, 2006
HNT and a meme
Our MIT production opens tonight after a generally very successful series of technical and dress rehearsals that peaked on Tuesday night with one of those performances where everything falls into place and ignites. Last night was technically flawless but lacked the spark. The cast was tired and began to push a little too hard for energy, something that always leads to fragmentation of focus. M, our director, wisely sent them home as soon as the rehearsal was finished, telling them he'd give notes today before the opening performance rather than keep them up any later than MIT students normally stay up to complete the huge amounts of work they have to do.
Things also improved at the Hernandez Cultural Center where the opera opens on Friday. A local theatrical lighting supply house bailed me out big time by digging deep into their obsolete equipment stock. The Center has an antiquated lighting system over the stage powered by a state of the art control board and, in the middle of everything, three Vari-Lights that sit among the antiques like alien vessels just landed in a Spielberg film.
Fully computerized, Vari-Lights go for $5000 each and contain within themselves a prism that lets you select 120 colors of light and project 80 or so patterns onto the stage. To focus the light you don't have to touch it, merely program it from the board, its motors and controls giving you any shape of light beam, at any angle, to any part of the stage. Vari-Lights can completely change focus, direction and color at a moment's notice. To see them hanging there among corroded lekos and fresnels plugged into circuit connectors that stopped being made 45 years ago is just a little bizarre.
At any rate, Advanced Lighting and Production Services of Randolph, MA supplied me with a hastily improvized adaptor cable with just the right connectors to allow me to rescue the major lighting effect of the opera. As I left the Center for the rehearsal at MIT last night, all was finally in place for Friday night.
Both Mark (Zeitzeuge) and Karl (Adventures in Gastronomy) put out untagged memes lately, inviting anyone to pick them up who wanted to. Here's Mark's:
Four jobs I've had:
1: Macy's New York: two high school summers selling bicycles in sporting goods. Me
in sporting goods! But I sold a lot of bikes.
2. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: painting backgrounds for historic fashion exhibits
3. Capron Lighting and Sound, Needham, MA: designing special events--Papal visit to
Boston; Opening of the JFK Library on Columbia Point; 100th Anniversary of the
Boston Symphony Orchestra; Christmas ornamentation for Boston Common, etc.
4. Total Communications, Needham, MA: Art Director for "Identity Kuwait," a multi-
media image and sound show presented in English at Kuwait's airport and in Arabic
in Kuwait City.
Four places I've lived:
1. New York City, 72nd Street and Broadway in Manhattan--one of the great areas; then
Rego Park in Queens--Siberia.
2. Beach Haven, New Jersey--my one and only job in summer stock
3. Middlebury, Vermont--a lovely little New England college town. Not much to do in
winter if you don't ski, drink heavily of screw faculty wives. I struck out on
4 Boston, in Kenmore Square, near Symphony Hall, in Brighton and now, Roslindale.
Four places I have been on Vacation:
1. New Zealand, North Island
2. Istanbul, Athens, Delphi and the Greek Islands
3. All of Scandinavia except Norway
4. Russia and Ukraine from St. Petersberg to Kiev
Four favorite foods:
1. Home-baked bread
4. Fruit and berries of all kinds
Four TV shows I like to watch:
1. PBS, Great Performances.
2. Will and Grace
3. PBS, English comedies
4. New England Chronicle
I actually don't watch much TV.
Four albums i can't live without:
1. Birgit Nilsson: Songs of Scandinavia
2. Any of the LA Four's jazz albums
3. Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung
4. Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte
Four Movies I can watch over and over:
1. Gladiator (so many skantily dressed, hunky men)
2. The Ten Commandments ("Oh, Moses, Moses"), Samson and Dalilah (any C. B. deMille
3. Ben Hur (for Stephen Boyd's adorable chin dimple if nothing else)
4. Land of the Pharaohs (extremely early Joan Collins, with gay British star Jack
Hawkins--great campy fun)
Hello, my name is Will and I'm a Hollywood costume epic, brain-rotter addict. I stand unashamed. You can also throw in The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Robe, The Silver Chalice, Spartacus, Esther, and all the rest--as long as they have sandals, reasonably godawful dialog, Edith head costumes, and fanciful recreations of ancient architecture.
Four sites I visit daily:
1. Towleroad--essential to know what's going on in gay culture on a daily basis
2. aman yala--good writing, a vivid historical sensibility, and (lately) lovely torso
3. The Rest is Noise: Alex Ross, classical music critic for The New Yorker. Gay,
witty, deep--and cute as all hell
4. Zeitzeuge, among many others on my blog list--people I have come to care about
through their writing.
Four places I'd rather be:
1. Anywhere Fritz is
2. Granada, Spain: 10pm at an outdoor café with tapas and sherry and the whole city
passing by as a swallows swoop and circle overhead
3. Aix-en-Provence, France: 2pm at an outdoor café on the Cours Mirabeau with the
fountains splashing, the dense canopy of trees giving shade from the afternoon
Mediterranean sun, a glass of white wine, a salad and a cheese plate. Do we see
a pattern here?
4. Any good opera house or theater in the world, seeing an opera or play I haven't
yet seen on stage.
Anyone who'd like to take this up, please feel free.
Happy Belated HNT!