Friday, July 30, 2004

More "Ragtime" Reviews

For those of you who care what the critics think, here is:

The San Francisco Examiner Review


The Palo Alto Weekly Review

Both are filled with high praise.

Now why you SHOULD care about good reviews, is that they create positive buzz and a run on the box office!

If you haven't bought your tickets yet, now IS the time!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Metro Review of "Ragtime"

Again, I'll post the link, so if you haven't seen it yet, you won't have any of the plot spoiled for you.

Here it is: The Metro Review

Here's a good excerpts, though:

"...when the three ensembles come together and sing, a thrilling sea of voices, volume and harmony fills the stage."

Thrilling it have to hear it to believe it!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The first of the "Official" reviews

While some may actually value the words of our non-critic audience members more when evaluating a show, the first official review came out in the Alameda Times-Star.

It's a rave, and unlike many reviewers, this one doesn't give away the entire plot in his review. He doesn't really say much at all, except for that the show was incredibly good.

Check it out here:

Alameda Times-Star Review

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

It's a Sister Sledge song backstage!

We Are Family! (Now, tell me I'm not the only one old enough to remember that Sister Sledge sang that song, please!)

This report in from a happy cast member:

"I just wanted to point out that a lot of the actors in this show do double duty.  Two of the actresses that I'm directly indebted to are Dawn Burroughs  and Jessica Carroll.  I have 3 "very quick" quick changes in the first act.  These two ladies are the only reasons that I'm able to get back on stage in time for my next entrances.  Each of the 3 changes involves a complete "strip-down" and "re-dress". Dawn helps me transform from "Harlem Ensemble" to "Matthew Henson" and then to "Jury Member" in Crime of the Century.  Jessica gets me out of my "Jury Member" garb and back into my "Harlem Ensemble" 3 pc suit.  By the way, I never asked them for this help (I have a hard time asking for help,) they both saw me struggling and offered to assist me.  Backstage, we all help each other, cast & crew alike.  We're a great big Family that I'm thankful and proud to be a part of."

Monday, July 26, 2004

Initial Feedback on "Ragtime"

So I'm not the only one who is loving this production.

Check out C. Michael Traw's brief review from his Newsletter, Tales & Tidbits":

"I did catch the final dress of RAGTIME at Foothill College on Thursday last. It was one of the best shows that I have ever seen in the Bay Area and not to be missed. It plays until August 15, so there is plenty of time to catch this wonderful production. All the cast members are exciting to watch and hear and many of our friends are in this production: Stephane Alwyn, Kathy Burch, Joe Colletti, Steve Completo, Bill Ereneta, Brandon Hemmig, Kevin Kirby, Mary Melnick, Jolin Milberg, Ruth E. Mullins, Jennifer Oku, Steve Thannisch, and lots of other very talented people. The production is dedicated to Teresa Patrick whose picture adorns the front cover. She will be definitely be missed but would have been so proud to have been a part of this show. Order your tickets now."

Here are some other excerpts from emails received from "Ragtime" audience members (and some blog readers.)

"C. Michael isn't kidding about "Ragtime" over at Foothill.  Caught the show Saturday, and it's pretty much flawless.  What a great evening of even greater voices.  Not only did the voices blend, but you could Understand Every Word.  Kudo's to the vocal coach, whoever that may be. Congratulations to all who are involved, as well as a big thank you for putting in the time and effort on this one.  It was a joy to behold."

"Don't miss "Ragtime"; it was truly wonderful.  It was the first show in a long time where I jumped up immediately for a standing ovation.  They really performed with their hearts, and it showed.  Jay, Tyler and Kathy did a fantastic job directing them"

""Ragtime" is a MUST SEE!!!!! It is very seldom that a college production has this much talent and quality performances across the board. I have paid 5 times as much to see "professional" shows that were not even half as good as this production of "Ragtime"."

Collective blush everyone!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

My review of "Ragtime"

Well, it's a "Wow!". That's for starters.

This production completely validates my designation of "Ragtime" as one of my Top 5 favorite musicals ever. (If you're curious, right now my others are: Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park, Little Night Music and West Side Story. Sometimes I forget all shows non-Sondheim, though, and replace West Side Story with Into the Woods.)

Anyway, I know that if you haven't seen the show yet, you might not want to see all the spoilers in the review, so I'm simply going to provide a link to it in my personal blog:

Elisa's "Ragtime" Review

If you've seen the show and would like to add you comments in this blog, feel free.

Although I can't imagine this will be an issue, do try NOT to be John Simon, erstwhile New York Magazine reviewer.

(For those of you who never had the shock & dismay of reading him, he loved to talk about women who weren't pretty enough, men who weren't fit enough, considered non-traditional casting worth going out of his way to mock and was generally spiteful and mean-spirited...don't be him.)

Friday, July 23, 2004

A Little Shout-Out to the Crew for Opening Night!

I was at a conference today where one of the speakers said that people get up in the morning and thnk about themselves. Then the second thing they think about is themselves, and so on.

Well, our "Ragtime" family often thinks about peple other than themselves, as evidence by this message I got from our Evelyn Nesbit, Ms. Jessica:

"I was hoping that there was some way that you could highlight the outstanding work that the crew on this show has done. Robbie (Younger Brother) and I were talking yesterday, and he mentioned that he was able to see house set coming in the other night, and it was such a smooth set change that it could make you cry from its beauty. We really appreciate their dedicated work. I also want to give particular notice to Karina, the corset master! Since every other woman in the show has at least three other costumes to deal with, plus a wig, and the boys have even more, I felt like I was intruding to ask someone to use their valuable prep time to help me with my corset. Fortunately, Karina AWESOMELY volunteered. She is an expert corset lacer from her vast experience with them in other shows, and she takes the time to lace me up and let me out of my corset every time, even if that happens to be during one of her (very few) breaks. She is THE BEST!!"

And if you've ever tried to get in or out of a corset yourself, you know it just can't be done. You can only get by with a little help from your friends. Although they don't feel so much like a friend when they're lacing you into the corset (think Scarlet O'Hara...yikes.)


You Don't Think Actors Get Punchy?

A little bird (or should I say a fly on the wall) told me this amusing story from Hell Week:

"This served as my own form of entertainment for a little while yesterday: Backstage, we have several mirrors that are not of, shall we say, the highest quality. I'll be blunt: they are fun house mirrors. Well, yesterday evening I caught Joe Colletti entertaining himself for MINUTES in front of the stage right mirror (which makes you look like you have a really short, squished body and legs and a looooong head - I've sworn never to look in it again) by dancing around and posing and laughing at the way he looked in the mirror! It was quite amusing, to say the least. "

I figured if we're going to swell Joe's head up by talking about his wonderful, heroic, charitable efforts last weekend, we should at least engage in a little fun-making too. Life is about balance, Joe, balance!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

So How Did Our Bike Guy Do?

So you may recall from an earlier entry that one of our cast members wasn't going to be at rehearsal this past weekend, but was going to have a Hell Weekend of a different sort: biking 206 miles in 2 days for charity.

He has reported back on how it went, so let's hear it from Joe Colletti directly:

"I want to let you to know I had a great ride this weekend, and also say Thank You for the encouragement! This ride *really* pushed me to my limit, but I rode every mile, and saw "new country" inside myself as well as outside.

I'm really clear that I didn't do it alone. Even though Sunday was the second day of the ride - and a much hillier day than the first - I truly felt the love my friends and family were sending, and I flew up some of those hills at a pace that surprised me. Thanks again  :) Oh, so if you want to see how I spent Tech Weekend, here's a link to some of the pictures I took along the way.

See you at the theatre!


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

More reports from the "Tech Weekend" Trenches

Here's Tech Weekend from the perspective of the cast (and remember, that weekend is not about them, it's about the production staff.)

On finally getting into your full costume, from Paul, our Tateh, who keeps a closely shorn and clean-shaven look in real life:
"So here's what I have to wear for the show: wool pants, shirt, wool vest, wool coat, wool overcoat, wool cap, wig, beard, moustache ... in July! Oh, and I just found out yesterday that they're also wigging me -- ugh. I was wet by the time we finished the opening number last night, and I wasn't even wearing the wig/moustache/beard."

What, they couldn't they find a nice, immigrant-y seersucker?

On killing time on- and off-stage, from Ray Renati who wins the award for most high-techy actor up there:
"Off-stage I watched "Schindler's List" and "The Two Towers" on a mini-DVD player, along with taking some digital photographs (and napping.) Onstage I played backgammon on my PDA."

OK, I could see "Schindler's List getting you into the oppressed Immigrant frame of mind, but "The Two Towers"?

Speaking of digital photography, Wendell, who does performance photography, estimates he as taken over 1300 pictures of the process of putting "Ragtime" on stage!

One of our Little Boy's, Andrew, actually fell asleep in his bed onstage during Saturday's Tech. I envy that ability to tune out everything around you!

But then again, he's not the only one. Lots of people mentioned trying to catch some sleep. Gregory even tried to master the art of sleeping standing up while they were tech'ing that epic opening number that I've mentioned before. he did not master the art, unfortunately.

But by Monday night everyone agreed that all of the "hellish" tech work over the weekend had paid off, and the show was running like clockwork.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Just an ASTOUNDING stat for today

Apparently there are something like 300 light cues in Act I ALONE!

We keep calling the show epic and sweeping, as it covers the stories of several different lives and groups of people.

And to keep track of all those different people and places, sometimes lighting helps define the space, the place, the time.

Apparently it does that 300 times in Act I.

For those of you who don't do much or any theatre...that's a LOT.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Changing Cultural Standards of Beauty

Pretty deep title, huh?

Actually, while watching a rehearsal the other day I was struck by the character of Evelyn Nesbit.

She is referred to in the show (and was regarded in her day) as "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World."

There is a picture of the real Evelyn painted on the set of "Ragtime." Here it is, albeit a little blurry:

Notice she is, well zaftig, for one thing. But also, her features just don't fit today's standards of beauty.

Yet, our Evelyn is a slender, willowy gal, much more in keeping with today's standards of beauty. here's a shot (and a much nicer one) of here:

This is a common consideration when producing shows, not just historical ones even. How do you accommodate what the reality may have been in the time the play was originally produced vs. what today's audiences can commonly accept?

Here's a different example.

Have you ever watched a play set in some foreign country where the characters are speaking in British accents? Not only that, but you've got the more upper class characters represented by clipped, veddy-veddy-upper class British accents, while the working class characters use a Cockney dialect.

Well, it's a convention that stretches the bounds of realism, but the audience can easily assimilate it, so it's a common tactic.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Checking Back with Foothill Stalwart Doug

A while back I was having an email exchange with FMT stalwart Doug (he of the 10th summer show in a row.)

I was asking him what part of the rehearsal process he liked the most.

Some people love the early rehearsal period, when everything is an experiment and nothing is nailed down. I'm one of those who would love to show up at half hour on Opening Night and be ready to go.

Doug seems to fall more on my end of the spectrum, as you can tell from this comment:

"Ordinarily I am one of those people who would prefer to be cast in the show and then "see you Opening Night!", but grudgingly acknowledges that since none of us can blink our eyes or twitch our nose and magically have a production, we have to rehearse. In a few shows, I thoroughly enjoy the rehearsal process, and "Ragtime" seems to be one of those shows. When you have assembled a cast where everyone is really on the same page and ready to roll up their sleeves and work to produce a top-quality production, it's a pleasure to be in rehearsal. That's what rehearsals have been like this time. We all seem to be having a good time while putting in the work and effort- at least at this point! Check back with me during Hell Week...!"

OK, Doug: it's Hell Week!

I'm checking back...still so perky? ;)

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Welcome To a Good Old Theatre Tradition: Hell Week

So I mentioned in my last post that Hell Week was coming. And now it's here, kicked off with Tech Weekend (or Hell Weekend, if you prefer.)

What is this fearsome tradition?

Well at Foothill it starts with two very long days the Saturday and Sunday before Opening Night, and it's the time when the actors just have to let go and let the production design team use them like pieces they might move around on a chess board.

No matter how long and how well a show is rehearsed, when you get to Hell Week it's a whole new ball of wax. No matter that you've been rehearsing on set pieces for a while; no matter that you've been wearing a rehearsal skirt and proper shoes; no matter that you've had a live accompanist throughout...when the set, the lighting, the costumes, the make-up and the orchestra are all added into the's a whole new ball of wax.

And it's new for the designers too. To see their concepts come to life. To see how the actors are really moving around in your costumes. To see how your lighting design really illuminates the live action.

This show is a hugely challenging technical endeavor. Although the cast has been running the show straight through for a surprisingly (to them) long while, there will definitely be a lot of new things going on over the weekend. Some of it will immediately make the cast feel more in character or contribute to the feeling of being in the moment. Some of it will start out as a distraction.

But all of it will be part of the grand audience experience of seeing "Ragtime."

Friday, July 16, 2004

Sleep: Take It When You Can Get It!

Report from the trenches:

Last weekend was a weekend with some long days of rehearsal with a lunch break in the middle. Last saturday after coming back from lunch the cast first did some fine tuning work on music. Then they did some fine tuning work on staging.

At one point it becomes clear we are missing a certain member of the ensemble. At first people wonder: did we accidentally leave her behind at lunch? but no, she definitely was in a group that drove back to the theatre. People are calling out for Miss Missing. No response. The work continues on for another 10 minutes or so.

Then, looking spry and ready-to-go, Miss Missing saunters out of the wings. Turns out she had laid down, just for a second of course, in the wings, and promptly fallen fast asleep (and it must have fast, FAST asleep!)

And mind you, we're not even at HELL weekend yet! (That starts tomorrow...more on that later.)

So, the rest of her fellow ensemble members have devised a plan for Miss Missing. In order to keep track of her, they're going to tie a rope around her waist, just like Tateh and his little girl.

A good idea that demonstrated anew how art infuences our daily lives!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

"Ragtime" Resonates, Part 3: It's the Music!

Back when I was talking to cast members about why "Ragtime" resonates today, Doug Brees made this comment that I found really interesting:

"First of all is the score, because music touches all of us on a hidden level, and the score for this show is really magnificent."

This took me back to my college days. I was originally going to be a Music major, but discovered pretty early on that it's actually a tough major...and very mathematical. They obviously make you take a full year of theory in your Freshman year for a reason. All the weaklings like me drop out and become theatre majors :)

Anyway, I did remain a Music minor, and continued to take theory-ish classes, including Orchestration. And we had lots of discussion in that class about music and why it evokes emotional responses. It's not so hidden, really. Part of it is that music is actually experienced on a physical level. Music is sound is vibration in the air and in your ears. Different pitches vibrate differently. (I know, I sound really academic, huh?)

All you have to do is listen to Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" (used to incredible effect in the movie "Platoon") or, for a wildly different example, listen to the climax of Prince's song, "Purple Rain." I challenge you to listen to either example without feeling a pretty visceral response.

"Ragtime" has a score full of such moments. Not only searing, heartbreaking moments, but joyful, hopeful moments.

They're probably studying the Act I Finale in an Orchestration class somewhere right now.

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Stage is Alive...

...with the Sound of Dialects!

Because "Ragtime" explores the American experience of so many different groups of characters, you have a real melting pot onstage. And that is not just a visual observation. You can hear the melting pot.

And a dialect coach is helping with that.

Just as an example, Harry Houdini is Hungarian; Tateh is Latvian and Emma Goldman is from a German province within Russia (with a strong influence from the Yiddish dialect!)

Reminds me of my grandmother, who was born in Czechoslovakia, but in a portion of it known as the Sudetanland, which was traded back and forth with Germany. So, although she did speak Czech her first tongue was German.

What is interesting about watching these three characters on stage, is that they really do sound distinct and different. It's so easy to fall into the stereotypical Eastern European Jewish sound, but investing in dialect coaching is helping this production of "Ragtime" transcend such stereotypes.

As Requested: Show Time Details

Although it can be found in an earlier blog entry, I think it's time to re-post when the show is actually playing.

We are now 11 days from Opening Night.

The Opening weekend is Friday July 23rd and Saturday the 24th at 8pm, with a Sunday matinee on the 25th at 2:30pm.

There are three subsequent weekends that run:

Thursday-Saturday at 8PM
Sunday at 2:30PM

So, the show closes on Sunday August 15th.

The ticket prices range from $10 for Children (no discount code available for them) to $24 for Adults. The $2 discount is good for Adult (orig. $24), Senior (orig. $22) and Student (orig. $18) level ticket purchases.

Here's a link to the official "Ragtime" site with a calendar of show times, if you like pictures better than words!

Ragtime's official site

Don't forget you must enter the promo code BLOG in the appropriate box. The link in the right hand bar of this blog works, and here it is again:

Foothill's Ragtime tickets via Ticket Web

See you there.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Speaking of Costumes etc...

Some moments really only work when you see them as part of the finished product.

Early on in the show Father, a wealthy WASPy business man, and part-time explorer, sets off with Admiral Perry to go to the North Pole. There is a farewell scene between him and Mother on the deck of the ship.

And after their final goodbye Father's ship glides off-stage, while stirring music rises in the air, and he calls out "God Bless. God Bless America. God Bless each and every one of us!!" It's a noble moment.

Imagine that the ship still looks pretty much like a platform, being wheeled off by stagehands. Imagine no stirring music. And imagine gallant, valiant Father dressed in shorts and a t-shirt.

Imagine the cast being amused, rather than moved.

You do kind of expect Tiny Tim to show up.

I'm thinking this is one of those moments that requires costumes, lights and orchestra.

Rehearsal Garb Ain't Exactly Haute Couture

By the time you all see the show, you will see meticulously designed and created (and sometimes rented) costumes that evoke the era, evoke a character. And in some cases have been constructed to accommodate quick changes. Sometimes costumes weigh a lot. Sometimes they are cumbersome. And on the positive side, sometimes costumes make you begin to "feel" more like your character. Nothing like wearing a corset to help you understand the restrained world of the Victorians, as an example.

Well, actors typically don't get to start wearing their real costumes until quite late in the rehearsal process. Two reasons: 1. they're not ready and 2. the costumers don't want them to get dirty, torn, smelly!

To compensate for that, actors start to wear odds and ends in rehearsal to help them approximate what their costume will end up being. What you get is a motley assortment of folks in their idea of "rehearsal clothes."

At first I was observing the women taking it more seriously. Most of them wear rehearsal skirts...none of them period of course...just random colors and patterns and even skirt length and volume. You get to see some pretty precious combinations of t-shirts on top, random un-matching skirts, anklet socks and black, heeled character shoes. A couple of members of the Immigrant Ensemble were more enthusiastic, outfitting themselves in full-on schmattes. And then there was our Evelyn Nesbit, Jessica Carroll, wearing a tank top, dance pants tights...and a corset laced on over it.

At first glance the men seemed to be making few adjustments. Definitely many of them were wearing their own character shoes, rather than tennis shoes, I'm SURE at the urging of choreographer Tyler Risk.

But as rehearsal shifted from initial staging and blocking to actually running portions of the show, the men started donning jackets and hats.

Still, that resulted in some pretty funny combos too...nice boater hat, nice suit jacket, nice black character shoes...with a t-shirt, cargo shorts and athletic socks. You can start your wolf whistles any time.

Looking at our rag-tag cast at this stage, it's hard to imagine the transformation to come. But it always does come.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Lest You Think It Was ALL Tedium

So, my previous entry painted a pretty bleak picture of the "fun" level of yesterday's rehearsal.

Turns out they waited to have the fun until after I went home!

Like this little anecdote fed to me by a secret source:

At one point "Bat Ears" Cathy was reminding the cast about the intonation and sound shaping she had drilled into them. Everyone knew they were supposed to be going for a mature sound, but instead, the sound was more youthful, like a bunch of twenty-somethings.

On hearing a comment about twenty-somethings, quipster Mary Melnick (playing Mother) chimed in:

"I hope that was me!"

Without missing a beat, Ruthe Mullins retorted by quoting back Mary's big number to her: "WE CAN NEVER GO BACK TO BEFORE."

Now, that got the biggest laugh of the night!

(The kind of laugh that is bolstered by knowing that Mary is a youthful woman, so there would be no running off in tears!)

Patience is a Virtue

Good theatre makes it look easy. But the reality is far more, dare I say it, tedious than you could possibly know.

The opening number of "Ragtime" is a ten minute epic that introduces you to every group: the New Rochelle WASPs, the Harlem ensemble and the Immigrant huddled masses, and to each of the individual characters too. Eventually you have all 56 cast members on stage, and the action is dynamic and nearly cinematic. You have the feeling that a camera is zooming in on the group or characters on whom you should focus, then zooming out again and on to the next.

When you come to see "Ragtime". this number will fly by. I remember it vividly from each production of "Ragtime" I've seen.

You will have NO idea what went into creating it.

At some point in the rehearsal process of every big staged number, you have to take a night and cement every single "stage picture". You have to take every moment and make sure the picture, comprised of your cast, is balanced; that people can be seen; that focus is on the right piece of action; that people can get from picture #1 to picture #2 without major traffic jams or falling into the orchestra pit. You don't want flat lines or planes. You don't want it too static. You don't want it to visually messy.

And you've got to do all this with nearly 60 people. And 60 people are pretty hard to keep quiet, and keep from fidgeting. Yet fidgeting will absolutely ruin the point of doing this fine tuning.

And that was the rehearsal I was lucky enough to pop into last night! It reminded me why being in big musicals requires the patience of a saint...on the part of the actors and the director, not to mention the poor musical director...who must have been plaintively thinking, "why oh WHY did I pick tonight to give my rehearsal accompanist as a night off?" as she played the same sets of measure repeatedly.

So, when you see the stunning Opening number, I hope now you will have an appreciation of the hours of effort that go into those minutes of beauty.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"Ragtime" Resonates, Part 2: How Far Have We Come?

"Ragtime" follows threads of stories weaving together characters from different walks of life, the comfortable white upper middle class, the post-slavery, but pre-Civil Rights African-American, and the newly arrived and generally impoverished European immigrant.

Eventually representatives of each of these walks of life become intertwined in the story. And while there is no happy ending for some of the characters, there is an over-arching theme that focuses on the possibility of redemption and tolerance. When talking to the cast about why this show resonates, they bring up not only their past, like Cath in the last entry, but also the present.

From Wayne (our long distance traveler):

I think Ragtime is a mirror of society today. A lot of ethnic groups live in certain areas were they can be with people who look like them and have the same beliefs. Some are for economic reasons some are not. Sarah gets beaten to death as she approach the President. Minorities get abused by the police everyday. There are some areas in the North East, East, South and even in the western United states were African American are not welcome to live. We have a long way to go.

And from Doug (our multi-show mascot):

It is the theme of hope in the face of fear and ignorance. The hope expressed in the immigrants coming to America, the hope of Mother that Coalhouse Jr can grow up and be accepted as an equal by any American, despite the fears and prejudices his parents encounter. Ignorance is a big part of these prejudices, and that holds true today in the face of how some "normal" Americans have been treating fellow citizens of Middle Eastern descent after the 9/11 attacks. "Ragtime" expresses a noble hope that we can overcome such behavior by seeing the person inside the "other" group. This can only be accomplished by a personal awakening such as that experienced by Mother.

Coincidentally, I was talking today about musical theatre vs. "straight" theatre with a new acquaintance, and he stated the common belief that musicals are "less serious" or "lighter" than non-musicals. "Ragtime" is an example of how musicals can reach out and deal with serious issues too, and probably reach a wider audience with their message than "straight" plays ever do.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

"Ragtime" Resonates, Part 1: Remembering Our Past

Most classic theatre pieces touch on what they call "timeless" themes.

Sometimes the themes are a little buried. For example, "Sweeney Todd" seems to be about two amoral murderers, but really it's about loss: lost love, lost innocence, and mostly how loss can corrupt even a righteous soul.

"Ragtime" wears its timelessness somewhat on its sleeve, yet every person involved with the show beings their own experiences to the stage, finding the personal in even the most grand, over-arching themes.

Take Cath Sheldon, our 'Emma Goldman.' I've known Cath for years, and Foothill has known her even longer. She's performed here in such roles as Desiree in "A Little Night Music", Jenny Diver in "Threepenny Opera" and Mother in "Allegro." (And those are just the shows I've been in with her; she's done countless other roles here.)

But I learned something new about Cath doing this show (in her own words):

"There's a lot of personal resonance for me in this show. My Mom grew up in a mixed neighborhood in Brooklyn, and both her parents were the children of immigrants who had hard times (my grandfather was in & out of orphanages.) My parents were young Socialists living in a commune in Brooklyn when they first married. My Dad has been a lifelong activist for Civil Rights, so I started life living in the tower of a Brooklyn church where my Dad led a mostly-black congregation, and was steeped throughout my life in the events like the King speeches, freedom marches and, of course, peace rallies. Working on the show is bringing up all kinds of memories."

So, when you're watching Cath inflame the masses with Emma Goldman's stirring proletariat rhetoric, you'll now know she has her own childhood to draw on for inspiration!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Harry Potter at the Turn of the Century?

We have two kids, Andrew & Jake sharing duties as the character of Little Boy.

Come to think of it, it's interesting how the African American characters have names: Sarah & Coalhouse, while the other non-historical principal characters don't: Mother, Younger Brother, Little Boy. Even Tateh is really a form of 'papa' rather than an actual given name.

Anyway, Andrew & Jake have done shows together before and are good buddies. Director Jay Manley is mulling over having the Little Boy character wear glasses. So the two buddies have taken it upon themselves to start wearing glasses during rehearsal.

Only they wear different pairs each time, and each a little bit more wacky than the next. They've worn grown-up reading glasses (lenses poked out of course) poindexters and their favorite, big ol' Harry Potter glasses.

They're just giving the director options. I'm sure that's it!

Online Box Office Up & Running for All Performances

Just a note to let you know Foothill has completed their conversion to using a new box office vendor, TicketWeb.

Remember to use the Promo Code: BLOG to get your $2 off every ticket (except Child seats.)

Click on the link on the right hand side of this page, and from there you will get to the box office where you can read a description of the show and see a list of all the show dates. The show opens July 23rd and runs through August 15th.

Remember, that promo code is BLOG.

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