Saturday, February 24, 2007

Foothill Alum out in the world: CJ Blankenship

CJ is not just an actor/singer (you might remember him as Curly in Oklahoma! or Tony in West Side Story at Foothill alone) he's also a dancer, and this month he's performing with the Peninsula Ballet Theatre.

The Deets:

Peninsula Ballet Theatre presents A Choreographic Collage
WHEN: March 3 and 4
WHERE: the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
MORE INFO: On Cj's web site here.

Kristopher MacDowell in New Orleans

San Francisco actor, cabaret artist and North bay impressario Kristopher MacDowell is taking is work-in-progress cabaret tribute to Anthony Newley on the road and performing it in New Orleans on March 13th.

The performance got a mention in a longer article about the venue where he's performing in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

So, if you're planning a post-Mardi Gras trip to the Big Easy, check out Kristopher at Le Chat Noir. he's part of a great line-up of cabaret artists performing there. For more info call (504) 581-5812.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My review of AMT SJ's Camelot

Is here.

Fair warning: Not a fan of the piece and never have been. Would be curious to hear from Camelot fans about why they are fans!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Foothill Alum out in the world: Mike Rhone

Pulling this up from the comments in an earlier post:
Mike Rhone (Foothill's Brigadoon, Urinetown, and Annie Get Your Gun) will be playing the Baker in Sunnyvale Community Players' production of Into The Woods. It runs April 20 - May 13. Opposite him as the Baker's Wife will be Karyne Levy (Foothill's Urinetown.)
Ooh, one of my favorite shows!

The rest of the cast list is here, and I think there are a number of other Foothill alums there too, including Hank Lawson (and it looks like his wife and daughter too!)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Foothill Alum out in the world: Jessica Rauum

Last summer's Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, Ms. Jessica Rauum, has a busy spring lined up.

Her next show is A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine at The Willows. I've never actually seen the show, despite it being fairly commonly produced in the area. It plays May 28 - July 1, 2007 up in Concord.

But before she opens in that show she'll be understudying Molly Bell in the role of Mary in TheatreWorks' upcoming production of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. That runs April 4-29. Merrily is a terrific show, despite its lack of Broadway success, with a typically wonderful Sondheim score. It is fairly non-traditional to cast young, slender, ingenue types such as Molly and Jessica as Mary...she's usually cast as the more archetypal, wise-cracking sidekick (read: not slender, not beautiful, not-gonna-get-the-guy) type. I can tell you that either Molly or Jessica will be able to sing the shit out of Mary's material...which is some fun, belty stuff.

So, Jessica's got her hands full. What are the rest of you Foothill-ites up to?

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I know I seem obsessed with Spring Awakening, but...

Here's more on it! Yes, it's a long article on the Apple site about how the entire creative team of Spring Awakening relies on Macs...and how they relied on Apple products throughout the creative and rehearsal process, and in fact during prformances.

Being both a Spring Awakening/Duncan Sheik fan and a born-again Mac fanatic, this hit by hot buttons :)

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

TheatreWorks announces season

Lots of premieres, but only one musical? Am I reading this right?

I missed Caroline or Change both in NY and in SF, so this is a good chance to see it.

And Twelfth Night is always a crowd pleaser. In fact, it was the first TheatreWorks production I ever saw...probably abut 30 years ago. my parents knew the parents of the guy who wrote the music for a somewhat non-traditional production of Twelfth Night, so off we went to see it. At that time TheatreWorks was brand new and performing, if I remember correctly, in what seemed to be a city council building. I was probably pre-teen at the time, and my sole recollection of the staging of the show was that there was this huge, well, beach ball-type thing on stage that the actors (I remember Olivia in particular) leaned against whilst pining for one another.

All in all, like most theatres, TheatreWorks seems to have budget in mind with this season. Even the one musical is a small cast musical. The couple of plays with which I'm familiar from their list are very small ensemble pieces. As my description of their first Twelfth Night indicates, Shakespeare is always nice because you can stage as abstractly or as lavishly as you like. I'm betting they go for austere scenic designs to match the small cast feel for the season.

If I may be so bold as to theorize about why TheatreWorks might behaving to watch their budget pretty carefully, I would theorize thus: TheatreWorks likes to do a lot of premieres and unknown works. That's great, but that attracts a certain kind of more adventurous audience who is in love with theatre itself, not just theatre as one form of entertainment among many. Meanwhile, I don't know about you, but I find TheatreWorks to be fairly expensive among local theatres. It bills itself as professional and charges prices accordingly. If you want to charge that much you may be shutting out some of the very theatre freaks who would love to see all of these premieres, unknown works etc.

I don't think there's any criticism or snobbery inherent in drawing a distinction between niche entertainment and more mass market entertainment. And sometimes I wonder if TheatreWorks isn't trying to sell to one audience, while really only developing a product that appeals to a different audience.

What do you think of my theory?

Here's the entire TheatreWorks season:


The Elephant Man: June 20-July 15

Theophilus North: July 18-Aug. 12

Emma: Aug. 22-Sept. 16

Golda's Balcony: Oct. 3-28

Twelfth Night: Nov. 28-Dec. 23

Third: Jan. 16-Feb. 10

Southern Comforts: March 5-30

Caroline, or Change: April 2-27

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Foothill's Pippin details

Got my Pippin postcard in the mail, which nudged me to publish the performance details here. So here they are:

February 16, 17, 22-24, March 1-3, 8-10 at 8pm;
February 18, 25, March 4 and 11 at 2pm matinees.
Additional matinee Saturday, March 10, 2pm.

In the intimate, 100-seat, Foothill Playhouse.

Ticket Prices:
General Admission: $24
Seniors 65 and over: $22
Students: $16
Children under 12: $10.

Ticket Information: For tickets, phone the Foothill College Box Office: (650) 949-7360, our 24-hour charge "hot line": (650) 949-7414. Or order on line go to TicketWeb.

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