Friday, July 31, 2009
Prince Music Theatre
December 2005-Febraury '06
Director: Richard M. Parrison Jr.
Choreographer: Mercedes Ellington
Costume Designer: Mark Mariani
Set Design: Todd Edward Ivin
Richard M. Parrison's Jr. direction, Mercedes Ellington's choreography, and Todd Edward Ivins' simple set design -- enlivened by the frequent use of projections -- get their jobs done efficiently if unremarkably. On a higher level are Mark Mariani's superb costumes -- including a trio of what appears to be vintage Pucci dresses for a 1970s sequence -- which give the show some much needed visual pizzazz.
Mercedes Ellington has done excellent work using period movement to make the production dance. However, the movement is superfluous at times, distracting the viewer from the genius of the musical, and is used as unneeded filler during transitions between certain scenes.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Flint Community Theatre and The New McCree Theatre
Director and Choreographer: Steven J. Mokofsky
Co-Producer: Charles Winfrey
In order to maintain the show's flow, the scenes are set on a huge turntable that revolves to reveal three divided playing areas. It allows for smooth transitions and few breaks in the action.
Director: Kirk Mouser
Set Designer: Janet Mouser
Choreographer: Montana Efaw
Are there problems? Oh, hell yeah. The chintzy set squeezes most of the non-nightclub action into a four-foot alleyway at the front of the stage, and the acting is passable at best and wooden at worst—besides Blackmon and Johnson-Weiss, none of the cast seems comfortable in his or her part once the music stops. But who cares? With singing this good, everything else is parsley.
Janet Mouser's set design is horrendous: Candy-pink steps edged in tinfoil flashing engulf a pit band that's placed smack in the center of the stage, crowding the actors onto the very front edge. Between the terrible design and Mouser's poor use of it, huge amounts of space are wasted while the cast trips over itself on the awkward steps.
Speaking of expectations, it should be noted that as a dramatic vehicle, "Dreamgirls" is a clunker. The writing (both book and songs) is hokey and schematic, a pastiche of Motown's rise and fall blended with some standard-issue romantic melodrama and a handful of stray cliches about the music business, the Civil Rights era and self-actualization. In addition, the acting here isn't seasoned or consistent enough to make the many relationships and their emotional turns feel organic.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Director: Robert Clater
Choreographer: Lesia Kaye
Costume Designer: Theoni Aldredge
Lighting Design: Richard Winkler
If this version doesn't have quite the same visual impact, that's because Robin Wagner's production design has been scaled down considerably. The huge lighting towers that dominated, seemingly re-grouping on their own power, here are reduced to four small pillars moved by the cast. It leaves some scenes looking skimpy; the overall flow no longer the technical marvel it had seemed.
OD Musical Company in association with Vienna Waits Productions
Director: Robert Longbottom
Choreographer: Robert Longbottom and Shane Sparks
Scene Design: Robin Wagner
Costume Design: William Ivey Long
Lighting Design: Ken Billington
Other than a fantastic set and luxurious outfits, the actors and actresses’ performances deserved high praise. Not only was Hong Ji-Min’s acting and singing as Effie powerful, Jung Sun-Ah also showed enough talent to hold her place in the limelight with her glamorous look and outstanding vocals.
But it has a fresh, new look, including a minimalist set that relies on $1.3 million worth of LED lights that can replicate everything from a CBS television studio to glitzy concert halls, and project silhouettes to stunning effect.
Reviews have ranged from glowing to cautiously positive, with the brightness of the LED lights and the cast's trouble hitting the soulful low notes drawing some criticism.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
With the notion that sexually transmitted diseases were easily treatable, much of the maturing post-WW2 baby boom generation experimented with sex without the need for marriage.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Dramaturgy is 'the art or technique of dramatic composition and theatrical representation.' http://www.usq.edu.au/artsworx/schoolresources/fivewomen/dramaturgy.htm
Dramaturgy is the art of dramatic composition and the representation of the main elements of drama on the stage. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&defl=en&q=define:dramaturgy&ei=3G5XSraaCcuWtged-_3dCg&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title