Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Entertainment: Hale Centre Theater - The Scarlet Pimpernel"

Disport, diversion, entertainment - no matter what you call it, at least the latest production at Hale Center Theater fits the description.

As the house lights dimmed, it was obvious that the child size carousel on the focal point of the circular stage was already stage lit; and with the million dollar stage it was easy to make the whole parquet floor, on which it rested, rotate so "Marguerite" could enter and begin her opening sopranic solo.

At the second verse however, just as the music swelled, the entire stage rising (or audience sinking) to reveal a full size duplicate of the carousel complete with Elizabethan costumed riders, signaled that we were in for a "wild ride" (if only the audio didn't drive us out).

I'm happy to report that it was almost like the producers had read my blog. The sound pressure (audio) was set correctly so that it didn't cause our ears to bleed, the actors trusted the wireless mics enough to use normal vocal ranges and even the concession workers showed concern about keeping the lines short. Pretty much nothing else needed much fixing.

None of us had ever seen this play before and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was an extremely well written musical which somehow had here-to-fore been hiding somewhere. [We love it when that happens.] The music was catching and memorable and the plot (a bit dark in places) flowed smoothly and made sense.

The T/Th/S cast that we saw was superb. Broadway quality (trust me I know) leads, believable character interpretations and amazing comedic timing. The costumes were lavish, sets - grand and staging… oh my, the staging…

You can observe a lot just by watching.”
Yogi Berra

There were "cracks" for the hydraulics in the floor that I swear I had never seen them use before. From Bastille dungeon, to estate drawing room, to palace court yard, to French Bistro, to English channel, to remote seacoast town — props and staging were moving up and down and flying around all over the place! Bridges and walkways lunged in from the sides and down from the light bridge. Spiral staircases plunged down from the ceiling and guillotines spewed up from the basement. They even did a "fly around" the room using multi-channel stereo.

If you haven't purchased your season tickets for next year - I hope you have a darn good reason cause you're really missin' out!

Learn A Little More

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots into the air.
“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
“I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
“Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots, and leaves.”

Watch your comma's!


Brandon said...

The website looks good. I see you made an adjustment to control the width, sweet!

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