Monday, July 02, 2007

You say Kakegoe, I say Curtain Call

Just a few little tidbits today:

  • Zachary Pincus-Roth of the New York Times has a very interesting piece on the uniquely American phenomenon of entrance applause. Whilst flattering, the consensus seems to be that it is a hindrance theatrically. While most of the discussion centers around well-known faces prompting applause, The Coast of Utopia is singled out as an example where the set was the cause of the claps:

[...] Billy Crudup and Ethan Hawke did not usually get it when entering amid an ensemble in “The Coast of Utopia.” But the sweeping opening of the first play in the trilogy — when an ocean effect of swirling curtains is transformed into a stage full of serfs — frequently elicited applause. [...]

There is also mention of the Japanese tradition of kakegoe, whereby anything resembling a curtain call is replaced by sporadic shouting at the cast throughout the performance. The Coast of Utopia without a curtain call? Not a happy thought indeed!

  • Cinematical has a (little) more info on Ethan Hawke's directorial debut with Jonathan Marc Sherman's Things We Want:

It's a dark comedy about three brothers who have to deal with the suicides of both their parents. The production will be part of New Group's 2007-08 season, with previews commencing on October 7.

Writer Monika Bartyzel is curious about how he'll handle directing the stage, but has a 'sneaking suspicion that he could whip up some great theater'. Me too.

  • The links are up for BBC Radio 4's broadcasts of Albert's Bridge and Arcadia. They are only available for seven days after broadcast, taking us up to (depending on where you are) 5/6 and 6/7 July respectively. BBC listeners seem to be getting very excited about all the Stoppardian attention; one calling Arcadia 'the best thing Radio 4 has done for ages'. Happy listening!

  • According to All That Chat, Catherine Zuber's Downstage Center interview will be available as streaming audio and podcast from www.americantheatrewing.org beginning Monday afternoon today, July 2.

Three-time Tony Award-winning costume designer Catherine Zuber talks about the process of costume design and the nature of the collaboration between designers and a director; explains how she chooses her projects -- and how many she takes on each year; recounts the challenge of creating 600 costumes for the Lincoln Center Theatre production of The Coast of Utopia; describes the development of the costumes for the multiple incarnations (and changing cast members) of The Light in the Piazza; shares how she made the career transition from photographer to designer; and dispenses some tips to aspiring designers about how to develop their skills.


  • Should your rouble balance be on the high side at the moment, eBay is auctioning a package for the opening night of Rock'n'Roll in New York this Fall. The winner receives two tickets for the performance plus two cast party passes to the post-show shenanigans. The current bid is $985, but all proceeds do go to The Actors' Fund. You have until July 5 to get bidding.

  • Last but not least, a very Happy Birthday to the genius that is Mr Tom Stoppard, who turns 70 tomorrow, July 3, and to the fabulous Billy Crudup, who turns 39 on July 8. S dniom roÅūdenija!

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