Tuesday 30 April 2019

More Light in the Piazza

I came across the PBS version of this show. I should say that I haven't viewed the entire show, and it might turn out to be a hoax of some kind, possibly parody. But check out the transition when Clara's mom leaves Fabrizio's parents' place. She takes a few steps. Lights down on the previous scene, up a few steps away. She's arrived at her bed in the hotel, removing her scarf and lighting a smoke. Her steps must be just right, of course, as must the lighting design and costume elements. The result is supple, subtle, beautiful. And man, the woman (Victoria Clark, I think) can sing.
On top of all that, this musical delivers one of the deepest of the poly-lingual moments that matter so much in the arts these days.

Tuesday 16 April 2019

The Light in the Piazza

book by Craig Lucas, music and lyrics by Adam Guettel. It was just warm enough this aft to sit in the park and read this love story set in Florence, 1953. (I know what you're thinking, dear reader: Haven't I gone on about the fact that musicals need their music, not just their script (not to mention staging, lights, set and costume and, above and below all, performance by some beautiful actor/singer/dancer)? But today, script only. The park bench is my piazza, was my thinking.)
I wonder if Lucas and Guettel needed the period setting to give such full rein to love and how it levels us. That's where the story goes. It ends with the wedding, though how we get there . . . well, that's the whole piece.
And, in a play in which both the literal light of old Florence in summer and that familiar but freshly rendered light-as-new-understanding have been played up throughout, imagine this last moment: The last pair of characters (father of the groom, mother of the bride) "join the wedding party as the lights fade."
In the audience, I'm satisfied.

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Next Time I Sat Down at the Piano

Well it went fine, that song demo session I spoke of in the previous post. Some day if I'm brave enough I'll post a link to me singing my song (the flaneur's song, in fact).
I suppose first I'll have to listen to it, which I can't yet bring myself to do.
In the course of preparing for and executing yesterday's session, I learned more about the songs. This is what I love about writing Oak Floors!--the discovery of what movement and voice and music do to text. 
I've been saying for weeks now that as much as I may have accomplished in the work so far, it means nothing until performed.
(A digression: that fact explains why a URegina Theatre teacher's presentation about past work lacks credibility, at least for me. Only the performance matters, not subsequent theorizing, power pointing, video sampling, or academic discussion.)
Continuing in this vein . . .
There can be no finishing of the work until it's put before an audience, which reminds of a point I was trying to make from Andalusia in 2014: flamenco performers and their audience suspended in mutual need. 

Sunday 7 April 2019

Song Demo

I wouldn't write such a title unless I had to produce two song demos tomorrow. By produce, I mean sing (one of them). People who have heard me sing . . . well that's about as many who have heard me speak Swahili. But I'm at the mic tomorrow morning around 10 for "Flaneur's Song," the opening scene of Oak Floors! 
This guy, the flaneur, comes on, calls himself our guide for the journey ahead, and adds that even when we expected someone else--someone of wit, for instance, or artistry or wisdom--"you got me," as the song goes. 
I should be able to sell it well enough. Why I'm doing this is to apply to a Toronto company for a commission to finish the show. They want to hear a couple of samples.
The second sample, in which we meet our Patty, the principle in that "journey" mentioned above, will feature Sarah Bergbusch, the young Regina actor who played Patty in that TicTocTen Short Performance festival piece we did last month.
Why I mention any of this is to say that what I love about creating Oak Floors! why it's such a frickin challenge, is that I'm doing stuff I haven't done before. Like paint the tree and build the truck for TicTocTen. Like learn to play my own music. Like sing.