a little something extra

Sunday, April 30, 2006

catching randomly up

I was sick for two weeks, and now I'm into the most intense part of my working year, putting on this festival. Blogging fell by the wayside for longer than I'd hoped, and it's probably going to be quite sparse for the next few weeks as well. But, I have a little time today, so I thought I'd put a few words out about what's been going on lately.

The festival is starting well, with the workshop production well into rehearsals and both full productions open. Today, we start rehearsing two of the four readings. Everything culminates this coming Friday through Sunday. The most challenging element of this festival for me is the multiplicity of leadership. My colleague J. and I are at least nominally the co-directors of this festival, but as with all things at my theatre, the Big Boss is still the one making all the decisions. There's also considerable work coming from the production manager and the general manager, so that's now at least five people "at the top," and I feel certain that there are more. It makes for an environment in which everyone knows some key things, but no one person knows all the key things. I used to produce a somewhat similar festival in another state, and in that case I was the person who knew all the key things. So it's challenging for me not to be in charge, and not to know some key things about this festival I feel very responsible for.

The Pacific Chorale is getting ready for another concert, the week after my festival. (God forbid I should have some down time.) We're singing the Brahms Requiem, some hymns with text drawn from the Rig Veda, and a Buddhist prayer in French. It should be a gorgeous concert, but with lots of extra rehearsals stacking up on top of my festival schedule, it's just a little bit of a pain in the butt as well. I'm standing out of the final concert of this season, when the Chorale sings the famous final movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The Pacific Symphony is doing a concert program in which the Ninth figures, so they're bringing Pacific Chorale in to provide the choral parts.

I'm missing that concert because I'm going to work at the New Harmony playwrights festival in Indiana, and the dates overlap such that I'd miss most of the Beethoven rehearsals and two of the three performances. Too bad, because I've never sung the Ninth and it's another one of the standards of choral music (if you know the tune "Joyful, joyful, we adore thee," that's the melody from the Ninth) which I have never sung.

Speaking of choral standards which I have never sung, after 25 years of choral music experience I finally learned the Hallelujah Chorus properly, and sang it as part of the Easter service at the Church of What's Happenin' Now. It is outrageous that I had never sung the Hallelujah Chorus before; how can any choral singer manage to escape it for that long? But somehow, I did. So now I've learned it for real and will never have to noodle my way improvisatorily through another Messiah sing-along. Still, I confess a special fondness for the version of the Hallelujah Chorus that Quincy Jones conducted on this album.

After New Harmony, I'm looking forward to a quick trip to Atlanta for a theatre conference. Then the next project will be finding an apartment in Long Beach and moving there in July, before I go up to work at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. As soon as I get back from that gig, my theatre starts rehearsing for the first play of the coming season.

Happily, I will get one welcome week of vacation, in early July when my parents come to visit. They'll spend a few days with me here in SoCal, and then I'll fly back east with them for the rest of the week. We're all gathering to celebrate my grandfather's 90th birthday, so that will be a good time.

For now, though, I must go get a few more household things done before I go up to work for the first rehearsal of the festival reading for which I'm serving as dramaturg. The reading is being directed by one of my favorites, and I'm very excited about the play, but I have to get the house ready because another friend and colleague who's working on another reading is crashing at my place tonight. Got to go set up the Aerobed. Later!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Here's the L.A. Times review of the play I've worked on most recently at my theatre. It's mixed, but well written and definitely canted towards the positive.

And here's the Orange County Register review. Which is much less well written and much less canted towards the positive.

Here are a couple of other articles about the production and the people involved in it.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

relief ensued

The ibuprofen worked, eventually.

Which is good, because I'm spending this evening watching a preview of the show I'm working on right now. This is the same way I spent yesterday evening, and the same way I will spend tomorrow evening. I go, I watch the show, I give notes to the playwright/director/choreographer. So everybody's happier, including me, if I go in sans headache.

On with the show!

infidelity of ibuprofen

After a week's worth of severely disrupted schedules that affected things as basic as sleeping and eating, I wasn't surprised that today's weather shift from wet to dry has brought on a headache.

I am, however, surprised that the dose of ibuprofen I took an hour ago isn't working.