Sunday, January 27, 2008

The McCarter is a great theatre, as is SOPAC and the audiences could not have been better this last weekend. Two great nights on this magical mystery tour. I am really pleased at the way the show is being received on the road.

I got a comment on the blog asking me if I liked the small size of SOPAC. For me it was great. The "Two and Only", seen in an intimate theater is a great experience for me and the audience. The size of a theater is important mainly to producers. They obviously can make more money in a large theater than a small one. Me, I just like the intimacy of the experience.

I am in New York for a day to fly to Culver, Indiana Monday for a Tuesday show. New York is great. I feel at home here. The energy is unique. I feel more alive than I have for some time.

I normally take the subway but took a couple of cabs today. I got two great stories from some very talkative drivers. I will eventually recount them here some day soon.

In the city I met with my friend Philippe Parreno who directed "Iil Tempo del Postino", the art show I did in Manchester last July. He is in town from Paris talking to the Guggenheim about a couple of new art projects. I am always inspired to be around him. A great mind and very creative person. Someone I am honored to call a friend.

He had pictures for me to sign from "Iil Tempo".i I thought they were 8x 10's. Not so. They were six feet by four feet glossies of my section in the show. The print is mostly black theatrical lighting except for my face exaggerated by the 24 inch magnifying glass I performed behind. I look like a doomed passenger looking out the port hole of the Titanic. It makes an interesting poster.

We signed a dozen or so prints in large white pen. He copied my signature and I copied his super imposed over mine. It creates a very unusual graffiti like scrawl. However, it is a great statement of collaboration. Both signatures become one, him writing my name and me his. What I realized is we were not just signing autographs we were making an art piece. The longer I know Philippe the more I realize that is what his life is all about. Always making art.

We had great fun rolling the prints out on his hotel room floor and trying to forge each others signature. He had reams of paper to practice on, and glossy paper to get used to the feel of the pen. We were like little kids in a kindergarten art class. His french accent makes any thing he says funny to me. We laughed a lot. It was a great experience.

One of the prints is mine and I'm not sure I have a wall large enough to hang it on, but it is definitely a wonderful memento not just of the show, but the fun of signing them.

Only in New York do these things happen. It is why the energy is so great here. I always feel my artistic soul being fed in the City.

As you were,
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I am waiting for my plane to Newark, so I'll take a moment to catch up on my blogging. Writing this with my thumbs on a blackberry in the middle of LAX is tricky so go easy on the critique.

We started this year's tour in Crystal Lake, a bucolic part of Chicago. It was a matinee and evening performance on a hit and run schedule. Pretty much an eighteen hour day at the theatre. We set up, focused, ran some sound, did a cue to cue, set for the matinee. It was back to back performances, then pack up and move on. John Ivy took a picture of the three person crew standing at the stage door the morning we got there. The next day on the drive to the airport we looked at the picture and remarked how long ago it seemed.

The show actually works well scaled down set wise. I do miss the scoop carpet, but that is not an easy load in. The story and all the characters play.

Now we are off to a couple of theaters in New Jersey and a swing through Indiana. I have no confidence in the agents booking this tour. I haven't from the start. It's not my call, yet, but when it is, I'll find an agency that understands this show a little better and where it needs to be booked.

It feels. A lot like the Broadway producers are done with it. My show that is. They won the ultimate Broadway prize, the Tony, and there is really nothing more in it for them. They can make some money, but not enough to get their attention. This is a small show with a single cast and single company.

This is not sour grapes. I just have a different agenda. I want to perform this show in as many theaters and for as many people as I can for as long as I can.

Hopefully we are just getting started.

As you were,


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The largest house in America is located in Asheville, North Carolina, the Biltmore House, built by a Vanderbilt son when he was twenty-seven years old and unmarried. Those of us from the west coast can brag about the Hurst Castle but it can not compare to the Biltmore House build by George Washington Vanderbilt at the turn of the century.  It is an amazing structure.  It is 175,000 square feet of what could only be described as a castle. That is about four acres of space.  It is dwarfed only by the actual property that it sits on which is 185,000 acres. When asked how much the home cost the answer is unknown.  George paid cash and destroyed the receipts because he said it was a person matter, and nobody's business how much it cost. 

It is an amazing property to see. In a house this size it is not just about the number of bedrooms, but the number of servants quarters that are available to accommodate the quests.
There is an indoor swimming pool and a bowling alley down stairs.  There is a pastry kitchen,  roticery kitchen and a regular kitchen, all bigger than the square footage of my own house. 

I suggest that everyone who can come to Asheville, North Carolina visit this incredible exhibit. It was one of the perks to spending a New Years Eve here. The exclusive bed and breakfast we stayed in while here is not to be believed. However, you need to get on a thirty year waiting list.

This was the best New Years that I have ever spent. 
As you were,