Today in My History

2001:  Apprentice Hermit
2002:  The Numbers Game
2003:  Katie, How COULD You?
2004:  The Eww Factor
2005 Old Friends
2006:  My Life is an Open Book
2007: Rampant Homophobia
2008: The World Keeps On Spinning
2009:  Bri, Paycheck and Grandma

2010:  The Skies the Limit
2011:  Whip Up Something New

2012: Life is Good Again
2013: Performance Anxiety
The Cliffs of Moher
2015: Sunday Stealing

2016: Hero Stuff

Pi in the Sky
2018: Well That Sucked
2019: Pi Day

2020: Sunday Stealing

Theater Reviews
Updated 3/14/21

Books Read in 2021
 Updated 1/13
Murder on the Orpheum Circuit
by Jim Brochu

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(you know how to fix it)

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15 March 2021

I actually reviewed a show this weekend!

The last show I reviewed was almost exactly a year ago, the Davis Musical Theater Company (DMTC), Camelot.  This was a full stage production, but right after it opened, the COVID lock downs happened and theaters everywhere, including Broadway (and probably the West End in London) shut down and there is almost nothing theatrical to see.

I was supposed to do a show I was really looking forward to last month.  It was Love Letters, a show I've never seen, and one which is perfect for a virtual production, since it concerns a couple reading their letters to each other.  It was starring two friends of ours, whom we have watched perform for a very long time.  I knew it was going to be very good.

But as the date approached and the theater still had not sent me a link to their streaming production, I wrote to ask about it and learned that while they had the contract to perform it, the author had not given permission for it to be streamed and so they had to cancel the production.  I was very disappointed (as, I am sure, were lots and lots of other people!)

But there was still DMTC's upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella.  I was worried about that too, since it was the day before it was to be presented and I still had not received any information about how to see it.

Unlike Love Letters, this wasn't going to be available whenever you wanted to see it, but was going to be released at specific times, like a regular production.  (Jeri was disappointed; she was going to buy a ticket so she could watch it, but it would start at 11 p.m. Boston Time!)

I wasn't sure what I was going to get, watching this.  This is what the director says about filming it:

The numbers are recorded each person in front of the green screen at the theater. Then I painstakingly, and I mean painstakingly, take each of the over 200 video files and key out the green screen (which can take from a few minutes to a few hours each!) and place them on my virtual stage.

Stage with green screen

Each actress is filmed alone and then the individual videos are put together
in the computer in front of a projected background on the green screen

In my review, I called director Steve Isaacson the "star" of the show!
He had over 200 videos to work with!

Conversations were done using Zoom.

DMTC has a notoriously small budget, but doing things in front of a green screen enabled them to have the very best looking sets they have ever had in their 35+ year history.

(I particularly liked this shot because not only is the scene beautiful but the two actors are not on the stage together and yet it looks like they are holding hands.)

Was this a perfect production? Definitely not.  There were a couple of downright bad scenes, and because of a computer crash, we didn't get to see Cinderella running down the castle steps at midnight (Photo of the Day) but I recommended it highly for people who are missing theater and for just seeing what can be done technologically.  Actors were very good, sets were wonderful, and when the choreography and singing scenes worked it was amazing.

It was so much fun seeing theater again!



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