Archive for theater

Antique Melodramatic Shakespearean Actor Portraits

Posted in antiques, humor, photography, theater with tags , , , on April 28, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

Atlas Obscura Just posted a feature on “gloriously melodramatic” Shakespearean actor portraits dating back over a Century ago.

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Studio portraits were self-promotional tools which often depicted actors in a dramatic pose, against a backdrop of scenery. This may be my favorite I’ve seen (tied with the one above):
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While some of them are humorous, they do serve the purpose of demonstrating an actor is capable of the exaggerated expressions necessary to convey emotion from a stage (or grainy film).
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The male character portraits seem more entertainingly dramatic, but you can see some ladies over at Atlas Obscura too.

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Amy Oestreicher: Gutless and Grateful

Posted in art, medicine, theater with tags , , on March 5, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

This is a bit of a deviation from my typical posts, but story is very close to my heart. I don’t often talk about my chronic illness on this blog, but I’ve been ill for over 20 years, culminating in total incapacitation.

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Amy Oestreicher has come through the profound darkness of a truly unbelievable illness. She’s an artist, actress, musician and motivational speaker who has alchemized her challenges into all kinds of profound, creative outlets. Her story is the quintessential Hero’s Journey and (as a soul sister whose guts have also exploded on numerous occasions) I’m grateful to her for publicly spreading the positive messages I’m still too ill to do myself. We are all about, as she puts it, “finding beauty in the detours!”

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I encourage you to search through all of her projects, but if you’re able, please check out her one woman show, Gutless and Grateful (coming to NY on 3/11, for my local friends!). Amy is infectiously sweet and positive. I’m grateful to have met this ray of light!

Amy Oestreicher

Redmoon’s Curious Cabinet

Posted in candy coated nightmares, macabre, puppets, theater with tags , , , , on February 25, 2010 by shewalkssoftly

I have basically no chance of catching this performance, but it looks amazing. Chicago’s Redmoon Theater has brought back The Cabinet.

The Cabinet sets the story of the murderous Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist slave Cesare in an off-kilter world of puppetry and intricate machinery. Inspired by the 1919 German Expressionist silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Cabinet creates a wild, abstracted “cabinet of curiosities” in which five puppeteers manipulate and maneuver the characters and objects much as Caligari controls Cesare’s plight.

From the Coilhouse review:
The characters are played by exquisite glass-eyed puppets, manipulated by intricately costumed puppeteers…There’s a sense of charged symbiosis, with the performers moving in measured, clockwork rhythms, like antique automatons. They watch their puppets raptly, sometimes standing alongside them, sometimes hanging upside down, sometimes nearly out of sight. Gloved hands appear from around the edges of the stage; when a weapon appears, it is held out to the puppet with a long-handled silver hemostat. When there is a death, they unspool red ribbons of blood.

A short clip:

Anyone know of a way I could make an appeal for this production to come to NYC?

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Cirque Berzerk

Posted in candy coated nightmares, events, theater with tags , , on July 14, 2009 by shewalkssoftly

Tomorrow I head over to the West coast for a month, and one of my first stops is Cirque Berzerk.

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ESCAPE deep into the sexy, twisted, theatrical underworld of Cirque Berzerk. Your hosts: A demented ‘family,’ born at Burning Man, that includes trampoline artists who bounce off the walls, heart throbbing aerialists, fiery burlesque dancers, bone-bending contortionists, sensuous acrobats, operatic sopranos, gothic stilt walkers, macabre marionettes and a few quite demented clowns.

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I don’t find regular circus events the slightest bit enticing (perhaps due to the animal exploitation), but here…humans are the sole entertainment. Vaudevillian punk rock! I’m so glad the show was extended a few weeks from the original scheduled end date.

If you’re interested, there’s still a little time to check it out.

Puppet Kafka

Posted in puppets, theater with tags , on May 12, 2009 by shewalkssoftly

According to the New York Times:

There are people who love puppets, there are people who love Kafka, and there is almost certainly a subset of people who love both puppets and Kafka. Their moment has arrived.

I am a card-carrying member of that subset, but sadly…the moment has passed. The one day I could have gone to see Puppet Kafka, it was sold out.

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I would have loved to see one of my favorite authors animated in creepy marionettes (apparently it was a combination of the Metamorphosis and the Trial).

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Must make a point to keep current with surrealist puppet theater.

The Fly Postcript (a.k.a SheWalksSoftly…to the Opera)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 28, 2008 by shewalkssoftly

Well folks, today marked my trip to see The Fly. It was wonderful. I’m glad I got to see the final performance before it closed.

I wasn’t crazy about Howard Shore’s decision to make the entire score atonal and without melody (I tend to dislike “lavish musical” melodies, but the score could have better engaged the brain if were a bit more cohesive).

Maybe I’m just a Philistine who doesn’t know the first thing about quality sci-fi opera.

I did get to hear retro-style telepods with operatic vocals. “Subject: carbon based life form…transmission complete…teleportation successful…”

That was probably a once in a lifetime experience.

The Fly: The Opera

Posted in sci-fi, theater with tags , on September 13, 2008 by shewalkssoftly

The LA Opera House is running a production of The Fly.

Yes, you read that correctly. The sci-fi classic first made in 1958, and remade in 1986.

To refresh your memory of the story:

Researcher Seth Brundle makes a stunning breakthrough in the field of matter transportation when he successfully teleports a living creature. Frustrated in his budding romance with a scientific journalist, and in need of a human subject, he recklessly attempts to teleport himself. An unseen fly enters the transmission booth as well, however, and Brundle soon realizes that his experiment has had “mixed” results.

They even have David Cronenberg on board as the director! There’s ONE day left of the performance when I get to LA this month.

And just for fun, Music for Maniacs recently posted about the production, along with some free fly-related song downloads.

[UPDATE] Got my tickets!