All I been thinking about lately is Seuss, and Gone with the Wind. If that seems a strange pairing, well, that’s my life kids. I’m smack in the middle of theatre-world again, after continuing to think I’d escaped it. I guess I steered the ship too close to the vortex, and now I’ve been drawn back in, at least for a few more weeks.
The next eight days are all about Dr. Seuss for me. I’m designing lights for Seussical! The Musical (exclamation point not mine) for Theatre Charlotte, which almost goes without saying, since that’s about the only place I’ve designed for a couple of years now. It’s a fun little show melding a bunch of Dr. Seuss stories into a moderately cohesive plot. There’s a Grinch, Horton the Elephant, Green Eggs and Ham, Whos, and of course, the Cat in the Hat.
When the director first contacted me about doing the show, I only had one demand: time. The shows that people want to hire me for are more flashy, more rock-show type lighting. That means I bring in a lot of technology for the shows. A LOT of technology. There’s about $50K worth of lighting equipment in the air for this show, and a new lighting control console as well. That level of tech is a little more complicated than the typical show (in Charlotte) and requires a lot more programming. So I asked for, and got, a full day of programming time dedicated just to little ol’ me in the theatre. So I signed up for a vacation day this Friday and I’ll spend it in a darkened theatre making lights move and go blinky-blink.
One reason I agreed to do the show (in addition to the fact that my fee, after I pay my assistant, will be about equal to the price of two round-trip tickets to Vegas) is because I could take a look at a lot of new LED technology in real-world applications. LEDs are a real hot topic in stage lighting right now, and I wanted to see what we could really accomplish with them. So I can use this show as a sales tool as well as just a show, bringing customers through the venue during the day and showing off the rig to designers, engineers and architects. So I can bring the work world and the hobby world together a little. It should be a pretty good-looking show, I’ll try to post some photos here whenever I get a chance. If you’re around and wanna come see it, let me know.
And in yet more theatrical news, I’m directing a play called Moonlight & Magnolias for another local community theatre. It’s a comedy about the frantic period in film when David Selznick shut down production on Gone with the Wind and fired both the director and the screenplay. The play is set over five days wit Selznick, Victor Fleming and Ben Hecht crammed in a little office rewriting the book into a screenplay at a fever pitch. It’s pretty funny, and I have a decent cast, it’s just a challenge to me to direct something so small after the past few years of only doing Shakespeare.
So I’m back into theatre for a little while before I retire again. I know, me and Favre. But I’m pretty sure I’m done lighting shows after this. I’m tired of taking my weekends and evenings to do theatre when I could be working on my writing or hanging with the wife, who is currently remodeling the upstairs bathroom while I try to make enough money to pay for it. I need to find her a cheaper hobby.
So that’s life here for the next couple weeks, if you need me, I’ll be in a theatre. Somewhere.