Posts Tagged ‘Broadway’

What is this feeling? I think it’s called obsession.

July 14, 2010

by Amy McLeod
July 14, 2010

“You deserve each other, this hat and you.  You’re both so…smart.”

I can’t tell you how many times those lyrics from the Wicked song “Dancing through Life” have been on repeat in my head this summer.  Mind you, I had never seen the show and I had no context for the lyrics.  One of my roommates is a Wicked fanatic and would play the songs incessantly. After awhile, they just stuck.

There was a lot of build up to Wicked.  I’ve been hearing about since high school, when one of my best friends became obsessed.  Now, I can hardly walk into my New School dorm without hearing one of the many amazing songs.

Having heard so much about Wicked made me that much more excited to see the show.  I wanted to know who was singing the songs.  What were they talking about? And what in the world caused the feelings of unadulterated loathing?

I’ve never been a huge fan of “The Wizard of Oz” so I was a little nervous about seeing Wicked.  I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to hype that surrounded it.  But, I am happy to report that this uncertainty was completely unwarranted.  I was taken aback by the scale of the show and how magnificent the performances were.  Katie Rose Clark as Glinda and Jennifer DiNoia as Elphaba were amazing.  The costumes were intricate and the scenery made the audience believe it was in Oz with the two witches.

Following the show, we were able to check out the stage.  There was scenery stored on either side, above and below the stage.  We say where some costume changes take place and the tracks where the scenery comes into and off of the stage.  We saw where Elphaba gets her green make up touched up between acts and where the munchkin heads hang when they’re not being worn.  It was an insiders look at what takes place behind the scenes of a Broadway production.

After I got back from the show last night, I went straight to youtube.com and watched scenes from the show over and over…and over.

I think it’s safe to say that I have a full-blown case of Wicked fever.

“Anything less than 87% is Fraud-way”

July 14, 2010

by Amy McLeod
July 13, 2010

I love Broadway.  I don’t (or should I say, didn’t) know a thing about it, but I love it.  It is a magical thing to watch a plain, wooden stage transformed into a story and I can’t help but let myself fall into it.

Costumes, lighting, actors, props, music, etc.  The show cannot exist without each of these elements.  No matter how minuscule one may seem, they are all crucial aspects and add something that the show needs.

I didn’t realize how true this was until our visits on Monday.  From seeing the intricate detail that goes into every stage of the costuming process at William Ivey Long‘s studio to hearing about the daily preparation and repairs that our panelists spoke about to seeing the stories and stories of practice space, workshops and costume storage that exist at the Metropolitan Opera.

I would have never suggested that putting together a Broadway production was any small task, but I could have never imagined just how much goes into each and every performance.  One thing that was consistent with all of those we spoke with was their love for it.

It’s hard work and long hours. It requires going on the road for weeks at a time.  There are hours of rehearsal and shows on holidays.  It isn’t always secure work or the extremely lucrative.  But, when the curtain rises and the show begins, it makes all the work well worth it.

All of those who work on the shows understand the importance of each other.  While the actors on stage get most of the glory as they are the faces of the show, they are supportive of the crew that works backstage.  When IATSE, the union for professional stagehands, motion pictures technicians and allied crafts went on strikes, the actors were holding signs and protesting with them.  The show won’t succeed without all of these people, so they must work together and support each other.

We were able to go backstage after seeing Wicked and speak with Lindsay K. Northern who has a role in the ensemble as well as the understudy for Glinda.  She said “anything less that 87 percent is Fraud-way.”  If those working on the show aren’t able to give at least that much, they are detracting from the performance.  But, luckily for us viewers, most of the time, these people are happy to give 110 percent and we get to see an amazing show.

SoHo to Canal: A mixture of old and new, rough and contemporary

April 20, 2010

by Amy McLeod
April 19, 2010

I chose to view the slideshow that documented SoHo to Canal Street, from Broadway to the West Side Highway.  I selected this slideshow because I had always heard about SoHo and Canal Street, but I have never visited them.  I was intrigued and knew the slideshow would give me a good idea of the area.

I was really thrown off when I saw the first pictures of SoHo.  The buildings are stone or brick, there were no pedestrians and no evidence of landscaping. The area I had always imagined to be vibrant and alive appears cold and unappealing.  Graffiti is everywhere, making the area look rundown and rough. As the images take me through the area, I see a lot of evidence of construction and attempts to revamp the area.  I am also beginning to see little markets and restaurants, the first signs that people actually live in the area.

As I continue through the slideshow, the pictures display more residential areas and more appealing scenery.  Outdoor cafes appear to be popular and the occasional hot dog stand is popping up.  This leads me to believe I am entering a more commercial, tourist-heavy area. The buildings look more contemporary and clean, though some buildings are still tagged with graffiti.

As the slideshow takes me further, the pedestrian traffic picks up, buildings look still nicer and the streets are lined with trees.   Brand name shops are obvious and it is clear that we are in a more commercial area.  I’m beginning to see the outdoor shops that are synonymous with Canal Street.  The construction has continued, but I’m realizing that’s probably pretty normal for any NY street.

This slideshow taught me one very important lesson.  Within a matter of blocks, you can be in a completely different neighborhood, with a completely different atmosphere.  We went from rundown to commercial, from vacant to frantically active.  All in a matter of a few blocks, I witnessed two very different ends of the NYC spectrum.