Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hiya Strangers!

You'll have to excuse the dust; I've been doing some updating on the blog and things are shifting rapidly. Hopefully my readers are okay with change and won't run away shrieking. (Actually, I kind of think it would be awesome if a blog redesign could inspire that kind of reaction). Why the change? Well, I just felt like going for something sparser, yet more personalized. There will be more changes to come.

I also went through and cleaned up the tags. Now you can actually use them for navigation, as opposed to before when their purpose was more ornamental/snarky.

Summer is a bit of a catch-up time for me. I'm still working during the day, but teaching eases off while the kids are out of school. Chimera, the professional company I direct, is also on hiatus for a couple of months in order to give me time to prepare for next year's show. Next year we'll be incorporating actors into our show and putting together an experimental theater piece with text and dancing. I've never done anything like this before, so it's a huge, scary undertaking. At the same time, I'm so thrilled by the idea of a new challenge. I don't think I'm happy unless I'm a little bit scared and I have so many ideas! It will be amazing. Or awful. Whatever it is, at least it won't be boring.

Hubby and I went to New York about a week ago and it was pretty amazing. This was my first trip to New York and it was an amazing, crazy, hot whirlwind. I've dreamt of visiting New York every since I was a kid and hooked on films like Fame and A Chorus Line. So glad that I've finally walked those streets. :)

While in New York we were fortunate enough to get to see The Book of Mormon, which was irreverent, sacrilegious and hilarious (as expected). What I didn't expect, was the amount of thought and care that went into the music, staging and actual plot of the musical. This wasn't just a show build around a few jokes. It was an honest-to-goodness theatrical experience with a wonderfully committed cast and creative production team.

We went to another show, as well. This one is a little harder to sum up, as it was one of the most unique and memorable theatrical experiences I've ever had. If you're a fan of Gossip Girl, you might have heard of it, since apparently it was featured on that show. It's a production by Punchdrunk called Sleep No More and it is outstanding. If you have the opportunity (and don't mind things that are a little traumatic/messed up) you should not miss the opportunity to experience this. I'll try to elaborate without spoiling too much, because this is the kind of show that should not be spoiled.

Basically, it's an interactive theatrical experience. The production took over three abandoned warehouses and used them to build the most elaborate set I've ever seen. Called the McKittrick Hotel, guests are invited to explore all six floors on their own, drifting through graveyards, shops, cabarets, sanatoriums, and more. The rooms are endlessly detailed and filled with clues. As the night wears on, a modernized version of Macbeth, with elements of Rebecca thrown in, starts to build all around the hotel. Action happens simultaneously on every floor, even in adjoining rooms. Putting the whole story together is next to impossible, but that adds to the appeal. Even though guests wear masks and are discouraged from speaking, they still play a part in what occurs, shadowing performers and sometimes stepping into the story itself. Here's a great, somewhat spoilery review: New York Times.

It was the most immersive show I've ever attended. Sleep No More felt like something I'd been hoping to experience my whole life, though I didn't know it until I was there.

What about you? Any big projects in the works, or summer trips planned? Seen any interesting shows lately? How are things? :)

9 comments:

  1. *runs away shrieking*

    Kidding. I like the new blog design--very easy to read and navigate!

    Sounds like you've been busy. :)

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    1. Too busy for blog updates, apparently. I'm going to try and do better. :)

      Thanks! Glad you like it. I'm hoping to get a custom header up as soon as I can sketch something that I don't hate.

      How has your summer been going?

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  2. Sounds like your trip was a lot of fun. One of my friends was telling me about Sleep No More. It sounds really cool. Planning a trip to NYC in September. I want to see Once, Peter and the Starcatcher and Newsies but might have to look into Sleep No More since this is the second time I've heard of it.

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    1. You should definitely try to see it! I think it's closing down at some point in September, so hopefully you can still catch it. Plus, the price is pretty reasonable compared to most New York shows. (Though - just a fair warning, there is some pretty disturbing content).

      You'll have to let me know how Peter and the Starcatcher is. I enjoyed the books a lot and am curious about how they would translate to stage.

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  3. I just updated my labels after I read your post! I like the new design. Clean and clear!

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    1. There's something refreshing about simplicity, isn't there? I think my confusing tags were a holdover from my early days of blogging when I was trying to amuse myself.

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  4. Hello Sarah! I didn't run away screaming. :) My blog is hardly clever and intricate--and the design is fairly simple too ;) so I'm hardly one to object to simplicity. You've chosen well, though. It doesn't distract for the content, which, of course, is what matters. :)

    "Sleep No More" sounds interesting. Not that I'd ever get a chance to go, but I'm intrigued by how that would work, all happening in different places with, it seems, no real sense of sequence. That would be challenging. But entertaining, I'm sure.

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    1. Good work holding in the screams. :) Yeah, I'm really feeling the straightfoward, simplicity lately.

      Sleep No More is one of the most unique theatrical experiences I've ever had. Admittedly, the plot isn't linear and there's no way to experience every aspect of the story, but it sure leaves an impression. Some people go over and over again just to try and experience each part of the story.

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  5. Sleep No More sounds fascinating. I hope I get a chance to see it one day. Or experience it, I guess, is the better word.

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