A fabulous “Best of Both Worlds” workshop

June 18, 2009

Several of us from the A.R.T. trekked down to the big apple yesterday for the presentation at the end of a one-week workshop kindly hosted by the folks at The Public Theater.  The cast – which all of us present hope will be the one that will come to Cambridge – was assembled in front of their scores, with a pianist and a conductor.  Diane made a brief speech, and the music began…. and WHAT a ride it was!  The cast was phenomenal, voices ranging from the big handsome Philip Boykin singing the role of the King with the deepest bass baritone voice to the absolutely adorable 12-year old Chris Borger, who not only sounds like an angel, but performed with the poise and the self-assurance of a total pro.  And the amazing Lavon Fisher-Wilson, who brought the house down with her “let a little sunshine in”…. we were practically dancing in the aisles.  And… last but not least, there was “Big Daddy” himself, David Alan Grier, a sort of master of ceremonies, story teller, who tied all the proceedings together with a great sense of humor and improvisation.  I was not familiar with the music of composer Deirdre Murray, but I could not sit still, totally enveloped in the rhythm, the buoyancy and enthusiasm of the cast, and those voices!!!! I cant wait for rehearsals to begin here in Cambridge in the fall…

cast assembled

cast assembled

Jeanette Bayardelle struts her stuff

Jeanette Bayardelle struts her stuff

little Chris Borger enchants

little Chris Borger enchants

Big Daddy himself, David Alan Grier

Big Daddy himself, David Alan Grier

Lavon Fisher-Wilson lets a little sunshine in....

Lavon Fisher-Wilson lets a little sunshine in....

the cast

the cast


Visiting the Angels in Amsterdam

November 2, 2006

I arrived in Amsterdam on a gorgeous sunny afternoon, and walked over to the theatre, since by sheer lucky coincidence I found myself staying a block from it in a B&B, and could see the back wall of theatre from my window. The theatre is old and very beautiful, surrounded by hundreds of bicycles (main mode of transportation in Amsterdam); a large overhead photo of the production decorated the lobby, and photos of the charismatic Dutch lead were everywhere.

The staging is very simple, taking elements from the film; the coffee wagon in the film set is the principal component, and the various characters mull around it, eating and drinking throughout the performance. Read the rest of this entry »