mercat: (jedi master Pooh)
I have "real post material" I'm actually working on, I swear. I'm a bit busy at the moment, despite my joblessness, as I am trying to register for grad school, get a museum job, hang out with peeps, do two halloween costumes, get a whole party together, et cetera.

Oh, and trying to also blog over at my "professional blog", which, I haven't updated in over a week, shame on me. Note to self: haunted houses, city museum, phantom.


The other thing: mom and I went to the movie theater tonight to see the 25th anniversary showing of Phantom. It was pretty damn decent. When Laura and Latta went and said it was LCD-screen sets, I lost a fair amount of interest because I have seen the, what, 15th? anniversary showing of Les Mis, the one with mics and chairs and the only "scene" is the battle one, BUT I am glad I went because it wasn't like that at all.

They do have "digital set paintings", as it were. I am not sure they are LCD screens because 1) there didn't seem to be much backlight coming off them, 2) they were still strong enough to be seen well with bright stage lights on them. But I did get some interesting... diffraction? patterns when the camera was focused at certain lengths.

So, the reason for the digital sets: well, one, I think ALW is getting into that kind of thing. Haven't really been following Broadway lately but (number two) in my recent knowledge I know there's been a shift towards special scenery. Like Woman In White iirc was entirely on a stage that rotated around for different scenes. I think? Never saw it. We were supposed to, senior year, and it got the kibosh so we saw Lion King instead. (In terms of props I consider the trade highly worth it, as my interest in puppetry might owe a fair amount to whoever designed those headpieces, unf.) (Yeah, I just "unf"ed over set design. This is me. Shoulda seen me earlier today, I freaked out over the facebook Indiana Jones game because I was in that kind of mood. You know, despite the fact that I've been playing it for weeks? Also, Ghostbusters showing Thursday. And I --actually, because of seeing Phantom tonight-- caught the Doctor Who episode where he does the WHO YA GONNA CALL thing, and then I found out he did some hilarious Christmas special where he also danced to the theme song, and that both made me very happy especially after I was watching Doctor Who Confidential today mostly just so I could hear David Tennant talk with his Scottish accent which by the way is glorious. So yes, set design.)

Anyway.

I absolutely adored the way the space was laid out, strategically. The front of the stage was the sort of "lower stage"-- which, I'm sure, based on the size of that massive hall was plenty big for probably a full normal-sized show-- where all the acting took place. Then there was the "digital backdrop" which rather looked like paneling on a french screen, very well done. And two staircases on the sides. Above the immediate backdrop was the entire orchestra-- not a pit orchestra, I'm like 99% sure they reorchestrated for a fuller group (possibly for the movie? no idea)-- and behind and above them was the extention of the giant screen. They also used that "above" space for all the "rafters" and "the roof", etc. (Although the scene where the Phantom shows up on the roof and the... roof of the tomb?, I think those were lower, as in, he was riiiight in front of the conductor.

What I did like about the screen was that they did a lot of animation with it, opening and closing stage curtains, the falling scenery, etc. And they didn't rely on it entirely, either, they had props like dead bodies and such. (I really hope I'm not spoiling anyone, I'm trying to keep it not too specific.)

Because the theatre there was SO INCREDIBLY VASTLY MASSIVE, the one good thing about the screen was that it made the whole production a lot more accessible to the whole audience. (Not to mention the cast that was probably four times the size of the normal cast.) When Christine goes to her mirror, they used the screen instead of the mirror prop and made her larger so more people could see her.

My favorite part of it was when she does the aria and finishes, then bows to the audience, then turns around and is "still facing the audience" and the curtain closes so she is "backstage", they had what I'm pretty sure was a live feed of the actual audience that night. And I think they had a feed for the "mirror" as well, as it seemed to be only a slight delay of what she was doing.

ON THE OTHER HAND, the technology sort of took away from it as well. In the mirror scene, they just had Christine and then up in the corner, the face of the Phantom talking to her. What? Why the fuck is that there? (And then they open it and the screen-mirror is also a door, and he's behind it, but that face wat.)

So you don't get the reveal of the two-way mirror. And also the creepy bride doll was not present, though I can't determine if that's yay or boo. Yay no creepy fetish doll! Boo no foreshadowing.

On the other hand, when the Phantom's letters are being voiced over, they also showed, on the larger "above" screen behind the orchestra, a video of the Phantom writing this letter. Which I thought was a very nice sort of movie-montage moment. So it's almost like this was a mix between the stage and movie versions, a stage play with movie effects-- which also relates to my next point.

The greatest thing I saw lacking was the stage effects. And I'm not talking about props or costumes or dancing or direction or the fact that they had an absurdly massive chorus (despite the fact that I found the voices rather drowning eachother out, and therefore also, the countermelodies). The. Fucking. Special. Stage. Effects. As in, when the musical first was made, they hired a stage magician-- an sfx-for-stage-shows-guy-- to do fabulous stuff. WHICH HE DID. And which were not in the show.

Uh, the "stairs"? No. The trapdoor-running-couple that gives yet another mysterious montage effect? No. Fireballs straight from the Phantom's staff to the ground? NO. Just stage explosions or fire bursts or something.

Oh my god and the chandelier wasn't rigged to crash, either, it just sort of shorted out with bonus fireworks effect.

(Also? I did not notice until tonight that the chandelier, which I think is supposed to look like candlelight flickering, looks like a fucking flying saucer taking off. YOU SEE THOSE CHASE LIGHTS? DAMMIT PUT A BETTER FLICKER MECHANISM IN THERE, YOU CAN AFFORD THEM. Christ.)

At any rate. So the set-dressing-and-props side of me really loves the "real" stage version better, but this was still SUPERBLY done. And I forgot how long it's been since I've listened to it, and how much I hate all the re-lyricking they've done since the original, and how much Lara and I used to know about it thanks to A.P. English and Lit/Drama/Song and the New York trip. Although I was thinking it was 1989 when it came out and then I was like herp derp nope I guess it's '86? Which, shit, that's Little Shop too and I totally misremembered. So I guess Little Mermaid was '89, and I was sitting there thinking "well maybe I'm remembering some corps did Phantom in '89, except I think Phantom did Phantom (Phantom Regiment, that is, the former), and I'm like 99% sure they did the 1812 in '89." So I checked later, and, sure enough, Vanguard did Phantom in '88 and '89. (I remembered from a video, the chair prop, and I seem to recall a lot of ridiculous '80's dance-style ballet-ish-ness.)

So back to this "we used to know so much" thing. We pretty much knew the stage recordings backwards-to-forwards and the movie as well, and I remember having enough criteria that after we saw the Broadway version (oh, ALSO, no surround-sound effects in the movie theater, I mean COME ON) we had some critiques of the Phantom and Carlotta although I think I liked Daae? I don't remember now, though.

BUT ANYWAY, the vocalists were positively fabulous. The Phantom did his own thing while still sort of being Michael-Crawford-lite (my favorite Phantom) (I hate Gerard Butler's Phantom GOTDAMN), and Christine was wonderful and I didn't want to Sarah-Brightman-stab-her (the Phaaantom oooof the Oooooperer), and Carlotta was not the tiny-whiny-diva like Minnie Driver and all the others but was a rather large lady but absolutely owned the role. I love her. She seemed much more like the character should be, an opera diva spoiled and famous. Maybe it's that whole viking-lady shtick-stereotype but DAMN, get it, gurl.

But, oh.

my.

god.

Raoul.


Allow me to explain. I detest Raoul. I have never liked him. I have never liked the actors/vocalists who I've seen/heard play him, I never liked his character, and even reading the book the only benefit I could see was that he and Christine were childhood friends and the Phantom is obviously KINDA FUCKIN' CREEPYTOWNS all up in there and Christine's character needs to not end up with his.

Whoops, spoilers, shit. Although I guess if you've made it this far, I mean, the musical's been out for 25 years so... T.S. Eliot, but I'm sorry. (And the book... ah... probably about a century now, rite? Just passed, I think? 1904?) (...ohshit 1910. So we're like right thurr.)

At any rate.

I FUCKING HATE RAOUL. Even though Patrick-Whatshisface and Emmy Rossum and pretty much the entire cast of the movie besides Gerard Butler were PERFECTLY cast, and I love that actor in everything else I've seen him in, I have hated Raoul. I think part of it was that ridiculous Fabio hair. Long, blond, and a ponytail. Or that was just the icing on the whatthefuck cake, I don't know. ANYWAY.

Holy shit the guy playing him in this version needs to just fly over the US and marry me because JESUS CHRIST HE WAS FABULOUS. Amazing voice. Actually wanted to cheer for him instead of the Phantom, actually cried for him and Christine when you're supposed to, all that fabbishness. Juxtapositionally made the Phantom feel a lot more creeper as well.

Anyway so the whole time I'm like YAY I DON'T HATE RAOUL but he looks familiar? so I looked him up when I got home and he was on a fucking episode of Doctor Who.



<3


Aaaaand it just so happened to be on the dvds the lovely [livejournal.com profile] astrid087 has let me borrow, and, sadly, he's in like two scenes and has maybe one line before he gets Cybermann'd. NOOOOOOOOO

So other than that I'm fan-stalking him now but--this might be the only time I've ever said this about a dude, and possibly because guys don't mess with their hair much? but-- he looks a lot better as a blond. (Also worth noting, his Raoul did not have a ponytail, thankthefuckinglord.)



Uh, and then I found out Instructables' Halloween contests, since being bought by Autodesk, now have grand prizes such as A FUCKING DESK LASER-CUTTER.

Yeah, I could do work on that, fuck.

I hope this year is my year, then. Gotta get that Medusa instructable up, and then Portal, and GET ME SOME VOTES!




So, today, in summation: David Tennant, Phantom of the Opera, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, Raoul, Doctor Who, awesome engineering.



Oh and I spent like WAY too much on all the things I have been needing to buy for Halloween, but I feel more caught up so I can work on things when they finally get here in the mail. Beakers and Erlenmeyer flasks for drinks? Check. Kinda want to heat one up on the burners and make tea in one just because. (I probably will.) Also I got some adorbs shoes, and light packs and mushroom switches and all sorts of lovelies.


So... yay!


...Oh and ALSO, Michael Crawford didn't sing! What! Sarah Brightman did, along with four guys who I'm assuming played the Phantom who I don't know (although possibly one of them was the guy we saw on Broadway who I'm thinking had played that character longer than anyone else ever) and the guy from the Twenty-Fifth show. But ohmygodMichaelCrawfordIloveyou whyyyyyyy!?


Also-also I maaaaaaay have made a really bad Dalek pun today on facebook. Totally worth it. And I will still probably call them day-leks in conversation, it just seems right...

(rabble rabble stupid americans rabble rabble England was the one who changed their accent so HA)
mercat: (Default)
I caught up on some of the stuff I missed (but far from all of it) over the summer, so guess what that means? LINKSPAM!

Last survivor of Titanic dies. Rather sad. (And yes, I realize nearly all this news is old for you people who've been in real life this summer.)

Speaking of deaths, the day we all heard Michael Jackson died, none of us believed it because of the Bob Barker effect. Same thing when the tally kept rolling in... Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, (and then after our next block) OMG Billy Mays! No one believed that last one, though by then the Michael Jackson one had been verified by several sources.

I can only imagine what a massive clusterfuck the internet (and ONTD, in particular) must have been that day.

However, I was in California doing breathing tubes (I think that was the last time we got them--when Scott got there) and snowcones. Bleh. And we had a terrible rehearsal run and the staff was pissed and we did laundry and got screwed over on our WalMart run. But I digress.

More Tomb Raider! Hey, as long as we're putting out adventure films, I'm happy. I loved the Angelina Jolie ones, ESPECIALLY the first one, so you'll get no complaints from me. Only one I would is that they even considered conotinuing through Mummy III after Rachel Weisz dropped out. (And I think, sadly, the same thing is going to be said about Iron Man I, which is a shame considering how utterly awesome Iron Man was.)

This photo has a very Firefly feel about it, and with I would answer the titular question with a veritable "yes".

...I don't think I used "titular" right. Meh.

YAY more Series of Unfortunate Events but some DAMN GOOD POINTS ABOUT FUCKING SEQUELS, HOLLYWOOD. goddamnit

Kenneth Branagh is directing Thor?! I am so. there.

Disney to squeeze more money out of Winnie the Pooh. I was actually bitching to my sister about this the other day and ended up twittering about it, so I'm glad I stumbled upon a relevant article.

Look, here's the thing. You know people who flip out when DC/Marvel get new writers or completely reboot or just continue to mess with different canons? That is how I have been feeling about Disney's treatment of Winnie the Pooh as of the past few years. One, that fucking heffalump movie. SPOILER, but the whole point of the heffalumps and woozles is that THEY DON'T EXIST. Baby Pooh? (And Tigger and Piglet and everyone) Okay, I can see that, messing with styles is cool to keep things interesting. Otherwise I wouldn't have that fucking rad purple stylized Winnie the Pooh bag.

And then I saw the new tv show. A mystery show. In 3D to make it even more painful (though you all know I love mysteries, so that's not where I find fault.) So I'm looking at a playset or a commercial or something and what do I see? The human character is a GIRL.

Look, I'm all for equal treatment and shit like that but this is kind of a definitive matter. YOU KNOW, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, THE BOY WHO KIND OF FUCKING NAMED THOSE DAMN STUFFED ANIMALS?! God damn. Disney is really pissing me off lately.

P.S., anyone know what happened to the Disney award this year? We were really hoping to get it and wipe that smile off everyone else's faces, and then it didn't happen.

=/

Tim Curry in an Alice & Wonderland thing? Yes, please. Already there.

Pirates 4 seems to be on the move. To which I say, HOORAY! I loved 2 and 3, but I must say, they were several lacking in the buried/cursed/whatever'd department.

Remember what I said about Iron Man? Yeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhh...

That is some sexy cover art, and yes I mean the art nouveau.

Patrick Stewart on the new Star Trek, and holy crap it needs to come out on dvd YESTERDAY. I didn't see a single movie all summer I was gone and that was SO. FUCKING. GOOD.

Well, fuck. The plot actually sounds good. Really good. I'm willing to eat that crow if I have to.






Oh hey, what's this? First off, no shit, sherlock. But otherwise,

FUCK YES.

I'll be sad if it's another biblical artifact unless it's out of Revelations, but hey, what was it I said after I saw IV?


At least he can't do the crystal skulls idea anymore. :D



Now, all I have to do is pray they go for the Hawaii or Easter Island or some polynesian (/melanesian/micronesian) angle and I will be happy.

Fuck, I'll even take Australia E];D





apologies if my language seems suddenly harsher. It is. That's drum corps, and that's me. <3
mercat: (Default)
Well, I'm not in New York now, but I just got back. I'm so tired-- sleeping on tour buses is just not fun. At any rate, NY is pretty cool. But...I dunno, it's just another city. Nothing spectacular, I suppose, other than all the marquees and cool buildings. The shows and workshops were AWESOME. (Other than the vocal workshop... nothing like, "oh, hey, professional audition!" when you don't even know what's going on.) We did an improv workshop and a stage fighing workshop, both of which were excellent.

Phantom was pretty amazing. I am going to rant a little now, so beware. Lara and I are snobby bitches, but we've been listening to and studying Phantom of the Opera for the last 6-8 months, I'd say, so deal. We know fairly well what we're talking about, so we're gonna complain. Hah. At any rate, I'll just rattle off the not-so-good stuff first. The music was waaay too fast, Carlotta was not showy enough, Christine was too showy and operatic, Raoul was just...yuck (I hate Raoul anyway), and Meg had the worst vibrato I've ever heard. Mostly it was annoying because the music was too fast. Oh, and Raoul/Christine's kisses were HORRIBLE. They were the funniest things ever. "Here let me stage-kiss you and then SWING YOU AROUND IN CIRCLES FOR TOO LONG WHEEE!" Oh, the the vocals were horribly over-balanced with the pit, who wasn't loud enough, and the LYRIC CHANGES WERE SO ANNOYING. Now on to the good stuff. The scenery was GORGEOUS and the special effects were AMAZING. The guy who did all the special effects (and there are SO MANY) is a genius. I'm not going to say too much because it would ruin it all if you ever see it. Costumes were pretty sweet, too. A lot of stuff you wouldn't catch unless you read the original novel (or Susan Kay's because I think hers is faithful to the original), but having done so makes it so much more AMAZING. (Oh, and my nerd-jewelery came out really well. For those who don't know, I made a necklace and earring set modelled after the chandelier. Crystal with the correct number of beads and drops, etc. I was happy, yay.) The "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" scene was A KAJILLION times better staged than either the movie or the craptacular music video. Just for reference. And the Phantom's voice was okay... kind of over-vibrato-ed, I think, but just because the music was so rushed, or at least that's how I felt. (So the whole time afterwards Lara and I were slaphappy going around "we're snobby bitches!" and I think we really pissed off Walker and Rachel, but that's okay.)

And Lion King... GO. SEE IT. The added music (both original songs and dances in the middle of the movie numbers) aren't anything particularly memorable but OHMYGODTHECOSTUMES. I really didn't know you could use so many trap doors and special effects in one show, either. It was FANTASTIC. The costumes were just...WHOA. You absolutely HAVE to see it. The only bad part was all the little kids (talking and laughing and crying...NOT fun, thankyouverymuch) and all the times the cast comes through the audience that we didn't get because we're up on the balcony. Sux0rs. Aaaaaanyway.

So, let's see, a quick run-down of everything else. We toured Radio City Music Hall (pretty sweet), went up to the top of the Empire State building, saw Rockefeller Center (or something, I'm too tired to remember the name exactly), walked through Central Park (where a high-school band was playing in the band shell and was seriously taking as long to tune as we take for concert band class...seriously. They TUNED for about 15 minutes. WTF.)... umm... and we walked through Times Square which is basically an advertising attack on your eyes. I dunno... I'm not horribly impressed with New York in any particularly good or bad way. It's just...a city with a lot of good musicals, for me. So, overall... I had a fun time at the shows, not so much on the bus.

Also, have you seen the new Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley? yeah, Katy and I were two of about only 10 people awake at 1 AM last night watching it and here's what we learned.

Mr. Darcy= David Saliba TO A T. Go watch the movie and see for yourself, it's creepy as all getout. =^n.n^=

Also, I was kind of sad that more people didn't have the heavy accent. *pout*

Profile

mercat: (Default)
mercat

November 2015

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425 262728
2930     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Page generated Oct. 24th, 2017 04:11 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios