"Old school is now cool school." (Author unknown)
At no time in the last few decades, certainly since 9/11 and the economic challenges of the mid 2000s, has creativity been so challenged, yet somehow energized. Like we have always done, we shall get through this virus – one 'out of the box' innovation – and then one, exhibit, theatrical production, film, museum visit, and school/community event at a time.
That is what makes our country so strong, we can be down, and yet we will create a way up – and out.
I am thinking down the road a bit to summer and what might prove to be an exciting time for outdoor - summer theatres/outdoor stages and similar open air venues where social distancing can be phased in/out.
These businesses can revive old favorites through innovative staging presentation. One of the more popular in use today in the professional and amateur worlds is the staged reading, or "encore," especially of musicals.
One of the more popular ways that some of the classics are returned to greater public awareness has been through these expanded concerts where the emphasis is on the music, with the story progression secondarily highlighted.
This is what that evening might look like, sitting out front, on the grass.
Actors read the musical's book using music stands/small lecterns with limited dramatic movements, virtually no props or scenery. Dancing would have to be greatly reconfigured, but that is part of the challenge, the fun – reshaping the old for the current need.
Members of the extended cast, (the chorus traditionally), would be retained with social distancing guidelines being honored.
Many shows in the musical library have recorded scores, so would cut down on overall costs.
An author's musing: "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. . ." (J.D Salinger)
That's my Will (Rogers): "I have always noticed that people will never laugh at anything that is not based on truth."
"t e d S. t a l k s": My phone has been lighting up as friends from around the country text me cartoons, sayings and descriptions to brighten my day, and that is appreciated. Keep them coming.
A recent selection: "My mom always told me I wouldn't amount to anything lying on the sofa . . . and yet here I am, saving the world."
Arts In Action: My cousin's daughter, Sophia, recently moved from Los Angeles to the San Francisco area to continue her work in independent film-making and acting and I will be featuring her this month, so please stay tuned.
"They say the neon lights are bright, on Broadway . . .": The 2020 Tony Awards have been postponed.
This change will impact future production scheduling so if you were planning on heading to New York City during the heavy vacation seasons, summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas, shows that you might want to see may, in fact, be pushed forward well into 2021. Visit Playbill.com for more scheduling information.
Artists in Action, Too: As those future travel plans begin to take shape, and you find yourself in and around Tucson, Arizona, for an evening that will simply lift your weary spirit, you will never go wrong with The Gaslight Theatre.
My mom lived there for the better part of three decades and during each visit, we would head to Gaslight for fun, good food and family oriented entertainment. For fresh and highly original take-offs on some of our most treasured titles, stories and characters, this is musical fun, "in the sun" for sure.
"Zooming" my way around and through our town these days – actually means I have to keep my hair trimmed.
Welcoming you into the room and provoking conversation, since '06
And, then - (as we all have extra time on our hands).
See you in the paper: Now, being featured on Wednesdays in the pages of the Democrat, Where (oh where) ARTS Thou?: The Extended @ Home Family Edition. A look at creativity during the extended home stay.
Finally: "Patience is confidence waiting to happen." (Dr. Bob Winters, sports psychologist – and golfer.) A question I would pose to the doctor: "Doctor Bob, do we really need to shut down golf courses? It is, after all, the grandest of individual games, the truly social distancing sport."
"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you. I came to live out loud." (Emile Zola).
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