August 31, 2007

Content Content Content

I have been a bit slow on publishing content this month - and so have my pals in the admin offices across the street - as we all try to get ready to bring you an exciting 11 show season.

But the shortage is over, at least from Marketing. Here's the first go - TWENTY PAGES OF NEWS - about The Huntington Theatre in our first SPOTLIGHT issue of the season. The Atheist, The 39 Steps, Brendan, Streamers. They've got the news about our upcoming shows, directors, designers, playwriting fellows, special events, subscriptions, dining and parking deals, classes, student matinees, donors and supporters, Campbell Scott, David Rabe, Ronan Noone, and Justin Waldman. Click here and enjoy.

That oughta be enough reading material for the holiday weekend.

Gotta run. Rehearsal just finished and I need to go check in with the stage managers before I run away for the day.

August 29, 2007

Kevin Adams - The 39 Steps

I found this interview with The 39 Steps lighting designer Kevin Adams. Kevin, a familiar face at the Huntington, won a Tony this spring for his design work on the Broadway musical Spring Awakening". It's a great interview - and you can either read it or listen to it - here at Broadway Kevin designed lighting for the Huntington's productions of The Rose Tattoo, Betty's Summer Vacation, A Fair Country, and Hedda Gabler.

What are the 39 Steps? I guess you'll have to come see the show and find out. Click here to get your tickets.

(photo courtesy of Broadway

August 24, 2007

39 Clamps 3939 Welds

It was quite fascinating to watch the false proscenium for The 39 Steps get built. Here are some construction pics.

Have I mentioned that we are building a back stage setting for this little adventure that is "Alfred Hitchcock's - The 39 Steps - Adapted by Patrick Barlow - Based on an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon - Based on the book by John Buchan"? As you can see by all of those credits - this piece has quite a history. I'm straying. The premise of the show is that this little theatre company has decided to recreate the ENTIRE Hitchcock movie with only four actors and practically no scenery. A premise that leads to a lot of inventiveness and fun. So we're taking their little theatre and plunking it down smack dab stage center at the BU Theatre.

These photos show the false proscenium under construction. First the steel frame was laid out, clamped together, and welded. Then we built up the support for the moulding and the boxes. Then we added a traveler track for a curtain. The whole thing was skinned with 1/4" MDF and then we applied all of the various moulding. We had the moulding manufactured for us by J.E. McLaughlin, Inc. up in Rutland, Vermont. It's a foam product with a covering that helps keep it from getting dented or chipped, and makes it fire retardant, and makes it easy to paint. The holes were filled and sanded, and it got it's first few coats of tinted base. Enjoy these nice photos taken by shop foreman Brian Sears. The prosc is now getting it's final paint job next door in the paint shop. Perhaps we have some photos of that too for another post. Enjoy!

That's Pat Austin, our Stage Carp, hugging the steel to tighten up a clamp. You might have recognized his gams in the first photo above.

We had four welders going at one time when this was under construction. Eye protection required!

Here is some of the moulding, awaiting application. You can see the lovely color of the tinted base. All that nice violet has now been covered in a deep weathered red with gold highlights.

August 22, 2007

39 Steps BOSTON

Cast members, artistic personnel and nearly everyone who was working yesterday filled the rehearsal hall for the Meet and Greet for The 39 Steps (Tickets now on sale). It was a great little event, and it looks like the next few weeks are going to be a lot of fun.

l to r: Becky Hylton, Blair Caple, Penney Pinnette, George Ryan, Anita Canzian, and Director Maria Aitken.

Nicholas Martin, Charles Edwards (Hannay) and Maria Aitken.

Michael Maso, Gerry Cohen (production sponsor), Charles Edwards, Maria Aitken, Sherri Cohen (production sponsor)

And here's a little preview info about our international cast and director:

Arnie Burton – New York-based actor Burton’s stage credits include “The Jew of Malta” and “The Merchant of Venice” at Theatre for a New Audience earlier this, and Rattlestick Theatre’s 2003 production of “The Last Sunday in June.” His film career includes “Building Girl” (2005) and the 2002 cult favorite “Igby Goes Down.” Television credits include “Law & Order,” “Frasier,” and more.

Charles Edwards – This English actor received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Richard Hannay in the London West End production of “The 39 Steps.” He has been seen in the films “An Ideal Husband” with Rupert Everett and Cate Blanchett, “Mansfield Park,” “Batman Begins,” and stars in the upcoming UK film “The All Together” with Martin Freeman.

Jennifer Ferrin – is an Emmy Award-winning actress (Best Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama) who landed a role on CBS’s “As The World Turns” (Jennifer Munson), immediately after graduating from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. A regular on series television, Ferrin currently stars in the acclaimed miniseries “The Kill Point” with Donnie Wahlberg and John Leguizamo.

Cliff Saunders – Toronto-based Saunders is a film and television actor with numerous credits in the U.S. and Canada. He played the Stage Manager in the award-winning film version of the musical “Chicago,” as well as in such American television “Monk,” the “Eloise” movies and, fittingly, a 1988 episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

Maria Aitken is the acclaimed British actress and director. She played leading roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre and the Old Vic, and has starred in more Noel Coward plays in London’s West End than any other actress. She has produced a series of acting master classes for the BBC, one of which was her own High Comedy class. Recently, Aitken has focused on directing, having helmed the award-winning London production of “The 39 Steps.”

The 39 Steps was adapted by Patrick Barlow and based on a concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, based on the book by John Buchan.

I'll add some more hyperlinks another day.

August 18, 2007

In Box - The Atheist

The following note from Nicholas hit email boxes last night:


It's the most exciting moment in theatre. A world-class actor inhabiting a juicy role from a fresh new writer. Like catching lightning in a bottle, it takes a very special convergence of circumstances to light a stage so brightly.

Next month, the Huntington offers one such fleeting opportunity - for TWO WEEKS ONLY. Stage and screen star Campbell Scott will appear in The Atheist, by Boston phenom Ronan Noone. Of all the work I've presented during my years here, this event excites me the most.

Campbell will bring his trademark humor and warmth (inherited from his mom, Colleen Dewhurst) and the bold attack and panache of his dad (George C. Scott) to Ronan's savagely comic tale of Augustine Early, an ambitious journalist who lets nothing stand between him and a good story.

Campbell is the consummate actor's actor and I am always on the lookout for the role that will bring him back to the stage. Immediately upon reading Ronan's script, I knew that Augustine was it. I was right.

I urge those of you who love the theatre, who love Campbell, or who simply want a memorable fall evening—outside of Fenway Park—to buy tickets today. Like a hot game at the ballpark, this is THE ticket to have.



August 16, 2007


Part of our mission here at the Huntington is participating in the training of young theatre professionals. We are smack dab in the middle a working classroom (the BU Theatre, Studio 210, The Calderwood Pavilion, and our Huntington Ave. Production facilities) which makes interaction pleasantly unavoidable. In addition to the multitudes of CFA students we also have the pleasure of working with the faculty! BU Design Professors Jim Noone, Mariann Verheyen, Mark Stanley, Jon Savage, Ben Emerson; are all names that you've seen on the title pages of Huntington Productions. Sometimes the interactions are behind the scenes, too. Nancy Leary, too, who has an office just down the hall, is a very familiar face in our costume shop, having contributed to MANY of our productions in one way or another. Nancy was just profiled on BU Today. We thought you would like to meet her and get a behind the scenes peek into the world of costuming. Click here for the news article and slide show.

August 14, 2007

August Anniversaries

Brett Marks dug up the following while doing some research on The 39 Steps:

"By a strange coincidence, the play, original film, Hitchcock and Buchan all celebrate their anniversaries in the month of August - August 14 is the first anniversary of the London production: August 1 was the release date for the original film; August 13 is the 108th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s birth; and August 29 is the 132nd anniversary of John Buchan’s birth."

Thanks for the factoids Brett! Looks like the London Cast did a little celebrating too.

Tickets currently available by subscription only. On sale to the general public on August 23.

Catherine McCormack and Charles Edward (l. to r., back row) with Simon Gregor and Rupert Degas (l. to r., front row) from the original London cast of The 39 Steps. Playing at the Huntington’s B.U. Theatre Sept.14 ­ Oct.14, 2007. Photo: Tristram Kenton

August 13, 2007

It's Official

We have announced our full slate of "Huntington Presents" productions. This brings the count up to a grand total of 12 productions, if we include our Breaking Ground Festival in the Spring. Remember when we just did five????

Subscribers are the obvious winners with first choice seating to even more Huntington 07-08 shows.

On the production front I've been lucky enough to take another vacation, and am now paying the price. The 39 Steps starts rehearsal tomorrow. I'll have more updates for you soon. Meanwhile here's some info about our upcoming programming at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.

Screen and stage star Campbell Scott, stand-up comedienne/monologist Judy Gold, Boston actress and playwright Rebekah Maggor, and internationally acclaimed performance artist Ennio Marchetto comprise the Huntington Theatre Company’s 2007-2008 “Huntington Presents” series in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.

“This series complements the Huntington’s regular season and allows us to bring a wider variety of voices and performances to Boston,” says Huntington Artistic Director Nicholas Martin. “‘Huntington Presents’ shows are perfectly suited to the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, where the connections between performers and audiences are especially intimate,” he says.

The 2007-2008 “Huntington Presents” line-up includes:


By Ronan Noone

Directed by Justin Waldman

Starring Campbell Scott

Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

Sept, 12-30, 2007

Stage and screen star Campbell Scott (”The Secret Lives of Dentists,” “Roger Dodger,” and the Huntington’s 1996 production of “Hamlet”) plays an ethically challenged journalist in this limited-run engagement of Boston playwright Ronan Noone’s one-man show. “The Atheist” was presented first by Scott at the Huntington’s Breaking Ground Festival of new play readings in 2006, before its New York and London premieres.


By Kate Moira Ryan and Judy Gold

Directed by Karen Kohlhaas

Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

Dec. 18-31, 2007

An award-winning Comedy Central, HBO, and Logo network favorite, stand-up comic and monologist Judy Gold explores what it takes to be a Jewish mother in this hilarious, autobiographical Off Broadway hit that makes its Boston premiere at the Calderwood Pavilion. By mixing her personal experiences with those of women she and Ryan interviewed around the country, Gold weaves a funny and universal story about the ups and downs of motherhood. Click here to view a Judy Gold Video.


Created and performed by Rebekah Maggor

Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

Jan. 27 - Feb. 11, 2008

Boston playwright and actress Rebekah Maggor (a 2006 Huntington Playwriting Fellow) channels actresses both current and historic in a salute to the Bard’s best-known female characters and the women who brought them to life. This return engagement follows critically acclaimed runs in Cambridge and Wellfleet, Mass. last year.


Starring Ennio Marchetto

Created by Ennio Marchetto and Sosthen Hennekam

Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

May 13-June 1, 2008

Marilyn Monroe morphs into Marilyn Manson at lightning speed. Eminem's rapping becomes Gloria Gaynor’s wailing in the blink of an eye. A world of celebrity icons new and old unfolds as the original quick-change artist Ennio Marchetto turns origami into hilarious, family-friendly theatrical magic. This international sensation has not been seen in the Boston area since 1994! Click here to view an Ennio Video

Tickets for “The Atheist” are available now online ( and, by phone (617 266-0800), or in person (at the Boston University Theatre Box Office at 264 Huntington Avenue and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office at 527 Tremont Street). Phone and box office hours vary; call for schedule.

Judy Gold Photo: Courtesy Off Broadway Booking. Rebekah Maggor Photo: Andrew Brilliant. Ennio Photo: Courtesy Foster Entertainment.

August 3, 2007

Kate and Nick

Kate Burton (Hedda Gabler, The Cherry Orchard) and Nicholas Martin have reunited at the Williamstown Theatre Festival for the production of The Corn is Green which opened last night and runs through August 12.

It's a family reunion in many ways - with Morgan Ritchie playing opposite his mother and a slew of Williamstown/Huntington regulars including many familiar faces in the cast (including BU alum Ginnifer Goodwin) and the entire artistic team: Set Designer - Jim Noone (Rose Tattoo, She Loves Me), Costume Designer - Jeff Mashie (Laughing Wild), Lighting Designer - Frances Aronson (Fully Committed), Sound Designer - Drew Levy (Love's Labour's Lost), and Stage Managers Steve Kaus (Present Laughter and a few others) and Kelly Beaulieu (La Boheme).

Congrats to all on a great production!

Kate Burton and son Morgan Ritchie star in The Corn is Green.
photo by Andy Tew

Look in the sidebar - in Todd's Shared Items - for more Corn is Green news.

August 2, 2007

"Brendan" set and other news

This is a picture of the preliminary model for Brendan, designed by Alexander Dodge (Present Laughter). We're not quite sure the real thing will end up being quite so reflective, but who can say at this point. We're in the process of searching for materials and budgeting. Dan said he'd be done today, but I keep distracting him with other issues. Yep - that's the Citgo sign! Brendan is set right here in Beantown.

In other news: we heard from our friends at the Guthrie today. Their facilities overlook the riverfront and the bridge that collapsed last night. Their staff is physically unscathed, as far as they know, but a company member of The Children's Theatre Company is reported to be in critical conditions from injuries sustained in the collapse. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our friends in Minneapolis.

On a MUCH lighter note: Sometimes doing research for our shows can be fun. For instance - our costume design assistant, Mary Lauve, found THIS today while researching kilts and accessories for The 39 Steps. Scroll down until you see the kitty on the right. Sick - but funny. PS - A sporran is the decorative purse that hangs (like a codpiece) in front of kilt.

Finally - our box office staff is nearly ready to package up all subscription tickets and get them sent out. Just waiting on one more item to come in from the printer. It's quite a task, and the good news is that they have a few more to mail this season than they did last year!

Subscribers are invited to a reception on Tuesday, August 21 from 5:30 - 7:00 PM. Subscribers WILL have their tickets by then and can come down, get backstage tours from yours truly and our terrific production staff, and get all of their subscription questions answered. Want an invite? Be sure you subscribe soon.

August 1, 2007

Bricks and Reproduction

We (somewhat ironically) find ourselves building a set that looks like a theater backstage for The 39 Steps. It's not the first time. One of the quickest and most realist ways of making lots of fake brick is a product called "vaccuform". A mold is made and very thin (.5mm) plastic sheets are formed from it. Here are a few photos of it being attached to the "scenic" flats.

We are doing some shopping these days in the UK - for our play from London - including this brick. If you want it to look like the real thing - shop locally. Welcome to the global marketplace! After about 10 days of searching the US for someone to make this brick for us, we gave up and ordered from Peter Evans Studios in Bedfordshire. They have a variety of brick that easily surpasses anything we've found stateside, and we didn't have to pay for a custom product. We'll also be getting some fabrics, backstage props, and perhaps a few hats from "across the pond".

Alvin - our youngest shop cat, is turning into quite the supervisor. Below he can be seen helping out our carpenters, Jim (l) and Tim (r), as they fit the brick. Everything needs to line up perfectly - just like real masonry. Alvin enjoys using the straight edge.

Not only are we building bricks backstage, we've made a couple of these ladders (below). They see some pretty specific action and need to fit just right - so our craftsmen have turned out these beauties! We are using photos from the London production to recreate the finish for much of this set. Hopefully we'll get the color right. The last photo is of a sign used in the train scene. Blink and you'll miss it.

Scenery designed by Peter McIntosh.

Rehearsals begin in two weeks. You'll be hearing a lot more about this show from here on out.

Streamers Sneak Peek

Here's a peek at the set for our upcoming production of Streamers. Set Designer Neil Patel has added dramatic tension to an Army barracks, thrusting it out into the audience and using scale to give the room a sense of claustrophobia. Here is a photo of the set model.

This post also marks the first time I've found a designer bio on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia! Also of interest - Showtime has been running the 1983 film version starring Michael Wright, David Alan Grier and George Dzundza. There are just five showings left. Set your DVR today.