September 26, 2007

Inbox - Tuesday

Had a few nice surprises in my mailbox today:

BU Today published a video feature with Campbell Scott, Justin Waldman and Ronan Noone. Visit BU Today and take a look.

Huntington favorite Jerry Kissel (Persephone, The Cherry Orchard, Sisters Rosenswieg) recorded a radio spot for us... it's especially worth a listen if you know Jerry. Take a look under the videos in the side bar for the radio ad.

September 24, 2007

Browse Us - Huntington Theatre Company

It's practically October around here - and things feel like it. We are about as busy as we ever get. Today was a good day though; after two days rest I managed to clear several of the piles from my desk and catch up on a little correspondence. The 39 Steps and The Atheist (now in it's final week) are currently enjoying tremendously successful runs. Brendan is settling into a very productive rehearsal with reports that over half the play was blocked in the first week. The set for Streamers is sitting backstage awaiting some final coats of paint, and in a few weeks we will begin to go to town on Third. We're looking well beyond January too...

We have had tens of thousands of new visitors on our websites (www.huntingtontheatre.org, www.bostontheatrescene.com, blog.huntingtontheatre.org) in the last few weeks. If you are one of those folks popping back in for a second visit I recommend you explore a little deeper and find out what it is that makes the Huntington a special place (I like to think so anyway).

Here on the blog all of the navigation is on the right hand side tool bar: I've got shows currently in production up top, and each of these links will take you to content specific to each show. These are followed by some insider tips, more Huntington links, a search function (need to find something or someone in particular?), blog archives, a selection of recent theatre news and reviews that I have collected for you, followed by Huntington contact info.

More than anything, I would love to hear from YOU. You can comment about nearly anything you like by clicking on the "Join the Conversation" link following each post.

On huntingtontheatre.org your gonna find tons of info about each show, and even more about the Huntington and our programs. We've got a new webmaster and the site is looking better every day with lots of updates and more content than ever before. We are also working on making it easier and faster for you to buy tickets online. How does "select your own seat" sound?? It sounds really great to me... no more taking chances on a seating location, you get to pick the seats you want! That's coming sometime this fall if all goes well.

Over on BTS you will find EVERYTHING that is going on with our partner companies, including Boston University and the Resident Theatre Companies at the Boston Center for the Arts. There is just no excuse for sitting at home in front of the DVR when there is such a variety of exciting theatre right at your finger tips.

Click it and take a scroll with us... and then tell us about what you found!

G.B. Shaw's Don Juan in Hell - Phillip Bosco at BU Theatre

Jim Petosa, Director of the School of Theatre (BU CFA), sent in the following:

Hey, Todd -

I'm hoping that your blog readers will be interested in the one-night-only October 1 (Monday) performance of Shaw's DON JUAN IN HELL which is happening on the Boston University Theatre mainstage at 7 30 pm that night.

The performance will feature renowned actor Phillip Bosco as the Devil, Broadway veteran Barbara Andres (who was last seen here in Huntington production of MARTY), and Robert Milli ( television actor who also has the distinction of playing Horatio to Richard Burton's HAMLET), playing Don Juan. I will be joining them in the role of The Statue. Should be a terrific evening!

Tickets are only $25 and are available through the box office (617-933-8600) or online at www.bostontheatrescene.com I don't want any theatregoers to miss this opportunity!

Proceeds for the evening will benefit the School's Sir Rex Harrison Scholarship Fund which supports our performance students, as well as our Production Enhancement Fund, which supports the work of our design and technical students.

Thanks for spreading the news!

Best,
Jim

More from Jim on "heaven and hell" at BU Today.

September 22, 2007

Ty Burr on The 39 Steps

Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr will be our Humanities Forum speaker tomorrow Sunday, September 23, following the 2PM show. Humanities speakers usually talk about the historical and literary context of the play. Given the book by Buchan gave birth to three movies as well as this play I'd bet that Ty will have plenty to talk about. This event is free with the purchase of a ticket to any performance. You can learn more about our other scheduled programs and events on our website.

September 18, 2007

The 39 Steps - Pictures

Here are the promised photos.

Dashing everyman Richard Hannay (Charles Edwards) finds himself on the run for his life.


Scottish innkeeper Mrs. McGarrigle (Arnie Burton, l.) greets Pamela and Hannay with a wink and a nod in the Huntington Theatre Company’s pre-Broadway American premiere production of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps.”

Pamela (Jennifer Ferrin) and Hannay (Charles Edwards) spot trouble from their opera box

Mistaken for a Scottish political candidate while hiding out from police, Hannay (Charles Edwards, l.) unwittingly exposes his little secret to the crowd as Mr. McQuarrie (Cliff Saunders, center) and the Master of Ceremonies (Arnie Burton, l.) remain unaware.


On the run for their lives, Pamela (Jennifer Ferrin) and Hannay (Charles Edwards) discover the only way is up.



Onboard an Edinburgh train, racing against time to clear himself of murder, Hannay (Charles Edwards, r.) overhears two itinerant underwear salesman (Arnie Burton (l.) and Cliff Saunders, center), as they discuss a newspaper description of the alleged killer in the Huntington Theatre Company’s pre-Broadway American premiere production of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps.”


It’s a love-hate relationship for Pamela (Jennifer Ferrin) and Hanney (Charles Edwards) as they run for their lives from a sinister plot.


Hannay (Charles Edwards, l.) is caught peering over the shoulder of a surly Scottish farmer (Cliff Saunders, r.), who’s reading a news report about a London murder suspect on the loose.

All photos:T. Charles Erickson

A HUGE THANKS to the folks at JenniferFerrin.Net who have essentially been reposting the blog (and doing a great job of crediting us).

Next round of photos: OPENING NIGHT - coming soon.

The 39 Steps Boston - Video

I thought I'd toss this fun video online while I'm eating my dinner, a yummy maki roll from the nice folks at Symphony Sushi right around the corner here in Boston. (Shameless, aren't I?)

Here are our good friends Arnie Burton, Charles Edwards, Jennifer Ferrin, Cliff Saunders and Director Maria Aitken hamming it up for the camera in the Huntington Theatre's rehearsal hall. Enjoy the video!



Next Post? Production Photos. Y'all come back now!

September 16, 2007

39 Steps Previews

Preview rehearsals have been going very well this weekend, we're making small adjustments and refinements as we discover what works best with an American audience. Designer Peter McKintosh joined us on Thursday and the notes lists have been remarkably small given that it was the first time he had seen our scenery, costumes and props in person.

Friday's preview was, um, technically challenged. The crew have since been finding all sorts of ways to make their moves faster, funnier, safer, and consistent. Saturday evening's show was greatly improved and perhaps even calm at moments backstage.

The performances thus far have played to capacity crowds who are roaring their approval at curtain calls. We are all looking forward to tomorrow's day off, and Wednesday's Opening Night.

The Boston Globe has a nice article today written by freelancer (and HubArts blogger) Joel Brown. He spent a little time with us during rehearsal and talked with the cast, playwright Patrick Barlow and director Maria Aitken. Joel shares his behind the scenes peek with you here.

Cliff Saunders, Charles Edwards, Arnie Burton and Jennifer Ferrin rehearse a four-actor stage adaptation of "The 39 Steps." (Boston Globe Photo: John Bohn/Globe Staff)

September 14, 2007

Who is that guy? Campbell Scott

Several of my friends have asked about Campbell Scott... so I thought I'd post this little filmography and send them the link. Oh yeah - it's THAT guy.

There is always something familiar about Campbell Scott. The award-winning actor, known for his ability to dodge the spotlight, has a wide and varied career and it is a testament to his chameleon-like dexterity and range that he can never be locked into a type. Below is a sampling of Scott’s most recognizable films.

Longtime Companion – 1990
Scott’s breakthrough film, Longtime Companion, was for PBS TV’s “American Playhouse” series and chronicled the lives of Manhattanites learning and struggling through the very early years of the AIDS epidemic. This marked Scott’s first collaboration with renowned playwright Craig Lucas, which would prove fruitful. Scott would go on to star in other Lucas-penned films, like the screen adaptations of his plays The Dying Gaul and The Secret Lives of Dentists.

Dying Young – 1991
Scott’s first big starring role, he played Victor Geddes, a dying leukemia patient who falls in love with his nurse, played by Julia Roberts. Directed by Joel Schumacher, the film costarred Ellen Burstyn and Scott’s real-life mother, Colleen Dewhurst.

Singles – 1992
In Cameron Crowe’s ode to grunge-era Seattle, Scott played Steve Dunne, a civil engineer with bad dating luck as part of a pack of unattached twenty-somethings living in the same apartment complex. Also starring Bridget Fonda, Kyra Sedgewick, and Matt Dillon, Singles captured early 1990s life with its quirky mix of angst and wit, and its of-the-moment soundtrack including the era’s biggest bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

Roger Dodger – 2002
In a performance that won him a Best Actor Award from the National Board of Review, and a nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards, Scott plays Roger Swanson, a smooth talking advertising exec with a penchant for seducing women. When a surprise visit from his 16-year-old nephew turns him into a love tutor, Roger must reevaluate the direction his life has taken. Roger Dodger was a darling on the film festival circuit, winning 11 awards, including Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The Spanish Prisoner – 1997
Award-winning playwright David Mamet wrote this thriller about Scott’s character, Joe Ross, who develops “the process” for his “company” that will make “millions.” Intentionally cryptic, The Spanish Prisoner weaves a trail of double-crosses, false trusts, and shady con artists for Scott to navigate. Steve Martin, Ben Gazzara, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Felicity Huffman round out the cast of charming ne’er-do-wells.

Hamlet – 2000
Huntington audiences might experience some déjà vu after watching this film, having seen Scott perform the role of Shakespeare’s tormented Dane on the B.U. Theatre stage in 1996. Scott co-directed this film version with Eric Simonson, and reprised his turn in the title role. The supporting cast was filled with a who’s who of theatre actors including Tony Award winners Blair Brown and Denis O’Hare.

No End in Sight – 2007
Scott narrates this recently-released documentary from writer/director Charles Fergueson that examines the American occupation of Iraq from the perspective of those inside the Bush administration. A candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials, Iraqi civilians, American soldiers, and prominent analysts, No End in Sight is a riveting look at the state of Iraq today and was the recipient of a Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival

Check out more the bios of the entire artistic team here. Nice to have so many BU College of Fine Arts folks working with us!

Photos (top to bottom): (1) Campbell Scott. (2) Campbell Scott, Patricia Clarkson, and Peter Sarsgaard in The Dying Gaul. (3) Campbell Scott, Matt Dylon, Bridget Fonda, and Jim True-Frost in The Singles. (4) Campbell Scott and Jesse Eisenberg in Roger Dodger. (5) Campbell Scott in The Spanish Prisoner. (6) Campbell Scott in the title role of the Huntington's 1996 production of Hamlet; photo T. Charles Erickson

September 13, 2007

Mauritius

We've been so busy here in Boston that I almost forgot that Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius begins performances on Broadway tonight.

Bobby Cannavale, Katie Finneran, Alison Pill, F. Murray Abraham and Dylan Baker star in Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius. photo by Henry Leutwyler

Mauritius, a Huntington co-production with the Manhattan Theatre Club, is directed by Doug Hughes. The creative team includes John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Catherine Zuber (costume design), Paul Gallo (lighting design)and David Van Tieghem (original music and sound design.

Playbill has more details.

Break a leg all!

September 11, 2007

"Tech"ing 1-2-3

I'm doing a bit of "live" blogging tonight as I watch tech for The 39 Steps here at the BU Theatre. An invited dress for The Atheist should have just begun over at the Wimberly Theatre. Here's a bit about the last four days.

Saturday (Sept 8)

Final rehearsal in the Huntington Ave rehearsal hall for The 39 Steps. I watched a run through and it was great fun, there are some new bits and references to other Hitchcock classics worked in.

The lights are focused on stage at the BU Theatre.

It is also the final rehearsal in Connecticut for The Atheist. I missed that run but reports are that all is going very well. It's also the travel day - everyone returns to Boston.

Sunday (Sept 9)

The crew starts around 9:30 AM getting ready for today's "Ten out of Twelve" tech rehearsal. That means that we will rehearse for 10 hours over a 12 hour period. Noon to Midnight with a 2 hour dinner break. It's a good days work - we manage to get through about 50 pages of the script (better than 1/3), but not quite up to intermission. We discover a few things that require a bit of re-blocking, take a few notes, have plenty to work to complete. There are a ton of props, hundreds of light cues, many many quick changes, 4 varieties of smoke and fog, and decibels of sound cues. Then add four actors, two stage managers, four deck crew, and four dressers figuring out how not to bump into each other. A recipe for lots of hard work.

The lights are focused for The Atheist and the crew does a few last notes to get the set ready for tech tomorrow. It's a day off for Campbell, Justin and Steve.

Monday

It's a day off for The 39 Steps cast and crew. Scenery, Props and Paints all worked a long day completing some old notes and starting on some new ones.

It's a 10 out of 12 for The Atheist. The technical rehearsal period for this production is much shorter... only about 14 hours before the invited Dress Rehearsal versus about 33 to the same point for The 39 Steps. It is a great day's work, we tech through the whole play once and then run it back through again without stopping. We finish early.

During the breaks I find out why the boys didn't reply to the last few posts with rehearsal stories. It's because the stories are not fit to print. Unless we want to invite a libel suit or perhaps an international incident. Besides - this blog isn't really about scary hotels, B&Bs, golf or politics. Use your imagination. It's also obvious that they did a lot of work in those five days. They were extremely well prepared for tech rehearsals and we would not have made so much progress without their advance work.

Tuesday

Today is our second 10 out of 12 technical rehearsal for The 39 Steps. We pick up where we left off on Sunday and finish the 1st Act in the afternoon session. We may finish the play tonight, but even if we don't we'll have tomorrow to finish up and run through it all again. That will leave Thursday (an 8 out of 10) and Friday to run it a few times to be ready for Friday evening's preview performance. That will be my favorite night of the week. I'll (hopefully) be home before midnight.

Both design teams and all of the staff are doing great work as the shows are looking great!

Meanwhile the scene shop is building Brendan and the stage managers are prepping for rehearsals next week. The painters are working on Streamers and prelim scenic designs for Third are expected any day now.

If you have any questions about what goes on at tech rehearsals or about these shows feel free to ask (use the "Join the conversation" link below) or Check out this glossary for an explanation of just about any theatrical term there is!

September 7, 2007

The Atheist in rehearsal


Playwright Ronan Noone, director Justin Waldman, and stage manager Steve Kaus are wrapping up rehearsals tomorrow with actor Campbell Scott in Conneticut. We've received a few notes but little in the way of good gossip. Have anything for us gents? Ronan? Justin? Kaus? Campbell? Hit that "Join the Conversation" button below and tell us a story.

Costume designer Jessica Curtwright and sound designer Alex Neumann also drove down this week for a visit. Scene designer Cristina Todesco and lighting designer Ben Stanton will join the all of the above and the rest of crew at the Calderwood Pavilion (including house carpenter Brian Masters, house electrician Kat Fleischaker, and sound operator Arshan Galius) and a slew of other Huntington staffers for a few days of tech in the Wimberly prior to our first public performance on Wednesday (9/12).

Two shows in tech at once. Off we go!

Jennifer Ferrin and Charles Edwards

Jennifer Ferrin and Charles Edwards - fully one half of the cast of The 39 Steps took a moment this week to send you a message. Jennifer is familiar to fans of Spike TV's The Kill Point, and As the World Turns fans will recognize her as Jennifer Munson Donovan. Emmy nominated Jennifer returns to her roots in the theater here at the Huntington Theatre Company, having graduated from the renowned North Carolina School of the Arts.

video

Charles Edwards, familiar to fans of London Theater such as the National Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket, the Tricycle and the West End's Criterion where he originated The 39 Steps leading role of Richard Hannay. Charles has also appeared in UK television and several movies including The All Together and Batman Begins.


video

September 6, 2007

Run for it!

Today we rehearsed a bit of one of the more challenging chase sequences in The 39 Steps. We don't officially start tech until Sunday - but this scene requires the use of the technical wizardry only available on stage, so we joined the cast and spent three or four hours playing with all of our toys. It was a lot of fun and this show is shaping up nicely.

It's also fun to see that we are not making a carbon copy of the London production. Sure - it closely resembles the fun now playing in Piccadilly Circus - but it has a character all it's own.

I didn't get any video this afternoon, but I found the scenes from the Hitchcock movie that we're re-enacting. The part we rehearsed today starts about 2 minutes into this clip.



The 39 Steps play (rather fully) recreates The 39 Steps movie, but Hitchcock slips into the action in other ways (as Hitchcock will). We borrow from this classic movie too...



I have to say - the helicopter scene in Miss Saigon has NOTHING on us. See today's earlier post if you are interest in catching the whole thing on a larger screen.

Date Night

Looking to stay up late (or be up early) tomorrow night?

Join us at a special midnight screening of the original Hitchcock film THE 39 STEPS at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, celebrating the Huntington's upcoming stage production of the Broadway-bound show THE 39 STEPS!

39 Seats for THE 39 STEPS
An event in partnership with the Huntington Theatre Company, Truth Serum Productions, and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
Friday, September 7 at midnight
$10

Coolidge Corner Theatre
290 Harvard Street, Brookline
617-734-2500
http://www.coolidge.org/midnites