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New revisions at: Theater X-Net
Visit: Michael's Montana Web Archive
Theater, Art, Flash Gordon, Funky Music and MORE!
NEW --Launching NOW! Outre Space Cinema -- Featuring: 1930's Rocketry, Spitfires of the Spaceways and Cellulose to Celluloid, Flash Gordon in the Saturday Matinees and Sunday Comics.
Many thanks to Jim Keefe (Visit his Website) -- the LAST Flash Gordon illustrator of the 20th Century, and Flash's FIRST illustrator of the 21st, for including my efforts on his Flash Gordon Resources Page -- along with actual creators like Alex Raymond, Al Williamson, and others!
Charity Alert: Play the FreeRice Game -- improve your vocabulary, and donate food to the United Nations. Check into Terra Sigilata blog -- donate $$$ to cancer patients just by clicking onto the site. Keep that Resolution to click on The Hunger Site every day. BTW -- AIDtoCHILDREN.com is a bit simpler than FreeRice Game.
In The Community: The Hockaday Museum of Art's Autumn Salon finishes up THIS WEEK. We will likely change Crown of the Continent a little, and continue Ace of Diamonds. The art run to Eastern Montana in December is finally set -- I was originally scheduled to go on the days when the state had its first winter blizzard, and a literally fatal cold snap!
Media Watch: The Metropolitan Opera broadcast was only FOUR hours instead of five this week -- Thaïs by Frenchman Jules Massenet (1885) starring champion soprano Renée Fleming and Spokane's handsome baritone Thomas Hampson. There were a lot of vocal acrobatics in this one, but I was MOST impressed by the way Massenet utilized his beautiful melody Meditation in and out of the drama. I understand that it was something of a multi-media event at the time -- the elite of Paris supposedly showed up to the opera "fashionably late" in time to see dancers perform, and then remained to watch the principals die at the end. (What do you expect from Opera, a happy ending?)
Live Theater: Bob Fosse's near-flop Chicago (1975) slowly found it's dancing legs over two decades, thanks in part to community theater companies like the one at my college.
Michelle Keener, the actress who played Velma Kelly, had a wonderful voice, moved well, and played her part to perfection. Jillian Vashro, who played Roxie Hart is one of our graduates, and continues to help guide younger actors. I was glad to see her in a leading role again -- knocking them dead, so to speak. The singing was generally excellent -- Billy Flynn had an amazing voice. The women all wore lingerie, while the men wore pants and shirts (sometimes tank tops), so it was abstractly Brecht-like, and somewhat surreal -- which is how this play works best in my humble opinion.
(Digital relief & color by ME, from a B&W photo by Martha Swope.)
Besides Bob Fosse, Chicago was written by Fred Ebb, with music by Ebb and John Kander. It was likely too sensual and satirical for Broadway theatergoers of the time. Gwen Verdon LOOKED 'way younger that she should have, and Chita Rivera was in the full bloom of her youth. Jerry (Billy Flynn) Ohrbach was Broadway's best actor, but his audiences were still pretty cold towards this play the first time around. Fosse put out a revue called Dancing, backed by popular recordings, to avoid bankruptcy. When he suffered a heart attack, he made his cinematic masterpiece All That Jazz from the experience.