Yesterday, we went down to Urban Stages to do a preliminary walk-through for the lighting designer of Jim Brochu's "Character Man," Meghan Santelli. I purposely did not bring a camera because it can be a distraction when someone is concentrating. It needed to be just a private creative session. (I'm, officially, the Artistic Consultant, which mean I don't have to do anything, but they ask my my opinion, anyway.)
We are blessed with a nice big stage, tall ceiling and a full lighting package. For a theater person, if you can get these things, it's like having a mountain of gold. It even has balcony railing on the back wall and big steam pipes. Fabulous!
Also, since "Character Man" is a kind of memory play (memory musical?), and utilizes a lot of personal photographs, we have video and set designer, Patrick Brennan to create a three-screen projection. Previously, Jim had just edited them together himself. And they worked, but also felt a bit homemade. He always wanted an actual designer with more professional equipment. Patrick was involved in Mark Nadler's brilliant production at The York.
Robert Bartley, our very creative (and handsome) and well prepared director, was there. Also Don Myers, our beloved stage manager, who had, this past weekend, overseen a complete ceiling to floor cleaning of the whole space, including the back stage, dressing room, lighting booth and audience areas -- it smells so good in there! He also inserted our little show secrets and traditions, which I'll show you after it's all up and ready.
Jim stood and walked around the stage and moved from area to area, while everyone made (or took) notes.
The group is really friendly and professional. For a small budget off-Broadway show in a house that seats 70 or so, with the planned production values, I think the $35 ticket price is the best price in town, especially considering most Broadway shows go for $200, unless you know how to sneak around and find deals. Or find rich friends who will take you.
It's all very exciting. I'll write more as we go along. Get tickets here!