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Restored photograph of the last production I designed at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (years ago, alas)

Restored photograph of the last production I designed at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (years ago, alas). This was "The Miser" directed by John Dennis, one of the most fun productions I have ever worked on. Costumes were by the amazing Liz Covey (look Liz, Your costumes are in this shot!). This had the best Director Concept statement ever......."Norma Desmond Has a Neighbor." Triply funny as the very night we opened, 25 miles or so away in Denver saw the simultaneous opening of the national tour of "Sunset Blvd!" The Denver Post theatre critic even got our reference but I swear Dennis, having been from Baton Rouge had no idea of the coincidental juxtaposition of the two simultaneous openings.
My research was authentic having found a wonderful large coffee table book of the architecture of the film people's mansions in Palm Beach. Alas in that era I couldn't find a book on Palm Springs architecture BUT I discovered the mansions of the two bi-coastal towns were linked AND better yet the mega stars simply brought their favorite film designer with them to both towns to custom design their homes as though the stars could live within their film land lives. The designer they most chose was the legendary Joseph Urban! I had known none of this history before.
Our production had so very many way cool comic visual puns and business. I mused one day that it seemed strange for Moliere to have so many servants for a man being such a Miser. Next thing I know the play was modified to have but one male servant. There is a key fight scene in the play between the cook and the livery. Liz Covey had the actor's head shaved and designed an amazing hat atop a lazy susan. It could spin around with one side being the cook's hat and the other, an updated to the 1920s Chauffer hat. As the actor switched personalities to match he adopted alternately French and German accents. The fight scene was hilarious!
Two scenic jokes stood out. I then mused that :"theft of utilities" wouldn't be beneath this in the back you can see our Gilligan's Island - style bicycle. At key moments in the show the stage lights would "brown out" and whoever was handy on stage would have to excuse themselves, mount the bike, and peddle away to restore the power! The bike was jury-rigged into the chandelier that would then explode at a key moment in the peddling!
The chair was the other cool thing. John Dennis asked if a leg could break off as the title character would then affix a price tag and sell it. In the end we engineered the chair to lose 3 of the 4 legs still defying gravity totally.
So there you have it!
If you still want to visit holy places in the world, a Tour Laos Vietnam will make you really happy.
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Update : 26-12-2017


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