Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Family photos

We took some family snapshots a couple days ago ... don't the boys look happy. All these photos are by Thom Kaine.















And there's a story about them on broadwayworld.com here ...

SHAIFER!!

... "Enough Said"


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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Out with the Blonde and In with the Brunette

Well, in surprising, exciting, and somewhat bittersweet news, Steve Wilder, longtime member of the Made in Heaven cast, whose portrayal of Gilbert the hustler will live in infamy, has been promoted to Associate Producer of the Off-Broadway production. Meanwhile, Matthew Bondy, originally the understudy for all three of the male characters (a job that was already giving him a heart attack, and he hadn't even officially begun his contract!), has graciously agreed to step into the role. We know he will do his best to fill Wilder's thong, stuffing and all.

Obviously this is both exciting and a little sad for the rest of the cast. We love you, Wilder, and I'm sure we will all miss making out with you (especially Anfanger). And Matthew, we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome you to our crazy, dysfunctional family. And we all look forward to making out with you, too (especially Anfanger).

So, welcome, Matthew. Welcome to your rock hard abs and clever punchlines, to your scraped off chest hair, and your ability to burp on cue, and welcome to your brown, brown hair. I don't know that I can act opposite a brunette after all these years, but I'm sure everyone else in the cast would say that they don't know that I can act at all. And, in any case, I'm excited to try.

And, Highlights, (as we often called our friend Wilder), you will be missed onstage. (and not just the two shows you were actually missed onstage...) But, this is not goodbye, my highlighted friend. Because, remember, Wilder, this show is like the mafia: Once you're in, there ain't no getting out...

Kevin T.

Lighting renderings from LD Kia Rogers

Hi, I'm the LD for MIH. To help facilitate design ideas I like to render some of the intimate moments from the play and then bring them to my design meetings. Some make it to the show, some don't, but the pictures let the director know where my head is creatively and opens dialogue with the other designers. Here are several renderings. I have often been asked why I render on black paper...I simply don't see the picture until my light hits a surface, be it the character's face, a specific piece of furniture, architecture or atmosphere. It feeds my imagination to start in the dark and paint with light.

You can see bigger versions of these renderings by going to my Flickr account, or by clicking on them.

I really wanted to push the idea of starting intimate and then opening up. A gesture of being shy, then trusting the audience with very personal stuff. With the mirror, we allow the boys to "hide" just a little before revealing themselves. The mirror also represents an honesty and willingness on the boys' part that they do accept themselves. A strong angled light would be focused on the mirror to reflect on the boys' faces, and another instrument would light their upstage faces and with a blue wash across the stage we see them but not fully until they move away from the mirror and the room opens up to realistic lighting motivated by table lamps and recessed lighting over the dinning table and bar.

We open the scene with the character action of turning on a lamp, from this motivated light the area around the sofa will softly glow and broaden to see the scene play out.




I wanted to use practicals as much as possible, and then once we established the "look" the stage would open up subtly to see all the action. In this rendering the motivated light is from the table lamp and a blue wash colors the rest of the set to create a late night feeling, but still see the characters. As the scene progresses the light will radiate from the source of the table lamp and fill the surrounding area but the corners will remain darker.

Here we have a moment where I wanted to take us out of reality and highlight the group in an isolated look. There is a front spot that will start on the boys in the middle and then grow larger to incorporate the two new "members" of the family. The audience should feel like this is all going to work out at this moment, and the characters should sparkle. There are dedicated back light and front side light to assist the spotlight.

Friday, October 16, 2009

FANTASTIC INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to post this incredible interview I had with our director Andrew Shaifer.
I think it really provides a tremendous insight into the way he uses his acutely developed craft in order to sculpt a detailed and rich product.
Enjoy.

-Alex Anfanger




video video

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adam Szymkowicz interview with Jay Bernzweig

Our first interview!

Playwright and blogger Adam Szymkowicz has interviewed MADE IN HEAVEN's author, Jay Bernzweig, for his ongoing series on contemporary playwrights. Jay is number 71 in the list. 71. Who knows 71 playwrights? READ IT HERE!

On a related note, Jay has a VERY serious, professional-looking photo.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What Not To Wear

Most people want to know what we do in rehearsals.

Mainly, we comment on what Shaifer wears.

I know what you are thinking, "But you rehearse every day for 7 hours! You must be doing other things as well?!"

Nope. Not really. Commentary is extensive and thorough, and, I assure you, consumes most of our rehearsal hours.

For Example Tuesday Shaifer wore Horizontal Stripes and then asked us all day if he looked fat. Now, it doesn't take Tim Gunn to know that Horizontal stripes make everyone look fat. (Unless you're Kate Moss - in which case horizontal stripes make you look like a Size Two) Stripes width wise does nobody any favors. This is why your local Footlocker Employees always look svelte.


Wednesday, Shaifer went with a light Gray Sweater which would have been a major improvement were it not for the giant pink horizontal stripe at the bottom. But at least it was better than the effing sailor suit he was wearing Tuesday.
Thursday we couldn't really make fun of Shaifer. Shaifer looked good. Shaifer bought a brand new shirt at the Gap. We had to give it to Shaifer. We got a lot of rehearsing done that day.
But Friday, Shaifer outdid himself with a white and blue patterned polyester shirt with 5 buttons at the top that he wore for the first time in August of 1969 to Woodstock.
What will tomorrow bring? We wait with baited breath! The weather is supposed to be in the high sixties. Dare we hope for Culottes?

XOXO - Maia "Fashion Police" Madison


Friday, October 9, 2009

Welcome to the newest member of our cast - Pneumonia!

Well, the first week of rehearsals was really exciting for many reasons - new designers, understudies, not rehearsing in Champion Dance Studios (otherwise known as artistic purgatory) - but I think possibly the most interesting and exciting addition to the team was what I brought to the table - Pneumonia.

Now I know what you're thinking, but, no, she doesn't have a last name. She just goes by Pneumonia. Like Jesus. (His last name wasn't really Christ. But I digress...)

I brought Pneumonia on board because I felt my work lacked something. From the very first day Pneumonia was in the room with us, you could feel the difference, feel her presence in everything I did. The room immediately heated up until it felt like it was at least 102 degrees on stage. She somehow managed to make me feel like I was in my own little world, separated from my fellow actors. Plus she apparently made me so powerful and interesting that nobody else on stage wanted to touch me, or even be anywhere near me. And don't even get me started on all that tasty phlegm she helped me cough up all week...Did I say phlegm? I meant truth!

Pneumonia is mostly gone now. She may pop her head in from time to time. But I just wanted to say thank you, Pneumonia, for making the first week and a half of rehearsals SO MUCH EASIER. I just don't know how I could have done it without you...


By the way, I'm also really looking forward to my special guest for next week, the Bubonic Plague! I mean, who gets Pneumonia?!?!?! While on vacation?!?!?!? In September?!?!?!?

Armpits, Chia's and Sex with the Shaif....

Well, following Jay IS hard but following Shaifer is easy.... he's doing a great job on this show, but if you meet him at one of the performances (and you will if you come and you SHOULD come!) he will invariably ask you if you would rather have sex with him or me. I implore you...when this happens, overlook his growing stomach and pasty skin (even though he tans) and say, "Why YOU Shaif, of COURSE". If you don't, he will take revenge upon me by requiring me to shave more of my armpit hair until it looks like a Chia Pet.

Steve -AKA Gilbert

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Director Andrew Shaifer here...

Following the Brilliant Jay Bernzweig is near impossible but I shall try...

If you are visiting this site and thinking about buying tickets, I implore you to do so. I have truly never had so much fun on a show in my life, and I've done some RANDY shows! The cast is awesome and darn sexy, the writing is hilarious and I am cute as a button!

So come on buy your tickets as MADE could become a hot ticket and then you'll be weeping into your morning oatmeal that you didn't buy tickets as soon as you finished perusing this blog!


Clarified butter, and gold standards

I would have blogged sooner but I decided to cook all of the recipes in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” It’s been done before, you say. But not in the miniscule kitchen of a New York studio apartment, using only a single sauce pan and a tiny convection oven. With luck I’ll manage to clarify butter successfully by the end of the week.

Rehearsals have been going splendidly and have been almost too much fun. Yesterday I brought H., a friend of mine, in to speak to the cast. (I’m using initials so you can pretend you’re reading a French novel.) H. is a delightfully sweet and winning young guy from Venezuela who has been a gay porn star and a successful escort for eight years. His mission was to help one of our brilliant actors, Steve Wilder (I mean ‘S.’), add a layer of verisimilitude to “Gilbert,” the sexually ambiguous, drug addicted hustler he plays in the show. In short order our director, A., had H. on stage, teaching S. the finer points of male hoochie dancing and showing him the (porn) industry-standard butt position for giving a blowjob.

I need to immodestly digress for a moment to say that “Made in Heaven” contains the funniest and most intricate blowjob scene in the history of the American theatre. I’m fairly confident it will become the gold standard of blowjob scenes, against which all future stage blowjobs will be measured.

-- Jay.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Ridiculous and/or Sublime Stephanie March

Apparently everyone who's seen MADE IN HEAVEN wants to tell everyone everyone who hasn't to come see the show. Stephanie March just sent us this lovely quote:

"Sublimely ridiculous and ridiculously sublime. I laughed for a straight hour." Stephanie March ("Law & Order: SVU," The Invention of Lying)

We like. Thank you.

Want to buy tickets yet?

A rare blend of Jane Pratt (like Hankey-Bannister?)

Jane Pratt, magazine maven and editrix extraordinaire, saw the show a bunch of times - in early readings and at the festival this summer.


She says:

"MADE IN HEAVEN is that rare blend of irreverent, original and funny as hell and I implore you to go see it," Jane Pratt (founder, Jane Magazine, Sassy Magazine)


Flying the flag

Here's what the SoHo Playhouse looks like when we've put our posters on it. Shaifer got very excited and clapped his hands when he saw it.





Johanna, our Assistant Stage Manager, gave it the thumbs up. She was very excited.





Next challenge: make a new flag for the venue.

This one isn't doing too well anymore. This question of what to put in its place took an hour to debate in today's strategy meeting. Our publicists, promotions team, branding agency, and producers, on conference call from Costa Rica, all had useful input and got very excited. Only after we'd agreed to construct a large pair of [this comment has been censored] did we learn that the current flag's shape is 'grandfathered in' (SoHo Historic District and all that) and its shape can't be changed. We eventually decided that because it will only cost a few thousand dollars to get a new one - every cent well spent as far as ROI - we should go ahead, provided we hire a union rigger to put it up. We created a mock-up of the new flag pinned onto a styrofoam model of the building, and presented our work to the cast, but they didn't seem to care.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The best Ron Livingston

We asked actor-supremo Ron Livingston (who, with his brother John, played the twins in one of the first ever readings of "Made in Heaven") to let us quote him talking about the play. He sent us this ringing endorsement:

"Hands down the best gay/straight Siamese twin comedy of 2009."

Ron Livingston (Office Space, "Sex and the City")

Ron, of course, doesn't want to confuse audiences who loved "My Name Is Herman" -- which we all agree was the best gay/straight Siamese twin melodrama of 2009.

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Outrageously funny" says David Fumero

Here's a clipping from trusted news source, ABC Soaps, talking to audience member and cast favorite David Fumero.

"It was awesome. Outrageously funny. The show went by really fast -- you're so into it the whole time. The actors are amazing, too."

David saw our (Best Play Award-winning) presentation at the Midtown International Theater Festival, a couple months ago ...

Next up: First preview off-Broadway at SOHO PLAYHOUSE, Oct 22nd!