Jan 09 2009
Well, I quite enjoyed the dress rehearsal for ASP’s Duchess of Malfi. It was much more polished than I expected from a dress rehearsal. The action was only stopped once, and that was for a technical glitch of some kind. The main difference actually had to do with the lack of normal “theater ettiquette” — the audience, which was basically all production people, would (quietly) make various comments, laugh when anything odd happened (intentional or not), eat snacks… and in my case, pull out a laptop and use it to draw when the lights went low.
The play itself is a bit of a mixed bag. The story mostly revolves around people doing horrible things to each other, but some of the characters are pretty interesting. ASP’s rendition is full of really dramatic and creepy imagery. This is one of their more visual productions, with fairly elaborate lighting and costume design, and a stage/set that has a nice instant visual impact. It’s set up a bit like the ART Romeo & Juliet I didn’t like from a few years back (the stage is long and narrow with audience seating on both sides); but here the acoustics work much better, and they seem to do a better job of blocking and lighting it so it doesn’t feel 2-dimensional. The performances were all rock-solid, with none that especially jumped at me as being better or worse than the others. Which is a good thing.
Here are a few of the better sketches I did. I wish I could’ve captured more of the lighting, but so it goes. There may be some minor spoilers, so I’ll keep most of the drawings behind the cut.