GJ Willis' Art Notes
The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.
I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Here’s my review of Misalliance by George Bernard Shaw currently running at Center Stage theater in Baltimore, October 3-November 2, 2003. The play was directed by Irene Lewis.
THE CAST (in order of speaking)
Patricia O’ Connell
Peter Van Norden
Eric Sheffer Stevens
I was nearly late for the start of the show. I had about 3 minutes to find my seat. This season it appears I will be sitting next to a tiny elderly jerri curled lady who carries an oxygen tank around with her. When looking around the audience I saw a familiar face in the rows, Barbara. Barb, used to work at Center Stage with me. I hear that she has long since left her job there. Also working as an usher was the guy who used to work at my office in the mail room. His name escapes me. He’s very tall wears glasses looks slightly like Stephen King and sounds like a telephone directory when he talks. I believe he is developmentally disabled....I don’t think it’s nice to call people retarded.
First off I was blown away by the set. I wanted to live there. I really loved the glass ceiling. The set reminded me of the one they had with Travels With My Aunt only more conventional. Set designer Tony Staiges did a bang up job. I loved the effect of the airplane suspended in the ceilingthat signaled the end of act one.
Overall, the play was better than I thought it was going to be. I laughed out loud quiet a bit from beginning to end. The ending to this play did not feel the slightest bit iffy. It only got preachy with the introduction of the character called Gunner played by Carson Elrod. Elrod did well in this small thankless role that seemed only to exist so that Shaw could spout his Socialist beliefs to the audience.
My favorite performer in the play was Natalija Nogulich who played Lina, the acrobat. I felt very empowered by the speech her character gave about being her own woman and not being bought. I wanted to go out and buy a circus outfit and train men all day.
The most famous performer on stage if you watch CBS soap operas was Trent Dawson. He plays shady yet adorable con man Henry Coleman on As The World Turns. I was surprised to see him there as he currently has a storyline running on the show. In hindsight I guess I shouldn't have been all that surprised as I hear soaps are filmed six weeks ahead of air time. Dawson did a fabulous job as Johnny Tarleton the rich boy bully. In my opinion the Johnny Tartleton character was the least developed in the play. It was hard to get a handle on his motivations or even the reason for his existence in the play.
Best stud muffin/male model goes to Eric Sheffer Stevens. He looked absolutely fetching in his aviator suit. His character, Joey Percival, was given a big build up before his appearance on stage. He was known as the boy with three fathers. Male model looks aside Stevens did a fantastic job with his role. He had great comedic timing. I loved the glib deliveries that he gave as Percival.
Best Crier in the play goes to Andrew Weems who played Bentley Summerhays. Weems was outstanding as an over aged cry baby. Whenever he cried I laughed.
Best out of sync costuming detail or error goes to Stacy Ross. I admit that when I first saw Ross take the stage I thought to myself my God! What is the director,Irene Lewis doing on stage? Is one of the actors sick? Then I noticed that she’s a good deal younger than Lewis but looks a little like her. Anyway throughout her entire performance I felt distracted by the fact that she was wearing what appeared to be an earring cuff on her ear. I know this is small but for heaven’s sake that did not style did not exist in the early 1900’s. Oh, well maybe she was running late that afternoon and didn’t have time enough to remove it. She was ok in her role, nothing to write home about. I guess if it wasn’t for that darn earring cuff I might have paid more attention to her.
Favorite Senior Citizen goes to Peter Van Norden. Van Norden did an excellent job as John Tarleton. Van Norden seemed to literally glow on stage. His Tarleton was bright, sprite, and fun.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
I thought I’d post the above picture after something funny I read on the Outpost Gallifrey message board. Someone suggested that Paul McGann should return to play the 8th Doctor because it would draw more females to Doctor Who conventions.
New news on my quest to own all of the 8th Doctor Big Finish audio’s. This weekend I won Sword of Orion, The Stones of Venice, Minuet in Hell, Seasons of Fear, and Neverland on eBay. Also this weekend I went out and bought my first DVD player. I got one of those region free ones so that I will be able to play PAL(Region 2 UK/Europe) and NTSC(Region 1-US/Canada) dvd’s. So now I can go out and buy the PAL region 1 dvd to the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie and maybe even the Sylvester McCoy era episode of The Curse of Fenric.
For the first half of the show Eydie wore a flowing white sequined gown. It was gorgeous! I wanted that gown!! The second half she wore this glittering black pants suit. It was ok but not as stunning as the white gown.
When the show let out I was not surprised to see a few young gay couples milling about among the senior citizens. I guess they came to see the old school glamour. Steve and Eydie are among the last link to old Hollywood. Seeing this show made me feel like I was a gay man trapped in the body of a straight woman.
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
I ended up listening to the cd the next day at work and......WOW!! It was like Kismet the story starts in October. I was thinking to myself while listening, “Hey! it’s October now!” Albeit, in the story its October 1930..... Anyway, Paul McGann did a kick ass job. I found his Doctor to be very fun and entertaining. I also really liked the Doctor’s new companion Charlie, played by India Fisher. I found her to be very spirited and adventurous. Charlie and the Doctor make a perfect pair. After my experience with this audio I think I’ll be buying all the 8th Doctor Big Finish audio's. I’ve got nine more to go.......
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
In case you’re not aware, DOCTOR WHO is the longest running science fiction series in television history. It began in 1963 as the result of a commission from Sydney Newman--then the BBC Head of Drama--to create a series to primarily appeal to children and young adults and teach them about history and science.
Just last night in desperation for more Who I purchased my first Big Finish audio that features the 8th Doctor. The one I bought is called Storm Warning. This was the first audio that McGann did for Big Finish back in 2001. I’m going to try and purchase all of McGann’s Big Finish audio’s. As I see it I have two years to buy all the books and audio’s of the 8th Doctor before the series begins.
Me? I had no problem what so ever with the plot developments. The half human thing explains why he keeps coming back to Earth to save it time and again. I think that some fans have a problem with this concept because it sounds Star Trekish. As you know the very logical Vulcan Doctor Spock is half human. I hope that they keep the half human concept as part of the show’s canon. The kiss? Gosh, it’s about time he kissed someone romantically! Paul McGann is hot! Heck, I wanted to kiss him!