As a mental break from pressing deadlines and arriving-earlier-than-expected appliance guys (now two dishwashers smack in the middle of my kitchen)... Here's an architectural day at the beach. The website DesignYouTrust is featuring the beach house designs of Dionisio Gonzales HERE.
At Uptown Players. A show well worth seeing. A good story - with Judy Garland near the end of her career - a great cast and production. Extraordinary leading lady! Janelle Lutz. Just... wow. Opening was Friday night, so I've caught my breath again after the last mad rush that always happens. I'm pretty happy with the set - a suite at the London Ritz in 1969. With maybe a little secret tucked away. Thanks big-time to TD / wiz carpenter Dennis Canright, set dresser Kevin Brown, prop designer Jane Quetin (who found great furniture), lighting designer Jason Foster (who made it look so good), and director Cheryl Denson (who, besides being fun to work with, talked me off a small ledge re: miss-matched fabric wall covering). Special thanks to Ella Forester, fashion blogger of Els Chamberwho kindly allowed us to use one of her photographs as the view outside Judy's window. I'll attach a better photo with Judy at the window looking at that view when I get my hands on it, meanwhile...
End of the Rainbow at Uptown Players, photo (I think) by Dennis Canright
Here you can see the hotel room set, window closed, under theatrical lighting. Just a hint of the view...
End of the Rainbow under construction -
photos by Clare Floyd DeVries
The view as BIG copies. Added bonus: a view of
building Judy's fantastic vintage Louis Vuitton style trunk
And here the view is at earlier stages.
Top above, newly installed view outside the window. (And wasn't that a nasty tight triangular cubbyhole to work in filled with ladder, lighting equipment, speakers, and cables! Imagine unrolling 3' wide x 10' high photos on crinkly paper, then - on a ladder with a stapler - trying to line up the architectural railings etc. Arrrgh!)
Above, the lower photo, see the view as four separate rolls of giant photocopies, getting trimmed and ready to hang.
Because the original photo had very muted color, I was able to economize by getting black & white copies and then tinting them a little by hand, rather than paying much more for color copies. The difference between under $40 and over $200.
That fantastic piano? Another kind and very lucky loan. If you notice the floor pattern... that was me, a week earlier, with a brush-onna-stick.
I'm working toward finishing a set for Uptown Players' upcoming End of the Rainbow... the 1969 suite at the London Ritz where Judy Garland stayed. You know the kind of place: gilded furniture, crystal, flowers, fancy carpet, and gold-colored brocade on the walls. Brocade that a good friend of mine, the late Wade Giampa, chose years ago for draperies in another fancy hotel suite in the play The Plaza Suite.
Set finishing for Uptown Players' End of the Rainbow
A weirdly emotional-roller-coaster couple of days here... I've been finishing up a show. As Opening approaches any theater company working frantically toward that goal can get a little over-tired and over-pressured. A tad over-emotional. The calmest of us can get... grouchy. (Did I myself ever once actually briefly contemplate stabbing a carpenter with the scissors in my hand as I finished his job while he left for a lunch date? Of course not. Never. Not me.) Anyway. You know that impassioned email you sometimes want to write at the end of a long frustrating day? But you don't write it? Or, if you do write it, you never ever send it? Someone hit "SEND." Reading that memo started my day: always good to know when you've crushed someone else's life-long love of theater. Sigh.
public domain images modified - believed fair use
The rest of the day was filled with kind people going, "Fuggitaboudit." So there was that. Then there was the little snafu where a different theater discovered that the city's Certificate of Occupancy wasn't going to come through in time to hold this weekend's performances there so we had to move the show... leaving most of my set behind. Deeper sigh. The following meeting and phone calls on other shows went much better. But, honestly, the sub sandwich I had at The Great American Hero (on Lemmon Ave. try the "Healthy Hero") was the highlight of my lunch/dinner/onlymeal/wholeday.
So what's been going on that's been keeping me so busy?
Mainstage Irving - Los Colinas' production of Kind Lady is teching this weekend, so I've been painting and fabric shopping etc. I've been designing, redesigning, and modifying (not necessarily in that order) Under the Skin for Circle Theatre. And creating construction drawings and starting the furniture hunt for End of the Rainbow at Uptown Players.
ADDENDUM: How'd I miss these floors? Tile Addiction on Instagram by Jose' Jo'vena and Elisabet Martinez HERE.
Tonight is the opening for my latest show, Kitchen Dog Theater's regional premier of I'm Gonna Pray for You so Hard, by Halley Feiffer (directed by Lee Trull). A fun show for me because I got to create - then trash - a nice cozy little Laura Ashley style NYC breakfast nook. Or, rather, as one character triumphantly declares it, "an eat-in kitchen!"
Design and sketch by Clare Floyd DeVries, copyrighted of course
Besides adding clutter, there's a certain amount of "aging" which includes those lightly grubby marks where hands touch door or window frames and a little "roof leak" which helps explain my poor wallpapering... it's not lack of paperhanging skills it's a fictional moisture problem! (So not my fault, right?) Come n' see! Excellently acted. My earlier Clever Little Lies is still playing at Circle Theatre too. Great reviews. Or, if a theater - even in Fort Worth - isn't far enough out for you... how about Mars? Or Europa? NASA and JPL have just released absolutely Gorgeous! travel posters to space destinations, free, HERE.
Traditionally, this time of year is a chance to wrap up last year's business and start fresh with the next year's. Oddly enough, my own Last Year did round off to a natural conclusion (except for tax-filing) and This Year's projects seem to be starting up promptly. It's not always so tidy. So what's up for this year? First on my board are designs for I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard at Kitchen Dog Theater (just now working on construction drawings), Clever Little Lies at Circle Theatre (just starting its build), and Kind Lady at Mainstage Irving - Los Colinas (which needs me to Get Going!). Probably the shiniest show I'm looking forward to so far is A Winter's Tale for Trinity Shakespeare this summer. Summer Shakespeare in air conditioning! What a concept! First thing though is to clean up my studio so I can work. During the holidays the room tends to become a dumping ground for wrapping paper, ribbon, and all-the-stuff-to-hide-from-company. As studios do. So what rounded out Last Year so nicely? Kitchen Dog met its fundraising challenge! It's only a first step, but it's a very BIG first step on the path to creating our own permanent home. Every Dog's Home is its Dream Castle...
Fervent thanks to all those who helped us! Sincerely. We are so grateful.