Friday, May 20, 2005

More Stuff Happens

Anyone who can get to LA between May 25 and July 17 should come see Stuff Happens at the Mark Taper Forum. I'm setting up the projection, as I've mentioned before, and resisting the temptation to plug in all kinds of fun images. There's only one projection, for now, at the very end, and it's a portrait of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, and Tenet. It's like torture having to look at their faces while I tweak the images.

This is cross posted from Supak at the DailyKOS.

What I saw of the play last night, in the first visit to the stage by the actors, was brilliant. David Hare, the author, has researched what went on behind closed doors in the Bush administration from Day One, and the play is a chronology of actual, and assumed, events. The assumed events are quite likely, given the actual ones. All of the quotes to the press I saw in the small rehersal last night were actual quotes. Scenes like the first National Security briefing were based on actual accounts, like from Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's book.

Stuff Happens was performed in London (here's a preview) but the cast here in LA, featuring Keith Carradine as Bush, and Lorraine Toussaint as Rice, will be completely different. This will be Gordon Davidson's last play with the Center Theater Group of LA.

Yesterday, Gordon saw me and asked me what I thought so far (he and I have talked politics many times) I told him I was extremely happy he chose this as his last play, and that it needed more projection (just a gentle kid since I won't actually be on this show, except to replace my boss as the soundman for three weeks).

Next time I see him, I'm going to ask him if they have plans for heckelers. The stage is very wide, and the main action happens at floor level, eye-to-eye with the audience. The set, designed by Ming Cho Lee, tries to make the audience feel like a part of the play, and I'm hoping they'll have some pre-planened anti-heckler lines.

One other set note, which will clue you in to some of the craziness that goes into a play like this: they had an exact replica of the president's mahogany desk built, and it ways about 400 pounds. I'm sure it looked beautiful and precise, before they painted it black to match the rest of the set... Sounds like something Bush would do.

"I wanna paint this desk black, heh heh, to blot out any stains Clinton might have left on it..."

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