Monday, August 25, 2008

It’s the little things

I want to write more about “Shirley Valentine” – a great performance by Jill Bari loved by three generations of my family – but it’s only 9:30 and I’ve already got 12 hours of work to do today. Gotta love Monday.

But I wanted to mention one thing in praise of director Amy Berlin. I’m always impressed when the intermission music supports the production in distinct ways. Sometimes this is more overt, even a little clumsy; sometimes this aspect of a production seems to be given no thought at all. Ms. Berlin’s selections of songs like “Constant Craving” by k.d. Lang and “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman were relatively subtle reinforcements of “Shirley’s” thematic arc. It helped from my perspective that these are two of my fave artists of all time (placing my tastes pretty squarely in the 80s…)

These songs also came on right after one of my favorite moments of the show, when Shirley looks at the clock and says, “20 past 2,” and Jill Bari gives a look that is part forlorn and part embarrassed as the lights go down. Very nice.


Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed the show, but I'm afraid I can't take credit for the intermission music. That music was chosen by the sound designer Buddy Bishop, who also did the original Shirley's Theme (both in English and Greek versions) as well as the rest of the music/effects. Buddy is my favorite sound designer and his work ALWAYS makes me look better, cause he expertly enhances whatever mood I'm after and makes the final product way more polished and affecting.

For example, he did an original biblical movie score and created a cast of thousands for Epic Proportions; he created these dreamy sounds to transition between present and memory in The Runner Stumbles; and more recently, he created a creepy, horror movie score for Veronica's Room. Each of those shows was much, much better with Buddy involved than it would have been without him.

Anyway, his pre-show and intermission choices for SV always made me smile. Glad somebody else noticed!!

Amy Berlin

Anonymous said...

It's quite a treat when the subtle inserts that are typically for our own satisfaction are picked up on!

I do have a not so secret - secret. My brother Brian. He is the best resource and assistance I have when it comes to the way we started doing sound from Epic Proportions on. If I have a idea, he helps me bring it into reality.

I'll invent a melody, and he'll have to bail me out with the actual piano playing.
I'll wite a piece and he'll fix it.
I'll write a melody and he'll tell me the key and the associated chords.
I'll say, I need a list of songs that describe a woman discovering her power after a protracted and stupid marriage.
He'll give me a list and help me find the tracks.
I'm a idea tinkerer and a key plunker - He's a real magician/musician

I wish he lived closer. He would be big in Richmond.

Buddy Bishop

Angelika HausFrauSki said...

Actually it puts your music taste in the 90s, since "Craving" came out in '92 and "Reason" came out in '95. I know this because all those women singer/songwriter types were the soundtrack to my adolescence, which occurred between '92 and '99. :)

Love me some Sarah McLachlan, too...

Robinitaface said...

I was going to bust him on that too, Angie. Good call.

Andrew Hamm said...

I love to see the sound designers getting some love.

Dave T said...

80s... 90s...I'm old, those decades all run together...