Monday, April 30, 2007

Get to Know Matt Nielson

Great weekend for References to Salavdor Dali Make Me Hot. People are starting to come and see what is a very special theatrical experience. People I trust hugged me and whispered in my ear how it is the best play they have seen in a long time.

I said to one person that Rorschach really isn't known for our two people dealing with very real emotion shows, she replied but when you guys do you dive right in. This is such a wonderful show and I am kind of sad you only have two more weekends to experience the magic. Part of that magic comes in the form of some amazing Sound Design. When we started this show their were no Helen Hayes winning designers working on it and now we have Matt Nielson. Matt has worked at a variety of big name theaters around town but he is not above coming and playing at our tea party. Here is Matt and his answers to Get to Know.

Here is my survey!

1. What is your job in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot?

Sound Designer

2. Have you ever worked for Rorschach before and how?

I was the sound designer on A Bright Room Called Day

3. Do you have any recurring dreams and if so what are they about?

I dream that I’m working all the time. And then I wake up and find that I’m working all the time.

4. Other than Dali which painters turn you on?

Gerhard Richter, but I do love getting lost in a good Escher.

5. Have you been doing any special research for the show?

Yes, but most of it was handed to us by our lovely dramaturg.

6. Who is the biggest celebrity you have ever met and how?
I got to work on The Seagull with the New York Shakespeare Festival, and that was a celebrity-fest. I think my favorite though was Christopher Walken. It’s really difficult to do a Christopher Walken impression once you hear Christopher Walken doing Christopher Walken.

7. In a steel-cage-no-holds-barred-death match which character in Dali would win?

The Moon, of course. Unless Martin keeps making that humpy motion with his torso. That’s devastating.

8. What is the most impossible thing that happens in the play?

Benito’s line “The war was a fluke. There will never be another one in my life”. Impossible.

9. If you could live inside of any painting what would it be?

I feel like I’m living inside a painting all the time.

10. If you had a theme song what would it be?

It changes constantly, but I think currently it’s Swing Low by Rocco DeLuca & the Burden


Friday, April 27, 2007

Southern Gothic

First off, as promised here is the link to the full City Paper review for References . . .

Great audience last night for References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. Would love to see you all tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm. Tickets are still available.

I now draw your attention to a recurring references to a certain Southern Playwright and a certain DC Actor and Blogger:

. . . under a smirking, white-suited moon, who—while we’re on the topic of oddities—looks and sounds like Tennessee Williams in his later, boozier days. (Who else but Rorschach Theatre regular Scott McCormick?) -Trey Graham-The City Paper

How else would you describe a play that quickly introduces the Moon, played by the purring Scott McCormick in a white suit standing on top of a refrigerator? With his pencil mustache and smutty way with purple prose, the figure's resemblance to Tennessee Williams seems wholly intentional. - Nelson Pressley -The Washington Post

Now I am still not clear if Trey is complimenting me or saying I might have a drinking problem.

Yet this idea of the Moon being my attempt at channeling Tennessee Williams does intrigue. For the record I have never heard a recording of Mr. Williams and the surface resemblence can be chalked up to my nifty white suit and mustache. Alright I will admit the mustache is kind of a cool coincidence.

Where did I go for my inspiration? Vocally, not sure. Didn't occur to me until I read the review that I was putting a twang in my voice. Physically, I watched Ricardo Montalban in an old episode of Columbo (A Matter of Honor-1976) where he played a bull fighter who had lost his nerve. Costume, Pei told me she was drawing inspiration from Maurice Chevalier.

So all this has inspired me to do some thinking and some writing. I am going to run a profile on Monday of our Sound Designer Matt Nielson and then Tuesday ala Diary of Morataka (also known as Orson Welles/Godzilla: A Day in the Life) we will see what kind of life Tennessee Williams would have if he were the Moon. So its:

Fingers crossed it will be funny. If my luck holds however I will be happy not to offend anyone. So get ready for a ride over Mount Morgan as Tennessee Williams becomes La Luna.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Review of Dali by The City Paper

I could try and spin it that it is all good, but you can all read Trey's complaints about the script on your own time.

What I take away is the affirmation that this show is designed to the nines and the performances are superb!

Here are some choice bits. (I will post a link to the whole review tomorrow.)

Jose Rivera's slow, sultry, metaphor-drunk moonlight rhapsody turns out on closer inspection to be an embarrassment of rich langauge wrapped around a lean, hard core, and when it's not overdoing the poetic flights, it's a painful human portrait of two once-intimate people trying desperately to stay connected.

The superb-on-a-budget design helps keep things interesting, though, and so do muscular, thoughtful, and above all emotionally complex performances from the two-some at the play's core. Price and Fernandez-Coffey both manage to seem damaged and dangerous by turns, with just enough in the way of neediness and weariness and stoppered anger to help keepp the evening keep the evening feeling unpredicatble from moment to moment.

. . . a reminder courtesy of a playwright who's got fever-dreams in his blood, that the collision of passion and cold, hard reality can leave you bruised under all the blush.

-Trey Graham- The City Paper

References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot continues with shows tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 8pm. If you want a deal either visit or call 1-800-494-TIXS and use the Ticket Code "HOT" and get your tickets for just $15.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I have a friend who once said that by simply doing a play you are making a political statement. Whether you chose to do something topical or something frivelous, you choice to do a play and what play you chose to do makes a political statement. We live in what is arguably one of the freeest societies in recorded history and the exchange of ideas, popular and unpopular, is something that we take for granted. Just as much we in the theater take our audiences desire to tackle these issues. I believe that most people go to the theater to be entertained. If they wanted to be preached to they would go to church. What right do theater companies and artists have to try and foist off education and debate as entertainment?

The world is a beautiful horrible place. Many times we shy away from art that invades our comfort zone. Seeing that a play deals with the issues of a soldier coming home from the war and finding his life is in shambles may not be at the top of your list for a way to spend an evening, but shouldn't it be? Yes, we all read the headlines that thousands of soldiers and civilians are dying in the current war. And there doesn't seem like there will be an end to that death anytime soon. Does References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot hide its head and put a happy spin on a soldier's home coming? No. But does it explore the human spirit? Yes. This is not a show about two people fighting for two hours. There are very real laughs and tears. There is sex and hunger and all the colors of the human condition. Do the talking animals and celestial bodies help the medicine go down a little easier? Hell, yes! But they also explore the same landscape of humanity.

Tickets are still available for this weekend.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Get to Know Robbie Hayes

1. What is your job in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot?
Scenic Designer (or the person in charge of creating problems the lighting designer)
2. Have you ever worked for Rorschach before and how?

3. Do you have any recurring dreams and if so what are they about?
I can't say that I have this that often, but sometimes I am on a beach and different zoo animals (zebras, elephants, penguins, flamingos, etc) come and set up blankets, umbrellas, coolers, etc. Nothing really happens, it's just a nice day a the beach, with lions and tigers and bears...
4. Other than Dali which painters turn you on?

5. Have you been doing any special research for the show?
Mosaic sculptor Benny Bufano, but mostly looked at images of broken or cracked glass, cracked desert, tank treads, Dali (well, duh), Barstow itself, etc.

6. Who is the biggest celebrity you have ever met and how?
He isn't the biggest celeb, but certainly the most interesting. George Wendt, or Norm from Cheers. Only because Cheers was just one of those shows I had to watch growing up because it was really great. He was in a show I worked on at Northlight Theatre in Chicago. He is a real piece of work, but a really funny guy.
7. In a steel-cage-no-holds-barred-death match which character in Dali would win?
I'm gonna go out on a limb here. The Moon. Cuz it the frickin Moon. And it plays the violin. (maybe) But if the moon where a mouse, and the cat was the earth, then....
8. What is the most impossible thing that happens in the play?
That the Moon will actually play the violin. :) (Editor: It is much better that he only sings)
9. If you could live inside of any painting what would it be?
I know this is a cop out, but Corn Hill by Edward Hopper because my wife and I actually spent a week on that spot on Cape Cod in Truro. It was beautiful and we want to go back....
10. If you had a theme song what would it be?
If I had a boat by Lyle Lovett

Monday, April 23, 2007

More Lovin'

Great weekends worth of shows folks. This is going to be quick and dirty today as I am on my way out the door.

Great review from the DCist's Missy Frederick. She says:

Salvador Dali is a beautiful intertwining of such fantastical moments as the one described, and achingly real displays of human interaction. None of this is more apparent than the desperate attempts by Gabriela to connect with and understand her husband, who has been shaped differently by the horrors of war. Salvador Dali deftly plays with the concepts of how much two people who love each other can truly know each other, and whether love can truly be unconditional when lovers themselves have been transformed into near strangers by time and hardship.

Here is the rest of the review. Enjoy and I will have more to tell you tomorrow.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Get to Know Shirley Serotsky

It was not meant as punishment that I held onto Shirley's answers so long, but with tech, opening and reviews coming out left and right, our Get to Know feature seems to fall by the way side. I still have more people for you to meet and there will be more of these features I promise, but when there is so much other material to fill these pages, I have to wait for just the right time to dole this stuff out.

I am not sure how Shirley will feel about the picture to your right. I think it is a cute picture of a serious director. Sort of like the one where Einstein is sticking his tongue out.

I have been lucky enough to have known Shirley socially for a couple of years now and I have looked forward to working with her for quite some time. She has worked at a lot of my favorite theaters around town including Catalyst where she is a company member. Her direction of Titus: The Musical is still one of my favorite nights of theater ever.

I think I speak for all the cast (and if I don't they can get their own blog) that Shirley has been the cool calm center that has made References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot such a joy on which to work.

She has written a little prologue to her answers, so enjoy!

I've already annoyed Scott by taking too long with these. It's particularly annoying because on the first day I took him aside and told him how excited I was to fill out a Rorchach Blog survey. "I feel like it means I've arrived! Somewhere, at least. Yes, surely I've arrived... somewhere." I said wistfully. My eyes misted up. Randy put his hand on my shoulder.

"Ummm, can we finish reading the first act now Shirley?"

Now it's taking me a really long time and Scott's all like, "Just where the hell HAVE you arrived, Shirley?"

So. Here goes.

1. What is your job in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot?


2. Have you ever worked for Rorschach before and how?

I directed a reading for the Magic in Rough Spaces series many moons ago. I also worked box office once for Master and Margarita. By the end of that night I had a 104 degree fever and felt worse than I've ever felt in my life. But it had nothing to do with the show.

3. Do you have any recurring dreams and if so what are they about?

Not recurring. I have only recently been remembering dreams again. I had one where I was in a theater watching a show and I took it upon myself to shush the group of patrons who were noisily practicing cheerleader routines towards the back of the house. Like--entire cheers. Only a matter of time before we see that one.

4. Other than Dali which painters turn you on?

Rothko for color you can get lost in. Chagall for his exuberance and because I love flying people. Edward Hopper for his story-telling. Vermeer for his use of light. Kahlo for her willingness to transform pain into exquisite beauty. That said I would never turn down the chance to visit a Picasso or Van Gogh museum.

5. Have you been doing any special research for the show?

Our fabulous dramaturg Jackie compiled a packet with research about everything from the mating habits of coyotes to the mythological significance attached to the phases of the moon. Rivera puts a lot in this play for us--he's cooked up a really scrumptious hot pot of history, myth, ethnic identity, early 1990s politics, with lots of sex and heart break for good measure.

I did watch The Motorcycle Diaries, for which Rivera wrote the screenplay. I have a number of other films on the to-do list. Also been reading about the current war and accounts of Iraqi soldiers experiences. Of course--the Persian Gulf War was very different--but there are obvious parallels.

I've learned some about Puerto Rican history. I could certainly learn more. I learned how to say "cono" and what a "piso" is. I had plaintains the other day. To be honest--a play like this can be overwhelming. I mean, what business do I--awkward white girl --have directing a play about puerto ricans from the bronx? And yet I do think there is a universality to great stories. Rivera has spoken pretty extensively on this himself. About playwrights breaking free from their own calling cards of identity to write about themes and communities outside of what is familiar. These characters are much more connected to their impulses than I am. They love and fight and kiss, relentlessly. I love this world. I am honored to be allowed in.

Wait, what was the question?

6. Who is the biggest celebrity you have ever met and how?

Some people already know this story. I'm hoping that someday it will get me on the Tyra Banks show.

In 2000/2001, the year before I moved to DC, I worked for an out-there Rabbi who for that year served as something akin to Michael Jackson's spiritual advisor. So I hung out on a number of occasions with the King of Pop. I flew to England on his buck. In the long run it was all very sad and a terrible taste of celebrity. Everything felt empty and wrong and to a degree it's why I re-committed to the theater.

The first time I met him he told me my smile reminded him of Jennifer Lopez. We were in an elevator on our way up to Shimon Peres' hotel room. How's that for surreal? That same year I met William Hurt (very sweet), Al Sharpton (not nice), Judith Regan (even worse), Elie Wiesel (quiet), the women who wrote The Rules (very skinny), Uri Gellar (can anyone tell me what he is famous for without looking it up?) (Editor: Yes Shirley I can. Spoon bending mostly with a smidge of mind reading. I know this because 70s pop culture is a curse I wear around my neck like a gold chain.), and of course--Lance Bass. There were others. It was bizarre.

Since then I've avoided the cult of celebrity. I did stare down Larry David at the Kennedy Center, willing him to speak to me. It didn't work.

7. In a steel-cage-no-holds-barred-death match which character in Dali would win?


8. Who do you kiss in the show? (director and stage manager feel free to answer this as well)
I keep making the move on Cecilia but she remains unwilling.

9. If you could live inside of any painting what would it be?

I’d like to be in one of Egon Schiele’s landscapes (e.g. View of Krumau) because I would love to be hanging out in the Czech Republic right now. Or Desnudos en la Playa by Jose de Togores because I’d like to be happy and naked and on a beach.

10. If you had a theme song what would it be? And for the actors what would your characters theme song be?

My obvious theme song answer is "Greetings to the New Brunette" which has fabulous lyrics ("Your sexual politics have left me all of a muddle--we are joined in the ideological cuddle") and sounds even better when Dan Frith gets drunk and sings it to me with a Billy Bragg accent. But despite the refrain, it doesn't really get me through the day.

So here I'm all coming up with an entire sound track, in no particular order:
* Teenage Feeling - Neko Case
* Holding to the Ground - Bill Finn
* See The World - Gomez
* Radio Song - Regina Spektor
* Oh What a World - Rufus Wainwright

And since these all speak of longing and survival and finding wonder in the world, I would say they fit the play pretty well, too.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Review II: Electric Boogaloo

Scott McCormick as the Moon is a gem. When he croons his version of ‘Moon River’, ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and ‘Blue Moon ‘in his snazzy white suit, you only wish he was smoking a Cuban cigar as well. Gabby (Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey) and Benito (Andrew Price) handle the hard drama skillfully - both completely engulfed in their characters and their depression. The cat and coyote portrayed by Yasmin Tuazon and Danny Gavigan respectively, are the "hot" part of References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, their back and forth sexual game play is some of the best comedic acting I have seen in a while. The Coyote, while trying to swoon the young feline, promises "all of her nine lives will have orgasms". Last but certainly not least is our amorous young friend Martin, (Cesar A. Guadamuz) who is just a prize. With work at Rorschach and last year’s Lunch and Spinning Into Butter, he has become an engaging young actor.

That is what Ronnie Ruff over at DC Theatre Review had to say about the cast if you want to read about the love he showed to the rest of the show, click here for the entire review.

And this was the note passed to us through our very much appreciated dramaturg from the playwright regarding our outstanding review in The Washington Post yesterday:

Dear Jacqueline,

Thank you so much for the wonderful review.
And I was already bummed that I couldn't see the production --now I'm twice as bummed! Please give the cast my sincerest congratulations. Also -- I saw the piece on youtube. That was great. Thanks for being my window into your production ...

hope our paths cross again.

Here is the link to the trailer if you missed it last week.

We have three shows this weekend, Tonight, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. We expect big crowds, whether we get them or not is really up to all of you. Come feel the heat at Casa this weekend! Call 1-800-494-TIXS or visit to get your tickets for any show we do now through May 13th.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Review: The Post

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first review and it is a good'un. Nelson Pressley. Sweet, sweet Nelson Pressley at The Washington Post has given References . . . a raaaaaaave!

Every one of the actors and designers and the director each gets a shout out. That makes me so happy I can't even begin to tell you. I will take a stab at it though.

This is what you want. I think this show is solid from top to bottom, and to have that recognized any where outside of my own head, is comforting like in a grilled cheese and tomato soup on the coldest day in April kind of way.

Read the whole thing here, but here are some choice bits:

. . . "References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot," the whimsical yet absorbing romantic drama getting a wise, passionate production by Rorschach Theatre.

Rivera's writing becomes incisively realistic once the unexpectedly vivid Benito arrives; although he's framed in fantasy and often cloaked in rapturous language, the character shapes up as an unusually compelling stage portrait of a soldier.

It's similar to Terrence McNally's "Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune" (which plumbs a first encounter) recently at Arena Stage, only Rivera's play is more persuasively poetic and more plausible, more honest.

And three more in case you want to hear about the design and directing:

Director Shirley Serotsky has sure instincts with Rivera's shifting style, and her lead actors circle each other with devastating familiarity, trading barbs with supple romantic insinuation or weary brittleness as needed.

(The witty costumes are by Pei Lee.)

Robbie Hayes's scenic design delivers cracked desert earth below and shattered sky above. And Andrew F. Griffin's lights and Matthew Nielson's sound design provide romantic accompaniment that is never hokey, even when a storm breaks as the show crests to a climax.

References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot continues this weekend and runs until May 13th. Get your tickets now by calling 1-800-494-TIXS or visit

You guys rock!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rorschach Alum and Artistic Partners Score! (And some of them even won Helen Hayes Awards Last Night!)

Wow! That would be a good word for the feelings that I am feeling here this morning. In one night Rorschach Company Members and Alums picked up 8 Helen Hayes Awards. Actually it is 3 if you don't count each of the individuals who won the Ensemble Award as seperate awardees, but I like big numbers so the count is 8.
Who were the winners last night you may ask? Go on ask, I am waiting.
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical - Andy Brownstein, Assassins, Signature Theatre. Andy appeared with Rorschach in Behold! a couple of years back as a midwestern tourist being dragged to the Sea of Cortez.
Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production - Matthew M. Nielson, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Round House Theatre. Matt designed the sound for last season's A Bright Room Called Day and his work can currently be heard in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot.
Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play or Musical - The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Catalyst Theater Company. This is where the list runs long:
Scot McKenzie who appeared in Rorschach's Rhinoceros all those moons ago.
Jason McCool who sweated it out on the hottest night of the year last summer in Arabian Night.
Scott McCormick who has appeared in 9 Rorschach productions. His roles have run the gambit from a jealous Samurai to a jealous hunch-backed physican. Scott is currently appearing in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot as the Moon.
Andrew Price who was there at the beginning with Rorschach in The Hairy Ape and Rhinoceros. He also appeared in Family Stories and is now in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot.
Elizabeth Richards who appeared in Rorschach's third show God of Vengeance as a former prositute and mother in the lobby of the JCC.
And finally Grady Weatherford, who has also appeared in 9 Rorschach shows, directed 3 and desinged fights for countless others. He too appeared in The Hairy Ape and was last seen as the drag queen fury in Rough Magic.
Congratulations to all the recipients this year! Now here are some pictures of the Rorschach Family getting their party on last night at the Helen Hayes. Thanks to Jenny for supplying the images.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Opening Night: References ...

It was cold and it was rainy outside. Inside we were enjoying the warmth of the California Desert, just outside of Barstow. Fantastic Opening Night if I do say so myself and I do. Plenty of family and friends around to show their support for this wild monster of a play.

It is such a family affair at Rorschach when a show opens. And I don't just mean that our parents show up, I mean everyone who comes is a family member of Rorschach. Lots of theaters have their contributors at these events and Rorschach is no exception. But at Rorschach our Board and our contributors are just as likely to be lifting a hammer, making runs to the Home Depot or setting up the post show snacks as any company member or designer.

Thank you to everyone who makes these things happen. Thank you for the help you give in marketing a show or just sweeping up.

Remember References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot continue this weekend and until May 13th.

Tonight Rorschach joins with the rest of the DC theater world in celebrating the Helen Hayes Awards. We wish the best of luck to Grady, Michael John, Jason and Scott as they either are the recipients of the Helen Hayes or a lot of well wishers slapping their back afterwards telling them that they were robbed.

We also wish the best to all of the Rorschach Alum who are up for the HH tonight. You are all winners in our book.

And finally to the folks who are just going because of the open bar. Please have a great time and don't do anything you will regret when theaterboy gets done doing his evening recap.

Friday, April 13, 2007

References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot: The Trailer

As always thanks to Grady for all of his hard work and talent in putting this together.
Remeber just one more preview for References of Salvador Dali Make Me Hot. Tonight at 8pm, come and see what all of the sexy, sexy noise is about.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

Fantastic Preview last night. We had over half the house filled. Not bad for a Wednesday Night Preview. I know it will only get better. Remember that we have two more Pay-What-You-Can Previews, Tonight and Tomorrow at 8pm. The audience seemed more than entertained and I think the cast is finding moments of laughter and tears that we didn't even know existed in References. . .

Yet this morning I heard some very bad and sad news. I don't speak for all of Rorschach when I say this but someone who I think viewed the world in a similar way that we do passed away yesterday, Kurt Vonnegut.

When I got out of college I took a substitute teaching job at my old high school. Right next to the school was the public library. Once a week I would wander over to the library during my lunch break and check out two books. The closest shelf to the entrance to the library was the Fiction Shelf V. Vonnegut was right at eye level, so my discovery of him was as much an act of laziness as it was intellectual curiosity.

I had never read Vonnegut when I was in school and decided that I should at least try reading Slaughter House Five. This book opened my eyes to the potentials of story-telling. As the story moved back and forth along the continuum of one man's life, as extra-terrestrials and the fire bombing of Dressden began to fill my minds eye, I began to realize that Science Fiction and Literature were not mutually exclusive. That social commentary and deal with your own demons were not something that needed to be seperated but all of it spoke to univeral truths that exist within all of us.

I couldn't get enough. Next came Breakfast of Champions, Player Piano, Cat's Cradle and Slapstick. By the end of the year I had read all of his books and all of the short stories. My mind was filled with images of super evolved humans who had survived the end of the world, former American Spies who were exciles in their own country, and Ice 9. I had found a writer whose liberal leanings and moral view of the world echoed my own. I had found my literary hero.

When I found my home, here at Rorschach, the thing that inspired me most about the work we do is the very real and solid connection to the work of Vonnegut that exists in much of our work. Our willingness to produce writers who don't play by the strictest of narritive rules. Writers who play fast and loose with the continuum of time and space (Come and see References . . . and you'll see what I mean). Who are willing to break your heart and make you laugh at the same time.

I mourn the passing of a great writer and I leave you with the three morals of my favorite Vonnegut novel, Mother Night. "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." Another is "Make love when you can. It's good for you." Yet another is "When you're dead, you're dead."

Goodbye Kilgore Trout!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

PWYC Previews Start Tonight

Tonight begins what like to think of as our experiment in theater. Once again we are offering a chance for those of you who know a good bargain when you see one, to come and see References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot on the cheap.

We have three Pay-What-You-Can Previews, tonight, tomorrow and Friday at 8pm. No reservations, no minimum, just come on by and say I want to see the show.

This is not a fully realized show mind you, there will be tweaks between now and Saturday Night. The cleverest among you will see the show during Previews and then come and pay our always low $20 to see the finished product some time later in the run.

This show is so hot that the email we sent out to announce the previews went straight into some people's spam folders. Got to rememeber to spell "Hot" either H*T or H OT, next time or some people may think we forgot to tell them about the show.

See you tonight!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Get to Know Scott McCormick

Hello! I am the one on the left. Just taking my turn in the hot seat. And also taking some time to remind you that Pay-What-You-Can Previews start tomorrow night. We battled our way through tech this weekend and we came out alive so if you want to see what some people are calling my best work standing on a refrigerator in the desert, join us for References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot.
Now the man, the myth and the egotist. Get to Know Scott McCormick (follow the link to see a previous interview with Scott).
1. What is your job in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot?
I am the moon. Soy la luna. Gender issues aside. I stand way up in the air and sing to my sweet Gabriela.
2. Have you ever worked for Rorschach before and how?
Worst kept secret in DC Theater, I am dcepticon. I know there is some shock and there is some surpise from like three of you. I have acted in numerous Rorschach shows in the past. I do the marketing, which means a lot of things most of them fairly boring. I also do some modeling.
3. Do you have any recurring dreams and if so what are they about?
When I was a child I used to have this one dream that I lived on a world that was torn apart by war and violence. I was an astronaut who was sent off into deep space. When I came back the world was at peace and no one who was left remembered that I had gone away. I wander around trying to figure out why the world is so peaceful and quiet. No more war and no more violence. Well it turns out the reason there is peace is because some scientist had put a super bomb at the middle of the planet and if anyone makes a noise above a whisper the world will explode. I get briefed on this by the scientist and just as I am leaving his lab I stub my toe.
Had this dream over and over again for like three years in the '80s. Go figure
4. Other than Dali which painters turn you on?
I have to say that I am a huge fan of two Spanish painters. Goya and El Greco.
5. Have you been doing any special research for the show?
I stared into the sky a lot last week. With the full moon shining down I kept thinking what it would be like to stare down on the earth forever and not get to say your piece? I hope I give some voice to that.

6. Who is the biggest celebrity you have ever met and how?
When I was a baby my parents ran into Jesse Owens at a restraunt somewhere in the mid-west. I have met other celebrities but he is the one that I wish I could remember. There are pictures.
7. In a steel-cage-no-holds-barred-death match which character in Dali would win?
The desert is a harsh mistress. The heat, the lack of water and the deadly predators make life a challenge at every turn. Without a doubt even with Benito's excellent training he would be coyote food without water after a couple of days. And the coyote would be Benito food if he wasn't careful.
8. Who do you kiss in the show?
I kiss Gaby. As a character actor you very rarely get the opportunity to lock lips with your female co-stars, as a matter of fact I have only had two plays where I have kissed anyone before this one. And they were many moons ago. I would ask you to pardon the pun, but since all puns are intentional I do it without remorse or apology. And she kisses good by the way.
9. If you could live inside of any painting what would it be?
View of Toledo by El Greco. Just look at that sky! Or the one with the dogs playing poker. I love that thing!
10. If you had a theme song what would it be?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Get to Know Andrew Griffin

Today I bring you our first designer. I feel it is appropriate that I begin with this man because he has been hanging around the theater for a while now. Working at various times as our Master Electrician and Assistant Light Designer, Andrew Griffin has spent more than his fair share up ladders in Casa. I will let him fill you in on his work history with us but he has a web page which you can visit here to see his work.

Andrew has had to come up with all kinds of interesting ladder configurations to work our admittedly limited grid space and has helped bring many lighting designers work to the stage. This time on References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, he gets to call the shots. And as we have been working our way through tech for the last couple of days, I think he is doing some damn fine work. Tech continues this weekend and we start previews on Wednesday. Get Ready!

1. What is your job in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot?

Lighting Designer

2. Have you ever worked for Rorschach before and how?

Beard of Avon (Assistant Lighting Designer), Arabian Night (Master Electrician), Monster (ALD/ME), Rough Magic (ALD/ME)

3. Do you have any recurring dreams and if so what are they about?

Umm - to be honest, I can't really remember my dreams and they are usually pretty normal anyway......which is sad.

4. Other than Dali which painters turn you on?

I assume you are not talking about scenic painters, so, Escher, Van Gough, Da Vinci, it depends on the day.

5. Have you been doing any special research for the show?

I search for Images that speak to me based on the feel that I am going for, the directors vision, and other research that is brought to the table. Everything is helpful when you are creating the right look and trying to break down the piece in your head. The hard part is breaking it down in the end and finding the 2 or 3 that are really your touchstones for the show.

6. Who is the biggest celebrity you have ever met and how?

I guess the biggest celebrity I have ever met isn't a "celebrity" per se, but he is well known in different circles. I had the fortune of being involved in a production with Director Stafford Arima (Nominated for the West End equivalent of a Tony but I can't remember what the hell it's called now), Music Director David Loud (Music Director for Ragtime and others on Broadway and the first national tour of Les Mis) and Choreographer Christopher Gattelli (Choregrapher for the Orignal Batboy off broadway and Tick Tick Boom) it was pretty awesome and we had a good time working together.

7. In a steel-cage-no-holds-barred-death match which character in Dali would win?

Oh - that all depends - the moon has the weird energy he brings when he's near people - And for all we know he could use that against you to kick your ass. But then again Gabby seems to be on the edge and like she could snap at any moment. It would be close but in the end my money's on Gabby.

8. What is the most impossible thing that happens in the play?

Lighting around this set (Robbie - The set is amazing, but you did give me a ceiling to deal with that covers the whole stage - but to Robbies credit he is helping me out).

9. If you could live inside of any painting what would it be?

I haven't a clue

10. If you had a theme song what would it be?

Recently (as much as a loser I feel for saying this) it would have to be Eminems 'Till I Collapse, been running around a lot.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

10 Reasons References is Cooler than Star Wars

References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot goes into tech this weekend and our first preview is a week away. However this mail box down the street from my office, made me ask the question, why is References cooler than Star Wars?

If you are worried that you are reading a blog written by a geek, you should be worried. If you want to skip past this and wait for more Get to Know Me entries feel free. I have more and will dole them out like crack to the masses in the coming weeks, now that you are hooked on the good stuff. And by the way I find your lack of faith distrubing. Hee, hee!

But I was moved by a muse, in the form of a mail box shaped like R2-D2, and muses are only denied at your own mortal peril. And you know how I hate peril!

1. Unlike a certain Princess, Gaby never kisses her brother. She kisses 3 out of 4 of the male cast members. And she engages in some sexy love making with her husband. But she does not, I repeat, does not kiss her brother.

2. It is a Moon not a space station. Well actually it will be a large man in a white suit not a Moon. But it poses absolutely no threat to the planet of Alderaan. The only person the moon comes close to killing is a 14 year old boy.

3. Our teenage virgin is slightly less whiny than Luke Skywalker.

4. We have talking animals, not robots. Why is this better? Because the animals attempt to seduce each other and no one would want to see R2 and C3-PO trying to get it on.

5. There is very little chance that the audience will be attacked by sand people. Our audiences sometimes travel in straight lines to hide their numbers as well.

6. If Benito shot Greedo first, no ham fisted attempt would be made to alter the original footage to make him less of a bad ass.

7. Fewer ewoks. This is more a safety concern than anything. Ewoks bite and I am pretty sure that they have fleas.

8. No Jar-Jar. I was going to save that one for number 10, but come on you could say that about almost any play.

9. This play to happens Barstow, California. Therefore the need for interstellar travel is eliminated and you can be home in time for the 11 o'clock news.

10. There is no dream sequence in any of the Star Wars. Unless you count when Luke goes into the swamp on Degobah and fights with the peyote induced vision of Darth in Empire. And then cuts off his head to reveal that it is his own head he has cut off. Whoa, talk about foreshadowing!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Get to Know Jose Rivera

Never had a playwright answer one of these. Never had anyone who was nominated for an Oscar answer one of these either. Never had anyone who was friends with one of the Bosom Buddies.

But since Jackie is the one who scored this one I will let her word do the talking as it were. As we pose our 10 Questions to playwright Jose Rivera, author of References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot.

Dear Jose,

How are you? How is your play going? I hope well! I just had the best idea! Read on ...

For each production, the folks at Rorschach put together a list of questions that allows the public to get to know the cast, designers and production folks. Once we fill it out, they put it up on their theatre blog. If you have time to fill this out, it would be quite a treat for the Rorschach folks!

Let me know what you think and take care!!!


1. What is your job in References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot?
... writer?

2. Have you ever worked for Rorschach before and how?

... not that I can remember unless it was a former life.
3. Do you have any recurring dreams and if so what are they about?

... for years I was haunted by a dream in which I was in an old haunted house and couldn't find my way out of it
4. Other than Dali which painters turn you on?
... mostly primitive, outsider artists, the art of the mentally insane I love

5. Have you been doing any special research for the show?

... I stole heavily from my brother Tony's life. He was a vet of the first Gulf War. I also explore the disintegration of my first marriage.

6. Who is the biggest celebrity you have ever met and how?
... when I was 22 I was an apprentice actor at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland and one of the other apprentices was Tom Hanks and we've been friends ever since.

7. In a steel-cage-no-holds-barred-death match which character in Dali would win?

... Gabby hands down
8. What is the most impossible thing that happens in the play?

... that it gets produced!

9. If you could live inside of any painting what would it be?

... shit, this is too hard ... I love Munch's "Scream"but wouldn't want to live in it ... maybe in one of the sensual paintings by Klimt with all those sensual women.

10. If you had a theme song what would it be?

... oh Christ, I have no idea. Early Rolling Stones ballads?

... good luck!