the end of Part I

Well, Angels in America has closed. I am very sad. I will miss everyone next weekend I am sure. It was too quick rehearsal period, but I enjoyed the run very much. I was dissappointed in Baltimore--and my friends--not coming out to see it. And the gay papers late review! I think a little nagging is in order for Part II!!! Take care till July. . .

The Messenger Has Flown the Coop

It's over. Put it in the archives.

This has been one of the most incredible theatre experiences of my career, despite not being in it. Everyone worked so hard on this beast. It showed. "One of the best shows this year" claims Out Loud Magazine. Definitely right.

Time has a funny way of passing. The time between our first read through and closing seems so long ago according to the calendar, yet it seems like only yesterday we were all hauling our asses up to Towson and rehearsing for 9 hours a day while Shannon Hunt screams "We've been here for so long!" That may have been about the time I started watching the boys walking to the Towson football game half naked. All those weekends kind of squished together.

There's really not much I have to say. I'm looking forward to my weekends and football. I'm looking forward to NYC starting in January. I'm looking forward to Part 2. I've enjoyed so much of this process, it's hard to find anything negative about it. I'm sure I could elaborate, but that isn't polite to do on something so public, and those "in the know" know exactly what I'm talking about.
I'll miss my cast. I'm glad I've made some new friends and strengthened bonds with others.
Too much fun. Not enough time. Finite. Finite. Terribly, terribly.
The Angel will come again to Baltimore. I'll be here when it happens; welcoming Part 2 with an open heart and mind and soul, waiting for the immense richness of Kushnerisms to come flowing freely at me.
Perpare for the parting of the air. The breath, the ascent. Glory to...

New Photos in the Archives

On the "past" tab above, we've updated our production pages to include photos from Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, as well as new, never-before-seen shots from Edward II, Fall of the House of Usher, and Stealing Pears. Hopefully, we'll have photos of last month's The Madness of Lady Bright to put up soon.

A Little Early, But...

Review Roundup

Even on its final weekend, reviews are still coming in for Angels. Uniformly raves!

Towson Towerlight
Broadway World
City Paper
Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Out Loud

WAIT!! Before we move on...

I understand...humans want to move on. We are always looking for the next thing. And while I can't deny that I am excited about the next part, I feel as though we are leaving our old friend behind. Like most things old in our society she is being put to rest before her time. Four days left, four opportunities to do our best work yet.

I watched the DVD of our performance. Now I've watched myself before and as per usual I began judging IMMEDIATELY! The usual suspects turned up..."grrrlll stand up straight"..."I should start doing push-ups"..."I need to revisit that diet"...and so on. Then there was the quality of the DVD. It was SO dark- you could barely see the slides, no close-ups so no facial expressions and the sound...I can't even get it out. Let's just say everything was recorded through the one video camera mic and it has two volumes: really soft and really really loud. I could only sit through part of Act I. But since I've been away from it for a few days, I realize that there are things that I haven't done and can still do for Harper, Angels and myself. This has been quite and experience. I've felt very off balance and when I think I've got it under control that's when it back fires on me the biggest.

I can't help but question if that is when we perform our best, when we are trying to be the best we can be. Now, when I say perform I don't just mean on the legitimate stage. I mean the performance space we call our lives. I mean when we are trying to figure things out, discovering and committing and energy and love for the work and each other. I mentioned in an earlier post that I always like the process more than the performance because once we open I feel as though my "work" is done. As I sit here trying to figure all this out I've come to the realization that my work is far from done and that I've been cheating myself out of perfection. That the search for faultlessness (WHAT! it's a word) is what drives our best work. Once we feel as though we've done what we can, we no longer try. At best, we simply maintain.

This weekend I will be sad. I'll miss doing what I love with the people I love. Not just the love of theater but Angles In America and not just any people but Gabriel and Shannon, Andrew, Allen, Chris and Robby and Pete, ma' PKP, Richard and David, Terry, Suzanne, Towanda and Don. I'll be trying to get every last breath of life out of our ol' girl. I'll mourn her when she's gone and remember her fondly when I hear our song on the radio. And on Sunday at around 4:59 like most things in life I'll take what I can and move on...but not a second before. xo

Between The Halves...

As the ensemble in Baltimore begins its final week of Millennium Approaches (get tickets now!), the MadShag design team is already been hard at work on the next half of Tony Kushner's Angels in America diptych, Perestroika, coming next July. It's a very different work from Millennium, of course, and as such requires a totally different feel and style in all areas.

Today, set designer Allen Cutler gives us a sneak peek at his creations for Perestroika with this rendering of the mappa mundi, an ancient map of the world that he has freehanded. This gorgeous, Latin-inspired map will be painted with a multi-layer technique in mammoth scale across the entire playing surface of the stage, gilded on the edges with gold. The actors will literally cross the world and back in each scene!

This is only one of the really great elements we've already chosen for Perestroika. How's this for some tantalizing hints: the major color element is gladiator red, Prior will climb to heaven on a moving ladder, and yes...this time, the angel will fly!

The Panel That Never Was

Ok... I was disappointed last Sunday when my Panel Discussion on AIDS didn't fan out the way it should have. And by that, I mean "never happened at all."
I had 8 very distinguished and highly respected panelists and no audience, save for the wonderful cast, who looked very much like they wanted to stay.
This is the problem with AIDS: nobody wants to discuss it, and therefore people get more ignorant about it. For example: That moderately large group from Loyola College that was there... none of them stayed for the discussion. The entire reason behind the Panel was to gear AIDS awareness towards that demographic; 18-22 year olds living in Baltimore.
It's sad, really; turning a blind eye to something that could potentially kill you. Not smart, college kids, not smart at all.

Anyway... I've been a little more than useless when I'm at the shows now, due to not being able to lift anything over 10 pounds (how do I go to the bathroom?) I'm there for moral support. And to help the Wonderful Octopus of the Booth, Shannon Hunt, with the highly technical aspect of clicking the slides and the chaser lights. She makes me feel important and needed even though I'm on Percocet and need to be told to go sit down.

I can't believe it almost over. Seems like a short time between driving up to Towson and now. A lot has happened, though. I'm upset I didn't get to see my wonderful director and props man this past Saturday, but I wasn't up to it at all.

I'll see everyone tonight!! I'll be on drugs, but I'll be there. Go Team!

Still Flying....

So here we are - with just two weekends left until we close. I am actually surprised that there haven' t been more comments posted throughout the run of the show, but it's understandable that many of us have other things to attend to during the week. Yeah, who needs a life anyways?

Well, for those of you that don't have the pleasure of being with us throughout our run, here are a couple of fun highlights since we've opened:

- getting busted Mr. Director Shanks for talking about Paris Hilton and brown socks during our pre-show discussions. (I swear that those two topics have plenty to do with the show!)

- having way too much fun at the cast party that lasted until around 5am.

- 2 readings of the entire play that we had for Free Fall Baltimore at Mica and University of Baltimore. It was basically a staged reading of the entire show, since we were missing original cast members for other conflicts. But I think that Shannon H, Andrew, Robbie, David Allen, and the rest of us did a phenomenal job at covering. Some scenes were a sight to be as the homeless woman for instance.

- and of course, our rave reviews!

Anyways, I can definitely say it's been a challenge to keep the material fresh once we continued with the run. You have to be careful not to fall into the rut of just saying lines - it's easy to do, trust me! I guess the trick is to make it feel as exciting as the day we opened.

I must say, I find it more and more enjoyable to go and do the show with people that I genuinely adore. They make my job easier and more fun....and in fact, it never feels like it's a chore. And all I can say is that I have heard some preliminary discussions on Perestroika: Part II of Angels in America, and I am sooooo excited. Let's get this thing started already. Look at me, this show is not even over and I am trying to move onto the next installment! hehehee.

That's it for now - and I hope that if you haven't come out to see our show, you are truly missing out on a wonderful masterpiece, both artistically and literally.

For now,

David (Belize)
PS. Shannon, I am lovlier than Kurt - I see how you are...easily swayed by a couple of martinis (7 to be exact), 3 sangria cups, 4 chicken skewers, 1/2 lb. of crab dip, chips, 4 snickers bars, and countless cigarettes. Are you really that predictable? :)

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  • Gabriel Shanks
  • Artistic Director

  • Erik C. Bruce
  • Allen Cutler
  • Shannon Maddox
  • Kay Mitchell
  • Jeni Shanks
  • Artistic Associates

  • Charles Borkhuis
  • Erin Browne
  • Oscar Castillo
  • Jane Ann Crum
  • Robbie Heacock
  • Shannon Hunt
  • Jeffrey James Keyes
  • Barbara Lanciers
  • Leonard Madrid
  • Gretchen Michelfeld
  • Christopher Mirto
  • Catherine Porter
  • Juanita Rockwell
  • Barry Rowell
  • Jeni Shanks
  • Nomi Tichman
  • Mary Ann Walsh

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