Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas, Ebenezer!

We closed A Christmas Carol for Two Actors yesterday afternoon, with a delightful audience; Julie Phillip's parents made it, and Dad was tapped to be Martha Cratchit. Delightful. Also seen were several longtime Hoodwinker fans (the official fanclub of alumni"Carol" actor Molly Hood, and first year "Mudgekins," a phrase I'm not sure they even yet knew.

I'd like to take a moment to thank our wonderful audiences for attending; it's for you that we work all year to create our art. Thank you, too, to all of Richmond Shakespeare's artists, staff and trustees for a year of tremendously hard work. From Doctor Faustus to a great summer festival and from Will Power to Youth Richmond to welcoming fantastic new additions like Kerry Hugins, (our new Bookkeeper, whom everyone absolutely loves) it's been a very busy year, indeed. In fact, even though the offices are closed this week, we're looking at posting a bit more of a roundup here as we close out 2007, so check back toward New Year's.

Until then, here are two shots from the closing weekend of "Carol," the first from Andrew and Karen Hamm's Christmas party: that's Julia Rigby, Patrick Bromley (The Temepst) and Frank Creasy (The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night), who will all be performing for RS this coming March in As You Like It, with Andrew directing. I'm absolutely thrilled, and very much looking forward to that show--many of you know it's very dear to me, and I can't imagine a more wonderful cast and director to take us into the forest of Arden.

First up, though, is Measure for Measure, part of the Acts of Faith series of professional theatre all across Richmond, and I'm quite pleased to announce here that Julie Phillips will also be performing in Measure, making three in a row for this tremendous actor. That's Julie, below, with yours truly, enjoying a little well-earned holiday cheer at Penny Lane Pub, across 5th street from our Chapel theatre at 2nd Presbyterian. Julie is simply amazing. It's been my absolute joy to work with her, and I'm very grateful for the chance. She's smart, incredibly organized, and one of the warmest people I've ever met. Do come see her in Measure, (It opens Feb 7), after which I promise, she can have a little more than one week's downtime between projects.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and God bless us, every one.



Frank Creasy said...

I suppose the moon must be in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligned with Mars, for yours truly to rate two pics in one week on this blog!

First, to the shot of me with Julia and Patrick: I'm so very, very pleased to be working with them again, and all three of us together for the first time at Richmond Shakespeare. I'm well aware of the significance which As You Like It has in the history of this company, and I feel honored to be invited to perform it this coming spring.

Finally, as to the picture of Dave White and myself sobbing tenderly over the love song we requested of Feste (played by the phenomenally versatile Andrew Hamm, off camera): This bit of action was based on an improv between Dave and myself in a rehearsal. Due to another actor's sudden illness just days before we opened Twelfth Night last spring, Dave stepped in to play multiple roles (including Sir Andrew Aguecheek as pictured here). With just a few rehearsals together, Dave (along with the four other cast members) threw ourselves full into "play" mode, rehearsing and improvising freely. That improvisation in our first full rehearsal together of this scene became a regular and popular part of the "kitchen scene" in Twelfth Night. Only moments AFTER this tender moment, Dave switches roles and as Malvolio takes me to task for instigating such drunken mayhem! Well, I ask you: What ELSE should someone known as THE LORD OF MISRULE do with his time??? Dave and I and our other wonderful Twelfth Night cast members (Liz Blake, Suzanne Ankrum, Andrew Hamm and Grant Mudge) have become fast friends thanks to that magical production.

RST is off to another great start this season. I'm looking forward to seeing Dave and company in Measure for Measure, and to taking the stage myself along with Julia, Patrick, Adam, Andrew and Sunny in the spring for As You Like It. I hope to see many friends of RST at both events!

Mr. Grant Mudge said...

We're all really looking foward to the return of RS favorites David White, Liz Blake, Andrew Hamm, Frank Creasy and Patrick Bromley.

Personally, I'm especially looking forward to introducing our audiences to Julia Rigby and Sunny LaRose, who will be with RS for the first time in Andrew's production of As You Like It. They are terrific actors and I think have some great material in that play as do Frank & co in Measure for Measure: , roles that will stretch, challenge and yield great performances from them all.

Very exciting!

Mr. Grant Mudge said...

NEWEST John Moss, who no question will be the greatest Lucio in the history of "Measure" productions, takes his first shot at the RS indoor stage at 2nd pres. John rejoins us after having first appeared in last summer's festival "Tempest."

Andrew Hamm said...

John is awesome. I want to be John Moss when I grow up.