are the best costumes

The Saturn Awards are tomorrow! *fingers crossed*

Rogue One has the most nominations:

  1. Best Science-Fiction Film Release
  2. Best Actress: Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso
  3. Best Supporting Actor: Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
  4. Best Film Direction: Gareth Edwards
  5. Best Film Screenplay: Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy
  6. Best Film Editing: John Gilroy, Colin Goudie, Jabez Olssen
  7. Best Film Production Design: Doug Chiang, Neil Lamont
  8. Best Film Music: Michael Giacchino
  9. Best Film Costume Design: David Crossman, Glyn Dillon
  10. Best Film Make-Up: Amy Byrne
  11. Best Film Special Effects: John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel, Neil Corbould

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for having to perform in a costume that makes you feel incredibly uncomfortable?

My first advice is 100% talk to your costumer and your director. Express your discomfort and explain how you could feel better about the costume. Neither a good costume designer nor a good director will want you to be uncomfortable. They’ll know that will make it hard for you to give your best performance. Try to find a solution. If the costume is, say, more revealing than you might like, could you add a camisole or leggings to feel more secure? If your costume is hard to move in, could you go up a size or add a slit to the skirt? Could a different pair of shoes or a cardigan make you feel more confident? 

If that doesn’t get the problem fixed for you…just try to find your confidence. More than likely, there is a reason you’ve been put in this costume, and it may work better for the show than you realize. Maybe you’re supposed to have a limited movement range. Maybe your character is supposed to look a little less than modest. Can you make it work for you – let it add to your performance? To that end, it all probably works better on stage than you think. Which isn’t always a comfort, but at least can make it worthwhile. 

One of the great things about acting is getting the chance to move out of comfort zones and try things or be things we wouldn’t normally consider. So take it as an opportunity to change it up. As long as your discomfort isn’t at risk of making you hurt yourself (like too-tall heels or a corset or something), this might just be something you have to accept in a life of theatre. Try to welcome it. And remember – it’s not you up there, just your character.

But if you’re actively getting a bad vibe off the people making the decision (I once worked with a pervy director way too fond of putting girls in revealing clothes), definitely stand up for yourself, and don’t be afraid to leave a situation that’s exploiting you.

Rose’s Turn: Costuming the 2008 “Gypsy” Revival

I’ve been on a bit of a Patti Lupone kick this year, as my reviews of War Paint probably showed, so I decided to take a look at a few of the costumes from her Tony-winning turn as Mama Rose in the 2008 revival of the musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable. I’m focusing on just the Mama Rose costumes this afternoon because I think that they deserve special attention, but in the future, I think I will go back and take a look at the other costumes.

Gypsy’s revival was costumed by the late Martin Pakledinaz, best known for his Tony Award-winning costumes in Thoroughly Modern Millie and the 2000-era revival of Kiss Me, Kate. Mr. Pakledinaz did a fantastic job capturing the original feel of the musical while still managing to infuse the dramatic, overbearing Rose character with rich, beautiful colors.

For those unfamiliar with the musical, Gypsy is the story of Rose Thompson Hovick, the mother to burlesque pioneer Gypsy Rose Lee (from whom the musical takes its title) and the very definition of a stage mother. You think the moms on Dance Moms or other reality shows are a little crazy? They’ve got nothing on Mama Rose. Take a read through Gypsy: A Memoir if you ever have the time or inclination. A dear friend of mine from college did her capstone on the influence of Gypsy Rose Lee on burlesque as an art form, and the story of her is absolutely fascinating, especially the domineering nature of her mother.

The role of Rose was originated on Broadway by a woman whose name is synonymous with theatre stardom, Ethel Merman, and has been since played on stage in New York by Dame Angela Lansbury (who won the 1975 Tony for her performance), Tyne Daly (who won the 1990 Tony for her performance), Bernadette Peters, Patti Lupone (whose revival is the subject of the review, and who won the 2008 Tony for her performance), and will be once again revived by Imelda Staunton in 2018 following a wildly successful West End revival. In other words, this is a role that commands an actress with power and the ability to belt out a melody that will be heard in the rafters. And any role that demanding deserves costumes that match. Let’s take a look:

The musical as a whole is set in the 1920s and 1930s, and follows a family of vaudevillians as they try and make it big, led by the domineering and overbearing Mama Rose. As a result, the costumes that Mr. Pakledinaz designed tend to be dramatic and showy, a little risqué, and intended to wow the audience without overpowering the character or actress (though, frankly, I’m not sure one can overpower Patti Lupone).

This first number is in a color palate I haven’t looked at much before, which is the golds and browns families. Typically, a designer will not mix two different patterns in fabric, but on occasion there can be a very good reason for doing so. Here, Mama Rose is wearing a brown-and-white checked jacket over a gold, orange, and white blouse and a slightly softer orange skirt. The overall effect that’s given off is one of the character being a bit off, like there’s something that isn’t quite right or expected about who and what they are. But that’s not a flaw in the costume design; it’s a feature in my book given that the musical follows Rose’s journey into losing everything–family included–in her quest for fame-by-proxy.

The color choices add to that overall effect, I think. Later in the musical, the palate Mr. Pakledinaz uses gets a bit darker and more muted, but here, it’s almost manic, clashing just a little bit without being unpleasing to the eye. The clash in the dual geometric patterns draws the eye, especially in comparison to the much plainer designs given to the supporting characters in this scene and in others. Clearly, this is where the attention should be, words or music be darned, and it’s a great effect. And, as I said, it’s not unpleasing to the eye. It’s just unusual.

I find that when I mention Gypsy to a person who isn’t a theatre fan, they don’t necessarily know what I’m talking about. But bring up the manic, show-stopping number “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” the light of recognition tends to cross their faces. In part, that’s because this is one of those showtunes that managed to get into the public mind because it’s a great phrase, and because of Bette Midler’s performance as Mama Rose in a mid-1990s television version of the musical. For those who might not know it, let me give you a taste of this number and why the costume gets some special attention in this post, with this clip of Patti Lupone performing it at the 2008 Tony Awards ceremony; the dialogue is important, but if you want to skip right to the music, it starts at the 1:12 mark:

This number closes the first Act of the musical, as Rose’s elder daughter June has eloped and left her stage-obsessed mother behind. The family (including daughter Louise, the titular Gypsy, and Mama’s fiancé Herbie) believe that this will finally compel Mama Rose to give up her obsession with making it big and let them settle down. Instead, in the blink of an eye, Mama Rose transfers her dreams from one daughter to another in a show-stopping number that is as manic as it is memorable.

For this number, Mr. Pakledinaz has costumed Patti Lupone in a number of layers that can be seen both in the clip above and in this still from the stage production itself; it’s far more somber than the piece which started out this review, and that reflects that despite the new plan to make Louise into Gypsy Rose Lee, the character of Mama Rose is still in a darker place herself and is now clinging to one last hope of stardom. In full, the costume looks like this:

The coat she wears at the train station in this scene is a rich, deep maroon purple that almost drinks up the shadows while providing a contrast to the Mr Lupone’s skin as it’s illuminated by the stage lights. The fabric is heavy and woolen in a rare exception to the general rule that you avoid heavy fabrics in live theatre (even when the setting requires it), and I think you can read a little metaphor into it: the character is literally being weighed down by keeping out the cold, the way she is figuratively weighed down by her dreams of stardom even if it’s only by proxy.

Beneath that is a gorgeous blue dress with a cream scarf/collar that, unfortunately, has not been photographed much in the right lighting. I was, however, able to find one still that offered a little more perspective on it, however:

As you can somewhat see, the dress underneath the maroon coat is blue, with a wild and Bohemian paisley and swirled pattern that is alive with color, busy, and designed to catch the eye. As with Mama herself, a simple exterior embodied by the coat gives way to a much more complex interior, as embodied by this dress. The blue manages to not fade into the background thanks to the coat acting as a barrier, and I like the addition of the scarf/collar itself as a way to lighten up the whole ensemble, as well as to draw the eye down to the skirt; in the theatre, I do believe it would be much easier to see the pattern, at least from center orchestra.

The scarf/collar combination itself is a gridded white chiffon, as seen in this closeup which also lets us look at the dress’ hem in a tiny bit more detail:

More of a cream than a pure white, it’s there to provide covering on the bust as well as to lighten the ensemble, as I stated. It does that job well, and the use of a rougher fabric design as compared to the smoothness of the dress itself is a wise one. It adds just a little bit more contrast when viewed up close, and I like that. We can also see the Bohemian influence in the hem of the dress, with the somewhat funky and rule-less design in blues and oranges.

The final costume that Ms Lupone is outfitted in during the 2008 revival is also her simplest of the production, but that in no way makes it less impressive. As the show winds down, the 11 o’clock number, “Rose’s Turn,” represents Mama Rose coming to grips with the idea that not only will she never make it big, but that she’s lost everyone she might have cared about: June (the daughter who eloped), Louise (Gypsy Rose), and Herbie (Rose’s fiancé). She tries hard in this number to justify everything she’s done, and finally admits that it was all about her in the end. It’s a sad, powerful, memorable number and it has a costume to match:

The giant ROSE in lights is in fact part of the production; part of the sequence for this number is Rose fantasizing about seeing her own name up in lights and hearing the crowds applauding and cheering her name. But as she fantasized, she’s outfitted pretty plainly. The deep, burnt red that she wears here is far different from the manic pattern of the blue dress from the end of Act I. Instead, it is simple, cleanly cut, and even makes the character seem a bit small on the darkness of the stage. That’s obviously intentional: the designer wants the focus to be on this character, and this character alone, with no design elements to distract. The color has to do the work, not the costume.

The A-line cut of the dress, interrupted only by a band of satiny or silky fabric at the waste, is classical and believable as simply a dress that a woman in Mama Rose’s station would own and wear. The plainness is once again a feature rather than a bug: there is nothing to distract from the character, from the words, from the music. There is simply the deep red color against the blackness of the character’s fantasy, and the audience is left–in my opinion–a little bit haunted by the overall effect.

Mama Rose is one of the most challenging roles on Broadway, not only because of the need for belting vocals and a powerful voice, but because of the personality of the character. There is a reason, I think, that only the Broadway Greats have been cast in the role throughout the musical’s history; Merman, Lansbury, Lupone, all are the definition of a leading lady, and have been costumed to fit the part. For the 2008 revival, I think the choice of colors and styles was absolutely spot on, and the Tony nomination for Mr. Pakledinaz was well-deserved.

Gypsy is a fantastic musical that drips with classic Broadway style and flair, not to mention costuming. I highly recommend it as an entrée into the world of musical theatre, and especially recommend the 2008 recording of the production. Treat your ears to the show-stopping, powerful, bittersweet melodies and enjoy it for what it is: beautiful theatre.


That wraps up this review of the 2008 revival of Gypsy. As I said, I may come back to look at some more of Mr. Pakledinaz’s designs for this production later on this year; there certainly is a lot to work with. On a personal note, this was the last production that I was able to enjoy before I took my hiatus from the theatre fandom, and it’s one that has always left fond memories in my mind. It’s worth looking into!

Later on this week, I’ll be posting some more full reviews and have a couple mini-reviews queued up. So stay tuned, dear readers!

Oscar Midas
  • The Academy: (Never gives a single award to any of the eight Harry Potter movies)
  • Eddie Redmayne: "I think I'm going to take a year off of being in Oscar movies and just have a jolly good time in a Harry Potter spinoff!"
  • The Academy: (sees Eddie Redmayne looking fly as Newt Scamander and awards Fantastic Beasts a Best Costumes Oscar)

Headcanon: Ask teenaged Damian about Batman Inc. and Brucie Wayne’s relationship with Batman and you’ll always receive a different answer.

Example:

“What is your father’s relationship with Batman?“
"They’re lovers.”
-

“Unrequited love. Father adores him, but Batman has only one passion: JUSTICE.“
-

"Childhood friends. Met at summer camp. My father stumbled into the woods and noticed a rather fat bat in the tree. Back then he was a little overweight, and also known as Batboy.”
-

“I am here to deliver the truth, and the truth shall set this city free. X-Men are real. He’s a mutant! They’re all mutants!”
-

“Total weebs. They were really into Inuyasha in high school. You know that one episode with the bat demons? Huge inspiration.”
-

“My father cares a great deal about animals, as I’m sure you are aware. Batman is half bat. That’s why he covers his face. He has bat eyes.“
-

"It’s a torrid affair. Batman’s secret headquarters are under Gotham harbor. My father has always had a thing about romance surrounded by fish. Sometimes he’ll get Batman to sing sea shanties.”

-

“Here’s the thing: Batman is actually not a man. The figure is made up of small cobbler elves. That’s why the Kevlar fits so tight.”