Sometimes sets can get a bit… wacky. I once saw a version of Richard III that looked like it was set in some sort of post-apocalyptic England. Trash and metal everywhere. When characters were killed, they were thrown into a large dumpster with graffiti on it. Someone had to sit in the dumpster to catch people. Since it was onstage almost all the time, they couldn’t leave. They created a twitter account and live tweeted from the dumpster. And it was the best thing ever.
Little things you notice when you’ve seen DWSA too many times
-Melchior nervously tucks his shirt in when Wendla turns away to explore his ‘private place for thinking.’
-In the same scene only in the Broadway staging, Melchior follows Wendla all around the ‘tree’ trying to catch her attention, but of course she can’t hear so she keeps walking around
-Hanschen turns to Ernst’s voice and shushes him when he laughs during the vineyard scene
-Hanschen looks back (kind of ominously?) at Ernst’s voice when he walks off with Ernst
-Hanschen is super shady obv- he laughs with the teacher at Moritz’s mistake, and sarcastically slow-claps while walking across the stage after Melchior flips everyone off in the end of ‘Totally Fucked’
-During the pre-show warm-up, the actors start slowly transforming into their characters after they put their costumes on. Daniel Durant walks nervously with bowed legs as Moritz; Andy stands in the corner and glares out at the audience as Hanschen; the sisters Thea and Melitta stroll together as a pair; Otto walks around adorably in his sailor outfit while practicing verbalizing words..
-Melchior stares at Wendla very intensely all through Mama Who Bore Me
-Krysta operates the spotlight on the actors. Also she has a really cute sort of dressing room with a lamp and drawings on the wall if you look up to the left
-Moritz occasionally looks over at his voice like ‘wtf?’ when Ilse talks about the shit that went down in Priapia, and his voice shrugs back like ‘I have no idea dude.’ Also Ilse seems to have a bit of a rougher time communicating with Moritz in ASL.
-When Ilse suddenly shows up and makes Moritz drop his gun in surprise, his voice grabs it and hides it in his pocket. Later when Ilse leaves, Moritz gestures for his voice to give it back. Then he covers his voice’s microphone and lowers it. His voice lowers his head and walks away slowly.
-On a different note, the way Austin pronounces NO THANK YOU (like nho tHank hyou) to his bullies at the reformatory fascinates me.
Anyone else notice some things that one-time viewers might miss/might want to look out for..?
i love productions of much ado where the prince is serious about proposing to beatrice.
a big reason why is that it opens the door to a reading where the “mountain of affection” plot is born out of spite. he doesn’t ACTUALLY expect it to work, he just wants to get back at beatrice for turning him down and maybe benedick too (after all, since pedro doesn’t know john was involved, he has no reason to assume it wasn’t benedick’s fault with all his Obstinate Heresies that claudio misunderstood his intentions toward hero). his real goal is to embarrass them–it’s not his fault they’re actually wildly compatible. i think this adds to the way the masked dance functions as the whole play in miniature; it shows how don pedro is capable of being callous towards anyone he perceives as having slighted him and the real harm he might do with that stubborn streak
i also love this staging because at the end the prince gets told “go get a wife, loser” by the guy who married the woman who rejected him and that’s so fucking funny
we’ve seen the video but ill do some small notes anyways
when she tossed all letters in the bucket at the end she almost missed the bucket and they almost slid out, other than that it’s all the same. at the end of the song she blows out the candle and walks off stage and everyone is like NOOOOOOO
Blow Us All Away
when i head the whistling i audibly said “no!” because i knew even though i was prepared i was not ready
he comes out at the front of a line of college grads all wearing tricorne hats.
also the ball of absolute genuine charisma that is anthony ramos is unreal i cant even begin to describe
he walks with the typical swagger of a teenager its very cute, like sorta strutting and snapping his fingers
he walks over to two girls standing at front stage right and flirts hardcore with them and they faun over him its great omg
he struts over to mid stage left and there is a play going on behind him. like, two characters standing in a big rectangular spotlight to represent the stage, and ensemble members sitting in chairs facing the ‘stage’ watching the show
one actor is about to kill the other in the show when phillip walks in and yells “george!” george is up on the balcony and like leans forward for “shut up, im tryina watch this show!” and the altercation continues from there
eaker cups his hands around his mouth when he says “your father’s a scoundrel, and so it seems are you”
philiip is so determined at “see you on the dueling ground!” he like sorta puts his foot down as he says it
he and ham talk at center stage, and turn to the audience for ‘everything is legal in NJ’
ham brings him the two pistols from a cupboard at stage left
phillip is so nervous from this point on and you can see it. he hands even shake as he raises his pistol to the sky
THE PAIN TRAIN BEGINS
Stay Alive (Reprise)
he slumps over and they carry him to a table
alexander rushes out, and phillip is lying on the table (slowly spinning on the turntable to the front of the stage), holding his hip and then looking at his hands and trying to lean forward to look at the wound
the “stay aliveeeeeee” in the background as hamilton is talking to the doctor is so much more distressed sounding at the show than it is in the soundtrack goD
also the repeated “i know, i know” hits right on the heartbeat during the song and i didnt realize that until i saw the show live and iT WAS SO UPSETTING
ham runs out to phillip and kneels behind the table, resting one hand on his chest and holding the back of his head with the other. lin was starting to cry a bit at this scene
at the second “i was aiming for the sky” phillip tries to sit up a bit and then spasms in pain and alex sort of jumps a bit and is like “save your strength and stay aliiiveee” and itS REALLY FUCKING SAD
eliza runs out and is in a hysterical panic
she kneels down next to hamilton and takes philips hand
when phillip passes, hamilton puts his hand over eliza’s and eliza pulls away from him, so he just kinda settles for resting his hand on phillip’s chest
when phillip dies and alex rests his head down on the table, eliza screams. her scream turns into a sob and it was so emotional and at this point almost everyone in the theatre is crying
It’s Quiet Uptown
this was the absolute worST LET ME JUST TELL YOU
they all turntable around to the left, so now they’re all in the rear stage right (?) corner and angelica comes out, stage right as the song is beginning, angelica starts her line
as this is happening, phillip stands from the table (which is in the center rear of the stage) and walks slowly out the rear exit. but i cannot tell you how slowly he was walking, such light, drawn out steps. like he wasnt ready to go, and didnt want to go, and it’s such a tragically beautiful subtly
alex walks to center stage and is singing, but lin is legitimately crying and it is just so hard to listen to
the man two seats over from me handed the lady next to me a handkerchief and she is hysterical
after “can you imagineeee…?” eliza walks to center stage and is standing beside hamilton on his right (audience’s left). she doesnt even look at him or acknowledge him, she is stone-faced looking out at the audience. almost numb looking. it’s awful
at “look at where we are, look at where we started” i literally started full-body wracking sobbing. that’s the line that absolutely decimates me when i listen to it on the soundtrack, but it’s an entirely different story when you see it live. the acting in this scene is the most compelling acting i’ve ever seen on broadway, i cant begin to tell you how emotional it was
his voice breaks on “what we’ve lost” and again on “i know who i married”, and then again on his “look around, look around, eliza”
as lin is delivering his whole bit to eliza, she still isnt looking at him
after angelica’s bit, eliza still doesnt look at him, she just puts out her hand out slowly and alex looks down at it, and takes her hand right before she says “it’s quiet uptown…”
she rests her head on his shoulder and and they stare out at the stage for “forgiveness…” and i s2g the whole audience is sobbing it was actually the worst
during the ‘forgiveness…’ bit, lin closes his eyes and makes the most anguished, sad looking face ive ever seen and it breaks you heart again
she takes his arm and they walk off stage together
i have never cried harder at a movie/song/musical/anything in my life im not kidding
The Election of 1800
the crowd is trying to hard to recover during the 2 seconds of music before ‘the election of 1800′ and then jeff comes out for ‘can we get back to politics?’ and the audience laughs and when mads comes out he’s dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief and his voice breaks big-time on ‘please?’ its great
he only pulls himself together just in time for ‘he’s very attractive in the north’
jeff like turns and rolls his eyes at ‘at least they know i know where france is’ its great
the harmonies on the second round of ‘it might be nice, it might be niiice” were sO FUCKING ON POINT
when burr comes out he’s strutting and bouncing around just like jefferson. it was probably one of my favorite burr moments because him imitating jefferson’s swagger is so indicative of his change as a character and i love it
he’s handing pamphlets to all the ensemble members all around the stage
as all the ensemble members say their bits about the candidates, theyre standing in a line across the stage, each member delivering a line and and then the next person to their right (audience left) delivers their line, and so on and so on. burr is like creeping around behind them trying to listen in
burr fist-pumps at ‘like you can grab a beer with him’
hamilton walks out from stage left and is walking in front of the line of ensemble members, who are all holding pamphlets and trying to get his attention as he’s singing ‘it’s quiet uptown’
ham and burr finally meet at center stage and burr is so clearly exhausted but trying to stay upbeat and positive and smiley and its great
ham is almost forcing a smile when he’s talking to burr, but his face fucking drops at ‘i learned that from you’ and i was like OH NO
ham walks up the stairs and is standing at top center balcony as they’re doing “its a tie, its up to the delegates”. burr walks stage right (audience left) and stands at the front of the stage, spotlight on him. jefferson does the same at stage left
ham is doing his little bit from the balcony, burr is staring right up at the rear mezz with the most determined hopeful look (like, right at me omfg) and as ham says “but if you were to ask me who i’d promote” jefferson kinda turns out and his body language reads as though he were to say ‘what’s the point ive already lost this battle’
then on ‘jefferson has my vote’ tjeff lights up and looks so surprised, and burr’s face just drops. he doesnt move an inch, he keeps on staring right at me, the most pained, betrayed look on his face. i shook my head slightly at him, and he shook it slightly back at me in disbelief.
jefferson is like almost freaking out at ‘well ill be damned’ and turns to madison like ‘can you fucking believe this?’
jeff is such an ass and everyone feels so bad for burr its the worst
Your Obedient Servant
burr’s demeanor does a total 180 and he looks so full of pent-up rage and delivers his lines so aggressively and im just like no pls
burr is writing his letter and has it delivered to hamilton, who is sitting at his desk and writes his own response back to him. he hands his letter(s) to the ensemble member who delivers them to burr
on each line of “hey, I have not been shy/I am just a guy in the public eye/tryin’ to do my best for our republic/I don’t wanna fight/but I won’t apologize for doing what’s right,” the ensemble member hands burr a new sheet of paper and so burr is stuck holding like 15 sheet letters from hamilton by the end of his first bit and he’s like “what the actual fuck?” and looks so overwhelmed its great
during ‘i have the honor to be, your obedient servant, a dot ham” the ensemble members brings him the last sheet of paper flapping her wings like a butterfly lol
then it’s so agressive by the end and im like no
Best of Wives, Best of Women
this song BREAKS ME so i heard the first note and broke down again
eliza walks out from the back of the stage, and ham is sitting in a chair at front stage left with his glasses on, writing a bit on his little tablet.
its sad and eliza stands behind him and sort of holds him and hugs him from behind and iM SOBBING
then ‘hey! best of wives, and best of women’ and the lady next to me starts crying too
The World Was Wide Enough
(i accidentally just wrote ‘the worst’ instead of ‘the world’ and that p much sums it up)
we start sorta the same was as ‘10 duel commandments’ but its a lot slower and more dramatic and just sad looking and im like n o
‘in the same spot my/your son died, is that why…?’ was so beautiful and heartbreaking because phillip appears in all white behind ham right as he turns and sees him and he walks forward to hug him but phillip disappears back slowly like BYE
right as they hit ‘10′ everything freezes and lin start’s the spoken word bit. the only things moving are hamilton, and the bullet, slowly toward him
during lin’s spoken word bit, the ensemble members are reprising some choreography from hamilton’s songs throughout the show. like, slower, more somber looking dances taken straight from ‘my shot’ and some other songs its absolutely beautiful and captivating and surreal
‘my mother’s on the other side’ his mother appears again in all white, as does washington and laurens and phillip when he mentions them
he aims his pistol at the sky WAIT!! is delivered with such anguish it was awful
when the bullet hits him, he slumps over, but doenst fall to the ground. he just stands there slumped over on the turntable, and two ensemble members sit beside him, making rowing motions as the turntable spins and they row him away. him not falling to the ground at this scene is think is so fucking profound and such incredible symbolism and it’ll probably get it’s own post
burr is crying at ‘i walk toward him but i am ushered away’ it’S SO SAD
he sounds so somber and depressed and empty on the next two lines, then so delicate like he’s trying to hold back tears for ‘i hear wailing in the streets’
angelica comes out and she and eliza are with hamilton as he dies
he walks to front center stage for ‘death doesnt discriminate” and is staring out to the crowd as he goes through his lines
when he gets to “when alexander aimed at the sky, he may have been the first one to die, but im the one who paid for it” his voice breaks and a single tear rolls down his cheek and it waS SO FUCKING AWFUL
he pauses for a minute to take a break before practically whispering ‘i survived, but i paid for it”
the audience gasped at that line, too
‘the world was wide enough for both hamilton and me’ the lady next to me and i both started to cry hysterically again
as that song ends and burr walks off to the side, no one claps or cheers or anything because everyone is in such a state of shock and agony that we cant even react or anything
i dont even really have much more to say other than that it was really intense and sad and seeing it live is a completely different experience to hearing it on the soundtrack
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
washington walks slowly to center stage for his first line
jeff is up on the balcony for his line, and i think madison was, too
on ‘elizaaaaaa’ i cried and most of the crowd does, too
she slowly walks forward to the front of the stage
‘i live another 50 years” the woman behind gapsed and another one went “ooh” and covered her mouth
laurens, mullian, and lafayette are behind her in white for ‘i interview every soldier who fought by your side” “she tells our story” and it’s so emotional
every “time” is more and more powerful as the song progresses and again it’s one of those things that only hits you full-fledged when you experience it live and in-person
she looks out at the crowd and sort of bounces up for “oh! can i show you what im proudest of?”
“the orphanage” THE PAIN
I LEGITIMATELY S O B B E D AT THIS LINE, LIKE COULDNT HOLD BACK AT ALL IT WAS BAD
‘i established the first private orphanage in new york city’ is delivered so delicately, almost in a whisper. it is the most beautifully delivered line of the entire show in my opinion
‘in there eyes i see you, alexander” the lady behind me, the one who had been laughing the whole time, cries
‘oh, i cant wait to see you again, it’s only a matter of–” “timeeee” at that line, alexander slowly walks out and stand behind her. on “time” he puts his hand on her shoulder
she gasps at the end of the show as she looks out at the audience and it’s so beautiful and profound and i SOB AGAIN
like, i certainly interpreted that bit as eliza wondering if they’ll tell his story, if they’ll remember his legacy, and then looking out and seeing the huge crowd that is here to watch his story unfold and gasping because she is so surprised and moved by it. GOD.
AND THEN ITS OVER AND EVERYONE STANDS AND IS SOBBING AND CHEERING AND LIN IS STILL CRYING ON STAGE AND SO ARE SOME OF THE OTHER ACTORS AND LIKE GODDAMN THEY HAVE TO ENDURE THE PAIN TRAIN EVERY NIGHT LIKE H O W????
Even for as much as I’ve written, I can’t begin to describe what it’s like to see it live. It was poignant, life-changing, and unforgettable. It was the single-most important production I have ever seen. I cannot wait to see it again.
“Les Miserables “: the original, classic Nunn/Caird production
I hoped it wouldn’t happen, though I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. But it looks like the original production of Les Misérables in London, as staged in 1985 by Trevor Nunn and John Caird, will finally be retired and replaced by Laurence Connor and James Powell’s 2009 production this year.
It won’t be easy to see it go. Nunn and Caird’s masterful staging, John Napier’s outstanding set design, Andreane Neofitou’s iconic costumes and David Hersey’s atmospheric lighting combined in 1985 to create a true masterpiece of musical theatre. The production was created in tandem with the familiar English version of the musical; the show and the staging were mutually made for each other. For twenty-five years, throughout most of the world, that production WAS Les Mis, and as far as I’m concerned it’s never been surpassed.
If we can’t keep the Nunn/Caird staging on the London stage, we can at least remember it and pay tribute to its greatness. I’ve created a tag that revolves around just this: “I love the original Nunn/Caird production.” Below I’ve linked all the posts in this tag: a collection of nostalgic photos and lengthy musings on the costumes, the blocking, and other aspects of the production I love. Throughout the year I’ll be adding new posts to the list and adding the links here. Hopefully, some future stage directors, set and costume designers, etc. will see these posts and look back to the original staging to inspire their Les Mis production instead of blindly copying the Connor/Powell production. But even if they don’t, these photos and ramblings of mine will still pay tribute to a classic and keep its memory alive.
A three-dimensional audience that literally surrounds the players was the Elizabethan norm, a world away from scenic staging. Blocking on a centralized stage was concentric. The official speakers stood in the centre, while the commentators and clowns prowled around the flanks. The audience was closest to the commentators, and the commentators spoke directly to them. In Richard III Richard opens the play crouching at the stage edge and speaking in soliloquy to the crowd at his feet. He tells them the truth about his feelings, with intimate frankness. The other characters when they come on speak from centre-stage, and the audience literally backs Richard as they watch him fool them with his acting. His wooing of Lady Anne in the third scene is a bravura display of his arts of deception. That role and that position he sustains until he has the crown. Once he is king, though, he has to occupy the centre of the stage. That is when he loses his proximity and his intimacy with his audience. From then on he is the victim, acted on rather than acting, and he loses the audience’s subconscious alliance with him.
Andrew Gurr, “The Company’s Work,” The Shakespeare Company, 1594-1642
burr walks stage right and looks toward the stage right exit that hamilton just walked out and starts singing “it must be nice, it must be nice” and the audience cracked up omg
jefferson laughs at him lol
jefferson starts his part and at the mention of hamilton jeff turns and puts his attention on jefferson
on “i get no satisfaction witnessing his fits of passion” he balls up his fists and wiggles them in front of his chest almost as if to imitate an annoyed teen girl (idk how else to describe it lol)
at “ill pull the trigger on him, someone load the gun and cock it” he takes a step toward burr and is staring at him as if to imply that burr should be the one to load and cock the gun for him. it was a really nice subtlety that you get to see live but that isnt as clear in the soundtrack recording i think
okay up until “look back at the bill of rights” its just been burr and tjeff on stage but then madison scoots out from off-stage and goes “which i wrote!” and its just very funny that he comes in and inserts himself like that lolol
madison is on jefferson’s right (audience’s left) and burr is on jeff’s left (audience right) from that point on
as jefferson is saying “centralizing national credit and making american credit competitive….” you can see the gears turning in his head as he’s figuring out what he’s going to do next
he puts his hands together in front of his abdomen as he says “i have to resign” and madison and burr give him the most frantic look
mads is like “well - somebody has to stand up for the south!” as tjeff is starting to write his resignation, and he like pulls away from madison, his body language reading like “just shut up and wait for a second, im doing something important” and then does the same to burr after he delivers his line, then he’s like “if there’s a fire youre trying to douse” and then delivers hiS FUCKING BOMB-ASS LINE THAT I LOVE SO MUCH AND I ACTUALLY CHEERED AFTER HE DELIVERED IT IT WAS SO AMAZING
ON SOUTHERN MOTHERFUCKING DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICANS JEFFERSON LIKE PRACTICALLY JUMPS IN THE AIR HE DELIVERS THAT LINE SO HARD I L O V E IT
he signs his resignation letter at “the emperor has no clothes…” and then they finish up and walk off stage
One Last Time
sydney harcourt plays washington as being so done with ham during this song
washington pours him a drink at the beginning of the song
at “youre kidding” hamilton picks up a pen and paper to start writing and is sitting on the front of the desk looking at the paper and scribbling some stuff as washington paces confidently to his right (audience left) with his drink in his hand
“i need a favor” “whatever you say sir,” hamilton doesnt even look up at him, he continues scribbling away as he delivers his lines up until “No. He’s stepping down so he can run for president.”
lin did like a double laugh like “huh-HA! Good luck defeating you, sir” and looks up and out at the audience as he does it, not at washington. and then goes right back to writing. like, acting super dismissive as if to show that he knows what he’s gonna do and what washington’s going to say already
“im stepping down im not running for president” “im sorry, what?” he looks up in confusion and his hand stops writing for the first time and he turns to look at washington on the ‘what?’
“one last time, relax, have a drink with me” washington raises his glass and gestures for ham to take his. ham picks it up from the table and downs in
he then goes back to the pitcher and pours himself another drink, which he promptly downs again
i want to sit under my own vine and fig tree maDE ME CRY I LOVE THAT LINE SO MUCH BYE
when ham agrees to write his farewell address he takes the pen from washington, just like he did during ‘right hand man’. super sick parallels scattered throughout the show
as the farewell address is being read, the staging is absolutely gorgeous. the lights make a sort of runway that goes from the front to the back of the center stage, and hamilton is standing at the front of the runway, on the right side, with a paper in hand, writing on it as he speaks through the farewell address. we only hear alex for the first few lines. washington is standing at the back of the runway, on the left side. as the address progresses, washington speaks along with hamilton on every other line, and his voice becomes more and more pronounced, he is stepping forward and hamilton is stepping backward until they meet in the middle and are standing shoulder to shoulder at center stage for “as i, myself will soon be, to the mansions of rest.” at this point, wash and ham’s voices are equally projected and apparent. and in that moment you get such fucking deep foreshadowing because as washington refer’s to his ‘mansions of rest’ as his home where he will finally retire, hamilton’s ‘mansions of rest’ read to me more as though it were foreshadowing his impending downfall and death. that he will be soon be confined to his mansions of eternal rest. and it clicked for me for the first time as i watched the staging. and i fucKING BROKE DOWN IT WAS SO PROFOUND I CANNOT
from that point on, hamilton continues walking backward until he is on the turntable, where he has met up with all the people (including his family) who are watching as washington delivers his farewell speech to the masses from center stage as everyone watches him. by the end of the song, you can only really hear washington’s voice, it completely overpowers hamiltons. hamilton is still writing out the address as washington sings it, and is still speaking through it with him, its just very overpowered by washington’s voice
its this super cool symbolism where hamilton is great at writing up all this stuff, but washington has this persona that allows him to present what hamilton’s written with such charisma and is able to engage to an audience and play to their emotions.
i have a lot of emotions about this song and the staging of this song made it even better okay juST
I Know Him
OKAY THIS WHOLE NEXT BIT WAS SO FUCKING FUNNY JUST LISTEN
groff comes out in fewer robes (again) than we saw him wearing last, and does his thing. its very funny and the audience laughs a lot
HE MAKES AIR QUOTES WITH HIS FINGERS WHEN HE SAYS ‘COUNTRY’ IM PEEING
an ensemble girl comes out and whispers in his ear and he makes a face and then looks at her perplexedly again and says “what?”, so she whispers it in his ear again and he like takes little pause and then goes “…..john adams?” and then takes this great big long pause and the girl is still standing next to him facing forward (like at attention) and he looks at her and is still super confused so she like shrugs at him
right after “i know him” he snaps his fingers and she scurries off stage
he holds his hand at waist-height at “that little guy”
the lady behind me is cracking up guys it was so great she just died at every george part
then okay at the end of the song there is a stool at front stage right, like right in front of the staircase, and instead of walking off stage he walks over to the stool and sits on it
The Adams Administration
the music starts and burr enters and kinda has his back to where george is still sitting and starts his bit
george is like doing this goofy little dance, like holding his fists up next to his cheeks and alternating his shoulders and smiling this huge smile
and then “ardently abuse his cabinent post” leslie turns around to face george and he sees groff dancing and smiles and then LIKE CHUCKLES MID-SENTENCE AND STARTS LAUGHING ON STAGE AND TOTALLY BREAKS CHARACTER AND IT WAS MY ABSOLUTE HANDS-DOWN FAVORITE PART OF THE SHOW
AND HE LIKE LOOKS AT THE CROWD STILL KINDA LAUGHING AND SMILING REALLY BIG AND AS HE SAYS “welcome, folks” HE SORTA MAKES THIS FACE AND DOES THIS THING WITH HIS BODY LANGUAGE AS IF TO OWN HIS BREAKING CHARACTER AND SHARE A LAUGH WITH THE AUDIENCE AND IT WAS JUST THE BEST
HE HAD TO LIKE COLLECT HIMSELF AFTERWARD GROFF MADE HIM LAUGH IT WAS SO FUCKING FUNNY
hamilton is up on center balcony with his little writing box and is scribbling away and at “siddown, john, you faT MOTHERFUCKER!” he drops the entire box off the balcony to the stage floor and the spotlight follows it down to the floor it is so epic omg (the whole crowd went ‘OOOOOOO’)
Hamilton is sitting at his desk and jefferson walks around the turntable and toward him as he says “mr vice president.” madison follows behind him and stops at the table, “mr madison” and then burr follows behind mads and lin makes this super disgusted face as he says “senator burr.”
also jefferson walks up to the table with such swagger and just total control. he looks like the cock of the walk. like a totally confident bully going in for the strike on the vulnerable kid.
the three of them are standing in a line on one side of his desk, and ham gets up and stands at the other side. like a literal 3-on-1
as jefferson says “we have the check stubs from different accounts” he’s like looking at his nails or something and sort of pouting a bit, like totally cool and collected and in total control of the situation. he plays it with such arrogant confidence, like he doesnt even have to look at hamilton because the situation is already so much in his control
jefferson is SO MOCKING hamilton’s childhood home when he says ‘you best g’wan run back where ya come from!” and is like shaking his head side-to-side as he delivers each beat of that line. such confidence and arrogance i fucKING LOVE IT
hamilton progressively looks more and more taken aback as they keep talking until “you best g’wan run back where ya come from” and then it all turns to this look of disbelief and anger as he yells “Ha!”
all three of them lean in over the desk closer to ham as they say “confess”
they sound so snake-like and just underhanded and cunning and the delivery of this whole bit is just so good
at “unless…” ham’s body language changes quite a bit. he closes in a bit more just for the delivery of that one word, and the three others lean in a bit closer, hanging on his word
the “ummmm…..” is much longer on stage, and the three guys all look at each other to see what they think before turning back to him for “…yes.”
hamilton rummages through his papers to pull out the letter and hands it to burr, who reads it aloud
jeff and madision are looking at burr as he reads it and on “you see that was my wife who you decided-” jefferson runs up behind burr and looks over his shoulder at the letter and his jaw drops for “whaaaaaaa-???”
hamilton walks out around the table and confronts the guys on the other side of the table as he ***seemingly*** takes control of the situation back
“are my answers to your satisfaction?” jefferson actually takes a step back, puts his hand on his chest delicately and shakes his head a bit for “my god” like he’s so taken aback by everything
he’s standing center stage, and the lights are blue all around the turntable with a pattern that resembles how you would draw a hurricane
on “i didnt drown, i couldnt seem to die” he gets so quiet and very emotional
its just him center stage and the ensemble is watching him from the balcony(? i think?)
jefferson and reynolds and basically everything that is problematic in his life on the turntable spinning around its sick
i cheered at “i picked up a pen! i wrote my own deliverance!”
“she was holding me, we were sick and she was holding me” he sounds like he’s about to cry and then “i couldnt seem to die” his voice breaks on “couldnt” and im like NO
also right after “i couldnt seem to die” burr walks in and is like ‘wait for it, wait for it, wait for it’ and i looked at the lady next to me and whispered “its all downhill from here’ and she was like ‘what?’ and i just turn back to the stage and brace myself for pain
history has it’s eyeesssss onnnnnn youuuuuuu delicately strung into the background
ham delivers “the reynolds pamphlet” very definitely, not like he’s explaining it to people. its hard to explain. his delivery is much more as if he were talking about a thing that everyone was familiar with
The Reynolds Pamphlet
MARIA HANDS HIM THE QUILL TO WRITE THE PAMPHLET BYE GUYS
jeff burr and mads are front center stage, madison is like “high-lights!” its great, and then jeff starts reading it aloud as hamilton is at his desk writing it down and speaking along with him
jefferson and madison are front center stage and he pulls phillip in between them by his shoulders and hands him a pamphlet as he reads “i had frequent meetings with her, most of them at my own house, at his own house, at his own house” and phillip’s expression sinks and he looks so sad and disappointed and embarrassed and itS SO SAD LIKE WHY T JEFF WHY???
jeff rus over to hamilton’s table and sits on it (like we see in this gif) but at my performance he was bouNCING SO VIGOROUSLY THAT HE WAS ALMOST STRAINING TO GET OUT HIS LINES AND HE WAS SO FUCKING GIDDY AND SMILEY AND I JUST
THE BOUNCIEST JEFFERSON
after “i came as soon as i heard” daveeds voice cracked big-time on the “whaaaaaat?” and then when he tried to deliver “all the way from london” he was laUGHING IT WAS AMAZING
ham tries to take her hand and angelica is like “you must be outTA YOUR GODDAMN MIND IF YOU THINK—-”
also king george is up on the balcony dancing like the whitest dad you know
after angelica’s bit when they get into the ‘well he never gon’ be president now’s jefferson, madison, and some ensemble members are dancing all around him in circles tossing the pamphlets around and jefferson is like making it rain pamphlets at hamilton and smiling and doing the thing with his tongue like he does in ‘what’d i miss?’ and itS SO FUNNY
THEN GEORGE COMES OUT ON THE LAST “THAT’S ONE LESS THING TO WORRY ABOUT” HAM LOOKS RIGHT AT HIS AND GEORGE TURNS TO THE AUDIENCE AND MAKES AN “O” FACE AND THEN THROWS HIS PAMPHLETS UP IN THE AIR RIGHT IN FRONT OF HAM’S FACE AND HAM JUST LOOKS SO DONE
AND HAMILTON LIKE ROLLS HIS EYES AND STARES HIM DOWN AS HE WALKS AWAY WHILE SAYING “ayyy, at least i was honest with your moneyyyy” and jefferson is eATING IT UP
jefferson is still arrogantly throwing pamphlets around as he sings “at least he was honest with our moneyyyy”
AND ALSO THIS POST BC IT’S LITERALLY THIS - also the ensemble members are all like lying on the floor and reading the pamphlets super obnoxiously throughout the song, like turning the papers around and upside down as they read them and tHE ENSEMBLE MEMBER THATS IN THE FRONT LYING ON HIS BACK READING THE PAMPHLET STARTS THRUSTING AGGRESSIVELY TO THE BEAT ITS SO FUNNY
on the last “the reynolds pamphlet” all the ensemble members scramble around stage to pick up all the papers that were thrown all around him
‘his poor wife’ the audience like gasped and burr, mads and jeff walk off stage as ‘burn’ starts and eliza slowly enters the stage. jefferson is still smiling as he leave. the fucking rat.
hi! a lot of the houses you post (or maybe this is only the case for the expensive ones like the dorothy serulnic?) look soo curated, like an artist picked out all the furniture/ color scheme/ layout etc. is this generally because rich people have the money to buy the nice things/pay someone to pick them out in the first place, and so they just own really nice stuff, or do they generally pay someone to stage the house when they are ready to sell it?
99% of houses are staged before photos are taken :) the ones that aren’t staged are very obviously lived in. stagers have staging sets for different styles (MCM, modern, shabby chic, etc) and decorate based on the house. the only time i’ve encountered houses that were not professionally staged they were still heavily stylistically edited by a designer/interior designer before photos were taken. I feel like the Dorothy one is probably their actual stuff tho
Endeavour 7.1 Oracle: Some Operatic Theories on the outcome….
And SPOILERS if you haven’t seen it yet!!
the fictitious opera snippets featured on Oracle, we can almost guess some of the plot
developments… or red herrings!
“La Sposa del Demonio o La Cura per l'Amore” clearly foreshadows the outcome of Morse’s doomed love affair with
Violetta. (It should be “ossia”, not “o”, by the way, to have a more “operatic” tone.)
demon’s sposa (wife) will end up dead in her lover’s arms, probably
killed by the jealous Demon husband. (We hear his aria di gelosia while he brandishes
his sword.) I don’t know why but when I saw the name of the opera and the staging, I thought Polidori, Shelley, Le Fanu, vampires and women dying for love.
From the start, Morse’s voice over tells us that “When the overture begins, you
don’t know what the opera might be. Or where the story might take you. ‘Whether
it’ll be comedy or tragedy.”
So we know that the story will have an operatic
undertone and structure. (And Russ Lewis has also some habit of placing some major key elements in the first minutes of each films.)
obvious links between the real-life protagonists and the operatic characters.
operatic wife has a green dress, like Violetta’s at the opera house. And, look at the man, doesn’t he look like a bit like Morse?
watches the operatic husband swears revenge (and murder?) She might then be listening to her fate.
dies in her auburn hair lover’s arms in the presence of her demonic husband. Her head lies
on the lover’s chest, and the red cloak is like a river of blood…
…. the same blood covering Morse’s
chest, as he’s answering questions in an Italian police room. (Carabinieri uniforms).
points to Morse being (at the very least) interrogated after Violetta’s murder
by Ludo, and probably suspected for doing it.
From the start, we (the TV audience and the characters) are watching a staged drama were the characters on stage and the characters in the show are mirror images of each others.
name isn’t a good omen at all for her: Violetta Valery is the real name of La Traviata, the courtesan
who dies at the end of Verdi’s opera.
another note, the operatic score we heard made me strongly think of some
Monteverdi opera re-orchestrated by Luciano Berio or Luigi Nono. I’d love to hear more
of the snatches we heard and to read the libretto: I’m sure there are a lot of
tongue-in-cheek allusions I didn’t catch, and I’d love to know more about it!
The first introduction of a character can have incredibly powerful effects on the character’s success. Seriously, don’t just have someone walk in and say “Hi, I’m George” and call it an introduction. It’s okay to exaggerate this! We’ll remember someone who leaves a powerful first impression, even if it’s not entirely realistic.
Give a sense of personality. A sense of what they want or a sense of whose side they’re on. We don’t need to know right off the bat everything about them, but we need an idea to ground us. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an action, and the first impression doesn’t have to happen in a single sentence or paragraph.
Vince jumps down the last few steps to slam against the ground floor with a loud thump, startling the clueless girl at the bottom who was facing away and didn’t see him. Verdict: Vince is an immature goofball. Of course, that’s not all there is to him. But that’s the first impression.
Tristan’s first words involve him threatening to torture someone for answers. Verdict: Tristan doesn’t mess around. Dedicated to his mission, possibly amoral.
Amelia’s introduced in a dangerous situation, for the sake of saving her grandmother’s life. She puts on a good show of appearing braver than she is. Verdict: she cares about family more than her own welfare.
It doesn’t have to be something crazy and life threatening. Sometimes a more introduction like Vince’s is more realistic. Maybe you just want George to walk in and that’s his introduction. Fine.
But how about he’s carrying a stack of CDs higher than his head? Maybe he has a horrible habit of thinking he can carry more than he can, and he always ends up dropping them in the end. We’ve got an insight that he tends to bite off more than he’s capable of.
Or maybe he walks in at a slouch, head drooped and nearly dead on his feet. Okay, he’s overworked. We already have some character tension that maybe all is not well in the life of George.
Or he runs in flailing, grabs your MC by the shoulders and shakes her. Oh my GOD you will NOT believe what just happened.
Or he tries to sneak in, because he doesn’t want to be caught by your MC but needs to sneak in because he wants to borrow a book or something. Your MC catches him. He freezes in place, gives an uncomfortable grin, and says, “So I bet you’re wondering why I have a key to your apartment.”
Possibilities are endless! Think of your character’s body language, and how that reflects how they enter a room or interact with the surrounding people. Suddenly they have their own life and personality because you’ve introduced them in a way that is true to them. The first impression is unbelievably powerful. Exaggerate it!
Something perhaps under-appreciated in Hong Kong’s Adventureland is its use of angles to simulate discovery. The land itself is already quite large, but its use of layout and delayed gratification leads to the land feeling like a true untamed jungle. Plus, its strategic placement of trees and jungle foliage make encountering what’s just around the corner all the more satisfying!
Could you help me out on characters' physical reactions? Namely for facial reactions like "brow furrowed" or "eyes widened." In my story, I especially encounter the need for these when my characters react to other characters' dialog. It's based around politics, so there's a lot of talking and little action. I often feel I'm repetitive with my choices to describe my characters' reactions, especially when they're in groups in the same scene. Any tips or advice would be very appreciated :)
Here’s my post on body language like that. This article goes further into detail and is overall a very comprehensive read on different actions (either bodily or facial) that your characters might do depending on their mood. If you want to read more, I have an entire tag of body language for many more articles and resources. Hope those links help!
A concept: a modern “Coriolanus,” deliberately cast in the same way as Hamilton, with music by experimental hip hop group Clipping. featuring heavily in sound design and the soundtrack. The song “Get Up” is absolutely required.