First the pics, then some thoughts.
All pics by Carol Rosegg, courtesy of Columbia Stages.
Kevin Sims, Chris Coletti, Steve Menotti, Eric Huebner, Amy Schumacher, Justin Kujawski, Amelia Lukas, Alejandro Acierto, Geoff Landman (Kobe van Cauwenbergh behind me), Nicholas DeMaison
Most of those photos and a bunch more are also floating around on Facebook.
Some of you may know that Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times was kind enough to review both our production of the Weill/Brecht and the Manhattan School of Music production of Britten's Beggar's Opera, which, coincidentally, was performed at the exact same time ... right across the street. A nice coincidence to get the attention of the Times, that. His full review can be read here:
The Sly and the Shady on Two Opera Stages
I think we all (those members of the production with whom I've discussed this) had (predictably) mixed feelings about the review. We were happy to get the attention, and perhaps a little TOO aware of being reviewed on opening night, particularly in a show locked in by such unique constraints (a mini-budget, academic production crammed into a creation process designed to showcase a "standard" 70-minute thesis show with a 7-person creative team). It probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, that by Friday night it was an alarmingly different show (and really now, I'm not just saying this out of a sense of self-preservation ... authorities as unbiased as my Mom can vouch for that truth since she sat through all of the first three performances!), and if the review had come on Saturday night instead of Wednesday night, I have strong suspicions that much of the underhanded-style complimenting would have been unnecessary. When I read the piece Thursday night, I thought, "Well, he's being honest. We WERE shaky last night." But mostly I found it to be an interesting wake-up call -- a realization of the danger and the glory that accompany the possibility, perhaps unique to NYC, that even an M.F.A. production could be graced with a glance from the likes of the Times.
In the end, it may be enough that Opera Cabal is on the radar ... and next time we'll be ready, particularly on opening night.
Before going away again, I thought I might also add some more photos from the December show at the AV-aerie that have also recently surfaced. I think these are all by Andy Gricevich of The Nonsense Company, and are all taken at rehearsals in High Concept Laboratories.