his week I read two books and shot some actors.
The books were The Big Bite
, by Charles Williams; and Wake Up to Murder
, by Day Keene, but it appears you'll have to wait till tomorrow to hear about them.
The actors were the cast of Lafferty's Wake
, at the Society Hill Playhouse
in Philadelphia. Deen Kogan, the theater's artistic director and also director of this production, is an acquaintance through Philadelphia's Noircon crime fiction convention, and she invited me to take photos at a run-through of the play, which opens this weekend.
By this stage, a show is virtually a finished product, and the cast, in full costume, ran through the entire show without interruption, but with a warm-up session, with discussion of lighting and music beforehand and a short presentation by the director afterward. This included a detailed — and I mean detailed
— review of the rehearsal: a slurred line here, a suggestion for altering an entrance there. It was my first time behind a theater production, and I loved the interaction before and after, even the tiny occasional bit of testiness at the give and take.
During was pretty good, too. Lafferty's Wake
includes four or five of the best-known Irish songs, including "The Rising of the Moon" and "Wild Rover" — a good thing, and as near as I could tell, the cast's accents were not shite.
The theater world was once a popular setting for crime fiction. Ngaio Marsh set mysteries there, as did Bill S. Ballinger
. Theodore A. Tinsley
's Jerry Tracy, celebrity reporter, moved amid the great and not so great of Broadway.
Theater no longer is as central to popular entertainment as it once was, though, and everyone who entered the rehearsal I attended left the building alive (though Lafferty's Wake
does include a crime-fiction-like twist).). But I shot 574 photos, and I had a fabulous time, and the next time a director calls, I'll be there with my trusty shooter.
© Peter Rozovsky 2015
Labels: Bill S. Ballinger, Deen Kogan, Lafferty's Wake, Society Hill Playhouse, theater, Theodore A. Tinsley