joelmarquez

Anyone here going to see Monna Vanna?

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Is anyone on this forum planning on seeing the production of Monna Vanna, in Hollywood?

Just curious.

I bought my ticket for the Dec. 2nd show at 2pm. Since I'm not going on the cruise, I'm really looking forward to seeing it performed in Hollywood! I read the play about 6 years ago.

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Is anyone on this forum planning on seeing the production of Monna Vanna, in Hollywood?

Just curious.

Joel, I'd like to see it in Hollywood but will see it on board ship instead. But I do want to say that I am really enjoying the podcasts because they are giving an excellent over-all picture of what this play is about. Please don't worry about spoilers since, in my case at least, I will only be able to see it once and want as much information as I can get. After all, how many times have Shakespeare's plays been produced? I don't think they've been spoiled yet. Looking forward to it.

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(if it is all like the play).
?

It is the play.

Joel, I'll be there on the 7th. Cool podcast!

Disclosures: In cruise cast. :(

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Is anyone on this forum planning on seeing the production of Monna Vanna, in Hollywood?

Just curious.

Yep. Dec.2 Matinee and Dec.8 evening show.

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I bought my ticket for the Dec. 2nd show at 2pm.
Dec.2 Matinee and Dec.8 evening show.

How about we make plans for those attending the December 2nd matinee to get together for lunch and/or dinner?

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Joel, I'd like to see it in Hollywood but will see it on board ship instead. But I do want to say that I am really enjoying the podcasts because they are giving an excellent over-all picture of what this play is about. Please don't worry about spoilers since, in my case at least, I will only be able to see it once and want as much information as I can get. After all, how many times have Shakespeare's plays been produced? I don't think they've been spoiled yet. Looking forward to it.

Hi Dave, I'm glad to hear it!

Episode 8 has been posted to the play's blog, and it should be on iTunes as well, though it apparently takes a while to show up after being posted. In it, we talk again with Stephan Smith Collins, who plays Guido, about Act III.

There are some minor spoilers, but nothing big.

Over the weekend, we recorded two more episodes, this time with Robin Field, who will be playing Marco, Guido's father. They're very good episodes, if I do say so myself.

Robin talks about some of the backstory he used to fill in some of the blanks in Marco's character, and I think Objectivists will find it very interesting.

Also, is there anything you, or anyone else, would like to hear us talk about on the podcast?

We will be doing another episode, or more this next weekend, and are actively looking for things to talk about.

Here's a thought: If interested parties would like to post questions for us here, we'll try to answer them on the podcast.

Thanks!

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We are happy to see so many people getting excited about the performance. Opening night is only 5 days away! If you know anyone in the LA area that would enjoy seeing this gem, please let them know about it. With all of our resources it is still impossible to reach everyone with the news. I don't want anyone saying, "I would have loved to have been there, but I did not know about it." Thanks for any assistance you can provide in getting the word out.

Quent and I will be there for opening night, again on Dec 2 and for Dec 15 and 16. We are very honored to be bringing this masterfully written play back to the stage. Many thanks to Joel, Lizbeth, Jeanette, Judith and the entire cast for being so great to work with and for helping make our dream a reality.

See you in LA!

post-27-1196020368.jpg

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At last night's dress rehearsal I sat in the audience and watched everything but the scene I'm in. I was impressed by the consistently high level of acting. I hope you all can see Monna Vanna. I'll be in the Saturday matinees, December 1, 8 and 15.

The play, like all classical drama, demands good listening and concentration skills from the audience. This can be rough on people who are used to movies, which are visual with brief dialogue. Unlike Shakespeare, however, there are no archaic words, so the play can be understood if the audience stays in focus. It shouldn't be a problem for anyone who can read and understand a serious novel of ideas such as Atlas Shrugged.

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How about we make plans for those attending the December 2nd matinee to get together for lunch and/or dinner?

I just bought tickets for that show. I attempted to recruit interested parties down here in San Diego, but to no avail so far.

--HH

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Joel, cast and attendees. Your impressions of opening night? Was there a full house? How was the audience response? Any other comments?

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Joel, cast and attendees. Your impressions of opening night? Was there a full house? How was the audience response? Any other comments?

I would give you my comments but they might be considered to be biased. :D

Someone came all the way from Pittsburgh to see the play on opening night. Here are his comments:

As you said it would be, it was an amazing night! I just got back into Pittsburgh just a few hours ago and went straight to work, where I am now. I couldn't access this forum for some reason, even though I had no trouble with any other site when I was in LA, so I didn't get Joel's message, but when you intro'd me to Quent, Joel told me about how the dress rehearsal went...(I'll leave it at that) I almost did something totally irresponsible in Atlanta, by taking a later flight in exchange for free round trip tickets! I so would have come back to see it again with this cast! But I had to get back to work at the hospital. I've been beating myself up over it for the last few hours, but I did the right thing, but still!

I think I had the best seat at the Adler! Right in front. Lots of action took place on that side! Emily was right in front of me! Guido nearly pushed Prinzivalle into me in the last scene. I was totally astonished by Guido's performance. He has such a powerful voice. I didn't expect any of that, such great acting on his par, he really made Guido the tragic character he is in the play. Emily really took control at the end with what she did. She wasn't so silent then as she was in the beginning. I would have liked to have stayed for the reception afterwards, and perhaps got to talking to Emily (the Greek mythology nerd) about the story of Pygmalion (my favorite), which I have done a drastic recontexualization/renarration of it in my writings, but I actually got lost coming to see the play, and only had so much time to find my way back, check out of my hotel, return my car, and get to LAX. I've never done anything like this before, but I'm so glad that I did.

Thank you for the free catalogue! (I saw the price on it later, and almost put it back, I just couldn't accept it...but I did!) I have introduced a lot of people to QCFA gallery, because anytime I mention Romantic Realism, it always involves the Cordair gallery. Now I can open up the catalogue and show them, instead of telling them to go to the website. (well, now I'll do both)

All I know, is that what I had to go through just to see this play, is nothing compared to what your husband and Joel went through to see it finally performed. We all did what we had to to see it. And I want to thank you all for bringing this play to the stage!

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Thank you, Linda, for posting this gentleman's comments. But now I'm bummed that I will have to wait until the cruise to see the play and only once. Hmmm...maybe I should try to work something out - so close (San Jose) yet so far.

I've been searching for reviews but haven't seen any so far - don't know when critics come to see a play so if anyone sees a review please post it here.

And, Linda,I know you don't have a biased bone in your body! :D

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Bravo to Joel, cast, crew and everyone involved. A solid A+ performance. Special kudos to Robin Field as Marco and Christina Valo as Vanna.

I plan to see it again next Saturday evening. Once was not enough!

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Thank you, Linda, for posting this gentleman's comments. But now I'm bummed that I will have to wait until the cruise to see the play and only once. Hmmm...maybe I should try to work something out - so close (San Jose) yet so far.

Hi Dave,

I've been telling everyone that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Like Brigadoon, it could easily disappear for another 100 years. It's unlikely that there will be a commercially available video. So treasure this while you can.

(by the way, we had people drive down from Berkeley on Saturday. Others from the Bay Area will be coming down either next week or the week after. Most of the people at Sunday's show drove up from Orange County, and a few from San Diego.)

Joel

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Bravo to Joel, cast, crew and everyone involved. A solid A+ performance. Special kudos to Robin Field as Marco and Christina Valo as Vanna.

I plan to see it again next Saturday evening. Once was not enough!

Hi Ed,

Thanks for that. I'm glad you liked it.

I know that you know the play pretty well. How did the real-life performances match up with your expectations? Did anything surprise you?

Joel

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I've been telling everyone that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Like Brigadoon, it could easily disappear for another 100 years.

Is it possible for you to quantify the interest in the play among non-Objectivists? It's not clear to me why it should disappear if there's enough interest to justify producing the play, say, annually. Though I'm sure it's a ton of hard work, I'd think it would be easier if the same cast performed the play in the future, since people already know their lines and have worked with each other (on the premises, of course, that it's a profitable venture and that everybody wants to repeat it in the future, beyond the cruise performance.)

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I've been telling everyone that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Like Brigadoon, it could easily disappear for another 100 years.

Is it possible for you to quantify the interest in the play among non-Objectivists? It's not clear to me why it should disappear if there's enough interest to justify producing the play, say, annually. Though I'm sure it's a ton of hard work, I'd think it would be easier if the same cast performed the play in the future, since people already know their lines and have worked with each other (on the premises, of course, that it's a profitable venture and that everybody wants to repeat it in the future, beyond the cruise performance.)

Just to give you an idea of how enormous an undertaking this was, when we put out our casting call, we received over a thousand submissions, and over 800 for Vanna alone. Out of that group, we -barely- were able to get fully cast with the caliber of actors required for these roles. And 3 of them were cast from personal networking. There was not one actress in that pile of 800 submissions that was remotely close to being Vanna. If I had to find another Vanna, I would despair of having to dive into another pile like that.

Having the will to do the play is the first step, of course. But trying to find a cast for it is like herding cats. Even if you can find the actors you like, getting them to be on the same schedule is impossible if they're not getting paid.

I'm biased, and I do think this could be a commercially successful venture. But it'll be more expensive to do this in the future, not less. If only to guarantee the time of the great cast we have now.

I'm definitely not opposed to the idea, so if you know someone who would want to bankroll it, send them my way.

But for now, enjoy this version. It won't be here forever.

Joel

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I know that you know the play pretty well. How did the real-life performances match up with your expectations? Did anything surprise you?

The simple answer is the experience of seeing actors, live and immediately in front of my senses, gives a far richer impression than reading black and white text. But then, plays are meant to be seen, not read.

I really like the very first moment we see Guido. The spot illumination is a very dramatic touch.

I hadn't seen Robin Field act before, but he did a wonderful job. His portrayal is how the character of Marco ought to be.

In terms of specifics, there were details that I didn't catch just reading the play. For instance, I didn't realize the importance of the bandages on Prinzivalle's face to the unveiling of the connection between he and Vanna. Suppose he didn't have the bandages on when she entered his tent, and recognized him immediately. That's hardly as dramatic!

I think this is the best directing you've done, surpassing Last Train to Nibroc and the student films, even after factoring out the fact that this was the best script.

My most recurring thought, though, was realizing that a friend I've known for years actually made this happen. It would not exist if not for you. In most cases, I can be amazed by some achievement and admire the creator in an abstract way. He is just a stranger to me, maybe an image on TV or a name in the paper. But on a personal level, seeing this play drove home the idea that the people I know are capable of this. Between your direction and Alan's singing, I have to get my act in gear! :)

Call it my "boy on a bike" moment.

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Here is an interesting review: http://tinyurl.com/3b877h

It's from the New York Times, Oct. 24, 1905 - pretty harsh but telling. :)

I'm biting the bullet and trekking down to LA to see the play on the evening of the 15th. Want to see this once before the cruise and because of the fact that it may not be done for another 100 years. Hopefully, because of this production, that won't be the case.

Joel, I thought Emily was playing the part of Vanna??

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...I thought Emily was playing the part of Vanna??

Hi Dave,

Emily became ill and Christina Valo, the understudy, has assumed the role. She is doing a magnificent job.

We have received some very positive reviews including one in Variety. :)

Variety Review

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