Blog Archives

My brain is exploding… put yourself in the (not so distant) future…

As you read this over the internet you realize that you have replaced what we used to exchange in print… or even, for Pete’s sake, by voice over the phone or while having coffee… with interactions by computer on our own time and only when we really want it. And it seems live and it can be interacted with in an eternal present.

But what comes next? What are the situations we can’t even imagine that will be our communication norm in less than a generation… that will make Facebook seem like the telegraph?

English: New York City high school students in...

I just spent an hour and a half listening to a replay of a forum at the World Science Festival called Internet Everywhere. If you remember when we didn’t spend our time with a computer and a mouse or a touchpad and our finger bringing our minds together over the internet… not very long ago… then remember how we didn’t even begin to imagine where we are today.

You’ve got to watch/listen to this:


You can thank me later.

I thought I’d take a day before commenting on Snark…

So now I’m a full 24 hours away from the first three shows and I’m not as disappointed as I thought I would be. In reality it went very well when one considers that this is amateur, community-oriented theatre… the first time I have done Snark without professionals (and the first time I have done it in 34 years.) I had fun watching it and was able to talk with individual cast members about little improvements and such.

Now we are going to do a “brush up” rehearsal on Wednesday to make sure they don’t lose the status they have gained and to add some very small changes. Assuming it goes OK, Friday nite’s show should continue the good performances.

We have plenty of tickets available if you are in the area. Go to the Full Circle Theater site to make reservations.

Rehearsal Today

Hunting of the Snark is going pretty well, although we have had to make some cast replacements and we are short one small part (the joys of Community Theatre) which may be filled today.

On Wednesday night, as we rehearsed the Sixth Fit (the scenes in Snark are called Fits – Lewis Carroll called his poem “An Agony in Eight Fits”) the cast started hitting chords which, for the first time since we started, brought back memories of the original show in the 70s.

Ed Roberts, the really great composer of Snark, sent me the first parts of the Oratorio we are adding to the beginning of te performance, The Walrus And Yhe Carpenter, and I was struck by the thought, when listening to the Midi file , that this had a sound that made me feel like a “Boardwalk Carnival”, and it gave me an idea for the staging that I am working out. More later on that… Ed should be getting me the rest of that piece in the next couple of days and I want to start putting it together next week some time.

BTW, it’s not too early to get reservations in for the February 19 -28 weekend performances… especially if you are bringing groups of kids (ages 6 and up) that I like to sit on the stage around the actors for interactive stuff. Of you are in the Sjepherdstown WV area (or Hagerstown, Frederick, Charles Town, Martinsburg, Berkeley or whatever), you can make online reservations at Full Circle Theater… just click HERE.

The information site for this production of Hunting of the Snark is HERE.

Zappadan News in Baltimore – A TV Commercial Clip, and some (brilliant) music, too.

We’ll start the Zappadan ceremonies today with a Baltimore Sun clip by Sam Sessa:
clipped from

Frank Zappa statue to go near Highlandtown library

frank zappa statue
So the Public Art Committee finally found a home for that Frank Zappa statue: Outside the Southeast Anchor Library, a branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Highlandtown

The bust of Zappa (who was born in Baltimore) will go up sometime next year, according to committee chair Anne Perkins.

“We think this is a great place for it — a terrific neighborhood” Perkins said. “I think it will be the focal point for a lot of really fun festivals.”

Here’s a link to the full story.

At first, I was a little surprised at the site they chose. Highlandtown might get a decent amount of foot traffic, but probably not as much as the other sites they were considering — such as Fells Point.

And besides the Creative Alliance, Highlandtown really isn’t known for its arts and entertainment.. 

(Pictured is a Zappa statue in Lithuania, similar to the Baltimore statue. AP photo.)
  blog it

Now: here’s a really short treat… Zappa’s commercial for Portland General Electric:

Hadn’t seen that one before. Now here’s another rare one… Dio Fa, which was originally an (unproduced) opera Frank was working on and which turned up posthumously in “Civilization Phase III” in 1994. The greatness of Zappa as a composer becomes clearer all the time:

Audition information for THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK…

…at the Full Circle Theater has now been posted. Auditions start on Dec. 1. Go HERE for all the information.

Putting Together Audition Materials

I’m about a month away from Auditions for The Hunting of the Snark at Full Circle Theater, and Elly, who is putting together posters for Full Circle, asked where the Snark poster was.

Well, here’s where it is so far. Feel free to post it around places on the Web that might be interested, Please, however, make sure if you post it that people can go to for information, and to Full Circle Theater for schedule and reservations.

For singers interested in Auditioning, I am making parts of the score available (related to specific characters) that can be used as audition materials. Please let me know at my e-mail address (above in this post) if you would like to do this… but let me know your vocal range and perhaps send me a photograph so I get a sense of who you are if I don’t know you. We’ll be doing five to six weeks of evening and Saturday rehearsals through January and up to the opening.

Opera and Communities…

I was so sorry to read the article in Opera News about the bankruptcy and fall of the Baltimore Opera, especially after last winter’s closure of the Connecticut Opera. Both of these companies had served for around six decades, through times of triumph and times of desperation, only to be destroyed by this wretched economy and threadbare community support.

I say this as I prepare The Hunting Of The Snark, the opera for children that Ed Roberts composed and that I was librettist  and director on back in the early 70s in NYC, for it’s February production at Full Circle Theater in Shepherdstown.

While I know we can push this as “children’s theatre” or as a “family piece”, in the long run it is sung drama in operatic form … opera … and it is anyone’s guess how this community will respond to it.