A House Is Not A Home

A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home
When there’s no one there to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight

Darling, have a heart, don’t let one mistake keep us apart
I’m not meant to live alone, turn this house into a home
When I climb the stairs and turn the key
Oh, please be there, still in love with me.

Lyrics: Hal David and Music: Burt Bacharach

The sentiment above may be about two former lovers but the idea that it takes two, us and you, to make a house a home is what will make the Lyceum Theatre our “home”.

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(Lyceum Theatre a Schubert house with, appropriately, the marquee for THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS one of Kander & Ebbs other musicals.)

Today, March 19 2015 the cast, crew and orchestra of THE VISIT move into our new “home” at the Lyceum Theatre on W. 45th Street just off of “the crossroads to the world” at Times Square.

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For the last week or so our set designer Scott Pask and his team, our lighting designer Japhy Wideman his team, our sound designer Dan Moses Shreier his team and the crew at the Lyceum Theatre have been “loading in” all of their design elements.  It’s a time consuming, labor intensive and precise craft.  They have been creating the world of Brächen for us, the actors and musicians, to walk into today.

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Our incredible costume designer Anne Hould-Ward has been doing fittings and has made available, for weeks now, elements if not all of our costume pieces, during rehearsal so we can wear them and get to know them as “clothes” and not an unfamiliar “costume” that we add the last week during technical rehearsals.

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(My personal socks only for St. Paddy’s Day.)

Jared Janas, our makeup designer, has begun consultations on the very specific look of the townspeople of Brächen.  This look is inspired by Boris Aronson’s designs on Broadway and his work with the Yiddish theatre as well as elements of the artist Ivan Albright.  This is the first makeup test, which will change once we see how Japhy’s lights work with it.

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It’s with great excitement that we as a company add the crew at the Lyceum to our family of THE VISIT.  Some people have already worked together others we know through working at other theatres.  For instance our stage door “mistress?” Elena Bennet-Goulet is the wife of the head electrician, Susan Goulet, at the Booth Theatre where my wife Marin and I did NEXT TO NORMAL a few years ago.  We say “theatre family” because it is just that, sometimes we may be close relatives or relatives once or twice removed, but we are all here to support one another and to reach for the highest goal of creating wonderful theatre and hopefully art for the theatre audience.

And that’s where you come into the picture.  Once we’ve filled this “house”, which is what we literally call the theatre where the audience sits “the house”, we open the doors to you to come in and experience with us, live, all of us alive and telling and listening to the story, that’s when I consider that a “home”.  We spend six out of seven days of the week at this home away from home.

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This isn’t just our home.  This theatre is the oldest theatre on Broadway.  It has been home to so many incredible plays, musicals, performances, actors, directors etc…  Like any family we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us.  We honor the long tradition of story telling, learning from those who have come before and adding and applying our own traditions of today.  The spirit is the same and we are surrounded by the spirits of the artists who have come before.

Read a little about the great history of this theatre here: Lyceum Theatre

And now THE VISIT adds it’s own history making element to this space.  Theatre legends Chita Rivera and Roger Rees star in the last musical to be produced on Broadway of the iconic team Kander & Ebb.  It is also K&E’s last collaboration with prolific playwright and luminary of the great white way Terrence McNally.  Not forgetting the superb leadership of highly respected helmers of hits John Doyle (director) and Graciela Daniele (choreographer).

This is history in the making.  You absolutely will not want to miss this.  Don’t look back and regret not getting to W. 45th St. and experiencing this once in a lifetime, never to be repeated, theatre event.

So to twist Hal and Burt’s song into an idea for our purposes:

Darling, have a heart, don’t let one mistake keep us apart
I’m not meant to live alone, turn this house into a home
When I climb the stairs and turn the key
Oh, please be there, still in love with me.

(Ok, that last line sounds a little like “like me, you really like me” circa Sally Fields Oscar acceptance speech… which it’s not meant to be.)

 

“You be good… and I’ll try.”

 

Jason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “A House Is Not A Home

  1. good read….wish I could get there and see the show. working on that… it does bring to mind all the families i’ve had over the years. The musicals, review shows etc…i’ve been blessed with many great families and thank you for reminding me of them. It also is a bit bitersweet because as a solo artist the dynamic changes greatly…i miss it.

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