|by Doug Yetter|
|Stream of Consciousness...
This is one of those weeks where I really have fifteen columns worth of material. So instead of choosing, I decided to wade into the stream of consciousness and see where it leads me...
Because I'm aware that the acronym "CAMP" Rehoboth stands for Creating a More Positive Rehoboth, I have decided to state unequivocally that Mamma Mia! is positively the worst movie musical ever. Devoted readers of this column (all five of you) know how much I admire Meryl Streep as an actress. I was hoping that the movie would be better than the show. Instead, Ms. Streep has hung her art in an inferior gallery and thereby made it inferior art.
My partner has a former student who made her living in the B'way version of Mamma Mia! for years. We saw her first still laboring in the chorus and returned to see her as the daughter, Sophie. Despite the thrill of seeing someone you know star on Broadway, it still means that I've sat through this lousy excuse for an ABBA concert three times!
Let me recount the history of the shows' so-called plotIt started with the 1968 film Bueno Sera, Mrs. Campbell starring Gina Lollobrigida in the titular role. Alan Jay Lerner used the same plot for his 1979 musical Carmelina which ran a grand total of 17 performances. He decided it would be better if he called the show Someone in April. It wasn't. Then librettist Catherine Johnson decides that she will base her new musical on this modest film (and both musical bombs), adding "Dancing Queen" and "The Winner Takes it All" to distract us from the lack of dramatic action. I know I am a lone voice in the wilderness as the show recently surpassed 2800 performances and the movie will produce yet another fortune.
Moving along...good news/bad news from The Big Apple this week. Good news: I have aformer student who will be the Assistant to the Director on the new Roundabout Production of A Man for All Seasons starring Frank Langella. Mazel! On the flip side, he was first offered the same position on the revival of Brigadoon, which was just cancelled yesterday because there's not a theatre available on Broadway. I'm not saying that we need another revival of Brigadoon (this would be the fourth), but isn't it time to close Phantom of the Opera? I'm railing against the wind again, but the music is derivative at best, and the lyrics sound as if someone just opened a thesaurus. Alan Jay Lerner, (see above) was offered the job as librettist/lyricist for Phantom but had the good sense to die instead, though I suspect it would have afforded him the opportunity to marry a few more times had he lived. He left his seventh wife a widow.
Other News: I have too many friends trying to make a career in the theatre who have to labor in alternate fields instead. The "Actor/Singer/Dancer/Waiter" syndrome. A friend wrote to tell me of a lecture position he has been offered in Australia for the month of September, then quickly added he was sure he'd lose his job selling men's shoes at Bloomingdales if he accepted. One of the best lyricists I know works in the box office at Radio City, while another friend is out on the road making $350 a week and sharing a room with three other guys. I feel so fortunate that I left NYC and moved here where I can make my living doing what I love.
Which brings me to the next point. In the haste to edit my last column ("Creating a Cultural Corridor," July 25) I neglected to credit two visionariesKen Skrzesz and Nancy Feichtlwho are part of the team spear-heading the drive for a Performing Arts Center here in Sussex County. My intent was to introduce the subject of creating a Performing Arts Center to the community, but the truth is there is already a team in place, and meetings have and continue to occur in the community and with developers. The creation of a center would ensure jobs for hundreds of people in the county and bring a new level of culture to the area. It would be the best of all possible worlds. See my contact information at the end of the column if you'd like to join the movement.
Okay, time to hop out of the stream and see what's going on in the 'hood...
Broadway Fever continues at The Theatre of the Arts (20 Baltimore Avenue Rehoboth BeachTheater. com) through the month of August. In addition, Almost Queen, the acclaimed tribute to the band Queen, is scheduled for two shows on Saturday, August 16. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit CAMP Rehoboth. For reservations call 302-227-9310.
ELBoW Productions continues their summer concerts at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center with performaces by Suede on Friday, August 15, and Suzanne Westenhoefer on Saturday, August 16. Tickets are available at CAMP Rehoboth.
MOSAIC, the newly-formed Rehoboth Beach gallery collective, presents Second Saturdays, which occurs (oddly enough) every second Saturday of the month. Eleven galleries host receptions for guests on Saturday, August 9, from 69 p.m. Enjoy the art, the wine and the food!
Amandeline Gallery (403 Rehoboth Avenue) showcases art featuring produce and other farm goods through Labor Day weekend. A portion of the proceeds to be donated to the Rehoboth Beach Farmer's Market.
AerieArt Gallery (45 1/2 Lake Avenue and 70 Rehoboth Avenue) represents nationally-acclaimed artist Larry Horowitz; artists Joann Rea, Victor Letonoff, Denise Dumont, Lesley McCaskill and Karin Snoots.
Coastal Frameshop and Gallery (4284-B Highway One) presents Lightscapes, acrylics on linen by Maryland artist, Caroline Huffmany are scenes of the Greek Islands.
Detail Gallery (54 Baltimore Avenue) features whimsical animal figure collages made from metal and garden implements by artist Jane Asher; and intricately electrifying assemblages by artist Frank Vagnone.
Gallery 50 (50-A Wilmington Avenue), presents Herd Mentality, new works by Wilmington artist Michael Matarese, recipient of the prestigious Delaware Division of the Arts Award for emerging artist in 2007.
In addition, Chris Beakey will be signing his book, Double Abduction from 6-8 p.m. at Gallery 50.
Heidi Lowe Gallery (328 Rehoboth Avenue), presents Night of the Studfeaturing cuff links created by 25 different jewelers. 10% of the proceeds will benefit the Wellness Foundation of Delaware.
Kennedy Gallery (140 Rehoboth Avenue), hosts artist, John Donato, recognized for his vibrant, whimsical acrylic animal portraits and surf scenes.
Panache Gallery, (129-B Rehoboth Avenue), features unique sculptural forms of Goldhagen Art Glass. Massive handblown glass patterns distinguished by their unique painterly style through August 31.
Philip Morton Gallery (47 Baltimore Avenue) presents the photography-to-canvas transfer work of Peter Antolini.
Thunderbird Gallery (200 Rehoboth Avenue), offers the stunning sea and landscapes of Stephen Harlan. Harlan's artwork is bright, bold, and captivating images of beautiful places.
Ward Ellinger Gallery (39 Baltimore Avenue in the CAMP Rehoboth courtyard), presents Topography by Sondra N. Arkin. The artist uses both oil paint and encausticseparately and together, resulting in a rich luminous surface with a sculptural quality.Please enjoy and support the arts!
Doug Yetter can be reached at dyetter@ClearSpaceProductions.org.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 11 August 08, 2008