Saturday, June 23, 2012
As many of you know, I'm a theatrical makeup artist, and I am really blessed to be here in Utah where I have so many opportunities to work in theater, and also... on occasion... to go to see a show that I had no hand in producing. Which is nice, because then I can just sit and watch the show without scrutinizing every aspect of the makeup. Well... Ok, I scrutinize anyway, but I'm much easier on other makeup artists than I am on myself.
Last night, my family and I went down to the Scera Shell in Orem to see "The Wizard of Oz." The Scera is easily one of my favorite theaters because it's an out door amphitheater, that has no seating. It's just a grassy hill in which you can spread out a blanket and watch the play, or concert in comfort.
A year ago, I had the opportunity to work a production of "Wizard" that was very traditional, there was not a lot of creativity involved. Everyone and everything looked pretty much like they did in the classic movie, all the way down to sepia tones for the opening and closing scenes. It was... I don't know... I mean, every production is fun for me, but I really like when directors stretch the creative muscle a bit and throw a new twist into the production, which didn't really happen with the production I worked on. Which is why I really liked the Scera Shell version. It was steampunk. Or at least, had a steampunk vibe to it.
If you don't know what steampunk is, it's a sub-genre of science fiction based primarily on the writings of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne. It's kind of based on an alternate reality where science does extraordinary things with 19th century tech. But it's more than that... now. It has spawned this whole culture that's a blending of Victorian and modern fashions. That kind of thing. Google it.
The opening scenes of the play were kind of traditional, very 1930's Kansas. But then after the twister, Dorothy comes out of the farm house sporting a denim corset, the good witch shows up in this pink corseted dress with a bustle, and the wicked witch has this cool metal broom that spouts fire. The ruby slippers were my favorite, being these shiny red strapy boot things. But I was really blown away when the flying monkeys showed up wearing jetpacks. Oh, and one last thing. The Wizard was a face projected on a screen, that reminded me quite a bit of Max Headroom, right down to the twitch in his voice. That was a great little shout out to my generation. And was quite funny.
All in all, it was tremendously enjoyable, right up until my youngest daughter barfed in the gutter... but that's an entirely different story.