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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Around Town

Last week we talked about a couple of projects around the web; this week I wanted to mention a couple of performance projects around town which have come to my (wandering) attention.

First off is Gibraltar, at Plays and Players. Last week we talked about Ulysses Seen, which is Ulysses adapted as a graphic novel; Gibraltar is Ulysses adapted as a two man show. Well actually a one man, one woman show, as the 90 minute play centers around Leopold and Molly Bloom. The play was created by Patrick Fitzgerald and he stars in it along with Cara Seymour, who originated the play with Patrick in NYC last year. You can read a bit about the New York performances here and here (and get the playwright's take as to why Molly Bloom's soliloquy is broken into 8 sentences).

Gibraltar is playing at Plays and Players, just down the street from us, on June 15 at 7pm, June 16 at 11am and 3pm, and June 18 at 5pm. Obviously you will all be coming to the Rosenbachanal on the 15th, so you couldn't possibly attend on that date, but you could catch the 11 AM show on Bloomsday and then wander over to our Bloomsday celebration, or maybe all the Rosen-friends could mob the June 18th performance.

Another upcoming adaptation of a core Rosenbach text is Stoker's Dracula at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion out in Germantown, which is playing June 10-12. If you haven't heard of Maxwell Mansion, it bills itself as the only Victorian house museum in Philadelphia. Stoker's Dracula is a one-man play created and performed by Josh Hitchens. I can't speak to the play personally, since I haven't seen it yet, but Josh did come to the Rosenbach to look through the Stoker notes and he seemed like a nice guy who took the text very seriously. In our conversation he said that he intended for the play to come directly from the novel (as opposed to the various movie and theatrical versions already out there) so it should be interesting. Plus I am certainly curious to see how this works as a one man play, given how many characters there are in the story!

The folks at Maxwell approached us about trying to borrow the Stoker Notes to accompany the performance; that wasn't possible, but we were able to provide some select facsimiles. Yours truly (Assistant Curator Kathy Haas) will be giving a brief intro at the Saturday performance, talking about Stoker and his process in creating the novel. There's a piece on WHYY's Newsworks which gives some more tantalizing details about the play--including something about a long knife. The piece does get all the facts about the Stoker Notes wrong (Maxwell is not showing reproductions of all the notes and Stoker never lived in Philadelphia), but hopefully their discussion of the play is a bit more accurate.

One final note (no pun intended) is about a musical performance that's a bit farther out in the schedule. If you've visited our Grace Notes exhibition, you might be in the mood for some music by Sendak's favorite composer--Mozart. If you are, you can mark your calendar for the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia's Big Sing Mozart, which is happening on Wednesday July 20th at 7 PM at First Baptist. Mendelssohn Club has been nice enough to help us get out the word about some of our recent Rosenbach musical performances, so I wanted to make sure and give them a shout out--not to mention that I've sung with them myself for about six years. Anyway, the evening will involve performances by the choir along with the option to join in with the chorus in singing the Mozart Requiem. Bring your own score or borrow one when you get there.

Signing off until next week...

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