Alan Paul, STC’s artistic associate director and director of the night’s entertainment, promises the 90 minutes of performances will be “multidisciplinary,” even as they highlight the major players from the Shakespeare canon. The show will go beyond the Bard to “Shakespeare’s influence on other art forms such as opera, dance and musical theater.” He’s still in the early planning stages and can’t really guarantee much besides “some fun surprises.”
Even though Paul’s work has already begun, the performers don’t arrive in town until the day before — or even the day of — the gala. “Sometimes we’re rehearsing until 6:00 or 6:30 for a 7:30 show,” Paul said.
Individual tickets to the Oct. 15 event are $750 or $1,000; a pair of tickets with some VIP treatment is $5,000. Tables start at $10,000 and go up to $50,000 for a table of 12.
The award has previously recognized Michael Kahn, STC’s artistic director, as well as Kevin Spacey, Christopher Walken, Patrick Stewart and Morgan Freeman.
Abraham’s theater cred is, according to Paul, “unparalleled.” He played Shylock, the stereotype-spawning flesh-collector in “The Merchant of Venice” for the Theatre for a New Audience off-Broadway. He’s performed in “Uncle Vanya,” “King Lear,” “Oedipus Rex” and “Waiting for Godot,” among others.
Abraham, 72, earned an Academy Award in 1985 for his performance as Antonio Salieri in “Amadeus.” He also appeared in “All the President’s Men” and “Scarface.” He’s done the TV rounds, too, in “Louie” and “The Good Wife” and “Law & Order: CI.”
Shining a light on the
Three pages into Ralph Ellison’s novel “Invisible Man,” the nameless title character describes how he is stealing electricity from the Monopolated Light & Power Company. He tells of his home, a hole beneath the ground, and of how bright it is as a result of this theft: “I doubt if there is a brighter spot in all New York than this hole of mine, and I do not exclude Broadway.” He has wired the entire ceiling, covering it with 1,369 lights. It’s like practical pointillism.
The production of “Invisible Man,” an adaptation of the novel that’s coming to Studio Theatre from the Court Theatre in Chicago, where it premiered last season, cuts the number of bulbs in the hole by half. But the 650 light bulbs that make up the centerpiece of the set still floods the place with light — and drained the entire budget of the lighting designer, Mary Louise Geiger.
The bulbs dangle from varying lengths of cable to create an undulating ceiling — a bunch of incandescent bulbs doing the wave.
“The light bulb ceiling is such a fixture of the show,” said Adrian Rooney, master electrician. “It’s like the yellow brick road for ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ ” To create the illusion of randomness in the lighting, Rooney and his crew wired the bulbs in 12 separate spirals. The dozen groups of bulbs can flicker on and off in an organized way, even as they appear to be operating chaotically.