7 January
ibrews

Last year I kind of did something like this, and as someone pretty relentlessly focused on the future, it’s refreshing to take a moment to reflect. Whoooosh!

 

 

ANNUAL PROJECT 2015:

Watch Alex Coulombe Talk Stuff! in which I chronicled my activities on a weekly basis to chart the transition from not-fatherhood to fatherhood  – 48 episodes

 

(2013 was a Daily Journal & 2014 was my Productive Commuter blog & 2016 will be Watch Alex Coulombe Learn Stuff)

 

 

ARCHITECTURE:

 

VIRTUAL REALITY:

 

VIDEO:

Vulture/NYMag

Personal

Cracked.com

 

GAMES:

 

STORYTELLING:

 

MUSIC:

 

LIFE:

  • Over the holiday break, James, Stevie, Kelsey, and I worked on renovating my garage
  • Oh hey, on August 19, 2015 my wife gave birth to our first child, Alasdair!

 

 

In 2016 I predict VR permeating every one of those categories– I see a revolution on the horizon. See you in early 2017!

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6 January
ibrews

-*

WhAT Studios puts on an original show for the Venus Theater Festival.

 

Hoo-rah!

  • Opening scene pulled me right in: something as simple as getting a credit card revealed a lot about both characters.
  • Great idea: guy who works as a custodian of a building uses his keys to bring dates back to the swankiest apartments.
  • Great idea: the emotional rollercoaster of going from thinking you’re broke, to thinking you’ve won a million dollars, to knowing you’ve been roped into the insane schemes of a sociopath.
  • Amber Orion is a wonderfully wild and charismatic Dallas, though I think once she was cast the script should have been retailored and enhanced for a woman in that role (instead of just dressing her like a man).

Blech…

  • Violence never felt real or threatening, except for a single intense glass (sugar) bottle being smashed over a head.
  • Seduction scene could have really used some music to make the whole exchange less awkward.
  • Works better as a 30-minute show than a 60-minute one.
  • How exactly does a guy who’s never had a credit card convince everyone at school that he’s rich?

 

*No letter grade because I’m too biased– I know everyone in the cast, the director, and the writer. And I’ve read several versions of the script in progress.

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6 January
ibrews

B

My old theater group (WhAT (now What)) takes on a big ol’ musical.

 

Hoo-rah!

  • They had the audience in the palm of their hand from the moment the show started
  • A few incredibly talented singers– a couple of the songs gave me goosebumps
  • Surprisingly excellent lighting design in the Schine Underground
  • Good blocking

Blech…

  • Acting wasn’t up to the heaviness of some of the material
  • The ending felt especially bla, which may be a failing of the performance or the writing

 

Tales from Before and After the Show:

I was invited up by Syracuse University this weekend (December 12, 2015) to be a guest critic for finals at the School of Architecture. A real honor! And even better was finding out that the theater group I cofounded back in 2006 was putting on a show. What joy! The new head of the group was very sweet and invited me on stage for a quick hello before the show got started. I have to say– I had very mixed feelings throughout the weekend after seeing the show. On the one hand, it’s a far more popular group than it was when I left school in 2010. The singing was a thrill and everyone in the audience seems to have really enjoyed themselves. On the other hand, the ethos of WhAT (back when it was Warehouse Architecture Theater instead of What Theater) was to put on well-acted, off-the-beaten-path shows suited to the schedules of busy people. A big fluffy musical seems a little against that sentiment. Still! It seems like they’re settling into splitting the year between a musical and a standard play (just like my high school!). And next semester’s production of Almost, Maine is sure to be great– I saw that show at Syracuse Stage back in the day and I think it’s a very good show for WhAT. Or What.

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6 December
ibrews

B

A perfectly well-adapted stage version of the book with some excellent production value.

 

Hoo-rah!

  • Clean and efficient telling of the same story as the book.
  • Really clever ways of helping the audience get inside Christopher’s head, from walking on walls to giant flashing text to lit paths on the ground.
  • Well-used music
  • Solid acting.

 

Blech…

  • The book brought a tear to my eye more than once. For some reason the show didn’t.
  • Everything was well-done, but nothing blew me away. Guess I was overhyped.

 

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6 October
ibrews

B

Synopsis: A high-energy dance explosion-fest that I didn’t quite understand but certainly enjoyed.

 

Hoo-rah!

  • Wonderful interplay of mirrors of all kinds. The set worked really well with the show and never felt gimmicky.
  • My favorite moment was with two couples, one behind a two-way mirror and one in front. They danced separately for a while. complimenting each other’s choreography, but then, the front couple moved to just the right angle and their reflection suddenly began to overlap with the other couple. The choreography, now overlapping took the sum of its parts and made something new, wonderful, incredible.
  • There was also a dance between a woman and two men that felt like everything that ever needs to be said about being torn between loving two different people.
  • Just some super talented dancers. Super talented.
  • Very catchy music.
  • A tight 80 minutes. Felt like the right length.

Blech…

  • Not sure what I took away from the whole thing. I just kind of washed over me. But I’m not a dance connoisseur.
  •  When I watch a Matthew Bourne show, I feel like it’s a story. When I watched this it felt like a collection of scenes that didn’t have any consistent narrative thread or spine.

 

Tales from before and after show:

I worked on this project! As per usual, I was involved with the seating design, but a cool new things was visualizing the colored shadows the audience created while coming in. Here’s the contrast between my initial rendering and the final result.

Also saw Keri Russell! She was there alone.

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