Tag Archives: fanart

Continuing my Carly Simon homage: I haven’t got time for the pain

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First there was my “Anticipation” as the local theatre was “making me wait, keeping me wa-a-waiting . . .”

Waiting, of course, to find out if and when “Into the Storm” would be gracing the screens of the nearest multiplex.

Because assuming it would, would make an “ass” out of me, right?  Never assume anything.

Well, after being more or less bedridden for close to 24 hours (chalk it up to FMS, sciatica, severe muscle spasms in my back and ulnar nerve pain in the wrist), I picked up my almost-dead cordless phone noon-ish today and once again punched in the numbers for the theater’s hotline.  And what do you know . . . the first thing announced by the recorded voice THIS time was “For Into the Storm, press 1 . . .” I gave an inner *squee* and hastily hit that button. I heard the show times just before the phone gave up the ghost and insisted it be charged for seven hours.

So, you see, I haven’t got time for the pain–not since RA arrived in town in the guise of Gary Morris. Oh, I still hurt, but I’m definitely better than early this morning, and even more so, now that I know I have this guy to look forward to seeing tomorrow:

 

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“Haven’t got time for the pain, haven’t got room for the pain, haven’t the need for the pain, not since I met you . . .” Sing it, Carly!

 

Anticipation, anticipation, is making me wait . . . RA to take on turtles and a dame

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Normally, I get sick of seeing the same commercials repeatedly and love being able to skip them altogether when I DVR stuff. Oddly enough, I have not tired of the barrage of different adverts on my TV for “Into the Storm.” I just don’t know exactly when I will be seeing the film . . . as our local multiplex hasn’t changed the listing of movies yet. Tomorrow, surely, they will?

Me: “Oh my gosh Benny, what if, what if they don’t have ‘Into the Storm’ here in Greenville?”

Benny: “I can’t imagine they wouldn’t–I mean, it’s not as if there are a whole bunch of movies coming out, or very many out that should be sticking around . . .”

Me: “Yeah, that’s true . . .”

Still, I am on edge about The Edge (the name of our theatre).
I don’t want to have to drive 40 or 50 miles to see wet Richard, although I will if it comes to that (actually, Benny will. My wrist gets aggravated driving more than 15 miles or so).

Our theatre runs mostly the big films. I know ITS is, as Richard said, a “small movie” compared to the TH trilogy and the current box office champ, “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  A sort of David going up against Goliath.

 

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“Into the Storm” will open Friday against yet another comic book-based movie, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “The Hundred Foot Journey,” which stars the sublime Helen Mirren and looks like something I would enjoy seeing (gonna pass on the martial arts-trained dudes in shells).

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So I wait and anticipate when the movie list will be updated and I can know if I will be seeing ITS in my hometown this weekend–or if we will have to make plans to go to Montgomery or Prattville. Either way, one way or another, I am going into that storm with Rich and Sarah and Max and Nathan this weekend . . . and do my small part in boosting its box office receipts. It’s the least I can do for an actor who is, as Sarah described him, a joy.
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Just chillin’ right now with Thorin edits. Surgery may loom.

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I had therapy today and the wrist is starting to feel very sore and tingly again. Everything is improving–the elbow, the tendonitis–except for the dratted wrist; the PT said I’d probably have to end up going through the nerve conductivity test and having surgery anyway. Id already more or less reconciled myself to that idea. C’est la vie.

Anyway, I just needed to sort of kick back tonight and play. I have work to do tomorrow on a collaborative project and then more therapy Friday. We are covering an event (I will also cover for the paper) for PRP Friday night. I like getting those extra dollars, they come in handy.
And here’s what I did while I played tonight.

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Part 1 of Judit’s “Crucible” Odyssey: A Hungarian RA Fan ‘Seizes the Day’

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Part 1 of Judit’s “Crucible” Odyssey: A Hungarian RA Fan ‘Seizes the Day’

Dear friend Judit, aka the Hungarian Honey, was lucky enough to not only see RA perform live as John Proctor in “The Crucible”–she saw him three times, and once from the front row!  Now that she has pretty much regained her equilibrium after meeting HIM she is sharing her experience with us here at TAE in installments.  Now, Part I of Judit’s own “Crucible” story . . . with lots more to come!  Thank you, Judit, for dishing all about your experiences with us. You rock!

 

I know RA had talked about going back to theatre often, but when he moved to NYC I had given up hope that it would happen (yeah, my usual optimistic self taking charge again!), and I thought if it were to happen it would happen on Broadway…

So, I was very sceptical when the rumour first surfaced about him being in talks to star in a play in LONDON!  Especially as the source was the Daily Mail and we all know how reliable they normally are.

 

In any case, a few days after I first read about the rumour, I joined the Old Vic’s “friends” circle (there’s a yearly membership fee in exchange for which you get a tiny discount from ticket prices, you don’t get charged booking fee when booking online, plus you get newsletters and, as it turned out, I also got a Crucible flyer in the post some weeks later). I thought, “I had better be prepared IF the rumours indeed turn out to be true!”

 

And then…all of a sudden there it was–a confirmation of Richard being cast as John Proctor on the Old Vic’s website! Needless to say, the Armitage Army “fell upon the online booking system of the Old Vic like an ocean” (to paraphrase John Proctor!).

 

 

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For the first time ever in my life, I found myself in a virtual/online queue!! I think I was about 300th when I first logged into my account and clicked on ’book a ticket’. Luckily, I had someone to share the excitement with – I phoned Helen in London, so we basically “queued” together, she in London and I in Budapest, watching our respective numbers go down to zero.. There was an awful lot of OMG-ing and exclamations along the lines of “can you believe this is happening??” (all this was made more awkward by the fact that I was at work, and this whole scene was witnessed by our accountant and a student who was doing her work experience with us – good job neither of them speak English!).

Helen and myself decided to go for an early date in the run, as we were afraid that RA might miss some dates later on in the run due to Comic Con in July or ITS premiere in August…

And, we were very lucky to score first row tickets for the 30th June…!

Later on, when I booked my flight tickets to London, I was more and more tempted by the idea that if I was going to spend five days in London, why not go for more than just one performance??

In the end I just couldn’t resist;  I booked a ticket for 27th June and then, yet another for the evening performance of the 28th..

I know it sounds excessive but I was thinking, who knows if I’ll ever have the chance to see RA perform live on stage again?? Why not make the most of my time in London??

Yes, of course he might do another play in a few years’ time- but who knows where I will be then? Whether I’ll still have a job by then? And my health?

 

So I decided to just seize the day–and I went for it!!! Boy am I glad that I did!!!

 

Next chapter:  preparations!  (coming up soon!)

 

Sir Guy, RA and I and our Seven-Year AnniveRsAry. Not itching yet.

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It was seven years ago this summer when it all began. One sticky south Alabama Saturday night I flipped on the TV and tuned into BBC America to catch their latest version of the Robin Hood legend.

I have to be perfectly honest. I found the rebooted “legend” less than–legendary. Hoodie with his boyish bangs, constipated expressions and cocky strut did not exactly make me forget Errol Flynn.

I did think his cohorts had their charms, Marian was pretty (and pretty feisty), and the sheriff, the sort of amusing panto-ish villain one loved to hate.  But the one who ultimately kept my attention and piqued my interest was the tall, scowling, smirking man in black.

 

He was the one always hovering near the sheriff, arms folded across his broad chest, trying to be impassive. The master of arms’ body language and facial expressions, however, told so much about the “evil henchman.” Oh, he was a handsome devil, no doubt about it, and he knew it.  “A right smarmy bastard,” I said to myself.  In spite of some reservations about the show, I kept watching . . . the chief attraction being the bad guy, Guy.

 

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I abhorred some of Sir Guy’s choices and actions; still, the more I watched, the more complex this potentially one-note cardboard cutout of a character became.  I’m not bein’ funny — the baddie turned out to have a heart and soul, folks. Robin Hood 2006 had its cheese-tastic appeal, but the raison d’etre of it all for me was Gisborne.  By the end of the first season, when Marian slugged him and left him at the altar, I was fully Team Leather all the way.

I cried buckets when the character died at the end of the third and final season. Even though I knew in advance it was going to happen and tried to prepare myself for The Moment, I was still so distraught when it came.  I shed more tears over this fictional character than I have some flesh-and-blood relations. He was–and is–that real to me.  And I still simply cannot bear to re-watch THAT Moment.

And so there was nothing to do but to declare him “loved into being” a la The Velveteen Rabbit, back with us to enjoy more adventures, and serve as the catalyst for my popular “Sloth Fiction” stories.  Sir Guy is SO Not Dead.

 

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We each have our own story about the character that lured us into Armitage Mania. Guy was my particular “gateway drug” into the Armitage fandom. But I didn’t stop there.  I went on to investigate more online about this very attractive actor with the rich, honeyed baritone and beautiful way of moving, a performer who could also speak volumes without saying a word, giving a mere flicker of those long, darkened lashes, a sidelong glance, or a twist of his mouth. I watched fanvids and visited a few Armitage sites.

 

When I had the cash, I ordered the DVDs of RA’s I could find stateside at that time: North and South, Vicar of Dibley and a used copy of Sparkhouse.

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After viewing those three productions in quick succession, call me officially blown away. The man was clearly no one- trick pony in the world of acting. How could the man who inhabited cripplingly shy, awkward sheep farmer John Standring also bring to life sunny, cheeky accountant Harry, sober Victorian mill owner Thornton and the smoulderingly seductive presence that was Gisborne?  And yet, he did, looking and moving and sounding differently in each and every role.  Richard made me believe and care every single time.

And he’s done it again and again–as Lucas, as Porter, Ricky, Mulligan, Kruger, Thorin . . . and now he’s wowing London theatre audiences as gruff, work-hardened farmer John Proctor in Miller’s The Crucible.  And will no doubt perform admirably as Gary the widowed dad and teacher in Into the Storm and in whatever future roles he undertakes.  And then of course I’ve also discovered how kind, thoughtful, funny, bright, humble and simply extremely likeable the real man appears to be.

He’s not perfect, but he is a pretty special human being.  I really do believe in the power of The Armitage.

In long-term relationships, in marriages, there is a phenomenon referred to as the “Seven-Year Itch” in which the partners begin to feel an urge to–stray, to move on to pastures with, say, Bahia grass versus Fescue (I am a farmer’s daughter, remember).

And yet, not only do I not feel an urge to move on to a different actor on which to have a big ol’ crush, I also don’t plan to ever abandon my first RA love.

Sir Guy of Gisborne, you will always be my very favorite.  I wrote my first novel-length fanfic about you. I’ve made more Guy photo edits, fan art and fan vids than I have of any other ChaRActer. Of course, there is more of you, in 37 episodes, although never enough even then.

You continue to inspire me, and to endear yourself to me with that special blend of thrilling alpha male dominance (I will forgive you things I would never forgive anyone else) with an awkward sweetness, aching vulnerability and at times, heartbreaking gullibility.

 

And frankly, nobody, but nobody, rocks the Guyliner, stubble, leather and long locks the way YOU do. You’ll always be THE one.

I’m not bein’ funny . . .  no seven year itch for me!

 

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THREE Five star reviews; Armitage may need some tea and honey

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“Richard Armitage, though sounding a bit vocally strained, admirably conveys Proctor’s mix of muscularity and guilt  . . .” From the Guardian’s review of The Crucible.

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/jul/04/the-crucible-review-old-vic-london

Like so many of you, I was following Servetus’ posts last night, Press Night for “The Crucible,” reading Tweets and feeling both eager and anxious about any forthcoming reviews from the papers. I knew Richard would be good in this role before hearing word one from any audience members during the previews; I have this sort of child-like belief in him, in his acting prowess and his determination to always bring his best to a performance.  And I saw how much intensity he was projecting even in the still photos from rehearsals.

Still, it was with tremendous relief and a great deal of pride that I read glowing reviews from two of the publications that, shall we say, matter (sorry, Daily Mail, you aren’t one of them). To see Richard get praise for his performance and Farber’s production awarded five stars by both the Times and the Telegraph was—well, it was as exhilarating as RA’s performance was to one of the critics!

But now I am a bit worried about those vocal cords.  Dearest Richard, please take care of yourself and that honeyed voice of yours. Hot tea with lemon and honey, perhaps? Restrict yourself to a whisper when you are off-stage? You have many more performances to give, and I don’t want anyone to miss out on your powerful, passionate portrayal of Proctor . . .  now, more virtual ((((hugs)))) from me, your ardent admirer from Alabama! XXOOXXOOXXOOproctorrighteousanger22completebellow2cropbwedit

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I’ve seen fire, and I’ve seen rain . . . Mr. A is having a wet, hot summer! *squee*

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It’s the Summer of the Armitage! Richard is spending the next couple of months giving audiences an impassioned, impressive performance as the conflicted farmer John Proctor, adulterous husband embroiled in the Salem Witch Trials. I know I have shared this edit of mine before, but I like it so much I’m sharing it again. Hey, the beauty of having one’s own blog.

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So there he goes, setting London on fire . . .  this big, fit, beautiful, bearded man, acting his linen smock off (literally at one point. *heaves sigh*) and using that commanding presence, physicality and voice to enthrall once more.  And then turning up at the stage door to be as sweet and affable and accommodating as always. What a guy!

 

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But we are ALSO getting more Armitage– a contemporary role as the clean-shaven all-American high school assistant principal Gary Morris, a widower caught with his sons in a deadly day of tornadoes in the (long-awaited!) August New Line release, “Into the Storm.”

Serv posted some screencaps earlier from the new trailer, and naturally, I couldn’t resist having some fun with Wet Gary, aka the Hunky Educator Hero in the High-Waisted Slacks. Do you all remember some of those promo stills that came out after they do some additional shooting for the film? When RA’s hair was still a bit longer on top (as compared to how it was cut for principal photography)? I do . . .  hmmmm, Gary must have been blown into some Miracle-Gro at some point (a fertilizer here in the US) and it went to town on his hair. 😉 I am sure most folks won’t even notice.

But I always think of Lucas and his Mysterious Travelling Tattoo . . .

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I’ve been right smack-dab in the middle of a tornado (on the campus of the Alabama School for the Blind) and I’ve taught high school kids. And neither one is a picnic! 😉

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Having been in a tornado, very close to the path of tornadoes and having seen on more than one occasion the deadly toll they can take and massive destruction they can cause, honestly, a twister movie is generally not my first choice in movie viewing.

But this disaster flick has Richard Armitage. Wet. Fatherly. Heroic. Trying out an American accent for the first time in a really measurable amount.  How can I resist??  A good mindless popcorn movie might be just what I need . . .

 

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So, planning to go and see Mr. A in August? What are your thoughts on the trailer? His accent? Did you notice how great Sarah looked even bedraggled? (Curse her!) Eye candy for everyone in this pic–cute teens for the younger set and hunky and hot adults for the rest of us.  As for any of you lucky ducks who will be seeing Mr. A in person in the round at the Old Vic–please let me know about your experience! And now, it’s time to ice the Troublesome Wrist, boys and girls.

 

“Storm”-y silliness and serious stuff; or Help! I’m photo editing & I can’t quit

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Remember tomorrow (Wednesday, June 25) is the premiere online of the newest trailer for “Into the Storm” at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, noon Central and 1 p.m. for the East Coast. In honor of the occasion, I’ve done a few tongue-in-cheek edits of some of the most recent promo stills for ITS. (Aren’t we glad they changed the name? Would hate to refer to an Armitage project as BS . . . just sayin’ . . .) And one more Proctor edit, because I swear that character is haunting me (and I haven’t and won’t see him on stage, unless they do make a DVD . . .) What can I say? It’s the Armitage Effect. 😉 And really, would we have it any other way?

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From Pop-Verse.com: RA delivers “spectacularly strong performance” & some edits

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“Armitage has enough down-to-earth likability mixed with stage presence and an ability to deliver impassioned speeches to deliver a spectacularly strong performance.” 

Megan Leigh, “Theatre Review: The Crucible at the Old Vic”

Read the entire review by clicking on link below. Leigh also offers some history of the theatre and background on Miller’s play, and provides some practical suggestions for audience members in preparing for the event.
**PLEASE NOTE** (I have been advised there are some errors within the review on the background of the play. Thank you, Dr. Servetus)

http://pop-verse.com/2014/06/23/theatre-review-the-crucible-at-the-old-vic/

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That’s a pretty good description of our boy, isn’t it–down-to-earth and likeable, but also graced with stage presence and a real intensity.  That unassuming nature of his also possesses a lot of discipline and focus–and a strong work ethic that, combined with his undeniable talent, translates into these strong performances.

 

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It will be interesting to see what the professional theatre critics have to say about Richard’s performance. Judging by the reactions of preview audience members that I’ve read, including those who aren’t necessarily RA fans, I do think most, if not all, of what will be written will be positive. The entire cast’s performance seems to be highly regarded. I am so happy that Richard is surrounded by such a talented and dedicated group of fellow actors this summer.

Richard & Courtney: Here’s to the ones who inspire and amaze me

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My edits of the promo stills supplied by the Old Vic Theatre.

“The best thing about being on stage is when you’re in the middle of the scene and you lose control. You get this massive adrenaline rush, a feeling like you’re flying or on fire. Once you’ve had that, you want it again and again.”

~Richard Armitage

 

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Courtney touches up her makeup before the final performance of “Hollywood Dreams.” My photo and edit for Pecan Ridge Productions.

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Courtney Rice. My photo.

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Talented trio: Cory Rice, aspiring National Geographic writer, mom Sonya, dancer instructor and choreographer, and Courtney Rice, who dreams of performing on Broadway and participating in film production. My photo.

“It’s not that I have certain roles I like to dance, more so, it’s certain emotional levels I like to go to. The dance, or character, I am, I want it to be very emotionally invested. I want to be able to go to the extremes of hope, hatred, horror, sorrow, excitement! I want the audience to tangibly feel what I am feeling. The vulnerability of going all the way inside of an emotion in front of a crowd is the best feeling ever. So the more extreme of an emotional role, the better!”

~Courtney Rice

Richard, well, you all know who HE is, what he’s about to do–appear as John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s acclaimed play “The Crucible” on the stage of no less than the Old Vic Theatre in London.  Some of you will have the golden opportunity to see him perform in person this summer and I can’t wait to hear about your experiences.  Yes, I am still a little envious–but also, I’m extremely excited for Richard, and so happy to know some of those who have followed his career and championed his talent will be there in the audience to lend their support.

His long years of labor and taking whatever jobs came to keep him afloat, driving old beaters, working the front of house, and dreaming of one day having those choice roles–it’s happening now for you, Richard Armitage, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving artist. For that is what you are, a true artist, not a “celebrity,” someone famous for being famous without having any genuine talent to back it up.  I wish I could give you a big old bear hug right about now and tell you, “Break a leg!”

Courtney is a young woman from my own hometown, a very gifted dancer I once profiled in our annual magazine as a rising star among high school students in our area. Even as a teenager, she had a poise and elegance beyond her years. “She’s like a princess,” someone said. And she was.

I got to watch her perform again recently during her mother’s annual dancer recital, a production that would be ambitious on a big city stage, let alone in a small town of less than 8,000 people. She and her sister Cory flew in for the weekend to assist with and perform in the two-night event.  The talented teenager has blossomed into an even better, more refined performer after four years of dance training at university.

Courtney made the move to New York after college graduation in December. She works in an administrative position with the Gibney Dance Company and serves as a nanny to a nine-year-old youngster in Brooklyn. Courtney is still honing her craft, taking dance lessons and working with a group of fellow choreographers in a collective in the limited amount of spare time she has.  This young woman has a strong work ethic. She’s beautiful and talented and graced with such stage presence; yet she remains that polite, sweet, down-to-earth girl I met years ago who calls me “Miss Angie” and gives warm hugs.  Remind you of anyone?

I wish I had stills–better yet, I wish I had the video of her amazing solo to a piece of music from “Harry Potter” I could share with you here, but it’s not ready yet. I told her she sent chills down my spine, but in a very good sort of way.

I hope she gets the breaks and has the career she desires–she’s got the talent and technique, but she’s also got the drive and the passion and it shows in her performances. She’s the real thing, too.

“The vulnerability of going all the way inside of an emotion in front of a crowd is the best feeling ever. So the more extreme of an emotional role, the better!” 

Those words could have easily come from Richard, I think. May he have that “best feeling ever” this weekend and in the weeks to come as he inhabits the complicated role of John Proctor for Old Vic audiences.

Keep on breaking a leg, Courtney and Richard. I’ll be cheering for both of you.  You inspire and amaze me!

 

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Guyday Friday: Ladywriter gets some TLC from the Dark Knight

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“It’s a hard day, Sir Guy. A high pain day. Even my hair hurts.”

He tilted his dark head, brow furrowing. “I am sorry to hear that, my lady.” His kohl-rimmed eyes softened as his mouth curled into an affectionate smirk. “Such shiny, lovely hair it is, too.”

LW grunted and tossed a pillow in the dark knight’s direction. “NOW you sound like Mr. Ladywriter, you tease.”

Sir Guy adroitly caught the pillow with one hand and swept her a gallant bow. Flicking back his raven mane, he flashed her one of those dazzling grins.

“We are both here to serve you, my dear LW . . . now may I get you a cold drink and a compress  . . . perhaps a gentle foot and hand massage?” He purred.

*Gulp*

Well, who am I to tell Sir Guy “no”?!?

Happy Guyday Friday

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My new edits/collages! What a sweet RA-centric Monday

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Really, I should be working on finishing up the FDA graduation musical montage. Instead those lovely new pics of Richard in rehearsal for “The Crucible” started showing up online and—the next thing I knew I was opening up photo editing programs and I. just. couldn’t. stop.

 

I have always loved the behind-the-scenes images we’ve gotten from his various projects over the years and these posted by the Old Vic are no exception. I love seeing his focus, his intensity as he inhabits the character of John Proctor.  I know every person who is going to see him perform live on stage must be over the moon with excitement and anticipation.

I am excited for Richard himself and this wonderful opportunity to perform a juicy role in an acclaimed play by a celebrated American playwright–and in such a storied venue!  And how proud his family must be . . .

 

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