Art Musical Theater Travel

The Grinch, I.M. Pei, and Viennese Expressionism

November 17, 2012

We left Bloomington, Indiana this morning after a few days of tech and 2 successful previews. This production is nothing but fun, especially for us musicians. It reads like the score to a cartoon: fast-paced with very little time to catch a breath. And the audiences seem to be embracing the show whole-heartedly.

IU Bloomington is a beautiful campus. We stayed in a hotel attached to the student union building that overlooked a small chapel, cemetery and college green lined with old sycamore trees that were very nearly bare. I stopped into the campus art museum, an angular building designed by I.M. Pei housing an impressive little collection of works. On display were pieces assembled for an exhibit of German Expressionism. There was this amazing Egon Schiele self portrait I’d only seen in art books.

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I was first introduced to Schiele’s paintings and drawings at a Barnes and Noble during my college years. They were selling art books for dirt cheap, and I remember thumbing through a collection of his, page after page of gaunt figures painted in reds and browns, with a distinctive broad outline of white, which made the figure pop off the page. Years later I met performance artist John Kelly at a small New Year’s Eve dinner party thrown by Florent Morellet (owner of Florent in NYC). I was young and green and had no idea who those people were, but it turns out John had put together a performance piece based on the life of Egon Schiele.View video here. I’m certain John wouldn’t remember me, but his work has left an impression on me – a true original. I’m still fascinated by Schiele’s art and was excited to see one of his self portraits in person this past week.

We’ll stop over in PA tonight and continue on to Hartford, CT tomorrow. Tues is the opening night of a great tour. More news to follow. Much love from the road.

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