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Thursday, May 28, 2015

10 of the most impressive movie sets ever built The biggest movies are spectacles that can teleport your eyeballs to another world but so much of that is done through green screens and special effects now that it’s important to note when it’s not (or when it’s done really, really impressively digitally). CineFix has come up with 10 of the coolest movie sets that actually existed in real life (or took a helluva impressive time to build).

Hot Ticket: 'In the Mood' at Byham Theater

TribLIVE: Get ready to swing the day and night away with the big-band sounds of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Erskine Hawkins, The Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra and other idols of the '40s.

“In the Mood” is a stage production aimed at bringing back America's swing era, when it seemed everyone listened and danced to the same style of music. The musical will have two performances May 28 at the Byham Theater, Downtown.

Pict Classic Theatre's 'Other Half Loves' mixes heartache, high humor

TribLIVE: A laugh-out-loud farce about marriage, infidelity, class structure and social climbing will open Pict Classic Theatre's 2015 Mainstage series May 28 at the Charity Randall Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland.

“How the Other Half Loves,” a British comedy by Alan Ayckbourn, makes hilarity and sometimes heartache of the tangled lives of three couples — the men all work for the same firm — and a secret affair between one of the men, Bob Phillips, and his boss's wife, Fiona Foster.

One System to Run it All

InPark Magazine: To meet the challenge of large crowds in one of Asia’s largest parks, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom enlisted FUNA to create a single multi-purpose park-wide sound system that provides background music, controls audio for a nighttime lagoon show and the largest parade route in a theme park, and handles park-wide paging services. Because of the challenge inherent with the length of the parade route, FUNA developed a unique automated audio system linking floats with land-based speakers as part of the project.

What's new in AutoCAD 2016: New features roundup

CADnotes: Autodesk has released AutoCAD 2016 in March 2015. We have covered the new features in the last few weeks. In this article, we summarize the new features.

In case you missed the older article, we provide links to the detailed review of each topic.

'O'Sullivan Stew' has kid cast as Theatre Factory play's main ingredient

TribLIVE: “O'Sullivan Stew” looks like a recipe for a fun musical to serve to kids starting May 30 at the Theatre Factory in Trafford.

With music and lyrics by Frank Cuthbert and book by Laura Maria Censabella, the musical is based on a popular children's book by Hudson Talbott.

Video: Sydney Opera House comes alive with projection mapping animation The Sydney Opera House is as iconic a building there is in this world so it’s always stunning to see it come alive as a canvas for artists to display their animation on. 20 different animation studios teamed up to transform the Sydney Opera House into a living mural that is just so enjoyable to watch. The colors, the characters, the mini-stories, the art, you forget that you’re looking at a building and start to think that the building has a personality of its own.

This Is How The Soundtracks At Theme Parks Get Made What do theme parks sound like? For starters, there’s the sound of the people, the rides, the popcorn machines, the ambient noises of the highway and local wildlife. But there’s also an elaborate soundtrack that you may not have even known existed. And here’s how it’s made.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Short Exposes Unique Experience of 'Brown' Ballerinas

Colorlines: Filmmaker Chassidy Jade is set to release a short film called “Brown Ballerina” this year. The short will explore the circumstances and issues specific to brown dancers or “dancers of color.”

This "40 Years Of ILM" Video Shows Just How Far We've Come Industrial Light and Magic has a proud heritage stretching back to the original Star Wars. And to celebrate, they’ve put together a one-minute video that sums up 40 years of visual effects wizardry. How many of these movies can you name?

Zoe Saldana Takes Issue With Hollywood White-Washing

Colorlines: Zoe Saldana hit Facebook to support Michael B. Jordan’s Entertainment Weekly essay “Why I’m Torching the Color Line.” Jordan wrote the piece in response to complaints that he is playing Johnny Storm, a traditionally white Marvel character, in the upcoming "Fantastic Four" film.

The Sound of Tomorrowland

Below the Line: In this exclusive sound profile, SoundWorks Collection talks with sound designer Kyrsten Mate and re-recording mixer Gary Rydstrom from Skywalker Sound about their work on Tomorrowland directed by Brad Bird.

Entertainment Industry Wonders How Minimum Wage Hike Will Affect Biz

Variety: The recent vote by the Los Angeles City Council to boost the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020 may not seem like it would have much of an impact the entertainment industry, with its reliance on handsomely paid creative professionals and union presence.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Static, Ambient Noise Permeates Marc Streitenfeld’s Score for ‘Poltergeist’

Variety: As director Gil Kenan explains: “There’s a subtheme in the film: the way that electricity permeates our lives, and that’s part of the way the haunting is able to express itself. Marc picked up on that idea, brought in these electronic signals and weaved them, sometimes melodically, sometimes in more discordant or troubling ways, in scenes of suspense or drama.”

Both Streitenfeld and Kenan acknowledge that the original “Poltergeit” casts a big shadow. And that includes Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated score.

Comedy at its finest - Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

DC Theatre Scene: Ninety-two coins spun consecutively have come down heads ninety-two consecutive times, all confirming that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, now onstage at the Folger Theatre, is one to see. For the linguistically inclined, banter and wordplay abound. For the Shakespeare aficionado, there’s more than a sprinkling of the Bard. For the philosopher, there’s that sticky issue of whether life has meaning. And for kink, well, there’s Alfred in his skirt.

jeppe hein asks brooklyn installation visitors to please touch the art celebrated for engaging audiences in seas of sculptural, inventive and whimsical works, danish artist jeppe hein brings a series of participatory installations to new york city, situated around the waterfront brooklyn bridge park. from now until april 17, 2016, public art fund presents ‘please touch the art’, an exhibition of 18 interactive sculptures including ‘social’ benches, rooms made of jetting water, and a dizzying mirror maze.

New Hazlett's 'Last Five Years' aims to be musical with heart-wrenching depths

TribLIVE: Sometimes, a couple gets into trouble because they come at the relationship from opposite directions.

That's basically the hook behind Tony-award winning playwright Jason Robert Brown's musical “The Last Five Years.”

Front Porch Theatricals will launch its 2015 season May 22 with the show at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side.

Sixty Years of Innovation: ‘Fantasmic!’ at Disneyland Park

Disney Parks Blog: First of its kind, “Fantasmic!” featured projections on reflective mists and huge figures that seemed to rise magically out of Mickey Mouse’s imagination. To prepare for the show, the Rivers of America were drained to enable installation of new equipment and mechanisms, and a new stage was built on the south end of Tom Sawyer Island. The show combined the new mist screens with Disneyland park favorites – the Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia – as well as rafts, mechanical figures, fire effects and more than 50 Disneyland cast members to bring the story to life.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

City Theatre's 'Midsummer' actors excel but script can't keep pace

TribLIVE: With the solstice fast approaching, City Theatre cranks up “Midsummer.” No, not that one.

Rather than the 400-year-old farce, this is David Greig and Gordon McIntyre's 2008 effort, subtitled “A Play With Songs.”

This Scottish duo's effort will come as a complete surprise to you — as long as you haven't seen a movie in 25 years.

Judge Wants to Know If 'Happy Birthday' Copyright Was Abandoned

The Hollywood Reporter: U.S. District Judge George King wants to hear more about whether the 19th century schoolteacher who has been credited with writing "Happy Birthday to You" — the English language's most popular song — had abandoned the copyright to the lyrics. On Monday, King directed parties involved in a fight over whether the song is copyrighted to brief him on the issue of abandonment.

Janie Bryant: The Woman Behind Don Draper’s Dapperness

Kempt - world of men's style / fashion / grooming: After giving us one last new, all-denim look for Don Draper, Mad Men rode off into the sunset last night.

It goes without saying that the show’s run has had major repercussions on the way men dress. The show’s early seasons, with their everything-slim-cut-and-clean ethos, got much of the attention and credit for bringing men back to the well-tailored suit. But a look around the flares and wide lapels returning to the runways and the bold glen plaid sport coats of the menswear shops today shows that we here in the 21st century have been moving right alongside the show the whole time.

New Ordway Concert Hall One of the newest performing arts venues in the U.S. – the $42 million Ordway Concert Hall – opened several months ago in St. Paul, Minn. We attended the public open house before the grand opening, where several ensembles – both vocal and instrumental – delighted audiences with free performances.

Custom Tablesaw Blade Makes Origami Drawers

Make:: Anyone who has built their own shop has sunk time into making drawers for a worktable. Andrew Klein has invented a sawblade profile that turns making drawers into simple origami.

There are many traditional ways to build a drawer, but they all at minimum involve cutting four sides and a bottom and jigging to ensure squareness. Better drawers involve mitered cuts, dado cuts, finger joints, and generally just a lot of work for something small and simple.

We Talked to the Artist Creating Clouds Inside Cathedrals

The Creators Project: Cloud. The image means so much to so many. Since the dawn of thought, it seems, they've been at once nurturing, water-providing, subtly evolving forms of endless entertainment and fixation across the world; divine sources of inspiration, reflecting light, and characterizing our atmosphere with unique and transient beauty.

Light Painting with Plankton Makes Ethereal Portraits

The Creators Project: Glowing plankton in the sea of Holbox Island, Mexico provide a fluttering focal point for an experimental midnight portrait series by photographer Eric Paré. Submerging his tripod in shallow Caribbean waters, the photographer shot long-exposure portraits with friends in complete darkness to capture the millions of tiny, bioluminescent plankton that glow to ward off predators.

Perfecting Projections for the Immersive New ‘Disneyland Forever’ Fireworks Spectacular

Disney Parks Blog: Coming May 22 as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the new “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular will be a sky-high extravaganza featuring sparkling pyrotechnics, immersive projections, and surprising special effects that transform Disneyland park right before your eyes. “Disneyland Forever” envelops you in an enthralling, breathtaking journey like never before, leveraging the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park.

'My Fair Lady' Couldn't Actually Dance All Night, So These Songs Had To Go

NPR: When a Broadway musical feels as effortlessly right as Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's did to audiences in 1956, it's easy to imagine that it simply sprang to life that way. Not My Fair Lady. The musical, based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, is filled to bursting with some of the best-known songs in Broadway history — "The Rain In Spain," "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," "On the Street Where You Live" — but it turns out the show originally had other tunes that almost nobody knows. On Tuesday night, England's University of Sheffield hosted a performance of seven songs that were dropped from the musical before its Broadway opening, some of which were being heard in public for the first time in almost 60 years.

Is auditorium director to blame for faulty Westfield stage construction?

Fox 59: No criminal charges will be filed in connection with the stage collapse at Westfield High School that left 17 students injured.

Capt. Charles Hollowell with the Westfield Police Department said the April 23 collapse was caused by a new orchestra pit lid that had been constructed by a school employee and students. The new cover replaced the old one. The normal stage would have steel beams to secure it; the new “pit lid” was not securely anchored, resulting in the collapse during the “American Pie” performance.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Michel Houellebecq play pulled from festival; security concerns cited

LA Times: A play from the controversial French writer Michel Houellebecq has been yanked from a prominent summer festival in Croatia, with officials citing security concerns arising from Houellebecq's writings about Islam.

Entire First-Year MFA Class Drops Out in Protest at the University of Southern California Citing “the University’s unethical treatment of its students,” the entire class of first year MFA students at USC’s Roski School of Art has decided to leave the school, according to a statement they released today. The seven students list a number of grievances leading to their decision, beginning with a significant decrease to the generous tuition subsidization that they had expected before their acceptance to the program. They also criticize the school’s administration that “did not value the Program’s faculty structure, pedagogy or standing in the arts community.” As a result, they say, the Program Director left in December 2014, followed by the resignation of tenured professor Frances Stark.

National Alliance for Musical Theatre Announces 2015-16 Grant Recipients The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) announces nine awards granted from their National Fund for New Musicals, a major funding program to support NAMT member not-for-profit theatres in their collaborations with writers to create, develop and produce new musicals. Now in its seventh year, the Fund will provide grants totaling $46,000 to ten organizations across the country.

What Is Greatness In Recorded Music?

Pro Sound Web: When I was coming up as an engineer one of my mentors said something that I carry to every session: “There are two parallel universes in recorded music - greatness and perfection. At times they can touch, but they never intersect. And if you have to pick one, pick greatness”.

This was an absolutely life changing moment, and these are words I’ve tried to live by ever since.

Tour School, LLC and UNLV Launch 10-Day STEADI Program

PLSN: Tour School, LLC is teaming up with the University of Nevada at Las Vegas' (UNLV) Continuing Education program to offer STEADI (Stage Technician Education and Development Intensive), to be held from June 22 to July 1, 2015 at Soundcheck Nashville. The 10-day program is designed to prepare candidates to meet the needs of employers seeking skilled labor for entry-level stage tech positions in live event productions.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Stage review: City Theatre takes a 'Midsummer' romp into rom-com territory

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: At age 35, petty crook Bob is mired in the belief that life has passed him by and lawyer Helena appears to be on the losing end of a no-win relationship.

The self-loathing pair meet down and dirty and kind of cute in David Greig’s “Midsummer,” City Theatre’s funny and touching season finale. The play with music brings to mind such frisky films as Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up” and “This Is 40.” Like those movies, “Midsummer” is a rom-com with heart; as live theater, it’s also a wildly inventive showcase for two actor-singer-musicians.

Salma Hayek Blasts Hollywood Sexism

Variety: Salma Hayek blasted the movie industry for giving up on women both behind and in front of the camera at a Variety-hosted event Saturday afternoon at the Cannes Film Festival.

“For a long time they thought the only thing we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies,” said Hayek, who appears in the Cannes drama “Tale of Tales.” “They don’t see us as a powerful economic force, which is an incredible ignorance.”

Stage review: Politics and ambition drive 'Wolf Hall'

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Fortunately for Hilary Mantel, the Seymour family named their 16th century Wiltshire manor house Wulfhall, providing a juicy name for her historical novel about the career of Thomas Cromwell amid the bloody matrimonial, religious and political thickets of the reign of Henry VIII.

“Wolf Hall” is Ms. Mantel’s title for the first volume of a trilogy; the second is “Bring Up the Bodies”; the third hasn’t yet been published. In different adaptations of those first two volumes, one (by Mike Poulton) now brought to the Broadway stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and another (by Peter Straughan) brought to TV by the BBC and PBS, “Wolf Hall” serves as the title of the whole thing.

Pittsburgh Opera transforms Strip District plot into English garden for Maecenas XXXI Ball

TribLIVE: The vibe, the decor, the people, the buzz — whatever it was, 240 guests had barely put a dent into cocktail hour and, already, the Pittsburgh Opera's Maecenas XXXI Ball was leaving little room for debate.

“I don't know what it is, but honestly, this is one of the best we've ever been to,” said Tim McVay with David Bush.

Self-Aligning Handheld Router Gets New Look and Name

Make:: The computer-assisted handheld router makers formerly known as Taktia revealed a smart new design and name to match: Shaper. Their digitally augmented power tools were a sensation at Maker Faire Bay Area last year, and this year’s router is even more impressive, with a clean, integrated design, new touchscreen user interface, and new Z-axis control that’s pretty mindblowing.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Beware: Bragging Often Backfires

Psych Central News: Bragging about a recent promotion at work or posting a photo of your new car on Facebook may seem like harmless ways to share good news.

But a new study has found that this kind of self-promotion often backfires.

Researchers from City University London, Carnegie Mellon University and Bocconi University wanted to find out why so many people frequently get the trade-off between self-promotion and modesty wrong.

Preview: Children's Theater Festival takes over the Cultural District this weekend

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Pittsburgh Cultural District will be abuzz with activity today through Sunday when the EQT Children's Theater Festival blankets Downtown streets with a pop-up park, an interactive art installation from Australia and performances courtesy of troupes from Scotland, Denmark, The Netherlands and Mexico.

Throwback: 50 Years Of Rolling Stones Concert Designs

Live Design: In the ultimate Throwback Thursday style, and in honor of not only The Rolling Stones' upcoming Zip Code Tour, which is to embark May 24, but the 50th anniversary of the May 12, 1965 recording of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which was released June 8, 1965, Live Design has assembled a collection of some of the band's concert tour designs from a 50+ year career. Many tours feature the design talents of lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe and the late set designer Mark Fisher of Stufish. Woodroffe and Stufish return for the Zip Code Tour.

Purposeful Evolution: Refined Monitoring For Lionel Richie

Pro Sound Web: Over Dan Housel’s two-year stint as monitor engineer for Lionel Richie, he’s sought constant improvement in presenting the iconic singer’s classic, distinctive vocal signature. We spoke recently, just prior to the final show at London’s O2 arena on the European leg of Richie’s latest tour, about what he’s been up to lately in that regard.

Moving? Students Devise A Smarter Way To Pack Boxes

Co.Design | business + design: Moving is the worst. Even if you’ve got the cash to pay for professional help, you’re still left with that sinking feeling six months later that some heirloom was lost at the bottom of a long-gone cardboard box.

Could there be a better way? A concept called Argo, by a group of Carnegie Mellon students working in partnership with Ford, may be it.

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