Do not miss Fahrenheit 451 on stage
Opening night at the Fremont Center Theatre was unforgettable. I've never attended one of Mr. Bradbury's plays before, but I hope to come to the playhouse in South Pasadena again soon.
The show was completely sold out; there wasn't a single empty seat in the theatre. Among those present to watch the performance was the legendary director of The Empire Strikes Back, Irvin Kirshner.
My whole family came up from San Diego to attend the show, and at the end of the night, we were all very glad to have made the trip. It's been some time since we've been to a play together, but watching Fahrenheit 451 has renewed our interest in the theatre.
Of course, it was wonderful to see Mr. Bradbury again. He said a few words at the opening and also atteded the reception afterward. As good as his writing is, it is even greater to hear him speak. And I would go further and say that seeing Fahrenheit 451 played out on stage deepened my appreciation of the story.
Excellent performances were delivered by the entire cast. In particular, the central roles of Montag (David Polcyn), Mildred (Meaghan Boeing), Clarisse (Jessica D. Stone), Beatty (Michael Prichard) and Professor Faber (Steven Robert Wollenberg) were beautifully portrayed. As the play moved forward we were drawn deeper
and deeper into the emotional lives of the characters.
There were not a lot of elaborate set pieces or props in the show, but with effective lighting and sound, minimal props, simple but appropriate costumes and a spartan stage, the production managed to effectively draw us into the world of Fahrenheit 451 and into the lives of the characters. It is appropriate that a play about independent thought should also provoke the imagination to fill in the details of the scene.
Fahrenheit 451 is a stunningly prophetic story. Written decades ago, it could not be more appropriate for people of the 21st century to examine, as we rush headlong into the future.
In the end, as I walked out of the dark theatre through the doors into the reception area, joining all the happy, talking people, I felt a bit like Montag must have felt at the end of his journey in the play.
But it was not the end, not really. The first act was over perhaps, but the real story, the story of the thinkers, had just begun...
"Do what you love, and love what you do." Ray Bradbury
How many pounds sterling, in over-the-weight-limit, will you be paying just to bring books over with you next month?
John King Tarpinian
You know what you are, Mr. Bradbury? ... You are a poet! -- Aldous Huxley
I shall be travelling light, jkt. Just a book or two carried about my person.
Quoth the writer:
"In the guise of homeland security, the masses are denied individual liberties, and are instead spoon-fed a diet of clamorous, interactive reality shows beamed into their homes via huge TV walls."
Is anyone else struck by the enormity of this fifty-plus-year-old prophecy?
Mind, I'm not saying I don't like my widescreen high definition plasma TV, But I am saying that I don't like The Patriot Act and reality shows.
I like that the British say "about my person."
Rare, UK versions I hope.
John King Tarpinian
You know what you are, Mr. Bradbury? ... You are a poet! -- Aldous Huxley
The bottom list of your worries should be ~The Patriot Act~
Thought of this when I started to reflect on what is happening thru the years to "invade" our privacy. Was sparked last evening when I 'experienced' Google-Maps new "invasion" of sights on their 360º degree eye level, high resolution images of even regular neighborhood streets.
It works like this:
A van drives thru all the streets with cameras mounted on the roof, special cameras that map out every single nook and cranny of the neighborhood. When I pressed on that little Google-Gold-Man icon, having placed him on some street corner in Chicago, I was suddenly there, standing on that street corner looking at people and stores around me. Shocking!!
So I started thinking how we have tracked our every move with credit card purchases, cell phone and home phone calls, internet searches etc. The novel 1984 didn't have a clue of all of the stuff that happens... "unintentionally"! That's not to add all the neighborhood video cameras, the Eyes-in-the-Sky satellites, the can't live without GPS, Lo-Jack, etc etc. NO ONE...no one could predict such a future that is upon us now.
If you are worried that they are listening to phone calls to see if someone wants the bomb dropped off at their apartment so they can blow up the white house, forget it! Worry when that Goggle-Mapping truck goes by your street. You better be walking out your house with your wife and not a girlfriend. The whole world will be watching.
EEK!!! is better!!
• READ ALL THE FOLLOWING FIRST BEFORE USING THE LINK BELOW~
Here you will be able to see Ray's old home and neighborhood, including:
• Ray Bradbury Park
• the 'Ravine'
• and all the haunts.
This is the amazing new stuff from Google-Map that allows you to see everything CLOSE-UP and in high-resolution at eye-level and move along the streets as well via a 360º camera.
If you have not used it before, this is how it works:
When you click on the 'link below', you'll come to a map with a Green Arrow. Click on the Green Arrow and a small window will open (or is already open)... with a photo. Beneath that photo it will read, Street View. Click on that and then click on "Full Screen" for best effect! You are now in front of Ray's old home. But you may have to turn the camera 180 degrees around. So...swing the camera around and you are standing in front of Ray's grandparent's old home as well as the one Ray lived in when a kid. (note: there is a white truck of some sort parked in front of the old Bradbury homes. )
ANOTHER NOTE~ Below the full picture mode you'll see a map with blue street borders. See the little GOLD-colored icon man? Place him anywhere on that blue-bordered map and find yourself 'there'. Look for Bradbury Park on the map! Go There!! And while you are there, travel along The Ravine. Visit the old Carnegie Library near the lake. It's by the Train station. Place the GOLD MAN at the corner of 'Washington and Sheridan Rd'. That little grey-stone building on the corner was the old Carnegie Library Ray visited incessantly as a 'yoot'.
One Last Note! ~
If, on your particular computer, you clicked on Green Arrow and nothing happens, click off that little address box that appears by clicking on the little 'x' in upper right hand corner, 'THEN' click on the Green Arrow. A new box should open with the camera.
(Again no one eeevvverrrr envisioned this technology.)
:Click on link~
_______________________________________________This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nard Kordell,
I was in attendence on opening night at the Freemont....
A small, 60+ seat playhouse provided an intimate experience. Its a nice little playhouse, with some of the actors doing double duty at the ticket booth, etc.
Mr Bradbury was on hand to provide an introduction to the play that wasn't specifically about the play itself...he is truly one of my only remaining heroes.
The play was very minimal in its presentation as far as sets, props, etc. but it didn't require them. You are engrossed from the beginning. The cast was exceptional, specifically Michael Prichard as Beatty and Stephen Robert Wollenburg as Faber. Unfortunately the lead actor was...well, weak. One never got the sense of depth needed for the role. Apparently the lead role is being alternated with another actor at some point in the run. Might have to see him in the role.
There was a sense of a lot of friends and family of the cast, etc. in the opening night audience along with a few celebs, like George Clayton Johnson, director Irving Kirshner and the director of the upcoming Russian production of Dandilion Wine. How I managed 4 tickets for this night was pretty amazing.
Afterward, there was the opening night shindig in the lobby and courtyard, the food looked good (didn't have any- late dinner for me) and Ray Bradbury was on hand to sign books. As I expected, I could not say anything except a simple "thank you" for the books he signed for me. What does one say to a living legend? Words escaped me...its just as well.
A wonderful night.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Carcosa,
Just a note on a post by Douglas Spaulding-
It was apparent to me that the play was CLEARLY not about government censorship; really more our own ambivelence as a society.
....not to mention this quote from the play's program book..."Regardless what you remember from the Cliff Notes, F451 is not about censorship"
Thats pretty straightforward.
Nard! That Google stuff is amazing. Never saw it before. It truly is amazing! Went and looked at Ray Bradbury Park. You can read the sign for the park stating Ray's name. Guess you can't see the ravine from the street. Truly an old neighborhood all around.
What has always puzzled me about Google Earth and Google Maps is: where are all the people? Waukegan (in the bits I've looked at) is like a ghost town.
But then I did a search for 5th Ave, NY - and THERE are some people. Fortuitously (or deliberately?) blurred out.
My experience is that these images don't get updated very often (my current house was built about six years ago, but until very recently Google Earth/Maps showed it as a piece of rough ground). Imagine being immortalised as "woman crossing 54th and 5th"!
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