Archive for November, 2009

We are Dreamgirls…

As a post Thanksgiving Holiday treat, my extended family went to see Dreamgirls at the Apollo Theater last night. I never saw the movie, and didn’t know the plotline, so I went into the show with an open mind and ears. I am so glad I did. I went into the show with a completely unbiased opinion and didn’t draw comparisons with Beyonce or Jennifer Hudson.

First off, the show had stunning visuals and vocals. The costumes were bright, fun, colorful, and every bit as festive I would expect a group of three women to be. And there were so many costumes! The costume changes were quick, with as many as three costume changes per song. We were lucky enough to spot the costume designer, William Ivey Long, in one of the boxes. He exuded fashion, dressed in a black tux lined with gold sequins on the collar and wrists. Long created costumes that brought life to the 60’s and 70’s, depicting my dream of that time with vivid colors, patterns, and sequins.

The show used these large rectangular panels to create entrances and exits for the performers and to alter the stage for each scene. But the real treat came when videos were projected onto these panels to depict the location of the scenes. The Dreams started in the Apollo Theater and traveled as far as Paris. The panels were screened with images of bridges in Manhattan, and the Eiffel Tower. With the lighting, these panels created an amazing visual impact.

Only to add to the visual ambience of the 1960’s and 1970’s was the choreography. The dancers were crisp, in-sync, and the steps were creative. There was one dance number that began with four of the leading men and transitioned to including the entire dance ensemble. The performers made a costume change in the dark, on stage, into glow-in-the-dark sequined blue tuxedos and glow-in-the-dark outlined briefcases. The panels reflected their movements and we saw their awesome bird’s eye dance formations. The costumes and the scenery combined to create a stunning visual masterpiece.

This was the first show I’ve seen at the historic Apollo Theater. It was a bit hot in the Upper Mezzanine, what with the heat rising, but the show was worth it. The audience was quite a lively one as well, so that made for a more engaging performance for both the audience and the performers. If only the show didn’t have such a short run (December 6th), I might just have to go again.


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Music Copyright

I’ve begun to edit and shoot videos for my recently acquired on-campus position. It’s pretty straight forward: use Kodak FlipCam, plug into computer, and edit to make a b-e-a-utiful iMovie. Sounds simple enough correct? Wrong.

We all forget that movies create an ambience not just by shooting pretty or interesting images, or because the actors are awesome, or because they have a lot of money to create special effects. No, the one thing that we all take for granted is having music in a movie. Without the music, we’d be back in the silent film days, and I for one do not want to return to those less… colorful days.

In A Cappella, we rearrange copyrighted music all the time, every group at every single college does. I doubt anybody bothers to ask for permission to perform the music at a public venue, or for permission to change the song! But from what I have read, you need special permission.

Music is art, and the artist wants compensation and recognition for their work. Yes, that makes sense. However, I find it hard to believe that A Cappella groups, youtube videos, and other viral videos actually ask for permission to use copyrighted music in their productions. I am pretty certain there has been no headliner of a story pitting the copyright against youtube or college singing groups. For the number of youtube videos posted a day that use copyrighted music, I can’t imagine the authors are asking for permission to use the music in a public “performance”.

I am baffled by this concept of requesting permission to use a song in a video. It makes sense, we must protect the artist’s right to be creative and make a living out of it, but at the same time, shouldn’t it be a compliment that we find their music to be the perfect complement to our outstanding visuals?

I found this briefing though. I guess the copyrights have finally fought back.

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Botas Bonitas

I’ve held off from buying boots for years now, and this week I finally caved. Boots are definitely an investment. They don’t have to be, but for the boots I consider worth the money, they are. Fortunately though, I’ve been able to scout out cute boots at reasonable prices! This fall’s boots are beautiful, ranging from riding boots to cute suede boots. So I perused the different shoe sites (not including mostly expensive Zappos), and ended up purchasing my boots from Piperlime and Endless. First of all, these two sites have free shipping, Endless even has free overnight shipping! Secondly, they both have recommendations that can be sent to your inbox, or you can just check the sites daily 🙂

Here are the two boots I got:

Brown Suede Riding BootsGrey Suede Boots

and others I wish I could buy… if only, if only…

Over the Knee BootsBrown Riding BootsBrown Cowboy BootsBrown Cinched Boots

Chinese Laundry Trust Me: $99; White Mountain Longhorn: $89; Frye Cindy Slouch: $298; MIA Gelato Wedge Boot: $130

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