Written by CEO & Founder, Toro Adeyemi
When the opportunity came to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway this past Friday, I immediately cleared my schedule. Why now versus any other of the 8 shows a week that the show runs? Carnegie Mellon University alumni, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., would be taking the stage for one week, making his Broadway debut 3 months after graduating from the Purnell School of Drama in 2013.
I took my seat in the front row of the mezzanine – I generally prefer elevated seating on Broadway so that I get a better view of the choreography and scenic design. The pre-show buzz was energetic and contagious as everyone in the theater was ready to watch what the creators of South Park had produced for the theater.
Needless to the say, the show was phenomenal.
The music, the costume, the set, the dance, the direction, the characters, the plot, the content… Never a dull moment, all executed beautifully.
After the performance, we were able to go backstage through the stage door, at which point I recognized that this was a theater I had been to four years ago when the space hosted Spring Awakening. This was back when a friend and I would take the 5:30am train from Ossining to wait in line for $35 rush tickets (we did this on two separate occasions).
After enjoying a closer look at the set and props, we went backstage and took a peak at the dressing rooms before heading back out to the street.
After our tour and chatting outside for a little while, a young man walked outside who I recognized as the lead actor, Elder Price. As is natural and customary, I told him I enjoyed his performance and, as we began chatting briefly, he started to look more and more familiar up close. Having mentioned that I had not been back at this theater since Spring Awakening in 2009, it clicked—this was Matt Doyle, the actor who had substituted for Hunter Parrish the second time I had seen Spring Awakening on Broadway. It was nice to see that he had moved forward from stand-in to lead in a Tony award winning musical.
A reminder that the world of theater can be a small one!
If you can, grab some friends and/or family who will appreciate the outlandish obscenity and SEE THIS SHOW!
Written by CEO & Founder, Toro Adeyemi
This past weekend, we finished up filming Uncovering Eden, a short independent film written and directed by Chelsea Lupkin (see the Story below). As the Marketing Producer for this film, it was my job to craft a press release and to reach out to possible backers for the Kickstarter campaign. This included social media outreach as well as taking more traditional avenues by reaching out to bloggers, reporters and editors via relevant forums (Jewish websites, local news stations, etc).
With about 5 days or so left in the campaign, it was pretty nerve-wracking! We were thousands of dollars away from our goal and the pressure was on. Thankfully we saw some big numbers as the clock wound down and, naturally since I am writing about the filming process, we made and then exceeded our goal.
Another role I played was as Assistant Director, and during the first week of filming this was particularly important due to the number of extra’s on set. We had to conduct a good deal of blocking to make the hallway scene as fluid and natural as possible, and the shots turned out great.
It was especially fun to get to chat with this young group of high school actors: some were eager to be heading off to college, others were enjoying their summers, and all were excited to just be there and be a part of the movie. It was interesting for me to see them, so young, not having lived away from home or gone off to college yet—it certainly reminded me of my age and all that I have experienced, and it reminded me of how excited I was to head off to Carnegie Mellon University 5 years ago.
The second week of filming had a much smaller cast, namely the lead, Edie, and her grandmother. Set in a house in Yardley PA, the final shots were both the sweet interactions between the two as well as the more tense scenes. Seeing both Chelsea and our Director of Photography, Jason Krangel, craft each shot was insightful to watch.
Our day ended with the strange feeling and realization that we were all done filming…and some champagne to celebrate of course!
We had our behind the scenes shots taken by Chaz Boyd and his Nikon (don’t bring your Canon’s around him, folks!). This one is a personal favorite from the first weekend.
The adventures of post-production are before us. We’ll keep you posted on when Uncovering Eden premieres!
I’d like to give a very special shout out to our friends at Eco-Bags Products, Inc. for providing the swag we gave to the cast and crew! The organic cotton reusable Hudson bags were a great way to personalize the gifts, and we filled the organic produce bags with freshly picked peppers, eggplants, blackberries, tomatoes, string beans and thyme.
Check out the photo gallery for some behind the scenes photos!
Be sure to like Toro Communications on Facebook!
Actress Victoria Pedretti, who plays Edie in Uncovering Eden.
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