On Friday October 18, 2019; Krannert Center for the performing arts held its annual University of Illinois Bands Homecoming concert. It was a beautiful concert that consisted if the Wind Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra, and the Marching Illini in honor of Homecoming week. It was a wonderful experience with beautiful live music, and a great audience.
Gem of the Ocean is a play that combines both acting and dancing to tell a story that takes place in the early 1900s in Pittsburgh.
As I entered the theater and walked to my seat, I analyzed the stage set up. The cool, dim lights gave the house a cold feeling. The house was empty and the background was a picture of snowy mountains. The wooden walls or borders were of an ashy dark wood, which made the house seem warn down and old. Once the play began, the lights inside the house lit up, creating a warm and rusty environment. The characters in the play wore a variety of outfits. Women wore blouses with long skirts that reached their ankles. Some men wore white shirts similar to tuxedo shirts, long pants with suspenders, long trench coats, and hats. Others, like the sheriff, wore a suit to portray wealth.
One character I found interesting was Citizen Barlow. The other characters have mentioned a man who stole a bucket of nails multiple times, and no one knew who it was. However, when talking to Aunt Ester, Citizen confesses by pulling out a bucket of nails from his bag. In the beginning of the play, we see Citizen desperately trying to get money and did not take responsibility for his actions. Yet, throughout the first part of the play, we see Citizen’s character development. He confessed what he kept to himself, listened to Aunt Ester’s advice, and began to seek for a better life.
In Colwell Playhouse at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Geoff Sobelle’s Homecaptivated the audience on Friday night. The play brought together theater, illusions, and some impressive engineering for the set that was used. The performance pressed the audience to consider the true meaning of a home as we watched the lives of several characters play out in one space.
Home became the best show I’ve ever watched last week. It was abusolutely amazing for me and, I believe, for everyone. Everything about the show including the actors, scenes, and plays.
At first, I was confused with the meaning of the story the show was trying to tell, so I was trying hard to understand every details the show displayed. At the same time, I was surprised by the tricks the actors were doing. They could just change themselves to another actor by hide themselves for a second, and that was the point I started getting interested in the show.
Later, I was getting into the story of the show. Home was telling a story about a home in which several people live. All these people seemed unrelated in the first place, but they were actually interrelated to each other. The interactions between each roles were really sweet and I felt a sense of warm inside the theatre.
At last, we were hyped by the plot where they invited plenty of the audience to the stage and participate. There was a scene depicted a night when everyone inside the house invited all kinds of friends to have a large party. I must say I enjoyed the plot so much that I was smiling all the time towards the end.
In the end, all the audience stood up and applauded for all the actors who showed up. Home is not just a show for me, but a real sweet home that night.
On September 27th, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts showcased the play Home in the Colwell Playhouse. The play slowly evolved from the silent story of one man who had built a house, the the stories of several people, each living out their own lives in the same home, unaware of the other’s very existence. Towards the end, even the audience became a central role in the amazing play, both in on stage participation and in helping to set the mood for the scene.
From the beginning of the one-act play by Geoff Sobelle, Home was a little confusing for me. And as the story went on I was still confused. It was a lot of inner working parts that require people to sit down and replay what they saw and felt. Even though I was confused and was struggling to find meaning, now as I am looking back I realized I kind of enjoyed the display.
Geoff Sobelle’s “Home” showcases a mix of music and theatre while building a house from scratch at Colwell Playhouse in KCPA on September 27th, 2019.
“Home” starts off with a man wondering around on stage, picking up lanterns, and building a small wall out of wood and plastic sheets. As the play goes on, more characters start appearing, including the construction workers who quickly built a house in front of our very eyes. There was a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, and office within the house. Room decor, like pictures and vases, and furniture, like couches and desks, decorated the home while the residents unpacked. The stage quickly transformed into a warm home with ambient noises, wind blowing, leaves ruffling, and dog barking, mixed with realistic lighting that portrayed day and night.
As the story unfolds, we see the daily life of each resident, from waking up to doing chores to arguing with each other. Seeing each resident live their own lives made me think and reflect on my own experiences at home. The play made me think about my morning routine and hectic schedules that I follow on a daily basis back at home and in my dorm at university. At the end of the play, the residents one by one began packing their belongings and moving out. This act made me think about the time I was moving from Minnesota to California, and then moving to university in Illinois. As a result, I could sympathize with the actors as they portrayed their lives.
To my surprise, the actors also interacted with the audience throughout the play, whether it was offering food and drinks, asking for people to stand and hold strings of lights, singing happy birthday, or bringing them on stage to be part of the act. It made the audience feel cheerful, as if they were also a part of or invited to the party. I thought this strengthened the connection between the audience and the actors to create a lasting impression and to sympathize with them by drawing more of the audience’s attention to the scene.
I look forward to watching Chris Botti before the start of it because I’ve always been interested in Jazz music and I heard Chris Botti is a famous Jazz musician playing the trumpet. Every year, I watch a few music performance and I must say I love each of them when I was watching.
When I sat on my seat and started waiting for the show to begin, I started thinking all the performances I watched before and relating them with the show I was about to watch that night. So, basically, I was trying to remember my own experiences with Jazz music. However, the show turned out to be completely different from what I imagined. The Jazz music Chris Botti and his band played was more modern instead of traditional music, and it is exactly where I want to start describing my favorite part of the show. The part that made me feel that the music was more modern was the drummer. He was highly excited and active and there was a part for his single play. Every one was hyped by his performance and he was doing all kinds of tricks with the drummer and making me feel beautiful. Also, I found other people around me start moving their bodies and it seemed like everyone was dancing during a show we’re supposed to sit quietly.
Chris Botti’s interaction with the audience was another point that I noticed. His interaction with the audience was similar with Buddy Guy, because they both walked off the floor and played the instruments. Chris Botti walked towards the audience started moving along the road, and finally stopped by the middle of it. He started playing with himself standing there and making eye contacts with the audience around him. I feel his interactions were hard to ignore and we became even more concentrated when he did that. In addition to the physically interactions, Chris Botti talked a lot to the audience about his stories and the introductions of his band members. Chris’ amusing tone entertained all of us that day and it was one of the reasons that made the show a success.
I enjoyed Chris Botti’s performance, and all the other musicians’ as well. They form a band that perfectly assist each other during the performance with music and movements. All the performances I watched before has a band that played together, but Chris allowed every band members to have their own moments to show their unique personalities.
Chris Botti was an amazing show for me, and I would never forget him, even though I never heard him before. To be honest, it’s probably hard for me to watch his performance again, but I will link the show to my memory and I will never forget him when I think of art in the future.
On September 14, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Chris Botti featuring Lee Pearson, Reggie Hamilton, Leonardo Amuedo, Holger Marjamaa, Andy Snitzer, Anastasiia Mazurok, Sy Smith, and Rafael Moras; performed an amazing mixture of what a friend called “aggressive elevator music” which in reality was Jazz mixed with Classical.
On September 14th, Chris Botti performed at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts with a group of talented jazz musicians. The powerful music filled Tryon Festival Center and took a variety of tempos, tones, and styles to transform this performance into something special.