I went to the Nashville Opera today for the House of Usher Philip Glass show. Pictured here is lead actress Jennifer Zetlan, who played Roderick's twin sister, Madeline Usher. She is buried alive and comes back from the dead as you see her here, very much worse for wear.
It was a beautiful 70 degree day, and as I parked and walked to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center I heard fireworks going off in the distance as the Tennessee Titans, whose stadium is just a couple of miles from there, scored on the Buffalo Bills (Go Titans)!
The Nashville Opera asked me to come be a judge for their zombie costume contest... I had wondered how zombies tied into the play, and with the return of Madeline pictured above it made perfect sense. Before the show director John Hoomes did a pre-show talk, giving some behind the scenes information on the play, Philip Glass, and the Nashville production of this play.
Doc Gangrene and Director John Hoomes
Afterwards the show began, and it was a multimedia show with giant screens that had imagery and animation projected onto them. The actors interacted with them, and most of the backgrounds and sets were actually projected. It was visually stunning, and quite the unique show. The music was all Philip Glass, and amazing.
During the intermission the zombies gathered. I was a judge, along with one of the actors (Paul Dawson) who played the family physician in this performance.
(actor Paul Dawson)
So we gathered them all and voted on them in three categories - they tallied the votes...
Contestants with Doc Gangrene and Paul Dawson
and the winner was this lovely paper-mache headed fellow who had a brain and eyeball hanging out of the socket!
Director John Hoomes presents zombie dvd prize pack to winning zombie
After intermission they finished the performance, and had a post-show talk with the director, actors, maestro, and special effects technician.
It was a fun time and I appreciate being invited to take part. Hopefully they'll do more gothic shows in the future. To find out more about the Nashville Opera go to:
http://www.nashvilleopera.org/Usher.htmlDoc backstage with Reed Hummell, Director of MarketingDirector John Hoomes with actress Jennifer Zetlan