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Monna Vanna

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Linda
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Greetings everyone! I am very pleased to announce our production of Monna Vanna which will be running in Los Angeles Nov, 29-Dec. 16, 2007 and on our QCFA Arts Cruise departing from Galveston on January 6, 2008. Quent and I are the proud executive producers of what we believe to be the first live performances of Maurice Maeterlinck's masterfully written play in over 100 years. The play is being directed by Joel Marquez.

There is a new web site dedicated to the LA performances that features more information about the play, actors' bios and the ability to purchase tickets for only $25.

Of special interest is that we (Quent Cordair Fine Art) will be donating all of the ticket proceeds from the Dec. 2, 2008 matinée performance to the Ayn Rand Institute. The Stella Adler theater is a 99 seat theater. Space is limited, so you may want to secure your tickets for this very special performance soon.

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Our new blog featuring more information about the play, including interviews with the actors and the director as well as pod casts is now available online at www.see-monna-vanna.blogspot.com. Enjoy!

Linda, thanks for the links! I'm listening to it right now. You totally are making me want to withdraw my retirement money to go see this! But, I am still wondering, as before, if there are any plans to record the play in any form?

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Linda, thanks for the links! I'm listening to it right now. You totally are making me want to withdraw my retirement money to go see this! But, I am still wondering, as before, if there are any plans to record the play in any form?

Recording this production is a whole different project. :thumbsup: It has of course been discussed, but for a number of reasons no decisions have been made yet.

We'll definitely keep everyone posted if this happens.

Are you still on the east coast? PA? Just for grins, I check round trip airfare from PIT to LAX and believe it or not, fares start at $174. :) That plus a car and the $25 ticket and maybe a night's hotel, you would not have to rob the retirement fund. You could see this magnificent play for about $300-$350.

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Of special interest is that we (Quent Cordair Fine Art) will be donating all of the ticket proceeds from the Dec. 2, 2008 matinée performance to the Ayn Rand Institute. The Stella Adler theater is a 99 seat theater. Space is limited, so you may want to secure your tickets for this very special performance soon.

My apologies; I incorrectly posted the ARI benefit date as Dec. 2, 2008. It should read Dec. 2, 2007.

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Recording this production is a whole different project. :thumbsup: It has of course been discussed, but for a number of reasons no decisions have been made yet.

We'll definitely keep everyone posted if this happens.

Are you still on the east coast? PA? Just for grins, I check round trip airfare from PIT to LAX and believe it or not, fares start at $174. :) That plus a car and the $25 ticket and maybe a night's hotel, you would not have to rob the retirement fund. You could see this magnificent play for about $300-$350.

Oh my Linda! I will be calling my departments secretary in the morning, to see if any of the time is available for me to take off work from the hospital. I have plenty of PTO time built up to do so, just have to check for availablity.

As an aside, Emily Wing (the actress who will be playing Vanna) had mentioned in the last podcast (#3) near the end that the play was banned. I never knew that, and am having trouble finding out as to why and when. At best I found that it may have been due to the "immmorality of the plot." But I can't find a credible source for that. I find Emily's insight and perspective in regards to the play and Vanna's character very interesting indeed, especially her research methods, like looking at the Blackwater mercenaries in our time to see what Vanna was really up against in going to Prinzivalle's tent. I was wondering if we will be hearing a podcast from Bryant Romo (who is to play Prinzivalle in the play)?

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Oh my Linda! I will be calling my departments secretary in the morning, to see if any of the time is available for me to take off work from the hospital. I have plenty of PTO time built up to do so, just have to check for availablity.

As an aside, Emily Wing (the actress who will be playing Vanna) had mentioned in the last podcast (#3) near the end that the play was banned. I never knew that, and am having trouble finding out as to why and when. At best I found that it may have been due to the "immmorality of the plot." But I can't find a credible source for that. I find Emily's insight and perspective in regards to the play and Vanna's character very interesting indeed, especially her research methods, like looking at the Blackwater mercenaries in our time to see what Vanna was really up against in going to Prinzivalle's tent. I was wondering if we will be hearing a podcast from Bryant Romo (who is to play Prinzivalle in the play)?

I found several references online referencing censorship in England that included mentions on Monna Vanna. I love Google!

Good luck with your travel plans. I hope that you get to enjoy the play. :thumbsup:

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I found several references online referencing censorship in England that included mentions on Monna Vanna. I love Google!

Good luck with your travel plans. I hope that you get to enjoy the play. :)

Yes, thank you! I just saw your comment on the blog. I think that the time is available here at the hospital, and I'll have the money to go as well. I've never done anything like this before, but then again this IS Monna Vanna we are speaking of! :thumbsup: I want to make it to opening night! Thank you Linda, you have been so very helpful to me, as you always have been with my questions.

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Yes, thank you! I just saw your comment on the blog. I think that the time is available here at the hospital, and I'll have the money to go as well. I've never done anything like this before, but then again this IS Monna Vanna we are speaking of! :thumbsup: I want to make it to opening night! Thank you Linda, you have been so very helpful to me, as you always have been with my questions.

Quent and I will definitely be there for opening night, so if you make it we'll see you there. I'm sure that is going to be a busy night, be sure to get your tickets soon!

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Quent and I will definitely be there for opening night, so if you make it we'll see you there. I'm sure that is going to be a busy night, be sure to get your tickets soon!

Linda, just as soon as I was approved 2 days off at the hospital, I bought a ticket for opening night! So I'll be there, and probably have to catch a flight a few hours after that performance in order to get back to Pittsburgh to go straight to work the next night. I couldn't get that Friday off, so...ehh...sleep deprivation I'm used to, but I'm not sure what "jet lag" will do on top of that? Oh, well! I'll worry about that then, I only care about seeing the performance!! :thumbsup:

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Linda, just as soon as I was approved 2 days off at the hospital, I bought a ticket for opening night! So I'll be there, and probably have to catch a flight a few hours after that performance in order to get back to Pittsburgh to go straight to work the next night. I couldn't get that Friday off, so...ehh...sleep deprivation I'm used to, but I'm not sure what "jet lag" will do on top of that? Oh, well! I'll worry about that then, I only care about seeing the performance!! :(

Thanks for going to all that trouble to see the play. It will be a wonderful evening!

Spread the word, we want as many people to know about the play as possible, especially since it is such a limited engagement.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've just finished re-reading Monna Vanna.

What a story!

I hope the production of the play goes well. And I hope someday to see it being presented in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, as I won't be able to make it out to California.

The sense of honor, both individual and statesmanship, is rather amazing. And a woman who is in love with a man that she must honor above all else. I think that is what makes this such an amazing play. That only one man became worthy of her love, amids war and destruction.

Life rarely throws those kinds of choices at a man, so this is definitely larger than life.

But when such a decision is made, it is all or nothing.

Love, in the rational sense of trusting by knowing another's character, is a rare find.

Don't betray it when it comes your turn to make that decision.

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I've just finished re-reading Monna Vanna.

I'm never finished re-reading Monna Vanna.

I hope the production of the play goes well.

Emily Wing and the director Joel Marquez have left me no doubt that it won't go well, after having listened to them in the podcasts, particularly Emily. She shines like a star with her brilliance now, she won't even need a spotlight for the audience to notice her when she's onstage! ;)

And I hope someday to see it being presented in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, as I won't be able to make it out to California.

When it's success in Hollywood is known, it will get the attention of other theaters and they will want it performed in theirs. Thomas, if you can't make it out to LA, it's also going to be performed on the QCFA Arts Cruise here.

That only one man became worthy of her love, amids war and destruction.

**Spoiler Alert**

Love in the most intimate, romantic sense, yes. But what I find most amazing myself about the play, is the character of Prinzivalle, particularly his love for Vanna. He never settled for any woman in his life after having loved her, even though they were young at the time. But what took him away from her in Pisa, and with her mother dying, it had changed the course of their lives, but it was Prinzivalle that tried to bring it all back on course again, with that one most important night.

Edited by intellectualammo
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Steve, thanks for the support and we're looking forward to seeing you on opening night.

I'm never finished re-reading Monna Vanna.

Emily Wing and the director Joel Marquez have left me no doubt that it won't go well, after having listened to them in the podcasts, particularly Emily. She shines like a star with her brilliance now, she won't even need a spotlight for the audience to notice her when she's onstage! :confused:

When it's success in Hollywood is known, it will get the attention of other theaters and they will want it performed in theirs. Thomas, if you can't make it out to LA, it's also going to be performed on the QCFA Arts Cruise here.

Well, if you think she's great on the podcast, you should see her perform.

I've worked with a lot of actors and I don't think I've ever met anyone who so "got it" intellectually, and was able to translate that into action and performance.

This is really a perfect role for her. She's such a passionate and formidable person, and to see her sink her teeth into this character is terribly rewarding. She told me that Vanna teaches her something every day, and I'm lucky enough to get to see that happen.

Of course, everyone in the show is great, but we worked really hard to make that happen. We had over 1000 submissions for this production. Having been in rehearsals for the last 8 weeks, I can tell you that this show cannot possibly work without great actors such as the ones we have. Frankly, I don't think I could do this show anywhere else except LA, NYC, or London, just because of the concentration of quality acting talent.

And while I would love to see productions of Monna Vanna happen around the country, I think it's unlikely you'll see a great one unless you can get a great cast together (which is unbelievably hard). That's why I'm treating this production as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So, to anyone else reading this, if you have the chance, do what Steve is doing and come out to Hollywood. You won't regret it.

Joel

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And while I would love to see productions of Monna Vanna happen around the country, I think it's unlikely you'll see a great one unless you can get a great cast together (which is unbelievably hard). That's why I'm treating this production as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Welcome to the forum, Joel! Thank you for posting a reply. I think your confidence in your cast is just so indicative of how great this performance is going to be. I think that is directly reflected in having these podcasts. We can judge your cast, at least on some level, before we even see them onstage, which can be risky, but certainly not with the cast you have chosen. After having read your reply, I now can fully understand just how this particular production is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, considering the casting.

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Well, if you think she's great on the podcast, you should see her perform.

I've worked with a lot of actors and I don't think I've ever met anyone who so "got it" intellectually, and was able to translate that into action and performance.

I have the impression, Joel, that if you hadn't of found such a great cast, that this would never have hit the stage, until you did. I remember Prinzivalle's quote (which is one of my favorite ones) "Had there come ten thousand of you into my tent, all equally fair, ten thousand sisters whom even their mother could not tell apart, I should have risen, should have taken your hand, and said, 'This is she!'". This quote is especially applicable to Emily in two different ways: She is extremely unique to you, as she is to Prinzivalle. I imagine you doing this in a way with picking the rest of your cast from the 1000 submissions - You knew what you had in mind, and if there were no matches from those submitted, there would be no play, as evidence your quote on not being able to find such a cast just anywhere, only places that have a "concentration of quality acting talent". You aren't looking for the mediocre in this, but the great, and only when you had found it, would it be able to take stage. I'm thrilled that it has all come together as it has, and I finally get to see this produced.

Oh, and (in podcast #8) it's a Japanese proverb: "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down."

Podcast #9 is up now, for those listening to them. In this one we meet Marco!

Edited by intellectualammo
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I have the impression, Joel, that if you hadn't of found such a great cast, that this would never have hit the stage, until you did. I remember Prinzivalle's quote (which is one of my favorite ones) "Had there come ten thousand of you into my tent, all equally fair, ten thousand sisters whom even their mother could not tell apart, I should have risen, should have taken your hand, and said, 'This is she!'". This quote is especially applicable to Emily in two different ways: She is extremely unique to you, as she is to Prinzivalle. I imagine you doing this in a way with picking the rest of your cast from the 1000 submissions - You knew what you had in mind, and if there were no matches from those submitted, there would be no play, as evidence your quote on not being able to find such a cast just anywhere, only places that have a "concentration of quality acting talent". You aren't looking for the mediocre in this, but the great, and only when you had found it, would it be able to take stage. I'm thrilled that it has all come together as it has, and I finally get to see this produced.

Oh, and (in podcast #8) it's a Japanese proverb: "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down."

Podcast #9 is up now, for those listening to them. In this one we meet Marco!

In truth, the producers had booked a theater, put down real money, and advertised the production as part of their arts cruise, so we were mandated to find a way to make it work no matter what. However, you can be sure that if we hadn't found our great cast, we would have just tried harder until we did. We had the benefit of giving ourselves enough time to make the decisions, so we weren't constrained by a bad deadline.

It's funny you should mention that Prinzivalle quote, because that was what I had picked for the audition sides. And, oh lord, you haven't lived until you've seen that monologue done 20 times, very badly.

I think about that, every now and then, about how completely unbearable it would be to try to do Monna Vanna without a great cast. It would be unbearable with a just OK cast, or even a slightly better than average cast. I said this to Emily the other day that when I think about how random it was that I met her at that weird audition last year, how close we came to not meeting, and how completely inconceivable it is to do Vanna without her, it sends a chill up my spine.

Fortunately, it's not something I have to worry about.

So Steve, I have a question for you and anyone who might be interested.

We're recording another episode or two this weekend. Are there any questions that you have for us at this stage? We'd like to devote some time to answering listener questions, if there are any.

Please let us know, and again, thanks for the kind thoughts.

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So Steve, I have a question for you and anyone who might be interested.

We're recording another episode or two this weekend. Are there any questions that you have for us at this stage? We'd like to devote some time to answering listener questions, if there are any.

Joel, get out a pen and paper, here they come! :) :

**caution spoilers**

Talking points:

1. How about mentioning why the show on Dec. 2 is going to be an ARI benefit show.

2. I am positive Robin Field is aquainted some with Ayn Rand's writing and Objectivism, how about the rest of you, to what extent?

3. What do you any of you think about Prinzivalle when he was in Pisa again, and finding out that Vanna's mother had died, and that she married Guido, and Prinzivalle did not attempt to see her, because I think he thought she must really love him, in more a romantic intimate sense (than she actually did) because she was his wife. He says he didn't see her because he didn't want to "trouble the joy and the love that you had found." I can respect that. He thought he had nothing to offer such a woman, which I can relate to. So he made a name for himself...

4. What do you think Prinzivalle would have done had Vanna not come to his tent? The victuals, ammo, and so forth would still have been sent to Pisa, right?

5. Anyone care to speculate on what Prinzivalle's life was like all those years, from his being taken away by his father from Pisa all he way up to that night?

6. It was never said as far as I know in the play what Vanna had thought happened to Prinzivalle when she went looking for him and he did not come, when they were young. Any speculations on what she may have felt? or thought?

7. Vanna's mother died leaving her in poverty and she became the "prey of a thousand calumnies" because of her beauty, her situation. Any thoughts on her state then and when Guido took her as his wife?

8. What was it like for women back in that time? Go more into the context/setting of the play too.

9. Some of the actions that Vanna takes in this play, are not ones normal women would be so bold and brave to do at that time, right? Especially what she does when she comes back with Prinzivalle. Talk about that some.

Edited by intellectualammo
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We are happy to see so many people getting excited about the performance. Opening night is only 5 days away! If you know anyone in the LA area that would enjoy seeing this gem, please let them know about it. With all of our resources it is still impossible to reach everyone with the news. I don't want anyone saying, "I would have loved to have been there, but I did not know about it." Thanks for any assistance you can provide in getting the word out.

Quent and I will be there for opening night, again on Dec 2 and for Dec 15 and 16. We are very honored to be bringing this masterfully written play back to the stage. Many thanks to Joel, Lizbeth, Jeanette, Judith and the entire cast for being so great to work with and for helping make our dream a reality.

See you in LA! post-658-1196020669_thumb.jpg

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Three new episodes for the Monna Vanna podcast have been posted.

We're up to #12 now.

Do a search in the iTunes store for Monna Vanna podcast, and you'll be able to download or subscribe to the podcast.

Joel

p.s. We weren't able to get to your questions, Steve, but hopefully you'll get them answered when you see the play. :)

Thats okay Joel. Those last two podcasts are my favorite! #11 is the best! Some of what I was wondering about has already been answered in #12. I'm at the airport right now about to board to start my way over to LA!

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Thats okay Joel. Those last two podcasts are my favorite! #11 is the best! Some of what I was wondering about has already been answered in #12. I'm at the airport right now about to board to start my way over to LA!

Hey Steve, I don't know if you'll get this but if you're in LA right now, come out to the theater. We have our last dress rehearsal tonight, scheduled for 6pm. It would be nice to have more of an audience.

Joel

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