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Monna Vanna

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Linda
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11. How did this play come about, QCFA, right? Why'd they want this play produced? (Linda?)

Hi Steve,

Quent attended a lecture by Leonard Peikoff about 15 years ago. The lecture was titled "Eight Great Plays." That was Quent's introduction to "Monna Vanna."

Ever since then he has wanted to see it performed live. When we were putting together the QCFA Arts Cruise and considering content, "Monna Vanna" was considered as a possibility. Quent contacted Joel to see if he would be interested in directing the play. Lucky for us, he was intertested. After careful consideration, we decided that if someone was going to bring this masterpiece back to the stage, it might as well be us. :lol: So there you have it, a dream realized, starting tomorrow.

Edited by Linda
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Hi Steve,

Quent attended a lecture by Leonard Peikoff about 15 years ago. The lecture was titled "Eight Great Plays." That was Quent's introduction to "Monna Vanna."

Ever since then he has wanted to see it performed live. When we were putting together the QCFA Arts Cruise and considering content, "Monna Vanna" was considered as a possibility. Quent contacted Joel to see if he would be interested in directing the play. Lucky for us, he was intertested. After careful consideration, we decided that if someone was going to bring this masterpiece back to the stage, it might as well be us. :lol: So there you have it, a dream realized, starting tomorrow.

I have my floating seat reserved.

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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!

Hi Steve,

Thank you for attending the opening night performance of "Monna Vanna." I hope that you enjoyed the performance and that you made it home safely.

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Hi Steve,

Thank you for attending the opening night performance of "Monna Vanna." I hope that you enjoyed the performance and that you made it home safely.

As you said it would be, it was an amazing night! I just got back into Pittsburgh just a few hours ago and went straight to work, where I am now. I couldn't access this forum for some reason, even though I had no trouble with any other site when I was in LA, so I didn't get Joel's message, but when you intro'd me to Quent, Joel told me about how the dress rehearsal went...(I'll leave it at that) I almost did something totally irresponsible in Atlanta, by taking a later flight in exchange for free round trip tickets! I so would have come back to see it again with this cast! But I had to get back to work at the hospital. I've been beating myself up over it for the last few hours, but I did the right thing, but still!

I think I had the best seat at the Adler! Right in front. Lots of action took place on that side! Emily was right in front of me! Guido nearly pushed Prinzivalle into me in the last scene. I was totally astonished by Guido's performance. He has such a powerful voice. I didn't expect any of that, such great acting on his par, he really made Guido the tragic character he is in the play. Emily really took control at the end with what she did. She wasn't so silent then as she was in the beginning. I would have liked to have stayed for the reception afterwards, and perhaps got to talking to Emily (the Greek mythology nerd) about the story of Pygmalion (my favorite), which I have done a drastic recontexualization/renarration of it in my writings, but I actually got lost coming to see the play, and only had so much time to find my way back, check out of my hotel, return my car, and get to LAX. I've never done anything like this before, but I'm so glad that I did.

Thank you for the free catalogue! (I saw the price on it later, and almost put it back, I just couldn't accept it...but I did!) I have introduced a lot of people to QCFA gallery, because anytime I mention Romantic Realism, it always involves the Cordair gallery. Now I can open up the catalogue and show them, instead of telling them to go to the website. (well, now I'll do both)

All I know, is that what I had to go through just to see this play, is nothing compared to what your husband and Joel went through to see it finally performed. We all did what we had to to see it. And I want to thank you all for bringing this play to the stage!

Linda, have you told the forum about the new painting?

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Linda or Joel,

I haven't had a chance to check the podcasts, and I didn't happen to catch a reference on your website.

Are reserved tickets required? Can tix be purchased at the door?

Thanks!

Also...

If any other SoCal people know of any Orange County stores or libraries that carry the play (in English!), then I would appreciate the info. TIA!

Edited by tps_fan
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Linda or Joel,

I haven't had a chance to check the podcasts, and I didn't happen to catch a reference on your website.

Are reserved tickets required? Can tix be purchased at the door?

Thanks!

Also...

If any other SoCal people know of any Orange County stores or libraries that carry the play (in English!), then I would appreciate the info. TIA!

Some of the performances are getting very full. I highly recommend getting your tickets in advance. www.monna-vanna.com

Here is the link to the podcasts. http://see-monna-vanna.blogspot.com/

The Ayn Rand book store has a supply of the book. :)

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If any other SoCal people know of any Orange County stores or libraries that carry the play (in English!), then I would appreciate the info.

Yes, the Ayn Rand Bookstore has it as Linda said. That's in Irvine, and isn't that in Orange County too? Here is a link to the play that is sold at that bookstore. I bought it almost 3 years ago when it was on sale there. The play is a quick read too, of which I have gone through several times recently (as well as before). I've bought three of them, and I think that I am also going to buy more soon as gifts this year, since this play is all that I have been talking about!

There are plenty of spoilers in the podcasts, but when you make your way up to #11 and hear of Cupid and Psyche that Emily was talking about, and the meaning of the cloak and so forth, you'll know why that's my favorite podcast. What I have heard being brought up in the podcasts have totally broadened my understanding of the play, and added much more depth to it for me as well. And to think, Emily didn't, as she said, do an in depth study of the play, that all that was just from off the top of her head...my god...dare I even think of what she'd say if she had! I can hear the excitement in her voice when she had spoken of the relational discoveries that she had found with the play, and I'm so happy that she shared them with us in the podcast.

That painting of Monna Vanna was a complete surprise to me. As soon as I saw it I knew it was done by Larsen. I don't need the painting though to remind me of Vanna. Fortunately my memory had saved plenty of room for that play to be remembered on opening night, because I had no idea if I would ever see a Vanna like Emily ever again...and I knew I never would after having watched the entire play, so opening night was my last night to see the play as well. I'm convinced no actress could top Emily on or off stage with this play so I need never to see it performed again. But...then again if Joel was the director of it, then there might be hope. :)

Edited by intellectualammo
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(sigh....) IMPOSSIBLE!!! It did not happen!!! :o:D

I'm telling you that I am still trying to recover from what I experienced last night. In fact, after the show, I walked more than a block past the parking structure where my car was, and I didn't notice. When I realized that I had to backtrack, I didn't care. I was floating! When I got home, I had to sit in my car. By the time I got indoors, it was 2am. ...it could have been 11:02pm for all I knew!

God, I felt like I could have written 15 pages last night...

STUPEFYING! UTTERLY FEARLESS!

You remember how it was to read _The Fountainhead_ for the first time? You know how it "ruined" literature i.e. how it completely shredded your presumptions about the discipline? _Monna Vanna_ on stage does this ...in spades. BLISTERING! GODLIKE!

I already could care less about the film industry. Now, I fear that I will feel the same way about theater... I was thinking that I will cry when this play closes; well, I am ready to cry now. I am actually jealous _of myself_ since a person can never have their first time experience again! Anyone who knowingly and purposely misses this play when he could have attended is someone I don't want to fraternize with, period.

Joel, you apparently don't remember me at the moment, (and that's perfectly fine of course) but I want to punch you in the shoulder HARD! All these years, and I didn't know that you had THIS in you! GOOD GOD!

Congratulations, you and your team totally earned it!!!!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, the Ayn Rand Bookstore has it as Linda said. That's in Irvine, and isn't that in Orange County too? Here is a link to the play that is sold at that bookstore.

I wish.... that is, I wish there were a brick and mortar store of the sort. ARB is an arm of ARI, and certain people would have some choices words for me if I just showed up there to buy a book, I suppose. :D

That painting of Monna Vanna was a complete surprise to me. As soon as I saw it I knew it was done by Larsen. I don't need the painting though to remind me of Vanna. Fortunately my memory had saved plenty of room for that play to be remembered on opening night, because I had no idea if I would ever see a Vanna like Emily ever again...and I knew I never would after having watched the entire play, so opening night was my last night to see the play as well. I'm convinced no actress could top Emily on or off stage with this play so I need never to see it performed again. But...then again if Joel was the director of it, then there might be hope. :o

I just recently spotted the painting online for the first time. He's got his own featured webpages here as well.

I likely have to agree with you about Emily. In fact, _now_ I find the idea of Jolie as Dagny to be rather laughable in light of Miss Wing's work. Emily would probably utterly suck the part dry for everything it's worth!

Edited by tps_fan
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God, I felt like I could have written 15 pages last night...

Haha! I know exactly what you mean! I was writing just before the play started (in between reading Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac for the first time) and in between Act 1 and 2 (or as Joel likes to call "the act of love" hehe). When I left, and found my way back to my hotel, all I did was write, up until I had to check out and return to the airport.

You remember how it was to read _The Fountainhead_ for the first time? You know how it "ruined" literature i.e. how it completely shredded your presumptions about the discipline? _Monna Vanna_ on stage does this ...in spades. BLISTERING! GODLIKE!

Yes! And I'm so very proud to be have been there on opening night. I could not bear to wait a single night more when I knew that this play was finally being performed on stage. I HAD to be there THAT night. I could not wait any longer. I had to work 3 double shifts the week I left for LA (that's 10 shifts in 7 days) coupled with the sleep deprivation and the jet lag, I still managed, when my head finally hit my makeshift pillow when I returned home (after working another shift at the hospital directly after my flight came back into Pittsburgh), to say in a tired whisper, as my eyes closed - "It was so worth it."

I likely have to agree with you about Emily. In fact, _now_ I find the idea of Jolie as Dagny to be rather laughable in light of Miss Wing's work. Emily would probably utterly suck the part dry for everything it's worth!

Yeah! All she'd have to do is dye her hair! I wonder how familiar she is with Rand's works? Did you listen to the podcasts?

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I feel compelled to start with a general comment in defense of this play as well as the artform. I want people to be made very aware of why they should not be daunted by this work. It is NOT necessary to have read the text before seeing this play! Without giving much away, I would just say that Maeterlinck is such a masterful writer that the play "takes care of" the audience i.e. the play is quite accessible... even a century later. Believe this, if a patron is just willing to come to this work with avid attention, then he will be repaid spiritually in multiples.

I liken theater (or at least this rendition) to be something along the lines of an experiential hybrid between seeing a great movie and seeing a great concert. As a patron, you get to see a story unfold as in a movie, but that story is delivered with the presence (and sheer brow-sweat) that you would normally associate with an intense live musical performance. (This version of the play is not lacking in physicality!)

Beyond the aforementioned, I was thinking about how this specific story doesn't so much arc as much as it climbs exponentially. I will be interested to see if the cast transitions from the 2nd act to the 3rd in the same manner viz. with the same type of dexterity as I witnessed last weekend. The 3rd act is worth the price of admission by itself not only for the emotional escalation. The plot development is astounding, and that was actually the one overriding aspect that really reminded me of _Atlas Shrugged_ though I would not dare refer to either Maeterlinck or Rand as derivative.

Hey Steve,

Yes! And I'm so very proud to be have been there on opening night. I could not bear to wait a single night more when I knew that this play was finally being performed on stage. I HAD to be there THAT night. I could not wait any longer.

No argument here! In fact, I will bear a fair amount of angst this week as I didn't see the play this weekend, but I have EVERY intention of being in Hollywood next weekend. (I'm in the same boat as you since I've only seen _Monna Vanna_ once so far.)

Yeah! All she'd have to do is dye her hair! I wonder how familiar she is with Rand's works? Did you listen to the podcasts?

I'm not yet ready to hazard a guess as to how familiar Miss Wing is with Ayn Rand's writing, but she certainly seems to be the sort of person who is "primed" for that literature. :-D

I just finished listening to the first podcast. HA! Oh man... When Joel said, "...I mean both.." I had to chuckle because seriously... only an Objectivist would be that mindful. Also, yes.... when I first read the synopsis for the play, _that_ movie came to mind. (sigh) When Joel responded with, "...sorry, Robert Redford..." I yelled out a laugh! Gads, that movie is simply trite, but then I have a similar response to _Pretty Woman_. I just find that whole approach to movie-making to be insulting and uninteresting. (Yes, I still blame Modernism for that trend.)

Despite my utter ignorance of (classical) theater, I can easily recognize Miss Wing's insight. She made some wonderful conceptual connections there. ...so I will continue to try to inform myself (as well as assuage my temporary disappointment with missing the play) by listening to more podcasts. Jeez, they contrasted Romantic Realism and Naturalism in this very first podcast!

Also, I have the book on order from Amazon. They had a couple of used copies of the text _in hardback_ for 3$!!!!

I am interested in seeing Christina Valo offer an alternate Giovanna. In the meantime, the "love triangle" leads who I saw last weekend are all stellar. It's simply a rock-solid cast.

Steve, I'm impressed by the lengths that you went to see this play, but as supportive as I was last week, I continue to only be more impressed with the original work as well as the new production currently on offer.

Again, I consider myself to be rather illiterate, but if I can appreciate this work without having the benefit of attending many staged performances, then I fail to see why many others wouldn't greatly value this play as well.

Los Angeles, take a moment to wake from your jadedness, and go see this! :-D

Edited by tps_fan
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Hi,

Just a little factual note. Emily was only able to do the first show, on 11/29. She was replaced for health reasons. (She's doing much better now, but won't be able to come back to the show.)

Christina Valo has done every show since then, so if you didn't see the show on opening night, you saw Christina playing Vanna.

Joel

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  • 1 year later...

I've finally been able to find a different translation of Monna Vanna. I'm not able to read it just yet, but I will shortly. I was wondering if anyone knows why ARB decided to republish the (1903) Alexis Irenee du Pont Coleman translation? That's the same translation used in the stage production of Monna Vanna, too. Any reason why that one was used? I have one next to me the play that's benn translated by Alfred Sutro (1907). Anyone read this one? I'm always curious as to what's gained or lost in translation, and I remember Emily Wing commenting on how beautiful the language is in Monna Vanna (Coleman translation) and I wonder how that language is treated in the Sutro translation. I'll read and find out soon enough. I'll have both plays side by side when I read it again. I'm excited! I have three other plays of his to read first though, before getting to that one again.

(edit to add: I took a quick peek at this translation (couldn't resist!) and Sutro makes a note on Monna Vanna that in his translation "no alteration whatever has been made without the full approval of the author".)

Edited by intellectualammo
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  • 5 months later...

Anyone know why monna-vanna.com is no longer functional? I was recently at a meeting with the producer of the recent play but didn't talk to her much, and I recently referred to Monna Vanna to a friend and found out monna-vanna.com not long has anything about the play on it. I didn't take the time to watch the clips, regrettably, and don't know if the video of the play is still available or not.

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Anyone know why monna-vanna.com is no longer functional? I was recently at a meeting with the producer of the recent play but didn't talk to her much, and I recently referred to Monna Vanna to a friend and found out monna-vanna.com not long has anything about the play on it. I didn't take the time to watch the clips, regrettably, and don't know if the video of the play is still available or not.

Video clips? I never saw anything like that while that site was up. The podcasts are still on iTunes for your listening pleasure though. I'd say that since the play's production is over, why keep the site going since it had to do with that particular production, dates actors/actresses involved in the production.

If there are any videoclips of the production out there or a video done on this and no one told me...

We were told on opening night - no recording or anything of the like of the play (although I did capture some of it on the white film of the page I was writing on while there, before the lights went out :P ).

Maybe you are thinking of the podcasts, of which can also be listvned to on this site/blog that's still functional.

Edited by intellectualammo
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  • 1 year later...

Since I am back on this forum because of wanting a deeper understanding in a different matter, I just thought I'd say, that last month, I finally paid off the loan I took out on my retirement/investment money, to go to see the play. 3 years it took me, because of all the other bills I had, my situation, etc. And throughout those 3 long years, I did not at any point, regret making that decision. Thank you all again for such a wonderful night and being so genuinely nice to someone like me!

I sincerely hope all is well with Emily Wing. Thank you all for bringing that play, from the pages to the stages!

Edited by intellectualammo
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