A Creative Human Theatre Person.
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JACOB'S BLOG

Jacob writes a lot about theatre and stuff, so here it is.

 

MY THOUGHTS: Why An Orpheus & Eurydice Musical Still Resonates

There's something about the human desire and our constant hope for life's outcomes to be different than what they turn out to be.  These themes are all too familiar in the tragic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, which has been adapted into a musical by singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell in the form of Hadestown.  Originally a folk opera album released in the early 2010s, it paved the way for a stage production which has been developed and directed by Rachel Chavkin of The Great Comet fame.

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez
MY THOUGHTS: The Pre-Broadway World Premiere of 'Mean Girls' in DC

Let me start off by saying that I normally dress up to the theatre; it's an event for me.  Any time I go to the theatre or travel out of state to see theatre, I consider it a special occasion.  Upon getting a ticket for a Wednesday evening performance of the pre-Broadway run of Mean Girls, my dress code was pretty much picked out for me.  ("On Wednesdays we wear pink.")

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez
FINAL CURTAIN: My Thoughts On Closing Weekend of 'West Side Story' at Casa Mañana

As we began work on Casa Mañana's production of West Side Story (which closes Sunday, 3/12), it became clear that the themes of this show were more relevant than ever and far from being considered "dated".  That term, "dated", is sadly often used when a show is considered "old-fashioned."  But In the wake of a troubling and confusing time in our country, prejudice and slander have unfortunately taken the forefront of today's headlines.  Our director, Eric Woodall, envisioned a production of West Side that not only spoke true to the period in which it was originally written, but also became a reflection of the society we currently live in and the state of our nation.

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez
FINAL CURTAIN: My Thoughts On Closing Weekend of 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' at ONSTAGE In Bedford

Last week, I attended a callback for one of my favorite new contemporary plays, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. (I'll just abbreviate it as VSMS.) I have had a three-year history with this show and the material in one way or another: as an audience member, an aspiring director, a student, and (soon) as an actor officially being offered to play the role of "Spike" in the non-Equity regional premiere at ONSTAGE in Bedford.

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez
FINAL CURTAIN: My Thoughts On Closing Weekend of 'Jesus Christ Superstar' at Casa Mañana

I am in utter disbelief for several reasons; one is the fact that Casa Mañana'sproduction of Jesus Christ Superstar ends its nine-performance run tomorrow (Sunday, 9/18) and the other is the fact that I had the opportunity to be involved in it.

I grew up going to Casa on field trips with my school; this was long before I even considered myself being involved in the theatre. We'd see shows like Frosty The Snowman and other whimsical fairy tale stories, and apparently (which I recently learned thanks to a cousin) a Casa production of Winnie The Pooh was my first show I saw there as a toddler.

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez
FINAL CURTAIN: My Thoughts On Closing Night of 'Hair' at OhLook PAC

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on two shows that changed the landscape and abilities of musical theatre: Rent and, now, Hair. Both made significant impacts when they premiered and have continued to thrive in productions on and off-Broadway in the form of revivals and in theatres around the country.  One of these theatres was OhLook Performing Arts Center in Grapevine, Texas, where we close our production of Hair today.

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez
MY THOUGHTS: Jacob - The Jellicle Cat, or The Introduction To The Sensation Of Musical Theatre And All That Followed

It's an interesting story, this one. A lot of people usually ask me how I got into musical theatre or what made me want to pursue doing something in the theatrical industry. I've only ever told a few people this specific story or I've fabricated it throughout the years to avoid any "shaming."

I decided to tell this version of the story for a couple of reasons. One, to share in my excitement that I just (literally, just) purchased a ticket to the Broadway revival of Cats which I have never had the opportunity to see live before - and that you'll find out more about in a second. Two, because I constantly defend this show whenever someone bashes it or throws it to the wayside - or more like Heaviside, right?  It's a Cats joke. Deal with it.  Believe it or not, this show introduced me to the art that I love and its history.

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez
BOOK REVIEW: 'On Broadway' illustrates SpotCo's portfolio

The work of SpotCo, one of the leading advertising agencies in the industry, has been beautifully documented in the new 224-page book On Broadway: From Rent to Revolution which is being released this April by Rizzoli Publications.

The work of a graphic designer and agency like SpotCo is crucial when promoting a production.  The task is to create a visually stimulating piece of artwork or organize a campaign that will market to potential audience members.  Sometimes that can be done with few words, sometimes with no words at all; just colors and an iconic image.

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez
FINAL CURTAIN: My Thoughts On Closing Night of 'Nevermore' at Runway Theatre

The last time I actually really looked at an Edgar Allan Poe poem was surprisingly not while I was in college... it was in high school when I did a research paper about his life.  I found his work to be incredibly interesting and darker than I imagined upon first glance.

There have been different attempts at theatricalizing Poe whether it be about his life or using his poems as a basis for a story.  I had a fond interest in the recent off-Broadway production of Nevermore which took Poe's works and set them to music.  The cast album is a haunting and enjoyable experience listening to it now after working on the Julian Wiles version of Nevermore which we close today in Grapevine.

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Jacob Rivera-Sanchez