This past Sunday I photographed the Stage 62 production of The Producers in the Music Hall at Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie. I love to photograph performances in that hall, and love to photograph performers in general, so I checked all my settings for low-light photography, added more duct tape to my battered old tripod and set everything up.
I’d seen the show the previous Friday, and I was very glad for the preview—without that introduction I’d sure have missed shots I wanted to get. I actually never saw the play, the movie, or the musical…I didn’t think I’d like it, the plot seemed ridiculous and the Hitler theme a little repugnant and hardly something to use as comedy so hadn’t wanted to use the time and money. But Stage 62 and the Hall being so familiar I had no qualms and went with friends, and never stopped laughing—another reason to be glad I’d seen it ahead of the photo shoot so I wouldn’t produce all blurry photos from laughing. It was sincerely funny, using the non-funny Hitler theme was part of the plot, very fast-paced and so well-done I was glad to see it again Sunday to photograph.
Everything on the stage is important—it’s like poetry where every word counts—and each of the players adds their own unique style to a character. The challenge of capturing action and accurate color, facial expressions and details of scenes during a live performance is great, with no flash and without the ability to climb on things and walk around at will to get a better angle so the players and the audience aren’t distracted. Then the relatively slow shutter speed with the actions of speaking, walking, dancing and sometimes crowds of people on the stage make it an all-consuming task, using my camera on entirely manual settings, even on manual focus. I never really get to see the show when I’m photographing, another good reason to see it beforehand or at least be familiar with it.
I’ve featured four of my favorite photos here, and have a gallery on DropBox to review. If you’re local, you have four more chances to see this show!