Monday, June 11, 2012
Amphigorey, A Musicale, Part 2
Original artwork from Edward Gorey's theatrical productions is scarce outside of the Gorey archives. Shortly before his death, Mr. Gorey contributed the artwork for the set designs from the 1992 Philadelphia production of Amphigorey, A Musicale to help raise funds for the 2000 production of The Gorey Details. The artwork was sold to get the production on its feet. I have a couple of pieces of original artwork from Amphigorey, A Musicale in my collection.
For Amphigorey, A Musicale, Edward Gorey created many variations of the dragon with a small child in his mouth. This became an image closely associated with the production, and something of a logo for the show, appearing in advertising, print ads, merchandise, and in the program. Shown above are two variations. In each, the show is titled Amphigorey, The Musical. After the artwork was completed, the name of the show was changed to Amphigorey, A Musicale and the lettering was rearranged to reflect the change in the title of the show, not redrawn.
The artwork above shows four of the eight flats drawn to scale for the Philadelphia production. The flat design labeled 1R showing cattails in a vase was also used in The Gorey Details as a "walk on" set piece for The Deranged Cousins segment of the show. The two pieces of artwork shown below have appeared recently in on-line auctions, were created for the 1992 production, and are not in my collection.
The eight flats were used on either side of the stage, stage right and left as indicated. In the designs, wallpaper features prominently, and some of the other flats have "modern" sculptures and garden ornaments. The four horizontal designs shown below were also part of the Philadelphia production. The scenic design for the show was reworked by Mr. Gorey between the Philadelphia and Perry Street productions, and these set designs did not appear in the New York production.
Like his set designs for the Broadway production of Dracula, the flats are wonderfully detailed. I am always amazed that the scene shops can take designs such as these and transform them to 8' tall set pieces, keeping the details intact.