One of Chevanston's interns had a night off last week and decided on a lark to watch the filming of Hitchcocks's latest production. The following is his report verbatim.
The old Downey mansion and grounds at Sheridan and Granville is where Universal and Hitchcock decided to film his latest thriller, "The Birds" (well at least the trailer). This writer sat through a dry run of the entire film this past Thursday. A small audience had gathered to watch the production on a late summer evening.
Hitch himself never made an appearance but his presence was definitely felt. The actors, stage hands and film crew were all working feverishly trying satisfy the demanding director.
Never one to follow conventions Mr. Hitchcock cast men in traditional female roles and vice versa. Not sure if the songs will make the final cut but "The Woman At The End Of The Road" was well written and sung. Dialogue witty, on and off the set. Watching the actors have so much fun on stage you could live vicariously through them. When done well and with the right material there is nothing like it.
If it weren't for all the foul fowl Bodega Bay looked like a great place to visit or perhaps even live. At one point if felt as though the whole house was under attack by a flock of raving mad birds.
Since not all of the action takes place in one location the players had to make do with rearranging furniture, using a film projector, ersatz birds (for the safety of the audience) strobe lights and so called "electronic" cigarettes (nicotine free even).
At the end donations were collected to support Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the possession of extra time and money; its both well spent.
Hell in a Hand Bag's rendition (PROMO ON YOUTUBE) of "The Birds" is probably the most offbeat, interesting play in Chicago at this time (especially for Fall/Halloween/Harvest time). Running Sept 11th through November 1st. An authentic reinterpretation given the seal of approval by Tippi Hedren herself.
Call 1-800-838-3006 or visit their website for tickets. Shows generally run Thursday through Sunday nights starting at 7:30 pm. A short walk from the Granville Red Line "L" station.
T-shirt of playbill will be available soon.