Center Stage Baltimore
by Peter Schaffer
Kwame Kwei-Armah, dir.
Michelle Habeck, lights
David Burdick, costumes
Toy Deiorio, sound
Photos by Richard Anderson
Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun
“This is a big venture. A dynamic cast of 20 roams through Timothy R. Mackabee's terrific set, which fills every nook and cranny of stage space, spills into the house and, in a way, extends to the lobby. With a few tweaks, the design could easily do double duty for a production of Mozart's beloved opera "The Marriage of Figaro."
Amanda Gunther, TheatreBloom.com
“There is a glorious disgust woven through the entire production, from the character of Mozart himself right up to the grandeur of the set. Scenic Designer Timothy R. Mackabee presents a spectacle of a stage; two entities as vastly contrasting as Salieri and Mozart. The refined interior of every scene at court or in Salieri’s house decked to the nines in utter resplendence with gold molding, vibrant teal walls and the accoutrements that smack of wealth and sophistication. But lurking in the background and eventually exposing itself to the audience is the derelict ruination brought on by the wicked path of corruption, reflected the starkness of the wooden shambles. This dynamic set is as impressive as the two leading male actors who trod its boards."
Gina Jun, DC Metro Theater Arts
“Exquisitely and radiantly transformed by Set Designer Timothy R. Mackabee, every conceivable space of CENTERSTAGE is optimally utilized to create a grand experience akin to 18th Century Vienna. From the moment, the audience enters the CENTERSTAGE lobby, eyes and ears are immediately captivated by the voice of a picturesque opera singer who appears as though she just stepped out of the Enlightenment Era, positioned gracefully on the staircase above. Amadeus’ supporting cast members are intermingled throughout the walk ways, leading to the theatre, in canopy-framed, display areas, adorned in opulent costumes, complete with representative furnishings and accoutrements adjoining them. Mackabee, along with [Kwei-Armah], successfully immerses audience members into the Vienna Court world from the get-go, creating an impressive prelude into Amadeus.
Set in the majestic Hapsburg Court, Amadeus opens on a resplendent stage of plush blue, decorative white and noble gold with imperial gilded doors and massive, sparkling chandeliers, the aged and near deranged Salieri (Bruce Randolph Nelson), as the composer who unburdens his guilty conscience to the audience, recalling the arrival of the prodigiously talented, young Mozart at the Viennese Court, revealing his intensely paralyzing, self-destructive envy.
Steve Charing, MD Theatre Guide
“The set designed by Timothy R. Mackabee presents an ornate drawing room complete with, two large crystal chandeliers, light blue patterned wall paper and gilded door frames. The cast uses all the entrances and exits in Center Stage’s Pearlstone Theater to keep the action paced well and flowing. A scaffold above the main stage is designed to simulate the back of an opera stage but is used sparingly. Mr. Mackabee also transforms the theater’s lobby into the Court of Vienna to add more to the experience."