By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
Tonight the San Francisco Symphony presents Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO and takes on composer Bernard Herrmann’s original score. It is a rare musical opportunity. It will be the scariest show in town. Fast-forward to the shower scene – punctuated by the entire string section slashing in sync with every thrust … and then sliding down the scale to the drain.
JANET LEIGH – as “Marion Crane”
Herrmann is the master at capturing the psychologically complex. He exposes dark underpinnings and spins through levels of fear and madness. The movement of “Flight” – the track for Marion’s initial getaway – plays to the speed of her car and presents a crazed daydream filled with high anxiety and growing panic. “Peephole” cuts quick to the Very Forbidden and the risk of being found out. The theme of “The Stairs” and “The Cellar” are among the most familiar because the music appeals to the deepest dread of what might leap out at any moment. And it will. Click here for ticket information: PSYCHO
JOHN GAVIN (Sam) and JANET LEIGH
Marion: Checking out time is 3 pm. Hotels of this sort are interested in you when you come in, but when your time is up… Oh, Sam! I hate having to be with you in a place like this.
Sam: Married couples deliberately spend occasional nights in cheap hotels like this.
HITCHCOCK (the man outside the real estate office) and JANET LEIGH
Janet Leigh on Hitchcock: “It was essential that he use someone who had already been established, not a newcomer because that wouldn’t have been a shock. But when you have someone whose name appears above the title sometimes and they’re knocked off, then that’s really a shock.”
The Voice: No! I tell you no! I won’t have you bringing some young girl in for supper! By candlelight, I suppose, in the cheap, erotic fashion of young men with cheap, erotic minds!
Norman: Mother, please!
The Voice: And then what? After supper? Music? Whispers?
Norman: Mother, she’s just a stranger. She’s hungry, and it’s raining out!
The Voice: “Mother, she’s just a stranger”! As if men don’t desire strangers! As if… ohh, I refuse to speak of disgusting things. Because they disgust me! You understand, boy? Go on! Go tell her she’ll not be appeasing her ugly appetite with my food. Or my son! Or do I have tell her because you don’t have the guts! Huh, boy? You have the guts, boy?
Norman: Shut up! Shut up!
VERA MILES – as “Lila Crane”
Sam: Hold it, you can’t go up there.
Lila: Why not?
Lila: Then, let’s find him. One of us can keep him occupied while the other gets to the old woman.
Sam: You’ll never be able to hold him still even if he doesn’t want to be held. And, I don’t like you going into that house alone.
Lila: I can handle a sick old woman!
The Voice: They’ll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man. As if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can’t move a finger, and I won’t. I’ll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do – suspect me. They’re probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of person I am. I’m not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching… they’ll see. They’ll see and they’ll know, and they’ll say, “Why, she wouldn’t even harm a fly…”
* * * * * *
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Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: email@example.com.
SENTINEL FOUNDER PAT MURPHY