“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”*…
Each night Dion McGregor would fall asleep; then he would narrate his dreams in astonishing detail. Happily, his roommate recorded them– and the resulting tapes reveal the truly strange places our minds go to at night.
“Do you know Edwina didn’t even cry when that crocodile popped off her leg? She didn’t even cry, Edwina. She was fascinated, just fascinated. Her mother fainted dead away, and her father fainted dead away. Half the attendants fainted dead away. And Edwina just stood there and watched him chew up her leg… You know what? She said she always wanted to be Long John Silver!”
Welcome to the strange dream-world of the late Dion McGregor. By day, McGregor was an aspiring songwriter, whose Where Is The Wonder was eventually recorded by Barbra Streisand; by night, the world’s most dramatic sleep-talker…
* Edgar Allan Poe
As we nod off, we might stage a dramatic memorial for dramatist and scenic innovator James Morrison Steele (“Steele”) MacKaye; he died on this date in 1894. A well-known theatrical actor and producer in his time, he is best remembered for his revolutionary contributions to theatrical design. MacKaye opened the Madison Square Theatre in 1879, where he created a huge elevator with two stages stacked one on top of the other so that elaborate furnishings could be changed quickly between scenes. MacKaye was the first to light a New York theatre– the Lyceum, which he founded in 1884– entirely by electricity. And he invented and installed overhead and indirect stage lighting, movable stage wagons, artificial ventilation, the disappearing orchestra pit, and folding seats. In all, MacKaye patented over a hundred inventions, mostly for the improvement of theatrical production and its experience.