Duff Redux Opening At Gallery 81435 This Thursday

When we see performances around town, we often notice the splendid artwork and backdrops that share the stage. Too often that artwork is quickly packed up or worse, painted over, after the play is finished. Duff Redux, Buff Hooper’s show which is opening this Thursday at Gallery 81435, gives us a chance to rewind the clock and cherish the art that has populated town’s theater productions over the past decade.

Buff imgThe show, which is just a small fraction of the set work that Buff has done over the years (9o% of it has gone to the landfill or has been painted over), takes us back to the sets of Seussical, The Sound of Music, Sleepy Hollow, the Kids’ AIDS Fashion Show, and more. There are giant trees, tango dancers, a scare crow, and life-size Suess characters. These are the best of the best: the pieces that Buff couldn’t bare to destroy.buf 2

Although Hooper is seen frequently on stage as an actor, his background is in fine arts. Years ago, he noticed that the set crew for Fiddler on the Roof was struggling to finish the stage in time for the production. He grabbed a brush and started to help. “Eventually,” Hooper says, “they weren’t able to find someone to do a set for Servant of Two Masters, and they hired me. It was so fun– I was finally getting paid to paint.”

Since then he has worked on about 75 shows in many aspects including acting, lighting, set construction, set design , producing, technical directer, director and costume design. He’s painted sets for Film Festival, Jazz Festival, the Telluride Young People’s Theater, and many others, learning along the way how to build masterful sets quickly.

You can see Buff’s collection, Duff Redux, this Thursday at Gallery 81435, and you can hear him talk more about his process and his favorite work in the podcast below.

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