My Spinal Tap Moment

No, I didn’t turn it up to eleven.

The whole thing kicked off a week ago when my beautiful and talented wife Marie Anne Chiment asked me if I could print a half-dozen Metropolitan Police Helmet Plates for one of her shows (The Pirates of Penzance, for Philly’s Maugkingbird Theatre; 8/20 to 9/4).  We’d been talking about 3-D printing and so it wasn’t an out of the blue topic.  Even so, the very idea was more than a little intriguing.

As luck would have it, I found a 3-D model of the helmet plate online, at TurboSquid.  A quick upload to Shapeways (a job shop) and I congratulated myself on how easy-peasy the whole thing was.  All in all, it took something like eight minutes to research the idea, find the model and place the order.  Welcome to our Brave New World.

It was supposed to take two weeks to be done but to make matters even more pleasing, the box showed up on Saturday; only four days after we placed our order.  Matters took a left turn, however, when we opened the box.  For a start, it seemed like there was nothing in there except a whole lot of bubble wrap.  I was about to toss it all and call the company to complain that they sent me an empty box when Marie noticed there was a tiny zip-lock envelope inside.

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Rigoletto In Seattle

Duke With DancersFor those of you who are yet to be in the know, it is my distinct privilege to be married to the wonderful and talented Marie Anne Chiment.  Among the many benefits that thereby accrue, I get to regularly jet off to far flung locales in order to squire my lovely lady to her latest openings.

This week, we’ll be attending the re-mount of Rigoletto, a show that she originally designed for the Seattle Opera in 2004.  Happily, Seattle Opera’s General Director Speight Jenkins liked the original so much that he decided to include the production in his “farewell” season.  Even better, the opera was directed by Linda Brovsky, an exceptionally talented director and dear friend.  Linda was our Maid of Honor, so you might imagine that we get to see her in person all the time, but given her world-trotting schedule, we have few such opportunities.  It’ll be a treat to see her in person.

Be sure to check out Marie’s Portfolio site ( for a ton of Rigoletto renderings and production photos.