SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
The BBC put together a series of television commentaries from Orson Welles, "Orson Wells' Sketchbook" none of which need more than his then slightly unfamiliar face (without, he underscores, the usual false nose he wears for roles), his unmistakable voice, and his illustrations — taken, literally, from his sketchbook. In these six fifteen-minute broadcasts, which originally aired in 1955, Welles talks about not just the inauspicious beginnings of his illustrious working life but his experiences with the critics, the police, John Barrymore and Harry Houdini, the infamous radio production of War of the Worlds , and bullfighting Playlist here.
“We did our first show in a bar...all of a sudden, the whole room was quiet. And then we got everyone to sit on the floor cross-legged to watch our crankies.” [more inside]
Richard Griffiths, star of stage and screen, perhaps globally best known for his role as Harry Potter's ill-willed uncle, has died at the age of 65 due to complications from heart surgery. [more inside]
"In a genre of its own—Live-Action Graphic Novel—The Intergalactic Nemesis saga is a hilarious, uplifting adventure of heroes-by-circumstance overcoming impossible odds. But the telling is what makes the experience of The Intergalactic Nemesis so incredibly unique: while three actors, one Foley artist, and one keyboardist perform all the voices, sound effects and music, more than 1,250 hand-drawn, full-color, hi-res, blow-your-mind comic-book images blast from the screen, all performed live." [more inside]
The Tony Awards' 2012 Opening Number - What If Life Were More Like Theater? - with Neil Patrick Harris, Patti LuPone, Amanda Seyfried, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Stars of the Edwardian Stage is a compendium of the beauties that have graced English theatres. [more inside]
Shakespeare was not a full-time writer without other responsibilities, like O’Neill or Williams. But what might look like a distraction for such authors—acting in his own and other people’s plays, coaching fellow players, helping manage the ownership of the troupe’s resources (including its two theaters, the Globe and Blackfriars)—was a strength for Shakespeare, since it made him a day-by-day observer of what the troupe could accomplish, actor by actor. [...]Shakespeare and Verdi in the Theater.
'According to Pacini,' Julian Budden writes in The Operas of Verdi, 'it was the custom at the San Carlo theatre, Naples, for the composer to turn the pages for the leading cello and double bass players on opening nights.' The composer had to change his score to fit new voices if there were substitutions caused by illness or some other accident. In subsequent performances, he was expected to take out or put in arias for the different houses, transposing keys, changing orchestration. He was not a man of the study but of the theater.
"A giant gust of wind picked up a tarp and garbage from across the field and flung it toward the audience and lifted the whole stage — where Cheap Trick had been playing — and almost like a convertible in a car, just folded it backwards in the same direction." The main stage at the Ottawa Bluesfest has collapsed in a sudden storm, during a performance by Cheap Trick. Injuries are reported to be minor. The annual festival brings thousands of music fans into downtown Ottawa. Photos of the aftermath.
The American Theatre Wing hosts MP3 interviews with actors, directors, playwrights and other artists. e.g. Stephen Sondheim and Anna Deavere Smith and F. Murray Abraham and Eric Bogosian and John Patrick Shanley and Edward Albee and Venessa Redgrave and Alan Ayckbourn and...
The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast talks to director Stuart Gordon about Herbert West - Reanimator (part 1, part 2). A prolific director, Gordon is responsible for some of the better adaptations of Lovecraft's work (and From Beyond). Currently he is directing Reanimator star Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe in the one-man shoe Nevermore, which just finished a hugely successful run in LA and is now heading for Poe's hometown of Baltimore.
Holidays on Display, currently on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, offers an image-rich online exhibit as well, detailing the way businesses learned to capitalize on one of the country's largest celebrations. Peer into the artistry of holiday window design as well. [more inside]
French musical comedies 1918-1940 [French]. Non-French can still appreciate the programmes, photographs, music and videos.
The Guardian has compiled a list of their top fifty arts videos, the majority being from either rare or obscure sources and uploaded onto YouTube.
Sherlock Holmes on Stage & Screen is a gallery of almost every significant actor who has ever played the great detective. Among their ranks are William Gillette, who was able to build himself a castle in Connecticut with the proceeds from his Holmes portrayal; Charlton Heston, who enacted a version of The Sign of Four onstage; Jeremy Brett, the superlative television Holmes; and, of course, Basil Rathbone, the South African actor whose name became synonymous with the role.
The Ingmar Bergman site is now available in English. I find the 'Universe' section (examining repeated themes) is particularly interesting.
America's First Superstar. He was the highest paid actor in the world, beloved by fans so passionate about his performances that a riot (23 people killed, more than a hundred wounded) ensued when a rival dared to perform the role that had made him famous. He enjoyed all the trappings of a superstar's life: portraits taken by America's most famous photographer, a large mansion (now a historic landmark), and of course a scandalous divorce trial (he lost). He was also one of the most prominent book collectors in the country. Edwin Forrest was born 200 years ago.
The Barrison Sisters, a vaudeville act of double entendres, would raise their puffy dresses to their knees and ask the audience, “Would you like to see my pussy?” They would reveal a kitten positioned in a pouch in their underwear. Here is a script from one of their performances. Lona Barrison, the group’s sultry leader, was involved in many affairs in Europe, including such auspices as Kaiser Wilhelm II, and also posed for mild erotica and a Toulouse-Lautrec painting. The Machinson Sisters were imitators from England.
The Internet Broadway Database From The Prisoner of Zenda, which opened Sep. 4, 1895, to (well) Urinetown, due to close in January, a comprehensive hyperlinked database of official Broadway performances through the years.
Nathan Lane's Successor in "The Producers" Is Fired. (NYT Link). Replacing the hottest Broadway actor in the hottest Broadway musical and getting fired 4 weeks later's gotta suck a lot.