Slings & Arrows
) was an award
Canadian dramedy that enjoyed great critical reception on both sides of
. It ran for three seasons from 2003 to 2006, produced by Rhombus Media
with Niv Fichman
as Executive Producer, and aired on Showcase, The Movie Network, and Movie Central. Co-written by Mark McKinney
(of Kids in the Hall
fame), Susan Coyne
(a Canadian playwright, actor, novelist, Stratford veteran, and co-founder of Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre
), and Bob Martin
(a comedian, creator of The Drowsy Chaperone
, which won five
), the show starred Paul Gross
(possibly most famous for his role on Due South
, also a Stratfordian actor), Martha Burns
(a major Canadian actor and another founding member of Soulpepper, another
Stratfordian), and Stephen Ouimette
(another major Canadian actor who, unsurprisingly, has also spent time onstage at Stratford), as well as Coyne and McKinney. The show takes place in the fictional town of New Burbage, which is a stand-in for a thinly-veiled Stratford Festival
, which most of the actors and creative team have acted and/or directed in. The writers take great pains to note that they aren't mocking Stratford
in the series, but there are obvious parallels. The entire run of the series was directed
by Peter Wellington
. (There are many spoilers inside, and in the critical reception links, for those who haven't yet watched the show). Much [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering
on May 19, 2014 -
Songwriter, singer, poet, memoirist, artist, icon Patti Smith performs in WNYC's The Greene Space. In a program of songs and poetry coordinated by her daughter Jesse Paris Smith, Patti Smith performs with Tree Laboratory (Jesse Paris Smith and Eric Hoegemeyer) and her long-time collaborator guitarist Lenny Kaye. They titled the event "Mixing Memory and Desire: An Evening of Music, Poetry, Sound, and Remembrance," celebrating the "chaos and transformation of spring."
[~1h30m, scroll down for video] [more inside]
posted by hippybear
on Apr 29, 2014 -
Today is the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth -
"...The centenary of Shakespeare’s birth fell soon after the theatres reopened with the Restoration of the monarchy, following the period when the Puritans had closed them down for the duration of the Civil War. His plays formed a staple part of the repertoire, but those of Beaumont and John Fletcher were performed more frequently. Shakespeare only pulled ahead of the pack in the Georgian era. It was around his 200th anniversary, under the auspices of the great actor David Garrick, that he took on his status as National Poet and exemplar of artistic genius...."
posted by marienbad
on Apr 23, 2014 -
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.
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 22, 2014 -
The earliest Shakespeare quartos are over four hundred years old and constitute the rarest, most fragile body of printed literature available to Shakespeare scholars. Sold unbound and often read to pieces, they are among the most ephemeral books of the age and survive in relatively low numbers. In the absence of surviving manuscripts, the quartos offer the earliest known evidence of what Shakespeare might actually have written, and what appeared on the early modern English stage. Only about half of Shakespeare’s plays were printed in quarto during his lifetime (1564–1616), and before the first printed collection of his plays, the First Folio of 1623. They are living artifacts telling the story of how Shakespeare's
Hamlet, Henry V, King Lear, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and
Romeo and Juliet, to name just a few, first circulated in print.... Due to their rarity and fragility, the earliest quartos are often not accessible to those who need to study them. Today, six institutions in the United Kingdom and United States stand out as the main repositories of the pre-1642 quartos.... Through this international collaboration, many of the earliest Shakespeare quartos are now freely available for in-depth study to students of Shakespeare across the globe.
You can read, compare, read annotations and overlay copies at Quartos.org
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 12, 2014 -
New technology has changed scholarship. Whereas previous generations of experts have sought to reconcile the differences between quarto and Folio, current thinking highlights the difficult relationship between the various incarnations of Shakespeare's texts, something made easier by the availability of rare Shakespeare quartos in digital databases such as Early English Books Online. The scholar Eleanor Prosser thus detects "considerable evidence" for the elimination of metrical and stylistic "irregularities" in the Folio: short lines are lengthened to 10 syllables, verbs agreed with subjects, double negatives resolved. In addition, a range of unusual words are added to the text, words not used elsewhere by Shakespeare. Prosser concludes: "somewhere behind the Folio … lies a conscientious and exacting editor with literary pretensions", albeit one "more experienced in the transcription of literary than of theatrical works". But who was it?
—Who edited Shakespeare?
by Saul Frampton. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Jul 13, 2013 -
In 1964, The Beatles put together a one-off variety show
, with musical numbers specially pre-recorded for the show, presented in the style of theater-in-the-round. Around the Beatles
was aired in the UK and later that same year in the US, but never commercially released. The show includes The Beatles performing a scene from A Midsummer's Night Dream
, with Paul McCartney as Pyramus, John Lennon as his lover Thisbe, George Harrison as Moonshine, Starr as Lion, and Trevor Peacock
(the only actual actor in the lot) in the role of Quince. A color clip of that
was posted previously
, but you can watch the entire (almost) hour-long show with The Beatles' segments accompanied by seven other musical acts, on Dailymotion
, though it's in black and white. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 18, 2013 -
The Beatles Performing Shakespeare. In 1964, the Fab Four added another art under their belt — live theater — when they performed Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” in color, to the sound of shouting hecklers (scripted, part of the play) and someone yelling “Go back to Liverpool!” (unscripted, decidedly unshakespearean).
posted by nickyskye
on Dec 20, 2012 -
The universe (which others call The Twitter) is composed of every word
in the English language; Shakespeare's folios
, line-by-line-by-line; the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
, exploded; Constantine XI
, in 140 character chunks; Sun Tzu's Art of War
, in its entirety; the chapter headings of JG Ballard
, in abundance; and definitive discographies
of Every. Artist. Ever...
All this, I repeat
, is true, but one hundred forty characters of inalterable wwwtext
cannot correspond to any language, no matter how dialectical or rudimentary it may be. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious
on Oct 27, 2012 -
On October 19, 1995 Chuck Phillips interviewed Tupac Shakur at Can Am Studios Tarzana, California for an article published in the LA Times. The recordings
were previously unreleased. Tupac talks about how the United States is full of gangs (the FBI/ATF/Democrats/Republicans), disparate media treatment of artists, how Tony Danza wrote him in prison, how Shakespeare's stories are the same things rappers talk about in their music, and the worth of black people's lives.
posted by cashman
on Oct 8, 2012 -
The Hollow Crown
is a season of 4 of Shakespeare's history plays being broadcast by the BBC. Avoiding past mistakes these are made for a television audience and set on location. [more inside]
posted by epo
on Jul 3, 2012 -
--- Othello is a Shakespearean tragedy: when the hero makes a terrible mistake of judgment, his once promising world is led into ruin. Computer analysis of the play, however, suggests that the play is a comedy or, at least, that it does the same things with words that comedies usually do.
On October 26, 2011, Folger Shakespeare Library
Director Michael Witmore
discussed his recent work in Shakespeare studies which combines computer analysis of texts, linguistics, and traditional literary history. Taking the case of Shakespeare's genres as a starting point, Witmore shows how subtle human judgments about the kinds of plays Shakespeare wrote — were they comedies
? — are connected to frequent, widely distributed features in the playwright's syntax, vocabulary, and diction. (approx. 30 minute lecture.) [more inside]
posted by crunchland
on Dec 8, 2011 -
Peter Greenaway's "Prospero's Books" (NSFW) is not a movie in the sense that we usually employ the word. It's an experiment in form and content. ... The books, their typography, calligraphy and illustrations, are photographed in voluptuous detail. ... "Prospero's Books" really exists outside criticism. ... It is simply a work of original art, which Greenaway asks us to accept or reject on his own terms.
- Roger Ebert
posted by Trurl
on Dec 4, 2011 -
NPR's food blog gets wordy: for the origins of "pie," look to the humble magpie
. Though the etymology of pie
doesn't present one clear path, the possibilities are fascinating. English surnames point to pie and pye as a baked good in the 1300s, with a Peter Piebakere in 1320 and Adam le Piemakere in 1332
. Chaucer referred to "pye" as both a baked good and a magpie (Google books)
. Or perhaps the fillings were like a magpie's collection of bits and bobs, similar to haggis. You know, like the French "agace," or magpie (Gb)
, and similar to chewets
, those baked goods, or another name for jackdaws (Gb)
, relative of the magpie
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 22, 2011 -
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.
posted by shakespeherian
on Nov 18, 2011 -
'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.