Founded in 1999 and quickly winning over theatre critics and audiences alike, Abattoir Fermé is an avant-garde collective that was awarded the 2008 Flemish Culture Prize for its "penetrating and ominous theatre." [more inside]
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre present Christmas: 12 Days of Christmas, Silent Night, Baby It's Cold Outside, Coldplay Christmas, Killer Reindeer Song, Xmas Songs You Daren't Sing, and more. Much more from the Socks here and here, on subjects ranging from Doctor Who to the credit crunch to phone hacking to Skye to Star Wars.
After protests by members and MPs of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and religious groups, the Athens premiere of the play Corpus Christi was cancelled. A journalist trying to document the protests was reportedly beaten while the police stood by. "A well-known Golden Dawn MP follows me. He punches me twice in the face and knocks me to the ground. While on the ground, I lose my glasses. The Golden Dawn MP kicks me. The police are just two steps away but turn their back". Full translation of the tweets. MP Christos Pappas was later charged for intervening in officers’ attempts to detain a protester. The incident was captured on video, as well as MP Ilias Panayiotaros abusing the actors in a homophobic and racist manner (translation NSFW). [more inside]
Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
AV Club Interview with Nick Offerman Articulate and often profound, this excellent AV Club interview with MeFi favorite Nick Offerman (previously 1, 2, 3) discusses his role as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson, the modern concept of masculinity portrayed by Hollywood, the importance of being yourself, and prosthetic penises. Second page of interview NSFW. [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
Three years ago, Phil Jablon (aka The Projectionist) started a concerted effort to start documenting the rapidly-vanishing stand-alone movie theaters and former theaters in Southeast Asia. Today his website, The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project is a historian and movie-theater lover's dream. Jablon has captured the faded, the lost, the torched, the almost lost, the repurposed, the reborn, and the unbounded. [more inside]
Stars of the Edwardian Stage is a compendium of the beauties that have graced English theatres. [more inside]
5 Pillars of the Abandoned World is a tour through lost landscapes and shrugged off citadels. From the Gothic, Disney villainness ominousness of Miranda Castle to the distant splendor (photo by Cédric Mayence) of the abandoned Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Don't feel left out, North Americans: the US has plenty of holy, holey structures to sweep you off your feet. Fan favorite for urbane decrepitude, Detroit has lots to see. The St. Agnes Catholic Church is the place to be for the religiously inclined ramshackle rambler. Need a place to put up your feet? The Book-Cadillac offers a cozy spot to spread out your tour guide and relax. When you're ready to move on, just head over to Michigan Central Station and hop on the last train to forever. The world's an awfully big stage. There's a lot to take in, but don't worry about a thing. Just enjoy the show. There's no hurry; what's already gone isn't going anywhere. [more inside]
Computer security consultant Byron Sonne (previously, previously) has been acquitted of charges he plotted to attack the G20 summit in Toronto.
"The truth, the absolute truth, is that the chief beauty for the theatre consists in fine bodily proportions."~ Sarah Bernhardt
Derelict Cinemas and Theatres by Adam Slater: Since 2008, Adam Slater has been on a quest to photograph Britain’s abandoned and derelict cinemas and theatres before they are gone for good. Below are some examples from his astonishing set of beautiful yet grotesque ruins, which you can see in full on his flickr page. His blog, Reality Trip, features more fantastic photographs of old power stations, quarries and more. Be sure to check it out. [kubrickontheguillotine.com]
W. C. Fields appeared in the Earl Carroll Vanities in 1928. George Mann, part of the dance team of Barto & Mann, was on the same bill, and captured Fields in The Mormon's Prayers.
Why this lady is wearing a horse costume. previously.
"For the drama and the way it may happen to be played, and the plot or moral or meaning of it, nobody seems particularly to care. The point of interest is, first, the dancing; next, the dancers, and last, the scenery."[more inside]
Andy Ihnatko writes a charmingly enthusiastic post about listening to the same aria, from the same production, sung in two very different ways: by the star, and by the understudy: Rachele Gilmore’s 100 MPH Fastball [more inside]
Mos Eisley Performance Hall. You will never find a more wretched hive of burlesque, theatre & entertainment. We should be cautious.
Susan Blackwell is an American actress, writer and singer, best known for playing herself in the musical [title of show]. The web series "Side by Side by Susan Blackwell" chronicles her unconventional encounters with Broadway celebrities: sorting laundry with Daniel Radcliffe, feeding goats with Jonathan Groff, researching rectal surgeries with Norbert Leo Butz, naming dogs with Zachary Quinto and consulting a ouija board with Andrew Rannells, to name a few. [more inside]
You may not know this but pantomime (overview for non-Brits) is a very lucrative business in the UK, especially for minor or fading stars of stage and screen (and Vanilla Ice) - Children's entertainers The Krankies (who have had a troubled relationship with panto in the past) have gone all out this year to pull in the punters via going to the gym (video), a lurid interview revealing their rather more adult private lives and a mind-blowing photo op with John Barrowman (SFW but what has been seen cannot be unseen and may prove traumatic for British people of a certain age) (previous)
King James Bible readings by top UK actors - free podcasts London's National Theatre recently staged a series of live readings to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible and the glorious language that book contains. The actors taking part included Lindsay Duncan (Genesis), Patricia Routledge (Psalms), Maureen Lipman (Isaiah), Mark Gatiss (Luke) and Simon Russell Beale (Revelation). There's 12 readings in all, each of about 80 minutes, and the National has three available as free podcasts already, with the rest to follow soon. As a bonus, it's also offering Melvyn Bragg's talk on how the King James version was constructed and the main sources it drew on. I saw Bragg delivering this talk at the Cheltenham Literary Festival earlier this year, and it's well worth hearing.
“We shall have a man in the White House who will feel as responsible for American civilization as he does for American power and prosperity.”
"It was no accident that arts funding was once again brought to national attention with the exhibit Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Since the 80s, the enemies of the NEA have not been those with differences of opinion about what art should be supported or how. Instead they oppose any support at all for art of any kind." Hide/Seek, Culture Wars and the History of the NEA (NSFW, art)
Original Pronunciation (OP) "...performance brings us as close as possible to how old texts would have sounded. It enables us to hear effects lost when old texts are read in a modern way. It avoids the modern social connotations that arise when we hear old texts read in a present-day accent." The site includes transcripts of Shakespeare plays and other writings with IPA notations, indicating how to pronounce them in OP. It also includes some audio recordings. [more inside]
Cabaret's Don't Tell Momma performed by a young Judi Dench, or by Molly Ringwald, or Chris Moore, but what would she want with me?
"On Saturday June 18, 2011, representatives from the licensing agency came to watch our production. I met them before the show and explained the reasons behind my actions and that I understood the consequences. The cast was also prepared. We could have restored the production to the original script, we could have canceled the show and left them to wonder, we could have faked a medical emergency or technical failure – believe me, all of these scenarios crossed my mind. In the end, we chose to be honest and share the production we had created." Artistic director Nick A. Olivero writes an open letter to the theatre and arts community discussing the recent forced closure of his show, Little Shop of Horrors, at San Fransisco's Boxcar Theatre Company. [more inside]
Who is Joe Wall? Why he's an author and ambient electronic musician who works in a clock tower and loves to sing. But most Mefites know him as sonascope, author of many vast and beloved comments. His touching 2004 show, My Fairy Godmothers Smoke Too Much, is available free and complete online. [more inside]
Defamation by Twitter Broadway actor Marty Thomas has filed papers in court asking that the identify of the "bwayanonymous" Twitter account (cache) be revealed, after the account made a post alleging Thomas has crabs.
The next day, Sunday, I spent almost nine hours immersed in Robert Lepage’s marathon play, Lipsynch, at the Bluma Appel Theatre, which was part of Luminato. You tell people you’ve just spent nine hours watching a play conducted in four languages (with projected sur-titles) and they think you’ve undergone an endurance test, made a heroic sacrifice for art. On the contrary. There was no suffering(5 minutes of [enthusiastic] standing and clapping). The time flew by. It was like taking your brain on a luxurious cruise. Or spending the day in an art spa, basking in mind massages and sensory wraps. Maybe it was high art but the ascent was effortless: because Lepage did all the work for you, it was experienced as pure entertainment. [more inside]
"I HEREBY REQUEST that my body or any part thereof may be used for therapeutic purposes including corneal grafting and organ transplantation or for the purposes of medical education [...] with the exception of my skull, which shall be offered by the institution receiving my body to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in theatrical performance." [more inside]
Tomorrow after 37 previews and 1000 performances, Broadway will bid farewell to the critically-lauded, award-winning, first-ever revival of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific. [more inside]
Welcome to Culturebot, a NYC-based website all about performing arts and culture locally, nationally and around the globe. Culturebot.org is a multidisciplinary, contemporary arts + culture blog, launched in December 2003. Based in NYC we cover contemporary cultural news, events and ideas from NYC and around the world. Culturebot was envisioned and created by founding editor Andy Horwitz. It was initially made possible from a grant to Performance Space 122 by the National Performance Network. [more inside]
The Royal Shakespeare Company presents Hamlet, starring David Tennant as Hamlet, Sir Patrick Stewart as Claudius and the Ghost, Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius, Mariah Gale as Ophelia, and Edward Bennet as Laertes. Directed by Gregory Doran. [more inside]
Theatre composer Jason Robert Brown (bio) tries to explain to a young fan why it’s wrong to download sheet music from the Internet for free. Via.
Tracy Wright, a wonderful gem of the Toronto theatre and film scene, has died.
Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu The completely insane and dying Antonin Artaud's last public performance, a radio show which wasn't broadcast for 30 years thereafter. English translation here.
Molly Lives! Last night in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Theatre Company premiered Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Kathleen Turner has taken on the role of the brassy Ivins. Turner knew Ivins personally and said "I liked Molly so much, and I liked the idea of keeping her alive, and being able to honor her." The script was written by twin sisters Alison and Margaret Engel, and based on Ivins' own words and writing.
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 Ancient Theatre Archive: A Virtual Reality Tour of Greek and Roman Theatre Architecture offers photos, panoramas, detailed descriptions, and, in several instances, virtual tours of classical theatre sites across Europe. (Tours require Quicktime to view.) The Met offers a basic overview of the differences between Greek and Roman theatrical architecture. For more theatres and related theatrical imagery, visit John Porter's one-stop catalog of online visual resources, Skenotheke.
Last spring Young Jean Lee, an American playwright and director, spoke plainly on the state of American theatre to the Nation. She described it as "our most backward art form."
Oy coom too berry Sayzurr, nut too preyze im. That's a reconstruction of how Brutus's famous speech from "Julius Caesar" may have sounded to Shakespeare's original audience. (Scroll down in the linked page for the rest of the speech -- or look inside this post.) If you'd like to learn more about Original Pronunciation (OP), check out www.pronouncingshakespeare.com, where you'll find several recordings by David Crystal, the scholar who probably knows most about the subject. You can also listen to this example or this NPR broadcast, first linked to in this 2005 post, here. Ben Crystal, David's son, tries some OP here. [more inside]
In the vein of Gwen Verdon's "Walk It Out", please consider the heat of Ann Miller's "Womanizer". [more inside]
The papers of Edward Alleyn, the Elizabethan actor-manager, are now available online in a digital edition. Most of what we know about the London theatre in the age of Shakespeare comes from this archive; highlights include the only surviving example of a 'part' or script written out for an actor in an Elizabethan play (image) and the contract for building the Fortune playhouse in 1600, just a year after the building of the Globe. Sadly, the archive doesn't include any manuscripts relating to Shakespeare, because Alleyn worked for the Admiral's Men, one of the two main theatre companies in London, whereas Shakespeare worked for the competition (the Lord Chamberlain's Men), though that didn't stop the nineteenth-century forger John Payne Collier from faking a few documents of his own to fill the gap.
Don't! Mess! With! A! Snap! Diva! A clip from the 1989 documentary Tongues Untied which is about black gay identity. (via)
Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby. The MGM musical version of L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz turned 70 this week. It wasn't the first time it was a movie, nor the last time it was a movie or a movie musical. [more inside]
Charlie Chaplin [previously, except the primary link from blogspot is down] has a grandson, James Thiérrée. Growing up in his parents circus Le Cirque Imaginaire (later, Invisible), the acrobat evolved into performer/director/choreographer of soon to be four full-length works. (Full disclosure: the first three are all from La Veillée des Abysses--Bright Abyss--and the latter is a preview for his upcoming solo act Raoul.) He's also made forays in movies you've probably seen. More? Check out this Au revoir Parapluie (Farewell Umbrella) medley, and how about some trapeze? [more inside]