The Room: The Movie.
Triple-threat (actor/writer/director) Tommy Wiseau
made his cinematic debut in 2003 with the The Room
and various scenes
), "a blend between a
softcore porn flick and a Tennessee Williams stageplay."
Wiseau ("who's not just one of the most unusual looking
an unidentifiable Eastern European accent-leading men ever to
grace the screen, but a narcissist nonpareil whose movie makes Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny"
the apotheosis of cinematic self-restraint...may be something of a first: A movie that
prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back-before even
30 minutes have passed." - Variety
), allegedly raised $6 million outside Hollywood to cover production and marketing costs
of the self-described "black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies" (see various rough dress rehersals
Audience members, including comedian
, have been "marveling at the bizarre editing, bad bluescreen, uncomfortably explicit
sex scenes and, of course, the enigma of Wiseau himself"
as the film
played monthly for years
in Los Angeles. Available on
DVD, diehard "roomies" swear by the
shout out their own commentary
, hurl spoons at the screen
and singalong to the soundtrack
. Some call it "The Rocky Horror of the New Millenium"
and stage "Room"
. If you look at the marketing campaign
or survived a screening
you might see The Room as "a seminar on how
NOT to make a movie."
posted by boost ventilator
on Jun 1, 2006 -
Dancer Sues Movin' Out
for breach of contract and sexual harassment she claims to have suffered during her run in the National Touring company of the Broadway hit. In an interesting move, the dancer, Alice Alyse
, has created a lawsuit website
to explain her side of the story. Perhaps she'll win, but will she ever work again?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero
on Mar 23, 2006 -
The things I will not do when I direct a Shakespeare production, on stage or film.
"32. I will not employ a conception of Caliban which would require him to wear a ghastly furry costume reminiscent of a hypothetical offspring of Chewbacca and the Wolf from Into the Woods
." "358. If cast members, especially fairies, are supposed to sing, I will make sure they can actually sing before opening night."
Some of these appear to have been agreed to through bitter experience. I don't know about you but I'd like to add 400. I will not set A Comedy of Errors
in a climbing frame which is meant to represent a lunatic asylum and have lookalikes played by the same actor in both parts as if has a split personality (watching that show was possibly the longest two hours I've spent in a theatre).
posted by feelinglistless
on Feb 26, 2006 -
Harold Pinter at 75.
In One for the Road
, the protagonist is Nicolas, a whisky-sodden interrogator who has brought in a family for questioning
(and, it is implied, raping and torturing). In the short, sharp shock of The New World Order
, we eavesdrop on a conversation between two torturers, held over the top of their mute, blindfolded victim's head ("We haven't even finished with him. We haven't begun."). In Ashes to Ashes
, the interrogation of Rebecca by Devlin takes a sinister turn as we learn that her ex-lover participated in state-sponsored violence. In Mountain Language
, a sadistic guard plays power games with a group of mountain dwellers, who are forbidden from speaking in anything but the language of the state. In Party Time
, Pinter lampoons the smug security of the middle classes, portraying an insufferably élite party which carries on regardless of the violence and terror on the streets outside.
Now, for Pinter's 75th birthday, some of the tormentors and the tormented so potently etched in his later plays are assembled together in a new dramatic work
with a musical setting by the composer James Clarke.
posted by matteo
on Oct 7, 2005 -
Cornwall's Minack theatre.
Perched on the cliffs at the SouthWestern tip of the UK, the Minack offers the chance to see classic theatre with a spectacular natural backdrop. The open-air theatre was originally conceived by Rowena Cade in the 1930s
, and she was also personally responsible for much of the construction of the facilities that still exist. The pictures and 360 panoramas available here
should give you some idea of the place. A few more here
posted by biffa
on May 19, 2005 -
I have been thinking about masks
, our ancestors put on masks to become an other, to become a god, even unto this day
. Greek tragedy
began in the worship of Dionysos
, the god of wine, intoxication, and creative ecstasy
, in rituals
where worshipers often wore or worshipped masks. Indeed, the word for mask in Greek drama was persona, now commonly used to describe constructed online identities
. And so we understand ourselves
as wearing masks, whole series of masks--behind which we find only emptiness, for we can never see ourselves truly.
posted by y2karl
on Feb 24, 2005 -
is perhaps the greatest actor I've ever seen perform, and he does it all without dialogue. Click on "videos" (or "filmpjes"
). Jim Henson would be proud.
posted by Robot Johnny
on Feb 17, 2005 -
The Vagina Monologues
is, to the outrage of many, being staged at a cultural center in Kampala, Uganda, East Africa. For the past few weeks, the play has been a key topic of debate
, with many radio stations even refusing to utter the name of the play out loud, and shaming call-in listeners that do. Today, the local media council announced that “to the extent that the play promotes illegal, unnatural sexual acts, homosexuality and prostitution, it should be and is hereby banned
, citing the play as "a smokescreen for graphic lesbian pornography" and that the play's "graphic descriptions of masturbation, rape, and genital mutilation in a manner that is “abhorrent, outrageous and disgusting." Local NGOs
are even refusing to accept funds generated by the sale of tickets.
posted by Kololo
on Feb 17, 2005 -
"Sometimes, you are moved by such a strong emotion that you can only express it through song. As we learn from musical theatre that emotion can swell up anytime: in a corner deli, on a playground, in an open field--and even at the library."
posted by adrober
on Jan 10, 2005 -
At what point did the muse disappear and become replaced by the dramaturg? "Scripts aren't written, they're rewritten", goes the cry from all the script gurus - all the literary managers, editors, producers, dramaturgs - not just in theatre but film, too. Why do they say this? Because their jobs depend on it. If scripts were left alone, what would they do?
Dominic Dromgoole writes about playwriting in the UK.
posted by Panfilo
on Dec 19, 2004 -
"Hi. My name is Tony Kushner, I'm a playwright
...Ladies and Gentlemen
and Supporters of MoveOn
: the first lady of the United States, Laura Welch Bush
About a year and a half ago Kushner
, the Pulitzer-prize winning author
of Angels in America
, published the first act of a new play, Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy (full text)
. In it, Laura Bush reads
Dostoyevsky to a classroom full of ghosts of dead Iraqi children. Now, (in Salon, I know, I know)
the first lady metacriticizes Kushner's play. (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Aug 4, 2004 -
Evil Dead: The Musical
In making your list of should-be musical theater productions, you've likely considered the Evil Dead series
, right? Fortunately for you, Montreal's Just for Laughs
comedy festival has put together just that
, believe it or not, for this year's festival.
A special run will happen in Toronto on the week of June 22nd before moving to Montreal for a full run.
posted by Evstar
on Jun 12, 2004 -
Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz
known also as Witkacy,
generally a prolific artist since about the age of 8
He lived from 1885 to 1939, and often has just the right mix of sharp wit, deep insight, and self-reflective irony.
posted by mdn
on May 29, 2004 -
At least one person is dead when Toronto theatre The Uptown (a frequent haunt of my childhood) collapses
. The 2000 seat Uptown
was built in 1920 and closed in September of this year, right after the
Toronto International Film Festival, which regularly used the theatre for its screenings.
Ignoring a Cinema Treasures
, and heartfelt articles from local media
, Famous Players
, the theatre's owners, decided to sell the building to a condo developer after losing a two year battle
with The Ontario Human Rights Commission
, who were insisting that the venue be made wheelchair-friendly. Oddly, as I was walking past the site last night, I considered contacting the demolition company
about what was being done with the theatre's sign when it finally came down.
posted by dobbs
on Dec 8, 2003 -
Cleveland Press Shakespeare Photographs
Er, no, not photographs of
Shakespeare--that would be difficult--but of Shakespeare's plays in performance, 1870-1982. Covers productions in all media; photographs can be browsed by dramatic genre (tragedy, comedy, etc.). On a related note, see also Harry Rusche's Shakespeare Illustrated
(outstanding and extensive site devoted to nineteenth-century paintings of scenes from Shakespeare's plays).
posted by thomas j wise
on Sep 27, 2003 -
Want to see some great theater and learn a bit about our great system of justice and capital punishment? Then The Exonerated
may be the show for you.The other night I went to see The Exonerated, which has been playing Off Broadway since last fall and is also appearing in theaters around the country this year. Composed wholly from court records and interviews by playwrights Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, this documentary drama recounts true tales of horror from the American criminal-justice system. The actors sit downstage and read their parts as the stories of six innocent citizens condemned to death row unfold. If this sounds like a worthy endeavor, it is; if it sounds dull or didactic, it isn’t.
posted by nofundy
on Jul 3, 2003 -
Jerry Springer: The Opera?
You know, whenever I happened to have this misfortune to watch Springer, I too thought "It's got tragedy. It's got violence. There are people screaming at each other and you can't understand what they're saying." but I didn't quite make the leap that "It's perfect for opera."
But now on an operatic journey that takes us the tv studio to hell
, the British National Theatre
is realizing this vision.
To quote from the libretto: "This is a Jerry Springer moment!" sing the chorus. "We don't want this moment to end, so cover us in chocolate and throw us to the lesbians."
Skeptical? Read the reviews!
posted by jearbear
on Apr 18, 2003 -
The Federal Theatre Project Collection.
"The Federal Theatre Project was the largest and most ambitious effort mounted by the Federal Government to organize and produce theater events. It was an effort of the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to provide work for unemployed professionals in the theater during the Great Depression which followed the stock market crash of October 1929." Arguably the high water mark in the history of live theatre in America, The Federal Theatre Project was a program introduced as part of The New Deal. The production archives
for three of the major productions (two by Orsen Welles) are of particular interest. The success of Tim Robbins' The Cradle Will Rock
may have influenced other's perceptions
about the importance of Mark Blitzstein's lackluster (but controversial) play of the same title
posted by Joey Michaels
on Dec 18, 2002 -
That Show-Stopper: The Bloody Audience!
Interrupting a performance of Hamlet, John Barrymore
once threw a large fish
at a group of coughing members of the audience
, shouting: "Busy yourselves with that, you damned walruses!" Stephen Pollard
, in The Independent, suggests people now behave in public as they do at home, oblivious of their fellow concert or theatre-goers. Art-house audiences
are equally annoying. Perhaps show rage will become the road rage of the 21st Century? [The main link, addressing rock audiences, comes in very small type but is worth reading all the same. The third link is an amusing mini-play about audience harrassment.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Dec 5, 2002 -
Ray would stay.
Hawai'i actor Ray Bumatai's brain tumor hemorrhaged on stage. He finished the show blind and returned, after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, to finish the run of the play. Is this taking the old "the show must go on" adage a little too far?
posted by Joey Michaels
on Aug 30, 2002 -