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Showing posts from July, 2005

Wednesday Movie - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Jefferson Smith isn’t literally a boy scout. Figuratively though, he’s a bright-eyed, principled young man who loves his country, and who stands up for people. What people? Well, people who need people to stand up for them. Those people. Oh, and he’s also the leader of a youth adventure club.

After the death of an elderly senator, Mr. Smith is chosen to take a seat in the US Senate. Sure, he’s a patriot and an all around good guy, but the real reason for this appointment comes from the belief that Smith will be a non-entity—that he’ll vote how he’s told to vote and otherwise simply fill a seat. Smith enters Washington aglow, dazzled by his luck in having a hands-on part in the democratic process; humbled by the monuments and the legacies of past presidents. But his good nature is preyed upon as he runs afoul of the press and refuses to follow along with a coterie of crooked senators. When his dream bill for a boys’ camp runs contrary to the plans of the local industry kingpin, Smith mu…

Rich, Famous, and Beautiful -- 1.7

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VIII.The Scottish play was quite the adventure, believe me.I’m not a superstitious woman by any means, but I believe in its power over others.If Coriolanus needs blue Smarties in his breast pocket for each show, I’ll pick the blue ones out myself.If Richard III feels that he’ll perform badly unless he rubs Vaseline on his thighs, then I will make sure that Vaseline is in good supply.I also don’t believe in luck, but I must admit that MacBeth was the unluckiest show I’ve ever been a part of.Two weeks into rehearsal, we lost our first of many Banquos.A bad car accident broke both of the poor man’s legs, and they weren’t expected to mend anywhere near in time.The first batch of scripts were riddled with typos.The second Banquo contracted Lyme Disease.Several of the props fell apart—swords were known to topple off hilts in the midst of battle, and the witches’ cauldron spewed smoke like a brush fire.And our third Banquo, a very nervous man by nature, couldn’t stand…

Linky Linky

It’s Friday, so you can’t rightfully demand I do anything creative. Instead, I’ll depend upon the kindness of strangers. Enjoy the following.

Best Headline Ever – This one has been linked all over the place. If you haven’t seen it yet, welcome back from the coma.

Genius From McSweeney’s – Speaks for itself, I think.

50 50 in 50 – Wherein some guy drinks, you guessed it, fifty Labatt’s 50 in fifty hours. Persevere—it picks up around beer eighteen or so.

The colophon of Michael Chabon’s website – Fun and informative. I come back here often to see if he has updated, and when I see that he hasn’t (which is always) I die a little inside.

More from McSweeney’s – Lists! Let’s go with one, two, three of them.

ENJOY I SAID!

Rich, Famous, and Beautiful -- 1.6

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NextVI.After opening night, Celeste woke me with a very early phone call.“Good morning, sunshine!How was your night?”“Late,” I mumbled.“What time is it?”“Eight o’clock.Time for you to read your morning paper.”“Oh!The reviews are in, aren’t they?”“Go see for yourself,” Celeste suggested.“Don’t worry, I’ll wait here.”After a minute, I’d found the paper and returned to the phone. “Well . . .” Celeste urged.“I’m afraid . . .”“Don’t be a twit, Kate.Read the damn paper.”It was the first page of the entertainment section.The photo was from the first scene of Act One.I was smiling wickedly as I held part of Henry’s beard between two fingers.His eyes were squeezed shut and his mouth formed a small o of pain.MUCH ADO ABOUT BEATRICESoon after the light from one great actor’s career has set, the dawn of another’s has begun.Katherine Wells made her debut performance as Much Ado About Nothing’s Beatrice last night.After the loss, over a year ago, of Alistair Irving, the World’s …

Wednesday Movie – Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Why does this film qualify? You might have observed that it’s a little bit different than the others. But the goal was to watch the movies I’d always meant to see, and we’ve owned this movie for about a year, and there were at least eight instances where I asked, “Hey honey, do you wanna watch George Clooney moustache-o-rama tonight?”, and strangely, got shot down. So in the end it was just me, the Cloons, and a few tall shots of rum.

This is probably not a movie in need of recapping. While most people I know haven’t seen the movie, they’re aware of what it’s about. It’s based upon the autobiography of Chuck Barris, the television producer best known as the awkward, strangely charming host of The Gong Show. Beyond his life in television (he also produced The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game), Barris led a secret, second life as a contact assassin for the CIA, or so he claims. But we’ll get to that.

It’s George Clooney’s first (to date, only) directorial effort. When the movie was relea…

Rich, Famous, and Beautiful -- 1.5

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V.
The company followed Romeo and Juliet with a production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Zwick cast me as Honey, the meek wife made very embarrassing by drink.It wasn’t a glamorous role, or tremendously satisfying, but it was far better than the chorus role from the last play. When Zwick told me about his casting decision, he said, “I know that you couldn’t have been too pleased in out last production, but I had to see how you’d fit in with the rest of the company.”“It was a very fair decision,” I said.“Honey is a little different than anyone you’ve come across in Shakespeare.A lot of people are interested to see how you’ll do with this one.”I was daunted at first.Honey is an annoyance throughout most of the play.She and her husband Nick are used as pawns in another couple’s sadistic games.I think I was successful in the role because I could play a very good drunk.Alistair, in his lectures about Falstaff and other comedians, taught me several secrets about p…

Discuss amongst yourselves - July 11th

What's one regret from your past? And don't give me that happy-crappy I wouldn't change a thing business because there's something. You wouldn't have worn white jeans in the eighties, or you wouldn't have crapped on the floor when you were in grade one, et cetera. You've got something, so fess up.

Highlights from our trip to Michigan – Part Two

The wedding is in a Congregationalist church within walking distance of the hotel.Ben and Erin have a formal service, but one that is remarkably short—to me it seems about twenty minutes long.They both look great, are extremely happy, and the whole thing goes perfectly.Outside the church, the guests blow bubbles as the family and bridal party process to an old fashion trolley that will take them to the reception.When Ben and Erin get to the trolley, the crowd lets out this really weak cheer—only because everyone is unsure whether or not it’s appropriate to do.Think Monty Python and the Holy Grail's, “And there was much rejoicing.”The reception is held in this beautiful building called Castle Farms.We get a remarkable amount of face time with Ben and Erin, which is unlike any wedding reception I’ve been to.The band is amazing—just a brilliant, fun bunch of musicians.Everyone dances; even I get out and perform my truffle shuffle after the requisite eight drinks.The reception ends.Be…

Highlights from our trip to Michigan – Part One

June 29th – We pack up, pick up Sarah’s friend, Tania, and hit the road.Half an hour outside Ottawa, Tania says, “I thought you said I’d be sharing the back seat with a bunch of hanging outfits,” and we realize we’re the dumbest people on the planet.My suit and Sarah’s dress are still hanging in our front hall closet.We turn back to recover the clothes and our four-hour car ride becomes a five-hour car ride.Then in my haste to get Tania to her stop without further delay, we almost run out of gas. A sketchy Canadian Tire in a sketchy part of Toronto saves our ass (and at 78.9 cents a litre, it feels like my birthday).June 30th – We visit families and run errands in Georgetown.Rested, beautified, and freshly shorn, we’re Windsor-bound down the 401.The trip is uneventful, and the border crossing goes fine, but then we enter into absolutefucking chaos.Across the border, the roads are garbage, all cracks and pot holes, but that’s to be expected.The day’s special bonus is that the first eig…

Rich, Famous, and Beautiful -- 1.4

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IV.

I could tell you about the sadness that Alistair Irving’s death caused, not only me, but the entire theatre community, but in the interest of making my story a short but coherent whole, I’ll take for granted that you understand.It was three months later that I presented myself to the same theatre company which made Alistair famous.I introduced myself to Edward Zwick, the artist director of the World’s Stage Players.“Miss Wells,” he said, “it is a pleasure to finally meet you.If one good thing could have come of Irving’s tragic death, it’s that his ingénue has been forced to emerge from hiding.”“I was never in hiding, Mr. Zwick, and ingénue might be too generous a word for me.I was a student of Alistair’s.”“No point in being humble, Alistair told us all about how much the two of you worked together.”I’d never been aware that he’d talked about me to others.I tried my best not to look embarrassed.Or proud.“Regardless,” Zwick said, “I assume you’…

Discuss amongst yourselves -- July 4th

What's your porn name? In case you haven't done this one before: guys--combine your first pet and your mom's maiden name; girls -- combine your middle name and the name of the street where you live. In the room right now we have: Bandit Brown, Helen Pennington, Snowball Thompson, and Marie Nottingham. I think Snowball Thompson gets the prize.