Some Things Get Better with Age

I can begin to explain how much I am obsessed with this video. Came across it recently and I honestly have no idea how a song that features Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett rapping about how they “still got it” doesn’t have a million and one views.

Get ready to see these ladies of the stage show off their best moves. Instead of some older female stars who try to dress decades younger than their age and pretend like the years haven’t flown by, these amazing women poke fun at growing older and what it really means to be a sexy mama.

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The Best Onstage Cameo of All Time

In the midst of all the SOPA and Protect IP madness, I figured I would share a lil’ video pick-me-up to help you manage with the otherwise harrowing news about the future of the interwebs.

Ellen DeGeneres makes her Broadway debut in the most recent revival of Promises, Promises. While this was her first time on the Great White Way, I hope it’s not her last.

When the Curtain Rises

“The Glorious Ones” opens this evening and I couldn’t be happier. Not only do we have a fantastic cast, but this process has been an incredibly rewarding one. This show is one that I have wanted to share with others ever since I first fell in love with it in New York four years ago. Here’s to a great run all. You continue to surprise me with each rehearsal. Let’s show them what we’ve got tonight.

 

““All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

– T.E. Lawrence

Mr. Bean’s Take on Commedia

Commedia dell’arte comic traditions have trickled down into our modern day comedy, but it was only recently that I realized that Mr. Bean is a prime example. His use of noises vs. words, his small improvised moments, his specialized walk and facial expressions…all hints of Dottore, Pantelone, Zanni. Take a look at one of his classic scenes below to get a glimpse for yourself:

Commedia in The Muppets

Watching the first season of the Muppet Show brought me to the conclusion that its characters are closer to its commedia ancestors than I previously imagined.

The old misers Waldorf and Statler

as

                  Pantelone and Dottore


The somewhat-violent, strong and attractive Miss Piggy

as

Colombina

The attention-hungry “artist” and daredevil Gonzo

as

Arlechinno

Even Kermit, the Master of Ceremonies that acts as a liason between the audience and the performers is quite easily a trope on Comico. Kermit even performs of the the traditional lazzi (short improvisational scene) where he tells audience that the troupe will perform some impossible acrobatic feat (which they don’t do).

Funny how little hints of the past make their way into today’s comic vocabulary. Oh, and if you haven’t seen the Muppet Movie yet…get to it!

How to Live like French Royalty

“Come to Blois…
C’est ca?
Au revoir!”
– French Cardinal, The Glorious Ones

These castle digs were where the very best of French royalty kept house back in the day. The commedia troupe in The Glorious Ones receives an invitation to perform for the King of France in Blois – most likely King Henri Twah.

Ever wonder how you could pull off living like a King?

Welcome Home

Step 1: Make everything about your home, including the stairway in, the most opulent creation anyone has ever seen.

Step 2: Sentence people to death for things like “looking at you the wrong way,” accidently sneezing, or singing off-key. That’ll teach ’em.

Step 3: Never lift a finger. Have an army of servants in charge of keeping the place looking snazzy.

Step 4: Eat large cuts of meat while regarding the stunningly impressive view from your château.

Step 5: Speak a little French now and again. Try angry phrases such as “Qu’on leur coupe la tête!” (off with their head) and “Jamais de la vie…” (never in my life) to keep everyone in line.

Voila! Royalty Status. That wasn’t so hard was it?

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ode to Our Attention Deficit Generation

Remember the last time a joke over 5 minutes long put you in stitches? No? Welcome to comedy 2.0. Nowadays, we have a window of 10 seconds to make us chuckle before we’re off on the search for the next laugh.

Take a look at the original Charlie Chaplin or the Three Stooges sketches. The jokes were silly, the subjects sometimes crass, but the result was always heartwarming.  As our attention spans’ shortened and tastes changed, even SNL feels as though its day has come and gone. The long-form sketch has given way to the 1-minute-YouTube-video star and internet memes. Don’t get me wrong – love a good philosoraptor. Just pointing out that even the classic “Who’s On First” sketch from Abbott and Castello feels a little long nowadays. And that clip lasts only six minutes.

Hop on board the virtual time machine below to have a look back on some of the most iconic moments in comedy from the past few decades. Do they still stand the test of time?

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

Today?

Jurassic Park Critter Imitation

What makes you laugh? What memes steal your heart? What sketches of yesteryear still crack you up today?

Starting to learn

There’s something to be said about the power of good teachers. You can see from this clip how much this commedia teacher cares about the craft and how that passion translates to her students. Love the excitement and lines of energy throughout.

Ready. Fire. Aim.

I need a place to organize all of articles, photos, videos, and other random tidbits I find related to theatre, so to the wild streets of the internet I go.

If theatre makes you tick, if art sustains you, if you find yourself with talent crushes on complete strangers, these musings may be for you.

 

Beyond excited to direct “The Glorious Ones” this winter.

Saw this musical four years ago and still to this day it remains one of my favorite theatre experiences. It follows the birth of commedia dell’arte and tries to reconcile the reasons why actors and creatives are drawn to the theatre. I envision the next month including lots of harlequin prints and slapstick videos. Get stoked.


Image source: Google Images