A Tale of Two Comedies

Those of you who follow this blog might be wondering where I’ve been all these months. Well, maybe it’s crossed your mind as you do the dishes. Or perhaps not at all. Or maybe you’re reading this now, and saying, “She has a blog? People still do that?”

The reason I haven’t been here much is that I’ve been busy directing. Not just one show, not just two, but five in the last 13 months. And at the moment, this includes two that I’ve been rehearsing at the same time!

I love directing, and adore directing comedies. For the last couple of months, I’ve been helming two comedies at opposite ends of the spectrum.

A Comedy of Tenors

cast and E
The cast of ‘A Comedy of Tenors’ (credit: Tracy-Lynn Chernaske)

The first is A Comedy of Tenors, Ken Ludwig’s follow-up to his hit Lend Me a Tenor. It takes place in a posh hotel room in Paris in 1936, where Henry Saunders is trying to put on a concert with some of the world’s foremost tenors. So naturally, everything falls apart, and there’s no guarantee of the curtain going up as arguments and misunderstandings threaten everything. It’s farce in its finest form, and so much fun to watch every night.

Social Security

20191008_195317_026 (2)
The cast in rehearsal for ‘Social Security’ (credit: Kayt Roth)

The second is Andrew Bergman’s play Social Security. This comedy takes place in the Manhattan apartment of a couple of art dealers, whose tranquil and genteel life is turned upside down by the arrival of Barbara’s mother Sophie, a cantankerous old woman who lives to torment her other daughter Trudy. What I love about this play is that it’s dialogue-driven, with jokes that depend solely on the writer’s talents as a comedian. And with a pedigree that includes Blazing Saddles, this playwright knows his stuff.

Where to Find Tickets

If you’re in the Vancouver area, A Comedy of Tenors is playing right now at Metro Theatre (click here for A Comedy of Tenors tickets), and Social Security opens at Surrey Little Theatre on October 19th (click here for Social Security tickets).

Stranger Things Have Happened…

I’m currently performing in the new show “The Doctor of Oz: A Self-Help Panto” at Hendry Hall in North Vancouver (it’s sold out, but you can get on the waiting list by calling the box office at 604-983-2633). Today, one of my castmates told me that she’d checked out my reel, and she’d discovered an interesting connection. A few years ago, I played a mom in a Vancouver Film School short called Bad Religion. Turns out, the kid who played my son is one Finn Wolfhard, current star of the Netflix hit Stranger Things.

Just goes to show that you never know where the people you work with will end up. Check out Finn’s early work here, starting at 2:19.

Bad Religion – Episode 2 (Short Film) from Jaime Sainz on Vimeo.

 

I Found Something Really Cool Today

Like a lot of people, I am a champion procrastinator. To that end, I use Pocket to save all the web pages I want to read later on. As I was going through it today, I found this entry on The Film Colony’s website, and it had the most amazing short film – a  behind-the-scenes video by MGM that takes you to all sorts of places throughout the studio in 1925, just a year after it was established.

If you’re at all interested in film history (or history in general) like I am, this is really a kick. I love the staff in the various departments that were all assembled in front of the cameras – it reminds me of the “happy holidays from all of us” messages that CTV News runs every New Year’s Eve.

Some of the things I just love about this:

Seeing all the authentic fashions of the day. We’re used to seeing the grand costumes that were put on film, but I love seeing the ladies with their hats:

Agnes Christine Johnston
Simple and lovely.
Carmel Meyers
Super sassy!

Or the carpenters who wore shirt and tie under their overalls:

Overalls and Ties

Take a look at the directors’ board. So many movies being made at once!

Directors Board

If you have a few minutes, take a watch.