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
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.
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.
I had the pleasure this week of sharing a few words with Nerd Alert News, where we talked about the challenges of being a writer, my very brief appearance in Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone, and Letters to Helen. Click here to read the full interview.
“It took my breath away. An excellent story of love, heartbreak, first love, realities, disappointment, finding identity, courage, bravery, cowardice, hurdles in life, dreams shattered, love found anew, dreams realised and everything in between of these. It has everything that happens in a person’s life.”
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.
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:
Or the carpenters who wore shirt and tie under their overalls:
Take a look at the directors’ board. So many movies being made at once!
I’m happy to announce that I’m directing another play in in Vancouver this fall!
In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Hilda’s Yard by Norm Foster will run from September 16th to October to October 7th at Metro Theatre in Vancouver. For more information and ticket prices, go to Metro Theatre’s website.