Charles Dickens’ holiday classic “A Christmas Carol” was first published on this day in 1843. We celebrate the story’s 168th birthday today! Dickens wrote the book during the early Victorian era when England was experiencing a renewed interest in forgotten Christmas traditions and when new traditions such as the Christmas tree and Christmas cards were starting to gain popularity. The story was an immediate success and has never been out of print since it was first published so many years ago. It’s also been adapted to the stage, film, opera and a whole host of other media, including this condensed, customizable eCard version courtesy of the folks at JibJab. Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Theater
Anyone that spent any time as a child in the eighties will certainly know which film I’m referencing in the title of this blog. It’s what everyone told nine-year-old Ralphie Parker whenever he mentioned what he wanted for Christmas: a Red Ryder BB Gun. I’m of course talking about Bob Clark‘s classic 1983 Christmas comedy “A Christmas Story.”
The film was based on Jean Sheperd‘s semi-autobiographical childhood anecdotes about growing up in Indiana. Three of the stories were originally published in Playboy magazine between 1964 and 1966 and was later published in his books “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” and “Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories.” Shepard would also read other segments of the story on his WOR Radio talk show in New York City and to live audiences while touring the college circuit in the late 60’s. The film’s director, Bob Clark first heard Shepard’s work on the radio in 1968.
“A Christmas Story” would become director Bob Clark’s best know film, but ironically Clark got his start in the horror genre and is otherwise probably known for his contributions to the B-movie cannon. Fans of campy classics may remember his other holiday film “Black Christmas” (1974), a seminal holiday-themed slasher flick (which was mentioned earlier this week on the blog) and the 80’s teen sex-comedy romp “Porky’s” (1982). Read the rest of this entry »
“The Santaland Diaries” by comedian, author, writer and radio personality David Sedaris has become a modern holiday classic. Sedaris first read his hilarious essay on working as a Macy’s holiday elf on NPR on December 23, 1992 and it provided Sedaris with his first big break, leading to a monthly segment on NPR and a book deal. The essay was adapted for the stage as a one-man, one-act play by Joe Montello in 1996 and has since become a holiday classic for anyone that enjoys an irreverent take on the holiday season.
We’re ticketing quite a few productions of the play across the country and we highly recommend you experience Sedaris’ hilarious brand of snarky holiday humor. If you’re not familiar with the piece, here’s a taste of Sedaris’ original reading: Read the rest of this entry »
Starting this Thursday, September 15, Cherry Manhattan Presents is bringing the stage adaptation of Ann Bannon‘s iconic lesbian pulp fiction novels, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles to the Re-Bar‘s stage for a four-week run. This is the Seattle premier of the Chronicles, but the play enjoyed a sold-out off-Broadway debut in 2008 (with none other than Lily Tomlin co-producing) and won the 2008 GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award.
Who is this Beebo Brinker you ask? Beebo made her debut in Ann Bannon’s 1959 pulp-novel ‘I Am A Woman‘ which finds main character Laura London, having to choose between a bi-curious straight woman and Beebo. Beebo was the embodiment of the “butch” lesbian – tall, handsome, smart, with an impressive physique. Beebo was also a treasured creation of Bannon’s. She said, “I put Beebo together just as I wanted her, in my heart and mind…She was just, quite literally, the butch of my dreams.”
Ann Bannon wrote the Chronicles from 1957 to 1962 as a young American housewife who was coming to terms with her own sexuality. She was 22 when she wrote her first novel and early lesbian fiction such as ‘The Well of Loneliness‘ by Radclyffe Hall and Vin Packer‘s 1952 novel ‘Spring Fire‘, had a deep impact on her. She said, “Both books obsessed me for the better part of two years” and she found that they struck a chord with her, despite being newly married and soon to be a mother of two children. Read the rest of this entry »
We love the Bay Area, and one of the reasons why is the diversity of its strong, artistic communities. There is just so much going on! So it only makes sense that one of our longtime Bay Area producers would represent a variety of different San Francisco happenings: Pachtman Theatrics.
In addition to working with a ton of Bay Area performers, including BPT favorites like W. Kamau Bell, Bruce Pachtman produces three monthly events at StageWerx in Union Square: Solo Sundays, Previously Secret Information and Underground Sound.
Solo Sundays is a monthly showcase, focusing on select samplings of veteran virtuosos and top emerging talent in solo performance, from stand-up to storytelling to multimedia projects. Coming up this Sunday, August 28: “Meeting My Father,” where a woman meets her father who she had thought was dead for the past 20 years, “Be Careful What You Wish For,” where a woman in hard times has to make an even harder decision about whether to escape her past or stick to her roots, and “Jurassic Arc,” where a man goes on a religious mission to make a film showing man and dinosaur walking side-by-side. Read the rest of this entry »
The Rocky Horror Picture Show came out in 1975 but it has a cult following like no other film. Showing regularly in theaters around the world 37 years after its initial release, it boasts the longest-running theatrical release in film history. It started out as a “midnight movie” (a term used to describe offbeat films that were shown in midnight screenings in major metropolitan areas across the U.S.) and would become the most successful midnight movie ever. This was largely due to the development of audience participation which included throwing rice during the wedding scene, adding vulgar dialogue to the script, shooting water guns and of course getting up and dancing the ever-popular Time Warp.
Rocky Horror fans have become an international sub-culture and this Friday, July 29, Northwestern Rocky Horror enthusiasts will gather in Portland for the 9th annual NW Rockypalooza. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their best Rocky Horror costumes and enjoy all-star cast performances of the film at the Clinton Street Cabaret, after-show party events at the Watershed, a Bondage Ball and a “casual” mixer party. This years theme is “Dressed to the Nines” and the organizers are calling it “a fancy dress party with a BDSM twist!” Tickets are going fast so be sure to pick yours up here. Read the rest of this entry »
We love independent theater and the folks over at St. Louis Shakespeare have been at it for some time. Currently in their 27th season, St. Louis Shakespeare started out as a summer festival in 1984 and now presents Shakespeare plays intermingled with non-Shakespearean classics! One of the highlights of this season is Edward Bond‘s 1981 play “Restoration” which starts on Friday, August 5 and runs through Sunday, August 14 at the Grandel Theatre in the Grand Center Arts and Entertainment District of St. Louis. Read the rest of this entry »
Mr. Blonde: Why, thank you! I don’t mind if I do.
Never was there a better soundtrack for torture than “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Steelers Wheel. Nothing like the groovin’ sounds of 70’s rock to accompany the brutal disfigurement of a helpless officer of the law. I never thought that I would get the chance to put my own twisted spin on the most disturbing scene of one of my favorite movies, Reservoir Dogs. Yet, this is the exact opportunity Theater Schmeater gave me, with some slight variations. One difference, obviously, is that it’s on stage, and the second is that it features some tough-as-nails women flashing .45’s and .357’s talking about murder and robbery. The show? Reservoir Dolls!
On a recent trip to New York, I decided to see what a few of our producers were up to, and was able to sit down with Jeff Lepine from the People’s Improv Theater (the PIT) and Larisa Fuchs from Gemini and Scorpio. They put on different types of events the PIT is an improv theater branched off from the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and Gemini and Scorpio throw awesome parties but their goals are similar. They both emphasize supporting, nurturing and welcoming newcomers into their respective communities.
Jeff has been involved for two of the PIT’s eight-year history, after being involved in the theatre and improv scenes from Seattle to LA to Manhattan. When he came aboard, the PIT was located in a tiny, second-floor Manhattan theater, but in January was able to move to a ground-floor space with a coffee shop, offices and two separate theaters for different kinds of events.
After the founders’ experience with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, they knew their community well, and knew they had a niche to fill, one with an open philosophy. They work within the ethos of “Craft, Community, Career” – people come to the PIT to work on their craft. In the process, they become involved in a larger community. Ideally, the combination of building craft and fostering community helps the participant’s career. Their programming is a combination of classes and performance, and their house improv teams draw from their classes. Read the rest of this entry »