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Making a B Line (can’t say P) to Potted Potter

13 Nov

potted-potter-posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I’m no stranger to the ‘reduced’ format when stage performers decide to condense a very well-known work from its voluminous size down to a few minutes. The final result is often hilarious and you do not need to attempt to read the book afterwards! Take, for example, the many works of William Shakespeare (which the Reduced Shakespeare Company is famous for) or Star Wars (One Man Star Wars). There’re other works too, and when I heard about Potted Potter, I had to be there and drag James Shaw along. He saw the movies, but never read the books. Yes, shame on him!

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Just How Many Times Can John Cleese & Eric Idle Be Together Again at Last, for the Very First time

18 Oct

CleeseAndIdleCartoonBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Eric Idle and John Cleese are “Together Again at Last, for the Very First Time” — that’s the name of their show, and these living legends certainly had me enjoying their quirky comedy live and singing along to the many memorable tunes Idle composed over the years. Cleese, as a producer, recounted how Monty Python formed (it was through fortunate circumstance) and while some of the content is familiar — from his previous tours — to see the two join forces showed just how loved they are by fans.

They talked about the origins of the group and two of their movies: Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian near the end of the first act. With Spamalot by the Victoria Operatic Society still fresh in memory, to be reminded of this Arthurian tale not only had me wondering which parts of the films they enjoyed the most. When Cleese talked about what worked cinematically, I get the sense he wants to be more involved in the production of a film. It’s a medium he’s embraced and to hear him praise cinematographer Terry Bedford as to how to comedy should be captured on film, had the movie editor in me take mental notes. His little lecture reminded me in how live skits should really get recorded so nothing is missed. Instead of relying on consistent cuts for close-ups and focusing on one character, a better technique is to go wide, and let the actors do their routine. That is, the camera is better off left to catch the action as a single shot.

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[Victoria, BC] The One Man Mega-Hit Marathon (Star Wars, LotR, Batman)

4 Oct
Charles Ross presenting One Man Lord of the Rings

Charles Ross presenting One Man Lord of the Rings

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Charles Ross will be taking part in University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre’s celebration of 50 glorious years of creating great theatre. During this alumni festivity, he will be performing an exhaustive “One Man” Marathon (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Batman). The fun begins on October 11 and ends on the 17th. There are other shows taking place too, but I’m sure the nerds of Victoria, BC will be there for Ross.

For those who have not seen these shows, I heavily recommend to readers nearby to consider making a trip over to the south-eastern tip of Vancouver Island. Not many people realize this garden city is his home; for those who do not know what this part of the world is like, its beautiful for much of the year because of its varied (mostly British) architectural heritage, temperate climate and laid-back attitude. To adventure here will imitate part of the hero’s journey Ross often puts across in his shows. To discover what that means requires attending a performance.

To learn more about this man and his works, including a look into how he approached developing each of these One Man shows, please look at these past interviews and look at his current works in progress:

(Otaku no Culture) Charles Ross’ One Man Star Wars & Lord of the Rings

(Two Hungry Blokes) One Man Star Wars Does the Dark Knight Trilogy

(Two Hungry Blokes) Will There Be Further Adventures of Ape Man and Fish Boy?

To purchase tickets, please visit the Phoenix Theatre’s web page here. Matinee shows are offered for Star Wars and Batman over the weekend.

Video

Takei’s Powerful Broadway Musical ‘Allegiance’ to Make Silver Screen Debut

26 Sep

allegiancecastBy James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

If you missed George Takei’s Allegiance, the first Broadway musical written by Asian-Americans, about Asian-Americans and starring Asian Americans, get ready for a single night’s performance on December 13th. This time you won’t need a seat in New York City’s Longacre Theatre where it ran from late 2015 to early 2016, only a ticket to the cinema. The play written by Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione was inspired by Takei’s experience as a boy in a Japanese-American internment camp during Word War II and will move from the stage to silver screen. Movie audiences will be treated to an exclusive introduction by Allegiance‘s star George Takei as well as some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and creators. The play also stars Olivier and Tony award-winning actress Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon), Telly Leung (RENT) and opera baritone Christòpheren Nomura.

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