Date: 2006 December

December 23, 2006, by
1 comment

December 21, 2006, by
2 comments

A two-minute test beacon
By Michael Wheeler

Steel is moving along at the speed of molasses, but the blog waits for no man, so I soldier onwards.

The most positive Steel-related news was that we presented a short section of it at a fundraiser for Stranger Theatre last Friday and it went over really well. It was encouraging to send a two-minute test beacon out there and be reminded that: a) people like the material; and b) James Murray is a compelling actor. Good work Jimmy. Before I was excited – now I’m psyched.

We had a good rehearsal to put that section together, too. One-man shows are kinda crazy for the actor. There’s no one else there for them to deal with – no objectives to achieve based on someone else’s behaviour. It requires more imagination, more storytelling, more admitting that the audience is indeed there in the room with you.

We’re still trying to figure out where the show will go on. There are promising developments with a space we will be seeing in the next couple of days . . . we shall see.

There has also been some good news on the fundraiser front. We’ve found a space! But I will leave it to Praxis Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director, Simon Rice, to flesh out the details for you at a later date.

Am also musing on how to generate free publicity for our show. We have a very limited budget. If you’re working with a theatre company and have anything opening between now and March, we’d love to have a little thing about Steel in your program. We will obviously do the same for you. It costs virtually nothing and every person who sees it already goes to the theatre. It’s a good deal for everyone all around.

I’m having breakfast with Andrew Zadel (the playwright behind Steel) tomorrow as he passes through the t dot. With any luck, I’ll be able to convince him to contribute to our next Steel blog entry.

Stay tuned.

December 13, 2006, by
Comment

Please join the good folks at Stranger Theatre this Friday for a fundraiser in support of and what Alice found there. Praxis Theatre is also pleased to announce that our very own James Murray will be performing a monologue from our upcoming production of Steel. Music, drinks, hijinks. You are not going to want to miss this event. See you there!

December 12, 2006, by
Comment

We asked:
Who are the two strongest American film actors from this list?

You said:
The problem:
The wording of our question was as ambiguous as a Quebec separation referendum. Eagle-eyed readers quickly noted that of the possible candidates, three were not, in fact, American. While they do all appear in American films, the ambiguity between American films and American film actors may have skewed our survey’s results. We regret any confusion caused by the wording, and will take due consideration of this into our analysis of said results.

In-depth analysis:
The only surprise here is that neither Oscar-winning actors Julia Roberts nor Hilary Swank were able to muster one measly vote between them. Halle Berry gets a sad single. (We know now that at least one person saw the criminally underrated Catwoman.) Nicole Kidman limps in with two votes. Nobody likes Nicole Kidman? Isn’t she Australian? What’s with being Australian anyway?

For third place, there’s a three-way tie, with vetrans Diane Keaton, Judi (The Dame) Dench and Frances McDormand managing a respectable three votes apiece. Finally, Cate Blanchett makes a strong second place showing with six votes.

The winner:
But the clear, and unsurprising victor of this competition is Meryl Streep. We fucking love Meryl Streep. The Hours, Adaptation, Death Becomes Her. What’s not to love? Meryl. We love you so damn much it hurts.

December 11, 2006, by
Comment

One day only:
Harper
s Bazaar, a Cabaret protesting the $1.1 billion in budget cuts that the Conservatives are proposing, is hosted by Adam Paolozza and Melissa DAgostino on Monday, December 11, 2006 @ 8pm in the Back Room at Clintons Tavern and featuring Sandra Battaglini, Michael Challenor, Laura Nanni, Terrance Balazo, Michael Balazo, Kathleen Philips, Bruce Hunter, Adam Lazarus, Press Release, Micheline Marchildon and Lindy Zucker with music @10pm by Shake A Tail.

December 6, 2006, by
7 comments

Prologue
By Michael Wheeler

Okay so Praxis is remounting Steel. It’s a one-man show that connects a Haida teenager, a failed poet and a racecar enthusiast through the Canadian railroad. We first mounted it two years ago and it did phenomenally well. It was Runner-Up for Best Text at the Montreal Fringe and then won the Producer’s Pick and Best Independent Production at the London, ON Fringe. Eventually we brought it to the t. dot for a weekend and rigged up a workshop production we presented on the back patio of Ted’s Collision. Remember, that was a workshop production; ’cause the version we’re doing now is the, wait for it, Toronto Premiere (thank you Chris Reynolds).

The original version was also performed by the playwright, the multi-talented Andrew Zadel. Andrew, selfish bastard that he is, seems to think that his work as a human rights monitor for the U.N. in the Congo should take precedence over Canadian independent theatre projects these days. Thus, the role has been recast with the Robert Downey Jr-esque James Murray (hey that’s not me, it’s eye magazine). I will be directing it again and Simon Rice joins the production as Assistant Director.

So, we are at the early stages of figuring out how this will work. We know we want to put it on in March. We know we don’t need a large venue, maybe 40 seats. We have looked at a bunch of spaces, but none of the good ones have returned our phone calls. I am looking at a new space on Ossington tomorrow, with our lighting designer, Paul Hardy. I’m hoping it will do the trick. Anyone reading this with suggestions in this regard, feel free to leave us a post.

We’re going to continue with these blogs as the production progresses. This is the boring one that you need to read to get the background and everything. Lets call it a prologue. Catch further entries that are sure to be full of bon mots about funny things that happened in rehearsal and arguments about what the poster should look like and all the other mundane things that go into a show that I hope to rehabilitate with my propensity for witty prose. I am purposefully throwing humility to the wind here in an effort to get someone ANYONE to start leaving posts about this thing, even if it’s just to chop my ego down to size. More to follow. Stay tuned.

December 1, 2006, by
Comment

I would go to more independent theatre if . . .
(please pick two)
it was cheaper
I knew more about it
it was of better quality
the plays were more accessible
there were more big names involved
the marketing materials looked slicker
I could easily distinguish between different theatre companies
I was able to buy tickets for a bunch of shows at one time
there was more comedic theatre
I was offered a money-back quality guarantee