Wednesday, January 9, 2008
SLINGS AND ARROWS
A current favorite is the hilarious Sundance Channel series, Slings and Arrows, about the behind-the-scenes life of a Shakespeare Festival. Cast and crew struggle to produce plays as the theater runs out of money. Witty dialog and great acting by all, especially Paul Gross, Martha Burns, Mark McKinney, and Stephen Ouimette. A great meditation on art and the marketplace, replete with laughs. Available on DVD.
Every year, I try to get to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to see some plays, and I bet backstage life is not unlike this series. The whole town of Ashland is given to Shakespeare those summer months, with Elizabethan pennants snapping in the breeze as you rush to dinner and plays and have a great time. I can be found at the beautiful outdoor theater modeled after the Globe, or feeding the ducks in Lithia Park, or soaking up ale with Falstaff over at the Black Sheep Pub. I highly recommend a trip.
An NPR interview with castmembers Gross and Burns. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12144988