Bob Hope, ski jump-nosed master of the one-liner and favorite comedian of servicemen and presidents alike, has died, just two months after turning 100. Hope died late Sunday of pneumonia at his home in Toluca Lake, with his family at his bedside, longtime publicist Ward Grant said Monday (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).
Tinder Box, a book about a real Chicago theatre tragedy, was reviewed yesterday:...the Iroquois Theatre disaster of 1903, remains a quick, topical and disturbing read. Almost 600 people died - most of them women and children - when a malfunctioning spotlight ignited a piece of scenery during the matinee performance of 'Mr. Bluebeard' on Dec. 30, 1903. It was the worst single disaster in the history of the American stage, and perhaps the deadliest single-building fire in U.S. history(from Honolulu Star-Bulletin). Buy the book here.
George Bernard Shaw's birthday today; he would be 147 (from Playbill).
Do not lose the faith if you don't get the part:Surprisingly, while unemployment has risen to the highest levels in nine years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment rates for stage actors have remained constant for the past two decades. But still, an actor's chance of working is less than 50 percent in a year; in a week, only 15 percent of members of the actors' union are working, according to Actors' Equity.(from The Christian Science Monitor).
Extra Work: 'Immediately need 300 Commercial Extras per day for July 26, 27, and 28 in Chicago Loop area. Pay is $75 for an 8 hour day with overtime after 9 hours. Must agree to possible long days. You may work 1, 2 or all 3 days. Call The Ambassador Talent hotline at 312-409-4429.' I do not know much about this job; caveat actor.
The joys and terror of things going wrong in live theatre:'Drying'-or going up on your lines-happens to the best of them. I once saw the elderly Sir John Gielgud in David Storey's Home lose his way during a long, important speech. No problem! Gielgud-always a good talker-veered off-course to deliver a fascinating, utterly irrelevant speech about the unpredictable English weather and the joys of gardening until, at length, he found his lines again. As he was playing a patient in a mental home, it didn't seem to make any difference what he said. Besides, it was Gielgud saying it.(from The Observer).
The '98 CDs of The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare, the first major aural anthology of the canon [are complete] - from All's Well That Ends Well to The Winter's Tale - in decades. Produced in London recording studios between 1996 and 2000, and featuring many of the most accomplished classical actors on the British stage, the full set feels like one of those astonishing feats of engineering that result in mile-high towers or friezes chiseled into the sides of mountains' (from The Washington Post). You can buy them at Amazon.com.
'...now the purchase of a theater ticket has come to resemble the purchase of an airline ticket. For complete control - the ability to choose your seat and the date you sit there - you will probably pay top dollar. In most other cases, you can make a deal' (from The New York Times).
'One of the boldest experiments in British theatre is succeeding spectacularly: the gamble of slashing most seat prices to £10 in the National Theatre's largest auditorium has filled the yawning spaces of the Olivier with new young theatre goers' and young audiences are essential if live theatre is to thrive in coming decades (from The Guardian).
Update on one of the reality shows shooting in Chicago: Starting Over has moved to a new neighborhood (from backstage.com), after residents sued the producers alleging the show violated zoning regulations and building permits. It is one of two relaity shows shooting in Chicago.
'Live theater will return to Water Tower Place in the fall of 2004. The family that owns Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace will run the 600-seat theater in the spot now occupied by Water Tower's fine-arts movie theater' (from Chicago Sun-Times).
'Following the defeat of the proposed Consolidation between the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, union officials say that planning is underway on an alternative consolidation proposal' (from Show Business).
For anyone seeking a short-term promotion-type job: 'You will be at the McCormick Center, selling photographs taken of clients. You will need to run a cash register and be very people friendly.
Please pass this along to anyone interested in working this event.
- This event runs July 14th-July 23rd. You will get the 20th off.
- Pay is $100/day
- Uniform is business casualCindy Dupuis-SwigartI do not know much about this job; caveat actor.
PO Box 693
Matthews, NC 28106-0693
The Avignon theater festival, one of the more famous and prestigious in the world, has been canceled (from Chicago Sun-Times). The French Government has proposed changing the way they support artists between jobs, and performers may strike to protest the change.
Chicago Community Cinema, a networking event for independent film in Chicago, meets tonight at 6:00 PM at Excalibur, 632 N. Dearborn St. (Yahoo map).
Today in Theatre History: Neil Simon is born today in 1927 (from Playbill).
Three new venues in town:
Also '[t]wenty Chicago-area comedy theatres have formed the Chicago Comedy Association, to operate under the umbrella of the League of Chicago Theatres. The members range from the globally known Second City and ImprovOlympic theatres to individual sketch comedy troupes such as Stir-Friday Night (Asian-American) and GayCo. Being that their gig is comedy, the names of the founders are more than usually colorful, even for Chicago, with Barrel of Monkeys, Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, Hell in a Handbag Productions, and Salsation Theater Company among them. The work of the participants cuts across the board, from improv and stand-up to scripted comedy classics to original musical comedies. The subgroup within the league has been formed to foster awareness of Chicago's legendary comedy scene, and to promote that scene both locally and nationally' (from Backstage, emphasis and links added by me).
- 'Lookingglass Theatre Company... within the historic Water Tower Pumping Station, on prime downtown real estate at Michigan and Chicago avenues...
- Off-Off-Loop Steep Theatre Company unveiled a new storefront space at 3902 North Sheridan Rd., in the heart of the North Side theatre district, and just a few blocks from Wrigley Field...
- a summer stock operation, has opened in the beach resort community of Saugatuck, Mich., about two hours' drive from Chicago around the tip of Lake Michigan'
No Merger of SAG and AFTRA: SAG members voted 'NO' to the consolidation of SAG and AFTRA into one union. SAG members voted 57.78% in favor of consolidation, less than the 60% needed to pass the resolution. AFTRA members voted 75.88% in favor of consolidation.