Archive for the Actors Category

The Life and Work of an Audiobook Narrator

Posted in Actors, Performance on 2014/03/09 by mattermind

I am a satisfied member of  Each month I download two books for a paltry sum measured against the wealth I receive in return.

I mention this in full disclosure considering this LINK to a fascinating dialogue in Slate between an author and the man who narrates his books – considered by many to be one of the best in the business.

It’s an up-close-and-personal discussion on the joys and responsibilities of becoming the voice of a novel or work of non-fiction, how that process looks from the inside out.  I found it riveting and relatable, especially considering the number of titles I enjoy each year.

I hope you like it too.  I’ll be back with King John bright and early tomorrow.


M Is for Moonlighting

Posted in Actors on 2010/02/14 by mattermind

I’m being facetious with the Bond reference, of course.  Dame Judi Dench could read the phone book and be riveting to many, let alone when she graces the stage to perform Shakespeare.  But perhaps there are packs of wanton younglings who may know her only from her day job.

Because of movies like Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings, a generation of young people is growing up without realizing that some very fine actors have been cast in character parts — and I’m not talking about the smoldering-but-too-young-to-be-talked-about-in-quite-that-way-yet-without- sounding-a-little-creepie Emma Watson.

Hit some day, kids, after trolling youtube and god knows what else.  You may just be surprised by who those “grown ups” turn out to be.

48 years after Dame Judi Dench first played Titania in the 1962 Royal Shakespeare Company production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ directed by Peter Hall, she revisits the role again in a new production of ‘Dream’, also helmed by Hall, and currently playing at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.

Since their collaboration in 1962, Dench and Hall have subsequently worked together on Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre), The Royal Family (Haymarket) and Hay Fever (West End). The Times Online spoke to the long-time friends on their lasting partnership and the revival of ‘Dream’ which is slated for a run through March 20, 2010.


Reduced Shakespeare Company Expanded

Posted in Actors on 2010/02/02 by mattermind

Here’s a taste of the Reduced Shakespeare Company for those who have yet to be initiated:

From Pasadena Now, what appears to be a legit newspaperish online presence in and around Pasadena, California:

[UPDATE: thanks for the tip regarding Pasadena Now.  A lot does change after you move away.  Still, always better to be careful.]

All 37 Plays in 97 Minutes! An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy – 10 years in the West End at the Criterion Theatre – and is now on tour. Join these madcap men in tights as they weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter.

They will be performing their madcap mayhem in Beckman Auditorum on the Caltech campus on Saturday, Febraury 6, at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $29, $24, $19 / $10 youth. For tickets and more information call (626) 395-4652 or log onto Caltech is located at 332 Michigan Avenue, Pasadena.


Jean Merilyn Simmons (January 31, 1929 – January 22, 2010)

Posted in Actors on 2010/01/24 by mattermind

Sweets to the sweet! Farewell.

Lay her i’ th’ earth

And from her fair and unpolluted flesh,

May violets spring!

The actress who played Ophelia in Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet has died.

Here is the headline and link from The Telegraph UK:

UPDATE: As of 1 AM Pacific Time (US), the link no longer works.  I’m leaving it up because the main page on The Telegraph still points to this address for its obituary.

UPDATE UPDATE: Shame on the Washington Post for running a William Shatner ad preceding its obit.  I would have posted it as an alternative link, but now under no circumstances.  I refuse to dishonor this beautiful and talented woman by saying further here.


Jean Simmons remembered: tributes to the demure, doe-eyed British beauty of film

Actress Jean Simmons, who has died aged 80, seemed destined for stardom from the moment she was plucked at 14 from a London dance troupe to make her first film.

Who Can Resist Ian McKellen?

Posted in Actors on 2010/01/21 by mattermind

An emeritus professor of acting in general, and Shakespeare in particular, now on DVD!


In the video, the celebrated Shakespearean actor is “Alone on stage, with no props or costumes, distinguished and celebrated actor Ian McKellen performs some of the most striking monologues from Shakespeare’s masterpieces. With wit and humor, McKellen continues this amazing one man show by discussing his relationship with theatre and offering a discourse on some of the greatest plays of all time.” (source: product description.)

‘Acting Shakespeare’ is released by E1 Entertainment. To purchase a copy or for more information, please click here.

Life After Hamlet

Posted in Actors on 2009/12/18 by mattermind

Interesting article, in a fluffy, TMZ way (not that there’s anything wrong with that) about Jude Law possibly wanting lighter roles after stretching himself to fill Hamlet’s tights on Broadway.

At first glance, Jude Law seems well cast. And yet… I dunno. Am I wrong or is Hamlet written for a younger man at an earlier crux in life? Maybe I have too many associations in my head, but…

As I noted in one of my first posts about Al Pacino, actors must thank their Hollywood Walk of Fame stars that Shakespeare wrote all that rebound material for them.

From Hamlet to Repo Men… that’s gotta hurt.


Pacino to Play Shylock in NYC

Posted in Actors with tags , , , on 2009/12/16 by mattermind

If you happen to be in New York City in the summer of 2010 — or are just looking for a good excuse to go — be sure and catch one of the world’s finest actors doing what he loves to do: restore credibility sanity by playing a character with a little more, you know, substance.

The LA Times is reporting that Al Pacino is set to play reprise the role of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice in Central Park!

(But will he go undercover? That’s what we really want to know, isn’t it? Shylock, LAPD’s finest on the case. Cracking down on vice in Venice, CA. Hey, if Leonardo DiCaprio can play a modern Romeo… couldn’t Robert DeNiro be cast as well? Somebody call Baz, quick!)

How nice must it be to have Shakespeare to fall back on when you read script after script of flat, cliched parts?