Magazine article Stage Directions

Outrageous Fortunes versus Outrageous Melodies

Magazine article Stage Directions

Outrageous Fortunes versus Outrageous Melodies

Article excerpt

There's a great recurring bit in the Canadian TV show Slings and Arrows where Richard Smith-Jones (played by Mark McKinney), the managing director of a Shakespeare festival in Canada, recounts how he fell in love with theatre when he saw A Chorus Line at age 16. A great deal of Season One of the show revolves around Richard's scheming to completely change the Shakespeare fest into a puff musical festival, with tchotchkes for sale everywhere. The shock of such an idea, and its terrifying imposition upon true art, eventually puts the board president into a coma. The plot is only foiled by a brilliant staging of Hamlet.

That's fiction, but one of the reasons that show has become such a hit among theatre geeks is because of how loudly it rings true. For example, I have a playwright friend in New York who's penned a few hysterical TV-action-show spoof comedies. They are tongue-in-cheek, filled with pop-culture references and a blast to watch. After a recent self-produced run for one of his shows, an interested producer called him up to discuss mounting more "episodes." When my friend went to meet with him, the producer explained that he loved the shows, got the concept and was really trying to reach this younger audience. He wanted to produce a late-night run of the shows, which my friend was cool with, until the producer explained that the reason for the late-night show time was so that the play wouldn't interfere with the "real" theatre happening earlier in the evening. By running my friend's shows, the producer hoped to lure unsuspecting audience members into a fun show, but ultimately convert them to more serious - and artistically valid - theatre. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.