Happy Merry Chrismakwanukahhanzukah!
A Bonus episode! For all who celebrate – the only thing you’ll ever have to say. From The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged).
Reed Martin has written Harpo and Chico and Bill, a new comedy about Harpo Marx, his son Bill, and Harpo’s brother Chico as they try to put one final live stage show together late in their careers. Written during the pandemic, Reed's play is is now having its world premiere (under his direction) at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. Reed discusses how the script came to be, how it's evolving with his all-student cast, and where it might go from here; how he got to meet Harpo's son Bill; how Reed exaggerated the drama (but only a little); how you can't find a single person who has a bad word to say about Harpo; the importance of family both onstage and off; and how Reed's performing the public service of introducing a new generation to classic comedians and timeless bits. (Length 22:16)
Director Jemma Levy discusses her incredibly successful production of Shakespeare's problem play Troilus and Cressida for the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern in the fall of 2023. Jemma reveals what makes the play so complicated to pull off; how she managed to craft a through-line for it with the help of talented actors and and wise dramaturgical archeology; the frustration of not knowing any of the Trojan War's inside jokes; the problem of the title; the complication of not knowing who to root for; the play’s many shifts of tones; the ability to edit the play and give it a better focus; the degree to which Troilus and Cressida can be considered satire, pastiche, or parody; and the best way to handle “constant awful” – by laughing at it. (Length 20:29)
The RSC's own Dominic Conti has published his debut novel Your Book Club, a weird and compelling character-driven mystery that explores madness and "reexamines the art of reading and the postmodern experimental meta novel." Dominic reveals his unconscious influences; a few mild spoilers; the difference between writing a play and a novel; the perfect director for the film adaptation; inspiration from both Stephen King and Ken Kesey; the significance of one specific proper name; unreliable narrators; and the vital importance of continuing to write so you can discover what you have. Your Book Club – the perfect choice for your book club! (Length 21:42)