Remembering Brian Dennehy

Actor Elizabeth Dennehy (left) remembers her father Brian Dennehy, “a tireless tragedian of the old school” (Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune), who passed away at the age of 81 on April 15, 2020 from cardiac arrest due to sepsis. Elizabeth shares what it was like to grow up as the great actor’s daughter and what lessons she learned about the business from him; how her father did it backwards (family first, carousing second); was inspired by Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, and Oliver Reed; grabbed both roles and audiences by the throat; grew into his looks; loved taking roles that scared him and surprising people at auditions; took command of his physicality; was powered by adrenaline; and was absolutely terrified (in a good way) by the challenge of A Touch of the Poet. (Length 23:44) (Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Dennehy.)

Once Again: Mr. Brian Dennehy

“The dream is the most important part of our lives.”
Brian Dennehy, 1938-2020

We remember Brian Dennehy, the acclaimed actor who passed away last night, April 15, 2020, with this repost of our podcast interview with him from 2012, recorded during his run of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Brian offers praise for his fellow actors, identifies the weather phenomenon O’Neill’s plays can best be described as, reveals what can happen when you succeed in an O’Neill play, shares who he thinks should be considered the Iron Man of the American theatre (the requirements for which sound strangely familiar), and laments the disturbing lack of 73-year-old vampires in the American cinema. (Length 19:09)

Episode 587. Slings & Arrows

With the premieres of both Rise (on NBC) and Barry (on HBO), it’s the perfect time to satisfy listeners who’ve asked us many times to delve into the seminal TV show Slings & Arrows, the Canadian production that lovingly sends up and celebrates the business and art of theatre, and is the definitive depiction of our business on television. Howard Sherman returns to talk about what makes this show so great (and occasionally painful and eye-rolling) and offers a defense of theatre administrators; a recognition of fantastic actors such as Rachel McAdams, Stephen Ouimette, and Paul Gross; detailed explorations of theatrical art; surprisingly complex and nuanced interpretations of Shakespeare; the importance of — yet again — representation, and — coolest of all! — where you can currently see the show online for free right now.