Thursday, December 27, 2007

EasyBib.com Update

Heard from Matt Porter today regarding the EasyBib.com commercial I
worked on a few weeks ago.

It is the final stage of edits and revisions right now.

The final version should be available on the web soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hired As Background on DOUBT Feature Film

I just received a call from a rep at Sylvia Fay Casting about appearing as background talent in a church scene in the upcoming film version of John Patrick Shanley's (who's also directing the film) award winning play DOUBT, starring Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

On January 7th, I will be at the College of Mount St. Mary's in the Bronx to be on set.

I'm excited to be a small part of this film, as it's a wonderful play (Amanda and I saw it last year), plus it's a chance to watch Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman work.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bud Light Commericial Shoot

The less said about yesterday's Bud Light commercial shoot out at Giants Stadium, the better.

I'll just say that it was unmemorable.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cast As Background Talent in a BUD LIGHT Commercial For This Monday

A beer commercial? How could I say no?

I just got cast as background talent, as a football fan, for a BUD LIGHT commercial that will be shot this coming Monday at Giant Stadium.

I just hope it doesn't snow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Small Film Project for Start of 2008

Jason Godbey of Behind the Rabbit Productions is an old friend from my 13th Street Rep days and he's invited me to participate in a short movie project that he expects to work on this coming new year.

Jason's idea is to develop more material for the Behind the Rabbit Productions website and get more people to visit, so he wrote this funny promo about a screenwriter pitching his script idea to a producer.

More info to come on this.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Appearing in Another Episode of THE FANTASTIC TWO

I received a call yesterday to appear in another episode of the funny web series, THE FANTASTIC TWO.

This time around, you'll get to see my face as I'll be playing a priest in a brief scene with the one and only William "The Refrigerator" Perry, from the Chicago Bears.

That should be fun.

The shoot will take place very soon.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Easy.Bib. com Shoot A Success!

The shoot for the Easy.Bib. com internet ad last evening went very smoothly. Thanks again to director Matt Porter for the chance to be a part of the project. The ad should be finished in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pioneer Playhouse Announces New Season

Pioneer Playhouse has announced their season of plays for 2008.

Leading Ladies
by Ken Ludwig

June 6 – June 21

Jack and Leo, two down-on-their-luck actors impersonate long-lost nieces (yikes! nieces!) of a dying wealthy woman. The old lady's health improves, people are growing suspicious, and Jack finds himself falling in love with his "cousin" Meg. A high-octane Charley's Aunt, by Broadway's leading comedy master. Rated PG.

Morning's at Seven
by Paul Osborn

June 24 – July 5

Kim Darby (who starred in True Grit and is a multiple-Emmy nominee) returns to the Pioneer Playhouse in this portrait of small-town American life, as a member of the quirky Gibb family, who've lived next door to each other for most of their lives. When sisters Cora and Arry have designs on the same husband, and when the son brings his girlfriend home to meet the folks, things are about to just maybe ... change? Revived to great acclaim on Broadway. Comedy/drama. Rated G.

Death by Darkness
by Elizabeth Orndorff

July 8 – July 19
Special Event! World Premiere!

"You will be changed by this cave," warns Stephen Bishop, the slave guide of a party of tourists at Kentucky's Mammoth Cave in 1842. Before the night is out, two visitors are dead, one is unmasked as an imposter, and more secrets are buried deep in the dark of the great Star Chamber. A murder-mystery inspired by local legends. Rated G.

Saturdays Matinees may be added!
Also, Q&A and meet the author, Thursdays and Fridays.

Love, Sex and the IRS
by BillyVan Zandt and Jane Milmore
July 22 – August 2

Two guys in New York room together, but to save money Jon has been filing tax returns listing the pair as married. IRS man Mr. Spinner comes to investigate and Jon's mother, financee and ex-girlfriend drop in, with complications sure to multiply! Rated PG.

Cookin' with Gus
by Jim Brochu
August 5 – August 16

Set your timer for two hours of laughs when cookbook author Gussie Richardson is offered a dream job: her own TV cooking show ... only to discover she "freezes" in front of the camera! Will hypnosis and her tipsy Gypsy neighbor Carmen help ... or become the perfect recipe for disaster? A sidesplitting comic feast, starring Playhouse artistic director Holly Henson. Rated G.

While I wish the Playhouse luck on their upcoming season, I have decided that I will not be returning this season.

Cast in Easybib.com Internet Ad

I have just been cast by NYU student Matt Porter in his upcoming internet ad for the website EasyBib.com. Matt has one pilot commercial under his belt, which was well received and has been given the go ahead to produce a few more that may actually be on the EasyBib website.

EasyBib is an automatic bibliography composer. It formats, alphabetizes, and prepares your MLA works cited list for printing. It apparently gets millions of hits a week.

I'll be shooting the commercial this Friday evening. The premise is simple: A stuffy professor (I guess I do them well) using the old fashioned way (I remember it all too well) and a student using EasyBib.com race to complete a bibliography, with humorous results.

It looks like a lot of fun, plus it's something to do. The rest from TNOTLD has been nice, but now I'm getting that itch again to get back to work.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Fantastic Two Episode Now Online!

Episode Seven of THE FANTASTIC TWO is now available on their website www.thefantastictwo.com

The episode features my appearance (my voice at least) as KIFF, the talking car.

Lots of fun.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Final Thoughts On TNOTLD From John Hurley and Brian MacInnis Smallwood

Here are some closing thoughts on TNOTLD from director John Hurley and playwright Brian MacInnis Smallwood.

First from John,

To my cast of 12th NOTLD,

I have been lucky to have had so many shows and so many casts which I have been proud of, but I cannot remember that I have ever enjoyed a cast so much as you both onstage and off.

I'm not going to wish for you such things which only luck can bring such as fame and fortune, but rather it is my sincere hope that you will carry with you in the coming days and years the same affectionate devotion to your art and the same childlike disregard for personal glory and good taste as you have shown to me in the days recently past.

May each of you continue to forget yourselves for the moments you live upon the stage and truly play, and may that joy live in each of you in days and times when your stage is dark.

You were an absolute pleasure to work with and an absolute joy to watch.

You couldn't have been lovelier,

John Hurley

And now from Brian...

Hey Gang.

It's appropriate that the day following the closing of the show is a
dreary one.

I find that all the adrenaline has left me. I'm sick, I'm exhausted,
and I can't wait for the weekend to get here.

But my god, what a show.

This was by far my favorite show I've ever seen. I loved watching all
our work come to fruition in this high paced, REALLY funny, good
looking show. I've never seen an audience in an Off Off Broadway
house react like the crowd at a WWE event. We had them laughing,
cying out, yelling, cheering. We had em in the palm of our hand. I
think about all the exhausted smiles as the audience left, and I think
"You're exhausted from the emotional ride, imagine how we feel!"

To the Cast-
You guys were amazing. You endured gruelling conditions with a smile
and a cup full of blood. You brought Shakespearean caliber to a
hysterical gorefest. I almost thought the challenge that this script
presented would be too much for us, and I'm delighted you all made it
look easy. This show was a gift to the audience, and I hoped you
liked giving it.

To the Designers-
You took nothing and made it into magic. I know it. You crafted a
perfect world for laughter and violence, and that's tough to hit. I
have a closing night present and a check for you. If you're out of
town, tell me where to mail. If you're in town, let me know when we
can hang out.

To the front of house and backstage crew-
Blood, sweat, and turning away customers. Not an easy gig. I want to
emphasize that I am forever indebted to you for making this run as
smooth and rubius as it was. We got buts in seats, put out fires, and
kicked ass. Thank you for that.

To Sarah-
This show was a mitzfah. You took on too much without enough support
and for little pay, and you singlehandedly made this show happen.
I'll remember this, and I got a long memory.

To John-

I want to thank you all for your work, but it's not easy, because it
means its over. Instead, let me say that I greatly anticipate the
chance to work with you again, and you'll be on my short list for a
very long time.

Sincerely

Brian MacInnis Smallwood

A Nice Picture...

...compliments of Larry Giantonio (Feste) of me being directed by John Hurley.

Pictures from Photo Shoot

These are pictures from the photo shoot at Janet Zarecor's apartment a few weeks ago. Thanks to Lanie Zipoy for the shots. The pictures include Benjamin Ellis Fine, Aaron Michael Zook, Reyna de Courcy and Erin Jerozal.






Sunday, November 11, 2007

Click Here for BlogCritics.com Interview

Interview with 12th Night of the Living Dead's Timothy J. Cox
Written by Hannah Marie Ellison
Published November 11, 2007

Timothy J. Cox has carved a niche in the independent theater community as an always reliable character actor. The actor, who just celebrated his 31st birthday last week, has appeared in numerous regional, off-Broadway and off-off Broadway productions.

Acting began for the Philadelphia native when, as a youngster, he was enamored of the movies and of acting idols Jack Lemmon, Spencer Tracy, Albert Finney, and Jack Nicholson. It was while in the eighth grade, as an excuse to get out of math class, that Timothy happened on auditions for the school musical. When he was cast as the male lead, he became hooked on acting and hasn't stopped since.

He is currently appearing as Sir Toby Belch (a coveted Shakespearean role for all character players) in the Impetuous Theater Group's critically lauded production of Brian MacInnis Smallwood's spin on the Shakespeare classic (inspired by the George A. Romero horror film Night of the Living Dead), 12th Night of the Living Dead, now in its final week of performances at The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center in Lower Manhattan.

During the course of its run, the show has received positive notices from nytheatre.com, Back Stage, OffOffOnline, and even the New York Times. It also received a rave from yours truly here at Blogcritics, with Timothy's explosive comic performance as Sir Toby being one of the many things I raved about.

I had a chance to speak with Tim, as he's known to his friends, about the show and his background.

You've been involved with 12th Night of the Living Dead from the very beginning, correct?

I was invited to participate in an informal reading of the script by Brian (MacInnis Smallwood, playwright) and James David Jackson (Artistic Director of the Impetuous Theater Group) in April of 2005. I had met Brian while working on a production of Measure for Measure a few months before; a production that John (Hurley, director of 12th Night of the Living Dead) had directed. Brian's one of the funniest people I've ever met, so when he told me the idea and where he wanted to go with it, I was very flattered to be asked and graciously jumped on board.

Obviously, the Impetuous Theater Group became sold on the idea and followed up with an "extreme" staged reading of the play?

Yes, that was in February of 2006. I was thrilled to be a part of that, especially since John, who's wonderful to work with, was directing. John creates such a fun environment for the actors to work in. He lets the actors play. Plus, he's also very knowledgeable on the subject of zombies. Anything you want to know, ask him. His energy and enthusiasm for the subject is amazing. I think he did 20 minutes on the history of zombies at the read through. I swear, he should go on a lecture tour. It would be educational and highly amusing, I'm sure.

You rehearsed the reading like a full blown production?

We rehearsed for two weeks and then presented it over two nights complete with the blood and guts and people just went crazy over it.

And now, people are going crazy for the production?

Yes, it's been very thrilling. The reaction to the production has been astounding. The reviews have been nice and people are getting the praises they deserve. It helps that the Impetuous Theater Group has a large fan base. They've had a string of successful shows and they're great people, so it's been lots of fun. It's a shame that we're closing, but I don't think you've heard the last of this show. Imagine if this show became a staple on the independent theater scene, playing every Halloween? How great would that be?

In speaking about your performance as Sir Toby, one of the things I loved about what you brought to the character was a kind of roguish charm.

Thank you. Yes, Toby is definitely a rogue. He's all about the good times and if he has to con someone to have his fun, so be it. I mean, look at his relationship with Sir Andrew. He's stealing his money, getting him drunk, just using him in every possible way. But then you look at how he is with Maria. He wouldn't dare pull any of that nonsense with her. She'd kick his ass. Plus, I think Toby really cares for Maria. He tries to turn on the charm for her.

The other thing I adored is how you and Benjamin Ellis Fine (hilarious as Sir Andrew) were so completely and wonderfully aloof as to the presence of the zombies; like completely and utterly ignorant to the fact. It was hysterical.


Yes, Toby and Andrew are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

When discussing the production, one must never leave out the blood and guts. They play a major role in the production.


Yes, they do. They're like another character. The thing I love is how audiences have been howling with laughter as we slip on the blood and guts at the end of the play. They just want more and more of it. I give a lot of credit to Alley Getz, our gore mistress, for all the time she's donated to making all of that stuff work. I must also commend our costume designer Lilli Rhiger, who has had the unfortunate task of getting all the blood and guts off the costumes. They're both wonderful. Everybody involved in the show is wonderful.

I wanted to speak a little about your background. Judging from your website , which features an amazing gallery of the roles you've played, it's obvious that you like character roles.


I'm not tall, dark and handsome. My face is not the kind of face that sets hearts to fluttering. I'm a short, stocky guy with glasses, so of course I'm a character actor, which is great for me, because character actors always work. I think that realistic approach has served me pretty well so far. Lord knows it's saved me a lot of heartache and visits to a therapist.

Timothy J. Cox is available on the web at his official website. You can also read his blog, which he updates almost daily.

12th Night of the Living Dead closes this weekend. Please visit Brown Paper Tickets for tickets.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hannah Marie Ellison Interview...

...went very well.

Hannah and I spoke for about 35 minutes, via the telephone. I found her very kind and energetic. She's a big fan of the show, which is what we discussed mostly, touching only briefly on my background, which I didn't think we were going to touch much of at all.

Hannah said she was going to submit the interview for publication on the BlogCritics site by the end of today, so hopefully it'll be up soon.

It's not an everyday occurrence that I'm interviewed, so I'm curious to see how this comes out.

3 performances of TNOTLD left. 3 sold out houses. Nice!

Will Be Interviewed By BlogCritics Magazine.com

I received this nice email from Hannah Marie Ellison of BlogCritics Magazine.com, with a request to interview me to discuss TNOTLD and my background.

Dear Mr. Cox,

My name is Hannah Marie Ellison, I am a writer covering the independent
theater scene for BlogCritics Magazine.com.

I was treated to your impressive performance in 12th Night of the
Living Dead and I wanted to conduct an interview with you to discuss the
show and your work as an actor.

Please contact me if you are interested. I know you\'re in your final
week of performances, so we can do the interview over the phone or via
email.

Thank you for your time and the best of luck with the remainder of your
run.

Sincerely yours,

Hannah Marie Ellison


Ms. Ellison was one of the many people who gave TNOTLD a glowing review.

We have touched base and the interview will take place, via phone, this afternoon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pick of the Week on OffOffOnline

12th Night of the Living Dead was named "Pick of the Week" on OffOffOnline.com

http://www.offoffonline.com/

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Some Pictures from TNOTLD

Here are some pictures of me (and Erin Jerozal as Maria) from TNOTLD. Thanks to photographer Tony Knighthawk for the great shots.



Behind the Rabbit Productions' GHOST STORY

Behind the Rabbit Productions has just launched their first film Ghost Story (directed by friend Jason Godbey and co-starring John Kwiatkowski) on the web.

The film appears as a four episode series on YouTube.com and will soon be launched on other sites as well.

If you blink real fast, you can see a brief appearance by me in the film's funeral sequence.

Final Week of TNOTLD Performances

It all moves so fast, doesn't it?

Just when you think, didn't this just open, we now come to the final 5 performances of TNOTLD.

The show has come together and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Some Cool News...

Some Cool News...

What's Hot in New York Theatre

Here's the list of the top ten most-read reviews on nytheatre.com for last week:

1. 12th Night of the Living Dead
2. Jersey Boys
3. Frankenstein
4. Minimum Wage
5. Pygmalion
6. Fuerzabruta
7. Cry Havoc
8. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
9. Hamlet
10. Mary Poppins

Friday, November 02, 2007

2 Reviews of TNOTLD from New Theater Corps

The New Theater Corps, as their blog (http://newtheatercorps.blogspot.com/) states, offers a glimpse into what's happening on The New York Stage.

Thank you to Ellen Wernecke and Ilena George for their comments regarding TNOTLD.

Here are their reviews.

12th Night of the Living Dead

Brains are the food of love in this gleefully gory Shakespeare adaptation.

Review by Ellen Wernecke

What would Halloween be without zombies? The wild-eyed, off-balance creatures may drool blood over everything, but they’re just so cute—why, they’re practically human! The Impetuous Theater Group’s production of “12th Night of the Living Dead” could be read as a classically strained call back to the George Romero, social commentary model of zombie, but let’s call it what it is: a joyful and gross re-imagining of a comedy that has never quite been treated like this before.

The love in this Illyria is catching, bite to bite, from the twin passengers on a ship which is struck by a meteorite and wrecked. No one seems to notice the gurgling Viola (Lindsay Wolf), gnawing on a severed arm, doesn’t particularly resemble a boy when she joins the service of the Duke Orsino (Aaron Zook). They don’t even ask her to stand upright for her pains; instead, they pack her off, gleefully biting her way through the crowds, to woo Olivia (Shashanah Newman) at the tomb of her sister. Meanwhile, Sir Toby Belch (Timothy J. Cox) and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Benjamin Ellis Fine), who in their drunkenness resemble slightly the zombies encircling them, enjoy taunting Malvolio (Tom Knutson) even as he himself slowly succumbs, despite his starched propriety, to a nasty little bite.

However clever, the original premise of “12th Night of the Living Dead” can’t be sustained long—zombies, after all, are not famous for their elegant soliloquies. Where Impetuous succeeds there is in letting the disgusting scenario play out to its inevitable conclusion. These characters don’t get Hamlet-style extended death scenes; they wander off and then return dope-eyed and moaning. Director John Hurley continually raises the stakes on the blood and guts (audience murmurs told of a front-row splatter zone, but no one was brave enough to test it), resisting the temptation to rewind the damage that was wrought when Viola and Sebastian washed up on shore. It’s completely sickening, but necessary and more than a little hilarious. The show is not for the squeamish, but the groundlings would have cheered.

---
Now playing at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
107 Suffolk Street
Tickets $18, brownpapertickets.com
For more information, visit the Impetuous Theatre Group website.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
12th Night of the Living Dead

What happens when you cross Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with George Romero's Night of the Living Dead? You get the perfect Halloween treat: a zombified Shakespearean comedy that is a well-balanced mixture of clever, disgusting and hilarious.

Reviewed by Ilena George

The La Tea Theater, which houses 12th Night of the Living Dead, forever won my admiration earlier this year as the venue for Point Break Live!, a production based on the Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swazye film about an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of bank-robbing surfers. The show involved a lot of audience participation, from soaking the first two rows, to holding them up in a “bank robbery” to actually using a member of the audience each night to play Keanu Reeves’ part. 12th Night has a similar appeal: The show is playful, a little ridiculous and completely entertaining.

Although the space lends itself to productions that have an informal feel to them, that’s not to say that the production is poorly put together. Quite the opposite is true. As a whole, 12th Night of the Living Dead melds together Shakespearean and modern references in several entertaining and smart ways. Lillian Rhiger’s costumes mix elements from modern clothing with period dress: The opening scene features Orsino and one of his musicians dressed in bathing suits over white stockings, while also sporting ruffs. The men wear modern suit pants modified to become trunk hose. Even Feste, who is a long-haired, round sunglasses-wearing free spirit in this production, has his jeans hemmed up to the thigh.

Surprisingly, and satisfyingly, the zombie trope is completely apropos for the Twelfth Night story: not only does much of the dialogue readily adapt itself to a more horrific situation (“What kind of a man is he?” asks Olivia, referring to the zombified Viola/Cesario. “He is of…mankind,” replies Malvolio.), but turning the characters into ravenous, cannibalistic zombies also perfectly illustrates the complete self-absorption of all the lovers in the play.

The show stays true to Shakespeare’s dialogue. However, since the undead are rather reticent, the conversations get more and more one-sided as more and more characters become zombies. But many of the characters are so caught up in themselves that they are utterly unable to see the terrible reality right in front of them. Duke Orsinio’s solipsism is especially hilarious; he forms a close bond with Viola/Cesario, thinking “he” is a willing audience to his (Orsinio’s) constant ramblings on life and love, never realizing the obvious—that “Cesario” is a woman and, at least in this particular production, undead.

From Larry Giantonio’s stoner Feste, to zombie Viola (Lindsay Wolf) and her insatiable hunger for human flesh, to Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Benjamin Ellis Fine) and his dead-on comedic timing, to gaunt and severe Malvolio, played by Tom Knutson, the vivid characters are in turn winning, funny and all completely doomed. Although the zombie comedy can start to lose its luster— at times, there is such a thing as too much zombie physical comedy or dribbling blood—the production includes enough gory surprises to keep the material fresh. No pun intended.

12th Night of the Living Dead is a delicious gorefest, including a (literally) visceral death scene near the conclusion and a grand mêlée ending, one that guarantees a bloody good time.

..........................................................................................
12th Night of the Living Dead Adapted by Brian MacInnis Smallwood
Directed by John Hurley
La Tea Theater (107 Suffolk Street, between Rivington and Delancey)
October 25-November 10
Tickets: $18, 1-800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com

Thursday, November 01, 2007

OffOffOnline.com Review of TNOTLD

Romero & Juliet
by Samantha O'Brien
12th Night of the Living Dead reviewed October 25, 2007


The Bard had it coming. All of the elements of Twelfth Night are perfectly suited for a zombie horror interpretation: morbid language, contagious insanity, and near-comical ignorance. The most enjoyable aspect of the Impetuous Theater Group's adaptation, 12th Night of the Living Dead, is that they not only take this unique approach, but pull it off with a stunning degree of commitment to the original work.

Unlike the bloodbath that unfolds onstage, playwright Brian MacInnis Smallwood's adaptation is more like careful surgery than wild hacking, as he extracts only absolutely essential and appropriate parts. The synopsis generally remains the same: Viola disguises herself as a male, Cesario, creating a bizarre love triangle between herself, the lovelorn Orsino, and the mourning Lady Olivia. All the while, the show's pranksters, Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Maria, down some wine and taunt the stiff steward, Malvolio.

Though Smallwood cuts many lines (nearly all of Viola's: as the first zombie, she's reduced to grunts and squeals for the entire show), what remains is strikingly smooth. He occasionally adds fresh updates to fit his subject (when Feste, the fool, exclaims "as if thy eldest son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with brains!" a nearby zombie echoes, "braaiiins!") and assigns some lines to different characters, but his version impressively uses most of Shakespeare's own words to tell a completely different tale.

In this interpretation, a giant green meteor has struck Viola and Sebastian's ship, pulling the vessel down and dragging the siblings apart. Viola washes up on the shores of Illyria, looking a bit pale and, well, different. She walks with a heavy limp and carries herself in a sort of post-lobotomy fashion. Apparently, the meteor has infused her with an insatiable appetite for human flesh – a hunger that is passed onto each of her victims.

One of the most amusing things about watching a Shakespearean comedy is feeling privy to an issue that the characters keep missing. In Twelfth Night, it is their failure to see beyond the gender disguises. This inability to notice unusual realities is also what made the recent zombie comedy, Shaun of the Dead, so amusing. Like the people in that film, the untouched (that is, still human) characters in 12th Night… start out dangerously blind to the plague that's overtaking those around them.

As Sirs Toby and Andrew, Timothy J. Cox and Benjamin Ellis Fine are fantastic aloof fools, giggling and gamboling amidst the bloody scene. Fine portrays Andrew as an amusing kind of man-child with a nice blend of cockiness and cowardice. One moment he’s declaring a duel, the next he’s crying and rocking himself as he’s cradled in a friend’s arms.

Much of the show's hilarity surfaces when Shakespearean eloquence collides with the grit and gore of cult horror. As our Viola snarls and growls at the gate to Olivia's estate, and even bites Malvolio, Olivia's response (lifted directly from the original) becomes absurdly understated: "you began rudely."

The entire cast superbly navigates the unusual territory of spilled intestines and iambic pentameter. Tom Knutson makes Malvolio's transformation into a zombie a particular treat, as the conservative servant gradually loses his rigidity with progressively slumping posture and increasingly breathy, broken speech.

Special effects help the show blend dialogue fit for a production at The Globe with visuals fit for a zombie film by George A. Romero. Increased levels of gore are seamlessly woven into the story. The creepily comical flirting between Olivia and Viola-as-Cesario is a good example. Unaware of the present danger, Olivia takes the zombie Viola's aggression for passion and becomes quite attracted to her attacker.

Even when the zombie bites off her finger, Olivia is not deterred. In a clever spin on Shakespeare's original – which has Olivia sending Cesario a ring as a token of affection – this version has her sending the entire severed appendage.

The production's only weakness is its complete devotion to creating chaos. Often, the zombie groans completely drown out the dialogue. At other points, the action is so widely distributed across the stage that it's impossible to focus. The house, for example, actually has a bar to the side of the main stage. While it's a fitting setting for Toby and Andrew, the bar is located so far from the center that most of the audience cannot see it.

Although the plot centers on disorder, the success of this mash-up rides on its tight organization and nice balance between different genres. In one of show's best scenes, for example, zombie characters pause to have a "chat." While they groan at each other, they hold their lines on cards. The scene is funny and unique, as zombies are traditionally uncommunicative. Leave it to Shakespeare fans to find a way to give pop culture's most ineloquent monsters a method of articulating their thoughts.

Backstage.com Review of TNOTLD (Named "Critic's Pick")

12th Night of the Living Dead
October 31, 2007
By A.J. Mell

What could be more natural than the fusion of Shakespeare's cross-dressing romantic comedy with George Romero's remorseless 1968 zombie classic? Practically everything, of course — but it should be remembered that the subtitle of Twelfth Night is "What You Will," suggesting a somewhat casual, what-the-hell attitude on the part of the Bard. I suspect that Shakespeare, who was not averse to the occasional gory spectacle, might have enjoyed watching the appropriately named Impetuous Theater Group reconfigure his Candlemas confection into a Halloween-appropriate exercise in slapstick Grand Guignol.

Company member Brian MacInnis Smallwood — a name eminently worthy of Shakespearean comedy — wrote the adaptation, and it's easy to assume that he started out with the funny-as-hell title and then concocted this agreeably messy travesty to justify it. The dialogue sticks closely to the original, though this version includes the radioactive meteorite that Shakespeare inexplicably left out. The giant space rock transforms the love-besotted denizens of Illyria into squeaking, gibbering, flesh-eating ghouls who end up feasting on Sir Toby Belch's not inconsiderable guts.

In truth, the conceit is probably more appropriate to sketch comedy; one thinks of such high-concept Saturday Night Live bits as "Medieval Barber" and "Samurai Delicatessen," which traded on similar absurd incongruities. Smallwood and director John Hurley have whittled the play down to a little over an hour, and while that's almost long enough for the concept to wear out its welcome, the cast chews the scenery (and assorted body parts) with such gusto that we don't begrudge the essential thinness of the premise.

Patrons are urged to steer clear of the front row if they want to avoid being sprayed with viscera.

Presented by Impetuous Theater Group at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center's La Tea Theater, 107 Suffolk St., 2nd floor, NYC.

Oct. 25-Nov. 10. Wed.-Fri. at 8 p.m.; Sat., 7 and 9:30 p.m.

(800) 838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The New York Times Review of TNOTLD

THEATER REVIEW | '12TH NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD'

By JASON ZINOMAN

Published: October 30, 2007

“If music be the food of love, play on,” says the lovesick Orsino in “Twelfth Night.” But what to do, pray tell, if severed fingers and human intestines be the food of love?

There’s the rub of “12th Night of the Living Dead,” a gory marriage of the visions of those two singular showmen, William Shakespeare and George Romero, that never quite lives up to its ingenious title. This time the lovers don’t woo so much as wound. Poor priggish Malvolio (Tom Knutson) drools blood, and Viola (Lindsay Wolf) shuts up Sir Toby Belch (Timothy J. Cox) by feasting on his heart. You’ll probably never see another version of the play in which Orsino (Aaron Zook) offers his hand in marriage, literally.

The joke here — and there is just one — is that after a green shooting star crashes off the coast of Illyria, Shakespeare’s characters start turning into gasping, bloodthirsty zombies. The adapter, Brian MacInnis Smallwood, makes a valiant effort to stick to the script — using only Shakespeare’s words — but as the zombies keep multiplying, the spoken poetry becomes something simpler and more to the point: “Gaaaaaa!”

This made-for-Halloween production is part of a venerable tradition of zombie comedy that includes “Andy Punches” (a “Saturday Night Live” digital short featuring Andy Samberg and undead dancing), and the 2004 British satire “Shaun of the Dead.” Mr. Romero himself played with this idea brilliantly in “Dawn of the Dead,” a 1978 horror classic set in a shopping mall that hinted at the comic potential of eating human flesh.

The absurdist humor of “12th Night” is closer to Samberg than to “Shaun of the Dead,” and while it makes for a nice lark, it doesn’t add much to the zombie genre except, perhaps, for a dedication to blood and guts that you don’t often see onstage.

The director John Hurley’s cast is frighteningly game, especially Ms. Wolf, whose slobbering and stiff-legged gait are often confused as come-ons. But the gag does get tired after about 15 minutes of zombie-human interaction. And even the pun in the title is not as clever as the one on a sketch Mr. Smallwood wrote for a podcast advertising the show online. Its irresistible title: “Romero and Juliet.”

“12th Night of the Living Dead” continues through Nov. 10 at Teatro La Tea, 107 Suffolk Street, at Rivington Street, Lower East Side; (800) 838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com.

Monday, October 29, 2007

TNOTLD Opening

As you can see from the reviews below, people are loving TNOTLD. Audiences have howled with laughter over the show and I couldn't be more pleased. The show has really come together.

Larry Lesher, Synge Maher, Aaron Rustabakke and Pioneer Playhouse friends Billy Hatfield and Emerson St. John were nice enough to come see the play last evening. It was nice to have them in the audience.

Today is a day of rest.
Tomorrow...back with the show.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

NyTheatre.com Review of TNOTLD

nytheatre.com review
J Jordan · October 26, 2007

12th Night of the Living Dead is exactly what it sounds like: the famous Shakespeare love story crossed with flesh-eating zombies. The marriage of two such different genres could easily end up making its creators look foolish. In this case, the result is hilarious.

If you don't know the story of Twelfth Night, you're not going to get it here. [Editor's Note: You can a synopsis here.] Likewise, if you are a purist when it comes to Elizabethan Theatre, you should seek your thrills in London at the Globe. And here's why: the play is full of zombies. It's about zombies, people getting turned into zombies, and whether or not true love can conquer being turned into a zombie.

What I love about this production is that the actors are so invested in their zombie characters. In an interesting choice, we never see Viola as a woman. By the time she washes up on the shores of Illyria she's already been turned into a zombie (a freakish meteor hits the ship, causing the crash and ensuing zombie-ism).

And Lindsay Wolf , who playa Viola, is fascinating. I totally believed she was a zombie and that if I didn't remain still in my seat she would catch sight of me and come eat me. In fact, that is practically all Wolf does throughout the hour and ten minutes. And it's brilliant. She is thoroughly watchable.

Likewise so are her zombie counterparts. In fact, the only real problem with putting zombies in a play is that no one will pay any attention to you if you're not a zombie, unless you're about to become one. And there lies the rub. A zombie's intention is clear—she wants one thing: blood. Well, blood and guts and entrails, but that's it. A person, on the other hand, has all kinds of thoughts running through his head. An actor in a Shakespeare play has to communicate all of these thoughts in iambic pentameter and metaphors and who knows what else. It's a fight a zombie will win every time.

All the actors do their best to hold their own above the zombies (before they become zombies themselves), but the one who stood out the most to me is Benjamin Ellis Fine, who plays Sir Andrew. He's hysterical and his sense of comic timing is impeccable.

A zombie purist might say the actors in this production give their zombies too much personality, but I would disagree. In a film, like George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, it pays for the zombies to be soulless entities devoid of personality or individuality. That's what makes them so scary. In theatre that would simply be boring.

And if there's one thing this play is not it's boring. Director John Hurley works hard to keep things moving and as entertaining as possible. There was a moment at the beginning when I thought if I kept laughing this much I wasn't going to make it through the play. Hurley also makes good use of the generous space at La Tea Theater, including a full-fledged graveyard (naturally) along with the rest of the town of Illyria in Rachel Gordon Smallwood's fabulous set design.

The costumes by designer Lillian Rhiger are fitting and, at times, humorous. Rhiger easily blends elements of Elizabethan couture with Bermuda shorts. If you don't believe me you'll have to see it for yourself. As for the makeup and special effects design, Alley Getz and her team of Janet Zarecor and Trixie Tuzzini deserve an award for their work on this production. It's the best I've ever seen.

The lighting and sound design, by Lilly Fossner and Ryan Dowd, respectively, do their best to move along the action without adding to the chaos onstage. The few blackouts leave something to be desired but seem like technical necessary evils.

I certainly didn't leave the theatre disappointed. There were plenty of zombies, an ending I was satisfied with, and plenty of blood. If there's one thing I hate it's that horror plays never use enough blood. When the audience was seated we were warned not to sit in the front row unless we wanted to be splattered.

There's also a ton of gore. It's really, really, really gross. Really. Gross. Just as it should be—after all, this is a zombie play. If you want to laugh and be grossed out and see a play about zombies, then head on down to La Tea to see 12th Night of the Living Dead. Just make sure you sit very, very still in your seat or they'll get you, too.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

BlogCritics.com Review of TNOTLD

Theater Review: Brian MacInnis Smallwood's 12th Night of the Living Dead, New York
Written by Hannah Marie Ellison
Published October 26, 2007

The Impetuous Theater Group, an always dependable, independent theatre company in New York, is serving up some gore and laughs with Brian MacInnis Smallwood's merging of the worlds of William Shakespeare and that of George A. Romero with 12th Night of the Living Dead. It is a wickedly funny homage to the films of Romero, Shaun of the Dead, and countless other zombie films.

The show opened with a flourish last evening at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center (in the La Tea Theater) down on Suffolk Street. Smallwood, director John Hurley, and an impressive cast serve up a bare bones adaptation of the play (coming in at one hour) with something for everyone. It's fast, funny and very, very bloody.

The insanity begins with a shipwreck, not caused by a storm as in the original play, but from a meteorite crashing into the ship (presented here as a rib tickling puppet show), killing many on board. Well, not quite. The action then moves to the kingdom of Illyria, with the Duke Orsino (Aaron Michael Zook) lying around listening to music (Alex Pappas on ukulele), pining away for the love of Lady Olivia (Shashannah Newman).

Viola (Lindsay Wolf), now a zombie, is swept onto the Illyrian shore after the shipwreck. Alone in a strange land and very, very hungry for human flesh, she immediately and easily dispatches her first victim. She assumes that her twin brother, Sebastian (Jason Paradine), has been drowned - but yes, he has also been transformed into a zombie.

While looking for food, Viola goes to work in the kingdom of Duke Orsino, where she quickly becomes his favorite. He makes her (now named Cesario) his page. When Orsino sends Cesario to deliver a love message to Lady Olivia, Olivia herself falls for the beautiful young zombie, believing her (or it) to be a man. Orsino and Olivia are both just a wee bit clueless to the fact that Viola is a zombie.

Meanwhile, Olivia's drunken uncle, Sir Toby Belch (Timothy J. Cox), his silly friend, Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Benjamin Ellis Fine), who is trying in his own fruitless attempt to court Olivia, Olivia's sharp waiting-gentlewoman, Maria (Erin Jerozal), and Feste (Larry Giantonio), the witty clown of the house, hatch a plan to play a practical joke on the pedantic Malvolio (Tom Knutson), the hard-faced steward of Olivia's household. Maria engineers a practical joke to make Malvolio think Olivia is in love with him. (The famous letter scene, which includes Malvolio's "change", is priceless).

At this point, Viola has made the rounds, quenching her thirst for flesh, and causing all hell to break loose in Illyria. Blood is flying everywhere, body parts are being removed and tossed around like softballs, and moans of "braiiinnnnsss" from the new zombies are heard everywhere. It's bloody mayhem and it's bloody good.

It is quite an ambitious undertaking to take a totally cinematic convention and transfer it to the stage. The Impetuous Theater Group is to be given high marks for meeting this challenge head on. While there is a lot of blood splattered in the play, much like Evil Dead: The Musical, none of the violence is meant to offend or even scare. It's all about the laughs for this production, and there are so many.

Each member of the ensemble cast is top notch, all looking like they're having the time of their lives, but favorites are definitely Timothy J. Cox and Benjamin Ellis Fine, driving the show with superlative comic performances as Sir Toby (he also has the play's most memorable death scene) and Sir Andrew, respectively.

Erin Jerozal also scores as a humorous Maria, and so does Larry Giantonio as an amusingly half-baked Feste. Lindsay Wolf, in the physically demanding role of Viola the zombie, is also to be commended.

Director Hurley keeps the show moving at a rapid fire pace with much of the dialogue overlapping and the action constant. Rachel Gordon's set is appropriately gloomy, while Lilli Rhiger's flamboyant costumes add to the ridiculousness of it all. The make up and special effects design, provided by Alley Getz and Janet Zarecor, is also quite vivid.

The show is one you don't want to miss because it has something for everyone. 12th Night of the Living Dead runs at CSV until November 10th. Please visit the Impetuous Theater Group for tickets and information.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Joseph A. Pennino

I received some very sad news late last evening. Joseph A. Pennino, the father of my friend and colleague Tony Pennino, passed away due to complications stemming from leukemia. He was 81. Tony mentioned that even though his father was diagnosed with leukemia almost two years ago, he was, through the care of some of the best oncologists on the East Coast, able to maintain a pretty good quality of life.

I am very saddned by the loss and ask that you please keep Tony and the entire Pennino family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

TNOTLD Opening A Success!

A spirited audience gave cheer to the opening night performance of TNOTLD.

My first scene was a little off, because I got into a bit of a coughing fit (it always happens on openings, doesn't it). I recovered and the scenes popped with nice energy and enthusiasm.

We still have some work to do, but the reaction was nice and the cast looked like they had some fun.

Back again tomorrow.

TNOTLD Opens Tonight

Opening night has arrived for TNOTLD.

The show is not yet 100 percent ready, which is a little unsettling. Since we worked so briefly in the actual performance space, many of the cast are still finding their way on the stage. I certainly am.

I'll manage. I always do.

I am excited for the opening though and hope people enjoy themselves.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

First Night at CSV

We ran a cue to cue of sorts in the performance space last night, just to adjust some new blocking...work with costumes and all the blood.

While it was nice to be in costiume, I have to say that carrying all of that extra weight...meaning the fat suit...is uncomfortable at times, but we were starting and stopping...working for close to 3 hours, whereas the show itself will run only 1 hour...so in the end, it won't be so bad.

Tonight is the final dress rehearsal. I day away from the opening and a hopeful success.

A Great Wall Street Journal Article on Michael Caine

Michael Caine, Working Actor

By JOANNE KAUFMAN

October 9, 2007

New York

Sir Michael Caine has won two Oscars (best supporting actor in "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "The Cider House Rules"), four Golden Globes and assorted other trophies and medals. He prides himself on his cooking and his gardening, his artistic integrity and his ability to tell a good story. But if he knows himself to be outclassed, he doesn't hesitate for a second to acknowledge it.

Consider the case of "Sleuth," a psychological drama, opening Friday, that stars Sir Michael, 74, and Jude Law and involves a brief meeting of their lips. "Jude's a better kisser than me. Jude is good. He's had a lot more practice," allowed Sir Michael, who's been married for 34 years to a former model and contender for the Miss Universe title. "But I think I'm too old for Jude Law. He likes them a bit younger. I'm over the hill as far as he's concerned."

This isn't his first go at "Sleuth." In 1972, he starred with Lord Laurence Olivier in the film version of Anthony Shaffer's hit play -- a cat-and-mouse game between a crafty best-selling mystery writer and his wife's callow young lover, the part then played by Sir Michael, now assumed by Mr. Law.

But Sir Michael wants you to understand that this "Sleuth" is not that "Sleuth." It's not some tedious remake but a whole fresh take. Only two lines from the original screenplay remain in the new script by Harold Pinter, he points out. Further, he says, in the 1972 movie the cuckolded novelist was a dangerous eccentric; this time out, he's a murderous psychopath. Entirely different ball game.

"The point is I never would have done the Tony Shaffer movie again, because between us we didn't do a bad job and it would have taken a tremendous effort to be very little better," said Sir Michael, relaxing on the couch in his midtown Manhattan hotel suite. "But when Jude came to me with the new screenplay, I thought 'this is fantastic.' When I was doing 'Sleuth' with Larry, I always thought his was the better part -- and now I'm playing it, so I'm happy."

Sir Michael has come full circle in more ways than one. He and Mr. Pinter were stage actors together half a century ago. Then "Harold decided to write plays and wrote a one-act called 'The Room' that I did at the Royal Court," said Sir Michael, referring to the legendary London theater. "So I was one of the first people to do Pinter. Then he wrote all these wonderful things for 50 years and I never did any of them, and I thought 'Well, I started you off and I never got another chance.' "

Sir Michael has embraced middle age and the years beyond with an ardor matched by very few performers. This attitude has kept him employed. Perhaps more important, it's enabled him to make the knotty transition from movie star to name-above-the-title character actor.

"I never became a failed movie star. I became a successful movie actor, which is your only choice," he said. "If you sit there waiting for romantic leads to come along and think you're going to get the girl at 85. . . And I'm still here and I'm being interviewed. A lot of people who were movie stars, if you sent their agent a smaller part the attitude would be, 'Oh, don't even give him that to read -- he's a star,' " said Sir Michael. "You had loads of these aging stars who never worked again and were in quite dire straits because they wouldn't do a small part or a character part.

"I have become a sort of leading character actor. The difference between that and a movie star is a movie star gets a script and he's reading it" -- here Sir Michael does a pantomime of paging through a document -- "and he's saying, 'Oh, Michael Caine would never talk like that. Michael Caine would never wear that. Michael Caine would never do that.' . . . A character actor looks at the script and thinks, 'Hmm, I'll put on weight for the part. I'll shave my head and be a bit bald.' He changes himself to fit the role, which is what I do."

He can hardly credit his success to any early encouragement. "When I was young, the advice I was given by my elders and my betters was 'give it up,' " recalled Sir Michael, the son of a Cockney fish-market porter and charwoman, who was born Maurice Micklewhite and got the inspiration for his stage name from a movie theater marquee advertising "The Caine Mutiny." "They thought I was useless. I was going into a profession where everyone spoke properly in a very posh accent, and I didn't talk like that.

"Even from my own kind, who you would expect to be encouraging, every single one of them said 'who do you think you are?' -- the inference being that I had ideas above my station. But I thought I could be a great movie actor. I was the first generation of performers who the first actor they saw when they were children was in the cinema. You read all those biographies of John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson and Larry, and it's always 'Nanny took me to the theater. The curtain went up and the lights went down and I knew what I wanted to be forever.' I went to the threepenny Saturday morning kids' program at the cinema and the first actor I ever saw was the Lone Ranger and I wanted to be the Lone Ranger and I knew I could do it. And I didn't have to have a posh accent."

The last laugh -- though Sir Michael says he hopes he isn't so shallow as to require such a thing -- has come in the form of his trophies and his title, his homes in London and Surrey. "I see myself as an example to young working-class people in England that you can do it," he said. "I felt vindicated one day when I read an article about the young Bob Hoskins, who when he was asked 'what made you think you could become an actor with your accent?' said, 'Michael Caine made me think it.' "

In civilian life, 50 years at the same job means a gold watch and, perhaps, a testimonial dinner. For Sir Michael, who will keep working "as long as I get offers I can't refuse," it has meant fielding endless questions about the secret of his long-running success. Here's the secret: "I always take life exactly as it comes." It has also meant sitting through many a celebratory retrospective.

"You know what happens at a retrospective?" demanded the star of "The Ipcress File," "Alfie," "The Man Who Would Be King," "Educating Rita" and "The Quiet American." "They run all your movies in about half an hour and you watch yourself grow old. It's terrible. I come bouncing on in 'Zulu,' very slim and very young," Sir Michael added, referring to the 1964 movie that first brought him to the attention of audiences. "And gradually I end up . . . crumbling."

Ms. Kaufman writes about culture and the arts for the Journal.

Monday, October 22, 2007

TNOTLD Opens Thursday!

The show opens on Thursday, yet I don't feel nervous at all. After visiting the theatre this afternoon, just to look around and get a feel for it, I'll just be relieved when the show is up and we get those richly deserved laughs.

The show has received a huge PR push, thanks largely to Lanie Zipoy, whim I met very briefly at the photo shoot last weekend. Lanie has the show listed in all the major publications, online and print...so hopefully, we'll have great houses all throughout the run...assuming, of course, that people like the show.

We'll see.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

TNOTLD to Begin Tech Rehearsals

We ran the show for the first time, without tech, last evening. It felt nice to run it, get a feel for the pace of the whole thing. This show flies...it's amazing how fast it goes. The entire cast is pretty much non stop throughout the entire show, so you really need to be on your toes, which everyone is.

The scenes are poppping with good energy with everyone looking like they're having a good time, which is important. If an audience sees you, the actor, having a good time, then they will have a good time.

Costume designer Lilli Rhiger introduced me to my fat suit and it's just great. I'm going to be hot as hell wearing it, especially for two shows back to back, but it's worth it. Thanks, Lilli for all the hard work!

Two more rehearsals at Center Stage, then off to CSV to get some time in at the performance space. I'd love it if we had more time in the performance space, but what can you do.

JUDGE HATCHETT

At 8:45 am on this past Thursday morning, I arrived at 105 E. 106th Street to participate as a member of the courtroom audience for a taping of the courtroom series JUDGE HATCHETT.

I'd never done anything like this before and it looked like fun.

Well, it was fun and also an easy $50.

The episodes will air soon, but who knows if you'll be able to see me on camera.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

TNOTLD Updates and Other News

Just a few weeks until TNOTLD opens and everyone is excited. A few members of the cast (myself included) met today for a brief photo call (in full zombie make up) and it was fun to see what the make up people were able to do. Ben Fine added a fine touch of his own with some scary contact lenses.

We rehearse just about every night this upcoming week, so it's going to be pretty busy...but it's also the time when we start having fun with the show.

Last night, Amanda and I went to support Larry Lesher's new play SAY YOUR PRAYERS, MUG (playing at the Red Room until October 27th), which was a lot of fun. Congrats to Larry and the cast on jobs well done.

Heard from Ty Williams regarding the Writers Ink Productions film TRIUMPHANT HEARTS, where I play a small role as a film professor. The film is about 80 percent finished, so hopefully, editing should be completed in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Last Evening's Reading

I met with Rhiannon West, Brendan Russo and a cast of strangers at the Public Theater to read Brendan's play MY BROTHER. The reading took place in a conference room in the theatre. Funny, a part of me thought we'd be reading it on the stage.

The reading went well. Rhiannon and Brendan were very nice and right on top of things. Brendan wrote this play in about 6 months and it's a pretty polished piece. Quite impressive really.

A production is slated for next fall, so a lot of work needs to be done by then. Rhiannon will keep me posted on things.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Book Recommendation: ACTORS AT WORK

Rosemarie Tichler (Ccasting director and artistic producer at The Public Theater) and playwright Barry Jay Kaplan's book featuring interviews with 14 great actors, including Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, John Lithgow and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is an intriguing read so far.

Here are some great lessons I have have taken from my reading thus far.

"I think we never finish the learning process of acting. Ever,in fact. As I get older and older and older, I feel I have more and more to learn. And no matter how much you prepare before the first rehearsal of a play, if you are not open to the director's concept of your character, it will be a confrontation rather than a learning experience."

Tony Award winning Actress, Marian Seldes


"I always wanted to have it just happen. In other words, I don't have a technique. I could never fall back on affective memories of something I have worked subconsciously. I don't know what I do or why I do it; I just do it. So I have no kind of conscious technique, and I always wanted it to be that you would walk out and let the character emerge."

Academy Award winner, Estelle Parsons


"The process of rehearsal is to practice and invent endless possibilities."

Emmy and Tony Award winning actor, Mandy Patinkin


"The most exciting thing about acting is surprising people, setting up some expectations and then defying them. That's why playing a scary part is so much fun. When you jump out of character and scare the daylights out of someone."

Emmy and Tony Award winning actor, John Lithgow

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cast of MY BROTHER

My Brother Cast List (** appearing courtesy of Actor's Equity Association)

Asia Booth - Jennifer L. Nasta
John Wilkes Booth- Peter B. Coleman
Edwin Booth- John A. Russo
John Sleeper Clarke- David Geinosky
Junius Brutus Booth- Timothy Joseph Ryan**
Lucy Hale- Myleah Misenhimer
David Herold- Jeremy Tant
Molly Booth- Allyson Morgan**
Young Asia Booth- Maggie Takyar
Young Wilkes Booth- Peter B.Coleman
Young Clarke- David Geinosky
Edwina Booth- Maggie Takyar
Garrett/Theatre Manager- Timothy J. Cox
Doherty-John Lopez
Shiphand/ Soldiers- Matt Brown

Writer _Brendan Russo
Director_Rhiannon West
Producer_Aaron Diehl
Stage Manager_ Kimberly Elenich

Thoughts on MY BROTHER

I read the MY BROTHER script yesterday and think it's fantastic! Brendan Russo is to be highly commended for penning such an exquisite play.

A few months back, I read James L. Swanson's wonderful book Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. Many of the events and details that Swanson discloses in his book are played out in the play.

Garrett, who I'll be reading, is Richard Garrett, the man whose farm a wounded Booth was brought to after his failed attempts to get away after the assasination of President Lincoln and where he would eventually die after soldiers caught up with him. Against orders, Booth was shot by Sergeant Boston Corbett. Booth's body was then carried to Garrett's porch, where he died.

Garrett has one very brief scene in the play, but I'm happy to be a part of the reading and looking forward to hearing it read aloud.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Cast in A Reading of the Play MY BROTHER at The Public

I have just been cast (in two small roles) in a staged reading of Brendan Russo's play MY BROTHER, which will be presented this Thursday evening at the Public Theater. Rhiannon West is directing a reading as a part of the New York Cornerstone Guild.

Here is a synopnsis of MY BROTHER:

Mid nineteenth-century America. A theatrical family falling apart at the seams tries to hold itself together as the country inches towards Civil War. Asia Booth, daughter of the great “mad tragedian” Junius Booth grows up with her younger idealistic brother John Wilkes (called Wilkes), holding down the fort at home, while their older brother Edwin tours the country’s stages with their father.

Upon Junius’s death, and Edwin’s failure to return home to the farm, Wilkes grows resentful, providing for the family as best he can, and vowing to carry on his father’s legacy on the stages of the South. At the onset of the Civil War, the divide between Edwin (a supporter of Lincoln and the Union) and Wilkes (a Confederate blockade-runner) grows even greater. They have become two of the most famous men in the country, while Asia is now stuck in a dead-end marriage to a third rate actor who married her for her family’s theatrical influence. With his mind warped by delusions of grandeur, Wilkes kills the president. The rest of the family is now left trying to understand the reasons why all of this has happened. Wilkes is on the run, while Asia and Edwin are left to finally face the ghosts of their past and – with the eyes of the entire country on them – to heal.


Thanks to Rhiannon for the chance to be a part of the reading.

Brian MacInnis Smallwood in nytheatre.com Podcast

TNOTLD playwright Brian MacInnis Smallwood was featured on the latest episode of
nytheatrecast, a podcast created by Martin Denton of nytheatre.com.

The episode is available at this link: http://www.nytheatrecast.com/blog1/archives/75

Follow the directions on how to download the episode. It's quite funny.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

TNOTLD is Moving Along Wonderfully!

I couldn't be more pleased with how TNOTLD rehearsals are going so far. It's been a great first week. Today is my day off to relax a little.

I'm meeting with costume designer Lilli Rhiger tomorrow to try on the fat suit and some costumes. I'm delighted that Lilli, who did such a wonderful job on the extreme reading, is costuming the production. She's just great!

After that, I'm back in rehearsals.

Make sure you purchase your tickets. I have a hunch that seats are going to go quickly on this one.

The Fantastic Two Shoot

I went out to a televisin studio in Fairfield, NJ early yesterday morning to record a voice over for the next webisode of THE FANTASTIC TWO. It was a fun experience. Heck, it was 10 minutes of work. A hundred bucks for 10 minutes of work is not bad at all.

Thanks to director Seth Grossman for the chance to be a part of the project.

I believe the webisode is going to be available for viewing on October 17th.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

THE FANTASTIC TWO Voice Over Recording Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I will be heading out to Fairfield, NJ to record a voice over for The Fantastic Two Internet Web Series.

I will try to replicate the Talking Car, Kitt from Knight Rider (The voice of William Daniels of St. Elsewhere).

Thank you to Casting Director Allison Twardziak for helping me book this job.

Check out The Fantastic Two on: http://www.thefantastictwo.com

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

George Grizzard, Distinguished Actor of Stage and Screen, Dies at 79

George Grizzard, Tony Winner and Albee Interpreter, Dies at 79
By Robert Simonson

George Grizzard, a seasoned stage actor adept at both leading and character roles, and particularly known for his work with playwright Edward Albee, died Oct. 2 in Manhattan. He was 79.



Mr. Grizzard starred in the original Broadway production of Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He played Nick, the cocky young teacher whose teetering marriage to the flighty Honey is maliciously sabotaged by the warring older couple of George and Martha. Mr. Grizzard held his own against stars Uta Hagen and Arthur Hill, and — though he had received two Tony Award nominations prior to that time — the play firmly established his name.

The actor surprised many when he left Virginia Woolf after only a few months for the opportunity to play Hamlet in Minneapolis at the Guthrie Theatre. He remained in Minnesota for two years, playing many parts.

Mr. Grizzard was back on Broadway in an Albee play in 1996, when he starred as Tobias, the patriarch of a crumbling, if gentile, clan in a Lincoln Center Theater revival of A Delicate Balance. The production was hailed as a fresh vision of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about family and loyalty, with Mr. Grizzard singled out for his thoughtful, subtle, layered work. Many critics said he was better than the play's original star, Hume Cronyn. This time, he won the Tony Award. (His previous nominations had been for The Disenchanted and Big Fish, Little Fish.)

His final visit to Broadway, in the 2005 revival of Seascape, was also his final collaboration with Albee. The playwright's fantastical tale of a meeting between two humans and two lizards was termed somewhat slight, but again Mr. Grizzard was commended for his ease with Albee's brittle language and his ability to breathe human life into the arch proceedings.

George Cooper Grizzard, Jr. was born on April 1, 1928, in Roanoke Rapids, NC, and grew up in Washington. He attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked briefly at a Washington advertising agency, but quit to audition for the newly established Arena Stage.

He made his Broadway debut in 1955 in The Desperate Hours opposite a young Paul Newman. The two played escaped convicts. In 1959, he starred in Budd Shulberg's adaptation of his own novel, The Disenchanted, alongside Jason Robards, Jr., who played a dissolute novelist based on F. Scott Fitzgerald. He and Robards worked together again in in 1961 in Hugh Wheeler's Big Fish, Little Fish.

Hollywood came calling in the early 1960s and Mr. Grizzard scored a significant role in Otto Preminger's "Advise and Consent." But he never had a prosperous film career. Television treated him much better, giving him work in countless television series and movies.

His other Broadway credits include The Happiest Millionaire, Face of a Hero, Big Fish, Little Fish, The Glass Menagerie, Noel Coward's Sweet Potato, The Gingham Dog, Inquest, The Country Girl, The Creation of the World and Other Business, The Royal Family and California Suite.

Easygoing, charming in a Southern gentlemanly way and philosophical about the life of an actor, Mr. Grizzard never stopped working in his later years, taking Off-Broadway roles in Nicky Silver's Beautiful Child and Paul Rudnick's Regrets Only. He played a gay elder statesman of fashion in the latter play, his final New York stage role. Critics noticed that he seemed to do very little to bring to the role the class, humor and gravitas it required.

My First Headshots

Wow, I can't believe I still have these. These are my first headshots...at least 10 years old. I don't even remember the name of the photographer.

Some of these are pretty laughable.

Who am I kidding; they're all pretty laughable.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

From Impetuous Theater Group

From the folks at the Impetuous Theater Group...

Give Blood, Brains, Bucks...Adopt a Zombie

In crowded slums and remote villages around the world, Zombies are waiting.

Waiting for someone who will help them rise above their impoverished performing conditions.

Waiting for someone to care.

You can be that caring friend to a Zombie in need!

Your sponsorship gifts of $10 to $1000 will help provide one special Zombie with essentials such as regular gore and make up, clothing, rehearsal supplies, emergency food, and more. As a sponsor, you’ll be able to watch your Zombie grow and flourish, knowing you are helping make it all possible.


Visit http://www.impetuoustheater.org/donate.html to make a donation.

Click Here to Purchase Tickets for TNOTLD

Here's the link as well: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/21674

Also, just heard from Danville colleagues Emerson St. John and Billy Hatfield and I am delighted that they will be attending the October 26th performance of the show.

Emerson and his crew filmed the documentary that will soon be available for viewing. Billy was a member of the crew as well, but also appeared on stage in BABE and in a very funny cameo in the opening scene of SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS. Two great guys!

Monday, October 01, 2007

TNOTLD

12TH NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

In the latter half of the year 1601, William Shakespeare brought his new work, Twelfth Night, to his contemporary Ben Jonson. After reading the piece, Jonson was purported to say "It's not bad William, but about the zombies . . . " As William had a certain affinity for zombies (his father was a butcher), he quickly renamed the piece Twelfth Night of the Living Dead and mentioned the change to some locals. These locals could not remember the latter half of the title and the play was thus coined Twelfth Night; or, What you Will. Impetuous Theater Group presents the play as Shakespeare intended it.

by BRIAN MACINNIS SMALLWOOD (and WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE)
stage manager SARAH LOCKE*
directed by JOHN HURLEY

featuring
sir toby belch TIMOTHY J. COX
olivia's sister REYNA DE COURCEY
captain NEIMAH DJOURACHI
sir andrew aguecheek BENJAMIN ELLIS FINE
feste LARRY GIANTONIO*
maria ERIN JEROZAL
malvolio TOM KNUTSON
valentine JOE MATHERS
olivia SHASHANAH NEWMAN
curio ALEX PAPPAS*
sebastian JASON PARADINE
fabian WILL SCHMINKE
antonio CL WEATHERSTONE
viola LINDSAY WOLF*
orsino AARON MICHAEL ZOOK*


original artwork JOE BOYLE
graphic design ANA PAULA RODRIGUES
makeup/special effects design ALLISON GETZ & JANET ZARECOR
set design RACHEL GORDON
costume design LILLI RHIGER
lighting design sound design LILY FOSSNER
sound design RYAN DOWD
puppet design JOE POWELL

production staff:
production manager BRIAN MACINNIS SMALLWOOD
technical director JOE MATHERS
general manager COREY HAYDU
box office manager TAYLOR SHANN
head usher AVERIA GASKIN
artistic director JAMES DAVID JACKSON
managing director JOSH SHERMAN
production manager JOE POWELL

* Equity Approved Showcase

Performance Schedule

Thursday 10/25 - 8pm (opening night)
Friday 10/26 - 8pm
Saturday 10/27 - 7 & 9:30pm
Sunday 10/28 - 7pm

Tuesday 10/30 - 8pm
Wednesday 10/31 - 8pm
Thursday 11/1 - 8pm
Friday 11/2 - 8pm
Saturday 11/3 - 7 & 9:30pm

Wednesday 11/7 - 8pm
Thursday 11/8 - 8pm
Friday 11/9 - 8pm
Saturday 11/10 - 7 & 9:30pm
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
La Tea Theater
107 Suffolk Street, 2nd Floor
F to Delancy St. - J/M/Z to Essex St.lemente Soto Velez Cultural Center

TNOTLD: Weekend

I had TNOTLD rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday and we're off to a great start. John seems very pleased thus far.

The great thing about John Hurley, as a director, is that his passion and energy for the project rubs off on you and it makes you want to give him your best. It also helps that when you're working, John becomes your biggest fan.

You can't ask for anything more from a director.

Friday, September 28, 2007

TNOTLD: One

Like kids in extended recess time, the cast laughed heartily as we read through the script for TNOTLD last evening.

It's a nice group of actors; a talented bunch. Many familiar faces in the crowd; old friends like Joe Mathers, Alex Pappas, Erin Jerozal and Aaron Zook. Ben Fine is once again my partner in crime (Sir Andrew) and he picked up right where he left off in the staged reading...by immediately making me laugh. Ben is one of a kind.

After reading through the script, we were introduced to fight choreographer Carrie Brewer (New Mom...Congrats!) who showed us some basic fight moves. It turned out to be a lot of fun, even if it felt like an oven in the rehearsal room.

I'm back at rehearsal tomorrow where the real fun begins.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

TNOTLD Rehearsals Begin Tonight

I have enjoyed my rest after Pioneer, but it's always nice to go back to work.

With TNOTLD opening on October 25th, I'll be in rehearsals a lot, which is great for me. It'll keep me busy.

I have been submitting for a lot of television stuff this week. I was submitted for a Bette Midler music video, but have not heard if I'm going to be used or not.

I will be doing a voice over gig for the web series THE FANTASTIC TWO in a few weeks. I'll be like KITT from Knight Rider, so that should be easy, fun work.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Another Picture from SERVANT

Another picture from SERVANT.

I was messing around with it, trying to make it look cooler.


Pictures from PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD

Here are some pictures from the 2001 production THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, where I played the title character, Christy Mahon.

I just had these pictures lying around and even though I didn't think much of myself in the role of Christy, I will always remember working with the incredible Caren Pauling, who was right on the money as the play's heroine, Pegeen Mike. Aside from Caren's great work as an actress, she was also a very calming influence on me.

Thanks, Caren!



Friday, September 21, 2007

BABE Pictures

Here are a few pictures from BABE.


Here's one with me and Larry Lesher.


With Zanna Fredland.


With Patricia Hammond.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"AMERICAN ACTOR"

Get a load of this...

“American Actor”
Begins Taping in Philadelphia

This American Idol-like production, as this program for Actors has been called, gives local actors a chance to display their talent to three of the top Hollywood agencies in the industry.

Actors in the Philadelphia area will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to display all of their stage and screen acting skills in hopes of being named the winner of American Actor: Philadelphia.

The stakes are high because the winner is guaranteed a slot on the network premiere of “American Actor.”

“American Actor” will be the first fully interactive internet reality show where audiences watching at home not only vote on a winner but actually decide on the plot and characters for the actors!

Because of this, the “American Actor” audition process will be unique - nothing has ever been like this before.

Michael Shoeman, creator and producer of “American Actor,” shares with StageMagazineOnline.com members how the auditions and show will progress in finding the one winner on “American Actor: Philadelphia.”

http://www.stagemagazineonline.com/AmericanActor/
Unbelievable!

TNOTLD Performance Schedule

12th Night of the Living Dead
Performance Schedule

Performances will take place at:
Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
107 Suffolk Street
2nd Floor Theater


Thursday
10/25
at 8:00 PM

Friday
10/26
at 8:00 PM

Saturday
10/27
at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM

Sunday
10/28
at 7:00 PM

Tuesday
10/30
at 8:00 PM

Wednesday
10/31
at 8:00 PM

Thursday
11/1
at 8:00 PM

Friday
11/2
at 8:00 PM

Saturday
11/3
at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM

Wednesday
11/7
at 8:00 PM

Thursday
11/8
at 8:00 PM

Friday
11/9
at 8:00 PM

Saturday
11/10
at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM

"SECRETARY" and Other Films News

The screening of SECRETARY at the FunFest Film Festival went very well last evening. People seemed to enjoy it. They laughed in all the right places. The film has been submitted to a number of other festivals, but no word on acceptance in any of them as of yet.

I received copies of TROUBLE and the 24/7 FITNESS SPEC. COMMERCIAL on DVD yesterday.

I was happy with how TROUBLE came out. As far as my performance, I think it's the most relaxed I have ever looked on screen, whereas with the 24/7 FITNESS commercial where I look ill at ease and very uncomfortable.

Nobody's perfect, I guess.

I wish to thank directors Dan Fishman and Peter Bossio for their professionalism.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

WHY I FIRED MY SECRETARY News

The film WHY I FIRED MY SECRETARY will be part of the Fun Fest Short film series at the Rapture Cafe tonight at 8pm. I, of course, will be attending with director Harris Masood.

If anyone wishes to attend, the RAPTURE CAFE is located at 200 Avenue A, between 12/13th Streets in the East Village.

Directions by Subway: Take L Train to 1st Avenue or 4, 5, 6, N, R to
Union Square

Food & drink can be bought at the cafe!

For more information on the film festival, please visit: http://filmbasics.com/funfest/index.html

Thursday, September 13, 2007

SERVANT Pictures

Here are a few pictures from SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS. I am pictured first Robert Hess and then with Matt Franta.


More Pics from FIREFLIES


Two Pictures from A JARFUL OF FIREFLIES

Here are a few pictures from Catherine Bush's A JARFUL OF FIREFLIES, the last play I appeared in at the Pioneer Playhouse this past summer. I'm pictured with Eben French Mastin, Aaron Rustebakke and Sara Maas. More pictures to follow.





Poster for TWELFTH NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

This is pretty cool.

24/7 FITNESS Spots Finished

Heard from Peter Bossio regarding the 24/7 Fitness spots and they are complete.

He'll be sending me a disc in a few days.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Plug for Larry Lesher's New Play

Larry Lesher is taking a break from directing and will soon be appearing in a fun stage parody of 1930's gangster films called SAY YOUR PRAYERS, MUG!

It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun.

For information on the show, please visit: http://www.offoffonline.com/listings.php?id=7552

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Been Away

I haven't posted anything in a while. Haven't had anything new to report, plus I was in the process of moving and looking for a "job job."

Kyle Pierson and I are going to meet in the next few days to discuss the website. He's planning on teaching me how to make updates and additions to the website myself. He's working two jobs now, so he doesn't need the strain.

There are new reviews on the website from the Pioneer Playhouse season. I should have plenty of pictures on the site very soon as well.

I heard from Dan Fishman about the short TROUBLE. It is complete and he'll be sending it my way. Dan seemed very pleased with how the short came out and my performance.

My brother is getting married this weekend, so I likely won't have much else to report this week.

Next week...more to come. I promise.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More Updates

Heard from Peter Bossio regarding the 24/7 FITNESS spec. commercial I shot a few months back. He had to re-record one of the voice over tracks; said it should be done soon.

TWELFTH NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD officially kicks off rehearsals on October 1st.

Not much else to report at the moment.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Updates

Spoke with Kyle Pierson yesterday. We plan to meet to discuss my return to my involvement in THE GOOTUBE CONSPIRACY. Always fun to work on TGC.

Heard from Ed Herbstman regarding the Xbox game the other day. The game is close to being finished.

I touched base with Harris Masood (WHY I FIRED MY SECRETARY). He is in the process of writing and putting together a few dramatic pieces where I hope he has a role or two for me.

I also contacted Greg Vorob of RANDOM COCONUTS. They have been working on THE POWER TIME SHOW full time and are in the process of writing a sitcom pilot called OVERCROWDED. Hopefully, they'll be able to fit me in a small role or two in those as well.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A VERY MEMORABLE ENGAGEMENT Update

While surfing the net, I found a trailer for the NYU Thesis Short that I briefly appeared in almost a year ago, A VERY MEMORABLE ENGAGEMENT, on the following website: http://room404media.com

The trailer is impressive, although I want to see the finished product.

Getting updates or any communication of any kind from the director has been a task, one that I find regrettable, for I found this particular director to be quite capable on the set. She knew what she wanted and how to get it. She had also written the screenplay, which was a lot of fun.

I can't condone unprofessionalism though. How hard is it to drop your actors an email with updates on the film's status?

Considering my awful track record with NYU's filmmakers, I'm not surprised to not have a finished product. All I hear are excuses from these people.

One thing they don't teach these so-called directors in these so-called film schools is how to act like a professional.

Perhaps a course on how to act like one should be added to the curriculum.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Back from Cruise

Amanda and I returned from our cruise to Canada (St. John's & Halifax) yesterday morning. Highly recommend a Carnival cruise to one and all. Very relaxing and a lot of fun.

"12th NOTLD" is going to start up soon. The cast plans on meeting sometime next week for fight choreography.

No other projects on the horizon at the moment. I'm actually trying to catch up with people about projects that have been outstanding for quite some time.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pictures from THE ODD COUPLE

Here I am as Jesus Costazuela in the female version of the Neil Simon classic.

Also pictured are Aaron Rustebakke and Patricia Hammond.