Wednesday, January 09, 2008


We've been watching a Canadian TV show (on DVD we got for Christmas) called
"Slings and Arrows" about a theater company who can do nothing right but Shakespeare.
Terrific show with nuances that I am incapable of expressing.
TV actors playing theater actors playing Shakespeare.
Competent actors playing incompetent actors.
A laff riot, with very moving sequences when Will is being performed.

Also the channel nine Great Performances appearance of Gustavo Dudamel's Venezuelan orchestra.

Gus is definitely a 21st century great.

So, we are apparently having a good time here.



Blogger Glenn Buttkus said...

Well, let us see here:

Slings and Arrows is a Canadian TV series set at the fictional New Burbage Festival, a troubled Shakespearean festival similar to the real-world Stratford Festival. The program stars Paul Gross, Stephen Ouimette and Martha Burns.

The blackly comic series first aired on Canada's Movie Central and The Movie Network channels in 2003, and received wide acclaim in the United States when it was shown there on the Sundance Channel two years later. Three seasons of six episodes each were filmed in total, with the final season airing in Canada in the summer of 2006 and in the United States in early 2007.

The show was co-created and co-written by former Kids in the Hall member Mark McKinney, playwright and actress Susan Coyne, and comedian Bob Martin, the Tony-award winning co-creator of The Drowsy Chaperone. All three appear in the series as well.

The title is taken from Hamlet (Act 3, Scene 1) in the famous soliloquy: "To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?"

The location New Burbage seems to be in reference to Richard Burbage the main actor in Shakespeare's company the King's Men.

Each season's production problems mirrors the play the company is performing.

Paul Gross is most famous for the role of Benton Fraser in the series Due South. Benton, like Geoffrey, is haunted by a ghost, although otherwise the nature of the roles is strikingly different.

Several of the cast and creators have longstanding connections with each other and with the Stratford Festival; in many cases they are playing parts that mirror their real-world involvement with the theatre. Oliver, the New Burbage director, is played by Ouimette, who has both acted and directed at Stratford. In the third season, aging Canadian theatre legend Charles is played by Hutt, himself an aging Canadian theatre legend whose connection with Stratford goes back to its first year. In addition, Gross, Burns and Coyne have all acted at Stratford -- Gross notably in the title role of Hamlet.

Gross and Burns, who play Geoffrey and Ellen, are married and, like their fictional counterparts, met while acting opposite each other. As young actors, Ouimette and Burns starred together in Romeo and Juliet and a photo of them in those roles can be seen in Ellen's dressing room. McKellar, who plays Darren, the avant-garde theatre director, is an indie film director and screenwriter who co-wrote Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, which starred Feore. Polley, who plays Sophie in the third season, is the daughter of Michael Polley, who plays one of the two older gay character actors who provide dry commentary throughout the series (and sing the credits). Finally, Coyne and Burns are old friends who helped co-found Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company.

The Drowsy Chaperone, the first Canadian musical to become a Broadway success in decades, was penned by some of the same people responsible for Slings and Arrows. Music and lyrics were by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, who wrote the witty title credit songs for Slings and Arrows, and the book was written by McKellar and Martin. Martin also starred in the show as the Man in the Chair. The third season of Slings and Arrows alludes to the Drowsy Chaperone success with subplots involving Canadians on Broadway and developing a new musical.

Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez (born January 26, 1981) is a Venezuelan conductor

Dudamel was born in Barquisimeto in the state of Lara. He studied music from an early age, becoming involved with El Sistema, the famous Venezuelan musica education program, and took up the violin when he was 10. He soon began to study composition. He attended the Jacinto Lara Conservatory, where he was taught the violin by José Luis Jiménez. He then went on to work with José Francisco del Castillo at the Latin-American Violin Academy.

He began to study conducting in 1995, first with Rodolfo Saglimbeni, then later with José Antonio Abreu. In 1999, he was appointed music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, the national youth orchestra of Venezuela, and toured several countries.

Dudamel began to win a number of conducting competitions, including the Gustav Mahler Conducting Prize in Germany.[1] His reputation began to spread, and he was noticed by conductors such as Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado[2] , who accepted invitations to conduct the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Venezuela.

Dudamel debuted with the Philharmonia, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others, in 2005, and also signed a recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. In 2006, his additional guest conducting appearances included concerts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. He made his debut at La Scala, Milan, with Don Giovanni in November 2006. On September 10, 2007, he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time at the Lucerne Festival. In March 2008, he will appear as guest conductor with the San Francisco Symphony.

In 2005, Dudamel first conducted the Gothenburg Symphony at the BBC Proms, on short notice as a replacement for the indisposed Neeme Järvi.[3] [4] In 2006, Dudamel was named Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony as of 2007.[5] He will retain his position with the Simón Bolívar National Youth Orchestra.[6]

Dudamel made his U.S. conducting debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LAP) at the Hollywood Bowl on September 13, 2005 in a program consisting of "La Noche de los Mayas" by Silvestre Revueltas and the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5. The concert was attended by many American orchestra administrators, and the performance was well received by the Philharmonic, audience, and critics.[7] On the strength of these performances, Dudamel was invited back with the orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall in January 2007 in performances of "Dances of Galanta" by Zoltan Kodaly, the Piano Concerto No. 3 of Sergei Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman as soloist, and Bela Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra" (the latter of which was recorded live and subsequently released by Deutsche Grammophon). In April 2007, during a guest conducting engagement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel was named the LAP's next music director as of the 2009-2010 season, succeeding Esa-Pekka Salonen. His initial contract in Los Angeles is for five years.[8] [9]

On April 16, 2007, Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in a concert in commemoration of the 80th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI, with Hilary Hahn as solo violinist, with the Pope himself and many other church dignitaries among the audience.[10]

Dudamel is featured in the documentary film "Tocar y Luchar," which celebrates El Sistema.

Personal life
Dudamel married his longtime girlfriend, Eloísa Maturén, in 2006 in Caracas. The Simón Bolívar National Youth Orchestra combined forces with the Schola Cantorum to make the event a special musical celebration. The wedding took place in the cathedral at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Montalbán, a suburb of Caracas. Maturén, also a Venezuelan native, is a classically trained ballet dancer and a journalist.

[Good old PBS for bringing everyone some culture]. So, isn't it grand that you and the Frau are laughing it up, and getting a shot of culture nearly simultaneously.

Alex Shapiro is back from NYC, returning in triumph from the Music Conference. She seems happy to be back on her island. I guess she used to live in New York, as well as Malibu. I put one of her essays on FEEL FREE TO READ, and you owe to yourself to check it out. It will put you in a positive frame of mind in terms of your composing, and your Art.

I returned last night from an Executive Meeting of the TFC, pissed off. I am just not into parliamentary procedure, creating by laws, and all that crap. In addition a couple members fussed because they thought I had made some decisions, which I did, without consulting them; disrespecting them as members I guess. The fact that they were out of town on the holidays seems immaterial. I sulked for a time, considered quitting the committee, and then had a talk with myself, and will try to tough it out.

Melva tells me that our oldest daughter is having some post-partum depression after giving birth to our second grandson. So that is something else to worry about. Our youngest daughter is looking for work, and waiting for the numbskull she is living with to make an "honest woman" of her. Our middle daughter, the RN (that stands for "real nurse" I'm told) is getting ready to put her stuff in storage and move in with us before she and son-in-law, Joel, head off to Mexico for 6 months to do some Missionary work. Like Yogi Berra used to say,"It's just one damned thing after another."


11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My hair is bold like the chestnut burr; and my eyes, like the sherry in the glass that the guest leaves.

Part Three: Love

MINE by the right of the white election!
Mine by the royal seal!
Mine by the sign in the scarlet prison
Bars cannot conceal!

Mine, here in vision and in veto!
Mine, by the grave’s repeal
Titled, confirmed,—delirious charter!
Mine, while the ages steal!


YOU left me, sweet, two legacies,—
A legacy of love
A Heavenly Father would content,
Had He the offer of;

You left me boundaries of pain
Capacious as the sea,
Between eternity and time,
Your consciousness and me.


ALTER? When the hills do.
Falter? When the sun
Question if his glory
Be the perfect one.

Surfeit? When the daffodil
Doth of the dew:
Even as herself, O friend!
I will of you!

Part One: Life


SUCCESS is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory,

As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear.


IF I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Just a few lines of poetry to cheer you up, to sustain you in yet another time of need. Enjoy my sentiments, my thoughts, and place yourself in the middle of each of them.

Love: Emily

11:47 AM  

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