Tag Archives: Comedy

5 Reasons Jon Batiste is the greatest!

In this era that we are experiencing… it is inconceivable to me that you would not be watching Stephen Colbert on a regular basis. And if you are not, I hope that you will give the show a chance – at least in the coming weeks before SNL returns to the airwaves.

The comedy inspiration is off the charts and I tune in on a regular basis to watch or catch up with whatever has been jibed at the Mango-muncher-mooch-upon-the-life-of-the-people to try to heal with laughter.

But apart from watching my delightful Stephen crack wise and chum with his guests, I thoroughly enjoy the show for the delightful Jon Batiste – the leader of the band for the Late Night show.

Jon Batiste is a delight. He is a joy and extremely talented.. but here are some great things about him that you should know and tune in to check out!

So… here are some reasons why he is the greatest!

1) Jon Batiste has some WICKED wardrobe choices!

I tune in to just to see what he might be wearing – cause from day to day it could be ANYTHING! Check it:

Looking SLICK!

Looking SLICK!

2) Jon’s laugh – I could link to a clip of his laughter, but then you might not go and watch the show, and you should. But there are times when I’m certain he’s surprised by Stephen’s material because his laughter is off the HOOK! It is infectious and joyful. Go to your on demand, play all the monologues and listen to his reactions. So much fun!

Jon Batiste's Laughing

Jon Batiste’s Laughing

3) He plays the melodica! And it is joyous! He said once that he decided to choose that so he could move out from behind the piano. I think it was a good choice – for many reasons. Check this link to him playing and disappear down the YouTube tunnel for a few hours.

4) His kanoodling on the show is TOP NOTCH!

Jon continually accompanies the show with little melody discourses that are absolutely brilliant and on point.  He is so sensitive to the material that is being delivered and to the lively energy and enthusiasm that is being pumped out each night, but he’s improvising all of that and it is exceptional. Ask Paul Shaffer! He should know! He recently visited the show and commented upon Jon’s noodling… Watch this link – he starts to interact with Jon around 3:15 or so. Amazing.

5) He is just SO MUCH FUN! And he’s assembled a pretty hip, slick and professional band to support Stephen Colbert and The Late Show. Tune in for JB and Stay Human even if you don’t tune in for Stephen. But tune in for Stephen as well, because the commentary is going to be historical!

JB and SC Dancing on the Late Show

JB and SC Dancing on the Late Show

Why the Big Bang girls owe their careers to Miss Piggy…

There are many trailblazers in the world of entertainment – especially for women. They take on new roles, challenge our understanding and break new ground in what is considered phenomenal.

Miss Piggy is one such trailblazer.

When she hit the screen in the 1970s, many actresses had limited choices in their creative output. The secretary, the wife, the sexpot or the matriarch. Miss Piggy came along and redefined all that it meant to be a woman. And now, I believe that the ladies of The Big Bang Theory have her to thank for her trailblazing performances. In fact, I think they owe their roles to her. And considering that their creator Bill Prady got his start with the Henson company, the connections seem even more inevitable.

Let’s examine them, shall we?

Penny: Beautiful, creative, sensitive/over dramatic, fashionista and looking for success.

Bernadette: Sweet, funny, delicate voice, ample bosom and can switch moods on a dime. She even scares some people.

Amy: Awkward, out of the loop, pining for her man.

Miss Piggy: Beautiful, creative, sensitive/over dramatic, fashionista and always looking for success.

Miss Piggy: Sweet, funny, delicate voice, ample bosom and can switch moods on a dime. We know she’s dangerous.

Miss Piggy: Awkward, out of the loop, pining for her man.

At least, she used to be… I guess we will see what Bill Prady and the team have cooked up for our Triple-Threat Diva as the new show comes to the air this fall! There can be no doubt that she will deliver the goods as only she can. Current and future actresses will need to take note of her character range so they can emulate her divine performances!

Will YOU be watching? You know you will.

 

 

Podcast #16 Post Avenue Q debrief on the 401

After a MUCH too long hiatus, we are back with a reflective podcast on the production of Avenue Q that Matt and Ceris saw in Toronto. Don’t worry, Matt was on the recording controls so Ceris could focus on the drive.

Listen in, and comment on our plans for the future as the team hopes to not be away from the airwaves quite so long!

 

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First Preview Night

So… we’ve made it through tech weekend – pretty near flawlessly.

We survived our black out in the middle of dress rehearsal last night and now we are at First Audience. My theatre does something we call Community Preview where at our Final Dress Rehearsal we invite, for free, members of our community who would not otherwise attend the theatre. They come in groups, because they are all members of groups – special homes, they have care-givers or case workers, etc. They mostly know one another – and yet they all sit spread through the theatre. It’s fascinating. Our house seats over 350 and tonight I see about 100 folks spread throughout the house, but they are all talking to one another – some across the rows and some from the back to the front of the theatre. It should be a lively night.

Two years ago, at our Community Preview for The Three Musketeers (the first in my Ken Ludwig Trilogy), near the end Milady was about to poison Constance with a beverage she said would calm her nerves. Someone in the audience yelled out, “Don’t Drink It!” They are a fun crowd and anything can happen.

Tomorrow night is Preview and then Friday is Opening Night! Months and Months and Months of rehearsal and it will all be over in the blink of an eye…. But that’s part of why it’s so addictive. The payoff is, generally huge enough to balance the effort.

I know I’m going to enjoy the payoff of this piece.

Here’s to a successful run!

Break your legs!

Sullivan-for-web

 

What makes the best…?(Part 8)

Director????

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Lots of things, really, but we’ll just mention a few. A few vital things like, vision, planning, creativity and an ability to inspire others. The best directors I’ve worked with were able to see potential in others and bring it out of them. They could see the future character, or the singing ability or dancing ability or comedic/dramatic ability and they knew the performer could deliver. They knew it so intensely that could even give confidence to the entire team that some crazy difficult show or scene was possible – sometimes during supposedly insurmountable odds. Their vision and confidence carried the entire team to the finish line and even if there might have been some doubt or hesitation along the way, they wouldn’t let that stop the progress of the show.

The best directors have a plan for success. They get down to the business of planning their rehearsal process for success and they share that plan with the entire team. They are also open to suggestions from the team. No one is excluded and no idea is too small to be ignored. The best directors seek out ideas from their team and make sure all those contributions feel valued and honoured. You never know when brilliance will strike and you can’t possibly be the only person with good ideas. But if you’ve explained your vision and you’ve inspired your team, then you’ll definitely be setting the stage for great ideas and they’ll come your way. Be ready for them.

Creativity goes with the entire job – and is vital to every aspect of being a director. You’ve got to be creative in your casting, in your scheduling, in your promotion, in your staging, your design of your show and even in how you end your project. Always be on the lookout for new ideas, new ways of approaching your work and new ways to challenge your creativity as a director. It is taxing, for sure, but it is also very rewarding.

Choose a new project – get out there and plan for new challenges, it’s truly rewarding.

Podcast #2 with Special Guest Sam Shoebottom!

We are back with the second edition of The Lovers The Dreamers And You, this time featuring our good friend Sam Shoebottom.  Sam has been active in the London theatre scene for decades and sits down to chat with us about what got him started as a creative individual and where he is going from here!

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