Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Artists with an ego? Perish the thought! That exploration of ego is the basis for the play Orson's Shadow which TiLT will present this Thursday at the Barrow Civic Little Theatre (1223 Liberty St, Franklin).

"Orson Welles has been described as many things, but "comic spitfire" would not normally be one of them. Until now, that is -- thanks to his role as an egomaniac desperate for a hit in Orson's Shadow. His foil in the immensely enjoyable production is another titan of self-regard, Sir Laurence Olivier. Self-pitying rants, childish tantrums and parallel displays of paranoia don't exactly make them the most sympathetic figures you'll ever encounter on a stage.
But it sure does make them fun.
Orson's Shadow fairly bubbles over with celebrated characters: Plowright, soon to be Olivier's wife, is on hand, as is the peerless London theater critic of the time, Kenneth Tynan. Vivien Leigh -- Olivier's first wife, immortalized on screen as Scarlett O'Hara -- makes an entrance, too, and given the circumstances of her mental disintegration, it's a suitably galvanizing one.
Orson's Shadow is engineered as a kind of chemistry experiment: What interesting control-freak reactions occur when you mix one part visionary wunderkind film director with an equal measure of suave tyrannical English movie star?
The alpha-male pairing, however, proves disastrous. Not only does neither man trust the other (or like the play), but both also are so racked by insecurity and so in need of coddling that the drama takes a back seat to the psychodrama. Welles doesn't have the patience for the symbolism of Rhinoceros, or for Olivier's preening. Shunned by Hollywood, the director is obsessed with finding alternative financial backing -- and vindication -- in a bid to play Falstaff in his long-aborning Chimes at Midnight."

Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8 pm. Tickets are $3 at the door. Cash bar. The play contains language that may be inappropriate for those under 16.

On Saturday local jazz/blues/americana band Thimble (Carie Forden, David Perry,Latrobe Barnitz, Billie Schwab, and Jerome Wincek) open for Namoli Brennet. at the Arlington Hotel River Room in Oil City, PA. Doors open at 7:30PM with an open from 8-9PM. $10.00 at the door. Kids under 12 free

The 14th Pittsburgh Jewish Film Festival runs through March. Download the schedule here.

In 1999, the Rainbow Family set their gathering up in nearby Elk County, providing endless fodder for local and regional newspapers. This time, they're in Florida, and intrepid journalists are at it again.

The Gypsy Dave will be playing Saturday, March, 10 2007 at Meadville Music Festival. The festival starts out at the new Creative Crust location (Chestnut St., Meadville, Pennsylvania 16335)with Tom Kennedy from 2:00-2:30 and Gypsy Dave from 2:30 until 3:00 before moving on to the Artist Cup from 3pm to 4pm. The shows are free.

Check out a clip from a recent Gypsy Dave show at Allegheny College:

Threadless is having a spring break $10 sale which means I'll be sporting the Maple Walnut shirt at the 2007 Northwest PA Maple Taste and Tour Weekend

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