Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I will be performing Mark Leiren-Young's brilliant and award-winning one-man show, "Shylock," in Victoria next month. The presentation is a fund-raiser for Positively Africa, a unique and wonderful AIDS in Africa project run by Peter and Peggy Bardon, who literally take the monies raised to the Africa location where it will do the most good. Both the playwright and I are donating our services.
I was honored to present the world premiere of "Shylock" at Vancouver's Bard on the Beach in August 1996. I have since played this 90 minutes piece dozens of times in so many different settings, including an unforgettable night in Venice, Italy in 2001.
The play is controversial, thought-provoking, outrageously funny, and, in the end, poignant, moving and powerful.
Please come over to Victoria and join us, as follows:
Alix Gooldin Hall
907 Pandora Avenue, Victoria
Friday and Saturday, March 16 & 17
Curtain: Sharp at 7:30
Doors open at 6:45
Tix: at the door, at Munro's Books, Ivy's Bookshop & Lyle's Place, all in Victoria
May 11- May 26, 2007
THE TRAGEDY OF HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARKby William Shakespeare
Independent production of The Centre Creative Initiatives
Does Hamlet's mother Gertrude share in uncle Claudius' guilt? Does Hamlet continue to love Ophelia even as he spurns her? Is her death a suicide or an accident? Does the ghost of Hamlet's father offer reliable knowledge, or does it seek to deceive and tempt Hamlet? Is Hamlet morally justified in taking revenge on his uncle? Are Hamlet's actions just? Does he have the right to act as he does? The stakes riding on these questions are enormous, as the actions of the characters can bring disaster upon an entire kingdom. Looks like modern politics, yes?
"What is there about Shakespeare that would interest a contemporary American?" Visitors send me this question from time to time.If being a "contemporary American" means being focused on dirty TV sitcoms, greed, casual sex, big-money sports, shout-and-pout grievance-group politics, televangelism, professional wrestling, crybabies, slot machines, postmodernism, political action committees, and "war on drugs" profiteering... then the answer is probably "Nothing." If a contemporary American can still ask: "Is life worth living in a world full of wrong? And can I live well?" -- then the answer is maybe that "Shakespeare deals with basic human issues."
Director Irina Templeton
Casting Director Adam Lolacher
Producer Luke Day Production Dates: May11 - May 26th, preview night May 10th.Location: Jericho Arts Centre
Posted by David Berner at 12:21 PM
O.K. I'm starting to sound like a completely marginalized, left-wing, unrepentant hippie nut case. Starting? Maybe just coming full circle.
Yesterday, the local rag gave the Premier a full voice on the Op Ed page. Today, it's the Finance Minister waving her illusory social housing package. Like these people need a platform? They can't get headlines and a TV camera every time they burp?
Then the editorial continued the Official Message: This Heartfelt Government is going ga-ga on social housing.
This, of course, is pre-digested drivel. See my post below.
But when the rag and the tube and the net and the airwaves all come from the same BIG, BIG, BIG house, what would you expect? Criticism? Thought? Discussion? A little bit of a shard of a hope of a whisper of a rumour of the truth? Dream on, Dear Bloggists.
Posted by David Berner at 9:50 AM
We are to believe that the new Provincial Budget has set aside $250 Million for new housing. We are also to believe that we will win the Lotto, beat cancer, live forever and star in many award-winning shows. Okay.
This is simple.
What has been set aside for new housing is in fact the interest on $250 Million, which amounts to about $10 Million.
Now let's get in touch with reality.
Last week, a house in my neighbourhood was sold. Standard 33 X 120 foot lot. The house is a tiny, 80 year old, 2-bedroom, one-bath shack. A tear-down, a piece of burnable garbage. BUT. Because the house is on the north side of the street and the street below it is very below it, the view potential is fantaaaaastic! Mountains, water and city forever.
Price? A steal at $1.2 Million. Gone in under a week.
So Carole Taylor's much trumpeted bold new initiative on housing will result in exactly...what?
Posted by David Berner at 9:31 AM
Here is a snapshot of modern life at its best.
A Calgary woman leaves her 6 year old and 2 year old alone in a running SUV while she dashes inside an office building for some terribly important mission.
Can we stop the film right there?
Try to list the hideous things that could now happen. Car rolls down a hill. Kidnapper kidnaps the kids. Kids suffocate.
Have you done this? Will you? Are you completely nuts?
Yet people do this every day. People who are in a hurry. People who believe that they are immune to life's tragedies. People who are stupid selfish children disguised as responsible adults.
Last year I came across exactly such a situation and called the police, who appeared about 5 minutes later. In the interim the stupid, selfish mother materialized form a Tanning Salon. Of course, an argument ensued. One policeman thought I was funny. One policeman thought the woman was an idiot. I guess it was a draw.
In Calgary, the result of this mother abandoning her children in a running SUV was that her daughter suffocated herself on the automatic window. (HEY, LADY, IT'S GOT ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES. THIS IS THE ONE YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE.)
The woman is so selfish and stupid that she simply got in the car and drove away, dropping her older child first at school. Then she noticed that - oops - her daughter was - oops - like, dead.
Punchline? This has been called "a tragic accident."
No. This is gross negligence bordering on manslaughter bordering on murder approaching madness.
This is a telling tale of modern life. We have everything. We know everything. We are busy and totally self-absorbed. Nothing can happen to me. I'm in a wide-screen technicolor movie.
I would never, ever, ever, ever leave a child alone in a car for a millibreath of a nano-second. Would you?
By the way, she was part of the SUV Nation - a Chevy Blazer pictured herein.
Posted by David Berner at 9:14 AM