Oscar nominations

So not a lot of surprises in today’s announcement of Oscar nominations, but a few glaring omissions and baffling oddities:

  • No sign of Barney’s Version, except for a Makeup nomination (makeup?!) – why no Best Actor nom for Paul Giamatti? why no Best Picture nom?
  • Toy Story 3 gets two best movie nominations: Best Picture and Best Animated Feature (could they not have made room for Barney’s Version in the former category?)
  • Toy Story 3 gets a Writing (Adapted Screenplay) nomination – again, why not Barney’s Version?
  • No makeup nom for Black Swan (which would have made more sense than Barney’s Version).

I will admit my own personal bias and say that I liked Barney’s Version a lot. But WTF, Academy?!

For a full list of nominations, see the Academy website: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/83/nominees.html

Surreality show @ Alumnae Theatre

Hey – In light of the more sobering news of the past week, I decided to hold off on posting about Alumnae’s Stoppard one-act shows (After Magritte and The Real Inspector Hound) opening till this morning.

See the Surreality show post on the Alumnae blog: www.alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com

Also check out the opening night review from the Mooney on Theatre website: http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2011/01/review-the-real-inspector-hound-after-magritte-alumnae-theatre/

Tender Heart Songs

Some more beautiful music to share with y’all today.

Tender Heart Songs is a CD collection of original lullabies written, arranged and sung by my good friend Kira Callahan. I picked up several copies back in the fall, one for myself and a few for friends with little ones at home. And I can tell you these songs are so beautiful and relaxing, you don’t have to be a small child to appreciate them.

I just saw that the website for the CD is up and running, and includes song clips, as well as info on the CD’s genesis and how to purchase it. Check it out: http://tenderheartsongs.com/Home.shtml

My big fat artsy weekend

Wow. So lots of artsy fartsy past-times this past Friday/weekend, some of which I described in my post on Saturday – namely, the set painting drama at Alumnae Theatre.

Saturday afternoon, I got to read with prospective actors at the callback auditions for an upcoming New Ideas Festival play: Summer’s End (by Francine Dick, directed by NIF co-founder and my pal Kerri MacDonald). Being an audition reader – for me, anyway – is all the fun of an audition and none of the pressure. Kerri had us doing various bits of the play as lawyers, children and even in stage whispers. Big, big fun – and I’ll be following this play throughout the rehearsal process and posting on the Alumnae Theatre Company blog: www.alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com

Saturday night was I Furiosi’s concert My Big, Fat Baroque Wedding with my friends Martha and Fiona – as always, a lovely time. This is an amazing, eclectic and edgy group of musicians – and far from playing period music all serious-like, they have a blast with concert themes/titles, costumes and big goofy fun. And the all-ages audience really digs that. In fact, some of the audience came dressed for a wedding. Check them out: www.ifuriosi.com

On Sunday, I was back at Alumnae Theatre for the producers lunch for the After Magritte/The Real Inspector Hound cast and crew. This also gave me a chance to check out the re-painted floor, which due to the lack of a glaze coat this time, was showing some wear from ladders, furniture and actor traffic. Sigh! We’re going to need ongoing touch-ups, especially if it gets left unglazed. Marysia is back in today – and the two of us may be in tomorrow night, working around final rehearsals/tech to finish the last of the painting (which was put even further behind schedule by the bizarre glaze outcome on Friday night). This all reminds me of a quote about working in the theatre from the movie Shakespeare in Love:

“Allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.”

“So what do we do?”

“Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.”


“I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”

And, of course, I had to watch the Golden Globes – in spite of, or perhaps because of, allegations of payola and backroom deals during the nomination process. Always fun to see nominees being genuinely chuffed about being in the presence of celebs. My favourite speech of the evening has to be Paul Giamatti’s (won for Best Actor in a Drama for Barney’s Version); The Globe and Mail’s piece today has some fine excerpts: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/awards/golden-globes/giamatti-salutes-great-nation-of-canada-as-he-wins-globe/article1872396/  I also loved how Giamatti repeatedly expressed delighted disbelief over receiving the award from presenter Hallie Berry. And after host Ricky Gervais’ joke about the HFPA President, I’m pretty sure he’ll get his wish and not be invited back.

Thoughts go out to the families of actress Susannah York (who I adored in Tom Jones, A Man for All Seasons and Jane Eyre, just to name a few) and playwright Romulus Linney (father of actress Laura Linney, another of my favourites, who won a Golden Globe for The Big C last night), who both died on Saturday.

Till next time…

Drama behind the scenes

For those of you in theatre, film or t.v., you’ll know that a lot of the drama happens backstage or off-camera.

The set designer and production team for Alumnae’s two one-act Stoppard shows – not to mention some of us on the painting crew – got a good dose of drama this morning when set designer Marysia Bucholc returned to the set to discover that something had gone horribly wrong with the glaze on the floor.

Basically, it dried very unevenly – and in some cases, left a milky white film all over the place. So she’s in the process of re-doing the floor. Unfortunately, those of us who helped last night (including my friend Lies – and we were there till a bit after 11 p.m.) are unable to help out today – but when I called Marysia (after receiving an emergency phone call from producer Lynne Patterson), she had already re-done the base coat, had folks on the way and would be okay.

So now we may have to go back to do some odds and ends on Wednesday night, as we’ve lost time today on re-painting and re-lining the floor.

Off to help my friend, director Kerri MacDonald, with her New Ideas audition this afternoon – then meeting two friends for I Furiosi’s concert tonight. They’re an amazing, edgy baroque ensemble – check out their website: www.ifuriosi.com

Great weekend all!

Busy times

Hey all. From time to time, I’ll be copying posts from my other blog writing gig: Alumnae Theatre Company’s blog. Check it out sometime: www.alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com

Here’s today’s post:

Bloggergal is going to need her Wheaties over the next few days, chickens.

I’ll be meeting up with Magritte/Hound set designer Marysia Bucholc and painting crew to paint the set tomorrow. And, due to scheduling issues – with the build, rehearsals and a film shoot rental – we’ll be doing most of the set painting tomorrow night (just one week before opening!). Never a dull moment, let me tell ya.

Saturday, I’ll be acting as audition reader, along with Dinah Watts, for a New Ideas play: Summer’s End (by Francine Dick, directed by NIF co-founder Kerri MacDonald).

Also, I’ve been in touch with NIF Producers Pat McCarthy and Brenda Darling, as well as Marketing Director Tina McCulloch, about a new idea for NIF rehearsal blog coverage. My plan has yet to be confirmed with a couple of other folks involved, so more on that later.

And, during all of this, I’ve been in contact with Ed Rosing – who is designing set #3 for the season (our final show Guineapigging) – about the possibility of helping him with painting that set.

Who was it who said I need a clone?

Anyway. To be continued. Back with my recent Alumnae adventures on Monday…

Goals for 2011

Continuing to ponder and create a list of goals for this new year (I’m big on lists). Setting up this blog was one of them. Yay me!

A lot of the stuff on my list I like to think of as “life housekeeping” and includes both literal and creative tasks. Reupholstering that 1950s love seat. Buying a pair of roller skates. Learning the Chorus speeches in Henry V (I bought the Oxford edition of the play, since it’s much easier to cart around than my Riverside Complete Works of Shakespeare or the Folio Complete Works). Like that.

Also designing tattoo #12. Have been doing so for some time, actually. It’s a variation on the Faerie Cats (Celtic) design – but it’s not quite right yet. You gotta be pretty circumspect about something that’s going to be etched on your body forever. In any event, it’ll be an even dozen then. No idea if it will be the last, though. Maybe. Maybe yes.