If you have some time this weekend go see Hamlet with the Arabian Shakespeare Festival. It’s playing at the Royce gallery in San Francisco. It’s an excellent production of Hamlet that you will not want to miss. Simply look up Arabian Shakespeare Festival on Google and you’ll be able to purchase your tickets. Also, we had a great staged reading of the play Shooting Star at the Phoenix theater in San Francisco last weekend.
I will be performing in a staged reading of the play called shooting star. The performance begins at 3:30 PM today Saturday, November 11. It will be held at the Phoenix theater on the corner of Mason and or Farrell in San Francisco. It’s right next to the nightclub Ruby Skye. It should be a lot of fun. My website is RayRenati.com.
This week I take a peak, so to speak, at Kevin Spacey and his recent debacle. Since I recorded this episode yesterday, many people are now saying that Spacey regularly abused his power on the set of House of Cards and created a “toxic” work environment on the set through a pattern of sexual harassment and assault. I don't want to believe this. Kevin has been a great representative for all actors for many years. To think that he may have behaved in ways that hurt numerous people is difficult for me to accept.
On a lighter note, this episode also talks about the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm to HBO! After a six-year absence, the half hour program has been resurrected by Larry David and the executives at Home Box Office. I also take a look at the iconic sit-com, Seinfeld and analyze the similarities and differences with Curb. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David have created multi-million dollar enterprises with the two comedies. So, you better listen, or NO SOUP for YOU!
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The Prince of Egypt, is now the highest-selling musical in the 48-year-old theatre company's history. With 15 remaining performances, this new work from Grammy-and-Oscar-winning composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) and book writer Philip LaZebnik (Pocahontas, Mulan), is a soaring celebration of the human spirit recounting one of the greatest stories ever told: the saga of Moses, his Pharaoh brother Ramses, and the indomitable people who changed both their destinies.
Directed by Broadway's Scott Schwartz, The Prince of Egypt has to date grossed more than $650,000 in ticket sales, surpassing the previous record-holder, Jane Austen's EMMA, another TheatreWorks world-premiere musical, which garnered more than $540,000 in ticket sales. Inspired by the DreamWorks animated film of the same name, The Prince of Egypt is presented by TheatreWorks now through November 5, 2017 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. For tickets ($40-$100) and more information, the public may visit TheatreWorks.org or call (650) 463-1960.
The Prince of Egypt, co-produced by Fredericia Teater, will next be re-mounted in Denmark for its international and co-world premiere in April 2018. The Prince of Egypt features the Oscar-winning Best Song "When You Believe," as well as more than a dozen new songs from Schwartz. This vibrant new stage production incorporates a multi-ethnic cast led by Diluckshan Jeyaratnam, an acclaimed Danish actor/singer making his US debut as Moses, and Broadway's Jason Gotay (Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), as Ramses.
The Prince of Egypt cast also includes Broadway veterans such as Tom Nelis (Pharaoh Seti), Christina Sajous (Queen Tuya), and Brennyn Lark (Tzipporah), and Will Mann (High Priest Hotep), as well as acclaimed actors such as Julie Motyka (Miriam), David Crane (Aaron), Jamila Sabares-Klemm (Nefertari), Ayelet Firstenberg (Youchved) and Paul-Jordan Jansen (Jethro). Natalie Schroeder and Alexandra Van De Poel share the role of Young Miriam while Dylan K. Curtis and Oliver Copaken Yellin alternate as Young Aaron. The diverse ensemble for this new work is comprised of CarMichael James Blankenship, Dominic Dagdagan, Katherine Dela Cruz, Jourdan Epstein, Brian Flores, Gabriel Hyman, Joshua Keith, Travis Leland, Alison Mixon, Ramone Owens, David Sattler, Alicia Shumway, and Kalyn West. The creative, musical, and technical team assembled for The Prince of Egypt is Sean Cheesman (Choreographer), Ann Hould-Ward (Costume Designer), Kevin Depinet (Scenic Designer), August Eriksmoen (Orchestration), Dominick Amendum (Music Supervisor/Arrangements), William Liberatore (Musical Director), Mike Billings (Lighting Designer), Cliff Caruthers (Sound Designer), Shawn Sagady (Projections Designer), J. Jared Janas (Wig, Hair, Makeup Designer), Jacques Simard (Magic Consultant), and Randall K. Lum (Stage Manager).
Founded in 1883, the co-producing Fredericia Teater is one of Denmark's most distinguished institutions in music and music theatre. Committed to producing relevant and groundbreaking musicals, Fredericia attracts more than 150,000 patrons per season from all over the country. In 2011 the company began a policy of exclusively presenting musicals that had never been professionally performed in Denmark. With some 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country.
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The Times they are a Changing! I just did another at home audition for a movie. This seems to be a trend now. It's all the rage. You tape your own audition, edit it, and send it along to the casting director.
Ray on the Road is a brand new real time series. I will be creating episodes from the trenches: auditions, movie sets, back stage at theatres. Today I describe my audition with the innovative theatre company Word for Word.
This week we take a look at the 2013 film, Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix, and written and directed by Spike Jonze, the man with the coolest name in show business! Her marks Jonze's solo screenwriting debut.
The film follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a man who develops a relationship with Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), an intelligent computer operating system personified through a female voice.
Jonze conceived the idea in the early 2000s after reading an article about a website that allowed for instant messaging with an artificial intelligence program. He wrote the first draft of the script in five months. Principal photography took place in Los Angeles and Shanghai in mid-2012.
Her premiered at the 2013 New York Film Festival on October 12, 2013. Warner Bros. initially provided a limited release for Her at six theaters on December 18. It was later given a wide release at over 1,700 theaters in the United States and Canada on January 10, 2014. Her received widespread critical acclaim upon its release, and grossed over $48 million worldwide on a production budget of $23 million.
The film received numerous awards and nominations, primarily for Jonze's screenplay. At the 86th Academy Awards, Her received five nominations, including Best Picture, and won the award for Best Original Screenplay. Jonze also won awards for his screenplay at the 71st Golden Globe Awards, the 66th Writers Guild of America Awards, the 19th Critics' Choice Awards, and the 40th Saturn Awards. In a 2016 BBC poll of 177 critics around the world, Her was voted the 84th-greatest film since 2000.*
*Information provided by Wikipedia.
This week we delve into the world of old movie musicals brought to the stage. We take a look at the Broadway tour of An American in Paris. We also go in-depth with the classic Spanish drama, Yerma, staged by the Young Vic Theatre in London and shared with the world by National Theatre Live in London.
An American in Paris, tells the thrilling story of a young American soldier, a beautiful French girl, and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Featuring a score including the songs “I Got Rhythm,” “‘S Wonderful,” “But Not for Me,” “Stairway to Paradise,” “They Can’t Take That Away” and orchestral music including “Concerto in F,” “2nd Prelude,” “2nd Rhapsody” and “An American in Paris.”
In Yerma, the incredible Billie Piper (Penny Dreadful, Great Britain) returns in her Evening Standard Best Actress award-winning role.
A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece. The unmissable theatre phenomenon sold out at the Young Vic and critics call it ‘an extraordinary theatrical triumph’ (The Times) and ‘stunning, searing, unmissable’ (Mail on Sunday). Billie Piper’s lead performance is described as ‘spellbinding’ (The Evening Standard), ‘astonishing’ (iNews) and ‘devastatingly powerful’ (The Daily Telegraph).
Set in contemporary London, Piper’s portrayal of a woman in her thirties desperate to conceive builds with elemental force to a staggering, shocking, climax.
National Theatre Live launched in June 2009 with a broadcast of the National Theatre production of Phèdre with Helen Mirren. They’ve since broadcast more than forty other productions live, from both the National Theatre and from other theatres in the UK.
Their broadcasts have now been experienced by over 5.5 million people in over 2,000 venues around the world, including over 650 venues in the UK alone. Past broadcasts from the National Theatre have included Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller; War Horse; Man and Superman with Ralph Fiennes; and Everyman with Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Broadcasts from other UK theatres include Coriolanus from the Donmar Warehouse; A View from the Bridge from the Young Vic; Macbeth from the Manchester International Festival; and Hangmen and The Audience from London’s West End. Our biggest single broadcast to date is Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican, which has been seen by over 550,000 people.
In 2014 the National Theatre recorded its first production on Broadway, Of Mice and Men with James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, captured at the Longacre Theatre.
Though each broadcast is filmed in front of a live audience in the theatre, cameras are carefully positioned throughout the auditorium to ensure that cinema audiences get the ‘best seat in the house’ view of each production. Where these cameras are placed is different for each broadcast, to make sure that cinema audiences enjoy the best possible experience every time.
A Look at the work and music of the late, great Harry Dean Stanton who was seen in such films as "Alien","Paris, Texas", and "The Green Mile". Harry Dean Stanton's drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes.
THEATRE IN PARIS was born from the observation that Paris is a world capital of theatre along with New York and London. However, most people ignore it because of the language barrier. We decided to offer selected plays from the Paris theatre season with English subtitles so that many more people can enjoy them. See the trailer of one their breathtaking shows - LES VIRTUOSES - here: http://bit.ly/2x2OlIC