From “Trying to F**k,” a comedy musical short that was knocked out in an incredibly quick shoot (not that you’d know by watching it). These are just two scenes, and I was glad I got the chance to show a British accent (I’m native born) for the first time on screen, having used them for years in the theater. Hope this brings a smile to your face as we say goodbye to a year that, for me, held a lot more disappointments than I care to admit. 2017 is already looking up though, as I’ll return to Walt Disney Concert Hall in January to act alongside the LA Philharmonic in “The Planets,” and then in Spring will undertake my biggest directing job to date, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Have you heard of it? This one’s a musical, and adds a modern, environmental timber-related twist to the classic tale.
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The Ethnic-Studies-Themed sketch show that I’ve been privileged to be a part of, BANNED IN TUCSON, returns to the Comedy Central Stage (they don’t have a dedicated website — here’s their facebook page). This diversity-themed sketch show was created by topical sketch writer Ernie Bustamente. It’s free, but reservations are required. 323.960.5519
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So the company I’ve been touring with for the last 13 years, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, has played every single year since 1987 at the Reston Community Center in Reston, VA. How many touring groups can boast such a long, fruitful relationship with a presenter? So in honor of the 50th anniversary of Reston, many of the reducers went (along with managing directors / authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor) to Reston to perform SEVEN of the NINE abridged works over two weekends. It wasn’t a Shakespeare Festival. It was a Reduced Shakespeare Festival. The schedule was pretty hectic… luckily I was only in two of the shows, but one night I had to perform with someone I’d never performed with before (he was new) and another night with someone who practically retired years ago. Still it was an incredible time, where I got to make new friends (three generations of abridged Hamlets – Austin Tichenor (Current Head Co-Reducer), Jess Winfield (Founder and Originator of the role), and Me.
And in my copious down-time (not), I managed to record a little song, a little tribute to Austin and Reed, who have been authors and co-authors of every abridged show since the original Shakespeare show: “Complete History of America (abridged),” “The Bible, The Complete Word of God (abridged),” “All The Great Books (abridged)” “The Millenium A Musical (abridged),” “Completely Hollywood (abridged),” “The Complete World of Sports (abridged),” “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged),” and “The Complete History of Comedy (abridged).” The song was featured on one of the RSC podcast episodes dedicated to the extravaganza, but I present it here in full for your listening pleasure.
And here’s a fairly un-abridged selfie (Ellen style) featuring many generations of RSC members from founders to current fools, onstage and off, with some Restonites thrown in as well. Can you pick them out?
Tags: Extravaganza, Reduced, Reston, RSC
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This summer I had the pleasure of performing a dream role at the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival. Two summers ago I donned yellow stockings as Malvolio in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This summer I strapped on my guitar and played Django-style in a Twelfth Night set in the Roaring 20’s as one of Shakespeare’s most famous fools, Feste.
As a young actor I got to play Fabian in Twelfth Night with at Shakespeare Santa Cruz and watched two masters of the stage tackle the roles of Feste and Malvolio. The production was directed by prolific theater director Tim Ocel and featured the brilliant James Winker as Malvolio and the inimitable, irrepressible James Newcomb as Feste. It was a master class for a young actor. I was bowled over to be in their company back then, and to get to do both roles now in quick succession (and to learn to do tricks with my bowler hat). Yes, I stole from both. But I was able to add a lot thanks to my on-the-job clown training over my past 13 years with the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
Here are a few pics from the production. Thanks, Kingsmen Shakespeare, for this midsummer night’s dream. Click to embiggen.
Tags: 2014, Kingsmen, Shakespeare
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There’s a new Reduced Shakespeare Company Show. And the Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) (touring this winter – just two performances!) hasn’t even been published yet. I love that my friends and authors at the Reduced have been churning out the shows the past few years… and this one is incredible. They finally tackled a subject close to all of our hearts.
I am blessed to be a part of this company, and was blessed to perform this show for 5 weeks in Massachusetts in May. New England Theater Geek said:
Dominic Conti, Michael Faulkner, and Jerry Kernion form a high-energy three-man team that works seamlessly together to bring the correct amount of yuckle to your chuckle. These extremely talented gentlemen deliver the material with comic dexterity. Zigging and zagging as an unstoppable force, they know exactly when to punch it and exactly when to let it ride on home. They are adept at handling an audience (even when literally handling them).
Seriously. Catch it on tour, whether I’m in that particular performance or not.
Tags: 2014, Merrimack Repertory Theater, Reduced, RSC
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Had an absolutely stunning time at San Diego Rep over the holidays, performing the brand spanking new Reduced Shakespeare Company show, “The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged).” Here’s a review. Here’s another one. Here’s a whole mess of quotes from a whole mess of reviews from performances all across the country. Stay tuned for more possible Reduced Shakespeare Company updates.
Tags: Reduced Shakespeare Company
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This new comedic reel has the latest, greatest footage, including some from “Agent X” and “Special Delivery.” I’ve also put up a complete scene from Agent X (different from the snippet in the reel). The “Ocean Shark” footage that opens the reel was mostly improvised. The footage that looks like it is from American Idol is actually a spoof-sketch I shot for the Jay Leno show. Enjoy!
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Here’s a full scene from “Agent X; The First Mission.” This film was an absolute joy to work on. It’s currently making the festival rounds.
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This gag reel of out-takes from the “Ocean Shark” shoot comes to us courtesy of Director Chris Whetstone. It highlights the improvisational skills of the actors involved as Mr. Whetstone encouraged them to play with the ending of each scene. If you like, you can watch the entire film of “Ocean Shark.”
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