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Posts Tagged ‘Denis O’Hare’

TDF Launches Online Theatre Dictionary

November 26th, 2012 Comments off

Denis O'Hare for TDF Theatre Dictionary. Image via tdf.org.

Do you know your green room from your ghost light?

The Theatre Development Fund (you know, the TKTS booth people and so much more) is here to help you — in an oh so theatrical way, of course.  They’ve launched the TDF Theatre Dictionary featuring funny and informative short videos defining the lingo of stagecraft. The videos are accompanied by more in depth essays and blogs for someone really wanting to dig in to their “peas and carrots” (that’s slang for the background chatter of a chorus making a hubbub in the background of a scene).

Best of all, with a plan for two new entries a month, they’ve gotten some help from great theater organizations around the country like the Signature Theatre in New York or Actor’s Express in Atlanta to provide content. And, honestly, how could we resist when they enlist our talent crush, the Tony-winning Denis O’Hare, to introduce the site in the following “how to” video…

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“Once” Explodes, “Assassins” Guns for a Return & More Theater News

August 24th, 2012 Comments off

Lauren Molina & Jason Tam. Photo by Win Lubin.

I’m back from my hiatus only to discover that the theater world continued on without me. The nerve! So let’s catch up with a few of the biggest stories in a slam bang news round-up…

  • Certain theater producers better be buying everybody rounds of drinks at Bar Centrale this week, because two Broadway shows announced they have officially recouped their investments. The Tony-winning Best Musical Once and the imported farce One Man, Two Gov’nors are now playing for profit, baby. (Might I suggest that if you see a show with “three” in the title, you invest in it right now.)
  • Broadway Cast of "Assassins". Photo by Joan Marcus.

    Speaking of number one with a bullet, my favorite under-appreciated  Sondheim score, Assassins, will be heard again in New York at a one night only benefit performance for the Roundabout Musical Theatre Program. The cast of the acclaimed 2004 revival–including the snoggable Neil Patrick Harris and the divine Denis O’Hare–will reunite on December 3 for a reading of the gorgeously twisted show.

  • While we’re on a Sondheim binge (“More hot pies!”), the Keen Company announced the cast for their upcoming revival of the revue Marry Me a Little. Starting Septemeber 11, the lovely Lauren Molina and the, well, lovely Jason Tam will be singing a host of Uncle Steve’s best including trunk song rarities like “Rainbows” from the much delayed film version of Into the Woods.
  • I don’t know about you but I wanted to be Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) when I grew up. I mean, seriously, she could handle her whiskey and she got to kiss Harrison Ford. She also happens to be a compelling actress with theatrical credits beyond her 80’s blockbuster film resume. All this is a long-winded way of saying that Ms. Allen will be starring in a new play, A Summer Day by Jon Fosse, starting October 10 at the Cherry Lane Theater. Don’t let anything (say, huge rolling boulders or a temple full of snakes) get in your way of seeing it.
  • And while we’re thinking of Indiana Jones (go with me), the opening sequence in the second film in that series not only started with a big musical number but it took place in Shanghai…which, according to the New York Times, is now the proposed home for a multi-billion dollar entertainment complex intended to “to rival the Broadway theater district in New York and the West End in London.” (Yeah, even my head hurts trying to follow that segue.) The project, expected to be completed by 2016, is a joint initiative between Chinese partners and the folks at Dreamworks Animation SKG (Spielberg! See, it’s all connected).

“Death” Opens, Creel Streams & More Theater News

March 15th, 2012 Comments off

Andrew Garfield & Finn Wittrock in "Death of a Salesman". Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.

It’s raining men in a drenched round-up of the week’s theater headlines:

  • Gavin Creel. Photo by Monica Simoes.

    Supporting the March 20 release of his new album Get Out, my imaginary boyfriend and double Tony-nominee Gavin Creel will perform two sold out concerts at Joe’s Pub March 19. For those of us who don’t have tickets (or who are barred from attending because of restraining orders), the wonders of modern technology will allow us to watch it all via livestream on the web, Monday night at 9:30.

  • Remember the Ricky Martin video where everyone is dancing around in a sexy deluge? Well, it was like that (except not so sexy, I assume) on the stage of Martin’s revival of Evita when a fire safety mechanism misfired and drenched the stage after the first preview Monday night. The Tuesday night and Wednesday matinee performances were canceled for clean-up and a rehearsal.


SHOW FOLK: Denis O’Hare on Gods, Warriors & Other Crush-Worthy Co-Stars

March 14th, 2012 Comments off

Once a month, a member of the theater community will pull up a chair to our cyber table and join us for a little conversation. I’ll edit the transcripts (removing the truly libelous parts) and post the results here every second Wednesday. For March, things are getting epic…

Denis O'Hare in "An Iliad". Photo by Joan Marcus.

Tony-winner Denis O’Hare has entered the pantheon. Literally. In his tour de force (and very well-reviewedAn Iliad, he may be alone on stage but, with a turn of the head or a sly vocal inflection, we see Hermes and Athena–not to mention all of the warriors and women of the Trojan War. As both an actor and co-author of this modern adaptation of Homer’s classic tale, his work is an act of virtuosic storytelling that is passionate, at times funny and always deeply engrossing. Of course, television viewers know that O’Hare is no stranger to larger than life characters, although from more contemporary mythology like his haunted Larry Harvey on American Horror Story or the villainous (and perhaps rising again) Vampire King Russell on True Blood

Currently alternating performances with Stephen Spinella through March 25 at New York Theatre Workshop, O’Hare took a breather from the battle cries to give us some insight into the challenges of performing a one-man show, rehearsing in traffic–and focusing on work when surrounded by hunky co-stars.

An Iliad is incredibly enveloping and moving as an audience member but what is the experience like for you to live those stories both physically and emotionally as a performer? Is your preparation for this show different from other shows because of those demands?

It is a massive burden this show – the thought of doing it begins to descend on me about 4 hours before hand and I find myself unable to really concentrate on other things. I tend to get to the theatre about 2 hours before curtain. I need to settle into the theatre – say hi to everyone backstage, have a little tea and then I go out on stage and do 30 minutes of Yoga and then about 10-15 minutes of vocal warmup. I usually run through at least one chapter onstage and I always run the List of Wars. Because I ride my bike everywhere, I find myself rehearsing while I’m riding. No one really notices when you talk to yourself on a bike.

Each show has its own requirements. Because of the massive text here, one of the requirements is constantly looking at the lines – I make around 200 errors a night in lines alone. I get a lot of notes from Stage Management and from the director and I’m always thinking about ways to improve and get cleaner.

Which of the mortals and gods was the easiest for you to embody, the one you thought immediately “I know this character”? Who was the hardest for you to “find” as an actor?

I had a tough time with all the characters -there wasn’t one which came to me easily – well, except for Hermes – he’s sort of Cali surf boy (not my usual niche but it was fun). I came to love doing Achilles best–Achilles and Agamemnon. And actually, if I’m honest, I’d say Agamemnon came fairly easily to me – from my years living in Chicago. I still struggle nightly finding Helen. Go figure.

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TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: “An Iliad”

March 8th, 2012 Comments off

Get caught up with what’s on stage with our review round-up. And that vaguely hollow, clinking sound you hear at the end of each segment? That’s me tossing in my two cents. This month, it’s all Greek to me…

Denis O'Hare in "An Iliad". Photo by Joan Marcus.

AN ILIAD

Acclaimed actors Denis O’Hare (Take Me Out, True Blood) and Stephen Spinella (Angels in America) alternate in a one-man retelling of Homer’s epic tale of Gods, mortals and violence in ancient Troy.

“The strength of An Iliad resides in the combination of a naturally exciting narrative and the engaged, virtuosic performances of both Mr. O’Hare and Mr. Spinella.” New York Times

“No matter who’s at the helm, the show is too formless, and is as well-meaning as it is heavy-handed…” New York Post

“An Iliad is pure theater: shocking, glorious, primal and deeply satisfying.” Time Out New York

An Iliad is more than a perfect night out at the theater for classics majors, of course. It’s a showcase for the acting skills of two accomplished stage veterans.” Entertainment Weekly

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