Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
New Century's 'Dr. Jekyll' is nearly flawless
A splendid version of the ultimate psychological thriller "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is on stage at the Spotlighters Theatre through Oct. 27.
This excellent new adaptation by the show's producer, director and star, Mark Redfield, in collaboration with actor Stuart Voytilla, is faithful to the original Robert Louis Stevenson novel. The very sophisticated, intellectual work presents, as Stevenson intended, the fascinating tale of the good and evil warring within us in the form of a good, old-fashioned mystery.
Redfield's production under the banner of New Century Theater is the best of its kind this reviewer has ever seen. All the parts are perfectly cast down to the most insignificant character.
Although originally written for the proscenium stage, the work plays well in the limited confines of the arena theater.
The classical language is vintage Stevenson. The mood is eerie, spooky and chilling. Scenes have intriguing symbolic and abstract undertones. The sparse, black-and-white surrealistic imagery designed by Redfield and carried out by scenic artist Kelly Phillips is extremely effective.
Redfield's direction is masterful -- practically flawless. Every actor has a proper attitude for his or her role and all interact beautifully -- always making important eye contact.
The marvelous fight sequences were arranged by Lewis Shaw.
Set in 1890 London, the play opens with the accounting of the dastardly deeds of a man called Hyde, a beastly, brutal creature without remorse or pity.
The evil Hyde, somehow, has access to the house of the kindly Dr. Henry Jekyll. Franklin Utterson, Jekyll's longtime loyal lawyer, is worried that his friend is under some dark threat by this man who has committed a number of foul crimes. He enlists the aid of others to unravel the puzzle.
Dr. Jekyll is a man of inherited wealth. Imbued with a deep feeling of compassion for the less fortunate, he divides his time between the poor hospital wards and his private practice.
Impressed with Darwin's evolution theories, he engages in research to determine the biological base for the good and evil in man. He wants to set loose and separate the shadowy elements of the primitive human psyche. He eventually finds these qualities in the form of the pernicious Hyde.
Redfield plays both roles. As the upright, uptight, gentle Jekyll and the horrifying Hyde crouching ape-like and wild-eyed around the stage, he is magnificent. A consummate professional artist, Redfield's attention to the finer details of his character is matchless.Not a bad review; I have a feeling that somehow my writing partner, Stuart Voytilla, and I, always imagined the story somewhat cinematically. Working on the play, and the first year working with my theater company New Century Theater, were certainly some creatively (and personally) grand times. One of the most thrilling and satisfying in my little career. More on the play in future articles coming up.
Image and text © 2010 by Mark Redfield.
Monday, April 19, 2010
I've started a page over at facebook where I'll be posting developments about my novel THE CHANEY MURDER CASE until it's publication in the Fall of 2010, and also post whateverthis-n-that about actor Lon Chaney strikes my fancy!
Of course I'll be posting major news about the novel here at AN ACTOR'S NOTEBOOK, and have some nice pieces about Lon Chaney, but check out the facebook page in the event that other friends post things about The Man of a Thousand Faces.
The facebook page is HERE.
Thanks in advance for joining the group and for all your support!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Acrylic on canvas board, 11x14.
Original art and text copyright Mark Redfield. All Rights Reserved.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Monsterpalooza, the horror convention held in Burbank, California (and now in it's sophomore year) is Friday April 9th to Sunday April 11th.
A smashing success and much praised event in a very crowded field, what sets Monsterpaloozo apart from the other conventions is a high concentration of guests that are special FX make up artists and technicians. This year, FX guests include: Verne Langdon, Michael Westmore, Tom Burman, The Chiodo Brothers, Greg Nicotero, Willaim Stout and many others.
Actors that make up the special guest roster include: Don Calfa, Clu Gulager, Jonathan Winters (!) and many, many more.
My own special connection launches the weekend with laughs: Larry Blamire's DARK AND STORMY NIGHT screens at 6:15PM on Friday night. I'll be there along with other cast members Daniel Roebuck, Jennifer Blaire, James Karen and writer-director Larry Blamire.
The comedy continues right after the movie with a live radio-style reading of Ted Newsom's comedy TOO MANY CREEPS. The strange and twisted story of Alex Gordon and Ed Wood trying to get Boris Karloff into one of their new films, and end up corralling most of Hollywood's Golden Age horror stars into a script reading!
I'm narrating and playing Karloff. Others in Newsom's fantastic cast include David Skal as Bela Lugosi, Newsom himself as John Carradine, with Frank Dietz, Brinke Stevens, Perry Sheilds and others rounding out the cast.
Check it out here: http://www.rubberroom101.com/monsterpalooza2010/
Come on by if you're in the LA area. I'll be there all weekend so be sure to say hello!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Congratulations to my friend Jessie Lilley. It was announced today that she'll guide the all-new incarnation of FAMOUS MONSTERS as editor.
Jessie has been extraordinarily supportive of my film work over the last ten years, and has the chops to bring Famous Monsters to vibrant life. The first issue published by Philip Kim (number 251) debuts in a couple of months. Expect the mag quarterly.
Here's what the Famous Monster website had to say about Jessie's appointment as editor:
The staff of Famous Monsters of Filmland is pleased to announce the arrival of Jessie Lilley to its ranks as Editor.
As a publisher and editor of small press magazines for over 20 years, Jessie brings an impressive wealth of experience to the pages of FM, and has already had an immediate effect on the production of #251, the relaunch issue scheduled for release in July. “I asked Jessie to write a piece for #251, and over the course of our discussions I think we both slowly realized that she had a lot to offer on the other side of the desk as well,” said FM Editor in Chief Michael Heisler. “We danced around the topic until, ultimately, her first achievement as Editor was to hire herself! Seriously, Jessie has joined us as we’re heading into the home stretch of putting FM #251 together, and we couldn’t be happier to have her aboard.”
You can read more here.