Smart Reads: Jack Smart Edition #7

The Human Symphony

Dylan Marron’s ‘The Human Symphony’

Wonderful internet wormholes you should fall into:

  • Web series!: Good Cop Great Cop (superb absurdist comedy), Paragon School for Girls (if you want to feel a liiittle bit high), SRSLY (proof that creating your own online content can lead to lucrative work!)
  • Kate McClanaghan, now a contributing Backstage Expert, has some really excellent advice for actors looking to break into the voiceover industry. Ditto Jennifer Ashley Tepper of NYC’s 54 Below when it comes to cabaret.
  • Although the fervor of awards season has (blessedly) subsided, it may tickle you to learn where all this year’s acting nominees got their start on screen, especially if you’re still enraged about Patricia Arquette’s Oscar snub for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Also – my apologies – I wrote about next year’s Oscars too.
  • I interviewed the writer behind Let the Right One In, the only horror theater I’ve ever seen that actually made me leap out of my seat like a ninny.
  • David Ives is a theater genius! I got to pick his genius brain a little bit about his invigorating new collection of one-acts at Primary Stages, Lives of the Saints.
  • Check out my alliteration: 9 Fabulous February Films!

News etc:

Actor people who are really fun to talk on the phone!:

  • Avenue Q‘s Christmas Eve herself, Ann Harada! We went to the same high school.
  • Viral sensation Christina Bianco! (If you haven’t seen her sing “Let It Go” cover, you’re missing out.)
  • Hamish Linklater, who stars in Doug Wright’s terrific new play Posterity at Atlantic Theater, gave a thoughtful but quite zany interview.
  • “House of Cards'” Mahershala Ali had some interesting thoughts on theater vs. Hollywood.
  • Have you seen Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? No?? What are you doing here??? Yes???? What are you doing here, why aren’t you rewatching????? Here’s my interview with the wonderful, hysterical, sensational, future Emmy winner Tituss Burgess.
Tituss Burgess

Tituss Burgess

Lastly, Dylan Marron (of New York Neo-Futurists fame) pulled off something extraordinary with his latest show The Human Symphony: he exposed me to something I’ve never seen before in the theater. Drawing from real-life interviews centered around finding connection in today’s digital age, the entire show is enacted through mime by audience members listening to Marron’s instructions via headphones. Aside from the obvious awe the project’s scope inspired, its interwoven stories of love online and off resonated with startling immediacy; as Marron tells me in our Backstage interview, audiences can’t help but relate to the “actors” onstage because they are extensions of themselves. Check it out!

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