News & Updates

The Real and the Enmasked

June 16, 2016

At this passage, I sighed with relief and distinct pleasure — as with an oasis found in the desert.
 
“…we are not seeking the credibility of true truth, the real or the truth of “realism,” but rather, that of formal exaggeration. We demonstrate a recognizable, known truth, but in a different form than that found in reality. This truth is deformed, excessive, so as to confer on the represented fact the sense of an exemplary occurrence.”
 
–Antonio Fava, the great practitioner of Commedia dell’Arte, in his “The Comic Mask in the Commedia dell’Arte.”

ZERO-TWO, Premieres in Austin, June 23, 2016

June 14, 2016

Wyntner Woody as ZERO-TWO (Photography: Manuel Taylor)
Wyntner Woody as ZERO-TWO (Photography: Manuel Taylor)

A still from the film ZERO-TWO, directed by Elisabetta Lucia Diorio, to premiere  at the McCallum Theater, Austin, TX.  This still shows color correction choices from which the post editor (and Betta) select the right color atmosphere for the scene.  (Photography — Manuel Taylor).

Italian Waiter as Irish Tenor!

June 7, 2016

Italian Waiter as Irish Tenor, The Danny Boy Scene, Wyntner Woody as Headwaiter in Scapino
Italian Waiter as Irish Tenor, The Danny Boy Scene, Wyntner Woody as Headwaiter in Scapino!

A still from the stage production of SCAPINO!, a musical by Jim Dale and Frank Dunlop, directed by George Brock at the Unity Theatre, currently running until June 19, 2016.  

SCAPINO! is a madcap farce, loosely based upon Moliere with stock characters reminiscent of both neoclassical theater and that of the earlier Commedia del Arte.   That is, the characters are human types and the stage is a hive for physical comedy.

The script gives no indication of the character of the Headwaiter. However, the director, George Brock has given me the opportunity to develop him.  Headwaiter, as I have played him, is a greasy, malingering, sex-crazed, gambling, dull, friendless, curmudgeonly and entirely harmless old fool.  

Following in that centuries old tradition (still alive in Naples!) — at least, that has been my intention — I asked for a wig.  My intention was to use the wig in place of the traditional mask, or at least in that spirit.  In other words, not to conceal character, but to reveal it.   George Brock saw the wig on the day of our Photo Call and shouted out, “YES!”    It has been a great pleasure to work with such a capable director whose knowledge of theater is surpassing (!) good.  I hope to work with him again.

In this scene, Headwaiter sings, “Danny Boy,” while taking or at least attempting to take, a swig from the flask he carries at all times.  Yes, an Italian waiter singing as an Irish tenor!  The surprise in this scene I shan’t disclose until the end of the run, just in case someone with tickets happens across this blog.

[Image: Scott Hill.  Used with the photographer’s permission.]

 

A Still from the Film, ZERO-TWO

June 2, 2016

A still from the film Zero-Two, directed by Elisabetta Diorio, currently in post and soon to premiere in Austin. Initial screenings have been positive, I’m told. Delighted to hear it.

Wyntner Woody as Zero-Two
Wyntner Woody as Zero-Two

 

The Star Series of Vaudeville Jokes, ca. 1920

June 1, 2016

A recent acquisition. Circa 1920. Unattributed authorship, likely cribbed from other sources, and many of jokes are English!

“Poor Harry was killed by a revolving crane!”
“They have such fierce birds in America.”

But others seem to be local to New York City, many straight from the Yiddish theater, like this one.

“Can you place my son-in-law in your office?”:
“Sure, but why don’t you hire him for your own business?”
“He’s good for nothing! Who wants him?”

And this one, surely from the Midwest.

“Mama! Daddy called the nurse an angel. Can she fly?”
“Very soon, dear, very soon.”

A pocket jokebook, ca. 1920.
A pocket jokebook, ca. 1920.

Rehearsals for Scapino at Unity Theatre

May 18, 2016

I’m in rehearsals for the madcap folly, Scapino, directed by George Brock, going up in June at the Unity Theatre in Brenham, TX.    I play the role of the Headwaiter, a greasy, lascivious, money-grubbing, lazy butt of everybody’s joke.   Rather fun to play.  

I consider my voice to be a trained instrument and an asset to any production.  So why this role, which has no lines?   For the visual shtick!   Virtually all of the comic potential of this character comes from physical expression.   I look forward to playing it.  And I do have a song, delivered in a way that will surprise.    

The people with whom I am working at this theater are capable, friendly, intelligent and funny!   Worthwhile work and I’m pleased to be working in this production.  I’ll post images of my costume as soon as I have any to share.  

“Carne de Perro” and Criticism: A Reminder to Performers

April 17, 2016

Let me share a recent confirmation of what I learned many years ago: the review tells you more about the reviewer than the work reviewed. This is the rule. There are exceptions.

The other night I watched a Chilean film entitled, “Carne de Perro.” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2424906/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 (Fernando Guzzoni, Dir.) I’ve found myself thinking about this film for several days.

I was much taken with Alejandro Goic, who plays the former military officer (and, importantly, torturer). I stumbled upon a review, which I read — something I have learned never to do as a performer, unless I know, from experience or a trusted recommendation, that the critic is discerning and whose commentary may, in fact, help me to improve my work.

The sole American reviewer panned it as one of those “art films,” a cryptic, barely intelligible and wandering story of uncomfortable close-ups portraying a character one can not admire. (As if one has to admire or even judge the protagonist!)

What I considered a more discerning German critic saw depth, movement, subtlety — essentially, a work which asks the viewer to connect up dots and fill in the blanks. In other words,a film that respects the dramatic intelligence of the viewer.

One saw it; the other didn’t. This is what the performer must remember.

Kara Rainer and Wynt on the set of Zero-Two

March 17, 2016

Wyntner Woody with Kara Rainer
Wyntner Woody with the talented and beautiful Kara Rainer on the set of Zero-Two in Austin, TX.

Scapino at Unity Theatre, Brenham, TX

March 8, 2016

Although I’ve been on stage often for musical performance, it has been 8 years since I’ve been on the live stage in a work of theater. So I am very pleased to have been asked to join the cast of Jim Dale’s Scapino at the Unity Theatre in Brenham, TX, to be directed by George Brock, June 2-19, 2016. More to come as the production nears.

Unsolicited, A Comedy, Shooting in March

March 4, 2016

I’m pleased to have been cast as Mr. Cooper, a sleazy, cheesy door-to-door sales “executive” in the film Unsolicited, a comedy, to be shot in Houston this month.  Sure looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun (for the cast as well as the audience).