All posts for the month January, 2012

Checkmate, Chekhov

Published January 28, 2012 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—

Elmo as "Matador"?

Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories. Which is like Elmo training to be a Matador. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.



In recent news, Sanford Meisner met up with the television comedian, Jack Benny, for a special two-hour interview with BBC. The interview will air in two weeks, but the following review can be found on their website.

English: Publicity photo of Jack Benny.

Jack Benny

Sanford Meisner met a miser


Ebeneezer Scrooge was he


He cast Jack Benny, counting his pennies,


Repeating “Bah Humbug,” for a fee.



In an attempt to bring the world of sports and theatre closer together, as Brecht would have liked, Mother Goose Children’s Theatre will soon produce our own version of The Threepenny Opera in which an entire football game will happen simultaneously. But until then: if theatre had a sport’s announcer, here are some phrases you might hear.


The game’s aFoote!

Chekhov and his Australian teammate, Checkmate

Aannd…Noises Off!

It’s going…it’s going…it’s Far Away!

Boy, is he ever hitting those aside lines. Nailed ‘em.


Capra's answer to shoplifting.


The retail clothing store located next to us has recently started using our advertising posters as a new way of communicating with their customers.

For example, right now their “Shoplifters will be prosecuted” sign has our “You Can’t Take It With You” sign displayed directly below it.





Finally this evening, we leave you with a sweet little lullaby for all you children out there whose fathers are actors. If he weren’t in rehearsal right now, this is what he would sing to you.


The Actor’s Lullaby:


How to study for a biology exam.

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,

Papa’s playing Hamlet; or have you heard?



If you heard, then you must know

I auditioned for Edgar Allen Poe.



If old Poe does not pan out,

Papa’s playing Bishop in Shanley’s Doubt.



If in Doubt I seem a goof,

I’ll be trying out for David Auburn’s Proof.



And if in Proof all I do is bellow,

Then sign me up to play Othello.



Magic is like acting. Deception for a living...

And if Othello can’t be contained,

I’ll try sleight of hand with David Blaine.



If David Blaine should just seem a clown,

Then I’ll stay right here, and not go into town.





One for the Money

Published January 14, 2012 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—


Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories.

Little Red Riding Hood

Which is like showing The Wolfman movie to Little Red Riding Hood. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.


Harold Clurman has written a new book called On Directing 2. Because of mass confusion over the title (some thinking that Clurman gave instruction on how to direct a two-person cast), there will be a re-printing with a new title, A Second Installment of Directing Principles as it Applies to the Theatre of Today and as Seen Through the Experience of Harold Clurman. Here is Clurman’s introduction:

Little director has lost her actors,

And can’t tell where to find them.

Read them Antigone;

They’ll come right back you see,

Punctuality now more important to them.


And now we bring you, “A Taste of the Theatre,” where our everyday experiences turn into conflict-laden scripts.

Where all the best drama really happens.

Today, we step into the box office, amid a flurry of telephone calls and visiting patrons.

One for the money

“Yes, ma’am. You can only purchase one ticket for that price. No…no, I’m sorry, there is not a meal included. I’m sorry…cages? No…no cages. Ma’am. …Ma’am. There are no foxes in this production. Ma’am…I think…I think you misunderstood. No, ma’am, this is not a joke. I’m very serious. This is a theatre. We are performing The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman. This is not the Zoo. Hello? …Hello?


Two for the show

“Thank you for holding, sir. Yes, there are only two remaining seats left for this evening’s performance. I double checked that with the Front of House Manager, the Head Usher, the Assistant Director, and the Director. I’m sorry…but three seats are just not available at this time. …Well, I did just confirm this with the playwright and publishing house as well. Yes, sir, I’m positive. Two seats. Not. Three. Yes sir, I counted them myself, just today. Yes. Thank-you.”


Three to get ready

Such signs bring great joy and fear.

“Yes, ma’am, I did appreciate your audition. Well, you see, it was supposed to be a one-minute audition. Not a three-seconds audition. Well…it wasn’t a terrible three seconds. Yes ma’am, you’re right—it was very concise. Well, you see, I’m not really sure how to tell you to improve…it was hard to tell in three seconds. Uh…but you didn’t throw up! That’s a positive!”


And four to go

“Ma’am…I appreciate the fact that she’s your granddaughter, but you cannot speak with her right now. Yes, yes, I know you want to congratulate her, but she’s performing right now. Well, let’s see…it’s a five act play…and it looks like…yes—they are still in the first act. …So yes, four more to go before it’s done. Yes, then you can congratulate her. Yes, ma’am, I’m sure she is a sweetheart. No, no…I’m already dating. Well, I mean—I  don’t think it’s a pity.”


Finally this evening, we bring back our series, History in Rhyme. This week focuses on the 1930s.

Cropped screenshot of Stella Adler from the tr...

Stella Adler

Three Group Theatre peeps,

Stella Adler they could not keep,

And they began to cry;

“With Stella there,

Will Stanislavski dare,

His system to her teach?”


“What? Teach his system?

This does not show wisdom!”

But they did not know why.

No, no.

They did not know why.


Now Miss Adler bought

What Stanislavski taught.

“Yes, he’s a swell guy!

I learned imagination

While in this other nation

Yes, he’s a swell guy!”


The Pirates of Denmark

Published January 7, 2012 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—


Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories.

Peter Rabbit's invisible father.

Which is like telling Peter Rabbit that his father was Harvey. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.


Special broadcast this week: “The Pirates of Denmark,” sponsored by Fisher Price. We hope you enjoy today’s show.


Horatio: Who’s there?

Hamlet: (hollers) Yeah! Hallo, Horatio!

Horatio: Oh, good. It’s you, Hamlet. What do you have there? Is that—is that the bacon cheeseburger from Five Guys?

Hamlet: Oh, this too too solid flesh melts in my mouth.

Horatio: Hamlet, something has come up.

Hamlet: My father, methinks I see my father.

Horatio: Where, my lord?

Hamlet: In my sandwich. Here. Think I could sell it on ebay?

Horatio: Season your admiration for a while—something has come up that needs your attention.

Hamlet: What?

Horatio: Five Guys.

Hamlet: Horatio. They gave me this sandwich.

Horatio: Yeah, they gave me one today, too. But these Five Guys are Pirates.

Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.

Hamlet: Caribbean or Penzance?

Horatio: You don’t know?

Hamlet: Geography isn’t my strong point.

Horatio: Anyways…they’re here.

Hamlet: Not right now, Horatio. I just talked to my dead dad, and he’s blaming Uncle Claudius for his death.

Horatio: Murder most foul.

Hamlet: New slogan for Chick-Fil-A?

Horatio: Forget about your dead dad’s ghost. We have to figure out what to do with the Pirates.

Hamlet: What are they doing here?

Horatio: Those Pirates don’t do anything!

Hamlet: Here comes Uncle Claudius. Don’t tell him what I said about Dad. Or my burger.

David Tennant as Hamlet

Claudius: Hamlet, you look a little Tentative.

Hamlet: I’m just trying to figure out Who I am.

Claudius: Well, you’ve got company. Here are the leaders of the Pirates now.

Hamlet: You can’t have leaders of Pirates! That’d be like Jack Sparrow leading the Brute Squad.

Claudius: Welcome, guests! Welcome to the palace, where brotherly love is so strong, you might think you’re in Philadelphia.

Guests: Thank you.

Claudius: Let me guess now. You are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, right?

Gilbert: Not at all. I’m Gilbert.

Sullivan: And Sullivan.

Hamlet: Ah-hah! Penzance!

Claudius: Horatio, I see that the Pirates have brought their sisters, and their cousins, and their aunts. Let’s go make them feel welcome.

Horatio: Of course. Hamlet, I’ll talk to you later.

Hamlet: Certainly. Ah—my excellent good friends. Gilbert and Sullivan! What brings you to this prison?

Gilbert: Prison?

Hamlet: Yeah. I feel like it’s a prison. I have bad dreams, see? But what brings you hither?

Sullivan: See yonder Pirates?

Hamlet: And their sisters, and their cousins, and their aunts?

Gilbert: Precisely. They are all here to perform a play for you.

A Pirate King...if ever there was one.

Hamlet: He that plays the King shall be welcome.

Gilbert: Ah yes. The Pirate King, Jack Sparrow. Here he comes now.

Jack: Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I.

Hamlet: Here’s a How-De-Do. Are you the captain of those Pirates?

Jack: Captain? No. Not yet.

Hamlet: So what are you?

Jack: I am the very model of a modern major-general,
I’ve information vegetable, animal and mineral,
I know the kings of England and I quote the fights historical,
From Marathon to Waterloo in order categorical.

Sullivan: Gilbert, did you write that down?

Gilbert: Got it! Sullivan, let’s go work on our next production. We’ll call it The Pirates of Denmark.

Hamlet: So, what play are you Pirates all about to do?

Jack: Musical adaptation of the movie The Princess Bride.

Hamlet: And you play…?

Dread Pirate Roberts

Jack: The Dread Pirate Roberts, matey. Do you want to be in it?

Hamlet: To be, or not to be, that is the question. But who is that over there, walking around in circles?

Jack: Poor Wandering One. Here she comes now.

Buttercup: I’m Called Little Buttercup.

Hamlet: Dear little Buttercup.

Buttercup: Though I will never know why.

Hamlet: Nevermind the Why and Wherefore.

Buttercup: Wherefore art thou?

Hamlet: I’m right here. And the name’s Hamlet.

Buttercup: Hamlet, I have a bone to pick with Jack, here. Would you challenge him to a duel, and win?

Hamlet: As you wish. Jack, any last words?

Jack: My dear lady, what are my crimes?

Buttercup: (sobbing) On the high seas, your ship attacked Captain Corcoran’s. And the Dread Pirate Roberts never takes prisoners.

Jack: I can’t afford to make exceptions. I mean, once word gets out that a Pirate’s gone soft, it’s nothing but work, work, work—all the time.

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Hamlet: Life is pain. Unless you go to a nunnery. Ah, here comes Horatio.

Horatio: Hamlet, I just found out that Dread Pirate Roberts attacked Captain Corcoran because Captain Corcoran is actually your Uncle Claudius disguised. He wanted to hold Buttercup hostage.

Hamlet: Oh what a tangled web we weave! I’ll fight him, I will indeed! Here he comes now.

Claudius: Hamlet, why do you look so gloomy?

The ultimate test of skill and bravery.

Hamlet: One, two, three, four; I declare a thumb war!

Horatio: C’mon, Hamlet! Claudius is starting to get the upper hand. Don’t let him do that!

Hamlet: Ouch! That really hurts!

Claudius: Say “Uncle!”

Hamlet: Never!

Claudius: But why are you smiling?

Hamlet: Because I know something you don’t know.

Claudius: What is that?

Hamlet: I am not left handed!

Claudius: Oh. Neither am I. Switch.

Hamlet: Oh no! I’m losing! I die, Horatio.

Horatio: Me too, Hamlet. It was those burgers from Five Guys. Those Pirates poisoned us. I die too.

The Tragedy of Hamlet

Hamlet: Horatio, I am dead. Claudius just won the thumb war.

Jack: Not so fast, Claudius!

Buttercup: Oh, my dear Hamlet! I die of grief!

Claudius: Jack, I almost beat you back there on the high seas.

Jack: Yeah, but not quite. I’m just gonna grab some of this rope, here—and tie you up. There.

Claudius: What are you going to do?

Jack: To you? Nothing. I’m going to leave. This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Jack Sparrow.