Stephen Rea and Barbaro star in Kicking a Dead Horse, Sam Shepard's new play which opened at the Public Theater in NYC this week.
OK, it's not really Barbaro. Just a joke, OK? Though if it were up to Shepard, perhaps the late Derby winner would have the co-starring role.
“The dead horse should be as realistic as possible,” he writes, “with no attempt to stylize or cartoon it in any way. In fact, it should actually be a dead horse.”Of course, if the horse is already dead, then I don't see what problem PETA would have with it. If the play were to catch on with the general public (unlikely since, as a Sam Shepard play, it's no doubt intelligently written and requires actual thought and concentration), it could open up a whole new world for horses who don't make it out of New Bolton. The touring company could use regional stars - Vindication for the LA version, George Washington in London, Eight Belles in Arkansas.... (OK, I think that's enough before I start beating the dead horse.)
So when the show premiered in Ireland, the Abbey Theatre dutifully located an actual already-dead horse (“With this PETA thing, you’ve got to be very careful,” Shepard says), made a cast from it, and used the horse’s real hide. “We were thinking it would have more realism,” says Shepard. “But when he kicked it, it reacted like a cardboard box or something. It flopped around." [NY Magazine]
- As reader El Angelo pointed out, retiring Senator Joe Bruno will have plenty of money with which to visit Saratoga this summer. However, he also said: “I’m not the kind of guy who’s going to go off and retire and just play with horses and golf."
Well, Mr. Green Mtn Punter, what do you think of that? We've been led to believe that Bruno is a genuine horse guy, and now he's retiring on a rich tax-free pension and he DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY WITH HORSES? Ha!
Bruno continues to dole out the money to his Saratoga constituency, coming up with $6 million to expand the City Center, plus an additional gift announced today, this one to the Troy waterfront. What the Capitol region will do without him I can't say.
- It's been quite a year for Stephen Rea (the live actor in the picture above). I recently saw him in Stuck, a gruesomely macabre film that nonetheless had me laughing (perhaps to keep from passing out). In that movie, Rea spent half the time lodged in an automobile windshield with one of the wipers protruding into his gut. (Based on a true story that could only have happened in Texas!) (Awaiting a retort from Sue.) Now, he's on stage alone with a (fake) dead horse for an hour and a half. The latter does seem preferable however. Kicking a Dead Horse runs at the Public through Aug 10. (Photo by Joan Marcus/NYT)