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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Life After New Bolton

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.”

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]
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.)

- 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)


Superfecta said...

I saw Stephen Rea in a play about hostages about 10 years least he's not chained in this one!

Anonymous said...

Weel, Joe has to have a pretty Hudson shore line to view when he retires....TOMORROW.

Any thougts on Capital Play's O'Farrell dropping out of the 'decision making' until his backgroud check can move on???

Anonymous said...

For the record, as Superfecta notes, it's Stephen REA, not RAE.

Alan Mann said...

duly noted..

Anonymous said...

When did Vindication pass?

Alan Mann said...

Vindication passed away last week.

Anonymous said...

Guys, Joe Bruno possesses first and foremost what is known as the "work ethic", even at age 79, and in retirement. My guess is that you will find him involved in any number of worthwhile causes, in public service. I suspect that horse racing and Saratoga will remain at or near the top of his list.

Just as an aside, I am quite surprised by the rather paltry pensions the NY pols vote themselve compared to the thieves that run the Massachusetts General Court, one Mr. Billy Bulger being the poster boy for larcenous legislative pensions. The former Senate Pres in the Bay State collects $230,000 a year for his "service" to the Commonwealth, and that is just the tip of the iceberg in that den of thieves.

NY State, by comparison, received a helluva lot more value for it's $95,000 pension paid to former Senate Maj Leader Joe Bruno than the pathetic Bay State does for it's $230,000 pension monies paid annually to former Senate Pres Billy Bulger. /S/Green Mtn Punter

suebroux said...

Someone wrote a play about that?? I'm thinking there are a lot more interesting things that happen in Texas that should be staged in New York, i.e., skinny-dippin' in one's backyard pool while drinking shots of tequila. That would make for a much more interesting play. However, I'm unsure if the public would shell out hard-earned dollars to see Stephen Rea naked.

Anonymous said...

Are you auditioning for a "tasteless satire" blogging position with the New Yorker?

:) !