Come on,Baby, don’t you wanna go homeCome on,Baby, don’t you wanna go homeBack from the land of CaliforniaTo my sweet home, Chicago.
The Vic & Paul Show came from California to sweet home Chicago – and it was good: a magical week of fun, friends, comedy & camaraderie.
Big thanks to Scott Vehill and Stefan Brun of The Prop Theatre for hosting us in their space – and to all of our Chicago friends (and all you out-of-towners) who made the trip to North Elston to share the fun with us.
Thanks especially to Tony Adler of The Chicago Reader whose fabulous article in the June 9th issue assured us of a successful run. (Click on the picture.)
Thanks, too, to Alex Baumgardner, who talked to me for this article in NewCity Stage. (Click on the graphic.)
Given the enthusiastic response to our limited Prop Theatre engagement, we’re planning a return to Chicago this December. This might be the year for comedy-loving Chicagoans to celebrate the holidays with The Vic & Paul Show.
Stay tuned for further details.
Victoria, Steve, and I would just like to say, “Thank you – and we love you” to everyone who showed up and laughed with us at The Prop last week.
If, for some strange and inexplicable reason, you live in the greater Chicagoland area, and you haven’t yet made reservations to see The Vic & Paul Show, just click on the Brown Paper Tickets icon below:
Did you click it? Did you get your tickets? Thank you. We’ll see you at The Prop Theatre this week!
As of today, there are less than two weeks before The Vic & Paul Show opens in Chicago for a one-week engagement, June 9-12, at the Prop Theatre.
This past Sunday morning, May 29th, Vic and Steve Rashid and I had a great time on Rick Kogan’s WGN Radio show, The Sunday Papers. Journalist, author, and radio raconteur, Rick Kogan is a Chicago institution. He covered most of our big moments with The Practical Theatre for The Chicago Sun-Times and The Chicago Tribune back in the 80’s – and he was kind enough to invite us on The Sunday Papers to talk about The Vic & Paul Show. You can check out the podcast by clicking on this link: Vic & Paul on WGN
After a 22-year absence from the Chicago area stage, Paul Barrosse and Victoria Zielinski, both veterans of The Practical Theatre’s hit comedy revues in the 1980’s, will perform in “The Vic & Paul Show”, an original two-person comedy revue with music that will play June 9-12 at The Prop Theatre.
It’s “An Evening of Comedy, Music, Marriage & Martinis” — a special week of grown-up fun somewhere between Nick & Nora and Nichols & May (if those famous couples were over-50 parents with grown-up kids).
Vic & Paul are joined by their musical director, Chicago area Emmy-winner Steve Rashid, who will accompany them on keyboards and perform his own brand of satirical songwriting. The show was directed by Chicago native Shelly Goldstein.
I’ve finally wrapped up my four-part personal history of The Practical Theatre Co. To read the final chapter of the Practical Theatre story click here — or click on the graphic above. You can also find a link to all four chapters under “Landmarks” on the right hand side of the home page.
It only took me two decades to finish this project — so please enjoy!
Those of us who are of a certain age remember the days when there were only three TV networks (and those two weird UHF channels) – and network news was the Big Deal every night. In those years, back when the network evening news was an important daily event, Walter Cronkite was the Big Man Behind the Anchor Desk.
Walter Cronkite, the anchorman of CBS Evening News, was the most trusted man in America. Seriously. He really was. And he deserved our trust. After all, it was Walter Cronkite who went to Vietnam and said, essentially, game over: we’re losing and we should get out. (Can you imagine Wolf Blitzer going out on that limb?)
So, what’s happened to TV news since the days of the legendary Walter Cronkite?
Here’s a musical reflection on the gradual ruin of television news from “The Vic & Paul Show”, written and performed by Paul Barrosse and Victoria Zielinski — with musical director Steve Rashid.
The show was directed by Shelly Goldstein and performed in June 2010 at Push Lounge in Woodland Hills, CA.
This is the final installment of clips from “The Vic & Paul Show” available for free on this blog and on YouTube. The entire show will be available very soon on DVD. If you’re interested in getting a copy of the DVD, let me know by e-mail or via comment to this blog entry.
I’ll send you a copy of the whole show for $5.00 – which should just about cover the cost. (It’s the cheapest, coolest, and funniest Christmas gift ever!) You can send me a check when you get the DVD.
It was not all that long ago that men and women in the throes of romance took pen in hand to write long, expressive letters to each other.
Your parents probably wrote love letters to each other. And if you’re anywhere over the age of 35, you and your loved one probably did a lot of letter writing, too.
That’s not necessarily the case today. I imagine that stationery sales are not what they once were. Modern lovers now proclaim their undying devotion via e-mail and text messaging.
Instead of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s immortal prose…
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach…
…today’s lovers are more likely to text:
do I luv u?
The great romantic novelist Jane Austen, who was born on December 16th, 1775, lived and wrote in a world of quills and ink and letter writing. Her novels celebrate a time when people in love put their thoughts and emotions into words. Lots of words. Pages and pages of words. Relationships in the Age of Austen developed more slowly than today. There was time for reflection and expression. Lots of time. That was then…
The first iPhone was introduced on January 9, 2007 – 190 years after Jane Austen’s death. An amazing technological marvel, the iPhone might also be the final death knell for romantic letter writing.
From what I’ve witnessed, texting is now the universally preferred method of communication between young people with a romantic interest in one another. In fact, they’d rather text than talk on the phone. I have two teenage daughters. Trust me. I’m not making this up.
So, when my wife Victoria and I were writing “The Vic & Paul Show” this year, we thought it would be fun to look back at the slower, more deliberate, literate and reflective expression of passion back in Jane Austen’s day – as opposed to today’s rapid-fire boy-girl TTYL texting.
“The Vic & Paul Show” was performed in June 2010 at Push Lounge in Woodland Hills with musical director Steve Rashid at the piano and directed by Shelly Goldstein.
What would happen if Medea was making the media rounds to promote her sensational new book?
No, not Tyler Perry’s “Madea”…
I’m talking about the infamous ancient Medea: the barbarian demigoddess of Greek mythology.
Medea’s lurid autobiography – a story of adventure, romance, scandal, revenge and murder — would be as big a bestseller today as it was back when the Oracle at Delphi drew bigger ratings than Fox News.
The same book publishers, news media and television networks that shamelessly flog the latest tell-all tomes by the famous and fallen would love to put Medea on the talk show circuit.
In recent years, the American public has shown either an increasing appetite for scandal or a short memory or both.
It’s one thing for author Andrew Morton to cash in by writing Monica’s Story, the authorized biography of Monica Lewinsky – but quite another for Monica herself to parade in front of the media like she’d actually accomplished something other than being a Friend of Bill with Benefits.
And while it took lots of chutzpah for a philandering, ethically disgraced politician like New Gingrich to write a book called Rediscovering God in America – the media hacks who interviewed Newt on his book tour (like Fox’s Sean Hannity) rarely, if ever, bothered to mention Newt’s serial adultery or the fact that he was the first Speaker of the House in history to be disciplined for ethical misconduct.
It’s even more ironic when you realize that Newt’s co-author, his third wife Callista Gingrich, was the woman he was having an affair with during the Congressional investigation of Bill Clinton and the Lewinsky scandal. And, how’s this for scandalous symmetry? Callista is 23 years younger than Newt: Monica is 27 years younger than Bill. Betcha Sean Hannity didn’t point that out.
And, like rubber-neckers at the scene of a traffic accident, there’s a segment of the public that just can’t ignore a book like Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour, in which conservative former mega-church pastor Ted Haggard’s wife, Gayle Haggard, explained why she stayed with the holy rolling hypocrite after a 2006 scandal revealed his drug use and “massages” by a male prostitute.
Still, compared to Medea, these scandals are tame and not likely to stay anywhere near as long on the bestseller list. After all, Medea’s story has been a classic in print for more than 2,400 years.
The basics of Medea’s tale are headline-making stuff indeed. The daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, Medea was the granddaughter of the sun god Helios, and later married the celebrated hero Jason (the guy with Argonauts). After helping Jason win immortal fame by bringing back the Golden Fleece, she settled down with him and they had two kids. Then, things broke bad for Medea.
According to Euripides in his play Medea, Jason dumped Medea for a younger woman, (Just like Newt Gingrich did.) It was William Congreve who wrote, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” That would make a good title for Medea’s tell-all book: an account of how she got her revenge on Creon, Glauce and Jason.
How did Medea get her revenge? If you don’t already know, hold on. I’m coming to that…
In recent decades, the character of Medea has been portayed by a trio of the greatest Greek actresses: Maria Callas, Melina Mercouri — and Victoria Zielinski.
In 1970, the opera singer Maria Callas starred in Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film adaptation of Medea. And in the 1978 film A Dream of Passion – the great Melina Mercouri (who was such a Greek national treasure they put her on a postage stamp) played as an actress portraying Medea who seeks out a mother who, like Medea, recently killed her children.
As for Victoria Zielinski, she was one of two exceptional women to address the Medea role in notable Los Angeles area productions in the past year. The three-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening played Medea in UCLA Live’s staging of the classic at the Freud Playhouse last fall. Bening got great reviews. But Victoria got a lot more laughs.
Here’s Victoria playing Medea in “The Vic & Paul Show” this past June at the Push Lounge in Woodland Hills.
The video clip doesn’t quite capture Drew McCoy’s great lighting plot, Emilia Barrosse’s timing on the light cues, or Shelly Goldstein’s dramatic direction — which made the live experience very special. But Victoria’s bravura performance blends Callas, Mercouri and Arianna Huffiington into a Medea to remember…
Which brings us back to the opening question: What would happen if Medea was making the media rounds to promote her sensational new book?
Jesse James’ tattoo-laden mistress is actually scarier than Medea.
In May of 2009, President Obama nominated an unheralded federal appeals court judge named Sonia Sotomayor for an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, replacing retired Justice David Souter.
Soon, there was the now-obligatory pre-Senate-confirmation-hearing political dustup. The right wing questioned Sotomayor’s objectivity – pointing to the following statement…
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
Before long, Sonia Sotomayor was a household name – and despite the “wise Latina” controversy, her nomination was confirmed by the Senate that August by a vote of 68–31.
But how would Sotomayor’s presence on the Supreme Court affect the court’s political balance?
And how would the court’s conservative “white males” deal with this “wise Latina woman” and “the richness of her experiences”?
Most interestingly, how would Justice Antonin Scalia react to the new woman on the bench? Pundits noted that Scalia and Sotomayor are both New Yorkers and lifelong Yankees fans. But would that common ground be all that united them?
Would Sonia help counter Scalia’s ultra-conservative power in the Supreme Court chambers? Or would Scalia draw Sotomayor to the dark side? As my wife Victoria and I began writing “The Vic & Paul” show in January 2010, we knew we had to address this supreme relationship question.
Here, then, is another musical sketch from “The Vic & Paul Show”, performed in June 2010 at Push Lounge in Woodland Hills, California.
Can love bridge the ideological gap between the Left and the Right? We take you now to the dark and shadowy chambers of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia…
Saturday night, June 26th is sold out. Tickets are still available for Friday and Sunday. For reservations:http://vicandpaulshow.doattend.com/. Tickets for tonight (Friday night’s show) are not available online — but you can get them at the door. (We’ll get you in somehow!)