Saturday, July 28, 2007

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune...

We lost one of Canada's great actors just a few weeks ago, but you catch a bit of William Hutt's greatness in the third and last (sniff, sniff) season of Slings and Arrows, that just came out on DVD. It's a bit eerie to watch Hutt (who died of leukemia) play Charles Kingman, a cantankerous, heroin-shooting, aging actor dying of cancer whose last wish is to play the title role in King Lear. But of course he does it marvellously and you also get a sense of how powerful his performance as Lear must have been a few seasons ago at Stratford (I never saw it, although I did get to see his Prospero). If you haven't seen this fantastic Canadian series that both skewers and lovingly pays tribute to the world of the theatre, then what the heck are you waiting for? Terrific writing and acting and it is so wonderfully funny and romantic. And it stars the cream of Canadian theatrical actors including the very dishy Paul Gross (whose carefully tousled hair, you just want to continually run your hands through), Martha Burns, Mark McKinney and Susan Coyne. This season also includes Sarah Polley and a war of egos and ideology between the cast of Lear and the new actors of (heavens!) a musical. I also love Don McKellar in his recurring role as the eccentric director Darren Nichols. Season One revolves around a production of Hamlet, Season Two around Macbeth.

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