Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

R.I.P. George Romero

July 17th, 2017

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The world of cinema lost an icon yesterday with the death of George A. Romero.

His influence on the horror genre cannot be understated.  Before Night of the Living Dead, zombies were just brainless automatons used as cheap labor.  After Night of the Living Dead, they will forever be associated with flesh-eating monsters.

George Romero invented what we now think of as zombies.

I have so many specific memories of seeing his movies, all of them prefaced by reading articles and (more importantly) seeing photos of his work in Fangoria magazine…

Watching Knightriders at a cast party for a Quincy Community Little Theater production of Camelot I was in in 1983.

Endless viewings of my Betamax copy of Dawn of the Dead with high school friends.

Staying up a little bit extra late every Sunday night and watching his TV series Tales from the Dark Side on WGN.

Seeing Monkey Shines during a hot summer in college with someone very special.

Going to see The Dark Half with my future room-mate on a trip up north to Chicago to look for an apartment.

And Creepshow… One of my favorite movies of all time.  I have a lot of milestones associated with Creepshow.  Suffice to say that the first time I saw it was when my Dad took me to see it at the Quincy Mall movie theater and one of the most recent times was on a first date with a girl I fancied.  She attacked me half-way through.  I’ve lived with her for 15 years.  We have an original Creepshow movie poster on our wall.

Here are a couple of very nice remembrances from Edgar Wright (Director of Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver) and Eric Vespe (“Quint” of Ain’t It Cool News).

And, finally, here’s a video of me living the dream in Monroeville, PA:

Rest in Peace, Maestro.

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If you’re in the Sligo, Ireland area, my short play “Ava Takes Up Aviation” is being produced by The Rabbit’s Riot Theatre Company as part of their WHERE WE ARE NOW LGBT + THEATRE FESTIVAL.

The festival runs June 8th thru 10th.

You can read more about it here.

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If you’re in Hawaii, a play I wrote is being produced by Women In Theatre this Friday and Saturday.

 

It’s called “Five Pickles and a Case of Dead Meat” and it’s part of an evening of short plays called KAUAI SHORTS.

 

You can read more about it here.

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If you’re in the Chicago area, a play I wrote is being produced by The Arc Theatre this Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

It’s called “The Armadillo/Iguana Bacterial Unification” and it’s being directed by Alexander Trice and features Takesha Meshé Kizart and Sara Geist.  It’s part of The Arc’s evening of short plays called UNITED WE STAND.

 

You can read more about it here.

 

And here are the details:

 

Tuesday 5/16 at 7:00

Wednesday 5/17 at 7:00

 

Ebenezer Lutheran

1650 W. Foster Avenue

Chicago, IL 60640

 

Tickets $10

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If you’re in the Lansing, Michigan area, a play I wrote is being produced by Ixion Theatre Ensemble this weekend and next.

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It’s a video game love story called “Betrayal Among The Grinning Gators” and it’s part of their evening of short plays called GEEKED!

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You can read more about it here.

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And here are the details:

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Saturday 5/13 at 8:00

Sunday 5/14 at 7:00

Saturday 5/20 at 8:00

Sunday 5/21 at 7:00

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The Robin Theatre

1105 S. Washington Avenue

Lansing, MI 48910

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Tickets $15

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Go see it – Geeks are cool!

If you’re in the Orlando area, a play I wrote with Tina L. Jens is being produced by Still Got It Players South this weekend.

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Our play is called “Red Jello Jigglers” and it’s part of their 2nd Short Attention Span Play Festival.

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You can read more about it here.

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And here are the details:

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Thursday 5/4 at 1:00

Friday 5/5 at 7:00

Saturday 5/6 at 2:00

Sunday 5/7 at 2:00

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Magic Curtain Productions Theatre

2860 S. Alafaya Trail

Orlando, Florida 32828

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Tickets $15

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Check it out!

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If you’re in the New York area, there’s a release party for a book of short plays I’m in Monday night at 5:00 at The Drama Book Shop – One Minute Plays: A Practical Guide to Tiny Theatre.

Sadly, I won’t be there.

But you should go and buy the book and meet the writers that are able to attend.  The collection includes my one-minute play “A Bullet For Every Brain.”

But, again, I won’t be there, so don’t expect to see me.

There will be readings of plays featured in the collection and a signing.  The event is free and open to the public.

So check it out!

But, I’ll be in Illinois watching wrestling.  I won’t be there.

Monday, May 1, 2017 at 5:00pm

The Drama Book Shop, Inc

250 West 40th Street

New York, NY 10018

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“Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk.”

This quote is often attributed to Stephen King.  It was on this day in 1974 that King’s first novel, CARRIE, was published.  Happy Publication Day, Stevie!

The quote is actually from author Robert Bloch, who would’ve turned 100 today.  Bloch wrote the novel PSYCHO which would become one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films.

Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and dozens of novels.  He also had a keen sense of humor, as you can see from these quotes:

“The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.”

“Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings.”

“So I had this problem — work or starve. So I thought I’d combine the two and decided to become a writer.”

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Some Recommended Robert Bloch Stories and Books:

“The Real Bad Friend” – inspiration for PSYCHO

“Lucy Comes To Stay” – -also an inspiration for PSYCHO

PSYCHO

“Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper”

“The Man Who Collected Poe”

“The Animal Fair”

THE KIDNAPPER

“That Hell-Bound Train”

“The Scent of Vinegar”

STRANGE EONS

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Gumbo Joe and His Smokey Tent

February 28th, 2017

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At work last week, we were talking about what sells tickets to plays and the boss commented on star power.  He said, ‘If So-And-So is in ‘Gumbo Joe and His Smokey Tent,’ then people are going to buy tickets to see it.”

 

So here, just in time for Fat Tuesday, is

 

GUMBO JOE AND HIS SMOKEY TENT by John Weagly

 

(Lights up.

The stage is filled with smoke.  In the haze, we hear the voices of ANNA and GUMBO JOE.)

 

ANNA

Hello?

 

GUMBO JOE

Hello?

 

ANNA

Gumbo Joe?

 

GUMBO JOE

Hello?  Who ‘dat?

 

ANNA

(Coughing.)  This is disgusting!  I can’t see a thing!

 

GUMBO JOE

This old tent, it catches the cookin’ smoke and holds it in.

 

ANNA

Don’t you people down here know that smoke is bad for you?

 

GUMBO JOE

What can I do for you, lady?

 

ANNA

I came to get some gumbo.  I wasn’t thrilled about coming all this way to deal with people that reside in shacks and tents, but I’m having a Fat Tuesday party and it wouldn’t be much of a Fat Tuesday party without gumbo.  Everybody claims you make the best on the bayou.

 

GUMBO JOE

That I do!  That I do!  Gumbo Joe knows quite a few secrets about good gumbo!

 

ANNA

Maybe we could step outside for a minute.  I’m not accustomed to…

 

GUMBO JOE

Why, lady?  Why you want to leave?

 

ANNA

(Coughing.)  This smoke… it’s so grueling…

 

GUMBO JOE

It’s good, that’s what it is!  It’s good!  The best smoke for you that could be!  This here smoke is the dichotomy between Heaven and Hell!

 

ANNA

It’s difficult to breathe…

 

GUMBO JOE

Smoked sausage – the finest sausage for good gumbo!  The smoke, it gives the meat that savor-flavor, that kick, that zing!  It makes you think the Devil made that sausage in his own fire just so the smell of it would make the angels weep!

 

ANNA

But, when you’re in here, how do you… (She starts coughing and can’t finish her sentence.)

 

GUMBO JOE

Okra and tomatoes and nice bell peppers, some onion and garlic and cayenne spice, chicken and shrimp and… and the most important thing, you know it’s true… smokey-dokey sausage!

 

ANNA

I must get outside… (More coughing.)

 

GUMBO JOE

Smoke – that makes the good gumbo!

 

ANNA

(Coughing.)  I have to… I can’t… It’s so strenuous… (ANNA dies from smoke inhalation.)

 

GUMBO JOE

And what’s the best kind of meat for gumbo sausage?  You, lady, you!  Some of ‘dat good fancy long pork!  A little of ‘dat smoky Soylent Green.  And the smokin’ is already half the way there!

 

(In the smoke, we hear GUMBO JOE drag ANNA’s body to the back of the tent.  Soon after, we hear meat being put into a grinder.

Lights down.)

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RIP Bill Paxton

February 26th, 2017

I’ve never thought of Bill Paxton as one of my favorite actors, but he sure was in a lot of great movies.

He was also an excellent director.  His film FRAILTY is terrific and one of his only other directorial efforts is the video for “Fish Heads.”

Rest in peace to the only actor to be killed by the Terminator, an Alien and a Predator.

Some favorite Bill Paxton movies:

Streets of Fire, 1984

The Terminator, 1984

Aliens, 1986

Near Dark, 1987

One False Move, 1992

Tombstone, 1993

Frailty, 2001

Hatfields & McCoys, 2012

Edge of Tomorrow, 2014

Nightcrawler, 2014

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