Saturday, October 10, 2020

Bonus Content

As you know, Megan Abbott and I have read several dozen "show biz" books together, stretching back to the long-faded glory of the aptly named Doomed Book Club. Currently, we have landed on a volume of letters by the actor William Redfield, from when he was in Toronto, rehearsing the role of Guildenstern in HAMLET. Not even Rosencrantz! Yes, yes, we know how to have a good time. Another thing you know about me is that I keep a list of books I read that have owls in them, hoping to support my theory that every book has an owl in it. Authors cannot resist the power of the owl! And so, fairly early in the letters, we run across Redfield's description of a director watching an actor "with the eyes of an owl." [It is the director who has the eyes of an owl, not the actor. - ed.] As bonus content, I will tell you that in the VERY SAME LETTER, Redfield refers to Jerry Lewis as "stupendously talented," which it somewhat pains William Redfield to admit, because Jerry Lewis does not have what William Redfield thinks of as "taste." I'll tell you something else Jerry Lewis doesn't have... the need to rehearse Guildenstern in Toronto and write letters about it. Ha ha, I kid the late William Redfield, whose life, now that I look it up on wikipedia, was cut tragically short. :(