Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Brecht, Beckett, Bret Hart

You know, I'd love to fill this blog with Nestruckian insight all day long, but there are other things I must tend to from time to time.

There is, for instance, the National Post, where I work as a reporter in the Arts & Life section. My latest contribution -- an interview with wrestler-turned-thespian Bret "The Hitman" Hart -- is online and free!
"Wrestlers might be the very best theatre actors in the world, but never get credit for it," the strongman formerly known to the world as "The Hitman" says, looking rather dapper in a grey sweater with reading glasses hanging from the neck. "I remember I wrestled an hour marathon match for Wrestlemania -- XII, I think it was -- and I would put that match up there with anything Laurence Olivier ever had to remember from Shakespeare or Hamlet or anything."

Five years since retreating from pro wrestling after a career-ending concussion, Hart can still muster up some of the over-the-top bravado of the sports entertainment world; he just expresses it at a lower decibel level now. "To remember when to duck and when to turn around; when someone's diving off the top rope, you have to catch them right on the floor; the importance of protecting your opponent: They're all things that someone like Laurence Olivier would never have to think about," the former World Heavyweight wrestling champion continues in his gentle baritone. "If anything, I'd say that my job that day [at Wrestlemania XII] was certainly maybe magnified, more complex than his by a thousand-fold."
If you happen to come across a Post tomorrow, you'll find my interview with another non-actor-turned-actor: Renegade, Bush-stompin' MP Carolyn Parrish.

Meanwhile, over at Torontoist, there's some new theatre stuff up, featuring Brecht, Beckett, and an e-mail interview with actress Hilary Doyle co-star of Matt & Ben, the twice-extended hit that closes on Sunday. I didn't mention this on Torontoist, but if you go to see Matt & Ben -- which Post theatre critic Robert Cushman calls "still the best in town" -- on Tuesday or Wednesday and say the codeword "hit," you can get tickets for the ridiculously-low price of $10. If you live in the Toronto area and haven't seen it yet, you really should.

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