Thursday, December 09, 2004

Cannon fodder

Last year around this time, I went to see National Ballet of Canada's annual production of The Nutcracker for the first time and blogged the following:
It's a tradition to have local celebrities play bit roles in The Nutcracker and James Kudelka's version is no exception. Last night the two cannon dolls -- they stand on either side of a cannon that is wheeled out and fires confetti and streamers into the first few rows -- were The Globe and Mail Review editor Elizabeth Renzetti and her husband reporter Doug Saunders.
Ms. Renzetti's performance, as the stoic cannon doll, was passable, if a bit bland. It was her husband who stole the cameo as the nervous cannon doll. He chewed the scenery like a real pro, ripping into it with his incisors and then chomping on it with his molars until it became indiscernible sludge. He rolled around on the floor silently screeching in staged stage fright. Pure brill. I will never read his weekend column the same way again.
A friend of mine suggested recently that it would be much more entertaining if they actually shot these pseudo-celebs out of the cannon in lieu of streamers. Tsk, tsk...
This just in from the Famous Last Words department: On Sunday I'm going back to see The Nutcracker again, but this time fellow National Post reporter Siri Agrell and I will be the cannon dolls.
On the scale of pseudo-celebrity, I rank well down below Saunders and Renzetti -- I sometimes think of myself as the National Post's Guy Dixon -- so it is only fair that my mockery of those two should be returned to me tenfold.
(I am curious, though, to know if I am the first blogger to guest in The Nutcracker. Obviously, it wasn't for that reason that I was invited, but it still would make for a nice addition to my resumé.)
I should note that Saunders -- still my favourite Globe columnist, by the by -- was a good sport about the kidding, writing: "Though I knew that my status as a local hack would expose me to various pains and humiliations, never did I dream that I would some day suffer the sting of the dance critic upon my own not so well toned skin. Thanks to the magic of the blog, and your own strange obsessions, I can now add this honour to my list of accomplishments. I would never stoop to contesting a critical judgement, but my wife would like it to be known that she considered her performance measured and understated rather than 'bland and passable.'"

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