Annie’s An Orphan Once More: “Daddy Warlocks” Albert Finney Has Died

Albert Finney
Albert Finney, right, gettings his head shaved for his role as Daddy Warbucks by his close personal friend and RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, left.

London-Actor Albert Finney, best known to those of here at TDQ as Daddy Warbucks in the criminally-underrated 1982 classic “Annie,” died Thursday from a chest infection. He was 82.

He won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Winston “Winnie” Churchill in “The Gathering Storm.” He also appeared in such TV programs as “Cold Lazarus,” “My Uncle Silas,” and “A Rather English Marriage.”

Besides rescuing Annie from rotten, alcoholic Miss Hannigan, he also appeared in films like “Erin Brockovich,” “Skyfall,” “RECOiL” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”

He was survived by his third wife, Penelope, and one son.

TDQ Investigates: The True Genius Of Perhaps The Greatest Tool Ever Invented: The Scissors

Scissors
Just try cutting a ceremonial ribbon with a rock. It would take forever and you would look like an idiot doing it. We are not sure why rock beats scissors. If it was up to us scissors would beat everything.

We here at TDQ think it’s about time we give a shout out to the scissors. They truly do not get the accolades they so richly deserve. We know it, you know it. It is time that is set right.

Just think about how hard a time you would have trying to cut out your ex spouse from your wedding photos without a pair of scissors.

Or how difficult would it be for Saville Row tailors to fit your $1500.00 suit without a good pair of scissors? How would any bank or large office building or Walmart open without a giant pair of novelty scissors to use during the ribbon-cutting ceremony? How unimpressive would the Swiss Army knife actually be without the extra tool of the small set of scissors in there?

It just breaks our hearts how overlooked and taken for granted the scissors are in modern society. Admit it, before you clicked on this article, when was the last time you appreciated the craftsmanship, the pure perfection that a sharp pair of scissors offer you? If we had to go through life using those crappy scissors we had in Kindergarten, nothing would EVER get done. Ever.

Now, admittedly, we weren’t around when they were first developed. It’s possible the fanfare surrounding their unveiling was greater than we would think. Did they do a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce the new product that was scissors?

Try to imagine “The Greatest American Hero” without the symbol on Ralph’s suit. That symbol was inspired by a pair of scissors. It’s true, Google it. Or think about how difficult cutting up an old, expired credit card would be without a pair of scissors handy. We shudder to think about that.

So the next time you go to wrap a present, or cut a coupon out of your daily newspaper, or cut the lamination around your fake ID just so, or trim your nose hairs, just take a minute to appreciate how wonderful our lives truly are thanks to the scissors.

You are now informed, go and do likewise.

“I Was Very Fascinated By How Theatre Can Make Space To Unearth The Controversial:” A TDQ Q&A With Director Marina Montesanti

Maria Montesanti
Ladies and gentleman may I direct your attention to theater director Marina Montesanti.

This week’s TDQ Q&A is with director Marina Montesanti. Marina spoke to us about being a foreign female director in the New York theater, her influences and her upcoming play, “While She Sleeps.” Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Director Marina Montesanti:

The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be in show business?

Marina Montesanti: My love and respect for the craft. At a very early age, I started to read all I could about theater history, plays, reviews etc. The love never faded, so it lead me to go above and beyond, work sleepless nights and be in every rehearsal room I could. The rest was a domino effect.

TDQ: Who was your favorite director growing up?

MM: Anne Bogart. Having access to her books in a different country gave me a sense of guidance and activated my directorial muscle in the best possible way. Consuming those books sparked so much and my admiration only expanded by seeing the work of her company, SITI, here in New York.

Marina Montesanti
While attending The New School of Drama Marina Montesanti minored in fashion design an modeling. Wait. I’m am being told that is not true. She is just naturally photogenic.

TDQ: What was your favorite play growing up?

MM:The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” by Edward Albee. I think I was very fascinated by how theatre can make space to unearth the controversial.

TDQ: Who are your influences?

MM: So many! I guess my top 10, whose work moves me to the core are: Michael Greif, Tina Landau, Rachel Chavkin, Anne Bogart, Edward Sheblak, Augusto Boal, Katori Hall, Erwin Piscator, Edward Albee, Athol Fugard.

TDQ: What was the best advice you have ever gotten?

MM: “Follow your instinct”. Very simple, but it changed my career once I stopped second guessing it.

TDQ: What was the worst advice you have ever gotten?

MM: When  I was doing my thesis, I was assigned two instructors, that told me I was a “smart” director and would be successful if I directed  “cannon plays” instead of work that reflected my culture.

TDQ: Have you found the atmosphere in New York any different or more difficult for female directors than it is in other places around the world you have lived/worked in?

MM: Being a woman and a foreigner limits opportunities anywhere in the world, but perseverance and the willingness to work from the bottom up opened a lot of doors for me. I was blessed with rare opportunities to be involved in high-level productions. I was mentored by revolutionary artists, whose training and knowledge allowed me to grow at a rate I could have never imagined. I am glad that bringing my experience as a woman and a foreigner result in work that merges gender, nationality and other aspects of identity seamlessly. I found my home in the American theatre. It fosters the development of new works, female voices, values theatre that raises modern ethical questions and has a groundbreaking community of artists.

Marina Montesanti
Marina Montesanti in her preferred place: just off stage in the director’s chair. Well, in this case, it looks like a rehearsal room and she is sitting on a table but, close enough.

TDQ: What has the response been of theater-goers in the past to the plays you have directed that were translated from Spanish and Portuguese?

MM: Sitting in the back of the theater and hearing people laugh, cry and have genuine reactions to the translated play, is the ultimate proof that a story can accomplish its purpose even if it was written for a different culture.

I think because I am academically and “street” fluent in three languages, my sensitivity usually catches those “weird” untranslatable moments. The task most of the time is to find similar ways of communication that can translate the essence of the scene. In those moments, I have found myself exploring humor, clown, and physical storytelling.

TDQ: Tell us about your upcoming production of “While She Sleeps”

MM: “While She Sleeps” is a translation of Jo Bilac’s Cucaracha, which was brought to New York by  Mayana Neiva. It is a play about an eight-year coma patient and her pregnant nurse who aim for something new beyond hospital walls. Together, they find themselves battling a world that confuses reality with fiction, chance with fate, and the end with a new beginning. The play explores being close to death and wishing to be alive as well as being blinded by a routine and forgetting to live. While She Sleeps is a testimony that living is a courageous and beautiful decision to walk into the unknown.

TDQ: Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?

MM: Continuing directing new musicals and plays that are progressive and can ignite dialogue and discoveries from various points of views.  I want to be working on material that defends the dignity of the marginalized and allow characters to be richly open about their multifaceted existence.

Learn more about Marina at her website and follow her on Instagram.

Our Close, Personal Canadian Pal Erich Mrak Is Back With New Music

Toronto- Starting 2019 off strong, Erich Mrak has released new music, delivering a melancholic, spacious, melody-driven track titled “Navigate.” Written by Erich and his in-house producer, Bento, with production done by the latter, the duo have delivered a song addressing the anxiety associated with never truly knowing what prompts another individual to make decisions.

“Navigate” is one of six singles being released each month for 6 months. The singles make up a currently-untitled EP, accompanied by a live off-the-floor rendition of each song (released at the end of each month after the studio version). “Navigate” was released on January 15, and you can find it here.

Super Dave Osborne, Bob Einstein Has Died

Bob Einstein
Bob Einstein, left, worked with RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, right for years. DiMaio was the stunt coordinator for Einstein’s character Super Dave Osborne.

Indian Wells, CA-Bob Einstein, known for his portrayal of American stuntman Super Dave Osborn, has died. He was 76.

Einstein got his start as a comedy writer on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” where he won an Emmy Award for writing. He appeared as Super Dave from 1979 to 2009 on various TV shows and networks.

He also appeared in such TV classics as “Arrested Development,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Anger Management.”

On the big screen, he appeared in the films “Ocean’s Thirteen,” “RECOiL” and “Teddy Bears’ Picnic.”

He is survived by his wife, Roberta his daughter, Erin and five grandchildren,