Monday, June 13, 2005


Humorous Commercialization of Theater

Some might not find humor in the commercialization of theater, but you either laugh or you cry. The advertising industry is definitely trying to get the attention of theatergoers, by for example, inserting product placements in "Sweet Charity" on Broadway, which required altering the dialogue.
A Los Angeles newspaper (I think the L.A. Times) ran the following suggestions for similar commercial opportunities in Shakespeare classics:

1. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark! So come to Jamaica! --Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 4)

2. To sleep, perchance to dream --in just 20 minutes, with Ambien. --Hamlet (3, 1)

3. A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! Or the 325-horsepower Grand Cherokee, now at your Jeep Dealer. --King Richard III (5, 4)

4. But soft! What light through yonder Andersen window breaks? --Romeo and Juliet (2, 2)

5. Beware the ides of March...Madness! Only on ESPN. --Julius Caesar (1, 2)

6. The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. Then it's Miller time! -Henry VI, Part 2 (4,2)

7. If music be the food of love, play on. And while you're at it, Play SuperLotto Plus! --Twelfth Night (1, 1)

8. Lord, what fools these mortals be! Tonight, on "Hannity & Colmes."--A Midsummer Night's Dream (3, 2)

9. To be, or not to be, that is the question. For everything else, there's Mastercard." --Hamlet (3, 1)
No, I don't know where these came from originally. They were written by Bruce Kluger and David Slavin, who write satire for National Public Radio.

No idea where these came from (Hollywood, perhaps) but for all those who dream of moving their pages to screens, here is a guide to some of the lingo they use in Tinseltown.


A Glossary of Indispensable Industry Information


To "schmooze" = befriend scum
To "pitch" = grovel shamelessly
To "brainstorm" = feign preparedness
To "research" = procrastinate indefinitely
To "network" = spread misinformation
To "collaborate" = argue incessantly
To "freelance" = collect unemployment


Agent = frustrated lawyer
Lawyer = frustrated producer
Producer = frustrated writer
Writer = frustrated director
Director = frustrated actor
Actor = frustrated human


High-concept = low brow
Production values1 = gore
Production values2 = explosions
Entry level = pays nothing
Network-approved = has made them money
Highly qualified = knows the producer


Net = something that apparently doesn't exist
Gross = Michael Eisner's salary
Back End = you, if you think you'll ever see any
Residuals = braces for the kids
Deferral = don't hold your breath
Points = see "Net" or "Back End"


You can trust me = You must be new
It needs some polishing = Change everything
It shows promise = It stinks rotten
It needs some fine tuning = Change everything
She got great press = She'll never live down the embarrassment
I'd like some input = I want total control
It needs some honing = Change everything
Call me back next week = Stay out of my life
It needs some tightening = Change everything
Try and punch it up = I have no idea what I want
It needs some streamlining = Change everything
It's all up on the screen = You'll never find the money I embezzled
You'll never work in this town again = I have no power whatsoever
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