Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Complete Works of Todd Seavey, Abridged


Surveying the accomplishments and failures of 2009 as New Year’s approaches, I’m reminded that a few months ago when I listed books that cite me according to Amazon, one book that didn’t come up but on which I had an influence was the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. That’s the widely-performed comedy play that squeezes all of Shakespeare’s plays into one hour-long performance.

I was working at Applause Books when the first printed edition (or “folio,” if you will) of the play came out, so I got the chance to write some comedy footnotes for it — and at least two made it not only to the printed page but into later performances, at least ones like the performance I saw at Princeton a few years ago, in which one of the actors would pause to recite the relevant footnote to the audience.

Mine included footnotes explaining the archaic phrases “tyrannous” (adj., dinosaur-like) and “the general doom” (General Doomâ„¢ is a licensed character of Action-Time Comics). I resolve to get some more substantive writing done in 2010 — and after a pause for party recuperation, I’ll keep blogging roughly once per day.

P.S. In other theatre news, why not see my friend Jonathan Leaf’s latest play, Sexual Healing, running Jan. 6-30? I’m pretty sure it mocks hippies (as did his recent book), and mocking hippies is really all I ask for.

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