Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Moving Into The Big Time

Left: Davis Enterprise Weekend cover from the summer of 1999, featuring the Woodland Opera House's cast of "A Chorus Line". Many of the cast had come from Solano Community College in Fairfield, but others were locals from Sacramento, Davis, or Woodland. Greta Gerwig is in the back row, in powder blue. I'm in the middle, in black. Folks whose names I still recall are: Michael Miiller, Aaron Clemens, Stephen Hatcher, Pam Kay Lourentzos, Jenny Stallard, Julianne Riordan, Stacey Arriaga, Angela Yee, Kathleen Reilley, Paul Jones, Pam Benjamin, and Peter Baldridge.

I was explaining to Gabe how excited I was that Greta Gerwig had landed a role opposite Ben Stiller in "Greenberg". After her various indie films, she's taking a big step up. If it's not the big time, it's certainly within hailing distance!

I also explained how I had had contact with her as a cast member of "A Chorus Line" at the Woodland Opera House in 1999. Of course, it was fleeting contact of the most superficial sort: saying "Hi!" every other weekend, or so. I was a Cut Dancer, bumped from the show in the first ten minutes (except choreographer Pam was nice and brought us on again for the Tap Sequence), while Greta played Judy Turner, one of the leads. And I was 43 and she was 15, so it wasn't like we had a whole lot to talk about anyway.

Gabe thought about this for awhile, and said: "This sounds like something from 'The King of Comedy'. Have you ever seen that?" No, I hadn't. Imdb explains:
Rupert Pupkin (Robert de Niro) is obsessed with becoming a comedy great. However, when he confronts his idol, talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), with a plea to perform on the Jerry's show, he is only given the run-around. He does not give up, however, but persists in stalking Jerry until he gets what he wants. Eventually he must team up with his psychotic Langford-obsessed friend Masha (Sandra Bernhard) to kidnap the talk show host in hopes of finally getting to perform his stand-up routine.
I love that name 'Pupkin'. I can't associate it with any actor, general, politician, doctor, scientist, or philosopher. It's a perfect nullity of a name, in a language where there are few. They must have spent a week going through the telephone directory to find one that worked so well.

Anyway, here is a clip from Martin Scorcese's 1982 film, "The King Of Comedy", in a scene where delusional Rupert Pupkin, having invited himself into Jerry Langford's house, meets the man....

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