Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Four Hour Puppet Show Version Of "Paradise Lost?"

Wallace Shawn and his brother Allen are promoting their opera The Music Teacher, a work they collaborated on more than 20 years ago and finally being mounted. Shawn is always funny, but the description of their childhood makes it sound like a New Yorker caricature come to life, a Salinger-esque world of little boys doing elaborate puppet shows that make Wes Anderson's movies seem tame in comparison. As kids, they did a four hour version of Paradise Lost for their father William Shawn (editor of The New Yorker of course) and his famous friends, with a break for dinner. And I couldn't stop laughing over this story:
When it came to their productions, the older brother would take charge. "Do we butt heads?" Allen asked rhetorically. "We both have, in a funny way, big egos. But we meet each other halfway." He does remember though, when he was 10 and Wallace was 15, that "we'd be doing a puppet show about Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, say, and we would often have very wonderful discussions about the story. At that point I'd be following Wall's lead."
A 10 year old and a 15 year old doing a puppet show about Lumumba? My God, if you put it in a movie, no one would believe it. The rest of the article is just as entertaining.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a bizarre childhood. And hilarious.