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Saturday Morning Podcast: Reduced Shakespeare Company

Reduced Shakespeare Company

If you're going to comment on the fact this ostensibly "Saturday Morning Podcast" post is appearing on a Monday, then congratulations. It was a test, and you passed. All of your mental faculties are operating as well as can be hoped, and you are now cleared to continue your Monday as scheduled.

If you still think it's Saturday, even greater congratulations. I wish I were you.

Anyway, this post involves some insight into my character and my past. Back in my high school days, I was idly browsing bookstore shelves (my most natural state, then and now), and I came across a slim volume called The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). The title was enough to engage my love of irony, plus there were some picture inserts featuring three guys in floppy Shakespearean garb and Converse sneakers. I'm easily amused. I bought it without much more consideration.

This book in fact was the published script of the Reduced Shakespeare Company's comedic stage show, a modern-day vaudeville presentation of Shakespeare's plays as re-imagined by the Marx Brothers-like RSC. In the 20+ years of the company's existence, I still haven't seen the live show - only the DVD recording - but they've expanded their "instructive" repertoire to include the Bible, the complete history of America, great books of the world, and Hollywood. But I just recently, very belatedly, discovered that for the past couple of years, they've also been producing a very excellent podcast full of past and present tour stories, theater and book talk, and random bits of absurdity. This is one of those podcasts where you want to hit the "Get All" button and spend some time going through the archives, because every episode is worth listening to.

And check out the published script of The Complete Works. The footnotes alone are fantastic.

A sample of RSC brilliance in video form:

Saturday Morning Podcast - Movies by Women

If you're into issues of women and film, you'll probably want to subscribe to this still fairly new podcast from Movies by Women - but even if you're not, you might want to swing by and pick up the latest episode, 15, about the early women of Hollywood. (Note - the blog is out of date, but there's a link to the iTunes spot where you can download each episode.) Author Cari Beauchamp has some wonderful stories to tell about some of Hollywood's earliest writers and directors, who, amazingly enough, were women. It's strange to think that women were actually more powerful in film during the first couple decades of the twentieth century than they are now in the first decade of the twenty-first. But their stories are fascinating.

Saturday Morning Podcast: The Rissington Podcast

Until recently, no "instructional" podcasts had ever caught my fancy. Probably because I even if I'm looking for solid information, as opposed to pure entertainment, I like it to come with quite a bit of snark. Happily, designers John Oxton and Jon Hicks have solved that problem for me when it comes to web design podcasts with The Rissington Podcast. Very funny, very informative, very useful. And it's another platform for Hicks' insistence that Textpattern is the best CMS for design purposes - an opinion I am behind one hundred percent.

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Saturday Morning Podcast - The Flop House

Back in the day, one of my favorite Saturday morning traditions was watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the SciFi Channel. Now, I've found a another one in that same vein of backhanded bad movie appreciation - The Flop House podcast.

Like many others, I stumbled on this podcast a couple of weeks ago thanks to Gawker, and its hilarious (possibly drunken) discussion about recent film flops made it an instant favorite. Yeah, the sound quality on the first handful of episodes suck, but not only have the hosts cleared that up in the newer episodes, it's worth dealing with for their commentary. The drubbing they give the Bratz movie is priceless.

You have to be a certain type of movie fanatic to truly, truly find enjoyment in bad movies, but if you are, you'll love this. My only suggestion, guys? Bring in a female perspective now and again. No one can tear apart Jessica Alba's dubious talents like a sarcastic woman can.

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Fry's Podgrams

Breaking blog silence for a tremendously important note: Stephen Fry has a new podcast.

They Might Be Giants in Puppet Form

In my personal opinion, there are many worse ways you could spend your time then checking out the recent vidcast offerings from They Might Be Giants' latest children's album. Anything that can genuinely entertain both me and my two-year-old at the same time is a winner, although maybe that just reveals more about me than I should admit.

STeaP

My comrades Brandice and Joe have launched a new vidcast about teas called STeaP. Their first episode (embedded above) is all about Earl Grey and proper steeping methods.

This happens to be of particular interest to me, a huge tea drinker notorious among my friends and family for letting tea over-steep. When I drink special loose teas it's generally not much of a problem, but with the amount of tea I drink daily, I more often drink bagged tea, which often gets left in my cup to stew while I'm busy doing a thousand other things. Even lovely little programs like Cuppa haven't been able to save me from this habit. I'm working on it, though.

I've signed on to do some graphic and site design for STeaP, which I'm working on as we speak (... or, more accurately, as I type, or perhaps shortly after I'm done typing). I know there's a lot of big plans for the vidcast, so stay tuned.

WebbAlert

G4's Morgan Webb has just launched a new vlog with Mon-Thurs internet and tech news round-ups. I've watched Morgan in some media form for years, ever since the old, wonderful TechTV days, and she's a personable, intelligent presenter. This particular project is just getting off the ground, but I think it has potential. Check it out at WebbAlert.com, and watch the first episode below.