Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Nose-talgia #35: Bill Irwin & "The Regard of Flight"

If thirty years ago qualifies something for nostalgia -- and it probably does for a lot of people -- and Mondays call for a special kind of awesome, then today's Nose-talgia entry is a perfect fit!  Brilliant actor, comedian, clown, dancer -- everything! -- Bill Irwin's magnificently hilarious theatrical piece "The Regard of Flight" aired as a PBS Great Performances back in 1983.

If you're not familiar with Bill Irwin then you haven't been paying attention to American entertainment for the past several decades.  From motion pictures to television to Broadway, Bill Irwin has not only been a commercial success but more importantly has remained one of the leading artistic forces in this country. His background lies in traditional clowning but like many clowns and comics he also is a skilled dramatic actor of uncommon talent and sophistication.  Lest you doubt his acting cred, from 2005:

And a few years earlier on the Tony Awards show:

But what we want to bring to you today is his brilliant "The Regard of Flight"; I saw it onstage in Los Angeles right around the time it aired on PBS and it absolutely changed my life.  If you haven't seen it at all, you will be charmed.  If you have you've probably have not seen it in a long time and you will adore it all over again!  M.C. O'Connor co-stars as the critic and Doug Skinner is the musical maestro.  (Visit his website here.)

PBS followed it with his "Clown Bagatelles" -- video quality not as good but still wonderful to watch!

I've been a fan of Bill Irwin for over thirty years and did a longer post on him a year of so ago here at The Flaming Nose.  I'm still in love!

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