Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Just a reminder, if you've already seen our show, or are planning on coming on Saturday, or simply like theatre but don't like Nosedive, might I point Mr. Clay McLeod Chapman's brilliant Pumpkin Pie Show, in your direction? It's at UNDER St. Marks Theater on 94 St. Marks Place (between 1st Ave and Ave A).

You can get $12.50 discounted tickets or 2 tickets for $25 by going online and using the password NOSEDIV.

I'm very sad that I'll be missing this installment of Mr. Chapman's show, which is always a fun time. He's a true original that you don't want to miss.

And also, let's not forget, let's NOT forget, that tomorrow, we've got this happening:

Going full tilt,

James "Grossly Inappropriate" Comtois

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

'Nother Review, Three More Shows

The Blood Brothers Present...The Master of Horror delivers what it promises - humor, fear, and a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on your point of view) dose of gore. And when was the last time you saw a group of actors who could be so good at being so evil?"
-Byrne Harrison, Stagebuzz

We begin our fourth and final weekend tonight. Buy your tickets.

Looking up your skirt,

James "Totally Appropriate" Comtois

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Not Wearing Pants...Film At Eleven

I just finished writing Episode Four of Speed Demons for the Saturday Night Saloon and have about four or five scripts (most of them short, one of them long) I need to finish before the end of November, including the spring play for Nosedive. I totally had one of those Peter Griffin moments before we opened Blood Brothers, with my internal monologue (sounding, of course, like one of the worst cartoon fathers in cartoon history) going something along the lines of: "Well, okay, okay. Got the show opening. Need to send out the press packets and ask Pete to print up the programs forrooOHMYGOD I HAVEN'T WRITTEN THE SPRING PLAY!"

While most of the folks at Nosedive Central get to unwind (fall and winter), that's when my "busy season" kicks into gear.

So just because I'm not writing substantial posts on the state of theatre doesn't mean I don't have stuff going on.

Actually, that's been pretty much been the dilemma nowadays with this blog. Well, I really wouldn't call it a dilemma. I know some bloggers take issue with certain theatre blogs being simply advertisements for their administrators' work. I don't particularly give a shit. There are several blogs out there that offer insight to the mechanics of the theatre industry; Jamespeak isn't really one of them (or at least, isn't really one anymore). But then again, I'm sure people don't read this page for my thoughts on Actor's Equity or the New York Times' theatre coverage anymore.

People come to read my entries on their favorite horror movies. For that, I have little to no excuse, aside from business and hating what I had originally written and having to start from scratch. Even though November's approaching, I hope to post about three or four new entries on horror films.

In the meantime, buy your damn tickets already .

Never learning,

James "Nolearner" Comtois


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For The Blood Brothers show on Halloween Night...

We're offering some libations (read: beer and wine) at the beginning of the evening. Those that come in costume get a free beer or glass of wine. For the rest, it’s $3 for either.

Leering at the young ladies in the lobby,

James "Halloween Treat" Comtois

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Three More Shows

Our final weekend is approaching. What are you waiting for? Buy your damn tickets already.

It is interesting to look back on the disastrous opening night and my severe depression regarding it as some sort of vague and distant memory; almost as if it happened to some other group of people other than us. The show has been playing like gangbusters ever since. We here at Nosedive Central are having a great deal of fun with it, and are almost surprised the run is almost up. (Has it already been a month? Damn.)

There was even some interest expressed by a play publishing company about publishing the scripts, but not surprisingly, we couldn't get publishing rights (which is fine by me; I went into this knowing King's estate was giving us a "One Shot Deal" with this production - we didn't create this show for publishing, extensions or getting "picked up" in mind - and his people have been very helpful, accommodating and reasonable throughout this process).

Still, it was (is) quite flattering to receive some genuine interest in the show from people outside our immediate mailing list.

So kick off your Halloween right by checking out The Blood Brothers Present...The Master of Horror. It's an early enough show (it starts at 7:30 and is only 90 minutes long), so you have plenty of time to trot on over to whatever Halloween shindig you have lined up for Friday night afterwards.

Your guide to creepy,

James "Handsy" Comtois

#1: Marc Landers
#2: Ben Trawick-Smith (left), Michael Criscuolo, Marsha Martinez
#3: Jessi Gotta
All Photos © Aaron Epstein

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Friday, October 24, 2008

One Hot Minute

If you've already seen or are planning on seeing our show next week, you may also want to check out Shstrng Prdctns presentation of The Second Annual One-Minute Play Festival, going up this Saturday, October 25 and Sunday, October 26 at the TBG Theatre on 312 West 36th Street (between 8th and 9th avenues). The evening presents 90 new plays from more than 40 writers (including Yours Truly, Matthew Freeman, Jeff Lewonczyk and Clay McLeod Chapman). Get your tickets here.

Always ending too quickly,

James "Stop Snickering, Ladies!" Comtois

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pete and I Interviewed in Pink Raygun

Pete and I are interviewed here in fangirl webzine Pink Raygun. We talk at length (read: natter incessantly) about the current show, Nosedive, and superheroes. Check it the fuck out.

A sexist pig,

James "Loving Hippie" Comtois

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New Stephen King Interview

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of The Stand, interviews Stephen King about religion and today's politics.

Photo © Mark Peterson/Redux

(H/t to Mr. Pete Boisvert.)

Tonight we begin our third weekend of The Blood Brothers Present, for which you should get your tickets as soon as possible.

Getting religuous,

James "Clergybear" Comtois

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Just Six Shows Left For The Blood Brothers Present

Well, gang. We’re now at the halfway point of the run for The Blood Brothers Present...The Master of Horror and have been getting some really good responses from audiences and the press.

"My hat is off Nosedive for coming to King with respect, energy, and most importantly, a vicious hunger for the jugular."
-Nat Cassidy,

"Full of splattering blood, dangerous psychos and true suspense laced with good humor, the production succeeds as much for being unique as for its timely seasonal run. There are all too few thrillers in the American theatre and it is a devilish delight to have one for October."
-Michael D. Jackson,

"The Blood Brothers Present...The Master of Horror gets it right, by focusing on the characters and engaging talented actors to bring them to life. It's a fun evening, if you like a little gore and a few chills for your Hallowe’en."
-Duncan Pflaster,

This is a damn fun show that we here at Nosedive Central are having an absolute blast with.

And there are only six shows left.

The space is small, folks, and tickets are going fast, so don't wait until the last minute or closing night. It's a really good idea to get your tickets online soon.

Yeah, you guys don’t wanna miss out on this one.

Having fun spraying people with fake blood,

James "Lovable Sadist" Comtois

Ps. I also want give a shout-out and discount tickets offering to Mr. Clay McLeod Chapman’s brilliant and bizarre Pumpkin Pie Show, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. until November 1st at UNDER St. Marks Theater on 94 St. Marks Place (between 1st Ave and Ave A). You can get $12.50 discounted tickets or 2 tickets for $25 by going online and using the password NOSEDIV. Mr. Chapman is a wonderfully oddball writer and storyteller that I can't recommend enough. If you've never experienced his work, you really need to.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Revisiting "Nona"

It's amazing what a few small tweaks can do. I'm now really happy with this show and looking forward to having more people come see this.

One of the biggest challenges we all had with my entry, "Nona," is that the climax of the short story was (is) damn near unstageable. Without giving too much away (although the plot is public knowledge), the climactic scene is simultaneously cryptic and dealing with what seems to be the main character's internal mental meltdown. He's basically being simultaneously seduced and consumed...sort of. Hell, even the Wikipedia entry only says, "he encounters a possibly supernatural force." Well, yes. That's pretty much the best I (and Pete and a few other people in the company who read the story) could come up with.

Possibly a supernatural force.

I certainly didn't picture the climactic scene in the story in any linear, cinematic or theatrical way when I read it.

So, when I was originally working on the script, I will admit there was a small temptation to just Lynch it all up (so to speak) and leave it all up to Patrick (the director), Jessi (the eponymous Nona and "possible supernatural force"), Jeremy (the protagonist and narrator), and the audience to fend for themselves. It was a small temptation, but a temptation nonetheless. And fortunately, I didn't succumb to it. Exactly.

Actually, I think Patrick and I may have been a bit too literal and straightforward with the scene on our first try out. In other words, we had our loverboy protagonist confront a straight-up monstrous supernatural force (turning Jessi into a straight-up ghost-demon hybrid).

And, of course, 99 times out of 100, the unambiguously "monstrous" approach leads to snickers from the audience in a live stage play.

(Okay, bitches. You can all say it with me: "Duh, James.")

So, after first weekend, when we realized that that wasn't the best way to go, we talked about what to do. We had no intention of completely reblocking, rewriting and redesigning the show (actually it was an impossibility), but at the same time, I didn't think that was necessary. All it needed (in my estimation) was a few small changes.

So after changing some of the blocking, one prop, two lines, and one sound cue (we didn't do any massive overhauling of the show, we really just tweaked a few very small things), the climactic scene now has more of the ambiguity that King's original story has, which I think makes the play substantially more disturbing (at least to me; I found myself being genuinely creeped out watching the play last night). We brought some minor elements from Lynch's and Miike's work (as well as a small nod to the Greatest Horror Film Ever Made: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) to make it much more eerie and make it much more our own.

I love the way we were able to change that scene in "Nona." I hope people enjoy it as well (well, "enjoy" being a relative term).

Unfortunately, due to the stipulations in the contract with King's people, we can't videotape this show, so we can't do some sort of "before and after" comparison and contrast. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. Or just come see the show again.

Mucking it all up,

James "Ruckmaker" Comtois

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Now We Begin Week Two

I'm ready for it. Bring it. Freakin bring it!

Showing this weekend who's boss,

James "Call Me 'Sir,' Weekend!" Comtois

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blood Brothers on Lilja's Library

We've got some international mention. Scroll down a bit on this Swedish Stephen King fan site and there's a nice write-up/shout-out for The Blood Brothers.

We're gearing up for our second weekend. Now that we've hammered out the kinks, I'm really looking forward to more people coming. Get your tickets as soon as you can, as this space fills up quickly (we're actually looking to be full up tomorrow, so Friday and Saturday are good nights this week to come, just FYI).

Reattaching mt sister's eyebrows to her face,

James "All in the Name of a Cool Effect" Comtois

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More Photos!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blood Brothers Photos

More to come...

Photos by Aaron Epstein

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Week One Down

Well, I think as many people by now know, sigh, yeah, our opening night was...let me be charitable...oh, fuck charity. It was disastrous. Due to last-minute schedule snafus, technical glitches and not getting enough time in the theatre beforehand, things did not run smoothly (to put it mildly) on that opening night.

A lot of shit broke on the stage throughout the evening. Loudly.

I do think, however, the cast did an excellent job covering for it and rolling with the punches, especially Jeremy Goren and Christian Toth with some really good ad-libbing (thanks, guys). And I'm glad that for the most part we had a very forgiving audience that was on our side for that opening (thanks, guys).

Another problem was that we had already pre-sold a number of tickets to people I didn't know, so there was no way to cancel, as we couldn't contact the ticket purchasers and ask them to reschedule (TheaterMania doesn't give us their email addresses or phone numbers, or, if they do, damned if I could find them).

Fortunately, that panic that we all had from opening got us to clean and fix the show way the hell up and by Saturday, we got ourselves a freakin' show (with Friday night being your standard awkward opening-night-style show).

So far, two reviews are up. One is a pretty negative but (alas) very fair review from Backstage (he came on opening night). The other is a very nice review from Mr. Nat Cassidy (who's play, The Reckoning of Kit and Little Boots was one of the best plays I saw this year) at

So, now that we've fixed (and are fixing) the glitches in the show, and that there are folks coming to this show and leaving afterwards with big grins on their faces, I can breathe a little easier and recommend it to folks with a much more straight face.

And I'll be posting some photos up pretty soon.

Inhaling and exhaling with greater ease,

James "Gimme a Cigarette" Comtois

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Required Reading: Ten Things Theaters Need to Do Right Now to Save Themselves

Writer Brendan Kiley from The Stranger writes Ten Things Theaters Need to Do Right Now to Save Themselves, ranging from doing new plays to giving Shakespeare a rest to (my favorite) telling playwrights to "[q]uit developing your plays into the ground with workshop after workshop after workshop [and to] get them out there."

Read the whole thing here.

I'll natter at you about my thoughts about the now open Blood Brothers a little later.

Beating his plays to death like they owe him money,

James "Bitch Where's My Money?" Comtois

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Game On

Well, we open tonight.

Am I excited? Sure. Am I nervous? Sure. Do I wish we had an extra day to work on things? Sure. Do I want people to come in droves? Even for tonight? Sure. And sure.

Sure of himself,

James "Flip-Flopper" Comtois

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Beginning Tomorrow: The Blood Brothers Present...The Master of Horror

Well, the time is almost upon us.

Tomorrow night at 7:30, we'll be unveiling our collection of horror plays based on short stories by Stephen Freakin’ King at the Endtimes Underground @ the Gene Frankel Theatre on 24 Bond Street (between Lafayette and Bowery).

We've got exploding body parts, severed limbs, cannibalization, self-mutilation, and more. What more could you ask for in a show?

Buy your tickets here.

Plus, following the debut performance on Thursday, October 9, we'll all be going to Dempsey's Pub on 61 Second Avenue (between East 3rd & 4th streets) for a post-opening night party, where they're offering attendees of the show an open bar on all domestic drinks, wine and house cocktails for two hours for $18.

A living cartoon character,

James "Vote Quimby" Comtois

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

For Folks With Short Attention Spans: The One Minute Play Festival

The Second Annual One Minute Play Festival, presented by Shstrng Prdctns, is approaching. Featuring new ultra-short works from such awesome people as Clay McLeod Chapman, Brian Dykstra, Matt Freeman, fellow Plays & Playwrights 2007 vet Ashlin Halfnight, Jeffrey Lewonczyk, and Yours Truly. Plus (as they say) MANY MORE!

You can buy your tickets (which are being snatched up pretty quickly) here.

And didn't I say, like, two weeks ago, I had some horror film entries approaching? I believe I did, I believe I did. Hold your horses.

Shaking the farts out,

James "Pretty Pooter" Comtois

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Buy Your Tickets for The Blood Brothers Present Now

In just three days, Nosedive will be unveiling The Blood Brothers Present...The Master of Horror,its collection of new horror plays based on the short stories of Stephen King. This is gonna be a whole hell of a lot of fun.

Two things I can't stress enough:

1. Buy your tickets as soon as you can.

2. The shows are at 7:30. So if you show up at 8, you'll miss my piece ("Nona").

And one more thing I'd like to add (but not really "stress"):

Following the debut performance on Thursday, October 9, we'll all be going to Dempsey's Pub on 61 Second Avenue (between East 3rd & 4th streets) for a post-opening night party, where they're offering attendees of the show a pretty sweet deal: for $18, we get an open bar on all domestic drinks, wine and house cocktails for two hours. It would rock the werewolf's ass (to paraphrase the late great Wesley Willis) if you could join us.

Yeah, I really can't wait to get this thing off the ground.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

This Saturday: Speed Demons, Episode Two!

For its seventh season, Vampire Cowboys brings back its extremely popular series, THE SATURDAY NIGHT SALOON, a monthly party at THE BATTLE RANCH featuring brand new genre-bending serialized plays by NYC's hottest indie theatre artists. The shows hit every first Saturday night of the month from September to January. It's always free, the all-you-can-drink beer (or until we run out) is always only a mere five dollars, and the shows are always inventive. So why go drink at a bar when you can party at The Saloon?

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4th, 2008 at 8pm

405 Johnson Avenue (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
(2.5 blocks from Morgon stop off L train)
For a map, CLICK HERE!



Featuring six all-new exciting serialized plays including:

SPEED DEMONS by James Comtois
Co-Artistic Director of Nosedive Productions
Author of Pinkie; Colorful World; The Adventures of Nervous-Boy
Directed by Matt Johnston

KILL YOUR MESS by Megan Mostyn-Brown
Member of LAByrinth Theater Company
Author of The Secret Lives of Losers; Girl; Going After Alice
Directed by Meredith McDonough

RED ROVER by A Rey Pamatmat
Member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab
Author of Deviant; Beautiful Day; Thunder Above, Deeps Below
Directed by Dominic D'Andrea

Co-Artistic Director of Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company
Author of Jimmy Starshooter Must Get Laid & Confessions of an Undead Actor

ASSYMETRIC by Mac Rogers
Member of Gideon Productions
Author of Universal Robots; Hail Satan; Fleet Week
Directed by Jordana Williams

Member of LAByrinth Theater Company & Developing Artists Theatre Company
Author of Patsy Stufflebean meets The Kentucky Demon; The Fairy Tale Project; Billy Sleepyhead
Directed by Jill DeArmon

MC'd by Audrey Crabtree & Robert Honeywell

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Get Your Tickets For The Blood Brothers Present...The Master of Horror

In just one week, Nosedive Productions unveils its collection of new plays based on the short stories of Stephen King. Those looking for some lovely on-stage gore and mayhem need look no further.

Now, here’s the deal: tickets for this have been selling faster than we expected, so it’s a really good idea to buy them as soon as possible.

And again, all shows are at 7:30 p.m.

See you there!

Wanting to feed off you for sustenance,

James "Um...I'm Not A Vampire" Comtois

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Blood Brothers on nytheatrecast!

Hey gang. Check out the latest episode of nytheatrecast, which features a podcast interview with myself, Qui Nguyen and Mac Rogers on the upcoming Blood Brothers show here.

Stammering like a moron,

James "Podcastgenic" Comtois

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