Tuesday, May 15, 2007

News: Thomas Saves the Day is a Hit

According to Canada.com, the theater production "Thomas Saves the Day" is a big hit. It's a one man show of sorts, as mentioned in the last post:

Conte, who also plays the narrator in the 90-minute musical show, says it was a challenge at first playing all three engine voices and a separate

"Every night I'm playing four different people," he said. "It's hard enough playing myself. But when I get onstage, I get lost in it. I get to tell the story, and then I'm part of the story. It's rewarding."

Spending time with his nieces and nephews helped Conte develop the character voices. "I have a silly little voice with my niece, and that's where I got the voice for Percy from. Percy is my favourite. He does remind me a lot of a three- or four-year-old, character-wise. He's so young, nothing bothers him. He's goofy and the way I portray his voice is goofy as well."

The article did a good job of succinctly summarizing the Thomas phenomenon without boring the 90% of article readers who know all about him. One thing I didn't know: Audry was an Anglican vicar. I've never heard of a vicar, but from the sound of it, I'm pretty sure it's the British equivalent of a Blood or a Crip.

No news yet on when / if this show goes on the road, but to me it seems inevitable.

POST SPONSOR: Have you ever wondered how to make money from home? Jon Waraas can tell you how on his blog (www.jonwaraas.com) . He's talked in the past about a neat service called ReviewMe that helps him monetize his blog. He's also looked at real estate and more traditional make money schemes like the old "ask for raise" and how to be an entrepreneur. He's forgotten about the easiest and most fool-proof method to make money at home: Call in sick. It's the one sure fire way to get paid a day's wages while on the golf course. Let's forgive him this small oversight and glean what we can from his great effort and tutelage.

Monday, May 07, 2007

News: Thomas on Stage?

The Winnipeg Free Press Online Edition reports that our cheeky little friend is starring in a stage production up in the cold blue yonder. And it seems to be a one man show of sorts. The star:

(is) playing Thomas the Tank Engine (as well as Percy, Diesel and the
narrator) in the upcoming stage production of Thomas Saves the Day, which
furthers the adventures of the spunky little fictional engine beloved by so many

"It's like a rock concert for kids," says the 24-year-old actor, who
has himself become a big Thomas fan. "They're dancing in the aisles, and singing
all the songs."

Thomas and his friends have the status of rock stars among the
pre-kindergarten set. OK, the older set, too -- some in their 60s, for Thomas
has had a career even longer than the Rolling Stones.

The stage production is the latest metamorphosis for the Thomas
stories, which made their debut in 1942 when Rev. W. V. Awdry, an Anglican
clergyman and railway enthusiast, came up with the first tale to amuse his son,
Christopher, during the boy's recovery from the measles.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

News: Controller Needed, Fatness Optional (not really)

The Drusillas Park Zoo in East Sussex installed a Thomas the Tank Engine replica train for their visitors and looked into hiring a Fat Controller (Sir Topham Hatt's common name in England). They put an ad in the paper looking for a fat guy to manage their railyard but the legal team stepped in and said "no fat man ads". Who knew? And what if a Black guy applied? That'd put them in a tough spot.

Per the article, "getting a fat Fat Controller is just part of that commitment (to the Thomas experience). We are hoping that common sense will prevail and that we will find the right person before too long. We are currently advertising the part-time job on our website but have had to be very discreet about what we say."

I couldn't find the ad on the site so it is pretty discrete. I suspect they say something like. "If you happen to be skinny, try these other jobs here." or "We're specifically looking for applicants with nick-names like Tubby, Chubs, or Heavy, followed by your first initial". That would probably get the point across in a subtle way. They could even accidentally switch a couple letters and advertise for Sir Tophat Ham. I can appreciate their quandary but... what to do, what to do? Time will tell.