Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Life of Reilly

Look at what I'm seeing tonight - - THE LIFE OF REILLY. The film version of Charles Nelson Reilly's one-man stage show, "Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly."

This is Charles telling the audience the story of his life and I can't wait.

If you don't know Charles Nelson Reilly, do yourself a favor and read about him. He led a fascinating life, was an amazing actor and director and one of the funniest human beings who ever lived. Whether it was sparring with Brett Somers on Match Game, going on for Dick Van Dyke in Bye, Bye Birdie or scaring the Hell out of me as a child in Lidsville, Charles had it goin' on!

A few years ago, PBS would run an hour of pre-taped interviews with Tony Award nominated directors and designers just before the CBS Tony Award telecast. An off-screen interviewer would ask a few standard questions and then the answers were all edited together to give us a little more info about that year's slate of Broadway shows.

I believe it was the '97 Tony Awards and Charles was nominated for his direction of The Gin Game. The directors were asked about their process and Mr. Reilly's fellow nominees went into the usual artistic rigmarole, which put them WAY up their own assholes and nobody watching wanted to follow. Then came Charles' response. I remember it vividly. After all this high brow, self-aggrandizement, Charles said this about his process...

"You know, sometimes I don't even read the play."

I laughed for weeks on that one.

Here's a little clip of the movie. Just a taste of his brilliance. If you want more after this, go here and here. Those are some of my favorite Charles Nelson Reilly clips.

Thanks to Mike and Andy for letting me know this movie is playing here this weekend. See you Facets!


Scooter said...

Should be a great show! He was such a funny man. I met him once when I lived in So CA. He was as funny in person.

jima said...

We also saw it tonight. Excellent film!

Merelyme said...

i kinda only remember him from the hollywood squares game show. nice to meet ya...just blog hopping...came over from wizard's place.

Mark in DE said...

I missed the one-day special screening of "The Life of Reilly" last month when it was here in DE. I heard it was excellent. Enjoy the show!

Mark :-)

Thomas MacEntee said...

I saw this performance live in San Francisco at New Conservatory Theater in 2003. It was AMAZING! Obviously it was a work in progress and he admitted such - the duration was 2.5 hours. The movie is cut down to 90 minutes and what has been left out are mostly anectdotes that really don't have much to do with CNR's life but were fun to hear!