TORONTO -- If you want to be moved to tears and laughters by the backstage stories of our theatre artists, get yourself a copy of "Standing Naked In The Wings," a book of theatrical anecdotes published by Oxford University Press.
It's not that what's between the covers is unusual or hasn't been done before -- Diana's Rigg's book No Turn Unstoned is one of the industry standards -- but what makes this book different is that it features only Canadians.
Stories by well-known performers like Len Cariou, Sara Botsford, Dave Broadfoot, Douglas Campbell and Timothy Findley, appear alongside actors only the most diehard of theatre fans would recognize. But for the most part, the memories are worth the telling and some, particularly those detailing what REALLY goes on backstage, are illuminating and occasionally mind-boggling.
Take the story by Tom Wood, author of the upcoming new play Claptrap, which is playing at Ottawa's National Arts Centre right now and opens at Canadian Stage Company in April featuring Wood and West Coast actor Nicola Cavendish.
It seems that Wood and Cavendish were in a show where the two of them played a number of different characters. During one quick change into (of all things) Carmen Miranda, Wood heard undue noise coming from the box office area and angrily ran out in costume to tell the person to pipe down. Well, it turns out she was being robbed at gunpoint and Wood didn't catch on until after the play was over. -- By Mira Friedlander