One day in 1990, I was given a small stack of promo tapes from the Capitol Records rep. Judging by their covers, I chose one above the rest for an immediate listen. White background, black text: "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll." Caught my eye.
I was expecting to hear a band but instead was drawn into my first spoken word experience. Eric Bogosian was the artist behind the fascinating characters and their world weary voices as the cassette reels spun in my Ford Tempo tape deck. I was a fan not just of this man Bogosian, but of a new (to me) art. Monologists were my new favorite rock stars. I sought out the works of Spalding Gray, Bob Carroll, etc.
Anyway, I have watched Bogosian's masterpiece of a screenplay, "Talk Radio," countless times since then. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Bogosian, the movie absolutely mesmerizes me every single time I see it. It's perfect. It's intense from the beginning and it just tears at my comfort more and more with each beat. The pacing and the build-up to the terrifying climax are so well crafted that knowing what comes next doesn't dull the experience but only makes it more gripping. (A part of me always seems to hope that this time, it'll end differently, more peacefully. Hope against hope.)
In what is now old news, Liev Schreiber is playing the role of Bogosian's Barry Champlain in the Broadway version of "Talk Radio." I've been a fan of Liev Schreiber since 1996's "Walking and Talking" and can't think of a better actor to pull off the challenge of the acerbic and doomed talk radio d.j. Schreiber's voice was made for the part and his eyes are simply dynamic. There are a handful of actors who just seem to get it right with each and every role. I have no doubt that Mr. Schreiber was born to play Barry Champlain.
Story link: Variety