We all know Harry Shearer as the voices of C. Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers and Ned Flanders on The Simpsons. If there were a voice actor Hall of Fame – and for all I know, there may well be one – Shearer would be head of the class (after Mel Blanc, of course).
As an actor, his most famous recurring role is as numb–nuts British bassist Derek Smalls in This is Spinal Tap; he’s also a regular player in those Christopher Guest mockumentaries – Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration.
Best known as a humorist, Shearer is also a biting political satirist and commentator of the highest order. His Le Show is broadcast on NPR, Sirius and other radio outlets around the country.
In 2010, Shearer wrote and directed a documentary about New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. With the help of a whistle–blower from the Army Corps of Engineers, Shearer – who hosts the film, along with John Goodman – contends that not only could the extensive 2005 damage to the city could have been prevented, “some of the same flawed methods responsible for levee failure during Hurricane Katrina are being used to rebuild the system expected to protect the ‘new’ New Orleans from future peril.”
The film is called The Big Uneasy. Shearer lives in New Orleans, and he financed the project himself after no studio would go near it.
Shearer’s movie suggests that the Corps knew the levee system was flawed long before Katrina, and that the U.S. government has been covering up this knowledge to ... well, you’ll just have to see it.
The Big Uneasy is coming to Savannah July 16, in a Psychotronic Film Series presentation at the Lucas Theatre. Tickets are 525–5050.
• A hearty thumbs–up to the Tybee City Council for taking $10,000 from its proposed budget for next fiscal year, beginning July 1, and giving it to the Friends of the Tybee Post Theater, which is doing so much to get the historic building restored and renovated. It was a last–minute amendment proposed by council member Shirley Sessions at last Thursday’s session, and it was approved unanimously. The theater’s restoration is an ongoing project, and it’s great to see the city getting actively involved.
• In other Tybee news, we’re hearing that Molly Hatchet will return to headline the 2011 Pirate Fest, Oct. 6–9. There’s also a Journey tribute band, and the usual suspects from our best local musicians.
• The Tybee Performing Arts Association returns with that old summertime favorite The Wizard of Oz July 22–31 in the Tybee Arts Center.
In the wings
In Savannah theater news, two shows of note open next week: The Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret bows at Bay Street Theatre July 8, and the Masquers of Armstrong Atlantic State University debut Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park July 7, for one weekend only.
The Drama Bums are preparing an evening of H.P. Lovecraft creepers for July 22 and 23 at Muse Arts Warehouse.