Monday, January 3, 2011

Furman speaks

Eddie Furman was interviewed by Louisville's Courier Journal about Second City's Louisville-based revue, It Takes a Ville!
Q: Were you the sole writer on “It Takes a 'Ville” or was it a collaboration?
A: It's a two-person team, me and Tim Baltz, who's a very funny guy. We went down to Louisville for four days to learn all we could about the great city. Louisville has a great theater tradition, so I think it seemed like a natural fit, and people were genuinely excited to tell us things and show us things. It's a city both Tim and I really fell in love with, so the pressure was really on. We wanted to write a really great show for you.

How long does it take to write one of these shows?
You try to write quickly while everything's fresh in your mind, so it was about two weeks for ideas and treatments for scenes, with some shorter scenes written out, then meeting with Mick Napier, our director and a Kentucky native, and the producer to see which scenes are worth fleshing out. Then there's another two weeks of writing, before we handed off the script. There will be an improv element, too — we wrote a Louisville-specific improv piece for the show.

What did you do on your four-day cultural immersion tour of Louisville?
Bourbons Bistro. We met a lot of cool people there. We went to Yum! Foods headquarters and visited Colonel Sanders' grave (in Cave Hill Cemetery). The immersions are a funny thing because we want to see the things Louisville is famous for, but we also want to do the things that locals do.[...]

So what did you learn about Louisville and Louisvillians?
An interesting thing about Louisville is the dichotomy of it being the northern-most Southern city or the southern-most Northern city. You have the mega-churches and the Bible belt, but you also have bourbon and horse racing. It's very tolerant and everybody seems to get along and have a good time. I think more cities could benefit from that lesson.

What is Louisville's biggest idiosyncrasy?
Something you have in common with other cities where you are geographically — how you treat snow or bad weather. It didn't snow while we were down there, of course, but hearing the stories about how people react to an inch of snow in January. They're shooting the weak and the elderly and burying them in shallow graves so they don't have to endure the harsh winter, and the next afternoon it's 75 degrees again.

What's the big joke about Louisville?
I think it always comes back to people and how human nature manifests itself. That said, I think the biggest joke in Louisville is actually Southern Indiana.

Ouch! Why is that?
I don't know, but you all don't seem to be particularly fond of each other. It's a classic cross-river rivalry.

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