The Swingles' Dramatic Developments
We perform, teach and speak around the world. This is a travelblog plus reviews and observations, living in New York City. To follow this blog, click the "Follow" link above. You can also receive updates quarterly or whenever the blog is updated. To subscribe go to:
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
#10 at the Box Office
Saturday, February 24, 2007
I wept again
We took several from our church to see Amazing Grace tonight. I expected to catch more details, which I did. But I was sideswiped by the tears that flowed fresh again and again throughout the film, especially through Albert Finney's portrayal of former slave trader John Newton. Hopefully this film does well enough for them to tell more of Newton's story, and hopefully Finney covers a good part of the story.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Times Review of Amazing Grace
There was a good review of Amazing Grace in this morning's New York Times: The Imperfect Soul Who Helped Bring an End to the Slave Trade.
Fruit Laser featured tonight
I hope you'll be seeing Amazing Grace tonight, so set your VTRs if you'd like to see a segment on the technology that my Dad is using to mark his pears instead of stickers. Well, he will as soon as the FDA approves. The sticker companies, as you can imagine, are lobbying against it.
The Food Network is featuring the technology tonight at 7:30-8:30pm on the program Unwrapped. It has a segment about food machinery and one of the machines is the laser in our packing house. They show the laser working in my dad's plant and a good interview with Greg Drouillard, the inventor.
You can go to foodnetwork.com and check out the tv schedule.
Fruit in Phoenix
I slipped away from a NYC cold snap to perform Beyond the Chariots in Phoenix, AZ, but I was the one to be blessed, and not just by the great weather! My performance was a part of a conference hosted by Faith Church of the Valley. I heard from dynamic speakers from around the world.
I was also able to encourage about 700 (rough estimate from 7 different gatherings) to see Amazing Grace opening weekend, which starts tonight.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Former professor speaks on Wilberforce
On Feb. 22, one of my professors from George Fox University, Lon Fendall, will be discussing Amazing Grace and his biography of Wilberforce, To Live Free (published by Barbour Books), with the host of a radio talk show Faith and Reason. This program airs in the Boise Valley from 6:00 to 7:00 pm PST on KSPD 790 am. You can listen from outside the area at www.myfamilyradio.com. Schedule of a rebroadcast on Saturday can also be found on their website.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The Acts in White Plains
I'll be performing my play, The Acts on Saturday, February 24, at 7pm. I'll be backed up by a live band, and the artwork of Jim Warren, former creative director for MTV and currently our pastor.
Tickets: Suggested Donation $20/Seniors and Students with ID: $15.
Call for reservations: 914.287.7620.
Limited "at the door" tickets available. Call to reserve your seat!
Visit WestchesterChapel.org for driving directions. If you're coming from NYC click here for walking directions from the White Plains train station (10 minutes).
Hope to see you there!
Ken Wales interviewed
Ken Wales was just interviewed by ChristianityToday.com. He spearheaded the production of Amazing Grace, which opens this Friday, the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade, Wales discusses upcoming projects, including With Wings as Eagles, the rest of the Chariots Of Fire story.
Read the article: Save the Wales.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
PATRICIA HEATON & DAVID HUNT PLUS WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY V.P. JOIN AMAZING GRACE PANEL
>From Inter-Mission (Inter-Mission.net):
PATRICIA HEATON & DAVID HUNT PLUS WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY V.P. JOIN AMAZING GRACE PANEL
Hot off the press - Wilberforce University Vice President for Institutional Advancement Marshall Mitchell as well as producers Patricia Heaton and David Hunt (see below) join producer Ken Wales and U.S. Senator Sam Brownback on the panel discussion following the Thursday, February 22 screening of AMAZING GRACE, co-presented by Inter-Mission, Wordsmith Media, Inc. and Walden Media.
Established before the Civil War, the nation's oldest private black college was a powerful focal point in the struggle for equality and served as a destination point on the Ohio Underground Railroad. In 1863, Wilberforce became the first black college to be owned and operated by African-Americans. Wilberforce has played host to some of the most famous and influential African-Americans of the 19th and 20th centuries. Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, the pre-eminent black scholar and co-founder of the NAACP, taught there for two years. Other notables, including Leontyne Price, earned their undergraduate degrees at Wilberforce. Wilberforce celebrated its 150th anniversary last year.
For further information:
Reserve your spot now for this amazing event.
Husband and wife team Patricia Heaton and David Hunt of FourBoys Films will also be joining the panel discussion.
Well known for her break-out role as Debra Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, Heaton won two Emmy Awards for the role. She will soon be starring in 20th Century Fox's newest television comedy Action News. Heaton also starred in the TNT/Neil Simon production of The Goodbye Girl and ABC's The Path to 9/11. Her feature film credits include Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Beethoven and Space Jam.
Soon to appear in The Deal with Bill Macy and Meg Ryan, David Hunt has also appeared in such films as Eyes Wide Shut and Bobby Jones. Hunt's television movies include Murder on the Orient Express for CBS, The Dancer's Touch for ABC and The Grid for TNT/BBC. He has been a series regular on shows including Beck (BBC) and Falcon Crest, and has appeared in the TV series Monk, Numbers, and Everybody Loves Raymond. Hunt is currently appearing in the series 24.
In 2001, Heaton and Hunt co-founded the production company FourBoys Films. Their past productions include The Engagement Ring for TNT, which they produced and starred in. FourBoys Films were among the producers of Amazing Grace in conjunction with Bristol Bay Productions.
© 2007 Inter-Mission
1763 North Gower St.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Performances in Shanghai
I was able to perform Beyond the Chariots twice in Shanghai, and during one performance there were 100 more people than we expected. As you can see from the photo, they ran out of chairs and kids sat in front of the first row. It greatly encouraged me in terms of possibilities for the Beijing Olympics.
Two articles came out in Shanghai newspapers about the play: The Shanghai Daily (The Flying Scotsman's China days) and The Shanghai Star (Olympic champion inspires one-man play).
To see more photos from China scroll through the January 07 archives.
Interview for The Acts
I was just interviewed on Charlie Rizzo's radio program, "Let It Grow." We talked about my recent trip to China, including how people can help supply Bibles, which are legally printed in China. I also talked about The Acts, which I'll perform at Westchester Chapel, our home church. This will be my first full length performance in our new building.
Click here for the interview.
Bibles in China
We met folks in Shanghai who distribute Bibles (and other Bible study helps) printed in China to fellowships needing God's word all over China. The cost is about $1.25 for a Chinese Bible. If you would like to contribute to this ministry, please write your check to EMM and send it to EMM, 53 West Brandt Blvd, Salunga, PA 17538 (phone 800.876.2251). To give online go to www.emm.org/donations/. Whether by check or online please provide your name and the address where the receipt should be mailed. Be sure to write in the memo area on the check or the online form: Abundant Grace Bibles Shanghai. Send an email advising your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Can one film change the world?
I've devoted my life to a career in theatre, knowing that films changed my life as a boy.
Tonight I experienced the kind of film that could inspire someone to be a world-changer.
I caught a sneek preview of Amazing Grace, which opens in theatres nationwide on February 23.
I was weeping through much of the film, and by the time the credits rolled I had tears streaming down my face. Everything I've ever heard or read about William Wilberforce was inspiring, but to see his story lived out before my eyes was breathtaking.
In performing A Clear Leading for over a decade now I've lived in the skin of someone who stood up against his whole world to fight slavery, but John Woolman, the protagonist in my play, had comparitively little to lose. Wilberforce was a politician, with a strong career in the public unfolding before him. He risked all of that and more, living with a disease brought on by the stress he endured year after year.
The story is brilliantly told to a woman with whom his friends (played by Sylvestra Le Touzel and Nicholas Farrell of Chariots Of Fire have set him up. (I'm shedding more tears thinking of how my dear friends the Whitakers set me up with the most wonderful woman alive.) The future Mrs. Wilberforce (played strongly by Romola Garai) followed the abolitionist's career from afar. He inspired her, as a young girl, to change the world. But newspapers don't tell all the details. They tell the facts, but story tells truth.
The filmmakers didn't need to dwell on brutality. In fact, the only whipping shown is of a horse, which also moves Wilberforce to action. Instead, we see the evidence of the brutal trade in much the same way the other members of Parliament would have, laid forth by a brilliant orator. But this is no film of talking heads. The sets and costumes are lush, and the dramatic tension is high.
There isn't a weak link in the cast. These actors have clearly given their all to tell this powerful story. Ioan Gruffudd (Black Hawk Down, The Fantastic Four and its sequel due out in June, who's trailer is #1 at IMDb.com), plays Wilberforce well at a variety of ages, as does upcoming actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Wilberforce's friend who becomes Prime Minister, William Pitt.
Though his story is only hinted at, John Newton, who wrote the song "Amazing Grace," is at the center of the story because the former slave ship owner inspired Wilberforce as his pastor, and then again later in life as he began to transcribe his memoirs after he really did go blind. Award-winning actor Albert Finney plays Newton with such passion at every turn. Ken Wales, a producer of Amazing Grace wants to create a film that tells Newton's full story. Pray this film does well enough to make that happen.
I really believe this film is going to inspire someone to make big changes for good in the world, and in fact it already is. Do your best to be certain as many people as possible see it. Let people know about it this weekend and take as many people as possible to see it opening weekend, starting February 23. Visit AmazingGraceMovie.com for more information.
Monday, February 12, 2007
THE LAST SIN EATER
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Fox Faith's second offering was hitting theatres. The film is WONDERFUL. I highly recommend it. I promised a review, but after reading the following I don't know what I'd add, except for my own wholehearted endorsement of it. It didn't make it the top ten list over the weekend, so catch it in theatres before it slips away. The photography is breathtaking.
ReelTalk Movie Review
Sacramento Bee/Cal Thomas
Sunday, February 11, 2007
See The Last Sin Eater TONIGHT!
If there's still time to see it tonight stop reading and go see it so it counts toward opening weekend.
I'll post a review here soon. Now stop reading and go!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The Church of the Nazarene's World Missions Communications ran a press release on my visit in the Philippines: Actor Rich Swingle At WMC Studios
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Home in time
I was glad to see the owner and the coach of the Colts each give credit to the Lord for helping their team win.
Not so super
That's Chicago, the view (albeit atop the Sears Tower) that sparked my interest in travel when I was in the third grade, when my parents took us on a cross-country adventure.
On Thursday I was in Miami, where fans were already flooding in to watch the Indiana Colts play the Chicago Bears. A fellow on my row said a AAA discount saved him over $300, as without it there was nothing under $500 a night!
I was in Indiana this morning (the pastor said, "I'm rooting for Peyton Manning!") and now I'm en route to Chicago, but I'm not positive I'll get home in time to see any of the game.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
FW: THE GREAT DIVORCE, NY Times, "They really liked us!"
New York Times Review of The Great DivorceSome friends of ours are on the production team of a stage adaptation of CS Lewis' The Great Divorce. Joyce and I enjoyed it, and so did the NY Times:
Tickets are available through SmartTix.com or they may still be looking for ushers: Julia.O'Brien@USE.SalvationArmy.Org