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Showing posts from October, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity

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A Rally to Restore Sanity. Ideally, such an event, held Saturday, October 30, 2010 and organized by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Comedy Central - just four days before one of the most closely watched and incessantly blathered on about midterm elections - would be unnecessary, but given the vitriolic nature of discourse in our country, particularly with regard to the media’s coverage of politics, it is, indeed, all too necessary. So here’s the encouraging news: There are a lot - we’re talking thousands upon thousands upon thousands - of people who want to restore sanity.
A few days before heading down to the Rally, I mentioned to my dermatologist that I was going. She hadn’t heard about the Rally and asked about its purpose. I said that the extremes on either side of an issue had become so loud and disdainful their rhetoric had resorted to fear mongering. What Jon Stewart was trying to promote - really what he tries to promote every night on The Daily Show - is that while we have o…

Media Morsels 10.29.10

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American Idiot Rocks On
It was announced this week that American Idiot is now selling tickets through May 1, 2011. Until this point, tickets had only been on sale through January, making this uber-fan incredibly scared that the incredible musical would close in January, along with several other shows. But, at least at the moment, that seems to not be the case. Hooray!Bloody Bloody Bits
Jon Meacham, who won a Pulitzer in 2009 for his biography of President Andrew Jackson, American Lion, wrote for theNY Times theatre section this week. I found this quote to be especially resonant as we approach the midterm election on November 2: “As a politician, Jackson is at once inspiring and cautionary, particularly in a season of discontent in which charismatic but not especially subtle leaders dominate the field.” VOTE!!!


This week on Broadway.com, Kristine Nielsen, who plays the Storyteller in Bloody Bloody, wrote about her experience with…

Spirit Control

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The last time (which also happened to be the first time) I saw a Beau Willimon play I had a great experience: Farragut North, which I described at the time as a less idealized episode of The West Wing, was playing at the Atlantic Theatre. The play focuses on wunderkind campaign manager Stephen, and we watch as his grasp on just about everything spirals out of control during the Iowa primaries. I saw this in fall 2008, just weeks before President Obama was elected. If that wasn’t enough to make the experience exciting and relevant, my main man, John Gallagher, Jr., was starring as Stephen. All this is a long way of saying that my expectations for Spirit Control, Willimon’s latest play, were high. While I wasn’t positively overwhelmed by anything in this play, I did enjoy it.

Spirit Control centers on Adam Wyatt, an air traffic controller. After a tragic accident we watch Adam circle for a landing, trying to find his way back to normalcy and attempting to make peace with “the incident.…

Media Morsels 10.22.10

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Griftopia
We’re actually going to sell the BrooklynBridge. This time, the conmen are American banks, foreign (read: largely Arab) “sovereign wealth funds” and some politicos, and we, the American people, are being duped. This is the main thesis of “America on Sale”, a rich excerpt, courtesy of Rolling Stone, from (my favorite) Matt Taibbi’s soon to be released book, Griftopia. The book will hit shelves on November 2 but RollingStone.com is offering this insightful preview now. I love reading Taibbi because he’s one of the few honest investigative journalists out there. He has a knack for uncovering all sorts of unsavory goings on in our culture – whether in politics, the economy, foreign affairs or even the NFL – and distilling and presenting it so it’s understandable, informative and, believe or not, funny. Check out the excerpt here and then pre-order your copy of Griftopia!

Bloody Bloody Bits
Just two bits this week…

Wings

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Someone clip these Wings. Originally on Broadway in 1979, when it was nominated for a Tony and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Wings is being revived in New York at the off-Broadway Second Stage Theatre. While it was apparently well received in its initial Broadway outing, I found it to be tedious, too long at only an hour and totally worthless to me as an audience member.
The structure of Wings allows the audience to figure out and experience what is happening to Emily Stilson (Jan Maxwell), our protagonist, along with her. This is an interesting directing choice, and while I didn’t find the material at all engaging or compelling this was an effective way to tell the story.
The story itself though - the play - was nearly unbearable. I was so fidgety throughout the whole thing that one hour felt like an eternity. The beginning, during which Emily is having a stroke, is basically a cacophony of caterwauls - not exactly a pleasant way to being a play or hook your audience. As the str…

Media Morsels 10.15.10

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Bloody Bloody Bits
Jax Rox on Broadway! This week, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson celebrated its official opening on Broadway. Here, some Bloody Bloody treats to celebrate Big Block of Cheese Day finally arriving:Rave review from the Times

Photo Coverage: opening night arrivals; curtain call; after party

Inside Old Hickory’s Curio Cabinet – A NYTimes.com discussion with scenic designer Donyale Werle about her inspirations for the design and anecdotes about where various set pieces originated. Plus, A Horse Overhead is a photo essay accompanying the design discussion.

Show Clips from Broadway.com

Bloody Bloody Drinks - The Hell’s Kitchen restaurant Vynl is offering Bloody Bloody drinks! Simply bring in your ticket stub to receive a free (with $9.95 meal purchase) Bloody Bloody inspired drink, like a Bloody Bloody-tini or a Bloody Bloody Rock Star. Cheers!


The Shows Will Go On
Playbill.com often runs an “Ask Playbill.com”…

The Scottsboro Boys

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The Scottsboro Boys enjoyed a sold-out, somewhat critically acclaimed run at off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre this spring. It’s now made the move uptown to Broadway where it’s playing at the landmark Lyceum theatre. (Girlfriend needs a facelift.) Off-Broadway audiences are different from Broadway audiences and I’m not sure that’s a good thing for the commercial success of the Boys.

This new musical from theatre luminaries Kander and Ebb (of Chicago and Cabaret fame) is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman (who had much success with The Producers and Contact). While there are many elements that are praiseworthy, I’m skeptical that it’ll be a hit.

You see, The Scottsboro Boys tells the true story of the Scottsboro boys by way of a minstrel show. After a brief prologue during which The Lady sits and waits for a bus, the show begins with much fanfare: Eleven young black men (including one young boy) enter the stage, setting up chairs in a semi-circle. The Lady remains on the sideline,…