At Adaumbelle’s Quest, Adam Rothenberg gets some love from BestGayNewYork.com. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? He also profiles my favorite drag vegetable — not Terri Schiavo! oy! — Hedda Lettuce.
At Arts Marketing, Chad M. Bowman puts on his Shakespearean hat and asks the great existential question of our time: To tweet or not to tweet? He answers the question, too, and slings and arrows…well, you know what they do.
At Artsy Schmartsy, Jonathan West begins the Wisconsin-wide celebrations surrounding his new book, Milwaukee’s Live Theater, by visiting his daughter Dorothea’s classroom. Read the post, but also take a look at this photo and tell me if it doesn’t make you go goo-goo and all teary-eyed:
At Christopher Heath, Christopher Heath asks a great question: How would our society be different if it were matriarchal instead of patriarchal? His answers include a statement about tampons, abortion and universal health care. Read it and call your mom, just to say “I love you.”
At Culturebot, Andy constructs and deconstructs a chart on how to write (and why to write and in what way to write) for the American theater. As it looks much like a chart of the federal budget represented visually, it’s mythical and hilarious and incomprehensible. Credit to Mac Wellman and Samuel Beckett for their influences.
At Curbed: Architecture, Lofter1 frenches the Fred F. French Building.
At Curbed: Manhattan: Lower East Side, Lockhart takes a look at the apartment up for sale by Gary Shteyngart, “author of precocious novels The Russian Debutante’s Handbook,” and makes snarky remarks. Which Shteyngart, to be honest, really should use as fodder for his next novel. And so forth and so on.
At Curbed: Manhattan: Midtown West/Times Square, Joeynyc speculates that the Hudson Yards project will begin/finish/get underway (or be considered/debated/trashed/reimagined) around 2013. Expressions of pale relief slather over the core of Bloombergworld, which will be gearing up to coronate reelect the New York City mayor for a fourth time that year.
At Curbed: Queens, Lockhart reminds us that the World’s Fair Pavillion is now 45 years old. Which is, interestingly, 90 years more than the last time the city got serious about doing something productive and innovative and forward-thinking with the whole of Flushing Meadows.
At Curbed: Astoria & Beyond, and courtesy of a great post on Brokertales.com, Lockhart calls the conversion of the Eagle Electric Company factory a “botchjob.” But darling, we knew that ages ago. What about the inaccessiblity of the area?
At Extra Criticum, Andrew Altenburg asks “Does it matter if Adam Lambert is gay?” Of course, given that he will, no doubt, win American Idol this year, the real question that should be asked is, “Does it matter if Adam Lambert is gay with that haircut?” I mean, had she lived to see this day, Helen Keller would have been spared this:
I mean, I’m sorry, but do you think it’ll disturb the squirrels and birds and the whole ecosystem in there if he gets it cut? As much as I love Adam’s voice — and I announced to my friends at the top of the AI season that he would win, and he will win — I just loathe his hair, and let’s remember, I’m follically challenged. An adorable face obscured by an uninspiring faux-punk bowl-cut from the Zac Efron Chace Crawford For Dummies Handbook. There. Done.
At Gratuitous Violins, Esther announces that the upcoming releases of the film Grey Gardens makes her “queasy.” In other news, there’s a musical being produced next year about the Red Sox. Will it come to New York? Yeah, just picture that.
At Interchanging Idioms, Chip Michael writes a great piece on the YouTube Orchestra performing at Carnegie Hall and what next steps in this interesting social event should follow.
At Jeremy’s Green Room, Jeremy Dobrish talks about Bartlett Sher’s direction of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone on Broadway and dares to raise the white-director-directs-August-Wilson question that everyone’s talking about in very hushed tones, as if we might, you know, someday elect an African-American president or something like that. I really liked this passage of the post:
Several people have mentioned to me what a big deal it is that Bart Sher is the first white director to direct a major production of an August Wilson play (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone). Apparently a lot of people are upset about it. Let’s face it, black directors can have a tough time getting directing opportunities, and August Wilson is the pre-eminent black playwright of our (or perhaps any) time. So an opportunity is taken away. In addition, one could argue that Wilson’s plays are so high contextually black in terms of their relationships, dialogue, and situations, that a white director just might not “get it”.
On the other hand, should a male director not direct Crimes of the Heart? Should a brit not direct Death of a Salesman? Should a Christian not direct Fiddler on the Roof? Where should the line be drawn?
The answer is that the line shouldn’t be drawn.
At Lies Like Truth, Chloe Veltman writes a great post about public memorials and what they mean. In particular, these three graphs are very insightful:
One example is the massive holocaust memorial in Berlin — “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” — which has been the cause of much controversy over the past decade for failing to acknowledge the non-Jewish victims of the Nazis and, as part of Germany’s “Holocaust industry”, exploiting the country’s sense of shame and disgrace.
But as I walked through the memorial — which consists of more than 2,700 stone pillars built onto an undulating 4.7 acre plot close to the Brandenburg Gate and was designed by architect Peter Eisenman — it occured to me that this memorial is much more open to interpretation than most other stone-built momento moris.
For one thing, it’s very experiential and interactive. You don’t just look at it. You get inside it. In parts of the memorial, I felt very removed from the sky, like I was in a cave. I felt like I was descending into a labyrinthian dungeon. In other parts, I could perch on a stone pillar, see for miles and feel the warm air around me. At times, I felt very solitary and alone. At others, I felt like I was in a crowd. The pillars seemed like people. Every turn I made, I came across fellow memorial wanderers. I even saw a young couple necking in a shady enclave.
At MicCommand, Ninja Mike (who happens to be my awesome cousin), breaks down the rhythms of rap. Lots o’ swagger in the rhyme, too.
At Moxie the Maven, Moxie grabs and shovel and gives us at least some of the dirt on what Michael Cerveris has been up to lately. If you don’t know about this (what rock have you been under?), think Zelig, with a lemony twist.
At the NYTheatre i, where Bad News doesn’t exist, Martin Denton reports on the Good News efforts of the Gingold Theatrical Group to find a name for its upcoming full productions of Shaw. I can think of a few.
At Off-Stage Right, Jodi Schoenbrun Carter does the gasp-inducingly unthinkable…she writes “Why I Hate Regional Theater.” Here is an excerpt:
What I hate is the word “regional” and what it has come to imply and more or less mean.
It seems like every day I find another person talking about “putting the regional back in regional theatre” or “making things local.” When I read the folks post (see below links), I have no disagreement with what they are saying so why in the world do I cringe every time someone says the word regional?
I truly believe that it diminishes what our theatres are/should be doing for their communities and the national (and international) impact that this work can have not only the theatre industry but changing the world and making an impact.
…As for what the word “regional” does to minimize the impact we have on our audiences, we have to all agree we live in a transitory world. Most people don’t spend their lives in one place anymore. Gone are the days where mom, kids and the grand-kids all lived on the same block (much the detriment of society in some ways), but this means when we are reaching out to audiences in our local community, we are addressing issues of living in this world, we are preparing them to go live in other communities, and hopefully, we are spurring them to action to make the world a better place (hello – think globally, act locally!).
I also think the word regional used in context with a theatre has come “to mean something less than” as Dowling alluded to – agents don’t want their clients doing “regional” theatre. But in reality isn’t most of what is being done in New York on commercial stages coming directly through the nurturing and development of these so-called “lesser” regions. In my book – if it is good enough to develop and produce the show than it is as good as where the show end up. Just because it cost more to produce it in New York doesn’t mean it makes the show any better – and yes I have spent the majority of my career in New York City, so I clearly know the stakes of doing a show in New York and what it can mean. I just don’t beleive that commerical productions are any more valid that nonprofit productions and I fear that is exactly what “regional” implies.
Jodi’s awesome, no?
At On Theatre and Politics, Matt Freeman sums up his opinion of the teabagging tea parties with one word. One very interesting word.
At Parabasis, Isaac Butler considers coherence, theater and God. And how, on Parabasis, there’s been much talk of “the humanifying effects of drama, how theatre can make us more human, more connected, more alive.” Hard to do when you’re busy pretending certain bloggers don’t exist. (Or maybe that’s just faith?)
At Queens Crap, reference is made to a story in the Queens Courier about Harvey Seifter, artistic director of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts pleading guilty to a “minor violation” with reference to his expense account.(The original charges included grand larceny and possession of stolen property.) On top of the obligatory community service, he’ll have to make restitution of several thousand dollars, including to Americans for the Arts.
At Sasha Dichter’s Blog, Sasha Dichter has a superb and concise think piece on Twitter and Facebook and blogging and microblogging and where all this may lead in five years (or months, given the speed of things). Here’s a quote, but go and read the whole piece:
In terms of size of network, Facebook is already in its own category (more than 200 million users!). Twitter is still new enough (just) that you have a couple weeks left to join before you’re too late (heck, you can even start by following @sashadichter).
And if microblogging is the next big online trend, what does this mean for blogs, whose traffic isn’t growing as quickly?
Here’s my take: microblogging will be good for serious bloggers. Yes, there will be a migration of “here’s what I was thinking” from blogs to Twitter/Facebook (the blogs that were just about people’s daily activities make more sense on Twitter/Facebook).
But if you consider this spectrum from microblogging to blogging to newspapers/news weeklies, the question to ask is: 5 years from now, after most of the weekly news magazines have gone out of businesses and many major local papers go belly-up, will there be more or less appetite for thoughtful, analytical, 400-500 word opinion pieces on what is going on in the world?