After a long dry spell, hopefully we’ll be able to have this feature back again on a regular basis.
At A Poor Player, Tom Loughlin responds to my analysis of Scott Walters’ post responding to Michael Kaiser’s post on the Huffington Post about where artists originate. Loughlin believes we should substitute the word “wealth” for “theater” and force a distribution across communities. I believe Loughlin should substitute “get real” for “dream” — the issue at hand is not about New York. Loughlin also writes about the “indie actor” and analyzes the report issued by the New York Innovative Theatre Awards some time ago. His conclusion:
….if you’re now in college studying as a theatre major at the graduate or undergraduate level planning to break into the theatre scene in NYC via the indie route, the statistics say that, for your educational and monetary investment, here’s what statistically you are/will become: a white, female, single, childless degree-holding actor holding down two or three jobs, and making $18.37 an hour at the career you educated and trained yourself for, all the while living in one of the most expensive geographic areas in the US. The stats also say that by 40 years old you will have left the indie scene at the very least; the odds are you will have moved on to something else entirely.
Is this what we really want to have happen to the human capital that makes up our richest resource for a vibrant theatre?
Well, no, but can you make $18.37 an hour elsewhere in the U.S.? Yes, but not that often. But of course, New York City is always to blame. It’s always the enemy. Sigh.
At Adam Szymkowicz’s blog, Adam Szymkowicz adds to his extraordinary series of Q&As with contemporary and emerging American playwrights. These include Clay McLeod Chapman, Andrea Stolowitz, Desi Moreno-Penson, Steve Yockey, Krista Knight, Erik Ehn, Alan Berks, Daniel Reitz (thanks for the shout-out, Adam!), Boo Killebrew, Jamie Pachino and Stanton Wood.
At Adventures in the Endless Pursuit of Entertainment, Sarah B. covers Patti LuPone at the 92nd Street Y, the 2010 Drama League gala honoring Angela Lansbury, the musical Fanny at Encores! (my review: lush Harold Rome score but bizarre adaptation and feh performances, alas) and a birthday salute to Renee Fleming.
At the African-American Playwrights Exchange, there are literally too many posts to count — but the blog is filled with contests for dramatists of color, productions up in honor of Black History Month and much more.
At An Angry White Guy in Chicago, the angry Don Hall hates the term “cultural marketplace” (just imagine what “cultural marketplace” has to say about Don Hall), laughs at the idea of Fox News being trustworthy, rants about — well, I don’t know, except everything certain clique-based bloggers is good and everything Clyde Fitch Report-contributor Thomas Garvey is bad, and ponders the power of the critical press, as if that actually exists in the same universe that it used to exist. Not so. Oh, and here is why the Democrats, he says, need to grow some balls.
At Artistic Discourse, Zack Hayhurst slices off to see the Signature Theater Company’s production of the Hugh Wheeler-Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd and pronounces it worth the snowy wait.
At Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Gary Steuer, chief cultural officer for the city of Philadelphia, and directs the Office Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, explains simply and powerfully why we need to keep arts in schools.
At Artsopolis, Princess has been busying blogging and pasting. Check it out!
At Artsy Schmartsy, Jonathan West has vanished. Where are you, Jon?
At Blank New World, Diane Snyder expresses discomfort with reviewing not-so-good plays, links to her interview with crime writer Joseph Wambaugh, mourns the novelist Robert B. Parker and likes a new play at Ensemble Studio Theatre.
At Blogging by Numbers, Corinne Furness and Charlie Whitworth, founders of a niftily described “writing theater company,” blog extensively about Ovid Reworked — the Brixton Project. Unfamiliar with it? Give it a read.
At Blue Avocado, Jan Masaoka limns the difference between America’s “economic downturn” and the “global economic crisis,” suggesting that what is really underway is the terminal illness — meaning the death — of the American empire. To wit:
In this great, global sweep of history, we cannot expect or hope for a return to the glory days of the empire. It helps to understand, though, that as empires decline, people become afraid, and are more susceptible to demagoguery; the implicit oligarchy strengthens its legal fortress walls.
At the Brennan Center for Justice, the question is whether the expulsion of a member of the New York State Senate is legal. Answer: probably, yes.
At Broadway Abridged, Gil Varod channels Ben Brantley, chief drama critic of the New York Times. It is the best seance since last season’s revival of Blithe Spirit.
At Broadway Mouth, the anonymous blogger posted some interesting updates in January.
At Butts in the Seats, there is more on the upset in the teaching community regarding the dismissal of arts education as a frill — but who will fight for it?
At the Carnegie Council, there is a great question: Under what circumstances should a diplomat, facing ethical issues, resign?
At Community Perspectives: Riffing with John Clinton Eisner, there is this month’s guest essayist: playwright Caridad Svich.
At Createquity, Ian David Moss announces that he will be the next research director for Fractured Atlas, the arts service organization; offers some thoughts on Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play (it seems to be required of all blogger to weigh in); delivers a roundup of the week’s notable troublemakers in the arts; and directs readers to interesting new blogs. Um, pre-existing blogs are also interesting, too.
At Critic-O-Meter, Rob Weinert-Kendt stands still regarding the Broadway production of Donald Margulies’ Time Stands Still — the site hasn’t added new posts since the end of January.
At CultureBot, Andy takes the New York Times’ second-string theater critic, Charles Isherwood, and rakes him over hot coals regarding his piece on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s upcoming residence at the Park Avenue Armory. Our take on this issue is here.
At CultureFuture, the avalanche of information is astonishing. One of the most underreported stories of the moment — the epic fail of Newsday’s pay-wall — comes into view. Another post considers freedom of speech from the Belarus artist vantage point.
At DavidMixner.com, David Mixner asks whether New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo — who will be the next governor of the Empire State if only he’ll declare and run — is aiding and abetting a confirmed homophobe, State Senator Carl Krueger, one of six Democrats-in-name-only who voted against marriage equality. Mixner also asks whether Obama’s pledge to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will go the way of healthcare in the U.S. Senate.
At Dilettante, the wonderful wavelength of monologuist Mike Daisey is a must-read — and often a must-see — in the blogosphere and theatrosphere.
We know the late 20th century days of multi-million dollar state general fund allocations to the arts are past. And I’m not convinced that the non-profit model is the only (or always the best) vehicle for investing in people’s access to the arts.
So why are so many arts leaders convinced that all will one day be well?
At Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals, my friend and colleague Chris Caggiano schools the righteous Isaac Butler as to how a production can, indeed, be greater than the sum of its parts. Caggiano has never seen Mamma Mia! on Broadway and does the sympathetic thing — more like euthanasia thing — and writes about it. My, my, how can we resist it?
At Extra Criticum, Rolando Teco discusses the Brevity Fest — and whether the instinct to want to make money as an artist is such a good thing, or a symptom of something very sick in our society.
At Foreign Policy in Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies, comes a frightening fact: we have more than 700 military basis in Afghanistan — but is that enough to “win” (pardon the ridiculous term) the war?
At Fragments (I Can Have Oodles of Charm When I Want To), the oodle-with-the-noodle Monica Reida writes a touching post in honor of her mom’s 50th birthday. Amazingly, she just saw her first play at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company (seriously?) and posts some thoughts about the hot-new 2am theater blog (could The Clyde Fitch Report appear on its blogroll? I would reciprocate).
At Gratuitous Violins, Esther discusses the announcement that Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, which takes place on the last night of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, is Broadway-bound. Smartly, she asks the question most arts advocates in the U.S. haven’t bothered to articulate — and they should have:
What surprises me is that The Mountaintop had its world premiere in London last summer. It was praised by the critics, including the very discerning West End Whingers, and has received an Olivier nomination for Best New Play.
Why did a play by an American writer about such an important American subject have to go across the Atlantic Ocean to get produced?
At Jamespeak, James Comtois’ wonderfully wry series of posts about self-producing continues. Apologies for not covering adequately the first nine — but installment number 10 should be read (and then go back and read the rest).
At Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, arguably Gotham’s best and snarkiest blog devoted to what is lost when the cause of historic preservation is utterly for naught, there is a tremendous amount to catch up with, and we won’t be able to do it full justice here. Highlights: the destruction of Village Paper (conspiracy theories abound); the possible death of the Jackson Theatre in Jackson Heights, Queens; and what really happened to the famous speakeasy Chumley’s after a collapse some time ago.
At Lies Like Truth, the amazing Chloe Veltman, vis a vis recent news from the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, asks a pivotal question:
At Life Upon the Sacred Stage, Retta Blaney’s spiritually uplifting blog looks at Banana Shpiel at the Beacon Theatre and muses about an upcoming staged reading of my friend Tina Howe’s play Painting Churches.
At Me2Ism, Donald Butchko raves about Betty Buckley’s cabaret show at Feinstein’s at the Loew’s Regency. (We’re pretty happy with our profile of Buckley, too.)
At Michael Kaiser’s blog, Kaiser, who is President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, opines that instead of thinking smaller and smaller, cultural organizations ought to be thinking bigger and bigger:
The most consistent, faithful donors are those who are excited and surprised by the work of an arts organization. And when the organization is regularly producing large scale projects that attract a great deal of public and press attention, more and more of these donors are likely to become affiliated. Artistic ventures that change the way a community views an organization, therefore, are a strategic, mission-driven way to build financial health.
At Mission Paradox, Adam Thurman’s is promoting what may be one of the must-have books of the year — it’s an e-book, actually, called Authentic Arts Marketing — A Practical Guide to Marketing That Advances Your Vision (Not Just Your Work). Awesome.
At New Jersey Arts Blog, the question asks why more members of the Gen X and Gen Y generation aren’t joining boards. Of course, the other question is whether they should join boards just because some of them may have money and not give a sufficient hoot about the mission of an organization.
At Nonprofit Law Blog, Gene Takagi lists some of his favorite tweets of the week. There’s also a great post from guest writer Ginger Jacobs (no relation, to my knowledge) about hiring a foreign national. Since, of course, we apparently no longer hire in the U.S.
At Noticing New York, the ongoing expose of Forest City Ratner’s blight- and allegedly corruption-ravaged Atlantic Yards plan is fascinating reading. Shame more news organizations aren’t picking up on it.
At NYC Performing Arts Spaces, there was coverage of the Community Board 4 vote on a proposal to create tax incentive for real estate owners who make deals with arts nonprofits. (Do they know that the Clyde Fitch Report was the first to break the story?)
At the blog of New York State Assembly Member Micah Kellner, there is a discussion about the earned income tax credit and Kellner’s proposed legislation to ban the hiring of dangerous sex offenders as building superintendent or other building agents. Oh, Mr. Kellner, I would work for you in a minute. Even answer phones. Could you hire me? (I’m not joking.)
At Off-Stage Right, the invaluable and indefatigable Jodi Schoenbrun Carter asks whether the closing of the Pasadena Playhouse is start of something much bigger: a domino effect of monumental importance to the nonprofit movement. (The answer, I fear, is yes, and doesn’t it feel like certain executive directors at certain arts advocacy organizations are just acting like tuxedo-wearing gentlemen in the smoking lounge of the Titanic?)
At On Chicago Theatre, the ever-on Zev Valancy reviews Rush Limbaugh: The Musical. As for whether it contains such song titles as “Hypocrite,” “Drug Addict,” “Racist,” “Sexist,” “Retard,” “Prevaricator” or “Dead,” you will have to read his review for yourself. (There is also a great link to a review of the tuner by a conservative. Said writer’s final reference to Hitler says everything about her that you need to know.)
At On Theatre and Politics, Matt Freeman is brewing much excitement — and deservedly so — around his new play Glee Club. He also likes confirmed CFR-hater Ken Davenport’s blog. OK, Matt. Always good to be good to commercial producers. Can’t blame ya.
At One Producer in the City, Michael Roderick reminds his readers — and yours truly — why this is indeed a great time to start a business. Mike, you rock. Thank you for the reminder.
At Pataphysical Science, Linda unveils the cold, hard truth that will no doubt infuriate the irascible playwright-director-neo-conservative-armchair-psychologist-master-of-the-universe-hater-of-critics-jerk-of-all-trades David Mamet: Race, his new play on Broadway, “fails to shock.”
At Sasha Dichter’s Blog, Sasha Dichter is blogging about the TED conference, although he’s not really blogging about the TED conference so much as blogging about blogging about the TED conference. (As Pirandellian as they may sound, it is very much good reading. I. Am. Jealous.)
At smARts & Culture, Mary Ann Devine does a wrap-up of arts news, fabulously calling it a clipping service, which warms my old heart. She also asks — and answers — whether orchestra’s use social media. What’s best is how she does not provide a glib answer. Now go tweet about it.
At Stage Rush, Jesse North reviews the Broadway production of Donald Margulies’ play Time Stands Still in previews (verdict: B, and I think that’s generous) and suggests the cast recording of the now-closed revival of the musical Finian’s Rainbow is going to annoy him “to no end.” I hasten to the look to the rainbow — but I must.
At StageBuzz, the intrepid Byrne Harrison interviews Alex Bond, author of the play Late Nights with the Boys (which the Clyde Fitch Report will be covering next week). There is also a great interview with the playwright Duncan Pflaster.
At Steve On Broadway, my friend and colleague Steve Loucks inks a little bit about — what else? — the Broadway production of Donald Margulies’ Time Stands Still. A review is to be forthcoming — we await it!
At Tactical Philanthropy, there are the words that define philanthropy (fun contest idea), and more words that define philanthropy (amazing outpouring of English), Sean Stannard-Stockton’s link to a Chronicle of Philanthropy piece on innovation and effectiveness (most of it is reprinted on the site) and a debate is underway about Ami Dar and the fate of Idealist.org. Dar never responded to my own direct email and apparently Stannard-Stockton believes the only people who matter are Gen Y folks who have gotten jobs through the site. (Part 2 of the debate is interesting, too.)
At Tarhearted, Joshua Conkel is feeling pretty burned for having joined the discussion about race and theater. That’s not good. The self-styled moral avatars of the theatrosphere should be ashamed of themselves. Josh, keep talking.
At Technology and the Arts, I have very much enjoyed Amelia Northrup’s two-part series on Building Audience Diversity Through Social Networking. Part 2 is here.
At That Sounds Cool, the extraordinary Aaron Riccio even outdoes moi for sheer volume of words — and what great words they always are. Read his reviews of Playing Cricket, Clybourne Park and A Brief History of Murder: Victims.
At The David Desk, David Sheward considers the not-so-inconsiderable appeal of Sarah Palin (I mean, Pol Pot had his own appeal, too, right?) and last week’s Project Runway and offers some memories of a TV childhood.
At The DJF, Donell James Foreman is on tour with Mamma Mia! and is thinking about a wonderful old-school item: the mixtape.
We live in a complex, nebulous fabric woven from interconnectedness and perceived oppositions. And yet Mamet’s world, and how a rag he sneezed in would be picked up by theatres around the country, is an apt metaphor for many of the conversations we have amongst bloggers and with audiences, and for much of what is thrown up on our stages. We avoid complexity, instead relaxing into repeating the arguments we know well. Lashing out at others we don’t understand and all claiming the high moral ground….
At The Hub Review, Thomas Garvey, Boston’s best arts blogger and newest contributor to the Clyde Fitch Report, has so much to say and says it so well. His open questioning of whether theater blogging is about the art or really about “politics by other means” is completely apt. The lesson: one shouldn’t tangle with Bill Marx unless one knows why one is doing it. Fortunately, Tom does.
At The Mirror Up to Nature, Art Hennessey notes that the Massachusetts legislature recently formed a cultural caucus. He provides a great link to the story, which I’ll also provide here.
At The Playgoer, Garrett Eisler offers voluminous commentary spurred on by Charles Isherwood’s slap-down of New York theater. (The CFR take is here.)
At The Rob Kozlowski Chicago Theater and Vintage Film Medicine Show, Rob Kozlowski is brewing up a bit of a storm against the hyper-conservative ding-dong witch who didn’t like Rush Limbaugh: The Musical. He provides her email address and everything.
At The Wicked Stage, the wicked Rob Weinert-Kendt piled on to the crusade to crush Thomas Garvey (or anyone else who questions Weinert-Kendt dripping sense of moral superiority). He whose poo doesn’t reek also posted a piece about Garvey here, and, as usual, is so besotted with his own intelligence that he misses his own point. As I have no intelligence whatsoever, I offer no further comment.
At Theatre Aficionado at Large, Kevin Daly reviews Betty Buckley at Feinstein’s at the Loew’s Regency and simply glows. Like me (attending the same performance), Kevin was hi-hi-hi-diddle diddle.
At Theatre North Carolina, it appears that there is going to be less importing of Broadway. I’m simplifying, true, and the post should be read (and there are tons of them to catch up with). But isn’t this just indicative of what a mess the regional theater world is in?
At What’s Good / What Blows in New York Theatre, Rocco makes it clear that Cate Blanchett not coming to Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire is bad news. However, per the rave from Rocco as well as Zack Calhoon, above, at Visible Soul, maybe Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park will transfer.