First off, a tremendous shout-out of gratitude to Roland Tec, a.k.a. Rolando Teco, of the great website Extra Criticum, for nominating The Clyde Fitch Report for this honor.
While I have to confess that I don’t know everything there is to know about this award, it seems like a smart — and inherently viral — way to spread good cheer about good websites, and the CFR is proud to make the list.
There are, I am told, a few requirements that come along with the nomination, so I am going to comply with them forthwith.
1) One must cite the name of the site that nominated you (done, and if you’ve never visited Extra Criticum, do it).
2) One must list seven things readers might not know about me.
So here are those seven things:
a: I’m an only child, raised in New York.
b: My first professional gig of any kind was being an usher, along with my best friend, at a performance of John Guare’s Landscape of the Body, produced by Second Stage, in 1984. Entirely by mistake, we sat all the even-numbered ticket-holders in the odd-numbered seats and vice versa. Including Ruth Gordon.
c: I love birds. If I hadn’t gone into the arts, I might have been an ornithologist.
d: One branch of my genealogy has been traced 10 generations — to a town called Ribeauville, in Alsace, in 1665. (Yes, they were Jews.)
e: Wii obsesses me.
f: I met Ronald McDonald when I was 5. It was all quite innocent.
g: Broccoli rabe is probably my favorite green vegetable.
3) Finally, each nominee should nominate, with links, seven other blogs worthy of the Kreative Blogger Award. Here are my nominees:
a: Adam Szymkowicz is a playwright and a blogger — he has published interviews with nearly 180 of his dramatist colleagues thus far on his blog. Mind you, these are not fluffy, insider-y interviews but rather meaty, substantial and always thought-provoking. There are any number of artist-to-artist dialogues out there in blogworld, but Szymkowicz’s Q&A instincts are excellent. Click anywhere and you’ll be intrigued.
b: Zev Valancy is a friend, but that doesn’t mean his blog, On Chicago Theatre, hasn’t earned your full attention on the merits. I hired Zev to write reviews for me when I was at Back Stage (back when the brand still invested in the idea of non-New York, non-Los Angeles actors) and he has blossomed not only into a fine critic but, now and then, a trenchant, keen observer of the Chi scene. Zev is also a dramaturg — you can tell from his insights.
c: I met Lauren Yarger at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in 2008. Her blog, Reflections in the Light, is a great model for clarity of vision. Lauren’s is the Christian perspective, but never with a hectoring, didactic tone. In fact, I’ve learned a lot from her, including the fact that she probably writes more than I do, especially in terms of reviews; knowing that she lives several hours away into Connecticut makes me marvel at her industriousness. Talk about faith!
d: Steve Loucks, a.k.a. Steve on Broadway, is precisely what the idea of the blogger is all about. Steve has a day job — an important one that can occasionally be all-consuming — but his first love is unquestionably the Great White Way, something evident in what he writes. Yet Steve also doesn’t exude ruthless ambition like some bloggers I won’t mention. He exudes decency. And I’m personally thankful for the kindness he has shown me as well as the CFR.
e: Adaumbelle’s Quest, created by Adam Rothenberg, is a Sunday must-visit (for the origins of the blog’s name, click here.) I especially admire the unstoppable fervor with which he interviews and promotes performers. Going considerably past the domain of the mere fan, Rothenberg infuses his posts with an enthusiasm that demands you acknowledge what glory live theater is, whether you’re on stage or off.
f: Adventures in the Endless Pursuit of Entertainment is the perfect moniker for Sarah B.’s effervescent and energetic cultural endeavors. I always thought that I was a culture vulture, but this tireless attendee of the creative and the curious has become one of the best friends that any kind of live performance in New York — and occasionally elsewhere — could possible have. She’s readable and, best of all, entertaining.
g: There are several reasons to nominate Kevin Daly’s Theatre Aficionado at Large, but one stands out for me. Daly, a friend of Sarah B.’s and equally prolific, has the uncanny knack for unearthing musical theater videos you’ve never dreamed of, then commenting on them lovingly. There’s one on his blog right now — of Mary Martin appearing in Vietnam in Hello, Dolly! in the 1960s, part of a documentary — and he’s quite right: it’s very moving. Bottom line: Bravo.