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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot...LIVE!

posted by on July 23 at 11:56 AM

I enjoy two things: Crank calling Hillary Clinton at 3AM every morning, and 9 to 5. The movie. From 1980-ish. Waaaay before I was born. (Hush up.)

I’ve said it before (and I shall undoubtedly say it before again), I love me some 9 to 5. LOVE IT! In my list of all time favorite movies, it is right up there with Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and the movie that hasn’t been made yet that I star in that wins me an Oscar. 9 to 5 changed my life. I’m not sure exactly how, or if it was for the good, but...

The strange thing? I hadn’t seen it in at least fifteen years. Tragic! Sinful! Disturbing beyond comprehension! I know! So I did what I had to do, and I did it just last week: I Netflixed the damn thing or whatever, and, glory. How I still love it. How it fills me with joy. And how totally it holds up, baring the gigantic telephones, the conspicuous lack of PCs, and the maniacal XEROX machine the size of box car that brings Jane Fonda to tears. It holds up so well, in fact, that I spent at least twenty minutes of film time pointing at the screen and screaming, “This HAS TO BE produced for the STAGE! Do you hear me, ye gods? It just HAS to be!”

Well, ye gods were listening. Or ReBar had their damn spies following me. As usual. Behold:


Frank Hart is a pig. He takes advantage in the grossest manner of the women who work with him. When his three sassy assistants manage to trap him in his own house they assume control of his department and productivity leaps, but just how long can they keep Hart tied up? It’s revenge of the Nerds for “Office Cathies”!

Indeed! The inimitable Nick Garrison is to play Judy Bernley, Jane Fonda’s character (I would have made a great Judy Bernley--or Jane Fonda for that matter), my friend Andrew Tsakos plays Lilly Tomlin’s corpse-napping character Violet (I would have made a great Violet), Brandon Whitehead plays Mr. F. Hart (that sounds about right to me), and an actress I am not familiar with called Rebecca Davis is playing Dolly Parton’s girl, Doralee. And she better be damn good, because I would have made a spectacular Doralee. Word.

The event is only three nights, July 29th through the 31st, at, duh, ReBar. Reservations will not be taken, so come early. I will be ensconced in the front row for every performance. I might even cry a little for no apparent reason. If it happens, please, just...look away! For the love of God! Look away!

Thank you in advance.


Chinese Chekhov Out, Carrie Fisher In

posted by on July 23 at 11:36 AM


For next April, the Rep has replaced A Winter People (an adaptation of The Cherry Orchard set in revolutionary China) with Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher's autobiographical solo show.

(Despite the best efforts of Mike Daisey, Allen Johnson, and Lauren Weedman, the words "autobiographical solo show" always make me a little queasy. Still, hope springs eternal.)

From the press release:

Carrie Fisher is the life of the party in Wishful Drinking. Onstage, she recounts her true and intoxicating story with the same strong, wry wit that she poured into bestsellers like Postcards from the Edge. Born to celebrity parents Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Carrie lands among the stars when she's picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars. But it isn't all sweetness and light sabers. As a single mom, she also battles addiction, depression, mental institutions, and that awful hyperspace hairdo. It's an hilarious [sic] take on an incredible tale - from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to wedding (and shedding) Paul Simon, from having the father of her baby leave her for a man, to waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed. Don't miss this outrageous chance to get ‘Carried' away.

Wocka, wocka, wocka!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Theater, Cinema, Art

posted by on July 18 at 2:00 PM

In this week's paper, Charles Mudede writes about a film that succeeds by eschewing cinema's "fruity old aunt" (those words by Tilda Swinton), theater, Alexander Sokurov's Alexandra.

In the department of crossover artists, I'd also like to point to Implied Violence, a performance company that this weekend begins its triptych, Our Summary in Sequence. (Details and more on IV by Brendan Kiley here.)

I got a sneak-preview image of the setting they've constructed for this weekend's performances, inside a South Lake Union warehouse, and it looks like an art installation in itself.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Robin Williams Crashes Laff Hole

posted by on July 17 at 2:10 PM

Last night, at approximately 10 pm, approximately 100 people simultaneously texted me the precise location of Robin Williams: Laff Hole, Re-bar, sitting in the back. So I went. There he was.

Photos by Christopher Frizzelle.

Old Man Williams sat through the show, laughed a little at some things and laughed a lot at others, including Face Off, the Laff Hole version of a staring contest: Two comics stand toe to toe and try to make each other laugh with short phrases. The first one to laugh or break eye contact loses. From last night's Face Off, between a man and a woman whose names I didn't catch:

Man: "Gestapo casual Friday sweater."
Woman: "Short bus orgy."

Old Man Williams loved "short bus orgy." Loved it. Clapped, shouted, quoted it later in the evening.


Man: [Makes the cunnilingus, tongue-between-fingers gesture]
Woman: In your dreams.
Man: I've had nightmares.

The woman broke. The man won.

The last comic of the evening was Ross Parson, a sad-sack comedian whose best joke is: "Stuttering only helps beat-boxers." It was his 21st birthday and, just before his set, Old Man Williams jumped on stage to sing him happy birthday and talk for awhile.


It was precisely what you'd expect: manic riffing, jumping between characters (the Angry Scotsman, the Sibilant Gay Man), jokes about anal sex and Seattle ("it's like San Francisco, but without as much money"). He showed off his calves. He grabbed his tail.


"Comedy is born—and aborted—in rooms like this!" Old Man Williams shouted. People went bananas. He went bananas.


The People's Republic of Komedy sent a dictate this morning saying Old Man Williams might return to do a longer set in the coming weeks but didn't explain why he showed up in the first place. Just passing through? Scouting for talent? Or scouting for jokes?

He does have a reputation as a joke rustler. (Radar wrote about it last year.) So if you hear "short bus orgy" in Patch Adams II, you'll know where it came from.

More photos after the jump.

Continue reading "Robin Williams Crashes Laff Hole" »

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All I Ever Needed! Was the Music! And the Mirror! And the Chaaaaance! To Daaaaance! For yooooou!

posted by on July 16 at 12:45 PM

Were you in the original production of A Chorus Line that played at the Shubert Theatre in New York in the '70s and '80s (and forever changed the course of Dan Savage's life)? An email just went out to local media from the publicist at the Paramount...

I am hoping you can help us with a unique endeavor… As you may recall, the National touring engagement of A CHORUS LINE, the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, is set to take the stage at The Paramount Theatre August 5 – 10, 2008. The most recent national touring production of A CHORUS LINE, was in Seattle last during 1987!

Since the show was on Broadway for 15 years - from 1975 – 1990 - we are fairly confident that there may be a cast member or two from that original production who may now reside in the Greater Puget Sound area and we want to find them and we are hoping you can help us do that!!

See the notice below and if you could post this in the paper once or twice between now and August 1 – we are hopeful we can find some of these Broadway cast members.

No word on what they're going to do with these formerly lithe '70s sybarites who must now be all pruney and broken. Bring them up on stage? Ask them their feelings? Electrocute them? The whole notice--and the email address to use if you know anyone--is after the jump.

Continue reading "All I Ever Needed! Was the Music! And the Mirror! And the Chaaaaance! To Daaaaance! For yooooou!" »

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is That Frizzelle Over There Behind Mary McCarthy?

posted by on July 14 at 6:05 PM

When one knows deeply that he is wrong, as Mr. Frizzelle does, there is nothing to be done but to insult the enemy and hide behind an older writer.

Not being wrong myself, I don't mind elaborating. Mr. Kiley writes this:

Angela Pierce as Blanche gives a slick, orthodox performance, and sails through Blanche’s late-play mad scenes without succumbing to the crazy-person caricature that has wrecked so many Blanches, Ophelias, and Lears.

This is exactly right for the first nine words. Then it veers into Frizzelle Territory: Wrongton. Pierce breaks into caricature several times in her late-play mad scenes, what with the squawking and the squalling. This is what ruins Blanche at Intiman.

Stanley's fine, if you don't mind him grunting while he picks up his women as though he can't handle them. Kiley sees this as a nod to his humor and vulnerability; I see it as the equivalent of farting onstage and trying to hide it. If he's doing it for effect, I'd really like to see other signs of vulnerability in the interpretation, and there are none.

Stella: She's a rock. Stella has never seemed so solid and so desperate at once. I loved her. Wanted to be her friend. Wanted to take her away from all this. Wanted to be a new kind of Stanley for her. Do with that what you will.

As for the sound design: Mr. Frizzelle, they played the horrible, horrible music every five secs. Aren't you going a little easy on the hometown heroes? And, while we're at it: Should we trust your take on Streetcar when your take is essentially that it's great because it doesn't suck the way you expected it to?

A Streetcar Named Criticism

posted by on July 14 at 5:30 PM

Mary McCarthy practiced criticism, unlike Jen Graves, who practices criticism when she writes about art but merely deploys synonyms for "I don't like it" when she writes about plays on Slog that she thinks I have thought too highly of. Cornered just now about her uncharacteristically undefended critique (Blanche, we are told, is "bad"--how laconic!), Ms. Graves said that she did not want to go into it--the practice of defending her assertions with particulars--because Mr. Kiley, our man in the theater department, had not yet published his review of the show. Naturally, I encouraged Mr. Kiley to share his not-yet-published review of A Streetcar Named Desire, which he did, which means, I think, that now we will hear from Ms. Graves her thoughts in full regarding the "bad" Blanche and the "not quite good" Stanley and the "better than she had any right to be" Stella. (Right, Ms. Graves?) "Bad" how? "Better" how?

Let us dive back into the Mary McCarthy essay, from which we can all learn lessons, even Ms. Graves, about asserting things and then defending them. (Hi, Jen!) This will be a long quote, just to provoke a bunch of comments about how long quotes are, like, really difficult to scroll past or whatever.

This variation on the mother-in-law theme [instead of a mother in law who comes and gets in the way, it's a sister-in-law] is the one solid piece of theatrical furniture that A Streetcar Named Desire can show; the rest is antimacassars. Acrimony and umbrage, tears, door-slamming, broken dishes, jeers, cold silences, whispers, raised eyebrows, the determination to take no notice, the whole classic paraphernalia of insult and injury is Tennessee Williams's hope chest. That the domestic dirty linen it contains is generally associated with the comic strip and the radio sketch should not invalidate it for him as subject matter; it has nobler antecedents. The cook, one may recall, is leaving on the opening page of Anna Karenina, and Hamlet at the court of Denmark is really playing the part of the wife's unwelcome relation. Dickens, Dostoevsky, Farrell rattle the skeleton of family life; there is no limit, apparently, to what people will do to each other in the family; nothing is too grotesque or shameful; all laws are suspended, including the law of probability. Mr. Williams, at his best, is an outrageous writer in this category; at his worst, he is outrageous in another.

Had he been content in A Streetcar Named Desire with the exasperating trivia of the in-law story, he might have produced a wonderful little comic epic, The Struggle for the Bathroom, an epic ribald and poignant, a comedie larmoyante which would not have been deficient either in those larger implications to which his talent presumes, for the bathroom might have figured as the last fortress of the individual, the poor man's club, the working girl's temple of beauty; and the bathtub and the toilet, symbol of illusion and symbol of fact, the prone and the upright, the female and the male, might have faced each other eternally in blank, porcelain contradiction as the area for self-expression contracted to the limits of this windowless cell. Mr. Williams, however, like the Southern women he writes about, appears to have been mortified by the literary poverty of such material, by the pettiness of the arena which is in fact its grandeur. Like Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire and the mother in The Glass Menagerie, he is addicted to the embroidering lie, and though his taste in fancywork differs from these ladies', inclining more to the modernistic, the stark contrast, the jagged scene, the jungle motifs ("Then they come together with low, animal moans"), the tourist Mexican ("Flores para los muertos, corones para los muertos"), to clarinet music, suicide, homosexuality, rape, and insanity, his work creates in the end that very effect of painful falsity which is imparted to the Kowalski household by Blanche's pink lampshades and couch covers.

All right, Ms. Graves. Out with it. (And, it must be admitted: your opinion of the sound design is not wrong.)

Frame of Reference

posted by on July 14 at 5:08 PM

A Streetcar Named I-Wish-Mommy-and-Daddy-Would-Stop-Fighting

posted by on July 14 at 4:38 PM

While Christopher and Jen shout at each other about StreetcarChristopher: "You're just gonna say Blanche was bad and not support it?" Jen: "I just couldn't let your review stand!"—I'm putting up my goddamned review because I'm the goddamned theater editor and what I say (about theater) goes.


A Streetcar Named Desire
Intiman Theatre
Through Aug 2.

"I want to find the humor in Stanley," director Sheila Daniels told me in an interview a few weeks before Streetcar opened. "Brando didn't find it."

Daniels—and actor Jonno Roberts—did. Those able to tear themselves from the image of Saint Brando will see new dimensions in Tennessee Williams's icon of masculine inadequacy and rage. He's funny and loutish, still a sexual tiger but more vulnerable. This Streetcar inspires thoughts of a prequel, when we find out how Stanley became Stanley.

Daniels’s production also shines a light on Mitch, mostly thanks to Tim True, who plays the victim of Blanche's dishonesty and Stanley's cruelty with a sad, mumbling grace. Angela Pierce as Blanche, gives a slick, orthodox performance, and sails through Blanche's late-play mad scenes without succumbing to the crazy-person caricature that has wrecked so many Blanches, Ophelias, and Lears. Chelsea Rives is a quiet triumph, keeping Stella simple and doomed.

The wound in this Streetcar —and it's a gaping, festering one—is the "Blue Piano," the occasional music Williams describes in his stage notes as "tinny piano being played with the infatuated fluency of brown fingers." Daniels and sound designer Joseph Swartz apparently read this as "portentous chords laden with heavy reverb that bludgeon—and occasionally make a mockery of—the play’s pathos." The ominous notes that followed Blanche's revelation that her first husband was gay are egregiously goofy.

But Daniels has coaxed quality, multihued performances out of her actors. We will begin to remember them once we have forced ourselves to forget that goddamned piano. BRENDAN KILEY

A Streetcar Named Eh

posted by on July 14 at 4:02 PM

Christopher Frizzelle calls Intiman Theatre's current production of A Streetcar Named Desire "really something." I can agree insofar as everything, even that which is not much, is something.

For me, this Streetcar was flat. It had a sort of acceptable forgettableness. This play is supposed to be a curvaceous beast!

And that was in the sections that went smoothly.

This production is also endowed with extraordinarily embarrassing moments—moments typically reserved for community theater, moments that are the result of fatal, big-picture design decisions—largely revolving around the sound design.

The interpretations of the three main characters struck me this way: bad (Blanche), not quite good (Stanley), better than she had any right to be (Stella).

When the main attraction is Stella, your Streetcar's off the rails.

(Brendan's real review is coming in this week's paper; I just had to offer the counterpoint to Frizzelle today.)

A Streetcar Called Success

posted by on July 14 at 11:34 AM

The production of A Streetcar Named Desire at Intiman right now is really something--amazingly, for such a wax museum of a play, the principal actors burn through the material at a temperature that melts away the wax, that feels organic and unpredictable. They are all, believably, blind to one another, these people. I'd always thought of Streetcar (which I'd only ever read) as a cheesy, mid-century melodrama, a scenery-as-food piece, but I was totally carried along by the performances that Sheila Daniels (profiled by Brendan Kiley last week) got out of these actors.

Last night I was flipping through the Mary McCarthy collection of essays A Bolt from the Blue, which includes theater reviews she wrote for Partisan Review and elsewhere, and I came to her piece "A Streetcar Called Success," in which she savages Tennessee Williams' play (she gave me all my ideas about it, it turns out) and, while she's at it, his entire career. An excerpt from the end, when she goes off about his career:

If art, as Mr. Williams appears to believe, is a lie, then anything goes, but Mr. Williams's lies, like Blanche's, are so old and shopworn that the very truth upon which he rests them becomes as garish and ugly, just as the Kowalski's apartment becomes the more squalid for Blanche's attempts at decoration. His work reeks of literary ambition as the apartment reeks of cheap perfume; it is impossible to witness one of Mr. Williams's plays without being aware of the pervading smell of careerism. Over and above their subject matter, the plays seem to emanate an ever-growing confidence in their author's success. It is this perhaps which is responsible for Mr. Williams's box-office draw: there is a curious elation in this work which its subject matter could not engender. Whatever happens to the characters, Mr. Williams will come out rich and famous, and the play is merely an episode in Mr. Williams's career. And this career in itself has the tinny quality of a musical romance, from movie usher to Broadway lights... Pacing up and down a Murray Hill apartment, he tells of his early struggles to a sympathetic reporter. He remembers "his first break." He writes his life story for a Sunday supplement. He takes his work seriously; he does not want success to spoil him; he recognizes the dangers; he would be glad to have advice. His definition of his literary approach is a triumph of boyish simplicity: "I have always had a deep feeling for the mystery of life." This "Hello Mom" note in Mr. Williams's personality is the real, indigenous thing... The cant of the intelligentsia (the jargon, that is, of failure) comes from his lips like an ill-earned recitation: he became, at one point, so he says, "the most common American phenomenon, the rootless, wandering writer"—is this a wholly fitting description of a talent which is rooted in the American pay dirt as a stout and tenacious carrot?

Three thoughts: one, that's a fucking long paragraph (I even skipped some sentences); two, though this is a pretty convincing, embarrassing portrait of Tennessee Williams's work, that very work continues to be produced in leading theaters in the country (like the Tony-laden Intiman) while A Bolt from the Blue was most recently seen sitting on bookstore remainder tables; three, God love Mary McCarthy. That bitch could write.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Press Release of the Day

posted by on July 11 at 4:37 PM

From a press release for the upcoming production of Shrek: the Musical:

"Mayor Nickels Welcomes Everyone’s Favorite Large Green Ogre to the Emerald City."

So the mayor is welcoming himself to the city? But he's not green...

He just thinks he is.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

That's Pronounced 'Coke'

posted by on July 10 at 11:07 AM

The New York State Theater—part of Lincoln Center—will now be known as the Koch Theater, after New York's richest citizen, who just threw $100 million down the old theater-hole.

Koch is also a major donor to the Republican party, and ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 1980.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dept. of Squaresville

posted by on July 8 at 11:04 AM

Randy Newman and Roger "King of the Road" Miller are my favorites for Great American Songwriter. Randy for his savage humor, Roger for his goofy wit.


Some favorite Roger Miller stories. From Wikipedia:

When he was seventeen, he stole a guitar, but turned himself in and chose to join the Army rather than go to jail. He later quipped, "My education was Korea, Clash of '52." Upon leaving the Army, he went to Nashville to work on his music career.

From the Roger Miller box set:

Roger Miller: I was raised in Erick, Oklahoma.
Interviewer: What's that near?
Roger Miller: It's close to extinction.


L.A. Cop: Can I see your license?

Roger Miller: Can I shoot your gun?

Paul Constant just made me a very, very happy man by loaning me his Roger Miller box set, which includes "Reincarnation," a song I heard once in high school and was never able to find again.

I should've just used YouTube:

We'll pass over the slide show—obviously made by one family member for another—in silence. But the song!

This month, Taproot Theater is producing Big River, Roger Miller's musical adaptation of Huck Finn. It's the first Taproot show I've been excited about in a dog's age.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Clowns Sue Seattle Rep

posted by on July 3 at 4:23 PM


Yuri and Dmitri Kuklachev are a father-son team of Russian clowns and proprietors of a cat circus called Moscow Cats Theater. They began training cats in 1977, were one of the first Soviet-era performers to tour the United States, and are famous in 80 countries. They've won awards, been commemorated on stamps, and are beloved by children, grandmas, and cat fanciers everywhere.

Last year, Yuri and Dmitri toured the United States and performed at the Seattle Rep.

Except they didn't.

The Russian clowns who performed at the Rep last April were, apparently, impostors. (Copycats, if you will. And you will.) According to a lawsuit filed by the real Yuri and Dmitri Kuklachev, the impostors stole the real Russian clowns' names, clothes, and hairstyles and toured the country as the Moscow Cats Theater.

The Russian clowns are pissed. They've filed a suit in New York against the impostors, the impostors' U.S. promoter (Mark Gelfman), and every theater where the impostors performed, including the Seattle Rep.

"We don't know anything about this," the Rep's communications director, Ilana Balint, said this afternoon. "We haven't been served any papers."

"Well, they're gonna get served papers today or Monday," said the Russian clowns' lawyer, Gary Tsirelman. "We're just beginning a lengthy process."

The Russian clowns have filed the suit in Brooklyn and are suing for: "federal and common-law trademark infringement, false endorsement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, dilution of a famous trademark, and violations of anti-cybersquatting law, rights of publicity and privacy, fraud, conversion, prima facie tort and unjust enrichment."

(Tsirelman was referred to the Russian clowns by a colleague. "They needed a vulture in court," Tsirelman said, "someone very vicious who does not take no for an answer. They said, 'find us the biggest a-hole out there.' And that was me.")

Some history: The Russian clowns have been doing their cat-circus act since 1977. Sometime in the 80s, an assistant stole the Russian clowns' act, names, costumes, and hairstyle, and tried to tour the USSR. Soviet police eventually shut them down.

Fast forward to December 2006: The real Russian clowns finished a real tour of the U.S. and returned to Russia, expecting to come back for another U.S. tour in 2007.

From the complaint: "Within days of Yuri Kuklachev's departure, his [U.S.] promoter, M. Gelfman... secretly filed a registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the famous Kuklachev's 'Moscow Cats Theater' mark in his own name." He also bought

Then Gelfman (allegedly) trotted out the impostors, changed their names and dyed their hair, and sent them on the road.

The Russian clowns are currently seeking $10 million in damages, but that might grow—Tsirelman says he's still getting calls from across the country (and the world) from people who saw the ersatz Kuklachevs. "I hear their show was pretty bad," Tsirelman. "A lot of disappointed grandkids."

So why are the Russian clowns suing individual theaters, like the Rep, when the theaters were duped like everybody else?

"Trademark law does not require defendants to have knowledge or intent to deceive," Tsirelman said.

In short: Ignorance is no excuse.

Gelfman and his defense lawyers have not returned requests for comment.

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

John McCain: Kicking Commie Ass

posted by on July 2 at 2:38 PM

John McCain denied a Republican colleague's claim that he roughed up an associate of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on a diplomatic mission in 1987, saying the allegation was "simply not true."

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., told a Mississippi newspaper that he saw McCain, during a trip to Nicaragua led by former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., grab an Ortega associate by his shirt collar and lift him out of his chair.

McCain may be denying it, but he's gotta be loving it. Roughing up actual commies down in Central America? It's probably total bullshit, but the mental image certainly won't hurt the tough-guy character McCain is trying to develop.

As the first commenter on the Wall Street Journal report wrote:

maybe some other ner-do-wells deserve a thrashing too. I’ve got no problem with his slapping one of those thugs upside the head. Wish i could have done it myself. Go John!!
Comment by Sandanista Shot Put - July 2, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Senator Cochran (a five-term Republican from Mississippi) has been a McCain antagonist, but now endorses him—and who better to deploy a bit of crypto-flattery for McCain to deny than a former enemy?

Nifty bit of double-backflip campaigning there, Senators.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Just Now at Cal Anderson Park

posted by on June 28 at 5:40 PM

This is Joey. He learned to slackline three years ago after watching a guy do it in the woods. More on slacklining here. Photos are by Kelly O.







(Hey, Circus Contraption--you gotta put Joey in your next show.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Table Service

posted by on June 24 at 10:21 AM

Tomorrow night, the Swedish Housewife brings her Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cabaret to the lush confines of the Triple Door. She plucks 11 acts from her 21 years of producing shows and her enviable stable of counterculture stars for one night of glorious madness. The mighty El Vez will be debuting material from his upcoming tribute to John Sex, and the thrilling Queen Shmooquan will bend your mind with her transcendental madness. Fresh from triumphant performances in New York, Provincetown, and London, Seattle's one and only megastar of camel-toed razzle-dazzle, Miss Dina Martina, will be in town for a rare summer appearance. There's much more on board, including the inimitable Waxie Moon, and your hostess for the evening, NYC's one-eyed wonder Miss Astrid.

Come early, have dinner, and if the crowd at the Joey Arias show last month is any indication, you'll be rubbing elbows with a who's who of Seattle's alterna-gays.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Agony and the Irony

posted by on June 19 at 2:30 PM

An eagle-eyed—eared?—commentor on this post, about Intiman's mysterious new Disney musical, says:

Sher mentioned working on a new musical adaptation of "The Huncback of Notre Dame" in Seattle on KUOW last week. Could that be the Disney musical?

Of course, if Intiman were to produce Hunchback, it'd be the greatest stroke theatrical irony since Molière keeled over and died while playing a hypochondriac.

The last Hunchback musical in Seattle was, of course, this Hunchback, from 1998. As Dave Schmader once wrote:

Hunchback captured the imagination of everyone who’s ever wondered, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if a New-Agey blues rocker with a lot of money and a weird Hunchback fixation decided to take it to the stage?”, and left its small but lucky audiences cheering a world that would allow such a monstrosity to come to fruition.


Please God, let Intiman's new Disney musical be Hunchback. And please let it star Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung.


posted by on June 19 at 11:29 AM

From today's Seattle Times.

Sher's win catapults him to the top of the A-list of Broadway directors. Though he moved recently from Seattle to New York, and has various Big Apple projects in the works (including a new musical about martial-arts superstar Bruce Lee), Sher is contracted through 2009 to head Intiman, where he just staged the new play "Namaste Man."

Asked if his win helps his hometown company he said, "Of course it does — it helps us attract better artists, better producers and other things down the road." He also mentioned that Intiman will develop "a big Disney musical next year," with the title to be revealed later.

A "big Disney musical"? At Intiman? Why?

It's not like Disney really needs the resources of a non-profit theater to develop its next Broadway flop, and Intiman certainly doesn't need its cultural capital devalued by producing Toy Story 2, starring Larry Ballard. (As much as I'd like to see that... )

I've got a call out to Intiman and am postponing my freakout until I have more information. But—really? Seriously?

I can't believe it.

(Thanks for the heads up, Mike Daisey.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Re: Bart Sher...

posted by on June 15 at 10:17 PM

South Pacific won seven Tony Awards in all, including Best Director and Best Revival of a Musical.

(For the first commentor on Christopher's post below—Sher is the longtime artistic director of Intiman Theatre. This is his third nomination for Best Director, and his first win. Last year, Intiman won the Tony Award for regional theater. At a Tony Awards party this evening, a spokeswoman for Intiman told the crowd: "Bart says he couldn't do what he does out there if not for the support he has here." "That's very, very sweet of [Bart] to say," whispered a longtime Intiman subscriber sitting next to me, "but it's just not true.")

Other big winners tonight: In the Heights (a musical about a Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan), Passing Strange (a picaresque musical about a middle-class black kid from Los Angeles who travels to Amsterdam and Berlin), and August: Osage County (Steppenwolf's play about a family of fuckups and pill poppers).

The musical performances tonight were, as usual, ill-suited for television broadcast. They just weren't designed for, and don't translate well onto, screens. I wonder how much damage they do each year, as people channel surf into their favorite number from Grease and think: "fuck, that's awful—see, that's why I don't go to theater."

Between those and the ads for Vesicare ("fewer urges and leaks!"), the message seems to be that theater is for the tone-deaf and the incontinent.

Still: Congratulations, Mr. Sher.

Bart Sher...

posted by on June 15 at 8:45 PM

...just won a Tony for directing South Pacific.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The End of Tokenism?

posted by on June 13 at 1:03 PM

The best thing about this year's Tony nominees is the number of contending plays and musicals by/starring/about people who aren't honkies: Passing Strange, In the Heights, Thurgood, a black version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a South Pacific starring actual Asian Americans, and so on.

From a great article on this year's Tony Awards in the Washington Post:

This season, eight major Broadway shows prominently feature blacks, Latinos or Asians. There's "South Pacific," which -- for the first time in this musical's history on Broadway -- stars Asian Americans in Asian roles. (Loretta Ables Sayre, who plays Bloody Mary, is nominated for a Tony.) That's a far cry from 1991, when there was an uproar over casting English actor Jonathan Pryce as a Eurasian in "Miss Saigon."

Ten performers of color have been nominated for Tonys tonight, including Stew, the creator and star of "Passing Strange." (Whoopi Goldberg, a Tony-winning producer in her own right, will be tonight's host -- marking the first time the Tonys ceremony has had a lone emcee of color.)
This year might be the beginning of the end of the "token ethnic play" phenomenon, a well-intentioned but ultimately embarrassing theater custom I've written about over and over again:
The TBP has been a regional theater custom for years. Trying to attract dollars from the rising black middle class is smart business and a little artistic affirmative action is perhaps wise, but watching a TBP, no matter how good or bad it is, always gives me the uncomfortable feeling that the mostly white audience and mostly black artists are mutually condescending to one another.

Again from the Post:

No one tracks the number of people of color working on Broadway, but many observers say that things have changed greatly from more than 20 years ago, when Actors' Equity conducted a four-year survey of working actors and found that 90 percent of actors on Broadway were white.

Things, obviously, are changing.

Not only are there more black artists, but more black producers, who recognize the economic value—not just the social, artistic, and moral value—of getting away from producing a "black play" here and a "Latino play" there. This year will prove that producers and theaters should put up as much quality work by artists of color as they can. And audiences will reward them for it. Like James Baldwin said: "Black people ignored the theater because the theater has always ignored them."

Looks like the sun is setting on those days, thanks to years of courage and sweat by artists like George C. Wolfe, Suzan-Lori Parks, August Wilson, Lloyd Richards, and others.

Again, from the WP article:

"Every single day I wake up in the morning saying, 'What are we doing here?' " says Stew, who co-wrote "Passing Strange" with musical partner Heidi Rodewald. "We never thought this would happen. . . . Not only did we not think we were going to Broadway, we didn't want to go to Broadway."

Stew says he insisted on making art how he saw fit -- which meant, he says, that he fought with the producers at every turn.

"They can't force us to do anything. Nobody has to sell out here. . . . Only artists who wimp out change their script. All a Broadway producer can do is close the show.

"This is like an experiment every night. To see if this weird curio can exist in a mass audience. I really look at it as a science experiment. Every night."

It's working, Stew. And sorry to sound Pollyanna about it, but your success should make everyone feel hopeful.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

All's Well That Ends Totally Fucked Up

posted by on June 12 at 2:12 PM

My review of Seattle Shakespeare Co.'s All's Well That Ends Well didn't fit into the print edition this week, but it's online now.

I ask you: Has there ever been a more disingenuous marketing campaign in Seattle theater history? (Or a more ill-fitting dress?)


Romantic comedy? Really? "Love's healing begins in our own hearts"? Really? Way to make me positive the director hasn't a clue what the play is even about. It reminds me of people who read the stalkerish Sonnet 116 ("Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove"--shudder!) at their weddings, just because the word "marriage" appears in it. But the production is worth seeing in spite of itself:

... [Y]ou'll forget all of this soon enough, because the cast is strong, the comedy is undisguised, and the self-hatred and terror at the play's center busts right through its cheerful packaging. Sarah Hartlett is perhaps an unlikely choice to play Helena, the lovesick fool who throws herself at a lover (Connor Toms, just okay) with full knowledge of his contempt. She's a bit too old for such mooning, and her huge, goofy smile—much prized in children's theater productions—disposes us to suspect Helena's more tender moments. At the same time, though, Hartlett's reckless energy powers through the fairy story–inspired illogic, making Helena's bed-trick schemes seem like loads of fun, even when they're not quite plausible.

Times and info at our theater search.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Avenue Q

posted by on June 11 at 3:16 PM

According to a doorman at the Paramount, about 50 delicate souls stormed out of last night's opening of Avenue Q.

"They were grumbling about it being 'inappropriate,'" the doorman said. "But I don't have any sympathy for idiots who buy tickets and don't even know what they're going to see."

Avenue Q is a grown-up parody of Sesame Street—by some former employees of Sesame Street—that opened in a 150-seat theater Off Broadway and, in 2003, became a magnet for Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

The puppets sing about disappointment and ennui, getting drunk and one-night stands—grown-up stuff, but nothing outrageous.

One character (based on Bert) is a closeted gay Republican who sings about his "girlfriend" in Canada. After the song's final line ("I can't wait to eat her pussy again"), a couple behind me rocketed out of their seats and angrily flew up the aisle.

I'm just sorry Avenue Q didn't make it out here sooner—it's a funny, successful parody of kids' shows, with learn-and-grow lessons for adults. As they sing in the final number: "Life may be scary, but it's only temporary."

Now please enjoy the opening number, "It Sucks To Be Me":

More information on tickets and show times here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Laff Hole Moves to Re-bar

posted by on June 10 at 4:32 PM

Remember back in April when Laff Hole (the weekly stand-up comedy night by the People's Republic of Komedy), announced they were hopping nightclubs, leaving Chop Suey for Capitol Hill Arts Center?

And I wrote wrote this on Slog?

...moving back to CHAC, which has been a revolving door for theaters and arts organizations, doesn’t seem like the best idea—not least because PROK and CHAC already lived together once, a couple of years ago. It didn’t work out.

And, as wise people say, there are no second acts in love.

PROK should move to Re-bar, home of Dina Martina and Brown Derby and Greek Active and two decades of marrying drinking, theater, and comedy. The Republic and Re-bar belong together.

Well slap my face and call me yenta: PROK just announced they're leaving CHAC and moving to Re-bar.

The NEA Dials Its Time Machine Forward, a Nation Rejoices

posted by on June 10 at 11:13 AM

Back in May, I got all mad on Slog about Shakespeare and the NEA:

Shakespeare gets enough attention and reward in America, what with the NEA shoving piles of its theater money to Shakespeare-in-the-heartland projects because they’re too afraid of Congress to fund much else—like, say, even American classics like Tennessee fucking Williams.

Which is bogus.

It’s not like the NEA has to shove cash directly into Karen Finley’s crotch to earn its name as America’s arts foundation, but can it dial the time machine forward at least 400 years, to the early 20th century?

Slog's wish is the NEA's command.

Yesterday, America's arts foundation announced it would start giving money to help develop new plays.

The NEA New Play Development Program has $90,000 each available for two scripts; they must be already written and attached to theater companies planning to stage their world premieres by the end of 2010.

And there's $20,000 each for five shows that are at a more germinal stage, where a writer and theater company need money to work on an idea, without a full commitment yet to a production.

Those $20,000 grants are especially gutsy. Since they don't require a full commitment to a production, they carry a high risk of the you're-wasting-our-tax-money-on-lazy-artists criticism. Someone at the NEA must be feeling ornery.

This isn't just good news for theater nerds, it's good news for America—the NEA used to be one of the most cowed institutions in Washington, helpless and terrified of the Republican machine.

Maybe this is a portent, another sign that the tide really is turning against the bullies and vandals of the W-era Republican Party.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Da Butt: With a 'Z'

posted by on June 9 at 12:19 PM

I have watched Liza Minnelli's 1972 performance of "I Gotcha" (from Liza with a 'Z', choreographed by Bob Fosse) more times than I care to enumerate, but on a recent viewing I noticed a few things I hadn't seen before. Almost two minutes into the clip, I found myself asking, "Wait, did Liza just do the Tootsie Roll?" The answer is yes. Then she does The Matrix, Da Butt, and the most spastic Crank Dat Soulja Boy one could hope to see. I know Fosse gets plenty of big ups already, but damn, y'all. Check it out:

Tootsie Roll (1:53/ 2:47)
The Matrix (2:34)
Crank Dat (3:12)
Walk It Out (Pretty much the whole time)
Rack Daddy (1:54, backup dancers)
Da Butt (3:27 - I love this dance because while it is highly sexual, Da Butt manages to be completely unsexy.)

Upcoming: Al Gore and Gay Cowboys Sing, Atheists Strike Back

posted by on June 9 at 10:48 AM

The Vulture brings news that there will be a Brokeback Mountain opera. Also, there will be an Inconvenient Truth opera.

But the upcoming entertainment news that I'm most excited about on The Vulture is the upcoming Bill Maher documentary Religulous. I'm not a huge Maher fan--libertarians tend to bug the ever-loving shit out of me--but I fully expect to love this movie.

I'll withhold judgment on the operas until (or if) they actually happen.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dept. of Schadenfreude

posted by on June 6 at 4:33 PM

From time to time, some of our dear commentors crawl up my nose for hating on Young Frankenstein.

Like you, Mr. Poe, and you, adam_on_alki, who once wrote:

OK, Brendan, seriously, you are a major cunt. I usually like you and your writing and opinions, but you never gave "Young Frankenstein" a chance and you are now totally shitting all over it. Fuck you douche-bag. That was one of if not THE greatest performances I have ever seen live.

It is in a spirit of unfettered gloating and nastiness that I post about Young Frankenstein's serious financial difficulty.

From the NY Post:

LIKE CEOs in the troubled airline industry, "Young Frankenstein" creator Mel Brooks and producer Robert F. X. Sillerman have embarked on a cost-cutting rampage in a desperate effort to keep their Spruce Goose of a show aloft.
Sutton Foster (Inga) and Megan Mullally (Elizabeth) are both leaving the show in July. They'll likely be replaced by nonentities who, if they're lucky, will get paid slightly more than the kid who mans the infrared hearing stand at the Hilton. Producers not involved in "Young Frankenstein" call the drastic salary cuts unprecedented.

"I've never heard of trying to get your stars to renew their contract by offering them half their salary," one says. "It's innovative. But everything they've done on this show is innovative."

Yeah. Like the $450 ticket.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hendrik Hertzberg Loves Bart Sher's South Pacific, Too ("I'm no theater critic, but...")

posted by on June 2 at 11:20 AM

The New Yorker's political-commentary columnist took a break from politics on his blog yesterday to write about... that musical. That everyone's (still) talking about. Directed by that guy from Seattle. He doesn't mention Sher by name, but he's definitely a fan.

This “South Pacific,” the first on Broadway since the original run sixty years ago, is a revelation even if, or maybe especially if, you’ve seen the 1958 Joshua Logan film, starring Rossano Brazzi, John Kerr, and the wonderful Mitzi Gaynor. I’m no theatre critic, but I can testify that every single second of the Lincoln Center revival is absorbing, and long stretches of it are by turns enthralling, exhilarating, and/or moving.

Still, Hertzberg's post lands on a connection between the plot of the musical and the punishing Democratic primary (the context):

Those two adorable, latte-colored children are like a pair of little Barack Obamas. As in “South Pacific,” today’s ending will be a happy one only when the blonde from Arkansas realizes that all it takes for everybody to be a lot happier is for her to stop standing athwart the future those kids represent and start doing her part to make it happen.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Death of Criticism

posted by on May 29 at 11:28 AM


Chris Page, who covered local theater for the Tribune from 2003 until early this year, was found dead Monday at his Mesa apartment. He was 29.

Mesa police were called to the apartment Monday morning by friends and co-workers who hadn’t seen him since Wednesday. His body was inside, and he apparently committed suicide...

In early May, his position was included in a round of layoffs at the paper.

More bad news: Alan Rich, the LA Weekly classical music critic who just got laid off at age 83, just found out he won't be getting any severance.

(h/t to commentor sherman.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Critic Vanishes

posted by on May 28 at 12:06 PM

Joe Adcock, theater critic at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for 26 years, has retired. And nobody much seems to care. (The Slog post announcing his departure got just one sad, single comment.)

Critics aren’t anybody’s favorite people. Last weekend, standing outside a theater during intermission, I mentioned Adcock’s departure to a prominent local artistic director. He replied in song: “Ding-dong, the witch is dead!

Then I told him the P-I hadn’t just lost Adcock: They’d also eliminated his job, and won’t hire another full-time theater critic, due to a hiring freeze. The artistic director’s face fell: “Oh. That’s terrible.”

In just a few years, Seattle has gone from four full-time theater critics (one for each of the dailies and each of the weeklies) to two: Misha Berson at the Seattle Times and me. “Does that mean theater in Seattle is shriveling up and dying?” my editor asked when I told him about Adcock.

Um, no. It’s a sign that newspapers are shriveling up and dying. Seattle still has its Tony Awards, its growing reputation as the best place to premiere pre-Broadway musicals, and its habit of hemorrhaging talent to other cities (congratulations, by the way, to former Seattle actress Heidi Schreck, who moved to New York and just won an Obie Award).

But the newspapers—with their hiring freezes, layoffs, and forced early retirements—are fucked. If Berson were to retire next week, would the Times replace her? “I expect so, but it’s really hard to say,” said Times managing editor David Boardman.

Eventually, you all may have nobody but me.

Just a few papers that have axed or split longstanding criticism jobs in the past year: New York Times (dance), the Village Voice (dance), Los Angeles Times (dance), Chicago Tribune (theater), Minneapolis Star-Tribune (theater), Atlanta Journal-Constitution (lots of its critics), Philadelphia Inquirer (theater), Charlotte Observer (theater), and the Baltimore Sun (theater). In Seattle, the Times, the P-I, and Seattle Weekly have all cut jobs in arts criticism.

So newspapers have to lean on freelancers, who are great and all, but I’ll let my friend Wendy Rosenfield, a freelance critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer, say it: “We’re not just itinerant, we’re mercenaries. My schedule is dictated by my needs, not the needs of the paper. It lends itself to way too much turnover and uneven arts coverage.” (Philadelphia, by the way, has three times as many people as Seattle, and only one full-time theater critic.)

Last February, at an NEA-sponsored theater critics’ seminar in Los Angeles, I met Judy Rousuck, a deadpan, corvine-haired, and deeply intelligent woman who had just left the Baltimore Sun. She had been the theater critic for 23 years, but nobody told her she’d be taking her job with her when she left: “I don’t know if I would have had the heart—or nerve—to leave if I’d known I wouldn’t be replaced.”

So, Misha, now it's just you and me. So don’t take any buyouts. Or candy from strangers. And look both ways when you cross the street.

Correction: The NYT hasn't axed a dance-writing position— Jennifer Dunning retired from the paper some weeks ago, but the Times intends to replace her. We regret the error.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Deborah Senn Takes It to the Stage

posted by on May 22 at 9:47 AM


I'm so excited about this I could poop:

In a year bursting with politics see the action from the inside! Come see the hilarious and poignant story of the successful effort of evil outside interests to capture and control Washington’s 2004 race for attorney general. Written and performed by former Insurance Commissioner and Democratic nominee for attorney general Deborah Senn. Not all ex-politicians are put out to pasture—come see it to believe it.

I'm not kidding about my excitement. I think all elected officials should be required to do one-person shows, and not just the ones who'll probably be great at it, like Senn. (I'm looking at you, Cheryl Chow.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Good Night, Sweet Joe

posted by on May 21 at 12:28 PM

Apparently, Joe Adcock (theater critic at the PI for a grazillion years) is retiring.

Emails to his address bounce back with the following:

I will be out of the office until Tuesday, May 27, which will be my last day of work. As of Wednesday, May 28, I will have retired.

Because of a hiring freeze at the PI, nobody will replace Mr. Adcock. "We'll continue to cover theater vigorously," said arts editor Chris Beringer, "with freelancers." Which is to say, less vigorously than before.

It's funny—just yesterday on Slog, I was admiring these two unmistakably Adcockean sentences, from a recent review: "The play often is labored and never subtle. But it is amusing at times."

I'll always remember—and admire—the man's ardor for clipped sentences, understatement, and copular verbs.

Playwright Bret Fetzer discovered Adcock's (typically understated) retirement announcement while sending mass emails about the June 6 edition of late-night cabaret Spin the Bottle. He offered this remembrance:

He was the only reviewer in town who made a serious effort to see damn near everything, particularly during the fringe theater boom in the 1990s. But seeing so much theater may have taken its toll; he's the only human being I've ever met who was more lucid in person than in print.

Talking to him, he's a gentle, thoughtful guy with a bemused sense of humor; reading him, it's like he sat down to type and demons came out of his fingers, wreaking havoc on his ability to write a coherent paragraph.

This didn't keep him from having insights -- in some of his reviews of my plays, he definitely pointed out things, good and bad, that made me think about what I was doing -- but it did lead to reviews like the one in which he compared a production, not once but twice in the same review, to an enema. And he meant it as a compliment.

Read Joe Adcock's last theater review here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Heidi Schreck Won an OBIE Award Last Night

posted by on May 20 at 12:25 PM

The Village Voice awarded Schreck an OBIE for her performance in Drum Of The Waves Of Horikawa, confirming what Seattle has known for years: that Heidi Schreck (who left for NYC in 2003) is God's gift to audience members everywhere.

From a review of her performance in Hedda Gabler, printed in the November 16, 2000 edition of Last Days:

In a smart new adaptation by Paul Willis and the cast, the Devils bring Ibsen's Dynasty-in-Norway psycho-melodrama to life in a way that would have given ol' Henrik himself a Norwegian woody. Extra credit must go to Tricia Rodley and Heidi Schreck, both of whom gave exemplary performances in a show packed with good actors. However, extra, extra credit must go to Ms. Schreck, who, it must be said, fucking rocked, nailing Ibsen's entrancing sociopath brilliantly and perfectly; we can't imagine anyone doing it any better. If you like good plays, go see Hedda Gabler (which closes this weekend, so hurry up).

(Also in that edition of Last Days: "The stupidest week in American history got off to a fitting start today at Pioneer Square's OK Hotel, with a hard-rockin', crowd-beguilin', irony-free performance by Corey Feldman." )

And here's Ms. Schreck and her gang (the theater company Two-Headed Calf) in Horikawa, which the reviewers kept calling "punk-rock kabuki":

Congratulations, Heidi.

(And thanks to Mike Daisey, who emailed the good news: "Heidi has been performing in groundbreaking downtown shows ever since she moved to NYC, and it's fantastic to see her recognized like this, as only a few Obies are given out every year. It's really quite a triumph.")

The Light in the Pagoda

posted by on May 20 at 10:45 AM

And this (in this morning's NYT) is just awesome:

Enter the director. Bartlett Sher, currently being feted for his work on “South Pacific,” has agreed to direct the previously announced new musical by David Henry Hwang and David Yazbeck, “Bruce Lee: Journey to the West.” The show, which follows Lee’s path to martial arts superstardom (and involves Chinese mythological figures like the Monkey King along the way), is aiming for a place in the 2010-11 Broadway season.

The Unluckiest Show in Seattle

posted by on May 20 at 10:42 AM

Pity the poor Nebunele Theater company—not only does it have a name nobody can ever remember how to say, Nebu-whatever-you-call-it is currently running Medea Knows Best, the unluckiest show in Seattle.

But maybe that's what you get for adapting Medea as a musical comedy.


A litany of the company's woes, beginning with the first production—a workshop of their Greek-murder-musical-comedy—last winter:

• Freehold botched the theater rental1, making them cut the run short.

• The production designer stopped returning phone calls and vanished. He later explained he was having a midlife crisis. (He eventually returned.)

• The live musician/composer quit because he, according to co-author and actor Alissa Mortenson (she's the blonde above), "didn't like some people in the show."

• "Then I got dumped by a boy I was in love with," Mortenson said. "And the same thing happened to two other people in the show."

• For the second Seattle production this month, Velocity botched the theater rental2 forcing Medea to relocate to CHAC. (That was after all the press releases with the original dates and times had already been sent.)

• The noise at CHAC: "Who knew that so many of CHAC's events involve loud, live-dj thumpy-thumpy?," Mortenson asked. (Hate to break it to you, Alissa, but that's not exactly a secret. Still.) "Ever asked a master mixer to turn the music down just a tiny bit because there's a quiet little play happening in the non-soundproofed room next door? Then you have seen the scornful face of death."

Other problems with CHAC's upstairs theater (which is run by a dance company called Walrus): its dimensions were smaller than reported, so the set wouldn't fit; it lacked some of the equipment (curtains, etc.) that Mortenson thought it'd have.

Another designer, another midlife crisis.

• The critics haven't been kind. (Joe Adcock, at his most Adcockian: "The play often is labored and never subtle. But it is amusing at times." Now there's a man who loves his copulas.)

• The actor playing Creon (Mortenson describes him as "older, somewhat infirm, and eccentric") said that performing during the recent heat wave nearly killed him. "I don't want to die in that theater," Mortenson said he said. So he quit. The company found found a last-minute replacement, who ...

• ... promptly broke up with his girlfriend.

"They're all more or less disasters averted," Mortenson said gamely. "The show is still going on. But the next thing I want to do is one-woman show."

1 Or maybe Nebulene botched. Anyway, botching happened.

2 Because Velocity lost its theaters when Ted Scroth bought Oddfellows and, in the confusion, neglected to tell Mortenson.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Minneapolis, Meet Nick Garrison

posted by on May 15 at 11:30 AM

Minneapolis loves, loves Nick Garrison and Suzy Hunt in the touring 5th Avenue production of Cabaret.

From the Daily Planet:

The true stars of this production, though, are supporting actors Suzy Hunt and Nick Garrison. Hunt plays Fraulein Schneider, Clifford and Sally’s landlady who shares a doomed romance with a Jewish fruit-shop owner. Hunt provides the emotional epicenter to what truly is a tragic story. Nick Garrison is enchanting as the over-the-top emcee who serves as the audience’s guide to the cabaret and beyond. Garrison opens the show’s second act by talking to audience members and reminding them this is live theater. At one point he noted to a colleague of mine that he could easily dive into her shirt—a moment that was fondly remembered for hours post-show.

Minneapolis is right—those two wiped everyone else off the stage and out of my memory. Especially Nick, with his nimble banter and clarion voice. He was, as Christopher Frizzelle said in his review, born to play the Emcee.


Congratulations to Nick and Suzy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"It's just my man flesh, Jesus."

posted by on May 13 at 3:04 PM

You might think that, what with the tornadoes and cyclones and earthquakes and elections and all, that even Christians would conclude that Jesus has His hands full at the moment. But the Lord can always has time for a Christian with a porn problem, according to Godtube...

The actor playing Jesus looks a little old for the part, I have to say. And is it just me or are Christian Mac users not nearly as a cute as secular Mac users? Still, I'm thinking Brendan might be right: the regional theater tony went to the wrong company.