‘Almost, Maine’ Asserts Itself In Hickory NC, Joining Past Precedents

January 21st, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

There were, in my estimation, many interesting people at the first performance of Almost, Maine in Hickory NC this past Thursday night. To begin with, there was the author, John Cariani, who had come out to support the production, something he can’t do very often given how frequently his show is produced around the country. There was Jack Thomas, who produced the New York City premiere of Almost, Maine a decade ago. There was the doctor who had helped to found OutRight Youth of Catawba Valley, Continue reading...

Of Vagina Monologues And Dialogues, On Stage And On Campus

January 17th, 2015 § 3 comments § permalink

“I hope that The Vagina Monologues is a point of departure – it’s not a panacea, it’s not the only play, it’s not the definitive play. It’s a play, it’s an offering.” Those are the words of Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, spoken in the wake of the controversy that has arisen over the decision by the campus theatre group at Mount Holyoke College to abandon its annual production of The Vagina Monologues in favor of a newly written student work that is, in their judgment, Continue reading...

Down The Rabbit Hole With Meryl Streep, Kate Burton & More

January 4th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

One of the great pleasures of a long holiday period, with one's office is closed for an extended time, is the freedom to go exploring, be it in life or online, guilt-free (or at least relatively so). That’s exactly what happened when I spotted a single tweet from the New York Post’s film critic, Lou Lumenick, who I’ve found to be a terrific and entertaining source of film knowledge and trivia. Lumenick’s timing, of course, is particularly apt, as the tweet led to a complete online video Continue reading...

Of Censorship, Schools, Musicals & Authors’ Rights: My Top Posts of 2014

December 29th, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

Are these my “best” blog posts of 2014? I couldn’t say. All I know is that they’re my most read, from a year in which page views on my site more than doubled over 2013. Certainly 2014 was a year in which my writing found more focus, and whether the most-read posts bear out readers’ interest in that focus, or are simply a byproduct of a somewhat narrower range of subjects, I also don’t know. But if you’ve only discovered me part way through the year, or only read me sporadically, Continue reading...

Timeline: Ari Roth’s Firing From Washington DC’s Theater J

December 21st, 2014 § 4 comments § permalink

I have never attended Theater J in Washington DC. I have become increasingly aware of its work as controversy over that work has risen in recent years, while at the same time I have become aware of the high regard in which the company and its longtime artistic director, Ari Roth, are held by many theatre professionals I admire and call my friends. That Roth was fired this week after nearly two decades is simultaneously shocking and wholly unsurprising, as the theatre seems to have been on a Continue reading...

Falling For “Almost, Maine” in North Carolina in January

December 19th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Many of you already know the story of the Maiden High School production of John Cariani’s Almost, Maine, shuttered by school officials this fall due to the content of a single scene in which two men discover that they love one another. The cancellation rightly got a great deal of attention, not least because Almost, Maine is the most popular new play done in high schools nationally, a widely accepted work that hit a wall in one North Carolina town due to the school administration caving in to Continue reading...

It’s Only A Movie, Until It’s More

December 18th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

the interview poster As the Sony hacking case has played out over the past several weeks, it’s a story that has been relegated mostly to the business pages and, simultaneously, the gossip industry. With no one explicitly claiming responsibility for the breach of the entertainment giant’s computer system, the focus has been more on the corporate ramifications, placing it in business reports, and the stream of buzzworthy stories including the e-mails between Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin and the pontifications of Aaron Continue reading...

Nailing The Broadway Bolter To Her Seat

December 9th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

In a week when flaws in Rolling Stone’s reporting of a culture of rape on the University of Virginia campus created national headlines, the lapses of a single cultural reporter at the Wall Street Journal doesn’t seem to amount to a hill of beans. But it’s a story that is much buzzed about in theatrical circles, and perhaps throughout the field of the arts, with implications much greater than Joanne Kaufman’s self-appointed role as a serial “Broadway bolter,” who has accepted who knows Continue reading...

Paying A Legitimate Toll To Ease On Down The Road

December 3rd, 2014 § 10 comments § permalink

Not to dash anyone’s dreams, but I think it’s fair to say that the majority of the hundreds of thousands of students who participate in high school theatre annually will not go on to professional careers in the arts. The same holds true for the student musicians in orchestras, bands and ensembles. They all benefit from the experience in many ways: from the teamwork, the discipline and the appreciation of the challenge and hard work that goes into such endeavors, to name but a few attributes. But Continue reading...

Reversing Course On “Legally Blonde” Censorship At Newman University

November 25th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

To say that Newman University’s production of the musical Legally Blonde was performed with its book and lyrics intact this past Saturday and Sunday would seem to be a wholly unremarkable event. But because that wasn’t the case at Thursday and Friday’s shows, the fidelity of the latter two performances is rather more intriguing. How did a university production suddenly shift away from censorship halfway through a four performance run? How, to paraphrase a lyric from The Producers, did Legally Continue reading...