Times Square Weirdness: 2016 In Review

December 26th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Given that it was merely a stray amusement that became a popular offshoot of my photography hobby, "Times Square Weirdness" went worldwide this year with my discovery of Mike Hot-Pence (aka Glen Pannell), who used his resemblance to the Vice-President-elect to raise funds for progressive causes. Profiles everywhere from the Washington Post to People magazine to BuzzFeed all got their start on this site, and while the inspired idea was 100% Glen's, it was my photos and blog post that caught the Continue reading...

Of Pleas, Pants, Race, Rights and Lin-Manuel: My Top Blog Posts of 2016

December 23rd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

In some ways, it might make more sense if I wrote this post about some of my least-read pieces of 2016, because I value almost everything I write equally and never quite know why some get widely read and others just seem to be of only marginal interest to others. I of course prefer to blame social media and its vagaries, but in some cases it might be the photos I chose, the headline I drafted or the relative idiosyncrasy of the subject. Because this year was the first during which I was writing Continue reading...

Considering An Unsweetened “Charity” Review  

December 7th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

Last week was not the first time I’ve been puzzled by Hilton Als’s writing on theatre. I didn’t understand the rather cruel rationale by which he described the late playwright Wendy Wasserstein as follows, in a capsule review of Julie Salomon’s biography of Wasserstein: Wendy Wasserstein was the kind of woman many women didn’t feel comfortable befriending, especially since she was what they feared being themselves: overweight, single, and a fag hag. I was stumped when Als, wrote Continue reading...

The Incredibly True Origins of Mike Hot-Pence, Times Square Icon

December 4th, 2016 § 6 comments § permalink

For those unfamiliar with “Times Square Weirdness,” my series of photos of the odder denizens of Times Square, shared frequently on my Facebook page, you may be surprised to learn of my familiarity with the Elmos and Spider-Men that people The Crossroads of the World. One by-product of this frivolous pastime is that whenever a new “character” appears, I note it almost immediately and, whenever possible, record it for posterity. Today I was surprised to encounter a nattily attired, Continue reading...

The 24 Hour Plays On Broadway: From Warren Leight, Christopher Oscar Peña and Jonathan Marc Sherman

November 14th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

Having spent 13 of the past 21 hours embedded at the American Airlines Theatre with The 24 Hour Plays, I'm reaching my natural state of exhaustion, without the participatory exhilaration of pending performance to boost my energy. But here are images from the latter group of plays on tonight's bill, once again with the caution that these may not be the costumes, props or lighting that will end up on stage in just two hours time. For a post about the meet and greet, click here. For a post with Continue reading...

The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway: From Hansol Jung, David Lindsay-Abaire & Bess Wohl

November 14th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

The best laid plans: any effort to write meaningfully about being embedded with The 24 Hour Plays will have to wait. All I can manage to do is process some of the many photos I've taken – and share them with you even in advance of the performance. Mind you, these are rehearsal photos, with actors wearing their own clothes, some temporary costumes and some outfits that will appear on stage this evening at 8. The lighting was in constant flux as spacing rehearsals took place regardless of whether Continue reading...

The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway: Meet and Greet

November 14th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

  Having long been intrigued by the 24 hour play concept, it was a stroke of fortune that when I affiliated with The New School a year ago, I was provided with office space that is shared with the official 24 Hour Plays. While we occupy the same small spot, we’re not affiliated. That said, it’s impossible for us to not know what the other is up to much of the time. In proximity, I saw possibility. Beginning at 9 pm on November 13 and continuing until roughly the same time on the Continue reading...

At An NYC Bat Mitzvah, “Hamilton” Becomes A Hymn

November 11th, 2016 § 3 comments § permalink

How to describe how I’ve felt this week? In approximate order: anxious, worried, heartsick, afraid, resolved, exhausted, embraced. But it wasn’t until this morning that I felt something that made me break into a wide grin, while sitting alone in an office watching YouTube. It is well known by now that I am a Hamilton partisan, and exist unofficially at the fringes of show’s orbit due to my near-obsessive recordings of the outdoor #Ham4Ham shows. As a result, people constantly share articles Continue reading...

A Post-Election Plea, To The Theatre And Its Artists

November 9th, 2016 § 15 comments § permalink

I wish that I could write a play, but I haven’t the talent. I wish that I could compose a musical score, but I haven’t the gift. I wish that I could dance, but I have neither the freedom in my body nor the discipline to train. I can sing, a bit, but only well enough to entertain myself on long car rides. So because of my deep admiration for the people who can do these things, because of how they uplift me, move me, teach me, I go to the theatre. On this post-election morning of November Continue reading...

Jeanine Tesori: “Press Against The Thing That Divides Us”

November 7th, 2016 § Comments Off on Jeanine Tesori: “Press Against The Thing That Divides Us” § permalink

On November 4, composer Jeanine Tesori was the keynote speaker at the fourth annual "Stage The Change: Theatre as a Social Voice" event, co-sponsored by the Tilles Center at Long Island University and the Happauge Public Schools. Below are some selections from Tesori’s talk and demonstration, inevitably with the musical sections removed, and with sections condensed and edited for clarity. This represents only a portion her presentation to well over 500 area high school students. What was most Continue reading...