Zeros and Ones Don’t Add Up To Live Action

February 27th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

For those who work in the theatre, the idea of defending the term “live action” would seem an unnecessary task. But as movie marketers, abetted uncritically by the entertainment press, seem determined to diminish the concept, it appears that a brief primer is warranted. Live-action has, for many years, been a term reserved for that which actually occurs in real life, that is to say the activities of humans (and other animals). Whether performed on stage or captured on a camera, real Continue reading...

Supposition Is No Support As NEA Is Threatened

February 20th, 2017 § Comments Off on Supposition Is No Support As NEA Is Threatened § permalink

Let’s start with the positive, though I’m afraid that won’t last long. In her New York Times article, “Might Ivanka Trump Speak Up If Her Father Guts The Arts?,” Robin Pogrebin makes a series of suppositions rooted in an aspect of arts education that is rarely discussed. That element is the reality that the vast majority of students – elementary, secondary, university – who study or participate in the arts won’t probably go on to careers in the arts. However, their exposure Continue reading...

Long Before “Ragtime,” Musical Lessons From Lynn Ahrens

February 6th, 2017 § Comments Off on Long Before “Ragtime,” Musical Lessons From Lynn Ahrens § permalink

Two weeks ago, the musical Ragtime came under fire at a high school in Cherry Hill, New Jersey for its deployment of racial slurs in telling a anti-racism story that is intended to evoke the evolving nature of what it means to be American, blending the stories of white, black, and Jewish characters according to the template set by E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling novel from 1975. Following efforts to censor its language, which would have resulted in the rights to the show being withdrawn due to unauthorized Continue reading...

Times Square Weirdness: 2016 In Review

December 26th, 2016 § Comments Off on Times Square Weirdness: 2016 In Review § 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 § Comments Off on Of Pleas, Pants, Race, Rights and Lin-Manuel: My Top Blog Posts of 2016 § 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...