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...

Overwhelming Disruptors To Make A Joyful Noise at Juilliard

November 3rd, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

New York, NY, November 3, 2016 – Music students at The Juilliard School gave a well-received sunrise performance – “God Loves Jazz” – this morning on West 65th Street, on the eastern side of the entrance to the storied performing arts academy on the Lincoln Center campus. Their instrumentation included brass, wind and string performers. The Juilliard contingent was joined by students from the nearby La Guardia High School for Performing Arts, who added vocals to certain musical selections, Continue reading...

Questioning Fugard About “Master Harold,” 28 Years Later

October 31st, 2016 § 1 comment § permalink

After its US debut at Yale Repertory Theatre in March 1982, and before it opened on Broadway in early May of that year, Athol Fugard’s MASTER HAROLD…and the boys played a one-week engagement at the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia. During that brief run, one critic wrote of the play, in part: Fugard, who also directed the Yale Repertory Theater production, has fashioned a play of compactness and clarity. Running without intermission for a rapid one-and-three-quarter hours, the play manages Continue reading...

I Really Was a Teenage Singing Zombie

October 27th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

Long after I stopped acting in school productions (which was November 1981 at the University of Pennsylvania, to be precise), my mother would periodically say how much she wished that my shows had been preserved on video, so she could see them again. It’s important to understand that my performances were in the pre-home video era, before every parent had a video camera to capture every precious moment, let alone a pocket-sized phone with a digital video camera within it. The idea of YouTube Continue reading...

Before Broadway’s “Falsettos,” Hartford Stage’s Changed Lives

October 21st, 2016 § 5 comments § permalink

When I speak about it with people who saw it, the phrase that comes up most often is, “It was life-changing.” When I speak about it with people who have read about it, but didn’t see it, the question that inevitably arises is, “What was the ‘coup de theatre’?” When I speak about it with people who knew nothing of it, they profess surprise that it existed. I’m speaking of the Hartford Stage production of March of the Falsettos & Falsettoland, the first time the two Continue reading...

In New Musical About Amputee, Faking Disability

October 13th, 2016 § 4 comments § permalink

If you look at photos or video from Marathon of Hope, a new musical that just premiered in Waterloo, Canada, about an hour outside Toronto, something seems off. The musical is based on the life story of Terry Fox, a young Canadian man who in 1980, after losing a leg to cancer, undertook a country-wide run to raise money for and bring attention to cancer research. He did not complete his effort, because his cancer metastasized to his lungs and he died in 1981. His life is the stuff of legend Continue reading...