At Adam Szymkowicz's blog, Adam Szymkowicz refers to Mike Daisey's recent post about the ethics of universities driving their MFA students into the kind of indebtedness that 18th century slave owners who indulged in the practice of indentured servitude (today, artistic and managing directors call it "internships"), would have readily understood. Szymkowicz's, though, isn't even sure about "encouraging new playwrights." Much commentary ensued.
At Artsy Schmartsy, Jonathan West initially previews the announcement that Madison Repertory is going the way of the passenger pigeon, the dodo, and the moderate Republican, then uploads a post that says, more or less, Holy crap, they're still going to close their doors, but they need $50,000 and to get some balls and make some really tough decisions or else, Holy crap, they really are going to go under. Henny Penny stops fretting about the sky as a result -- there's far more terrifying issues down here on the ground.
At Blank New World, the anything-but-blank new blogger, Diane Snyder, engages in some well-earned self-promotion tied to her profile of Gina Gionfriddo. (I spoke to Gina at Humana, and she's fab. Truly down to earth.)
At Butts in the Seats, Mr. Butts illustrates fascinatingly why "tough times bring not so strange bedfellows."
At The Critical Condition, Mark Blankenship coos over the hat Aretha Franklin wore to the Inauguration and goes on to reveal that Regina Taylor has invited him to perform in a revival of her play Crowns, about the hat African-American women wear to church, and to please play all the roles as times really are tough. To which Mark replied, "Mm-hm, girl," and Whoopi Goldberg got all messed up in the head.
At Dilettante, Mike Daisey uploads perhaps the funniest image I saw all week:
Mike also references a Gawker post about stunt casting on Broadway that is, to be blunt, a poor excuse for the writer of that post to call attention to his own ignorance and silliness and penchant for unclever whining. People, this is the theatre. It has always been, and always will be, utterly predicated on stars, at least at the commercial level. The truth is that if the dude who wrote that Gawker post had any history in his pocket, he would know that when Hollywood stars shun the stage -- as they have been wont to do in the past and shall, no doubt, be wont to do once more at some point -- everybody in the theatre will run up and down the avenues fretting about theatre not being hip and crying "How will we fill our seats" and asking "Why is the theatre so stuffy?" and on and on. The truth is that we should be encouraging film actors to do the theater thing and critics, moreover, should stop being adenoidal idiots about it when reviewing them. I don't mean giving film stars free passes, just to be clear. What I mean that it is in the interest of the theatre to have them visit, to critique them in a way that is constructive and encourages them to return. Diddy Combs did the theatre more favors when he did A Raisin in the Sun, his, um, questionable chops aside, than anyone I can think of in the last 10 years.
At The Hub Review, Thomas Garvey discusses Merrimack Rep's production of A View From the Harbor by Richard Dresser and asks, "Why is Boston Globe theatre critic Louise Kennedy a hater?" Then again, it was a bad week for any number of Kennedys.
At Interchanging Idioms, Chip Michael explains why 'Air and Simple Gifts,' supposedly performed live at the inauguration by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriella Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill, was prerecorded: "The quartet recorded the piece and then made a decision, due to weather, to have the prerecording piece broadcast because it would be impossible for their instruments to be in tune. What benefit would have been served by having the performance something less than amazing? It's still a lovely piece of music, the musicians are tops in their field, and they did play what we heard - just what we heard wasn't quite the same as what they actually sounded like on the day." What Chip does not report is that the following day, the musicians reassembled on the platform and played the piece again, just to be sure there was no legal question about it.
At Lou Harry's A&E, Lou Harry reports on another theatre going under. But no one was in the forest, so no one heard it.
At Moxie the Maven, Moxie the Maven learns that actors are people, too. Except when they rip out people's hearts and eat them as a midmorning snack (credit for this idea goes to Seth McFarlane and the Family Guy team).
At Off-Off-Blogway, Ludlowlad still hasn't put me on his blogroll, but he does refer readers to the New York Times story about the Ohio Theatre getting a six-month reprieve.
At Parabasis, a certain unnamed blogger reposts a long memo on how the support the arts through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
At Scrappy Jack's World-Wide Theatricals and Dime Museum, John Clancy celebrates the six-month-minimum reprieve won by the Ohio Theatre and offers a long, highly personal narrative that dovetails beautifully with the news.
At Visible Soul, Zack Calhoun wonders what would happen if theatre artists could respond to critics in print. Here's my response:
A: Editors, critics and publishers would never have the guts.
B: Theatre artists would never have the guts.
C: It would help the theatre immeasurably.
D: All else is cowardice.