Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Podcast: Tim Errickson

A new episode of The Leonard Jacobs Show can be downloaded for your podcastable delectation. Tim and I chatted about lots of stuff -- Boomerang Theatre Company, the Dish, even the much-missed Zach Mannheimer, crazy guy that he is/was.

Here's the link to the episode guide.

And again: Download and/or listen to the podcast here.

Sphere: Related Content

The Crazy Things That Get 2.5 Million Hits

Or so I'm told:

Sphere: Related Content

Theatre de la Jeune Lune to Close

I know this news came out a few days ago, but I just noticed some interesting information on this on the listserve. I'm posting it here because I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Theatre de la Jeune Lune to shut down and sell its building
Thank you for thirty great years!

A Statement from the former five Artistic Directors

We would like to thank so many people individually and will do so, but for now we are thanking the community. We could never have accomplished so much without you and we thank you for your support and friendship for so many years.

Barbra Berlovitz
Steve Epp
Vincent Gracieux
Robert Rosen
Dominique Serrand

A Statement from the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Twin Cites-based Theatre de la Jeune Lune voted this week to list the theatre's headquarters for sale and to shut down the arts group as currently organized. Included in the decision is a planned significant reduction in artistic and administrative staff, effective July 31, 2008.

We have reached these decisions with great regret; however, our fiduciary responsibilities to our artists, our staff, our donors and our creditors dictate this action. We are listing the building for sale in order to fully satisfy our creditors. The Board is committed to an orderly shutdown, including satisfying all existing rental obligations through September 30, 2008.

It is the intent of the board to explore strategies to enable the creation of art in the future. A commercial broker for the sale has not been selected. The Board of Directors will establish a committee to manage the sale at its regular board meeting of June 25, 2008.

Bruce Neary
Board President

A Statement from the Artistic Director

In 1978 Barbra Berlovitz, Vincent Gracieux, and Dominique Serrand began an adventure called Theatre de la Jeune Lune. They were soon joined by Robert Rosen and eventually Steve Epp and innumerable other collaborators. Over the past 30 years we have created nearly 100 productions, performed for hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the United States and in France, but primarily and most importantly in Minneapolis. For the first 14 years we were itinerant, making the most of any venue we found ourselves in. Then in 1992, with an amazing groundswell of support, we purchased and renovated the Allied Van Lines building in the Minneapolis warehouse district. We excavated the interior of this historic building to create a stunningly innovative and award winning performance space, opening our new artistic home to
the public on November 18th of that year.

Sixteen years later we are faced with an excruciating decision. With the organization burdened by mounting and unmanageable debt, the Board of Directors has voted to put Jeune Lune's home up for sale. After much soul searching and extensive fundraising and debt management efforts, we have determined it to be the only prudent and fiscally responsible choice. What has been acclaimed, as one of the most striking and unique theatre spaces in the country will go dark. It is a huge loss, a loss for us, for all of the artists who work with us, for our audience and for the community at large, both locally and nationally.

And with the building, we have decided that the time has come to bid adieu to the theatre ensemble we have all known as Jeune Lune.

We have always believed that the making of theatre is an important andessential act. We have always believed in the power of theatre to provoke, inspire, and excite. We have always created our work for and because of our audience. Over the years we have cultivated a loyal audience locally, regionally and nationally. We have garnered numerous awards and accolades, and of course at times we have elicited criticism and consternation. We have benefited enormously from the support of foundations, corporations, state and national organizations, all those who have served as board members, staff and volunteers, the incredible generosity of thousands of individuals, and especially all of the artists. Without all of you we would never have survived this long or created as much. We can never thank you enough.
It has been an amazing thirty years. Few theatre companies last as long. We never sought nor desired to be an institution. Our home was always intended to be a playground in which we could gather with other adventurous souls and create the unimaginable. A place in which to grow, change and evolve. The theatrical experience is an event truly of the moment -- immediate, fleeting and ephemeral. Yet in the space of that moment something takes place that is transformative to the human spirit and remains indelible in our memory -- the stuff that dreams are made of, the stuff we carry with us forever. We hope you will treasure well the memory of Jeune Lune.

But, as this story ends, a new one begins. We live to create. To do what we know best, what the artist's responsibility in society has always been -- to invent, to dream, to imagine.

Starting today, we begin imagining a new way of working. What should a theatre-generating organization of the 21st Century look like? How can artists create truly groundbreaking art in a fast changing world? Times have changed and so have we. Building upon our artistic legacy, and
facing a different future, we are exploring ways to reinvent an agile, nomadic, entrepreneurial theatre with a new name. One that can embrace the concentric circles of artists we have worked with over the years. Together we will create essential and innovative theatre for today's changing audience. It's an exciting new journey and we hope you'll join us with your support, with your presence, with your belief. Fear not: the art is alive and coming soon to a theatre near you. Keep in touch.

Dominique Serrand
Artistic Director

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Arts Advocacy Update XLVII

The content below is from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv, email blast of June 18, 2008:

First off, here are two very important reports that everyone should take a look at:

New Artists In The Workforce study looks at 21st century labor trends among working artists National Endowment for the Arts

Creative Industries 2008: The 50 City ReportPresents detailed analysis of arts-related businesses, institutions, and organizations in the country’s 50 most-populated cities.

And now to the update:

White-Spaces Debate Hits Broadway
Broadcasting & Cable, 6/18/2008
"The lights of the 'Great White Way' could be extinguished by mobile wireless devices in the 'white spaces' between digital-TV channels, at least according to the people who pay the light bills. Broadway-theater owners squared off with the technology industry Wednesday over the issue of using those white spaces (opponents of the devices call them 'interference zones') between DTV channels for unlicensed mobile devices like laptops and spectrum-sensing radios." Theater microphones also make use of the white spaces, the article explains.
There could, of course, be a joke here: "I thought by 'white spaces' they meant the cast of Grease, hardy har har. (See, Broadway is very white, see?) Anyway, this is actually a pretty good story and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out. I would wager that Broadway producers will have to shell out money somehow -- and we all know what that means, right?

A 21st-Century Profile: Art for Art’s Sake, and for the U.S. Economy, Too
New York Times, 6/12/2008
"Drawing from the census, the [NEA] has compiled what it bills as the first nationwide profile of professional artists in the 21st century. In 2005 nearly two million Americans said their primary employment was in jobs that the census defines as artists’ occupations — including architects, interior designers and window dressers. . . . Over all, artists [at $34,800] make more than the national median income ($30,100). They are more highly educated but earn less than other professionals with the same level of schooling. They are likelier to be self-employed (about one in three and growing) and less likely to work full-time, year-round."
God, if artists are over the median, who's under? Wal-Mart workers? (Please don't snicker. I suspect that's very much the point here.)

Are Connecticut's Film Production Tax Breaks Paying Off?
Hartford Courant (CT), 6/11/2008
"A state study of 13 film productions that qualified for Connecticut's generous tax credits estimates that 78 percent of the money spent on filming stayed in the state and that nearly 400 jobs were created. But the economist who led the study said it's too early to know if those tax credits for the movie and television business is paying off."
Does the phrase "economic impact" mean anything anymore? Isn't this meant to be the whole point of such breaks? More information, please.

County Administrator Bob Weisman to submit budget that will slash funding for small, emerging arts groups
Palm Beach Daily News (FL), 6/17/2008
In Palm Beach, FL, "County Administrator Bob Weisman to submit budget that will slash funding for small, emerging arts groups. The Palm Beach County Cultural Council approved $400,000 in grants to the groups earlier this year. Weisman's budget reduces the grants, which are paid for by general revenues, to $150,000."
The problem here is that the other thing that's small and emerging is Weisman's head.

Cuyahoga County cigarette tax funds allotted to 54 programs
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/11/2008
After awarding $15 million in 3-year operating grants last fall, funds from the Cuyahoga County, OH, cigarette tax will now provide in $980,000 in grants for special projects that "contribute to the cultural advancement of the county."
You know, I'm all for dedicated revenue sources, but something about this one program bothers me -- it's like, "support the arts -- light up!" Not the kind of beahvior we ought to be encouraging, and not the kind of thing we ought to be tying the arts to. Pardon me now while I hack my lungs up. (Look, Mabel, we're supporting the arts!)

Durham restores funding to arts groups
Independent Weekly (Durham, NC), 6/11/2008
"Arts supporters won major victories Monday night when the Durham City Council restored funding that had been cut in its preliminary 2008-09 budget." Among the victories is "$100,000 for the city's Cultural Master Plan, charged with guiding the development of arts and culture in the city and county through 2020. . . . Nonetheless, several venerable arts and culture organizations that the city has long funded—the Durham Symphony, the Mallarmé Chamber Players and the American Dance Festival, for example—will still suffer cuts. Most organizations will see a 30 percent drop in funding in the upcoming fiscal year, and city officials promise similar cuts through 2010."
There's a company named for Stephane Mallarmé? Wow, there is.

NEA Receives Funding Increase in House Subcommittee
Americans for the Arts website, 6/16/2008
"The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which sets the initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), approved a $15.3 million increase for the NEA in its FY 2009 spending bill. If this funding level is maintained in the Senate and signed into law by President Bush, it would bring the agency's budget to $160 million from it's current funding level of $144.7 million."
Amazing how when things get truly crappy in this country is the moment we start really upping the NEA appropriation. Sigh.

NJ budget includes added money for arts, health
Star-Ledger (NJ), 6/17/2008
"State lawmakers tonight finally released the details of a pending $32.9 billion budget deal worked out yesterday between the governor and legislative leaders. The revised budget scrounges up some extra money for the arts, health care, small business owners and other groups while still trimming the governor's original spending plan by $100 million."

Sphere: Related Content

Welcome to the Brick Theater blog!

Just heard about it -- thanks for the heads up and for putting me on their blogroll.

And now -- everyone -- go to the blog of the Brick!

Sphere: Related Content

Historic Photos of Broadway on YouTube!

I didn't even know they were putting this together.

Sphere: Related Content

New Interview: Ed Park, Personal Days

This is for And, by the way, Ed was a great interview -- he said lots and lots of nifty things and I could have fill a newshole twice the size of what I got with everything he said. The best part is as a novel, Personal Days is actually a great deal of fun as well as mind-probing and intellectually (as well as emotionally) rigorous. It also has a very amusing cover.

Here's a tease:

So you’re on a bus or the subway right now, heading toward your tiny cubicle in an office where the future is anything but certain. Take heart: you’re just like many of the characters depicted in Ed Park’s new comic—and sardonic—novel "Personal Days." Formerly editor of the literary supplement at the Village Voice, "Personal Days" is largely inspired by Park’s experiences at the alt-weekly, which was purchased by a national chain a few years back and thoroughly reorganized, resulting in Park and many other writers and editors being laid off.

The reviews of "Personal Days" emphasize its humor, but it’s also very dark.

I’d agree with that. I did want it to be a comic novel in a sense. But that’s really limited to the first part; in the second and third, things start getting quite dark. And while I like that kind of writing—P.G. Wodehouse is one of my favorite writers—purely funny books are hard to do, and this is a pretty serious book in many ways as well. The question is whether one can write a purely comic novel about something as dehumanizing as mass corporate layoffs. There’s a lingering unease and something slightly gossipy and sour about it.

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The High School Tony Awards

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Sphere: Related Content

My book is being discussed at!

Well, this is a first -- my book, Historic Photos of Broadway: New York Theatre 1850-1970 is currently being discussed at Here's the thread.

I do want to say a few things in response to some of the postings. The principal reason for the book is to showcase the holdings of the Billy Rose Theatre Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Out of the collection's 8,000,000 items (most of which are photographs, but not all), we selected 240 images. One of my tasks in the very, very beginning was to figure out not only which photographs to select but why to select them -- it seemed to me that telling the story of Broadway, more or less, was an obvious, logical choice. The book starts roughly at 1850 because that's roughly when the first photograph -- of Junius Brutus Booth and his son, little Edwin -- was taken. And it ends in 1970 because that's when the greatest part of the Billy Rose collection more or less ends. We may very well do a Volume II, perhaps, if the sales of this book are good, but I'm totally speculating about that. If so, it would certainly go beyond 1970.

As for when the book comes out, my understanding is any day now.

And once again, here's a link to the book.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Hypersensitivity of Truth

So yesterday I decided to post some thoughts on the Provincetown Playhouse efforts and, as I predicted, some of the things I said garnered me some private email noise. I won't post the contents of the email, of course, but I'm amazed at the way publishing one's feelings, one's observations, one's truths, makes some people hypersensitive to the point of hysteria. I just sat down and re-read what I wrote, and I fail to notice an inch of invective. The character of one of the subjects of my post was not assassinated; indeed, I went out of my way to talk about how much I respect him. But no, I got an unpleasant email anyway, more or less attacking me for not expressing my views privately first. It's all about control and power and positioning and fretting over how we appear to others -- the hypersensivity of truth. And all this time I thought it was supposed to set you free.

Sphere: Related Content

Provincetown Playhouse to Stay Up, All Else Will Come Down; NYU's Alicia Hurley Proposes Stirring Cauldron in Celebration

As many of you have no doubt read elsewhere, the end of the Provincetown Playhouse story is essentially that NYU pledges to leave the four walls of the theatre alone while demolishing everything else around it. And now the community board, composed largely of people exhausted from having to constantly battle NYU -- and who, some have said, have been bribed or strong-armed or otherwise persuaded to drop their opposition to NYU devourment of Greenwich Village-- has unfortunately endorsed the idea.

I could not be at the community board meeting at which this was discussed and voted upon due to the need for me to be at the American Theatre Critics Association conference in DC. However, I did receive a long update from Andrew Berman of the Greeenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which I am pasting in below for everyone's edification. (Update: Andrew has just emailed me and asked me not to post the contents of his email blast, so I have removed it.)

Knowing that Andrew reads this blog from time to time, I take something of a calculated risk in publishing what I am about to write, but I would also be remiss if I did not say it: I feel there were ways in which Andrew's approach to the matter might have been more effective. Andrew has made no secret of his desire to run for office soon, and obviously he must work with the many and varied members of the community on other projects, so his risk factor rises in proportion to the monumentality of his tactics. That said, it should be perfectly obvious to anyone with a brain and a pulse that the cause of preservation in the Village -- at least where NYU is concerned -- requires a frothing pitbull to get anything done. Really, what I've learned here is the community board doesn't have the cojones to fight beyond a certain point, and NYU's Alicia Hurley, otherwise known as the university's designated pitbull, knows it and operates under the assumption that she can wear people down and wear people out and simply outlast them and their opposition.

In the case of the Provincetown Playhouse, I was perfectly happy to be the pitbull in question. However, I don't live in the neighborhood and as I am far from an architectural historian, I could not advocate for much beyond the perpetuation of the theatre -- it was hard for me to make the case for preserving the surrounding buildings without enough of a background to do so. It seems to me, in addition, that Andrew could quite easily have been said pitbull for his position (to save the surrounding buildings as well as the theatre) if he wished to, but that he did not want to go beyond a certain point to do so -- the point at which his political ambitions would have been put into jeopardy.

It's Andrew's right, of course. But I believe the moment that personal and political ambition supercedes civic duty is the moment when one begins retreating from one's cause.

To be clear, I remain very fond and respectful of Andrew, and I'd run to his side in a New York minute if he needed me in the future. If I didn't feel sure he finds me too much of a pitbull -- I got that vibe -- I'd even skip writing this entirely and imagine how I might go about working with him or for him, perhaps, in the future. In fact, one of the things I learned about the Provincetown Playhouse episode is how much of a charge I get out of fighting for what I believe in politically -- and that we, as a civic society, lack enough people with cojones to really rabble-rouse. But I would probably never be considered for such an opportunity and so I wrote this.

And anyway, as a result of all this, the Playhouse will live -- but be underused and misused and fundamentally mismanaged, although I might add that one of the more amusing moments of the community board pre-meeting I attended was when one of the members of the faculty of the Educational Theatre department at NYU's Steinhardt School stood up in the middle of the aisle and started screaming at me about how their stewardship of the Provincetown Playhouse has been absolutely unassailable and impeccible. The gentleman doth protest too much. (It's pretty much common knowledge that the Playhouse, which is owned by the NYU Law School, is leased to the Ed. Theatre people and that the Ed. Theatre people, many of whom I studed with years and years ago at NYU, have been willing to make the venue available to the Tisch School of the Arts people, but at an outrageous premium -- that's why Tisch actors can't perform at this world-famous venue.)

And -- oh yeah -- Alicia Hurley will now be able to forge on with her madness, her lies and her cheating, her contempt and raging, blithering hatred for the community in which she works and lives.

(And just to be clear about that, I'm not done battling Hurley yet. She may think she's won the battle, but the forces of the good and just will win the war. We'll do it legally and memorably. So don't relax, Alicia. You'll be dealt with in due time. Due time.)

Sorry if this post was not as grammatically pure as some -- I'm writing quickly and will likely come back to this post and clean it up here and there.

Sphere: Related Content

The League of Indepedent Theater is Official

Kudos to everyone who made this a reality, but especially John Clancy and Paul Bargetto and John Pinckard -- and double kudos to them for including moi in the process.

If you want to see the document that makes the League of Independent Theater official, click on this:

More information forthcoming on what the organization will be doing.

Sphere: Related Content

George Carlin, 1937-2008

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, June 22, 2008

ATCA Conference Ends

What a week! Much to tell everyone. But I'd like to give a special shout-out to my new friend and colleague Lou Harry -- for his shout-out on his blog.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Craig Lucas' Commencement Speech

I just came across, on the Huffington Post, Craig Lucas' commencement address to the graduates of the Boston University College of Fine Arts.

Here's a snippet:

School is incredibly hard. Change is hard. Being constantly told what you don't know is horrible. Exploring the unknown, stuffing the brain with new information while emptying it of what is now revealed to be erroneous is all completely horrible. Falling on your face. It makes us feel stupid and encourages more confident students to leap up and show off. One wishes bad things to rain down on them. You know, the ones who got cast in everything, got all the solos, the praise, whose poems are already appearing in the goddamn New Yorker and who handled it all with such grace, one wishes for them to fall down and chip their teeth.

Perhaps it's because: how in the hell are we to face a life in the arts? Did they teach us that? I don't remember that happening, but I cut a lot of classes and I am a very slow learner and late bloomer. Really. So when your parents start asking what the hell is going on, what are you working on?, remind them that Van Gogh didn't paint until he was 27; don't mention Schiele whose huge body of unforgettable work was cut short by his death at 18. Don't mention him. Or Jesus.

What I vaguely remember about my graduation is having to sit and listen to some ancient man, older than carbon, standing before us in red gown droning on and on about the meaning of a life in the arts in America.

Now I'm back and this time I'm up here and, worse still, I know what you're thinking.

You want to drink and get laid, and I want that for you, I really do. (Or was that high school?)It bears noting that some years after graduating, I started to read about the Group Theatre, the seminal theater company which saw its own function in society as being something more than the attainment of success, fame and wealth. Elia Kazan, Lee Strasburg, Clifford Odets and Harold Clurman, the director of Member of the Wedding and author of the finest book on directing we have, and our greatest drama critic.

That was the ancient man who spoke to us.

Never mind. Here's the good news:

"Real" life is no more unfair, cliqueish, competitive, back-biting, frustrating and claustrophobic than college. In my experience. The trouble with experience, of course, is you have to have it yourself, you never take it on faith.

So since I can't spare you the pain and humiliation soon to be brought about by your absolute unwillingness to trust me, I can tell you that through all the pain and suffering will also to be the consolations of sex, art and pursuit of justice. An added perk to these three -- if you fully commit yourself to sex, art and justice - the Republicans will be out on their ass.

Sphere: Related Content

This Week: American Theatre Critics Association Annual Conference

I'm in DC this week for the ATCA (American Theatre Critics Association) annual conference. Last night was Antony and Cleopatra at the Shakespeare Theater. Will be a mixed review, but boy can those folks put on a show -- and a dinner, too, with Michael Kahn and glittering array of folks beforehand.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, June 15, 2008

She is the Greatest Star of the Musical Theatre on the Planet

Her name is Patti LuPone and she is now a two-time Tony winner.
Love you, Patti.

Yes, I cried. I've waited to see her win another Tony for as long as I can remember.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, 1950-2008

I was in a meeting when I found out. I'm so saddened. RIP. You were my Sunday mornings and you always will be.

The top video was his first episode hosting Meet the Press.

Sphere: Related Content

Too Many Tags?

Thinking about doing some house cleaning with the blog. Attached is a list of my nearly 400 tags. What do you think I should eliminate?

The hyperlinks do not work, by the way. Don't worry about those.

2008 Election (8)
365 Plays/365 Days (1)
50 Thoughts on Theatrical Criticism (5)
93rd Street Beautification Association (1)
A Bronx Tale (1)
A Chorus Line (1)
A Question of Impeachment (1)
Aaron Riccio (3)
Aaron Sorkin (1)
Abingdon Theatre Company (1)
ACLU (1)
acting (1)
Adam Feldman (2)
Adam Szymkowicz (1)
Al Hirschfeld (1)
Alexis Soloski (3)
Alicia Hurley (4)
Alison Croggon (1)
All That Chat (1)
Alliance for the Arts (1)
Allison Janney (1)
American Idol (1)
American Repertory Theater (1)
American Theatre (1)
American Theatre Wing (1)
Americans for the Arts (48)
Andre Bishop (1)
Andrew Berman (2)
Andrew Lloyd Webber (1)
Anita Morris (1)
Anne Pitoniak (1)
Annie Sprinkle (1)
Architecture (2)
Arielle Tepper Madover (1)
Arts Action Fund (1)
Arts Advocacy Day (1)
Arts Advocacy Update (44)
Arts Funding (47)
Arts Policy (46)
artsy schmartsy (2)
Audience Rewards (1)
Augustin Daly (1)
Awards (1)
Back Stage (8)
BAM (1)
Barack Obama (3)
BBC (1)
Beijing Olympics (1)
Ben Brantley (2)
Benefit Alert (2)
benefit watch (1)
Birthday (1)
Blackbird (1)
Blind Item (2)
blog (2)
blogging (3)
Bloomberg (1)
Boston Globe (1)
Brian Cox (1)
Brick Theatre (2)
Broadway (17)
Broadway League (1) (1)
Bronson Howard (1)
Browsing (4)
Busker Alley (1)
Camryn Manheim (1)
Cats (1)
censorship (1)
Charles Isherwood (3)
Charles McNulty (1)
Charles Strouse (1)
Charlotte St. Martin (4)
Chelsea Clinton (1)
Cherry Lane Theatre (1)
Chicago theatre (1)
Chicago Tribune (1)
Chicago trip (2)
Chris Jones (1)
Christine Ebersole (2)
Christopher Carter Sanderson (1)
Claire Danes (1)
Cloris Leachman (1)
Clyde Fitch (4)
CollisionWorks (1)
commercial producing (1)
Critics (11)
Cubby Bernstein (2)
Cultural Policy Listserv (2)
Culture Project (1) (1)
Dana Gioia (1)
David McIntyre (1)
Decision 2008 (7)
Denis O'Hare (1)
Dion Boucicault (1)
Don Wilmeth (1)
Donna Murphy (3)
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (1)
Drama Desk (5)
Drama Desk Scandal (1)
DramaBiz (1) (1)
Dubai (1)
Earth Day (1)
Ed Koch (1)
Edward Albee (2)
Edward D. Miller (1)
Elaine Stritch (1)
Eliot Spitzer (2)
enhancement money (1)
Equity (1)
Eric Bentley (1)
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center (1)
Evans Donnell (1)
Events and Announcements (8)
Gail Cohen (3)
Gary L. Cole (1)
George Hunka (11)
George W. Bush (2) (1)
Ginia Bellafante (1)
Goodman Theatre (2)
Gorilla Rep (1)
Grease (1)
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (2)
Grover Dale (1)
Gyda Arber (1)
Gypsy (3)
Hairspray (1)
Hamlet (1)
Hate (1)
Here's a Great Idea for a Play (1)
Hillary Clinton (3)
Hilton Als (1)
Historic Photos of Broadway (1)
Historic Preservation (1)
Hollywood (1)
homophobia (1)
house-hunting (2)
How Theater Failed America (1)
Howard Blau (1)
Hub Review (1)
Humana Festival (4)
Hunting and Gathering (1)
Idol: The Musical (1)
in Verse (1)
Inexplicable Dumb Show (1)
Internships (1)
Iron Chef (1)
Isaac Butler (11)
Jack Mackenroth (1)
James A. Herne (1)
James Badge Dale (1)
James Comtois (1)
James M. Herne (1)
James Marino (1)
James Nederlander (1)
Jan Buttram (1)
Jason Grote (2)
Jay Rasknolikov (2)
Jed Sexton (1)
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins (1)
Jen Ryan (6)
Jeremy Gerard (1)
Joan Didion (1)
Joe Bruno (1)
Joel Derfner (1)
John Beckman (1)
John Clancy (5)
John Heilpern (1)
John Lahr (1)
John Sexton (8)
Jon Robin Baitz (4)
Jon Stancato (5)
Jonathan West (4)
Judith Hawking (1)
Karen Brooks Hopkins (1)
Kathleen Marshall (1)
Ken Davenport (1)
Kiran Rikhye (1)
Kitty Carlisle Hart (2)
LA Theatre (1)
LCT3 (1)
League of American Theatres and Producers (5)
League of Independent Theater (3)
Legally Blonde (2)
Liam Kyle Sullivan (1)
liberalism (1)
Liberty Theatre (1)
Lil Bush (1)
Local One (3)
Louise Kennedy (1)
Louisville (1)
LoveMusik (1)
Ludlow Lad (1)
Mac Rogers (1)
Manhattan Theatre Club (1)
Margaret Fleming (1)
Mario Fratti (1)
Mark Blankenship (1)
Mark Cabus (1)
Mark Ravenhill (1)
Marsha Norman (1)
Martin Denton (9)
Marx Brothers (7)
Match Game (1)
Matt Freeman (1)
Matt Wolf (1)
Matthew Murray (1)
Media (4)
Mel Brooks (1)
Menier Chocolate Factory (1)
Metadrama (1)
Metropolitan Playhouse (2)
Michael Bennett (1)
Michael Billington (1)
Michael Criscuolo (1)
Michael Feingold (1)
Mike Daisey (11)
Mint Theater Company (1)
Mirror Up to Nature (1)
mitt romney (1)
Mom and Dad (1)
money (1)
Moxie the Maven (1)
Mud/Bone (1)
Museum of the City of New York (1)
musical theatre (1)
National Endowment for the Arts (4)
Necrology (1)
New Articles (6)
new models (6)
New Podcast (3)
New Profile (5)
New Reviews (64)
New York City Arts Coalition (1)
New York City Council (1)
New York Innovative Theatre Awards (2)
New York International Fringe Festival (3)
New York Magazine (1)
New York Observer (1)
New York Press (15)
New York theatre (1)
New York Theatre Workshop (1)
Norman Lebrecht (1)
Nosedive (2) (3)
NYTheatrecast (9)
NYU (9)
Obie Awards (1)
Obituaries (5)
Off-Broadway (1)
Off-Off-Blogway (1)
Off-Off-Broadway (3)
Outer Critics (1)
Pacific Overtures (2)
Paige Evans (1)
panel (1)
Paper Mill Playhouse (1)
Parabasis (1)
paris hilton (1)
Passing Strange (1)
Patti LuPone (3)
Paul Bargetto (1)
Paul Haber (1)
PEN (1)
Peter and Jerry (1)
Peter Birkenhead (2)
Peter Filichia (1)
Playwrights Horizons (5)
podcast (5)
politics (7)
Praxis Theatre (1)
Project Runway (1)
Provincetown Playhouse (14)
Pulp (1)
Punch 59 (8)
Purity (1)
Pygmalion (1)
Queen Mary 2 (1)
Quote of the Day (22)
R.I.P. (1)
racism (3)
Radar (1)
rallies (1)
Randall Bourscheidt (1)
Randy Gener (1)
Rat Sass (1)
Ray Bradbury (1)
Reality TV (1)
reclamation (1)
Red Bull Theater (1)
religious right (3)
Rem Koolhaas (1)
Republicans (2)
Rick Lyman (1)
Rik Sansone (1)
Rob Kendt (8)
Robert Brustein (1)
Robert F.X. Sillerman (1)
Robert Falls (1)
Robin Pogrebin (1)
Rochelle Denton (3)
Rockefeller Foundation (1)
Roundabout Theatre Company (1)
Rudy Giuliani (1)
Said Chair (1)
Sarah Oakes (1)
Scott Walters (1)
Second Stage Theatre (1)
Seurat (1)
Shakespeare Theatre (1)
showcase code (1)
sissy awards (1) (1)
Sondheim (1)
South Bronx (1)
Spike Lee (6)
Spring Awakening (3)
Stagehands strike (8)
Stalag 17 (6)
Stanley Kauffmann (1)
Star Theatre (1)
Stephen Sondheim (5)
Steven Leigh Morris (1)
Stewie Griffin (3)
Stolen Chair Theatre Company (4)
Stop the Insanity (1)
Subjective Theatre Company (1)
Summer Play Festival (1)
Sunday in the Park with George (1)
Superfluidities (1)
Susan Hefti (3)
Susan Powter (1)
Sweeney Todd (1)
Tagged (1)
Talkin Broadway (1)
TCG (2)
Teresa Eyring (1)
Terry Tocantins (1)
The Adding Machine (1)
the advocate (1)
the book (17)
The Clyde Fitch Report (1)
the downtown 3 (1)
The Fire Dept. (1)
The Guardian (4)
The Homecoming (1)
The Jewish Theater of New York (2)
The Leonard Jacobs Show (3)
The New York Times (4)
The New Yorker (1)
the Onion (1)
The People vs. Mona (1)
the Playgoer (1)
The Ritz (1)
the Sondheim Review (1)
The Village Voice (2)
The Women (1)
theatre (3)
Theatre Communications Group (2)
theatre criticism (8)
Theatreforte (1)
Theresa Rebeck (1)
Thomas Bradshaw (1)
Toby Young (1)
Tom Garvey (3)
Tom O'Neill (2)
Tom Stoppard (1)
Tony Awards (5)
Tony Randall Theatrical Fund (1)
Tony Wolf (1)
Tricia Walsh-Smith (1)
TRU (2)
Two Thousand Years (1)
Vacation (1)
Vanessa Redgrave (2)
violence (1)
Wall Street Journal (1)
Waterwell (1)
White Barn Theatre (1)
William Wolf (1)
Woodlawn Cemetery (1)
Woody Allen (1)
Wooster Group Hamlet (1)
Xanadu: The Musical (2)
Young Frankenstein (1)
Youngblood (1)
Zach Mannheimer (1)
Zev Valancy (1)

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Book is Coming Out

Yep, that right. Here's a link to the blog for Turner Publishing.

The press release went out today.

For the record, the book is called Historic Photos of Broadway: New York Theatre, 1850-1970

Here are some other links connected to the book that you might enjoy:

Sphere: Related Content

A Novel Way to Rate Critics

I came across this courtesy of my blogging colleague Tom Garvey in Boston. This is hysterical. Can you imagine what the New York graph would look like?

Sphere: Related Content

Great article on Broadway's legendary Charles Strouse

I think a lot of people are like me: they have a soft spot for composer Charles Strouse. My favorite Strouse score isn't Bye Bye Birdie, Applause or Annie, God knows, but the magnificent Rags. And on the train I've been reading my reviewer's copy of his new autobiography, Put On a Happy Face, and I just happen to stumble on Rob Kendt's great blogpost-slash-TDF interview with him. Check it out. A terrific read.

Sphere: Related Content

Shout Out to Edward D. Miller

Or as I knew him, Ned. Also Neddy. Also Edward David Miller. Also Ned Miller. Also a boyfriend from many moons ago who I think about now and then. And today I was thinking about him -- no, well, actually, more like rather bored editing something this afternoon after taping a podcast for Martin Denton and letting what's left of my mind wander. Later, Erik, my copy chief at Back Stage, was talking to me about the idea of gathering more critics and I suggested, among other places, he contact the Ph.D. Theatre program at the CUNY Graduate Center and I also offered up some of my friends/colleagues from my MA program at Hunter. And that's when I stumbled on his name, 27 academic titles (he was working on his Ph.D. when I knew him -- this was 1995 or so), and then found his blog. 'Tis been a long time, Mr. Miller. If you see this post, it's great to know you're great.

Sphere: Related Content

Arts Advocacy Update XLVI

The content below is from Americans for the Arts' Cultural Policy Listserv, email blast of June 11, 2008:

Austin mapping out course of its creative future
Austin American-Statesman, 6/6/2008
"Keeping Austin creative into the next decade is at the heart of a new cultural master plan presented Thursday to the City Council. Among the top recommendations are a private nonprofit alliance to offer services to Austin's creative community and the consolidation of the city's cultural functions into one new municipal department. The Create Austin Cultural Master Plan, commissioned by the city, is the product of almost two years of planning involving dozens of public and private sector leaders who drafted the plan to chart a course for Austin's cultural development in the next 10 years."
Must be interesting being an oasis of forward-thinking, progressive sanity in the Lone Star State.

Local arts are a big business
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (GA), 6/7/2008
In Columbus, GA, a new study tallies that economic impact of 14 nonprofit arts organizations: a total budget of $22 million, 620 full-time employees, and a payroll of nearly $11 million. "[H]aving seen the numbers -- including an estimated $52 million annual economic impact in the Chattahoochee Valley -- the city is now paying attention. 'It's information we needed to hear, we needed to know,' said Isaiah Hugley, Columbus city manager. 'I'm impressed with the numbers they presented. Obviously they have a much greater impact on Columbus and the region than I had realized. It points to the need to do more for the arts because of the tremendous impact.'"
Amazing how these kinds of reports always wake people up. Good for them.

New affordable housing will help artists stay put
Oakland Tribune (CA), 6/6/2008
"In one of the few projects of its kind in the country, the Northern California Land Trust is turning an old industrial noodle factory at 26th and Union streets in West Oakland into permanently affordable spaces that will be sold to working artists at steeply discounted prices. The space already had been taken over as an underground artists collective. Once completed, the bright blue building will feature 11 work/live spaces, a café, and a 2,700-square-foot rehearsal and theater performance space. It incorporates green technology and features solar panels that will power up to 75 percent of the building's electricity and hot water. It also has heavy-duty finishes, soundproofing and ventilation that allows artists to do whatever it is they do — sculpt, solder, paint, compose, edit film and more."
Great story. But what's an industrial noodle?

Although business still dominates, the performing arts are flourishing on college campuses
Chicago Sun-Times, 6/9/2008
More than 25,000 Illinois college students are majoring in visual or performing arts, "making the field of study the second most popular, according to unpublished data released by the state at the request of the Sun-Times. While still lagging business majors by a wide margin -- there are nearly twice as many business students in the state -- the arts' popularity has increased faster than any of the other 10 most popular majors in the past decade. The number of arts majors is up 110 percent since 1997."
And there's Chicago to support it. Sweet.

L.A. arts agency funding cut less than 1%
Los Angeles Times, 6/4/2008
"L.A.'s municipal arts agency took a smaller hit than at first seemed likely under this year's austere city budget. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had proposed cutting the Cultural Affairs Department's spending by 6.1%, but the final $9.98-million department budget for 2008-09 passed by the City Council is down just $89,000, or less than 1% of this year's figure."
And what's the arts budget for the state of California as a whole? Isn't it less than that of LA? I'll check...

Lawmakers look to tweak film incentives
Green Bay Press Gazette (WI) - AP, 6/9/2008
Wisconsin is considering a change to its generous tax breaks for filmmakers. "Right now, if filmmakers' tax credits exceed their tax liability they can only use the leftover credits if and when they return to Wisconsin. Lawton and others want to make those credits transferable, possibly to other film companies for a small fee. The state's film office, Film Wisconsin, has heard feedback from the industry that it is less competitive without the ability to transfer credits, Lawton's spokesman Robert Chappell said."
Never thought about this. I almost wonder if a comparable model for theatre couldn't be created.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Review: Series C, Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon of One-Act Plays

For New York Press. A nifty chance to review a play by Michael Feingold.

Here's a longish tease:

"On the rare occasion you spot them in the daytime, theater critics are natural targets. Playwrights, actors and directors hate them especially: not for telling the truth, but for typically having the compassion of a prison guard in an execution chamber. Perhaps that’s why director Peter Brook once wrote that a critic serves the theater best 'when he is hounding out incompetence.'

"But Brook also wrote that critics understand incompetence best when they see it in themselves—by 'putting his hands on the medium and attempting to work it himself.' And that’s the reason, in Series C of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 30th annual marathon of new one-act plays, all eyes are on Michael Feingold’s 'Japanoir.' As the Village Voice’s chief theater critic for over half my lifetime, Feingold is already known as a crackerjack translator and adaptor of other people’s plays, more so than a creator of original works. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that 'Japanoir' is the only Series C piece with a program disclaimer: 'This play is a Westerner’s fantasy/meditation on Japanese film…not an actual Japanese movie…' "

Sphere: Related Content

New Review: Jollyship the Whiz-Bang

For New York Press. I'm quite proud of this review as well as my take on Series C in EST's one-act marathon. At left: well-hatted keyboardist Raja Azar. Here's a tease:

"The retro pinstripe pants, the double-pocket white shirt, the hipster-signifying tie-and-jacket combo: As Nick Jones saunters down the center aisle at Ars Nova, an unsubtle smirk climbing up his face, he seems mischievous and childlike. There’s something woozily sarcastic about him, too, as he grips the microphone and offers the goony prelude to Jollyship the Whiz-Bang..."

Sphere: Related Content