Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Afternoon Report, January 20, 2009

This information, called The Afternoon Report, is provided by a daily email blast from the publicity firm of Boneau Bryan-Brown, which maintains this blog. This feature doesn't run daily but whenever The Afternoon Report seems to point out articles of interest.

“Obama: The Musical”

“Barack Obama has gone out of his way to begin playing down expectations and distancing himself from the notion that he is some sort of chosen one, put on Earth to deliver a brighter future for all. Only no one has told his fans in Kenya. As the cast of “Obama: The Musical” stomp, sing, and salsa their way through their fast-moving stage production at the Kenya National Theatre one thing becomes clear: To Kenya and the rest of Africa the 44th president of the United States is nothing short of a savior. It is an 80-minute, $7-per-ticket tale of the American Dream, of African poverty, and of hope overcoming adversity – all told through pulsating rhythms and shuffling feet. The show sold out during the November election season and was hastily revived on the eve of this week’s inauguration to take advantage of the excitement on the streets here.”
Well, of course Obama has to distance himself from that, but the truth is, he is a savior, of a kind. He is the embodiment of the hope of the world, of the very idea of America itself, it's promise and it's greatness. I mean, no, it doesn't belong on Broadway, but then, if at least one Off-Broadway producer keeps freaking out over what bloggers may write about them, perhaps a dose of hope from Obama is precisely what's needed.

New Musical Obama On My Mind to Premiere in London

“A new musical entitled Obama On My Mind — featuring book, music and lyrics by American crime writer and filmmaker Teddy Hayes, who has been resident in the UK for the last 13 years — will make its world premiere in March. Performances will begin at Islington's Hen and Chickens Theatre March 3 prior to an official opening March 5. The production, which will run to March 21, was previously workshopped at Baron's Court Theatre last year.”
Who plays Hillary?

Why Bush was bad for political theatre

“As liberals around the world leap up and down with joy at the inauguration of Barack Obama, theatre-makers also have cause to celebrate: they can go back to making interesting political theatre. For the last eight years, seemingly everyone involved in making theatre has so violently disagreed with George Bush that it's made for some very tedious work. (Yes, that includes Stuff Happens.) The problem has been that when confronted with Bush's policies, theatre-makers appeared to stop thinking. Bush was seen as such an easy target that they believed whatever abuse they threw at him would stick – abandoning any pretence of reasoned argument in favour of cheap shots about his idiocy. Either that or theatre-makers were so outraged by Bush's policies and actions that any actual interrogation of them became impossible.

In the main, though, George Bush's theatrical legacy looks disconcertingly like a roundup of my theatre lowlights since 2000: Justin Butcher's impossibly cheap Dubya Trilogy, Alistair Beaton's execrable Follow My Leader, David Hare's leaden Stuff Happens. It's little wonder that after a while I started actively trying to avoid any play purporting to give a new angle on George Bush or the war on terror. The question is, apart from the apparently excellent Honour Bound, did I miss anything?”
Tedious to whom? What utter nonsense. Head, meet ass.

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