May 3, 2006

Odds and Ends

- Saw LA Stage Alliance head Lee Melville while he was in town last week. He told me he'd run into Simon Levy, who was in town casting his Great Gatsby adaptation for the Guthrie's new season.

- Nearly 10 years ago a bright young composer/lyricist/librettest named Joseph Alan Drymala won the Blank Theatre's Young Playwrights Competition with a brilliant little musical called Sky's End, which then went on to a full production at LA's Second Stage. I was gratified to find recently that Drymala, who just goes by Joe now, is still writing musicals, and from what I can tell, damn fine ones: Last week I attended Stuck in the Zipper, a benefit concert of songs by Drymala and Eric Svejcar (the accordion-wielding music director for the Zipper's Jacques Brel) from new musicals they're working on. In the years since I first saw the teenaged Drymala, he's had quite a career—he worked as a speechwriter for Howard Dean, for one. Here's a pretty thorough Q&A with Drymala and Svejcar; make sure to scroll down to Joe's comments about campaign chief Joe Trippi. Now, there's a musical theater character!

- I don't tend to see shows I'm not reviewing, due to factors of time and money. But I should mention that I recently caught Grey Gardens and had a marvelous time (though I think Feingold's review pretty much captures my feelings about it), and also Cirque du Soleil's new Corteo out on Randall's Island, which seemed much kinkier than I remember their shows being way back in the '80s on Santa Monica Pier (back when New Yorkers had no idea who Cirque du Soleil was—it was LA's secret), and a bit less funnier (I still miss the antics of David Shiner), but still resplendent and spectacular.

- Finally, making this list is an honor I hardly feel I deserve. Good company, indeed.

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