Aug 31, 2007

Just Add Ad

To kick off your holiday weekend right, I offer this amusing compendium of disastrously placed ads.

And as a Greenpointer both bemused and bewildered by my neighboring Williamsburgers, I found this video pretty delightful (h/t Megan McArdle).

Double Dutch

Apologies for the self-promotional angle, but I've got a new CD coming out Oct. 1, and it's getting some nice reviews. The latest, which seems to be complimentary, is from a Belgian website called It's apparently in Dutch. I ran it through Babelfish's online translator, which produced the usual hilarious syntactical mess, though the final translated sentence is a pretty priceless blurb:
I could enjoy in advance this CD agreeably.

My question is, does anyone in my immediate blog-hood read Dutch? The review is posted in its entirety here (you could find on the Rootstime site, too, if you dig around).

Aug 24, 2007

Back in With "Game"

Doing a bit of reviewing again. Here's my take on the politically themed new play Fair Game at the Lion Theatre.

Aug 23, 2007

An Autograph to Cherish

From John Lahr's engaging profile of Ian McKellen in the current New Yorker (not available online, so I've got to type this in manually), I relished this anecdote the most:
Lobbying against Clause 28 [legistlation that aimed to prohibit local authorities from publishing material condoning homosexuality or from referring it to in state schools as an acceptable lifestyle], McKellen used his connections to buttonhole politicians, including one of Britian's most fervid anti-gay spokesmen, Michael Howard, who was later the Conservative Party leader. After a fruitless meeting, Howard requested an autograph for his children. McKellen obliged. "Fuck off! I'm gay," he wrote.

There's also some interesting scuttlebutt about how McKellen's full-bore approach to acting (some of it cited here) has alienated some co-stars, including Helen Mirren, but Lahr doesn't really follow up on it.

Aug 22, 2007

Xmas in August

Yes, the time stamp is correct. Tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular just went on sale today, and the Red One's helpers were out in force in Times Square. Love the Ray-Bans--guess they thought it would be sunny today.
[Photo by my TDF colleague Ray Atherton]

Congrats & Apologies

My favorite Russian-born, gypsy-influenced, beyond-classical violist and bandleader, Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin, recently married his longtime fiance and muse, and a brilliant singer in her own right, Inna Barmash. I send them my heartiest congrats.

And apologies for the ultralight blogging. I've been a little bogged down with another site. More TK soon.

Aug 10, 2007

Nero, Call Your Agent

From the AP:
ROME - A fire on the set of "Rome," a completed HBO series on the
ancient empire, has damaged part of the famed Cinecitta film studios.
No one was reported injured.

The blaze, which started late Thursday, burned through about 32,000
square feet, firefighters said. The sprawling complex on the outskirts
of Rome covers more than 715,000 square yards, including buildings,
gardens, movie sets and offices.

... Officials said no damage occurred to the studio next door which
contains the sets and sound stage for a Danish TV production of
"Fiddler On The Roof." Apparently, though, most of the studio's
maintenance and grounds crew were working on Fiddler while Rome was

A Quote I'd Forgotten

Maybe you forget things a lot when you've lived a long time in Lotusland, but I just stumbled across this apt classic in Steven Leigh Morris' recent piece about theater ghosts and superstitions:
“Doing theater in L.A. is like building a snowman in Hawaii."
--Actor/director Jillian Armenante

Of course, theater is by nature ephemeral, ain't it? Just more so out West. All the nobler, I say.

Aug 7, 2007

Desperately Seeking Site-Specific

A friend just forwarded me this request from a theater PhD student in London planning a Gotham visit:
Hey. Do you know of any site-specific theatre happening in New York next week? I'm going to see a show at the Living Theatre, but I can't find anything outside of a performance space.

I turn it over to you, theater blogosphere. Thoughts?

Political Bloggers on Theatre

Two interesting recent posts, one from Johann Hari on musicals, and one from The New Yorker's George Packer, who's developing a play with The Culture Project--fast becoming The New Yorker Theatre (since Lawrence Wright's hit My Trip to Al-Qaeda). I was struck by this insight:
In my thirties, I wrote two novels and learned that the central problem of fiction is the narrator: Who is he? How does he know what he claims to know? What’s his relationship to the characters? To the author? I never really solved the problem, which may be why I haven’t written a third. In nonfiction, including journalism, it’s less complicated: the narrator is the author; what he knows is based on experience, research, and thought. The most difficult narrative problem is how much to hide or reveal himself. But in plays these vexing questions are mercifully moot: the characters speak for themselves.

Aug 6, 2007

Boards and Slits

Signature Piece

Some stories are just a joy to write, as was this feature on the unimpeachably worthy Signature Theatre.