Friday, February 26, 2010
Justin C. Lockwood plays Carter, the typical LaBute chauvinist pig/best buddy of the protagonist. (Lockwood is also the production's director.) At the performance I attended, Carter was in the middle of a monologue about his fat mother and how her weight made him uncomfortable as a child, his description of the overweight mother increasing in brutality until a woman in the audience gasped and scolded Carter: "That's your mother." The outburst stole a second from the performance, an uncomfortable pause before Lockwood regained his equilibrium and went on to work the monologue's thorny language and stick the landing.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Reading my way through Hemon’s book—a handsome collection of 35 stories, one from nearly every major European country or language group (Ireland, for instance, is represented twice, with one story originally in English and another in Irish), mostly by writers born in the 1960s and 1970s—I was surprised by how familiar the work felt. In his own introduction, Hemon complains that the “American reader seems to be largely disengaged from literatures in other languages, which many see as yet another symptom of culturally catastrophic American isolationism.” There’s no doubt that there is very little market in America for works in translation. Yet this has hardly isolated the American reader, or the American writer: the currents of influence flow freely in both directions—as this anthology demonstrates. Julian Gough’s “The Orphan and the Mob” takes place in a distinctly Irish setting, but the broad, bawdy lines of its satire come from a tradition that goes back to Tristram Shandy (Irish/English) and continues in the work of Philip Roth. The romantic drama of Steinar Bragi’s “The Sky Over Thingvellir” (Iceland) reads like Updike crossed with Umberto Eco. Naja Marie Aidt’s “Bulbjerg” (Denmark) has an uncanny masculine anger and violence that we also see in Raymond Carver or Wells Tower.
There’s something a little bit ridiculous about continuing to use nationality as a primary label for writers now that literary culture has gone truly global.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
- Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe
- Absurd Person Singular by Alan Ayckbourn
- It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller
- Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith
- Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling
- The Completely Fictional—Utterly True—Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe by Stephen Thorne
- Boston Marriage by David Mamet
- Cherry Docs by David Gow
- Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally
- afterlife: a ghost story by Steve Yockey
- DollHouse by Theresa Rebeck
- The Last Five Years - book, music, and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
- Passing Strange - book and lyrics by Stew, music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald
Sunday, February 21, 2010
He includes student productions, community theaters, professional productions, etc.
Friday, February 19, 2010
There are always exceptions that prove the rule, of course - Charles Olson and Allen Ginsberg, who both taught poetry programs, spring lawlessly to mind - but the proliferation of polite, competently-written, dull poeticisms that presently clog the arteries of US lit are a direct result of the MFA creative writing programs, which raise well-meaning young poets to be well-meaning teachers who, in a kind of nightmare of eternal recurrence, then publish each other.
Madagascar is of this ilk. You can almost hear the sawing in the background as the metaphors and themes are workshopped. But most of all, what gives it away is the closed mental universe it inhabits. It's about the thoughts and sufferings of wealthy Americans, for whom the world is a giant mirror in which the poverty of their aching selves is revealed. It's a play that wants to be liked, that assumes - perhaps cleverly - that its audience is a middle class, liberal bunch with vague concerns about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket. The audience gets to hear a lot about themselves, and even more about the meaning of life.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Here is a link to the announcement of the new Huntington Fellows on the Huntington Blog.
Nobody asked - Just my opinion.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Matthews: I don't see where any of this refutes my growing contention that Tarantino does not seem to have anything to say. Given, he is a master at regurgitating his vast movie knowledge in ways that are original to their genres. He has a terrific gift at writing movie dialogue, he casts his films with eccentric precision and he gives an audience its money's worth. But as far as I know from watching his movies, he's not contributing to the human experience outside of movies.
Thompson: Making entertaining, innovative, original, not-like-anything-else films is a contribution to the human experience. You seem to be asking for some kind of old-fashioned message/theme/educational value to Tarantino's moviemaking. Is that required?
Matthews: It's only required if someone wants to leave a legacy of greatness, which Q.T. confirmed with his London comments. No question, he has proven his greatness to his hardcore fans, among whose numbers many critics and film scholars can be counted. But in the 16 years since "Pulp Fiction," he has not come close to matching that film's brilliance. His movies, while enjoyable to watch, are self-indulgent games for him. If "Inglourious Basterds" is a great war movie, "Blazing Saddles" is a great Western. They're both fun but that's all they are.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
"NOW I CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING!!" screams the lady with the oxygen tank.
"HE'S NOT SAYING ANYTHING" scream-whispers her horrible daughter.
A commenter to Rob's blog points out that the exchange is something Beckett would have probably treasured.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Gatz is bourne ceaselessy back into the past, but not until Sunday.
The Huntington's All My Sons will close its critically well-received run.
There is still a weekend to catch up with Company One's The Good Negro.
Although you can't get tickets, Sleep No More, Punchdrunk's installation theatre piece closes this weekend.
Over at the New Rep, Indulgences are still being peddled through this weekend only.
I don't think I have read or heard a single negative review of 4:48 Psychosis at the Gamm Theater in Rhode Island. It closes Sunday.
Whistler in the Dark opens their production of Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare at Factory Theater.
Adrienne Kennedy's little produced Funnyhouse of a Negro is still on at the Brandeis Theatre Company.
The circus is in town at the Cambridge YMCA as Fort Point Theatre Channel presents Carny Knowledge.
Speakeasy Stage Company's [title of show] continues to kill vampires at the Boston Center for the Arts
Music plays on at Trinity Rep's prodution of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
Honk! waddles on at the Wheelock Family Theatre.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
In between takes of the Laugh-In style commercial I was in on Sunday. It was fun, but a long day. Dancing, dancing and more dancing! It was a hoot to affect that style though - I got to deliver my jokes in Paul Lynde style.
And I got to work with my wife, which is always the best type of gig.