Sunday, January 30, 2011

Meteor over Harvard Square!

My Friend Brad Kelly, (some Mirror readers may know him as the Director of Photography on some of the films I've made/been in,) snapped this photo by total chance last night. It has been confirmed as an actual meteor.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

John Simon "Uncensored" Indeed

So, John Simon is now blogging.

Now he is free to say everything on his mind. And in a recent post, his mind takes off from the opening of the Off Broadway Dracula, (which he finds uninteresting,) only to bounce from movies to books to blood to semen and to opera:

The vampire is usually an aristocrat, Count Dracula, with whom, despite his creepy Hungarian accent, men want to identify, and by whom women want to be bitten. After all, the sucking of blood is sexy, the spilling of semen in reverse, fluid for fluid. It is a symbolic, uncensorable but equally orgasmic representation of the sexual act. And when the victim herself becomes a vampire, the union is perfect and, what is more, everlasting.

Some such things account for the current renaissance—more properly recrudescence—of the vampire novel, movie and, presumptively, stage play. But the advantages of the movie (sexy young actors, detailed sex scenes, endless special effects, spectacular locales) and the novel (if skillfully written, steady stimulus for the imagination) are enormous. The resources of the stage, mostly live actors, are considerably more limited. And what happens if even the actors fail you?

(...)

There is more than one vampire opera, the best known being Marschner’s Der Vampyr. The Grove Dictionary of Opera entry about it opens with the subtitle Grosse romantische Oper and continues “in two acts by Heinrich August Marschner to a libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrueck after plays based on John W. Polidori’s story The Vampyre, itself a revision of Lord Byron’s Fragment of a Novel, sometimes called Augustus Dowell.”



Oh, and he has a take on reviewing Spider Man as well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nantucket evening sky while waiting for the ferry...

A Passing.... and an Answer?

Over at The Hub Review, Tom Garvey notes the absence of Boston's African American Theatre Festival.

He concludes with a proposal:

At any rate, it's clear to me that one way for theatre artists of any color to make a difference is to connect with their own community - to tell its story. Yet I can't remember the last time I saw a play about our own racial issues on a major local stage. So I'd like to make a modest proposal to our colleges, theatres, and foundations - how about a prize, or a grant, or a commission to an artist of color for a play about Boston? With a production guaranteed? There are so many theatrical episodes in our past - from the slow creation of the "color lines" that still criss-cross the city to the shocking riots over busing in Charlestown - that there's almost a surfeit of material available. And we certainly do not suffer from a dearth of talented writers. So how about it? Maybe we could call it the Jim Spruill and Lynda Patton Prize. Or maybe the Martin Luther King Prize.


Those not from the Boston Area may not be familiar with Jim Spruill, who recently passed away. Here is a link to some information.


Almost simultaneously with the arrival of Tom's post, were a few e-mails about the following event in Roxbury this month:



It is described this way:

What happens when FAMILY is in STRIFE...
COMMUNITY is RUNNING SCARED...
YOUTH are ANGRY...
And STREET JUSTICE is TAKING OVER..?

SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER

A night of performance art answering the call!
4 One-Act plays
Highlighting the Violence in Urban Neighborhoods

In response to the rise of violent crimes in Boston, local theater artists join forces to create a forum for discussion through an evening of dramatic works and creative dance. “Screaming Bloody Murder,” a collaborative effort among Roxbury Center for Arts, Swagga Inc, and TYG Productions, will feature four one-acts from playwrights Mwalim, Frank A. Shefton, Vincent Ernest Siders and Sean Travis Taylor, as well as dance creations from Boston Tap Company and Swagga Inc. Following the performances there will be an open discussion about the works and the issues surrounding them.



Could be a start!

Playwright Laureate Proposal Raises Many Questions

Over at his blog, Ian Thal responds to Lauren Gunderson's recent Huffington Post column in which she asks Why Not A Playwright Laureate?

Ian thinks this raises a whole host of questions:


Now while I share Gunderson's desire for "raising the status of poetic and dramatic literature in the everyday conscience of the American public" her proposal leaves me with more questions. Would this get more people attending live theatre? More interesting plays on stage? Free up more spaces for performances? Give "emerging playwrights" a better shot at being produced? Make it easier for playwrights to make a living on their writing? Get more playwrights interviewed on National Public Radio?

Is the Library of Congress really the agency best suited to this work?

Friday, January 07, 2011

Boston Theatre - Friday Roundup - Magic Edition

The second half of the season is just gearing up around Boston. Here are some of the shows you can see this weekend:

Opening

The Central Square Theater is the meeting place of Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali in the Terry Johnson play Hysteria; or Fragments of an Analysis of Neurosis.

Flat Earth Theater presents Edward Albee's comedy The Goat; or Who is Sylvia at the Arsenal Center for the Arts.

At the Factory Theater you will be able to examine The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man- in-the-Moon Marigolds as presented by Happy Medium Theatre.

You can peek in on a Tryst at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell.

Last Chance:

The Blue Flower will fade away from the Loeb Drama Center this weekend.

Ongoing:

Theresa Rebeck's backstage comedy The Understudy continues at The Lyric Stage.


Oh, and watch this if you like:

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Boston Theater - Welcome to the Stars?

Racing Stars

Jenna Scherer posts her first official review of the new year on the new TimeOut Boston site.

At the top right of the posted review I noticed the 3 star rating, which pretty accurately reflects the content.

Star ratings are pretty standard in the arts and leisure sections of many publications in metropolitan areas, but I'm not sure Boston theater reviewers have so prominently used a star rating, at least not in recent years. (Our movie reviewers almost all do.)

(Photo: Racing Stars by Andrew Stawarz, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Have a Theatre Company? Looking for New Work?

You could start with Adam Szymkowicz's blog, where he has just listed his 300 interviews with playwrights across America.

Congratulations to Adam.