Thursday, December 27, 2007

Time Out New York Best of 2007

"The Oresteia" made Time Out New York's Best of 2007 for Theatre, from Helen Shaw. Check it out here.

Pictured: Heidi Jackson as Iphigenia, Jonna McElrath as Cassandra and Frank Anderson as Agamemnon in the Blue Coyote production of "Oresteia," 2007, directed by Stephen Speights at the Access Theatre.

Friday, December 14, 2007

"Something in the mist! Something in the mist took John Lee!"

Saw this last night at the AMC on 19th Street, and it is one scary flick - one of the best King adaptations I've ever seen. (And I'm talking about the ones like "Misery" and "Shawshank Redemption" - not "Firestarter.") Frank Darabont directed, and the guy knows what he's doing when it comes to this material.

Some terrific actors turn in very human performances in a nightmarish film - Toby Jones, Thomas Jane, Jeffrey DeMunn, Andre Braugher. Marcia Gay Harden is fantastic as a religious fanatic who finds in catastrophe the time of her life. For the first time ever, she gets to be right.

As scary as the monsters in "The Mist" are, it's the scenes of what people do to each other that are truly chilling. I may be reading this into it, but it seemed to me to be an allegory of red state/blue state America - a place where religious zealots use death and disaster to grab power, all the while screaming that they're being victimized because others don't believe as they do.

Plus, how could you not love a movie where Frances Sternhagen clocks Marcia Gay Harden in the head with a can of peas, shouting "Shut up, you old buzzard!"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Today's Favorite Website

I want to go visit this so bad.

Their exhibit halls are gilded with truth!

If They're People, Can We Waterboard Them?

A sultry young Colorado law student - she looks like Molly Ringwald in "Pretty in Pink!" - wants to have the state constitution of Colorado define fertilized eggs as people.

Hope those fertilized eggs aren't carrying any subprime mortgages or they are skee-rooed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"The Eumenides" in British Theatre Guide

Philip Fisher in the British Theatre Guide reviewed "Playing With Canons," the anthology published by NYTE. With a very nice mention for "The Eumenides." Thanks once again to Martin Denton for the heads-up on his blog.

If you want to order a copy of "Playing With Canons," it's available here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

America in Play Project

Check this out. A very interesting project. Had my first session about a month ago, and have spent the last few weeks immersed in a lot of the reading. Mostly minstrelsy texts, Royall Tyler's "The Contrast," "The Stage-Struck Yankee" and an absolutely amazing satirical comedy on white slave-owner manners by a runaway slave named William Wells Brown, circa 1850, called "The Escape, or a Leap for Freedom."

So - We Meet Again, Matt Freeman

Celebrated upstart and arch-nemesis Matt Freeman is having a birthday today. To celebrate, go see his latest assault on good taste and reason at the Brick - part of the Baby Jesus One-Act Jubilee. (I did one of Matt Freeman's plays at the Brick last summer - in it, I played - Matt Freeman.) It's directed by Kyle Ancowitz, and features Dave Del Grosso as a rabbi (???) and - more plausibly - Matthew Trumbull as a crustacean. Head to the Alligator Lounge afterwards, eat a free pizza and tell Matt he looks good - FOR HIS AGE! AHHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Silent Films at the NY Historical Society

I went yesterday with my friend to the Silent Clowns series at the NY Historical Society. Yesterday's bill was a series of one-reeler solo efforts done by Stan Laurel, pre-Oliver Hardy. Joyous stuff - every conceivable gag you could do with a two by four, swinging doors, a conveyor belt, or a bag of flour.

If you've never checked out the Silent Clowns series, do yourself a favor. Ben Model does live accompaniment, and their curator Bruce Lawton offers commentary before and after.

Plus, I won the raffle for a Laurel & Hardy compilation DVD. It really made my weekend.