Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oedipus Loves You

My review of "Oedipus Loves You," at PS 122 by the Irish troupe, Pan Pan Theatre.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bloated Disgraced Pariah

Karl Rove writes in a new WSJ column his unbiased advice about how Obama can come clean with the American people. Which is a bit like getting kids' party planning tips from John Wayne Gacy.

My New Best Website Ever

Don't worry, you can look at it at work.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Before I Die, Take Me to Sammy's Roumanian

Went with Dave, his brother in law Stephen and Bob to Sammy’s Roumanian Monday night down on Chrystie near Delancey. What a heavenly meal. The kind of meal you’d want if you were going to be executed at dawn. The place is shabby-looking –I think it’s meant to put off people who don’t know what they’re getting into. Menus that look like they were run off on a mimeograph machine from the 70s, a guy behind an electric piano doing disco and Jewish wedding music, fluorescent lights. No matter.

First, there’s a bottle of Ketel One in a block of ice on the table. Now, the last place I went to where they put a bottle of vodka on the table, and left it, was a Russian place in Brighton Beach I went to with friends in the late 80s. Some of the worst food I’d ever had. Everything tasted like it was made from beets and lard. The only thing you could do was drink. I vaguely remember dancing to Russian music, too. It was a ghastly meal.

Not so at Sammy’s, not so. There was the requisite fast-talking waiter, who pegged me as the only Gentile at the table. Bob ordered appetizers – always a good idea to let Bob order for the table. Have never known him to make a bad call.

Kishkas, chicken liver, and these delicious sausages – forget what they were called, but they’re made with veal and lamb, and they come without a casing. But the rock star was the chicken livers. They mix it in a big bowl with onions that have been fried in chicken fat and then they POUR RENDERED CHICKEN FAT ON TOP.

Seriously. There’s rendered chicken fat in a syrup containers on the table. So you can just pour it on anything like it’s maple syrup. It looks like Tang.

Remember Tang? Astronauts drank it.

If you’re a vegetarian, you’re probably heaving right now. But I don’t care. More rendered chicken fat for me, you cry-baby vegetarians.

The waiter came for the entree orders and I said, “Stuffed cabbage.” He said, “No. You want the steak.” I said, “Yes, you’re right. Bring me the steak.”

The steak came. Sweet Mary Mother Macree. It was stuffed with about a thousand cloves of garlic. It was lapping over the sides of the plate, like something Fred Flinstone would eat. No potatoes, no broccoli, nothing to distract from its awesome steakness. I put the first bite in my mouth and almost fainted from deliciousness. Then I had another shot of vodka to buck me up.

We didn’t do a lot of conversing. Other than “More bread” and “Are you gonna finish that?” and “Try this.”

Oh! Wait! I forgot dessert. And there were latkes with applesauce, did I mention the latkes with applesauce?

So – Bob ordered egg creams and rugelachs for dessert. And you make them at the table. They bring you the glasses, milk, Fox U-Bet chocolate syrup, and seltzer. Dave got chocolate pudding which comes with its own pint of heavy cream. I’m not kidding. They should serve it with a side of lipitor.

It was so excessively wonderful, so over the top. We all walked a few blocks. I was clutching a tray filled with a few leftover dabs of chicken liver, a few bites of my delicious prehistoric dinosaur steak and clutching a bottle of recently thawed Ketel One. We said our goodbyes at Broadway Lafayette, and I decided to walk over to Houston on the Number One, feeling happy and at peace with the universe. And filled with steak.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The George Place at WHAT

The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre site has been updated, and they have the info on "The George Place," which will be premiering there in September. It's not on the site, but I am happy to say that Gary Shrader, who directed "Busted Jesus Comix," "A Bush Carol," "Leaving Tangier" and most recently, "Yes Yes Yes," will be taking over directorial chores this time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nice Try, Bambi

“Curtains” last night with my friend Wayne and his folks. It's a lot of fun – tuneful, zips along, some great raunchy laughs. It didn't change my life, but I didn't want my life changed this week. David Hyde Pierce is the most unlikely musical comedy lead, but he makes it all work. He’s a gifted actor, and seems to wink at the audience and say “OK, I’m your romantic lead. Work with me here and you’ll have a good time, I promise.” And we do.

Didn’t get to see Debra Monk, which was disappointing. Edward Hibbert does Baby Stewie in a tux. Did get to see Jason Daniely, who I don’t think I’ve seen do anything since “Candide.” He’s fine in a thankless part. He does get to sing the hell out of one Kander & Ebb song, written by one after the other one had passed away. (I forget which is which, honestly.) And he does have that glorious voice. Karen Ziemba is a joy to watch and hell's bells she doesn’t age at all. I’ve been seeing her in shows since “And the World Goes Round,” at the West Side Arts Theatre. They do give her a number – the act one closer – where she gets to show off what a wonderful dancer she still is. She’s always been a trouper, a real treasure, but never had the career of a Bernadette Peters or a Kristin Chenoweth or a Betty Buckley. She’s just a hardworking gal who gets the job done and I loved seeing her again.

Some People Don't Even Die Empty Handed

My review of The Actors Company Theatre's production of "Eccentricities of a Nightingale," now running at the Clurman.

Monday, May 5, 2008

"Yes Yes Yes" at Playwrights for Pets

My friend Sue Yocum has been running Playwrights for Pets for several years now, putting on readings of new plays and donating the entire proceeds to a no-kill Animal Shelter. There's another event coming up on June 9 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, where we will re-present "Yes Yes Yes" as part of "In the Rainbow," an evening of gay-themed plays. Even if you can't come - if you love animals, think about making a donation.

UPDATE: TheatreMania is now selling tickets to Playwrights for Pets on June 9.


Here's the evening write up in Playbill.

Schedule Change for "Yes Yes Yes"

Rude Guerrilla in Santa Ana, CA, has changed their performance schedule for "Seven Deadly Sins", an evening of one-acts featuring "Yes Yes Yes" which premiered at Blue Coyote in February as part of "Happy Endings." It now runs July 24 through August 30. Catch it if you're in that neck of the woods. Rude Guerrilla originally commissioned "Yes Yes Yes" a year ago, and very graciously allowed us to premiere it in New York.