A mention — from most recent to least but completely random in importance — of people, places, books, music, videos, articles, comments — whatever pricks my creative conscious as I am working on RIPE, the show.
JULY 29, 2012
- LIFE IN THE BOOMER LANE — Musings of a former hula hoop champion.
I fell across Renee Fisher’s blog the other day. I did a spit take with my iced coffee. Wrote to her to say I’d found my snark sister. If you like me, you’ll like her. Click on the title above (Life in the Boomer Lane) to go for a visit.
JUNE 29, 2012
- GILLIAN FLYNN — I just wrote her a fan letter on Facebook. I told her ever since I closed the back cover of her first book, SHARP OBJECTS, all I’ve wanted was to read another book written by Gillian Flynn. At the time I immediately searched the internet to see what she’d published. It was a while before DARK PLACES came along. Then, just about a month ago as I was flipping through The New Yorker (not an affectation, I was in the bathroom reading my latest subscription issue) and I screamed out loud. There, on the right, was a full page ad for GIRL GONE by Gillian Flynn. I bought my copy. I’m saving it for a special day. And that day is coming real, real soon…
- ONCE, a new musical — I have a theatre subscription, so a few months ago I went to see, ONCE, a new musical based on the indie film of the same name. I was curious, but might not have made the effort if the tickets hadn’t arrived in the mail. That would have been a huge mistake. Here’s what happened: I laughed. I smiled. I held my breath. I cried — the sort of give me a Kleenex because my nose is running cry. So did the man to my right, and the man to my left. And the woman to his left… You get my drift. It was pure, embracing, creative theatre. And luckily, it was recognized with 8 Tony Awards. If you can, go.
NOVEMBER 2, 2011
- MEMPHIS — Last minute $5 ticket offer to go see MEMPHIS, the 2010 Best Musical TONY winner. A show that, for some reason, I’d had no interest at all it attending. Totally my bad. This show was hot, sexy, poignant and flat out good. We saw two swings (Antoine L. Smith and Dan’yelle Williamson) and a fairly new Adam Pascal in the three leading roles. The evening was phenomonal. The cast is so sharp, the music is tremendous fun, and the show is so, so tight.
I had zero interest in seeing this show. At the end of the performance, I was standing with the rest of the house. As we walked home, I commented to my pal, Eric, “You know, for the first time in years I’m actually inspired to be onstage in a Broadway musical.” His response, “Me, too.” Worth your time.
OCTOBER 17, 2011
- THE SEMINAR — A chance mention from my current houseguest found us sitting at the first preview of this new play by Theresa Rebeck (one of my idols.) Starring Alan Rickman (yum-yum — and I mean that in the most intellectual way possible…), Lily Rabe (phenomenal), Hamish Linklater (utterly awesome), Jerry O’Connell (who plays a vacuous, self-referential jerk so well — exactly how I’ve viewed him for years — it’s making me reexamine my own prejudice) and Hettienne Park (courageous and edgy), the evening was terrific. The play is totally satifying, inspiring, annoying, and just plain good. I thought the playwright as talking directly to me, but then that happens a lot. Good writing, excellent production values, riveting performances. Live theatre. GO SEE IT.
AUGUST 30, 2011
- THE CLOSER – Season 7, Episode 8 — Any chance to watch the seemingly effortless work of this remarkable cast should be viewed as an opportunity. I actually broke into applause during this episode following the conclusion of the best car chase since THE FRENCH CONNECTION. What could have been all about speed was instead about character. In those few moments, Mary McDonnell’s exquisitely developed Capt. Raydor peeled away an all important layer both for the viewer and the story. Really satisfying…
- DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY — How is it so many gifted, experienced people can miss the mark? I attended a performance of this new chamber musical last night hoping to be enchanted but finding frustration instead. The people next to me and in front left at intermission. I nearly followed, but decided to stick it out (I had a great seat.) What the price of this ticket bought me was the reminder of how important focusing your idea is to successful communication. While it may take a village to create a project, someone needs to ensure that the caravan’s traveling on the same road, non?
AUGUST 29, 2011
- LITTLE BEE by Chris Cleave — This book stirred the settled slurry and gave me an emotional kick in the ass.
- MARIA SCHNEIDER BIG BAND — In addition to rent, another reason to work those soul-crunching day jobs while you slog towards what it is you desire is you get to meet some terrific people. I worked many a word processing night-shift with Marianne de Prophetis, a talented vocalist. Her husband, Frank Kimbrough, a gifted post-bop jazz pianist led me to my first live experience with the Maria Schneider Big Band (that’s Frank on piano on the video link). Sitting in the club an ocean of sound kept crashing over me, but instead of taking my breath away, the music seemed to be breathing for me.
- ROSEMARY CLOONEY — Singer, movie star, Kennedy supporter, mother, wife, musical artist. I paid more money than I could afford each time Rosie Clooney appeared at RAINBOW AND STARS, the nightclub of the now defunct RAINBOW ROOM in Rockefeller Center. Each time I bribed the maitre’d for a ringside seat and was never disappointed. Older and in ill-health, Rosie’s performances were still a master class in how simple true artistry can be. She sat throughout the set (standing was too much of a strain) unabashedly wearing her large frame glasses, the better to see those 24 point lyrics on the music stand in front of her. And even that did not prevent some whopping mistakes, which easily became the best moments of the night. Following one performance, I found myself in the elevator just Rosie, Dante DiPaulo (her final love) and me — all the way from the 65th to the first floor. As we smiled at each other, everything was said.