Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Opening Day!

It's not feeling too springy, but it's the first day of the baseball season! Woo hoo!

Gotta tell you though, this kind of thing just feels weird and wrong.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Season of Tennessee

Maybe you realize that Saturday was Tennessee Williams' 100 Birthday. Maybe you don't. The fact that it's an open question is something of a problem, in my view. This is one of those things that should be cause for a year-long celebration of National Pride, festivals on the White House lawn, parades in Memphis and New Orleans and New York, marathon readings and TV specials and Oscar-worthy biopics devoted to the life of this man, the Great American Dramatic Poet.

What we do have is a few more productions of Tennessee's shows. So that's, well, something.

Scott Brown wrote an article for New York Magazine a few weeks ago discussing Williams and the neglect his centenary is suffering. He does a pretty good job of opening up some of the issues that may have stood in the way of the celebration Tenn deserves, most especially this maddening sense that he stopped being good somewhere around 1961 and that the last 20 years of his life were just wasted, which pushes me around the bend a little bit. What do you people want? Even if it were true (which it is not) that everything after Night of the Iguana sucks, what would you have preferred? That Tenn had died in a James Dean-esque car crash so we could cast him in the Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die role? That perversion aside, I think that 'bad' Tennessee Williams is a little like the 'bad' Shakespeare plays and the 'bad' Dylan records - you may have to dig a little deeper and open up a little more, but I still don't want to live in a world without Titus Andronicus, or Saved. And in terms of history, the night is pretty young for Signore Williams. Just as people have come around on The Tempest (and, it's worth mentioning, have turned away from the Henry VI plays to a certain extent) I wouldn't be surprised if people learn how to see and hear Small Craft Warnings over time .

By the way, I didn't catch Vieux Carré (quelle domage! For reals. I'm borderline despondent to have missed that, but the tix were elusive.) but I did see the Michael Wilson-directed The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore at the Roundabout, and I may see it again. And so should you. 'Twas most worthy.

I have to include this last one, from the 1959 film of Suddenly Last Summer, for Elizabeth Taylor. We'll miss you, Liz.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Lincoln Memorial, meet astronomical phenomenon.

Photo: Bill Ingalls. Nicely done, Bill.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Happy First Day of Spring, everybody!

So far, I've been celebrating by not even leaving the apartment, but that just seems wrong, so I'll shift gears soon. but first I wanted to say I hope you all had a good winter (as uncooperative as the weather tended to be) and that you're in good health (no small wish in this era of earthquakes and tsunamis and wars and floods).

This week was a full one, with networking and socializing on Monday, a kind of a night off on Tuesday, Lucia di Lammermoor at the Met on Wednesday (great! It's part of the HD broadcasts too, so you can catch it at a theater near you...), The Motherf**ker with the Hat on Thursday (which evening included dinner with a couple of my good friends who had somehow managed not to be in the same room with Cory until now), the Premier of the Mel & El webisodes at Ars Nova on Friday (featuring yours truly as a Mean Man, according to the credits; my bitchy gay character was rechristened by Kevin and Carl as one of the Mean Girls. I'll take the career boost.) and the Martha Graham Dance Company at Jazz at Lincoln Center last night (featuring the company of out-of-town guests from both Virginia and Italia)


How do we do it? The secret is to sacrifice cleanliness.

Anyway, it's clearly time to change over the wallpaper photo on my phone from the snow-covered branches outside our window to something more printemps. I'll try to grab something this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Night Off

It's thunderous in Nuevo York. We just watched a viddy (Dream of Life) on our only night off this week, and now the thunder is raising a ruckus. We have to clean up from dinner before we crash - very good simple meal: brown rice pasta with red sauce with lots of garlic, onion and mushroom, green salad with mushrooms and kalamata olives, a surprisingly excellent sourdough, and some predictably excellent cheeses to round it out. Oh, and some a Wisconsin beer I've never had before called Eastside (don't know why, but it's kind of hard to get non-mass-produced Wisconsin beer out here). I also got us a bottle of acqua minerale because I've been thinking about Rome, in part because our Roman friends are coming to NYC in a couple days.

Anyway, it's good to have a night off sometimes. Rain will turn up as we sleep.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


You all know that I have a deep appreciation for Yo La Tengo. You'd have to be paying a little closer attention to realize that I also appreciate the awesomeness of East Orange's own WFMU. SO - it only makes sense that I throw them my greatest support when they get together to kick out the jams.

Which they did the other night as part of the annual (yes public radio listeners, just once a year!) fundraiser. YLT returned from their tour this year to play, as they've done for a good long time, a set of requests from people who donate to what might be the best free form radio station in the world, and is certainly the best one I've found in this or any other area. You may have enjoyed this event on the radio or online in the past, or perhaps you've sampled the sonic offerings as documented on the legendary (some might say anti-heroic) Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics.

We stayed in on a Friday night to listen. Well, ok, it's not the only reason we stayed in on a Friday night, but it was a factor. And we put our heads together to make our request (Cory had the singular inspiration to request Because the Night) and made our donation to a good cause and even watched along on the webcam for a while. Here's a screen shot of them taking on Patti and Bruce in their inimitable fashion:

No sign of Gil as far as we could tell, but there's Bruce Bennett helping out on guitar and knowledge of tunes common and obscure.


And now, to read Patti's book until I drift into oblivion.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Even yet still more birthdays

"What?" you say, "Haven't we had enough of these incessant birthday celebrations you keep babbling about? Is nothing going on in the world besides celebrations of the day somebody happened to be born? Because, you know what? I think a few other things are going on!"

Yes, you may say that, and you'd have a point. But let's look at the data from another vantage: today is not simply the birthday of Ira Glass of This American Life. It's not just the birthday of actresses Miranda Richardson and Jessica Biel and the 100th birthday of Jean Harlow. It's not only the birthday of inventor Alexander Graham Bell and athletes Herschel Walker and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Nay - it is also the birthday (and not just any birthday, but his 13th birthday: that luckiest of numbers and his entree to the world of teenagedness) of my very own nephew Sam, who's way out in Phoenix and I won't be able to see him, but it's worth celebrating anyway, wouldn't you say?