Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Parting Shots

A nod to the Holidays as we slide into 2016.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Macbeth of the What, Now?

The question of why our show was called Macbeth of the Oppressed has come up several times, from several different quarters.  There was no evident reference to the work of Augusto Boal, and the idea of a near-future setting/forces of political correctness that showed up in some of the initial advertising flavor/promotion materials had fairly well evaporated by the time we got to rehearsals.

Now, I was simply an actor in this show, and the question was not addressed at length in the rehearsal room, at least not in my presence, but my thoughts on our arguably oblique title boil down to race, gender, and sexuality as they are presented/performed in civic and military life.

We live in a time and place where there is at least some kind of appetite for diversity in the world of creating theater. And while this impulse does intersect with the population in general, there is a decided lag in the public sphere.  We are still waiting for a female head of state in this country, and there are precious few out queer leaders of governments or military branches anywhere in the world.

Note that those links refer to positions held within the last single-digit number of years.  Note at the same time that some of the forms of oppression inherent in that fact would seem to have been absent, in some important ways, in the ancient world.  I contend that the title of our show asks what that might tell us about the concepts of 'progress,' 'power,' and, not least, 'oppression.'

And that's what I have to say about that.

Also, since we're on the subject of witches, Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Now is the Summer of our CSA

Social Summer is ending.  Meteorological Summer endures for a few more weeks.

Stewardship Farms has been our CSA this year.  For Labor Day weekend (which is and must be about Labor), I'm posting some photos of recent food from our farm share.

Ok, it's true that the depth of field on some of these shots is pretty lousy.  And yes, it's further true that I could not keep myself from taking a bite of the fish in the last image before snapping a photo.  My guess is that you would have been in the same boat, if you had been there.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Metaphor is for Kids

Listening to the new Neil Young album, because of course I am.  It has taken a certain amount of heat in the critical community for being maybe a wee bit unsubtle, perhaps unartful in its lyricism.  And whatever, maybe they have a point.  But there’s something that downright tickles me about this particular crotchety grungy grumpy Old Man deciding to make a record themed around abuses in agribusiness and rampant capital and then come right out and name it “The Monsanto Years.” Whilst rocking as hard as he ever did.  Just sayin’.

In related news, Donald Trump continues to be a dipshit.

[And in related news of a different kind, I'm wondering if Southern Man has been getting a little more play lately...]

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Monty Hall

Not the deal-making TV personality, but the rockin' teen venue wherein we saw The Above and Ex Hex, preceded by a few pints at the Iron Monkey.

Monday, April 06, 2015

No Revenge Required

"Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift."
 -Maya Angelou

Thursday, March 05, 2015

No Way Out

Not that I'm looking for one.  Just taking it slow.

Some nights you go out to a show, or another, or another, or maybe you catch J.D. McPherson at Music Hall of Williamsburg after a birthday dinner for a friend.  

Those are usually pretty good nights.

Went to bed after that show feeling great - McPherson & Co. were amazing - but I woke up with a sore throat and no energy and I've been trying to rally back ever since.

So... some nights you just stay in trying to shake a cold, reading, listening to Chocolate Watch Band, watching a documentary about Geraldine Ferraro, and trying to figure out what to order in for dinner.  

And sometimes you might feel like you do need a way out, when things are so unbelievably backward in Wisconsin and Alabama that it gets confusing which state is which.  But you stay with it, you celebrate Women's History Month with Beth Henley and Wendy Wasserstein and Geraldine Ferraro, and you know the only way out is through.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


What can you say? By all accounts a kind and generous person, thoughtful, caring, devoted to the arts and helping humanity and the environment, with a great sense of humor, he created one of the most iconic characters of the 20th Century (and beyond).  He'll be missed by entire generations of fans and fellow travelers.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Sounds of Saturday

Not unpredictable to spend a cold-but-not-quite-as-COLD-as-it-has-been Saturday mostly indoors.

What it sounds like is: opera on the radio + the "let-me-out-of-here" hiss and gurgle of the steam from the last few drops of coffee in the thermos + the "what-the-shit-is-going-on?" rattle clank and hiss of the radiator racketing valiantly against the weather.

Snow just starting to fall.  Again.  Cory taking a nap trying to shake the head-throat-and-chest cold that came along with the stupid-cold temperatures.  I've been going back and forth between the paper, magazines, a book, and the multitude of screens.

Squeezing shows in wherever we can.  Did a BMI reading on Wednesday.  Last night was a Bud Light- (for the performers) and Murphy's- (for me) -soaked Hank V, with nary a Hank Cinq joke to be heard, as part of Sherin & JP's going away extravaganza in honor of their imminent West Coast relocation. Tonight is the Gob Squad at Skirball.  Tomorrow Cory presumably will rally for a seminar she needs to attend; I may hit a matinee, and then the Oscars tomorrow night.

Anecdote from this morning:

Cory asked about the music I'd put on.

Oh, it's a compilation Fast Folk put out in the late 80s.

"Have you played this before?"

No, I just found it a little while ago.  Frank used to read & listen to the Fast Folk stuff a lot - I just found all these streaming versions of their releases. I was looking for a dulcimer player we used to listen to.

"Of course you were."

Photo K. Devine for SpeakEasy Musicians' Cooperative

Monday, January 05, 2015

Hold Steady

Homecoming show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last week.

LOUD show (ears took a couple days to recover), tons of energy, amazing material. Lots of bro energy, and the rowdiest pit I've seen at a straight up rock show in a long time, but such a good show!  You cannot go wrong stuck between stations with these guys. Opener So So Glos even louder than the Minneapolis-by-way-of-Brooklyn main event.  

Still bummed that I missed the Replacements show this summer where The Hold Steady opened (but at least I missed it for the exceptionally good reason that I had a show of my own). The Music Hall show was a good way to remind us to keep on rockin' in the New Year.

When You Spend New Year's Eve in the Company of Children

You might end up with a sparkly tattoo on your forearm.

Not that that's a bad thing.