Friday, February 04, 2011

The Recent News

This blog has been totally abandoned for years, but since the Paper Machete just linked to it, I'll briefly mention everything I'm doing this spring as a playwright:

In Chicago:

Dream Journal of Dr. Jekyll (cowriter)

Erratica (Chicago Premiere)


Orlando Shakespeare Playfest (Workshop Production)

Great Plains Theatre Conference (Mainstage Reading)
5/28- 6/4

2011 Collider Project (Commission and Workshop)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So it's come to this...

I'm taking an indefinite sabbatical.

You might think, looking at my posting record, that I've been on sabbatical since, oh... July. Humblest apologies. Truth is, I have no internet at home, and I am very very busy doing mysterious other things. I loved maintaining this blog, and I love having a record of my theatre adventures, but it's safe to say that I've lost that blogging fire. For the indefinite now. I'm still catching a lot of shows, but I don't feel the need to tell you about it.

I'm still working over at Centerstage, as an editor, and a very, very occasional reviewer, but mostly as curator of the theatre picks section (a sneaky little job that allows me to see whatever I like, and not have to write mean reviews.) The Viola Project is roaring along, and the playwriting career is taking shaky, colt-like steps. My next readings are scheduled for February in the DC area, and oh, I was just recently a finalist for the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission, which is notable for being cool and downtown yet also having a fat wad of bills to throw at playwrights. At least, what I consider a fat wad. I haven't been able to use my wad-measuring calipers, because, as a finalist, I didn't get it.

In coming months, you might see some more newsy stuff like the above, or a special post for a festival, or who knows. The blog will remain useful for stalking purposes. But rest assured, if I ever go back to hard-core review blogging, I will get out the trumpets and let the world know.

And by that, I mean the theatre-blogging world.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

We are the patriarchy! We are on the balcony!

I've just spent a lovely, lovely Sunday hunched over my laptop doing tippy-tappy-typing chores like a good girl/pathetic Dickensian drone. If the world was just and kind I'd be out on the beach right now with Harry Potter 7 and a Moscow Sling. Instead, I'm blogging at you. Hope you like it, unfeeling jerks!

Past two weeks have been about plays that make a great noise. I saw "Jerry Springer, the Opera" last Sunday, when the Bailiwick was like the wrong side of a steam cooker. (the INside, get it?). Had fun anyway. I have a great weakness for choruses that have a collective identity, and a sense of humor. "Jerry Springer" had a chorus like that, and it's pretty much the only one I've seen outside of a G&S operetta. Sure, choral jokes don't tend to come off the first time (it's a diction thing) but when they finally hit, whether it's on the third repetition or when I'm listening to the CD, damn do they kill me.

On Monday, I got stood up by two people for "Siskel and Ebert Save Chicago." They have been chastised, thoroughly.

The title of this post comes from "Ragtime," which I finally caught last night. I don't think it's ever going to be a musical that I love- the lyrics and the book don't do it for me and everything is too on point- but Porchlight really makes it wail. Their music direction is so SHARP, equity, schmequity.

Anyway, it's a panorama of turn of the century America- during the bows, JP Morgan, and a number of other powerful/violent white males were standing up on the second level. I imagined an extra song for them.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Watching the detectives

Silent Theatre's inaugrual production, "Lulu," totally knocked me out last year. It was sexy, weird, and brought all the most satisfying conventions of silent film to the stage. The troupe's sophomore effort, "Noir," had that old devil of high expectations to deal with. Despite having a lot of cool stuff going on, "Noir" was kind of a disappointment.
Ok, maybe too much cool stuff went on. The performers brought back the virtually wordless, stormingly physical, slightly herky-jerky acting style that gave "Lulu" so much punch, but now there's this talky-talky guy that keeps spewing hard-boiled chatter. Occasionally he shuts up, and things improve drastically. Something about all the verbosity drains one's attention from the gestures.
Still, I have high hopes for "Noir." When I saw Lulu, it was on its third of fourth revival. I've read some interviews with the director, and I think she's a whittler. I bet she ends up 86ing some of the characters, streamlining the plot, and severely restricting the narrator. I hope she gets the chance to do it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Nine corpses at the least

On Thursday I took in "Mr. Spacky, the Man Who Was Continuously Followed by Wolves," a title that's fun to say, not just once, but over and over again, in increasingly absurd accents. It's very much a style piece, Edward Gorey in pastels, with civil-war hoe-down songs about killing other people's fiances, and I quite enjoyed it.

Towards the end, the cast gave us a chance to vote for a happy ending, or an "every-one dies" ending. We were a small but vicious audience, and voted for tragedy, almost unanimously. Bad choice! There were only four people to kill, and they died in rather arbitrary, unsatisfying ways. (The seven-piece band remained untouched.) Perhaps the happy ending would have been more fun.

I mean, really, there's no point in killing everybody unless you can match or exceed the death-count in Hamlet, and Shakespeare sets the death-count bar pretty high.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Today in widely published jackoffery


I always thought this guy got a little too much credit. It is now clear that he's an actual blithering idiot. I have never seen so much rank ignorance of racism, America, theatrical practice, audience response and opera casting policies displayed in one place, and with such unabashed, pajocky pride. Seriously, an all-white version of "A Raisin in the Sun?" Labute says "I promise you, we'll be doing it not to be provocative but because it's a terrific American play." Too funny.

Possibly he's a brilliant parodist on the lines of Stephen "I don't see color" Colbert. I somehow doubt it.

A Public Service Announcement for my Future Self

Having banished the internet from my home, I find that I just don't blog like I used to. And given that I blogged begrudgingly and infrequently before, this translates into near month-long silences.

However, I HAVE been seeing plays, so there. Since I use this blog as a reference for year-end wrap-ups, let me mention that I've seen Vox Pandora, Troilus and Cressida, and Gidget since I last posted.

That should satisfy the enquiring mind of Reina from 2008.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Less exposition, more slaughtering of rapists

Tonight’s play, “Black Diamond,” started off with a life-threatening case of the expositions. It’s a common disease, but it’s particularly bad when the exposition in question is just stuff you don’t need to know. Boring journalist main character and supporting comic relief photographer exchange chit-chat about their pointless back stories, and get into some sort of internet flame war about oppression. It took far too long for the title character, a Liberian rebel leader, to bust in the door and start gunning down rapists. Which is what the public really wants to see.

Anyway, the show has potential, not to mention some great actors, but it needs a major slice job. The next time I see a play featuring an American journalist in some war-torn region, I’d like to see them use their J-school skills and gracefully elide themselves from the story.