June, 2014

Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.

Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:

Report for The Month of June, 2014.
Playwright Mario Fratti's Portrait Painted with Wine, But He Isn't Whining about the Fratti Award!
Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey's GREASE [****]
Penelope Skinner's THE VILLAGE BIKE [**]
Joanna Chan's THE STORY OF YU HUAN [****]
Nancy Harris' OUR NEW GIRL [*****]
Chris Marlowe or Bill Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING [*****]
Moises Kaufman & the Tectonic Theatre Project's THE LARAMIE PROJECT [*****]
Rosenstock, Connolly & Mitnick's FLY BY NIGHT [***]
Jules Romains' DONOGOO, A Comedy [****]
Andre Aciman's TRAVEL & MIRAGE: The Lure of Place [*****]
Scott Siegel's BROADWAY BY THE YEAR: Broadway Musicals of 1990 2014 [*****]
Opera Feroce's ARMINIO IN ARMENIA [*****]
Tupac Shakur's HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME [**]
Benjamin Scheuer's THE LION [*****]
Robert Wilson's Vision of Mikhail Barishnikov & Willem Dafoe in THE OLD WOMAN [*****]
Mario Fratti & Maury Yeston's NINE [*****]
Gerry Alessandrini's FORBIDDEN BROADWAY Comes Out Swinging [*****]


Madison Avenue & 49th Street was Clogged with Police Cars, Fire Trucks, & an FDNY Ambulance.

Both Sides of Madison--between 49th & 50th Streets--were Festooned with Disaster Tapes.

Both Intersections were also Closed to Traffic.

A Body lay on the Pavement, immediately in front of a Black SUV.

Mine was the Last MTA Bus permitted to let off Passengers.

I rushed to the Opposing Sidewalk, where Emergency Medics were just loading the Body onto a Stretcher.

The Sidewalk Crowd was busy taking iPhotos on their iPhones or iPads.

I took out my Canon Digital, whereupon a Policeman came over to me--picking me out from all the rest of the Photo Opportunists--saying: No Photos! You Fool!

At least he didn't call me an Old Fool

I have never been spoken to like that by a NYPD Officer in all my years in Manhattan.

At least, he didn't Stop & Frisk…

But New York City Citizens pay Taxes to pay the Salaries of such NYPD Officers, so shouldn't we be entitled to some Elementary Courtesy?

Just asking…

As I waited in vain for the Next MTA Bus--No One told me they were no longer stopping near the Accident Scene--Birds were already pecking at a Bloody Cloth on the Pavement before the SUV.

The Cops didn't tell Them to Move On!

So June got off to an Interesting Start.

Not exactly as in the Words of that Old Familiar Song: June Is Bustin' Out All Over!

It wasn't exactly Bustin', either. It often Rained




Playwright Mario Fratti's Portrait Painted with Wine, But He Isn't Whining about the Fratti Award!

Talk about Ethnic Theatre--or should we say: Nationality Specific Theatre?--but New Yorkers certainly have a Lot from which to Choose.

There's an Irish Theatre Festival in the Fall. Then there's the Pan Asian Theatre…

The Repertorio Español is performing Spanish Classics & Modern Spanish Language Dramas almost Every Night.

Whatever became of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre of Miriam Colón? Did it travel Out of Town & Not Return?

There used to be both French Language & German Theatres in New York. Also, amazingly enough, in San Francisco--where you could see, as well, Peking Opera as it was performed in Peking, China.

But this June, Italy & Italian Theatre took the Spotlight in New York: In Scena was to be seen in some form in All Five Boroughs!

All of this Initiative to make Italian Culture in general & Italian Theatre in particular Better Known in New York & Across America is owing to the Good Offices & Dynamic Vision of Signora Laura Caparrotti, Founder of KIT--which is an Anagram for Kairos Italy Theatre.

At the Italian Consulate--on Elegant Park Avenue--Introduced by Sra. Caparrotti, the first ever Mario Fratti Award was awarded to Emerging Playwright, Carlotta Corradi, for her Drama about Italian Prostitutes Renting out Rooms: Via dei Capocci.

In addition to an Award Certificate, the charming Signorina Corradi also received a handsome Replica of the Portrait of Mario Fratti that had been made, somehow, with Wine & Other Elements by Victoria Febrer.

My beloved Critic Comrade, Longtime Friend, & CUNY Professorial Colleague Mario Fratti received the Original--with a mixture of Pleasure & Bemusement…

Mario's Socially Conscious Dramas have long been performed All Over the World.

In fact, his Nine is now in revival up at the Manhattan School of Music!


Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey's GREASE [****]

Over in New Jersey, It's Still Raining on Prom Night! But Greasers Are Not So Greasy in Revival

Thanks to the Paper Mill Playhouse's Program of Musical Revivals, it is now possible to Open the Closet & Take a Peek into the Past.

Paper Mill's recent revival of Oliver! gave its 21,000 Subscribers some Time Travel back to Dickensian London.

The High Powered Current Revival of Grease gives a Frankensteinian Electric Jolt to a Vision of American High School Days that Oldsters may have thought were Gone Forever.

But as Heathers--across the Hudson in Manhattan--also demonstrates, the High School Cliques, the Teen Age Rivalries, the Lusts, the Hopes, & the Dreams seem to Live On & On, in every New American Era.

Years & Years Ago, when Grease began its Long, Long Run on Broadway, I was transfixed by It's Raining on Prom Night, remembering How Awful my own Junior Prom Experience was.

But Beauty School Dropout was even more Hilarious: If you couldn't make it in Beauty School, what was left for you?

As for Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee, what current High Schooler has ever even heard of Sandra Dee?

As for Poodle Skirts? Please…

Nonetheless, Stage Director Daniel Goldstein has brought the Rock & Roll Fifties--the Era of Elvis & the Advent of Frankie Avalon, as well as of Sandra Dee--back from the Deep Freeze into Rousing Life.

In fact, the Sets & Costumes are still "based on" the Original Designs of Derek McLane & Martin Pakledinaz, although the Dynamic Choreography is now the Domain of Joann M. Hunter.

The Press Release describes Grease as "The World's #1 Musical," but watch out for that Hashtag

In its Original Broadway Run, Grease won Seven Tonys©, as well as a Drama Desk Award.

As Sandy Dumbrowski--the Shy but Lovestruck Teen Heroine--Taylor Louderman is superb, especially when she undergoes a Stunning Transformation into a Femme Fatale.

Bobby Conte Thornton plays Danny Zuko, Sandy's Destined Mate. He has Good Moves, but none of the Rydell High Men really look like a Fifties Greaser.

In fact, despite the Thorough Involvement of all Cast Members, some of them must have been Held Back Several Semesters, for they look a bit Too Long in the Tooth for Rydell Seniors.

But Telly Leung is especially appealing as Teen Angel in the Beauty School Dropout Set Piece.

Some Seniors in the Audience--who obviously hadn't been High School Seniors for Decades--cheered the Cast to the Echo, possibly remembering the Glory Days of Drive In Movies & Curb Service at Long Vanished Burger Palaces.

Looking Forward: Paper Mill continues its Excellent Musical Revivals with Can Can in October, followed by Elf, for the Holidays.

One of the Spring Shows will be Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame--never seen on Broadway, but given a Berlin Premiere in a Julie Taymor Staging that required a Purpose Built Mechanized Stage!

Penelope Skinner's THE VILLAGE BIKE [**]

Is Bike Riding Really a Good Idea When You Are Pregnant? Accidents Can Happen…

Penelope Skinner did not win the Prestigious Olivier Award for The Village Bike, but she did earn the Evening Standard's Most Promising Playwright Award for this Odd Drama in 2011.

It is now--as you may have noticed--2014, so it has taken some time for Manhattan's Avant Garde MCC Producers to import this Sexual Saga from the Royal Court Theatre, as produced by the English Stage Company, which once gave the World the Kitchen Sink Playwrights.

While there is indeed a Kitchen Sink in Village Bike, there is also a terrible Clanking of Exposed Overhead Pipes.

At one point, a Large Pipe bursts open, spilling Filth on the Table below…

But, as this Drama of Hormonal Urges totally Out of Control progresses, for some Decent, God Fearing Christians there may also be some Metaphoric Filth involved.

The Pregnant Anti Heroine's Sexual Needs & Whims are more or less Ignored by her Self Centered Husband.

When she demands that he Perform Fellatio--Oops! Wrong Term for the Wrong Organ: that should read Cunnilingus--on her Vagina, he does not Rise to the Occasion.

[This is what we used to refer to--Post World War II--as Muff Diving…]

She seems Obsessed with some of his old Smut Sex DVDs that she finds lying around, playing them on the TV Monitor & on her Laptop, while trying to Abuse Herself.

Actually, the Bike Seat could do that for her, as it was long thought that it could function as a Dildo for Dedicated Women Bikers.

This Village Biker, however, is No Relation to that Dike with a Bike in Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls Film Classic.

Soon she is playing out some Vintage British Porn Scenes--such as the Naughty Schoolgirl--with the Bike Seller & a Flesh Sagging Plumber.

The most Interesting Event of the Evening came at Intermission, when a Bustling Stage Crew dismantled the Set from Part One, replacing it with a Much Larger Set.

This was especially Impressive for the Modest Lucile Lortel Thrust Stage has No Fly Gallery & virtually No Wing Space!

Unfortunately, my Take Away from Village Bike was that it showed me more about British Sexual Fantasies & Hang Ups than I really wanted to know.

That Grande Dame of the American Theatre, Lucille Lortel, would have been Shocked & Appalled at what was up there on the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation Stage.

Sam Gold staged in Laura Jellinek's Movable Settings, Clanking Pipes & all…


Joanna Chan's THE STORY OF YU HUAN [****]

Strangled with Silk: Emperor's Favorite Does a Delicate Dance of Death as Tang Dynasty Dies…

The Traditional Chinese Court Costumes are both Elegant & Eccentric.

The Luxuriously Sheened & Patterned Fabrics Gleam & Dazzle.

As Yu Huan--the Doomed Favorite of the Doomed Tang Emperor--Choreographer/Dancer Ashley Liang was Liquid in Movement, Sadly Graceful in Death…

The Story of Yu Huan, over the Centuries, has taken on something in the Nature of a Legend.

In Joanna Chan's Re Telling of the Ancient Story--shown at Theatre for the New City, in a Poster Like Chinoiserie, designed by Edward Morris--both the Costumes & the Choreography are compelling.

But the fact that much of the Dialogue is in Mandarin Chinese--with the Tang Emperor's Cuckolded Son [Charles Pang] speaking English to both the Audience & to the Inflexible Emperor [Eric Zhang], who speaks only Mandarin--does tend to weaken the Dramatic Effect.

At times, the Experience is rather like going to a Peking Opera Production at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the Good Old Days.

Fortunately, The Story of Yu Huan is not as Stilted as the Restored Historic Stagings now on view in Beijing, which had been swept away during the Great Leap Forward by Mme. Chiang Ching, Mrs. Chairman Mao…

Jonathan Slaff's Press Release assures Reviewers that the Production "…will be completely understandable to English Speaking Audiences."

This wasn't Quite the Case…

Had I not been Chinese Many Lives Ago--My Mother always said: "That's why you like Rice so much!--I probably would have understood much less, both about the External Threats to the Tang Empire & the Emperor's Infatuation with his Daughter in Law, whom he seizes from his Appalled Heir.

Nonetheless, this was a Beautiful Production to Witness & a Handsome Farewell to Joanna Chan, who is retiring as the Founding Genius & Guiding Spirit of the Yangtze Repertory Theatre.


Nancy Harris' OUR NEW GIRL [*****]

In the Shadow of Ibsen? Naked Knives, a Tarantula, an Italian Holiday? Elitist Lives in London…

It's called Foreshadowing: when a Naked Knife or a Loaded Pistol is just lying around on stage.

Remember Hedda Gabler & those Dueling Pistols?

How about that Italian Vacation in which Nora learned how to dance the Tarantella?

Henrik Ibsen knew how to write a Well Made Play. In fact, George Bernard Shaw insisted that Ibsen invented this Modern Dramatic Structure.

Not that Nancy Harris has necessarily Followed the Form, for Audience Expectations are somewhat Cheated at the close.

See, there's this Knife Rack over by the Kitchen Sink in Hazel & Richard's Post Modernist London Flat.

Just in case you didn't notice those Knives, before the Play got Underway, the Silent Young Scion, Daniel, softly enters in his PJs. He rubs his Ear with Alcohol, using one of those Round Cosmetic Mirrors.

Then he goes over to the Kitchen Sink, stands on a Chair, removes a Knife from the Rack, returning to the Mirror, preparing to Slice Off His Ear.


Daniel's Highly Strung & Very Pregnant Mother, Hazel, has the Flat filled with Boxes of Olive Oil she has been Importing from Italy, after a Happy Holiday.

She is hoping, somehow, to Market all these Bottles, which keep on arriving: a Stay at Home Occupation, of sorts.

Daniel had been begging for a Pet, so she took him to a Pet Shop, where he selected, of all possible Choices, a Tarantula!

Shades of Nora's Tarantella, in A Doll's House

An Ethnic Dance that Nora learnt after a Happy Holiday in Italy!

Husband Richard is a Celebrated Plastic Surgeon, specializing in Repairing Ravages of Severe Burns.

He is very Full of Himself, always On Camera & On the Go…

A bit like Ibsen's Torvald Helmer, he thinks that Hazel really cannot Cope.

So, without informing her, he engages an Irish Girl, Annie, to come over & help out.

Annie ingratiates herself with the Strange & Moody Daniel, who is often In Trouble at School & who does not Respond Well to Hazel's Ferocious Demands for Obedience & Good Behavior.

At least, the Irritable & Pregnant Hazel is not always Riding a Bike as the Pregnant Wife was in Last Week's Village Bike

Anyway, Annie has some Scars, reminders of how her Father Beat Her. They stir the Compassion of the Cosmetic Surgeon, after which they have Sex on Hazel's Kitchen Table.

They do not know that Daniel is hiding beneath them…

There is a Confrontation: the Marriage is Over. Annie is Ordered to Leave.

That Initial Scene, with Daniel, the Mirror, & the Knife is repeated.

Blackout, again!

This Modern Domestic Drama closes with Hazel & Daniel closing ranks against the World.

All those Bottles of Olive Oil are going Back to Italy!

But that Knife is Never Used for a Daniel Version of a Vincent van Gogh ish Ear Slicing.

So much for Foreshadowing.

So much for Cheated Audience Expectations…

Gaye Taylor Upchurch directed the Excellent Cast: Lisa Joyce [Annie], Henry Keleman [Daniel], Mary McCann [Hazel], & Ci Wilson [Richard].


Chris Marlowe or Bill Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING [*****]

Don't Mess Around with the Women of Messina! Benedick Bested by Beatrice; Hero Harmed…

Not Fair that Awards Time is Past: Lilly Rabe deserves not only a Nomination for Best Actress, but Acclamation as well!

Considering how Prettily She Prances & how Sweetly She Sings, perhaps that should be a Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical…

It seems as True of Rabe as it does of her Stage Persona, Beatrice, that …A Star Danced & Under That Was She Born…

The Wonder of Jack O'Brien's Much Ado in Central Park is that it seems a Natural for Musical Theatre.

After O'Brien's Punitive Excursion into the Scottish Borderlands at Lincoln Center, it is, at the very least, Admirable that he has cast the Excellent Hamish Linklater as Benedick, rather than Ethan Hawke--with his Raucous Macbethian Squawk.

But, with Directorial Sleight of Hand, O'Brien has transformed John Glover from a Hideous Highlands Hag into the Magisterial Leonato, Governor of Messina!

Shakespeare, of course, never visited Messina--although, who knows, Chris Marlowe may have been there, when he tired of Hiding Out in Padua--but the Always Elegant John Lee Beatty has created a Gubernatorial Residence worthy of a Fodor's Travel Guide to the Italian Boot.

Nonetheless, Leonato is not so Grand that he cannot have a Kitchen Garden in front of the Villa Palazzo, with its Mysteriously Gliding Trellised Wall.

For some Bardophiles, the Plot Complications of Much Ado may be brushed aside, reducing the Comedy to a Verbal Sparring Match between the Confirmed Bachelor, Benedick, & the Sworn Spinster, Beatrice.

But then, there's all that Nasty Business about the Bastard, Don John [Pedro Pascal], having Hero Humiliated & his Hated Brother, Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon [Brian Stokes Mitchell], Definitively Diminished by Accepting an Arranged Deception, in which the Blameless & Lovely Hero [Ismenia Mendes] is made to seem a Wanton.

Indeed, the Prince of Aragon--so very far away from his Native Spain--does seem a bit Arrogant in the Certainty with which he Denounces Hero.

Not to Overlook the Cloddisness of Claudio [Jack Cutmore Scott: Gawd! Another Scot!], who should have Married the Innocent Hero, but who, instead, Repudiates her at the Altar.

Beatrice & Hero are not the only Witty & Charming Ladies in this Delacorte Theatre Staging: Zoe Winters & Kathryn Meisle--even though they are but Hero's Waiting Gentlewoman & Hero's Governess--are also Apt Foils for Masculine Thrusts.

All the Ladies & Women of a Lesser Social Order wear Jane Greenwood's Strikingly Period Costumes with Great Panache.

Although the Bardic Text refers to Doublet & Hose, we seem to be seeing a Gilbert & Sullivan Victorian Army Corps in Victorious Retreat from the Field of Battle.

Nor are the Low Comedy Rustic Comedians of the Messina Night Watch neglected: Here are Dogberry, Verges, Seacoal, & Oatcake in all their Oafish Tackiness!

Not only is Much Ado About Nothing a very well crafted Play Machine, but it is also--even after the Passage of Four Centuries--still a Laff Riot!

The Capacity Audience in the Delacorte was/were almost literally Falling About with Innocent Merriment.

One of the Best Stagings of Much Ado that I've eveer seen was the one that Franco Zeffirelli mounted at the Old Vic in London, many years ago, starring Maggie Smith & Robert Stephens, as Beatrice & Benedick.

It was rather like Street Fair in an Italian Town…

Now, however, I Vote for Jack O'Brien's Much Ado, with Lily & Hamish, abetted by John Lee Beatty, Jane Greenwood, & All Those Street Musicians!

But there is an Audial Oddity in this Production: Everyone Speaks or Shouts at the Same Level of Audible Acuity.

You won't have to bring Hearing Aids…


Moises Kaufman & the Tectonic Theatre Project's THE LARAMIE PROJECT [*****]

Matthew Shepard Shall Not Have Suffered & Died in Vain! Gays Do Not Go Straight To Hell…

Laramie, Wyoming, is a Long Way Off from Manhattan.

But it's not exactly Out of Sight, Out of Mind…

That's because Matthew Shepard was cruelly, spitefully Tortured, Beaten, Lashed to a Barbed Wire Fence, & Left to Die by Two Laramie Lads.

Matthew's Offense was that he was Gay.

Wasn't it Nancy Reagan who advised Us to: Just Say No!

If the Tiny & Friendly Matt--he was just 5'2"--had really Made a Move, couldn't His Tormentor/Executioners have just pushed him away?

The Image of the slowly dying Matt Shepard--Crucified against a Fence--caught the Imagination of News Hungry Viewers around the World.

Some even saw a Jesus Parallel, though Religious Fundamentalists were sure that Matt was now burning in Hell Fires, as God Intended.

Didn't God's Holy Writ condemn Sexual Transgressors?

Almost immediately, Journalists, TV Cameramen, & Talk Show Pundits descended en masse on Laramie, poking their Noses, their Cameras, & their Microphones into the Faces of the Astonished & occasionally Agonized Locals.

Was Laramie--way out there under the Big Sky--a Locus of Hatred & Intolerance of the Other?

Moises Kaufman & Members of the Tectonic Theatre Project decided to go out to Laramie & Interview as many Laramieans as would talk to them, On the Record.

Eventually, after Six Trips, they had amassed over Two Hundred Interviews.

These they crafted into The Laramie Project, first shown in Denver, at the New Play Summit, which is where I first witnessed this Powerful Indictment of Murderous Intolerance.

It has lost None of Its Force in the current revival at theSEEINGplace, where Brandon Walker & Erin Cronican have mustered their own Tectonic Projectors to recreate the Original Events as the Locals, both High & Low, experienced & reacted to them.

Brandon Walker--who also staged with Erin Cronican--is Outstanding in a Wide Variety of On Site Roles.

But Erin is really Impressive, as well, recreating Mercedes Herrero's Oral History Archive.

Indeed, all the theSEEINGplace Cast Members are Arresting in their Incarnations.

Just in case you don't Get the Point of some of the Interviews, Key Words are written in Chalk on Two Vertical Blackboards behind the Musical Chairs Stage Environment. Words like: HATE, Muslim, Homo…

Although Tickets are priced at only $12 for a Powerhouse of a Show, The Laramie Project will definitely close on 29 June.

So, if you don't want to miss out on a Minor Theatre Miracle, hurry on over to the theSEEINGplace at ATA's Sargent Theatre, 314 West 54th/4th Floor. Or Click on Theatermania or

Urinetown had its World Premiere next door in that Old Courtroom…

One of Matt's Killers was Sentenced to Two Life Terms, to run Consecutively, not Concurrently.

But how could he Serve the Second Sentence, if he was/were already Dead?

One Thing Is Certain: if he Hated Homos, he was going to End Up Somebody's Bitch in the Big House.

Don't You Just Hate Intolerance?


Rosenstock, Connolly & Mitnick's FLY BY NIGHT [***]

The Night of the Big Bad Blackout Helps Heal Some Other Major Power Failures…

The Best Thing about this Mini Musical is that it either Encourages or Permits Henry Stram to do a Lot of Funny Voices!

As well as to Provide an On Going Narration, to bind together all the Kooky Characters & Fractured Dreams…

As "Conceived by Kim Rosenstock," there are these Two Sisters from South Dakota: One wants to be a Broadway Star, but she needs her Sister as Moral Backup.

Unfortunately, this is not another My Sister Eileen, nor is the Star Stricken Lassie a "Little Girl from Little Rock."

Both Girls fall in love with the same Feckless Guitar Player, Searching for His Song…

That Infamous NYC Blackout of 1965 helps Put a Period to some of the Stories.

Nonetheless, there are some pleasant Set Pieces, especially the Lament of the Traviata Loving Dad, who carries a Record Player under his Arm everywhere he goes.



Who is Cherry Jones Hiding Down in the Cellar, Underneath that Braided Rug? A Runaway?

The Name of Sarah Treem did not Ring a Bell when I saw it in the Playbill© Program.

It did have, however, a Euphonious Sound, rhyming as it does with Dream, Cream, Team, Gleam, Meme, & Scream.

Euphony, unfortunately, does not have the same Mandate as does another E Word: Empathy

Much as I & Many Others admire Cherry Jones, as Treem's Dream Play progressed, I could not develop much Empathy for Jones' Agnes, who seems to be operating a kind of Safe House on an Isolated Island for Abused Wives, Runaways, & Other Lost Souls.

Periodically, the Rebellious but Brainy Teen Ager--who seems to be Agnes' Fatherless Daughter--asks for her Birth Certificate!

That did, however, Ring a Bell!

This must be, I thought, one of those Ibsenian Foreshadowing Devices which--when the Real Dramatic Discovery arrives--helps you to have an O My Gawd! Moment: So That is Why there's No Birth Certificate!

Agnes is at the Storm Center of a Dramatically Contrived Household in which the Central Figures are a Runaway Abused Wife, who still yearns for her Violent Hubby, & a Mild Mannered Man with a Guitar who has run away from all those Noisy Hippies in San Francisco…

The Time is 1972. The Place is "a Bed & Breakfast on an Island off the Coast of Seattle."

At one point, this Unfortunate Female kneels in front of the Guitar Man to give him a Blow Job.

This is not the kind of Foreshadowing you find in Ibsen, or even in the Unpleasant Plays of George Bernard Shaw. GBS labeled some of his Dramas as Pleasant; others as Unpleasant

Are Blow Jobs a Big Feature of those Reality Shows on TV? Like Real Housewives of Seattle's Off Shore Islands…

I'm so busy going to the Theatre that I do not have Time to watch the TV, so such Shows are Terra Incognita for me.

The Reason for My Query is the Discovery in the Playbill© Program Bios that Sarah Treem Wrote & Produced the HBO Series In Treatment & How To Make It in America.

Not to Overlook Netflix's House of Cards

Even though the Play Title--When We Were Young & Unafraid--doesn't seem to have very much to do with what seems to be Happening On Stage, as only One or Two of the Characters is Really Young, it must refer to the Failed TV Pilot for which this was Originally Drafted.

There are so many Loose Ends & Too Much Foreshadowing…

Pam MacKinnon staged in Scott Pask's Basic American Living Room & Kitchen Setting.


Jules Romains' DONOGOO, A Comedy [****]

Is That Video Train Leaving from Paris' Gare du Nord or the Gare d'Orsay?

What Train Would One Have Taken To Get To Marseilles for the Ile de France to Brazil?

Who now remembers Jules Romains, whose Francophone Comedies once delighted Thousands--many of them Parisians?

At least Three People now Alive & Well in New York City!

Gus Kaikkonen, for one.

Gus has translated & directed Romains' Satiric Spoof of Parisite Banksters & Fraudsters promoting Huge Investments in a Non Existent Nexus in the Rainforests of Brazil.

Jonathan Bank--the Founder/Artistic Director of the Mint Theatre--is another Romains Kenner.

Under Bank, the Mint has won a Well Deserved Reputation for discovering & reviving Forgotten Dramas of the Twentieth Century.

Jules Romains' Dr. Knock was an earlier Mint Revival.

Glenn Loney is another Romains Kenner.

When I was but a Sophomore at UC/Berkeley, I translated Dr. Knock for a UC Theatre Production.

So, when I heard that The Mint was going to Mint a New Issue of Dr. Knock, I was almost at the Head of the Line for Press Tickets.

The Mint had earlier mounted a Brilliant Production of Edith Wharton & Clyde Fitch's dramatization of Wharton's Best Selling Novel, The House of Mirth, a Previously Unpublished Drama that I had discovered in Two Versions: Detroit's & Broadway's.

If you can still find a Copy, it's titled The House of Mirth: The Play of the Novel. [Associated University Presses]

Anyway, back to the Mythical Donogoo:

George Morfogen plays an Ancient French Geographer who desperately desires to be Elected to the Academie or one of those Francophone Elite Institutes with Gold Braided Uniforms that make the Electors look like Major Generals.

Unfortunately, he has written about Donogoo in his Most Recent Major Work.

But No Such Place exists in Brazil, where he had Notionally Sited/Cited Donogoo!

Thanks to a Bizarre Prognostication, a Would Be Suicide seizes the Opportunity to save The Geographer's Reputation & possibly Enrich Himself by enlisting Parisian Spin Meisters to Promote & to Create Donogoo.

Even though this Real Estate Development Parody is set in the 1920s & is based initially in Paris, The City of Light Fingers, it could as easily be imagined in Ad Offices on Madison Avenue or in the Corporate Offices of Bank of America.

As always, the Mint Cast is Pure Gold Standard--including James Riordan, Mitch Greenberg, Scott Thomas, Megan Robinson, Brian Thomas Vaughan, & the aptly named Vladimir Versailles.

The Bois du Boulogne is the closest we come to Versailles in this Multi Sited Show, however.

But the Most Amazing Element in this Astonishing Production is/are the Rear Projected Walls & Ceilings of Various Locales in Paris, Marseilles, San Francisco, & even in Saigon.

Not only do we see Paris Metro Trains scooting through Famous Stations, but we also get to see the Bordeaux Express depart from the Gare d'Orsay.

As a Satire, Donogoo loses its Edge & Savoire faire when it moves from Paris to a Godforsaken Ravine in the Wilds of Amazonian Brazil.

But those Fantastic Wall Projections of Roger Hanna & Price Johnson are well worth the Price of Admission to the Mint's Donogoo!


Andre Aciman's TRAVEL & MIRAGE: The Lure of Place [*****]

What Was the Real Historic Paris, Before Baron Haussmann Built the Broad Boulevards?

This World Monument Fund Sponsored Lecture was much more than just a Narrated Slide Show--although Prof. Andre Aciman had some very Provocative Images to Project.

How about that Hodge Podge of Trolley Tracks & Traffic Jams?

Some Years Later, it becomes Columbus Circle!

Where in the World would you find such Narrow Streets, with even Narrow Houses?

Why it's Medieval Paris, before Baron Haussmann received his Mandate from Emperor Napoleon III to Raze the Past & let some Light into the Ancient Alleys of the City of Light!

What was Rome before there were Popes?

Before there was Mussolini & Fascist Art Deco?

If you are going off to Rome for the First Time, what are Your Expectations?

Will they be Disappointed?

Were you Thinking Historical? Or maybe Thinking Mythical?

Prof. Aciman grew up as a Jew in Alexandria, a Hellenistic City, where you can still see a Ptolemaic Cleopatran Palace Underwater. Where the Library Burned! Where the Lighthouse--or Pharos--stood tall…

A World Traveler & Epic Photographer, Aciman invited his World Monument Fund Audience at the Morgan Library to consult their Inner Freuds when thinking about International Travel & their own Sense of Identity.

How does the Information that we Consume actually Work in Our Minds to Create Expectations, Fantasies, & Images about Certain Places that may or may not Reflect the Reality of the Actual Place?

Just Ask Yourself: What is Perth Amboy, New Jersey, really like?

Andre Aciman seems to have Been Everywhere & he has made some Great Photos, as well as amassed a Remarkable Archive of Historic Images:

Wow! Here's Sixth Avenue--long before it was The Avenue of the Americas--with the Sixth Avenue El!

Quite aside from the Amazing Images that Andre Aciman produced for us, his Presentation was as Impassioned as it was Poetic: I'd like to have a Print Out of it!

Prof. Aciman is a Specialist in 17th Century Literature, but he's also the Founder/Director of the Writers' Institute at CUNY Grad Center--where I was once a Professor of Theatre…

Author of Novels & Essays, he's a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, which contributed the Goodie Bags for all who attended this Freudian Event.

This was the First in a Series of Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration Events for the World Monument Fund, which is partnered with Local Communities at 600 Sites in 100 Countries, helping them to Save the Past!

Here I am in Lisbon, at Angkor Wat, in Yangoon, at the Taj Mahal, always making Archival Photos for INFOTOGRAPHY™ & what do I find? A Team from the World Monument Fund helping with Preservation!


Scott Siegel's BROADWAY BY THE YEAR: Broadway Musicals of 1990 2014 [*****]

Another All Star Night at Town Hall! Next Season: Format Repeated, with Different Musicals!

Encores at City Center may offer Potted Versions of Long Forgotten Musicals, with several Stars, but Scott Siegel at Town Hall presents a Parade of Stars in a wonderful Long March through American Musical Theatre History!

Who now remembers the Hit Musicals of 1906? Of 1918 & The Armistice? Of 1929 & The Crash? Of 1941 & Pearl Harbor?

Scott Siegel has taken us all Through the Years, with the Greatest Songs from Great Musicals.

Through the Years… Doesn't that sound like a Song Title?

In fact, now that we have all Traversed the Theatrical Territory from AD 1915 through to 2014, the Format of Broadway By the Year has proved so Popular that Scott is going to repeat it next Season.

But with Different Songs from Different Shows! There is So Much from which To Choose!

Adam Jacobs may have seemed a bit Tame in Aladdin, but he was Overpowering in Why, God, Why? from Miss Saigon. Even without that Helicopter…

Lucas Steele sorrowfully sang The Winner Takes All--a Woman's Song--from Mamma, Mia!

The ever popular Bobby Steggart--fresh from Mothers & Sons--queried What More Can I Say?, from Falsettos.

Amazingly, some of the Songs were sung for us by those who Originally Sang Them: Jack Noseworthy, for instance, with One Track Mind, from Sweet Smell of Success.

Not only does Scott's Adoring Audience get Background Info on the Songs themselves, but also Backstage Secrets & Box Office Horror Tales.

Sunset Boulevard, for example, was an Epic Loss Leader.

Nonetheless, Natalie Toro transfixed us with With One Look. Look Out! Norma Desmond!

The Lion King--on the Other Hand, or Paw--has so far taken in over a Billion Dollars at the Box Office.

That might help make up for Lion Director Julie Taymor's Miscalculations with Spiderman

She should have Loved the stirring rendition Marva Hicks gave of Circle of Life.

Not all the Broadway Stars in this High Octane Evening actually Sang:

Mark Stuart & Mindy Wallace were breathtaking in Libertango, from Forever Tango--a misplaced Stabbing Stiletto Heel could geld a Macho Partner…

Proving once again that Taps Is Tops, the Super Speedy Staccato Tapping of Jimmy Sutherland was Amazing: How Does He Do It?

The Multi Talented Broadway by the Year Chorus are surely The Stars of Tomorrow, but Chorister Oakley Boycott--is that a Real Name?--was also Hilarious in He Vas My Boyfriend, from Young Frankenstein.


Opera Feroce's ARMINIO IN ARMENIA [*****]

Pope Mandated Crusader Sets Sail for Infidel Territory, But Ends Up In Puritan Massachusetts!

If you've never heard of the Baroque Composer Nicola Porpora, you will surely Savor his Arias, Duets, & Trios in Opera Feroce's Barocco Inventido Libretto for Arminio in Armenia.

Yes! The Melodies are Echt, but the Story is an Historisches Fantasia invented by the Marvelous Mezzo & Prodigious Parodist Hayden DeWitt.

The Pope has Commissioned the Crusader Knight, Arminio--rather like Richard Lionheart, off to the Holy Land--to convert those Rascally Infidels to The True Faith.

Unfortunately, His Galleon is wracked & wrecked, leaving him stranded on the New England Coast, where a Treadway Inn Sign announces that Massachusetts has a Population of 16.

But the Locals are All Pilgrims, not the least interested in The Church of Rome.

Hayden DeWitt is Arminio as well as Genovinda, an Innocent Pilgrim Girl.

Alan Dornak is Norberto, the Governor of Massachusetts, who is also a Passionate Witch Hunter.

But with a Kwik Change of Costume, he's suddenly Adalberto, "the Identical Twin Brother of Norberto."

This Identical Sibliing is a Simple Country Fellow, in love with Clorofilla, a Simple Country Lass.

The Linch Pin of the Opera Feroce Triad is Beth Anne Hatton, who--in a moment--can switch from Clorofilla into Tusnilda, a Wicked Witch, with a Letch for Norberto, but who settles for Arminio.

Meanwhile, Back in Rome, the Pope is Clemently Innocent about all this Hugger Mugger or Fuss & Feathers…

Not only are All Three of these Accomplished Operatic Farceurs Excellent Singers, but they are also Hilarious Mimes, even adapting their Voices to the Peculiarities of Their Characters!

With a Few Amusing Props & Period Costumes, they fill the Raw Stage Space--at the Blue Building on East 46th Street--with Comic Flair & Precision Musicianship.

But they are also Ably Assisted by their Own Mini Met Baroque Orchestra: Harpsichord, Viola da Gamba, Traverso, & Two Violins.

If you missed this Precocious Parody, this Operatic Orgasm, this Baroque Bombshell at the Blue Building, Look Where & When It Comes Again!

Follow Arminio & Opera Feroce On Line: Hayden, Beth, & Alan will send you e Mails & Updates.

In fact, they will be back at the Blue Building--on 10 & 11 August 2014--with their Magnum Opus, Amor & Psyche, concocted from Moments Musicaux of Campion, Coprario, Durante, Dowland, Handel, Krieger & Kreiger, Lotti, Mancini, Porpora--again, Savatelli, Soresina, & Stradella.

But, alas, No Shoshtakovitch [sp?]…

Frankly, Arminio in Armenia is so Well Imagined, Well Conceived, Well Crafted, Well Produced, & Well Performed that it is Ready for a Nation Wide Tour!

But Who now actually Books such Operatic Barnstormings?

In a Recent Note, Hayden DeWitt Outlined her Curriculum Vitae with this Caveat: "Better Known as Glenn Loney's Cleaning Lady."

James Levine or the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, should be So Lucky!

Talk about Whistle While You Work!

Hey! Hayden, Alan, & Beth!

I want to see All Three of You up on stage at the Met--Very Soon--preferably in Arminio in Armenia.

But I fear that Peter Gelb, the Met's General Manager, doesn't have a Sense of Humor.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi…

Oh! On the way up Third Avenue to the Blue Building, I saw a Huge Banner warning All of Us that every Fifteen Hours a New Yorker dies for want of an Organ!

How many over in New Jersey die for want of a Harp? Or even a Harpsichord…


Tupac Shakur's HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME [**]

Actually, As Shakur's Already Dead, This Is Really Todd Kreindler's Rapper Invention

If you have Long Loved Rap & Rappers, then This Is Your Show!

It features Tonya Pinkins as Mrs. Weston & Saul Williams as the Dreadlocked John, just released from Prison.

John/Saul now knows the Futility of Avenging Shooting Deaths with More Street Shootings…

But Not His Homies: so there is, at the Close, another Unnecessary Street Shooting.

This could be Brownsville--over in Brooklyn--right Here & Now, but it is fictionally set on "MY BLOCK, in a Midwestern Industrial City."

Perhaps Detroit?

John Earl Jelks is an Addled Street Preacher, with Ben Thompson--the Only White Boy in the Cast--as Griffy, who is operating his Dying Father's Auto Wreck Repair Shop.

The Machine Gun Delivered Rap Lyrics are by the Late Rapper Tupac Shakur, who also died of Gunshot Wounds: a Drive By Shooting in Las Vegas when he was only 25 Years Old…

One of the Producers is Afeni Shakur!

Although some of the Non Rapped Songs are Appealing, the Plot is Not.

Oddly enough, the Vast Orchestra of the Palace Theatre--recently Home to Annie--has been Closed Off, replaced by a Section of Stadium Seating, stuck in front of it.

This reduces the Possible Sensation of Empty Seats in the Original Orchestra Conformation.

Could this be some kind of Vanity Production?

Or just a New York Tryout for a Nation Wide Tour of Post Industrial Cities?

Kenny Leon staged with the Occasional Choreographies of Wayne Cilento…


Benjamin Scheuer's THE LION [*****]

A Ballad of Seven Guitars:

By a Music Man Who Has Learned How To Become a Lion--If Not Yet The Lion King…

Years Ago, there was a Nostalgic Drama on Broadway called I Never Sang for My Father.

Ben Scheuer's Father Problem was rather Different.

They both Played the Guitar, but Dad was a Math Prof & Ben was a Math Failure, angering Scheuer Senior, who also didn't like the way Ben strummed his Guitar.

There were Harsh Words & Dad Died before Ben could Make It Right.

Surviving Life Threatening Bone Cancer gave Ben not only a New Lease on Life, but also a New Appreciation of the Gifts He Had Been Given & an Eagerness To Share.

Which he is now doing in The Lion at the Manhattan Theatre Club over at City Center.

How many of us could have Epic Family Problems & a Killer Disease, yet Live to Sing so Sweetly, Sadly, & yet Strongly about Such Sorrows?


Robert Wilson's Vision of Mikhail Barishnikov & Willem Dafoe in THE OLD WOMAN [*****]

Please! Would You Say That Again? And Again! And Again! And Again! And Again! And Again!

Oho! That's Magdeburg way back in the Distant Background!

In the Middle Ground of this 18th Century Engraving, Two Teams of Dray Horses are Unsuccessfully Attempting to Pull Apart Two Iron Hemispheres.

Otto von Gierke! Thou shouldst be Living in This Hour!

Robert Wilson has employed this Famed Engraving of your Experiment with the Magdeburg Spheres as a Decorative Front Curtain for his Fascinating Visualization of The Old Woman.

This Ancient Engraving may be a Kind of Metaphor for This Wilsonian Production, for Baron Otto was trying to Test the Power of Atmospheric Pressure on the Two Hemispheres, from which all the Air had been Sucked Out, leaving an almost Perfect Vacuum

Wilson surely did not mean to imply that what he has Imagined on Stage occurs in a Perfect Vacuum.

Or that All The Air has been Sucked Out of The Old Woman.

By No Means!

The Essence of The Old Woman has been Endlessly Recycled in the Verbalizations & Physicalizations of Mikhail Baryshnikov & Willem Dafoe.

This Engaging Duo appear in Black Suits, but with White Faces--a Kind of Garish Clown Makeup, suggesting Silent Film Actors, even Buster Keaton…

But back to Otto & the Magdeburg Hemispheres!

Wilson has Differenced the Original Engraving with some Cute Touches, including what appears to be a Moveable Man in a Blue Coat, opposing a Reddish Beast above him.

After this Distraction Curtain rises, Baryshnikov & Dafoe Work in One, Crossing & Re crossing the Stage with various Odd Props.

We actually get to see One of the Duo as an Old Woman who "holds a Clock that has No Hands."

Actually, it has One Hand, Two Fingers pointing to the Correct Time!

How About That!

In Scene One, the Verbalization begins with the Hunger Poem.

In Scene Three, One of the Duo tells the Other about Old Women Falling Out of Windows, smashing into the Street Below.

Scene Five is a Dream Poem: Dream Poem 1.

Scene Nine is another Dream Poem: Dream Poem 2.

In Scene Four, the Old Woman has entered the Writer's Room, where she Orders Him About & then Dies in a Strangely Surreal Bauhaus Constructivist White Chair.

In Scene Ten, the Writer puts the Body of the Old Woman into a Giant Suitcase.

In Scene Twelve, the Old Woman appears again, holding a Clock that has No Hands.

Then, There Is an Epilogue!

The Wonder of all this Odd Entertainment is that Baryshnikov & Dafoe work so well together, considering that Dafoe was never known as a Ballet Dancer par excellence

They Sing! They Shout! They Scream! They Dance!

They Gesticulate! They Pose! They Posture…

Among the Musical Accompaniments are: Here's Charlie, Good Night Sweetheart, Randy Newman's I'll Be Home, & Tiger Rag--also used in Woody Allen's current Broadway Hit, Bullets Over Broadway.

Robert Wilson--who recently also employed Dafoe, over at the Park Avenue Armory, in The Life & Death of Marina Abramowic--has based his Amazing Moving Stage Pictures on the Russian Text of Daniil Kharms, as adapted by Darryl Pickney.

Kharms Died in 1942--Imprisoned in Leningrad.

His Surviving Manuscripts were Hidden in a Suitcase!

But That's Another Story, of which the BAMbill Program is Full--including Artistic Statements by Wilson, Baryshnikov, Dafoe, & Darryl Pickney.

The Ornate Stage Boxes of the Howard Gilman BAM Opera House--in the Peter J. Sharp BAM Building--were left Unsold.

Considering the Public Clamor for Tickets--the Line for Will Calls, those Art Loving People who had already Paid for Their Seats, stretched out of the Peter J. Sharp BAM Building, down the Entrance Steps & into the Avenue--at first, it seemed Strange that the Ornate Stage Boxes were not also Crammed with Spectators.

Aha! The Better to See the English Translations of Baryshnikov's Russki Utterances in Supertitles above the Stage & in the Ornate Stage Boxes!

Of course, the Direction, Set Design, & Lighting Concept were all Pure ®obert Wilson!

The Lighting Concept was Especially Interesting, for Objects Hanging Overhead--or even Sitting Silently on the Stage Floor--could change from Stark White to Bold Basic Red, or Bold Basic Blue, or Bold Basic Green in An Instant.

With No Color Overspill!

The Bold Basic Black Stage Floor facilitated that Stunning Effect.

The Wilsonian Stage Props--including that Collapsed White DADAist Surrealist Bauhaus Constructivist Stage Bed, which was repeatedly replicated in Smaller Versions at the Close--had Echoes of Charles Rennie Macintosh, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Adolphe Appia Lighting, Edward Gordon Craig, Suprematism, even Italian Futurism.

Repeated Standing Ovations for Baryshnikov & Dafoe!

But this was not their First Time Out.

No, Indeed!

The Old Woman Production had been Co Commissioned from Baryshnikov Productions & Wilson's Watermill Center by the Manchester International Festival, the Late Gian Carlo Menotti's Spoleto Festival dei Due Monde--now Logo ed as 2Mondi--as well as by Théâtre de la Ville Paris/Festival d'Automne à Paris, & deSingel Antwerp.

Salzburg Festival! Eat Your Heart Out!



The Manhattan School of Music Tries Not To Be Out Foxed by the Juilliard School!

During the Regular School Year, both the Juilliard & the MSM mount Excellent Productions of Challenging Operas: One each in the Autumn; One each in the Spring…

Some of the Student Singers go on, soon after, to appear in Major European Opera Festivals.

Some Seasons ago, the Juilliard produced a Magical Vision of Leos Janácek's Cunning Little Vixen, enhancing its effect with the Participation of Juilliard Dance Students.

This MSM Staging is not one of the Regulars.

Rather, it is part of what is called a "Summer Voice Festival."

For some Arcane Reason, Conductor J. David Jackson decided to turn his back on the Max Brod German Version of Das Schlaue Füchslein, "adapting" the Original Czech Libretto by himself.

Well, OK.

But I would have felt more Secure had the Maestro shown himself more Czech Oriented in the Opera Program.

He describes Janácek's Original Libretto as "Monrovian Influenced."

Actually, Monrovia is the Capital of Liberia, taking its Name from Pres. James Monroe.

The Original Illustrated Vixen Series was published in Brno--or Brünn--the Capital of Moravia--or Mähren.

But what is especially frustrating about the Maestro's Program Materials is that he provides No Synopsis of the Stage Action.

If you did not already know Vixen/Füchslein from Other Productions that did have a Synopsis in their Programs, you would have almost No Idea in this MSM Mounting of Who Was Who & What Was Going On.

The Actual Student Singing was generally Good, with the Forester of Isaac Assor especially admirable, although he did have difficulty with the Strap on his Rifle.

But the Varied Bug, Bird, & Chicken Behaviors of Various Cast Members--despite some Cute Costumes--suggested Community Theatre.

If you do not already know about the Interesting Interactions of the Forester & the Füchslein, I have No Intention of Providing what Maestro Jackson withheld from his MSM Audience.

Historical Notes: After the Break Up of the Austro Hungarian Empire--following the Epic Defeat of the German & Austrian Kaisers in "The Great War," or "The War To End Wars"--the Czech Speaking Provinces of Böhmen & Mähren, or Bohemia & Moravia, became Two Thirds of the Newly Invented Nation of Czechoslovakia.

The Unfortunate Slovaks--who were not Czech Speakers nor Czech Fans--found themselves Oppressed by Prague, but at least they were now able to call their Capital City by the Slovakian Name of Bratislava instead of the Austro Germanic Pressburg!

As for Monrovia, it was named for James Monroe--famed for his "Monroe Doctrine."

It became the Capital City of the Newly Invented African Nation of Liberia, where Freed American Slaves were Re Settled, to Govern Themselves & not Annoy Abolitionist Northerners, who were--Post Civil War--not Eager to have them Hanging Around Boston…

Monrovia is a Long Way Off from Moravia!


Mario Fratti & Maury Yeston's NINE [*****]

Better Than on Broadway--Almost--With Outstanding Semi Pros & Mario Fratti in the Audience!

It was--I hope--a Real Surprise for the MSM Cast of Mario Fratti's Nine to have him come Back Stage after their Excellent Performance.

But this would not have happened had I not Phoned Mario to Alert him about the Production.

Neil Rosenshein & Elizabeth Young are the Co Directors of MSM's Summer Voice Festival.

When they were selecting the Two Works to be Staged, why didn't they Google the Name: Mario Fratti?

Mario lives just a few doors up the street from New York City Center, after all…

What about Bill Fabris--who economically staged Nine's Almost All Female Cast in a Bare Bones Stage Space? Could he have called Mario?

Then there's Dan Gettinger, Musically Directing from his Grand Piano, up above all the Percussions down in the Pit? Could he have called?

Anyway, both Mario & I liked this Mini Revival a Lot.

The Previous Evening may have looked like Community Theatre, but this Cast were all Real Pros.

They Looked Great; They Moved In Character, & They Sang Like Broadway Stars.

Best of All was Drew Santini, who as Guido Contini--Mario's Stand In for Federico Fellini, the Italian Movie Director who is making a Film to be called 8 1/2--was both Sexy & Frustrated, surrounded by So Many Women: All of them with Some Kind of Claim on Him…

Drew Santini is ready for Broadway Stardom!

Maury Yeston crafted the Catchy Melodies for Nine, which include Not Since Charlie Chaplin, Coda di Guido, The Germans at the Spa, My Husband Makes Movies, A Call from the Vatican, & Nine, the Title Song, half a notch up from Eight & a Half.

Mario & Maury worked on this show in Lehman Engels' BMI Musical Workshop, which is where I first heard some of it.

I was doing a Report on how Broadway Musicals Come into Being, so Lehman invited me to sit in. He also came to talk to my PhD Theatre Class on Musical Theatre, which included Opera, Operetta, Revue, & even Cabaret.

So it was that I found myself one Snowy February Morning down at Ellen Stewart's LaMaMa ETC, where Edward Albee was to present the Glowing Duo with the Richard Rodgers Award for Best New Musical still awaiting Production.

As the Award was administered by the American Academy of Arts & Letters--of which Albee was now a Member, for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?--there were also Other Luminaries on hand.

Over by the Coffee Maker, a Tall Distinguished Lady in a Warm Overcoat offered me both Coffee & Cream.

"I'm Barbara Tuchman," she said, extending her hand, but Not to Shake, as she had My Cup in its Grip.

I was Astounded!

"Barbara Tuchman! The Guns of August!

"I just loved your The Distant Mirror, about the Middle Ages! I couldn't put it down!"

Pulitzer Prize Winner Barbara Tuchman laughed: "I find that difficult to believe. My husband says it Weighs a Ton!"

Anyway, Bravo, Mario & Maury!


Gerry Alessandrini's FORBIDDEN BROADWAY Comes Out Swinging [*****]

From Maria to Mary Poppins, No Musical Icon Is Safe!

Popular Parodies, Witty Lyrics, Great Voices, Dynamic Mimes, & Split Second Costume Changes!

Now that Broadway Musicals cost so much that Only Tourists Can Afford Them, you can catch up on the Entire Season in Just One Night over at Forbidden Broadway.

Not Quite on the Great White Way, Gerry Alessandrini's Hilarious Franchise also takes Pot Shots at such Musical Methuselahs as Sound of Music, Pippin, & Les Mis.

But I did miss that Phantom of the Opera Unmasking of Long Ago…

Actual Show Tunes are used by Alessandrini, but he devilishly devises Devastating New Lyrics.

No One is Suing for this Music Appropriation as it has always been Great Free Advertising for such shows as Rocky, Once, Cabaret, Kinky Boots, Book of Morons, Matilda, & Cinderella.

Fortunately or Unfortunately, The Bridges of Madison County could not Profit from this Unique Form of Sung Drama Criticism, as it had already Closed--by Popular Demand.

The Epic Self Regard of Mandy Patinkin was Fastidiously Recycled by Marcus Stevens.

Nor did the Nipple Rouging of Alan Cumming in Cabaret escape Notice.

Speaking of Cabaret & Recycling, Lisa Minelli joined a Supremely Self Confident Michelle Williams, who really didn't Get the Point about Sally Bowles…

Quite aside from the Brilliant Impersonations of such Broadway Personalities as Cyndi Lauper, Woody Allen, Harvey Fierstein, Audra McDonald, Andrea Martin, Sylvester Stallone, & Neil Patrick Harris, one stands--or sits--in Amazement at the Parodic Correctness of the Character Costumes & the Wonderful Wigs which the Parodic Quartette don & doff with such Panache, Dispatch, & Ado!

The Amazing Graces of Forbidden Broadway are Carter Calvert, Mia Gentile, Scott Richard Foster, & Marcus Stevens.

Although seated at the Pianoforte, David Caldwell is also Deeply Involved & Implicated in this Show of Shows!

Loved the Parody Poster for Teeny Todd, but Sweeny didn't Make the Cut in this Ingenious Edition of Forbidden Broadway…

Caricature of Glenn Loney in header is by Sam Norkin.

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