Sunday, February 18, 2018

"Amy and the Orphans" Led Me To Watch Geraldo Rivera's 1972 "Willowbrook" Expose...

Plays about "special needs" resonate with me. 

In recent years, I experienced Deanna Jent's Falling about the reality of a family dealing with an autistic son, subject to violent outbursts. 

Then Amy Herzog's Mary Jane about a mother coping with caring for her chronically sick child. 

And now, Lindsey Ferrentino's Amy and the Orphans, which runs through April 22nd at The Laura Pels Theatre, about two siblings reuniting with their sister, who has Down Syndrome. 

Days after seeing the play, Amy has remained with much so that it led me one night to Geraldo Rivera's 1972 expose about Willowbrook State School and how New York State failed those with "special needs."  

Beware, the expose is difficult to watch and may leave you restless (as it did me)...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Balloon Art Installation - Lincoln Center

As the balloons biodegrade, the way they change, that transition from ripe perfection to decomposing fragments is part of their complexity ~ Jihan Zencirli (Geronimo)

Artist - Jihan Zencirli (Geronimo)

I was treated to this massive and colorful balloon art installation by artist Jihan Zencirli (Geronimo) when I went to a performance of New York City Ballet New Combinations at Lincoln Center a few days ago. Very exciting! 

The installation is on display through March 4th... 

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Delightful Artist - Valerie June

Last week, I caught Valerie June's concert at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture -- part of the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series. This is my third time seeing Valerie June in concert and she gets more delightful each time I see her. Her music - a combination blues, soul, bluegrass, and appalachian folk - really appeals to me. I am having fun following her career. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

After 30 Years - Goodbye Lincoln Center Cinemas

Very sad to pass by Lincoln Plaza Cinemas today and see the empty marquee.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SLP is working on 2 musicals, FCH (4, 5, & 6), 2 new plays, a tv show, 2 movies, and her band...

Earlier this summer, I visited Vermont. While chit chatting with a local, he joked that Vermonters usually have more than one job - like Jamaicans, a reference to the Hey Mon skits from the In Living Color comedy sketch tv series from the 90s. This past weekend, as I arrived at Signature center early to experience the second of Suzan-Lori Parks tragic red letter plays - In the Blood, the playwright herself was in the cafe performing with her band - sula and the noise. As I stood there, I recalled listening to a talk where the playwright itemized ALL the projects she is working on:

  • Writing two musicals - one an adaptation of The Harder They Come and the other a musical with Timbaland
  • Working on Father Comes Home - Parts 4, 5 and 6
  • Two new plays that - she would not disclose the titles but promises that they are fun
  • A television show
  • Two different movies
  • And she writes songs and plays with her band (you can see her some Saturdays at Signature Center)

Then I recalled my conversation with the Vermonter and thought Suzan-Lori Parks could very well be a Vermonter...better yet, a Jamaican...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Playwright Notes: The Red Letter Plays

Suzan-Lori Parks on The Red Letter Plays - Fucking A and In the Blood:
It was as if they were twins in the womb of my consciousness, twins in my mind. And one couldn't get out because they were entangled together. So when "In the Blood" came out easily, then "Fucking A" was very easy to write. They're sisters, these two plays. Both asking that question that I seem to keep asking in my work: "Who are you to me?" And out of that questioning, hopefully, will come an understanding. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Lin-Manuel on Musicals

Quote from GQ article - Lin-Manuel Miranda Can’t Believe You Think Musicals Are Nerdy
...Music does things to our brains and our hearts that words alone don’t. When all of the dominoes fall the right way, I don’t think there’s anything more thrilling.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

WTF Stopover - Jen Silverman's "The Roommate"

For the 4th holiday, I headed up to Vermont - my first visit to the green mountain state. On the way up, I just had to make a stopover in cozy Williamstown to catch one of the plays in this year's festival - Jen Silverman's The Roommate.

Oh, what a treat experiencing this delicious comedy starring the amazing S. Epatha Merkerson and Jane Kaczmarek.

Play Synopsis: 
Empty-nested and alone in her Midwestern home, Sharon (Merkerson) takes on a roommate, Robyn (Kaczmarek), who has just arrived from New York City. Before she has even unpacked, Robyn challenges everything about Sharon’s way of life. Book clubs, 80s pop music, and the occasional shared toke complicate their unlikely but enduring relationship, even as they venture into dangerous territory. Mike Donahue directs Jen Silverman’s new play which celebrates unexpected re-invention later in life.

WTF's The Roommate ends this weekend. However, if given the opportunity, it is definitely worth catching a production of Jen Silverman's gem.

At The Williams Inn, a wall features the plays in this year's festival: 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Quote from Samuel Beckett's "Happy Days"

Winnie in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days:
One keeps putting off - putting up - for fear of putting up - too soon - and the day goes by - quite by - without one's having put up - at all.