Monday, May 22, 2017

Quote from Lillian Hellman's "The Little Foxes"

Addie in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes:
..there are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it like in the Bible with the locusts. Then, there are people who stand around and watch them eat it. Sometimes I think it ain't right to stand and watch them do it. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Meat Pie and Sondheim

Downtown's Barrow Street Theater is serving up meat pies and Sondheim (Tooting Arts Club style). Both are absolutely delicious! Here is more on the meat pie (and mash).
The Tradition of Pie and Mash - 
Good old-fashioned “pie and mash” has been a London food tradition since the days of Queen Victoria. A small meat pie and a generous helping of mashed potato with an optional addition of the steaming parsley sauce known as “liquor,” pie and mash became the staple dish for many hungry families and workers alike. Affordable, filling and tasty–it was often the only hot meal one might eat in a day.
Bill Yosses' Meat Pie and Mash -
Flaky Crust Chicken Pot Pie with Mushrooms, Carrots, Onions, Jerusalem Artichokes, Black Truffle Zest, served with Yukon Gold Smashed Potatoes and optional Italian Parsley & Herbs Sauce.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's Spring Thyme at Signature Center

At the Spring Signature Cocktail Hour, the mixologist shook things up and taught theater lovers how to make Spring Thyme, a vodka based cocktail that can be summed up in one word -- YUMMY! 

I enjoyed the cocktail very much and even had a pitcher stirred up for my beloved mom on Mother's Day. Check out the recipe if you want to stay refreshed during the Spring heat wave or simply want to enjoy a cocktail before heading to the theater.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel" at the McCarter Theater Center

A production of Intimate Apparel is currently mounted at the McCarter Theatre Center through June 4th. It is well worth a day trip to Princeton NJ to experience this wonderful play written by two time Pulitzer winner - Lynn Nottage. 

As a fan of actress Quincy Tyler Bernstine, I was pleased to witness the dignity and determination she brought to the role of Esther, the black seamstress who in the early 1900s supports herself by creating intimate apparel for women - wealthy and otherwise - and dreams of love and marriage like many young women then and now.

As a seamstress, Esther lovingly strokes and admires various fabrics throughout Intimate Apparel. This poster board outside the theater displays the fabrics seen and mentioned in the production. Definitely spend a few moments and see the fabrics up close. 


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hallelujah, "Carmen Jones" Will Return to the New York City Stage

Classic Stage Company just announced that they are mounting Carmen Jones in 2018 - the first major New York revival since the musical debut on Broadway 75 years ago! 
As the Second World War rages, parachute maker Carmen Jones wages her own quarrel involving an airman and a boxer. Using the score from Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, this adaptation by Oscar Hammerstein II resets the story with an all African-American cast.
I can finally cross this musical off my New York City Stage Wish List. According to the CSC website, further details to follow; tickets go on sale April 2018. 

Related Posts
"Carmen Jones" - A Broadway Revival I Would Love to See!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Quote from "Come Back, Little Sheba"

Doc in William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba:, Baby. We should never feel bad about what's past. What's in the past can't be helped. You... you've got to forget it and live for the present. If you can't forget the past, you stay in it and never get out. I might be a big M.D. today, instead of a chiropractor; we might have had a family to raise and be with us now; I might still have a lot of money if I'd used by head and invested it carefully, instead of gettin' drunk every night. We might have a nice house, and comforts, and friends. But we don't have any of those things. So what! We gotta keep on living, don't we? I can't stop just 'cause I made a few mistakes. I gotta keep goin'... somehow. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

One Day Intensives Are Coming to Juilliard This Summer Y'all

Juilliard Evening Division is offering a new series of intensive one-day history and appreciation courses this summer, and I've just got to find a way to work either the Swan Lake or Fences session into my summer fun...

Swan Lake
Henning Rübsam
Why is Swan Lake the most enduring and beloved example of classical ballet? In this day
of immersion, we explore the history and music of this treasured masterpiece. A famous
Swan Queen visits the class to illuminate the legendary dual role of good and evil, Odette/
Odile—including the challenge of transforming from white to black swan. A production
history of the ballet and an examination of its masterful score by Tchaikovsky will prepare
students for a matinee by American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House. A
discussion about the performance concludes the day. 

August Wilson’s Fences: Masterpiece of Theater and Film
Shana Komitee
August Wilson’s play Fences, the sixth installation of his 10-play “American Century Cycle,”
won both a Pulitzer and Tony when it appeared on Broadway in 1983. This year, it hit the big
screen, also to great acclaim. Helmed by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, the film was
widely distributed throughout the U.S., as well as in Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa, and
numerous European countries. Why has the story of Fences—about a garbage collector
named Troy Maxson and his family in Pittsburgh’s working class Hill District in 1957—riveted such diverse audiences? In this class, we read excerpts from the play; analyze its stage-to screen adaptation; and discuss the artistic lives of Wilson and the film’s stars (most of them worked with him). Student and alumni performers deepen our understanding of this majestic work and its place in the American theatrical, and now cinematic, canon.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Congratulations Lynn Nottage - You Two Time Pulitzer Winner You!

Lynn Nottage on being the first female playwright to win two Pulitzers:
It feels very daunting but it also feels quite wonderful. I feel like I am representing for women. I am representing for artists of color.
Poof! (1993)
Crumbs from the Table of Joy (1995)
Por'Knockers (1995)
Mud, River, Stone (1997)
Las Meninas (2002)
Intimate Apparel (2003)
Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (2004)
Ruined (2008) -- Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2011)
Our War (2014)
In Your Arms (2015)
Sweat (2015) --  Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Spring Road Trip - Final Stop: Laurel Highlands

Statue of Rose McClendon at FLW's Fallingwater
The final stop on my Spring road trip - the Laurel Highlands - has nothing to do with theater. But sometimes, even when you are not looking for the theater, it still has a way of finding you. 

After leaving Louisville and cutting through Trump-supporting West Virginia, I finally got a chance to witness the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and tour the grounds. Even before the guide had a chance to point out Rose McClendon, the 42" cast stone statue created by Richmond Barthé in 1932 grabbed my attention and admiration. Then when the guide noted that Rose McClendon was a Broadway actress from long ago, my interest was piqued. 

When I returned to New York, I consulted Wikipedia, the Broadway database and an Amsterdam News article, and sure enough, Rose McClendon (1884-1936) was an African American leading actress, who appeared in several Broadway productions throughout the '20s and '30s. The Amsterdam News article even refers to her as the First lady of the Black stage. Rose McClendon - a historical figure in American theater. Now, I know...

Rose McClendon's Broadway Cred (Source: IBDB)

  • Deep River (Oct 04, 1926 - Oct 30, 1926)
  • In Abraham's Bosom (Original Prod:Dec 30, 1926 - Jun 1927; Revival: Sep 06, 1927 - Nov 1927 )
  • Porgy (Original Prod: Oct 10, 1927 - Aug 1928; Revival:Sep 13, 1929 - Oct 1929 )
  • The House of Connelly (Sep 28, 1931 - Dec 1931)
  • Never No More (Jan 07, 1932 - Jan 1932)
  • Black Souls (Mar 30, 1932 - Apr 09, 1932)
  • Brain Sweat (Apr 04, 1934 - Apr 1934)
  • Roll, Sweet Chariot (Oct 02, 1934 - Oct ? 1934)
  • Panic (Mar 14, 1935 - Mar 15, 1935)
  • Mulatto (Oct 24, 1935 - Sep 1936)

Monday, April 10, 2017

My Spring Road Trip - Second Stop: Humana Festival in Louisville

After spending the night in Pittsburgh after a delightful walking tour through August Wilson's Hill District, I headed to Louisville Kentucky to take in a few plays at the 41st Humana Festival of New American Plays (an adventure that I can cross off my theater bucket list). 

After checking in at the must see and must stay 21c Museum Hotel in Downtown Louisville and dining at Proof on Main, I headed to the Actors Theatre to begin my humor-filled lineup of new American plays as well as an artist talk by Taylor Mac.   

First Play: We're Gonna Be Okay by Basil Kreimendahl
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, two average American families build a slapdash bomb shelter on their shared property line. With nuclear warfare looming, they wonder: is it the end? The end of baseball…and table manners…and macramé? But as they fret about the fall of civilization, they start to worry that something more personal is at stake. A slyly hilarious, compassionate look at anxiety in America, We’re Gonna Be Okay is about finding the courage to face who we are—and who we want to be.

Second Play: Cry It Out by Molly Smith Metzler 
Cooped up on maternity leave and starved for conversation, Jessie invites her funny and forthright neighbor Lina, also a new mom, for coffee on the patio between their duplexes. Despite their vastly different finances, they become fast friends during naptimes—while someone watches from the mansion on the cliff overlooking Jessie’s yard. This comedy with dark edges takes an honest look at the absurdities of being home with a baby, the dilemma of returning to work, and how class impacts parenthood and friendship.

Third Play: I Now Pronounce by Tasha Gordon-Solmon
After Adam and Nicole’s wedding culminates in an awkwardly timed fatality, the reception spins into an increasingly strange evening that leaves the bride and groom questioning just what it is they’re celebrating. But there’s no stopping the festivities: the flower girls are running amuck, the bridal party members are more preoccupied with their own flailing relationships, and everyone needs to stop ordering the blue drinks. Comedies end in marriage. Tragedies end in death. This play begins with both.

Artist Insight: Taylor Mac - Talk

Overall, the festival was worthwhile and I wish that I could make it an annual trip. I liked the variety I saw in my three play lineup and was surprise how many actors I recognized from the New York City stage. Not surprisingly,the play Cry It Out and its themes around womanhood, class, and motherhood resonated most with me. Surprisingly, Taylor Mac's talk was one of the highlights for me. It made me regret that I did not see his A 24-Decade History of Popular Music at St. Ann's Warehouse, but now, I have another artist to keep my eyes on. That's how these things are...