Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How Soon They Forget

Anthony Mackie in McReele.

How interesting that reports about The Long Run, a spec script by playwright Stephen Belber that Will Smith is producing, fail to mention that it's hardly a fresh idea for Belber.

The story, about a charismatic death row inmate and the journalist who helps free him from prison only to realize he may have made a mistake, may have a better title this time around, but it's the same premise as his play McReele, which the Roundabout staged three years ago. One of my early Time Out feature stories was an interview with Anthony Mackie, who played the titular role, but, alas, it no longer exists on the website for easy reference.

Mackie is currently appearing in Fences as part of the August Wilson reading cycle at Kennedy Center, and I would love to see him play Cory in the already annoucned Broadway revival.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fright Night

Mandy Siegfried om The Scariest

The howling, haunting wind that's been blowing outside my windows for the last 12-plus hours has me thinking that my apartment would be a great site-specific location to stage The Scariest, the Exchange's collection of short, spooky plays. Here's my review.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Peeping

A hat tip to Adam for this NC17-rated tribute to my favorite marshmellow Easter delight.

And that's all I'll say on the topic … until next year. Happy Easter! Hope everyone's Sunday is filled with delicious ham, colored eggs and/or chocolate bunny delights.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Peep at Easter

Peepanardo DaVinci paints the Mona Lisa.

Easter may be just a week and a half away, but the Peeps at my neighborhood Duane Reade will probably hang around until Memorial Day, discounted to the point that they'd be better off just giving them away. (Although even then they'd probably have few takers.)

I've always had a love/hate relationship with the little marshmellow critters, which are spawned in Bethlehem, Pa., not far from my hometown, so it's nice to see that their maker, the appropriately named Just Born, has a sense of humor about them and, along with several newspapers around the country, is sponsoring a Peeps Diorama Contest.

For it's bizarre blend of the highbrow and the lowbrow, my favorite is the one pictured above, Peeponardo DaVinci painting Mona Peepsa from the Chicago Tribune.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Not Making Music

While standing in a very long post office line this rain-soaked past Saturday (had a Flintstones children's record to ship to Boise and TV Guide to send to Massachusetts; see this post for further explanation), I dug a five-month old Vanity Fair article by Tom Stoppard out of my bag and finally read it. Not surprisingly, it's about the Syd Barrett, the reclusive former member of Pink Floyd who figures in Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll.

But what caught my attention was this early paragraph, where Stoppard admits there's at least one thing he doesn't have a talent for:

"I have no understanding of music, none at al. Much as I love the noise it makes, I can stare for hours at a guitar band and never work out which guitar is making which bit of noise. Also, my brain seesm incapable of forming a template even for sounds I've heard a hundred times."

I read a similar confession from another literary Brit favorite of mine, Stephen Fry, both of which made me feel a lot less insecure about my own musical shortcomings. I think that's where my desire to write the book of a musical comes from — the need to do something involving music from a place where I can't do much damage.

Coincidentally, my pal Amy brought this article to my attention just this morning. Time to dust off that old violin. I think I still remember how to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hold the Butterworth

Jonathan Cake and Emily Mortimer in Parlour Song.

Is this a sign that I'm becoming a discerning theatergoer or a cranky old broad? Although I enjoyed reading the New York Times review of Jez Butterworth's Parlour Song, I don't think Ben Brantley and I saw the same show, whereas Bloomberg News' notorious John Simon summed up my thoughts exactly. (It's the snippet below his Cat on a Hot Tin Roof review.)

What I did take away from the evening is that the only thing yummier than Jonathan Cake prancing around the stage shirtless is Jonathan Cake playing Scrabble shirtless.