Wednesday, March 24, 2010

All in the Family

Suzanne Brockmann

Like Suzanne Brockmann, I'd never heard of the film star William Haines until I read that the popular novelist and her husband, Ed Gaffney (who writes under the pen name Will McCabe), were writing and producing the play Looking for Billy Haines, in which the openly gay actor from the '20s and '30s figures prominently. As I'm just as passionate about books as I am about theater, I welcomed the chance to talk to them about their new venture for TheaterMania.

It's a true family affair, starring their son, Jason T. Gaffney not as the title character but as a young gay actor who takes inspiration from him. And believe it or not, only a slight change of pace from the military-themed romantic suspense novels Brockmann is known for.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Secret Success

Compared to Watergate, the fight to publish the Pentagon Papers looks more like a schoolyard scuffle than an actual battle.

Still, I couldn't help being smitten by New York Theatre Workshop's L.A. import Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers. The combination of old-school newspaper reporting and radio drama was an enchanting bit of nostaslgia, and then there's the nostalgia factor of a cast that includes Peter Strauss and Larry Bryggman.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Snarl It With a Song

Can't say that I've seen more than the occasional episode of the TV show Glee, although theater and non-theater acquaintances alike seem to think I should be watching it. Perhaps it's the high school memories that I don't want to relive — a time when I desperately wanted to be a soloist but my pitch problem made that a big problem.

The play Glee Club isn't set in a high school, although the behavior of the men in the organization is decidedly ninth grade. It also isn't much longer than my high school music class.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Trouble in New York City

I respectfully disagree with Jonathan Reynolds' assessment that politics is the reason he's had such trouble getting his abortion play Girls in Trouble produced. Having seen and reviewed it, it's fair to say the only reason to produce it is that it offers a political viewpoint almost never seen on the New York stage. A playwright with liberal leanings wouldn't be so lucky. That still won't turn a rant into a play populated by characters that resemble human beings, but it will make it stand out.

If you're interested in seeing a play that provokes discussion about a touchy issue, in this case race, check out Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park at Playwright Horizons. His characters nearly manage to out-carnage God of Carnage in the second act, and they keep you laughing and thinking all the way.