How do you solve a problem like Maria? Chocolate and booze. By Rachel James (Treasurer/Writer)
While everyone seemed to be watching The Sound of Music last night, I currently don’t own a television and therefore couldn’t partake in the snark/critique that was blowing up Facebook and Twitter.
Let it be known that Playbill posted this on Twitter before the end of Act 1. #TeamElsa
I looked out my living room window, with it’s clear view of the Empire State Building, wondering what colors it would be tonight. It had been blue and white the last 8 night for Chanukah, and I wanted to see if they had changed over to the goyim red and green now that Advent is upon us. the LED display.
But it got me thinking about the holidays. Yes, Thanksgiving was last week and it is now perfectly acceptable to blast my “White Christmas” Pandora station through the end of the year. But I’m still shocked that the Christmas tree stands are up already and that it’s actually December. It made me realize that it has been a long time since I acknowledged Advent.
When I was a child, my grandmother used to send me an Advent calendar every year. I would open the window each morning to find a Bible verse, usually from Luke, detailing the story of the birth of Jesus.
I haven’t had an Advent calendar since I was a kid. Nor have I particularly desired one. After spending so much of my childhood counting down to Christmas with lots of church singing and overall holiday fatigue, I’ve spent most of my adulthood enjoying the gathering of loved ones, but avoiding old traditions.
However, when the hilarious comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted the following, I had to research further.
A few thoughts on a fantastic new show By Geoffrey Kidwell (actor)
I came out to my parents over the phone from the parking lot of a Wal-Mart.
I had been living up in Northern California, working at a repertory theater and spending my days obsessing over how and when I would tell mom and dad the big news. Tomorrow. No, Saturday. No, when they come up to see the show. Eventually, I'll do it eventually. I'm just not ready yet.
That was the thought process for longer than I'd like to admit.
But like most major news stories, my coming out had a way of finding its headline.
I was driving home from a rehearsal and that awful, yet all too recognizable, panicky feeling came over me. But this time it was different. This time, I didn't think I'd be able to wait it out. And so, I pulled over into the first parking lot I saw. Wal-Mart, naturally.
I dialed my parents' telephone number and when my mom answered, I froze. I was obviously upset, fighting back tears, and my mom knew it. But I couldn't do it. I told her I loved her and hung up the phone.
In that instant, I remember feeling that if I didn't tell them then and there, I never would. I counted to three and redialed. When my mom answered, I blurted out, "I'm gay."
My mom's response:
"Oh thank God!"
"What," I said.
"I thought you were going to tell me you were addicted to drugs or that you had been arrested for some awful crime," she replied.
Then she asked me if this meant I'd go shopping with her more often. I said it was less than likely.
My life changed in that moment. Obviously. It was like a door that had been bolted shut to me had suddenly been opened. On the other side was a whole set of experiences - a lifetime worth - waiting for me. Asking me what had taken so long.
The years immediately following my coming out were exciting and kind of terrifying.
Yesterday, I had the great fortune of seeing Fun Home, the new musical by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron.
Without giving anything away, I'll tell you that I left the theatre feeling so deeply reminded of my coming out experience. It was as if it had happened yesterday. All the joy. All the fear. All the relief. They were right there.
I'm telling you here and now that if you are in the New York area, this show is not to be missed. It stands out as a show full of truth, joy, sadness, mystery and yearning. It's extraordinary. And not just if you're gay. If you're a person with feelings, then this show is for you.
Don't miss it.
That's all I have to say about that.
AND NOW...THE WEEK IN WHITNEY HOUSTON!!!!
This this this!!! Miss Houston, wearing a fur hat and singing the Star Spangled Banner. A Cappella. You're welcome.
And I can't get a job on a show that's canceled, so... by Kate Sheridan (actor/writer/Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal)
If you're not watching "The Mindy Project", you need to start - so the rest of us can continue. Fox recently announced that Kaling's show would be taking a midseason hiatus, which doesn't necessarily bode well for renewal. But the show has blossomed into one of the best comedies on television, with fast, witty writing (by Kaling, of course, and a staff that includes alumni of "30 Rock", "Community" & "MADtv") and storylines that mix rom-com cliche and millenial-female relatability with just the right amount of weird. Seriously, it was like, in the top 20 of my list of things to be thankful for.
There will be new episodes through January (Tuesdays, 9:30/8:30c on Fox) but whether you decide to jump on the bandwagon now or catch up over the break- here are five reasons you should be watching.
1. Hot Hot Mess > Adorkable
Okay, a lot of these reasons have to do with "New Girl", because originally this post was going to be about "Mindy" kicking "New Girl"s ass this season- but with the future of the show in jeopardy, it's about so much more than that. Still, there's some fair points to be made. Namely: Jessica Day is great. I really do like "New Girl". And if any of you live in LA with the luckiest Craigslist roommates ever in a cupcake laden world of whimsical songs and vintage patterned sundresses, I'm glad you can relate to her. (I certainly empathize with her views on PMS.) But for those of us who are a little less cute, a little more career-driven, and a little (or a lot) messier on the life front - Mindy is your girl.
Dr. Mindy Lahiri is a smart, fashionable, successful OB/GYN- but she also dates losers, lives in daydreams, gets petty, makes mistakes, and skips a workout or two. While Jess is the girl we wish we were in our manic-pixie daydreams, Mindy is the girl we ARE.And even when she falls, and fails, and eats a whole loaf of breadby herselfevery night- she's still fabulous, and therefore empowers us to own OUR hot(mess)ness.
Nu-folk and 80's synth pop had a lovechild...a dancey, glorious lovechild by Cathryn Salamone (Actor/Musician)
The Cali-born, three piece sister band Haim has been enjoying rising fame since the debut of their 2012 EP Forever and their recent 2013 album release, Days Are Gone. Many have tried to pin down their genre, waffling between Fleetwood Mac-inspired 70's folk to 80's synth pop to 90's R&B.
In truth, Haim is a glorious mixture of these styles, and presumably the only formula of its kind until I stumbled upon the Brooklyn-based HAERTS.
HAERTS is another band that captures the currently unnamed genre that Haim encapsulates. The music is transparent enough to hear the traditional rock instruments of guitar, drums, bass, but ethereal pads reminiscent of 80's pop layer underneath them, and drums are accompanied or sometimes replaced by dancey beats more akin to R&B.
After checking out HAERTS, I was led to Sky Ferreira, a 21-year old synth pop singer who also plays with elements of this new genre.
And here is POLIÇA, who verge a little more on the electronic side, but also show traces of the style of these other bands in "Lay Your Cards Out".
I believe that this is a new genre forming, rather than simply pastiching 70's folk and 80's pop. Whatever it should be called, it is catchy, exciting, effortlessly dancey and undoubtedly irresistable. Have a listen to these bands and decide for yourself.
When little kids are good actors, that's cool. When little kids are GREAT actors, that's something to talk about. By Ali Gordon (Actor/Comic)
I don't like to use this blog for theatre reviews, except to say good things. So let me start with this:
You really should see Fun Home at the Public Theatre. It is poetic without being flowery. It's emotional without being cloying. The opening lines of the show essentially detail exactly what's going to happen over the next hour and a half, but it still manages to surprise you. The music is great, the lyrics are some of the best I've heard in years, and the cast is uniformly top-notch.
But here's what I really want to say:
Sydney Lucas as Small Alison is like... crazy good.
Being a child actor is tough, and watching them can occasionally be even tougher. It's always difficult to admit that a kid isn't "pulling their weight" among a group of adult actors because... well... it's kind of a shitty thing to say about a kid, you know? "Oh yes, I saw this show with [Insert Extremely Famous and Renowned Broadway Actor Here] playing opposite [Oscar-Nominated Actress] and they were so great. The kid who played their son was... well... you know, he's a kid, how can you compare?" Which is true! How CAN you compare them? That's no fair. That kid is probably trying their very best. They learned their lines and blocking perfectly. They're probably still being home-schooled at the same time! They get up every night in front of huge crowds and attempt to do their very best. So, okay, they're not as good as [Famous Leading Actor] but... hey... who is?
But that's why it's even more rewarding when a kid can truly knock your socks off.
My Christmas wish list, for your reading pleasure. By Michael Kras (Actor/Playwright/Director)
It's the most wonderful time of the year... I've broken out my winter boots and coat, I've got my chocolate advent calendar to start off my day with delicious Christmasy sweetness, and I've got my usual list of holiday wishes, some of which I acknowledge that I'll probably never get... but a guy can dream!
I think I hate winter less than I always believed. I actually find the snow quite beautiful, as long as it remains below ankle level. The cold refreshes me. The spirited Christmas music, which used to irritate me incessantly, actually lulls me into a state of serenity and warmth. I think I'm just changing as a person... everything that I used to hate about the holiday season is undeniably growing on me.
And, in the spirit of this unusually wonderful season, here's a list of my biggest wishes...