I am so lucky to be able to watch, read and listen to so many wonderful artists who are sharing their ways of interpreting the world for us and spreading the gift of dick jokes! Here are some that you won't want to miss. -By Leah Bonnema (Stand Up Comic)
This is my second edition of Things That Make You Go Hmmmwhere I highlight some fanfuckingtasticals who are making the world a funnier place to live. I'm incredibly thankful to be surrounded by so much talent; courageous voices sharing their hilarity with the world and making us laugh. Laughter lowers your stress level and can make you live longer (I saw that shiznit on Drs this week). So, I think, everyone should be doing it as much as possible as the gym is such a downer. Comics open up topics that sometimes go un-discussed, bravely baring their honesty and creating a community around "Oh yeah, I feel like that too!" Comics share their truths with us, helping us laugh at ourselves, with others, through hard times and during good times. Below is some greatness that I highly recommend:
Ryan makes a dramaturgical case for Anne Hathaway's mediocre vocals in the new trailer for the Les Miz film.
By Ryan Bogner (Producer, Wingnut)
So yesterday we got a teaser trailer for the new Les Miz movie musical that's coming out this Christmas.
Someone in the marketing department decided that because of Susan Boyle, the most recognizable song in the score is "I Dreamed a Dream" and so decided that was what should play over the shots. Though the scuttle on the message boards is that the film looks amazing, many fans were underwhelmed with Anne Hathaway's vocals.
Probably because Musical Theater fans used to hearing this:
Instead got this:
Not nearly as vocally exciting as we're all used to hearing. But I want to explore the case for Tim Hooper and Anne's choiceof making the moment a bit lighter vocally from a dramaturgical perspective.
...Of the iceberg, you perv! By Kimberly Lew (Playwright/Blogger)
For the past couple of months, I've been working on a new play that has been an incredibly personal (and thereby challenging) project. The play is not particularly plot driven, rather, much of it revolves around a very unusual family secret the characters share, and I've found people's reactions to this secret incredibly divisive and complicated as far as their interpretation of the show's themes and how the story unfolds in general. The beauty of secrets is that it gives clear stakes for characters. Information is a vital source of power and knowing who has what information is an easy way of gauging the relationships between characters. The trouble with secrets, however, is that they are only secrets as long as they are kept quiet. And how you maneuver around information that is not and does not need to be explicitly said can be a tricky thing.
It's difficult sometimes as a playwright to discern what needs to be revealed and what doesn't. There is a constant need to balance an audience's expectation/desire for information with what is true to the characters and their situations. Even more tricky is that, in a work for the stage, subtleties of close-up shots or montages aren't viable in the same way that they are in film, so much of the burden of exposition falls on dialogue. How do you convey what you can't explicitly state/show? What do you sacrifice to please the audience, and what do you keep to yourself for the sake of the story?
I can't help thinking about Hemingway and the theory often taught relating to his work concerning icebergs. Hemingway's stories are often compared to icebergs because the actual work on paper only represents a fraction of the story as a whole. Only about 1/9 of an iceberg is visible above water, and Hemingway was an advocate for writers omitting details if they truly know their characters.
It's a bit comforting, really, to be able to experiment with detail and to see where withholding information may take you. While we certainly want to satisfy our audiences, sometimes it's important to leave blanks for the sake of discussion and interpretation. The most important thing is that we as writers know what the missing pieces are-- and, in that way, make the play just as much about what is unsaid as what is said on the stage.
KIMBERLY LEWis a playwright with two published one-act plays for high schools, as well as full-length Searching for Candi (co-written with Gabriella Miyares), which debuted at Mt. Holyoke college. Her latest play, Other People's Children, was recently featured as a part of The Beautiful Soup Theater Collective's new works reading series. She also created/manages the Emerging Musical Theatre blog. www.kimberlylew.com EMAIL HER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR
When planning a photo shoot, one often looks to the weather report to find hints about what evils may be lurking in the skies. Fortunately--or so I thought--the forecast for this past Thursday called for overcast skies, a photographer's dream. As my model, the fablulous, extraordinary, inspiring dancer Jordan Morley arrived and began unpacking a suitcase filled with all types of fashionable treasures, I looked outside and remarked at how perfectly diffused the light was.
But oh, I spoke too soon. Between entering the elevator on the 34th floor and arriving on ground level, Mother Nature decided to open up her skies and pour down on us. And it didn't stop. I wanted to cry. But rather than scrap the whole shoot, we started underneath some scaffolding and worked with what was at our disposal.
Fortunately by the time we were on our second look the skies had stopped sobbing and I placed a smile back on my face.
How a play goes from someone’s brain to a stage in NYC. Part 11: Opening Night! By Pam Quinn (Writer)
Tonight is opening night of Far From Chekhov.
I’m feeling a lot of things. Nerves, panic, excitement, sadness, anticipation, relief and hope. If you’ve been reading this blog and you’ve followed us each step of the way... a big thank you. I wanted to make a Part 12: The reviews... but... that’s up to you :). Come, see the show and send me your review!! The only way an artist can grow is if they receive feedback from their audience. Feedback is so important.
We’ve hauled in all the furniture, the props and the actors (they were the heaviest) and now we’re ready to get in front of an audience and show them what we’ve got.
Some Birthday Resolutions By Gregory Jacobs-Roseman (Composer-Lyricist)
This Saturday I’m hitting a non-milestone “milestone” birthday. And although turning 29 isn’t like hitting a big, round number such as 30, it is the very last year of my 20’s – a decade of my life that has been awash with landmarks, growth, life lessons, and of course, booze. I’m a pretty reflective person, and I know that each day of my 29th year I’ll be thinking: this is the last Independence Day, Halloween, New Year’s Eve, April 26th, etc. of my 20’s.
There are a lot of things I had resolved to do by the time I’m 30, and I’ve only got one year left to complete them. Quitting smoking is – forgive the pun – hanging like a dark cloud over my head, and my writing has been somewhat slow going since graduate school. There’s plenty to look back on and say: “man, I wish I had done [insert regret here] differently.” But then again, I know myself, and I know that when pushed against a wall, or when facing a looming deadline, I tend to kick shit into high gear, and that’s what I’m resolving to do on June 2nd.
I’ve always liked having my birthday in June. While I’m not a summer person – hate the heat, never liked the beach, and I still have horrible childhood memories from JCC summer camp – I do like that I get a slight reset button in the middle of the year. Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions. I, however, also like to make Birthday resolutions. It helps keep me from staring into the rear-view mirror (which if you know me, you know is something that’s a chronic addiction of mine) and instead remind myself to look at where I’m going, not where I was. Forward momentum.
My goal for 29 is to break three bad habits. First off: I want to stop being so hard on myself. It’s so easy to beat yourself up for not being as far along in your career as you thought you should be at a certain age. I need to accept that as long as I keep working, it will pay off. Second: I need to stop comparing my success to that of my peers. That is never productive. We all work at our own pace. Finally, and most importantly, I want to stop glorifying the work I did in the past and instead focus on what I’m going to create in the future. So you had this fantastic reading or production a year or two ago. Great. But that’s not going to change what you’re going to accomplish a year or two from now.
So this is my last Crazytown post as a 28-year-old. Again, not exactly a milestone. Still, anytime you take a moment to step back and get a wide-angle perspective on your life and its trajectory, I think that’s a good thing.
So this thing has been ALL OVER Facebook since it was posted on the internet last week. When I first saw it pop up on my Facebook feed multiple times, I got all cynical, thinking: "that's probably a load of crap. I'm not watching it."
But it kept being posted, by friends whose taste level I trust. "Fine, guys." I thought, "I'll watch the fucking video."
And then came the waterworks. Seriously, I cried like a little bitch watching this thing. The friends, the two sets of parents, her reactions, and then the boyfriend – who’s just this normal-looking guy and not some model or something – it all just got my Pavlovian responses going.
Here’s the video. Watch it if you’re one of the few people who haven’t already. Hell, watch it again if you have seen it already. It’s a little slice of joy:
You know that girl in front has gotta be either the best friend or sister of the girlfriend. And you know she was totally the choreographer/dance captian.
Being a sound designer and a generally theatrically inclined person, my mind immediately turned to logistics. “I wonder how much they rehearsed this,” I thought, and “they must have had the song playing from a speaker in the car as well for the lip-synchers, but gave her headphones for a direct line and to minimize background noise.” None of that matters, though, ‘cause this is objectively awesome.