Monday, May 18, 2009

Mondays are Dark; May 18, 2009

I suspect that a lot of my readers are up at FPTA's yearly audition, either onstage or sitting at the table. Just remember, nobody ever died from a bad audition. They only wished it had killed them.

Fear No Evil

The Alliance Theatre is preparing to open the controversial My Name is Rachel Corey. Mosaic had planned a production last year, but there was such an outcry from patrons and supporters that Artistic Director Richard Jay Simon was compelled to cancel it.

So what's the big deal? The title character is sympathetic to the Palestinian's desire to have their own country. Which isn't the same thing as saying the play or its producers are sympathetic to that cause, according the the Alliance's blog:
Let us be perfectly clear; at its heart, this play is not about the Israel/Palestine conflict. The play is also not an agitprop piece, designed to inflame or offend. It is, at its core, a play about a fiery, passionate, idealistic young woman whose pursuit of social justice runs up against the unforgiving nature of reality, a young woman whose sense of ethics allows no compromise or rationalization. It is also the words of one human being, words that do not pretend to offer a balance or "opposing viewpoint."
I applaud the Alliance team. I have found it disgraceful that in the nation that claims to define freedom of speech, there are people who would banish attempts to fully examine the moral dilemmas we face in the Middle East. You don't have to approve of the play, and you certainly don't have to see it; but if your views cannot withstand examination or entertain the disucssion of of the other side of the argument, the validity of those views must be suspect.

Theatre vs. Theatre Companies

On a related note, The Playgoer wonders if the current approach to producing theatre is necessarily the best one:
Why must every play be part of a "season"? Why must every audience be dominated by "subscribers"? I'm convinced that what's left of the core theatre audience today--especially those under 40--just don't care about all that anymore. When they hear something's good, they just want to be able to go buy a ticket and see it--wherever, whenever.
It's something to consider.

More Contrarian Opinions

The Producer's Perspective overheard something at the Broadway League Town Hall Conference that caught his attention:
"Why is it that we are always asking how we're going to get people in their 20s to the theater? Do you ever hear nightclubs wondering how they are going to get 50 year olds to go drinking until 4 AM?"
- Mike Isaacson
This is news?

The Palm Beach Daily News reports that the Maltz Jupiter Theatre will be dark from August 3 through the 20th. Remember when all the theatres closed in August? No? God, I'm old.

The Post's Presumptious Promo Piece

It's presumptious only because it's labeled as a review: probably a tag added by one of the kids running the Post's new browser-buster website, PBPulse. Kevin Thompson's article in the Palm Beach Post gives us some background on Florida Stage's latest offering.

Yeah, it's Bent.

Broadway World reports that Rising Action Theatre is taking on Martin Sherman's powerful Bent.

That Raul Esparza Is At It Again

The Drama Queen tells us that South-Floridian-gone-big-on-Broadway Raul Esparza has tied a record: he is one of only two actors in history to be nominated for a Tony Award in every category for which a male actor is eligible.

She really means "two OTHER actors."

The Drama Queen also tells us that "two actors with ties to Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics" will soon be appearing on Miami Stages.

Of course, Ken Clement is already appearing at Broward Stage Door in The Odd Couple and Deborah Sherman is appearing in The Dumb Show at the Promethean Theatre. But I guess those are not "Miami" stages.

And wasn't David Perez-Ribada in that show? She forgot to mention that he's opening in Havana Bourgeois at Actors' Playhouse.

But congratulations to Carlos Orizondo, who appeared in the original production with all the actors noted above, and Grettel Trujillo, who was in the New York production of Anna. They are among FIVE actors with ties to Anna in the Tropics working on South Florida stages.

Funny how she's never used that Anna connection until now.

Last but not Least

Most people I run into - even those in Theatre - have never heard of the Cappie Awards. It's the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theatre and Journalism, and the South Florida chapter (which encompasses Broward and Palm Beach counties) has their presentation ceremony on Tuesday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. It's an impressive list of nominees.

Congratulations to all the nominees; whoever takes home the actual award, all of you are winners.

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