Monday, August 31, 2009

Mondays are Dark

Here is your Monday reading list for the last day of August.

Making it Happen
As anyone in regional theatre can attest, we can't do it without the help of volunteers.  The Sun-Sentinel spends an afternoon with Peter Neirouz, who coordinates the 1,000+ volunteers that help make the Broward Center for the Performing Arts one of the top venues on the planet.

Dave's Next Musical
Laughing my way through CANNIBAL; The Musical over the weekend, I reflected that Dave Arisco is usually the one putting on stupid-funny musicals.  But honestly, I don't think he could have done a better job with it. Different? Sure. 

Arisco's next project is The Marvelous Wondrettes, and you can read about it on

Squeezed Off Stage

It's not just South Florida's theater community feeling the pinch.  Caddy-corner across the country, Seattle actors suddenly find themselves without a gig for the whole season.  Here in South Florida, several of the more established companies have tended to bring in talent from out of town, although it seems that that will happen less in the near future due to transportation and housing costs.  But that doesn't mean that there's as much work this year as last year.

Who rocks Broadway
Well, a member of The Who, anyway.  The Guardian reports that Pete Townsend is writing another musical.
"I am writing a new musical," Townshend blogged. "Floss is an ambitious new project for me, in the style of Tommy and Quadrophenia. In this case the songs are interspersed with surround-sound 'soundscapes' featuring complex sound effects and musical montages."
I guess he needed something to do, now that The Who seems to have finally disbanded.

Tick Tock
Mission Paradox discusses rehearsal time versus financial realities.
More rehearsal time is an artistic decision that is closely tied to a financial decision.

So we can't really talk about your desire for more rehearsal time without talking about your marketing.

And your fundraising.
Yes, everything is connected to everything else, it seems.

Oh, Ye of Little Faith!
The Screwtape Letters is coming to the Coral Springs Arts Center, and BroadwayWorld has the story.  This adaptation of the C.S. Lewis story is presented by Fellowship for the Performing Arts, a company dedicated to producing "theatre from a Christian worldview that is engaging to a diverse audience."

uVu The Harder They Come
The Harder They ComeNot, it's not some porn film, it's the reggae musical now playing at the Arsht Center.  Watch the uVu blog video featuring footage of the show, and interviews with the director and various members of the cast.
...the play features a cast of 16 Jamaican born performers. Popular songs such as Higher and Higher and By The River of Babylon are performed by a killer band of outstanding reggae musician and the cast.

The Producer Editorializes
The Producer's Perspective addresses, or doesn't, the results of Jeremy Piven's arbitration with the producers of Speed the Plow.  Instead, he turns to the movies:
...we're going to focus on a film called The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard which featured a very interesting cast.

And that very interesting cast conjured up a sickly 29% on the tote board.
Rotten Tomatoes? Sounds like sour grapes to me.  Not really.  Personally, I find Piven to be vastly over-rated.  I'd rather pay to see Bill Macy any day of the week.

BTW, I'd really like to work for this producer; he knows how to take care of his employees.  Well, while mine haven't taken me to an amusement park, they did give me this two-week vacation, so I'm not complaining.

Improv/Sketch comedy Versus Theater
Every couple of months I get an email from someone pointing out that The Scene doesn't list improv or sketch comedy groups. "Hey, we're theatre, too!" they cry.

The Playgoer has run into this same question:
Earlier this week, I saw the latest Second City mainstage production America: All Better and my companion posed an interesting question: Do theater critics review comedy shows in Chicago?
She pondered this, and while Chicago does have people writing about comedy in the Windy City, by and large theatre critics don't review the comedy offerings.
...aside from being a live performance in a theater, in terms of dramatic flow, are sketch comedy and theater really all that similar? Second City revues are scripted, but there’s not usually a plot.
That's basically the definition I use here at The Scene; theatre is a scripted show with a plot that tells a story through dialogue and movement, and can include music.  By this definition, sketch comedy isn't theatre, ballet isn't theatre, and even opera isn't theatre.  Nothing against those artforms, but I needed to draw a line, and that's where I drew it.

And I drew this line as someone who has, yes, performed in ballet, opera, and improv/sketch comedy. 

That said, if you think this should be included in The Scene, I will gladly sign you up to cover these other performing arts.  The pay sucks, but you get a email address.

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