Monday, June 18, 2012

Mondays are Dark

Summer is upon us; but it was a lovely weekend with little rain, so we were out catching rays instead of combing the internet.  City Theatre has concluded Summer Shorts, and its CityWrights event was a smashing success; but they're not done for the season quite yet.  This week they open Standing on Ceremony at the Broward Center, a collection of short plays dealing with gay marriage, and features the talents of Bryan Batt and Bruce Vilanch.

It's a little tardy, but here's your Monday reading list.

A Taste of Summer
BroadwayWorld fills us in on a promotion sponsored by The South Florida Theatre League as part of WLRN's SummerFest.
Patrons who attend three Theatre League member theatre performances will be eligible to receive a $20 gift certificate to The Melting Pot, the popular restaurant that offers a truly unique dining experience created by the art of fondue.
Those Neon Lights Will Shine...
South Florida Theatre News reminds us that Slow Burn Theatre Company opens its production of the musical Xanadu this week.

Pulling Strings
The Examiner fills us in on the next production at Actors' Playhouse; the world premiere of Real Men Sing Show Tunes...and play with puppets, a new musical by Paul Louis and Nick Santa Maria.  And leave the kids at home; this one's for grown-ups.

Ringing In A New Season
The Miami Herald reports that the University of Miami's Ring Theatre will start off its 2012-2013 season with "an ambitious festival showcasing the work of Cuban playwright Virgilio Piñera."  The plays will be performed in Spanish with English supertitles, while the one-acts will be done in English with Spanish supertitles.  The Virgilio @ 100 International Festival runs from August 17 through September 22 at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre on the UM campus in Coral Gables.  The rest of their season includes Boeing Boeing, Girls vs. Boys (with The House Theater of Chicago at the Arsht Center), and King Lear.

Rising Action Theatre closed in the middle of its season last year, but South Florida Gay News reports that the small company is returning as Island City Stage, kicking off with Michael Leeds directing Twentieth-Century Way. Playbill has the audition notice, and notes that the Island City Stage website is still "under construction."

Resurrected... Rented
Meanwhile, BroadwayWorld  describes the Entr'Act Theatrix rental of The Count de Hoernle theatre as "resurrecting the Caldwell Theatre."
“JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is now more relevant than ever, particularly with idealistic young people taking to the streets and challenging the political status quo from Egypt’s Tahrir Square to the occupiers of Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park,” says executive Producer Vicki Halmos. “Plus I can think of nothing more appropriate than a musical about resurrection to re-open this fabulous theater.”
It's one thing to put plays in the building, but it's not resurrection by a long shot.  However well-intentioned, student actors doing popular fare is no substitution for 37 years of professional production at the levels produced by The Caldwell.  It's nice to see the building being used as a theater, but it would be better to see the actual Caldwell Theatre Company back in production.

Money Makes The World Go Around
Via Parabasis, we bring you an... interesting approach to getting good press.  Superfluities Redux reports that a a small theater company in Brooklyn is, well, offering bribes to theatre critics. 
...the producers are offering a $100.00 “reprint fee” for any reviews that they excerpt on the show’s Web site...
They include a portion of the classified ad making the offer, and background on the company, and a good discussion of the issue.

Speaking of Critics
That last article linked to one on Onstage/Backstage, a Chicago theatre blog.  Jonathon Abarbanel discusses what it means to be a theatre critic.
The job of the critic is to be frank, professional and neutral. It's easy to be smart-ass and witty when lambasting a show ("And then I tore her heart out and stomped on it," we like to say), and sometimes it's fun, but it rarely makes for good criticism although it frequently makes for lively writing. Neutral does not always mean nice, but the voice of the reviewer (in print or on-air) never should sound like personal attack or a sermon, whether of the soapbox or high pulpit variety.
It's a good read, and if you're wondering what criteria is used when The Scene reviews a critic, here  you go.

Talking With...
Florida Theater On Stage has a green room chat with veteran actor Harriet Oser, while miamiartzine raps with the inimitable George Schiavone.

BroadwayWorld has more on the tribute to Jan McArt that's tied in with a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar
Ms. McArt will be honored at a Piano Bar/Pizza Party at the Count de Hoernle Theatre (formerly “The Caldwell”) following the Sunday matinee performance of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR on July 8.

“Just as this production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is resurrecting the recently-shuttered Caldwell Theatre, so too are we going to use this show to remember with great fondness another vanished cultural landmark in Boca Raton, the Royal Palm Dinner Theatre, and its guiding light and guardian angel, the always enchanting Jan McArt,” said Halmos.
Taking Care of Business
Butts In Seats discusses the issue of non-profit organizations doing business with their own board members.  The Minnesota Playlist notes that you are your own marketing department - something we thought should be obvious, but then we found out that Actors' Rep was still running ColumbinUS and hadn't put that up on their website.  Which is why your attendance has been down, Bob.

Speaking of Marketing
Mission Paradox describes the role of the marketer.

In Case You Missed It
Polly Carl of howlround was the keynote speaker at City Theatre's CityWright event this past weekend, and has posted the transcript of their speech.

One of her points:
During my fifteen years of making new plays, I’ve watched our field become more obsessed with the transactional and less obsessed with making good art. If I’m here for no other reason today, it’s to push you as artists and people who love the theater to rethink this momentum.
While we can see that more attention is being paid to the business of show business, has the art truly suffered? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

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