Monday, February 25, 2013

Mondays are Dark, we've run out of theater photos, so we're back to a boring old logo.  Of course, if you send us pictures of your "dark" theater, we'll gladly run them.

And before anyone asks, no, we didn't watch The Oscars.  Or the Daytona 500. 

We meant to run this story last week, but somehow it dropped off the list.  We don't know how.  Anywho.  The Miami Herald reports that two Florida playwrights were highlights at the Colorado New Play Summit.

Tick Tock
If you need any more proof that the season is rushing past us, The Herald reports that City Theater has just announced the cast list for this year's edition of Summer Shorts.

Florida Theater On Stage reminds us that the Miami Made Festival starts this week, while TheaterMania reminds us that Flashdance opens at The Broward Center next week.

A Troop of Scoops On Looped (or at least the Straight Poop)
Is it a scoop when everyone has the story?  Stefanie Powers is stepping in for Valerie Harper to play Tallulah Bankhead in Looped, opening this week at the Parker Playhouse.  Florida Theater On Stage interviews Powers, who actually co-starred with Bankhead in the film for which she was recording the loop of dialogue referenced by the title:
“I think there’s very much a fine line between the person she created and who she was; I don’t think anyone knew who the real person was, least of all Tallulah. She had created this person that she became. And for better or for worse, that’s who she was and she maintained that even in her most private moments.”
The Miami Herald reveals how playwright Matthew Lombardo was inspired to write the play:
A partygoer asked if he had ever heard the story about Bankhead showing up less than sober to re-record this tongue twister of a line from Die, Die, My Darling: “And so Patricia, as I was telling you, that deluded rector has in literal effect closed the church to me.” 

Read more here:
“She had these ‘caddies,’ gay men who followed her around and helped her out, and one of them had recorded the session, unbeknownst to her,” Lombardo says. “The tape is 30 minutes long, and she cannot get the line. I listened to it over and over, and it went from a hysterical, laugh-out-loud experience to something else. The drinking, drugs and promiscuity all caught up with her, and she became a caricature of herself.”
miamiartzine also spoke with Powers, and others:
"Valerie has been such a cheerleader for me taking over this role," says Powers. In a statement released by her publicist, Harper praises the actress. "In my opinion, Stefanie is the perfect choice to take over this role. She is extraordinarily talented and will make one terrific Tallulah."
And South Florida Gay News:
The experience working on the film with Bankhead gave Powers a special insight into this role.

“She was a gay icon. Every drag queen did imitations of her and my challenge is not to parody her,” she explained. “This event (in the studio) occurred just after she was diagnosed terminally ill and given six months to live. That becomes very much a part of the underlying subtext.”
Looped opens Tuesday at the Parker Playhouse, and plays through Sunday.  Its previous runs predate The Scene's practice of aggregating the reviews, but we will say that three out of four theater critics gave it a thumbs up.

Brief Bio
The Roundabout Theater Blog has a great mini-bio of playwright Lanford Wilson.  It's chock full of worthwhile tidbits:
While supporting himself with odd jobs in New York, Wilson found a creative home in the Caffe Cino. This Greenwich Village coffeehouse, opened by retired dancer Joe Cino, had rapidly evolved from a place to grab a drink with friends into a theatrical venue where regular patrons were encouraged to explore and experiment with their art.

Not only was Caffe Cino the catalyst for the off-off-Broadway movement, it was also one of the first safe havens for LGBT artists to perform and write about their experiences without being ostracized. In 1964, Wilson’s The Madness of Lady Bright about an aging drag queen became Cino’s most successful production, receiving more than 200
performances and considerable mainstream attention.
You Know, For Kids
The New York Times reviews Tim Federle's latest children's novel, Better Nate Than Ever.
His new children’s novel, published this month by Simon & Schuster as part of a two-book deal, is “Better Nate Than Ever,” a twinkling adventure tale for the musical theater set. Like Mr. Federle back in the day, Nate Foster is also 13 and theater-obsessed, wide-eyed and exclamatory, and with an underdeveloped build that inspires his choice of audition songs, “Bigger Isn’t Better” from “Barnum.”
Sounds like the perfect birthday present for the kid in your life, to me.

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