Nothing but Flowers
Friday, February 27, 2004
Theater Review | 'Fiddler on the Roof': A Cozy Little McShtetl
That may be the best headline for a review I've read in a looong time.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Yesterday my boss's father called me because he wants to send my boss flowers. It was a really nice conversation, and included lots of things that make it clear she talks about me occaisionally. That is, we've never met but he remembered that I'm from Boston, in B-school, etc.etc.etc. It was reallys sweet, though slightly disconcerting. I don't think my mom knows anything about my boss aside from her name.
I have to have a draft of my final paper done by noon on monday. I won't be home before midnight any night between now and, well, a week from this coming saturday. So I'm a little unsure when I will write it. Furthermore, the assignment is to write on anything I want, as long as it somehow relates to business and makes an argument.
Topic suggestions are more than welcome. Especially topics that would not require me to do too much research (this being a writing class, our ability to research a topic is irrelevant).
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
It's been nothing but trouble for MTC all season: Manhattan Theater Club Opens a New Home and Finds Trouble. Maybe the U of C intern they get will change it all...yeah.
Harry and Sally onstage in London
captions for the deaf
That's it for me now. Whoever thought that I could work full time, go to school at night, and be the PSM for 2 different shows was crazy. Wait, that was me.
Tech for Little Shop is this weekend. Friday I have to get to Sex! right after dry tech. Saturday I can't go to Sex! (it's the last night of an extension we weren't supposed to have to this short-running show) becuase we have a 10 out of 12, then have to strike another show, then production meeting. Which means that for me it's a 9am to 1am affair. Sunday's 8 of 10 won't be so much better, especially since we'll be leaving the theater (post meeting) right around then LOTR wins the best picture Oscar.
Have I mentioned that this is the first Oscar telecast since Dances with Wolves won everything that I will miss? I think it is unrealistic of me to expect to go on full media blackout for very long, so I'm going to get home from tech, re-wind the tape, and watch the whole thing. Which will make Monday's exhaustion totally my fault, but I can handle that.
This morning is the quarterly meeting for all the departmental course schedulers to whine at the registrar's office. We will accomplish nothing, but we will all feel better. It is, however, 2 hours out of my life.
Yesterday I had to stop and buy Zesty Mint Flavoured stage blood, and several colors of base. The man at grand stage looked at the collection of stuff and said "little shop of horrors?". I found that amusing. I was also amused that the guy behind me in line had been sent with complex instructions about picking "something" up. That something was a gel swatch book. He looked so confused to get something so small.
I won't be posting much for the next 10 days or so. I know you'll miss me terribly, but try to hold on.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
I have a confession to make:
I've fallen victim to a marketing scheme.
Yes folks, I have been drinking diet Pepsi instead of coke. Why? You might ask. this is why. I've already one a half-dozen or so songs (doesn't hurt that, as gawker pointed out, you can usually look into the bottle and see if you've won.
But yes. She who has been known to tell airline stewards "I'm sorry, is this diet Pepsi? I asked for diet coke. And they really aren't the same, so can I have some coffee please?" is voluntarily drinking diet Pepsi. She who boycotted Pepsi and all of its subsidiaries because of their investment in Burma is drinking Pepsi.
and it's all for some silly marketing scheme. Just another victim of the consumer culture.
But don't worry, I'll be back to diet coke as soon as this is over.
The soft power of America: Exporting the American dream on TV and in movies
Jerry Hall will try to appear in 6 musicals in one night
Deal with this RIAA: CD Sales Rise
buying fine art at...Costco?
LOTR: ROTK passes the $1billion mark
Friday, February 20, 2004
Have I mentioned how much I love the NY Post sometimes? This article manages to send up the producers through gossip, and make "Ms Harvey Fierstein" look cute. Or something. Anyway, it's little more than gossip, but it's FABulous gossip.
a new theater group on campus. It only minimally knocks my years of hard work, which is good. And I wish them luck with this production and beyond.
Man, when Ben Brantley doesn't like a show he isn't subtle about it. Not that he should be, I just have this tendency to identify with the artists being panned and feel bad on their behalf. Until I remember that I am just as critical when I see shows I don't like. I just don't have as large an audience, and usuallly what I say doesn't get back to the performers, designers or directors. Unless they ask...
The Drowning Crow (which, btw, I thought was pretty good at the Goodman production here. Not brilliant, and highly textually-problematic) review reminds me of how much I missed sitting through so many Masha/Medvedenko "seagull" scenes. As an undergrad, I worked on that scene in 2 different classes, and I know it was a scene text in at least 2 others. And I must have seen it in class presentations (mine and others) a hundred times. But a few days ago when I said "I'm in mourning for my life" in a brilliant Masha-moment, none of the students got the reference. They haven't even read "The Seagull". What a difference an institutional generation makes...
Will the CD be dead by 2007?
New design at the UN, to be aesthetically secure or not
a code of ethics for non-profits. Corporate codes of ethics can be an amazing powerful tool, but I'm not sure they will keep the regulators and watchdogs away. And I'm not sure that's a totally bad thing--after all, in a year I'll have an MBA to go along with my artistic sensibilities.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Salon.com blasts The Drudge "report". While on the one hand I'm glad there's no scandal to tear at the Democratic party, it was entertaining. and I thought it might help Edwards, still my current candidate of choice.
A Chicago museum is abandoned, everyone searches for the director, and then 2 months later he's found in a different suburb with a new museum.
The politicians want to change the highway, but political scandal in Chicago? I'm shocked. Apparently it isn't enough that closing expressway exits made everyone cry racism (pretty reasonably, I'd say). No, now the money for the reconstruction is being "diverted" as well.
Bobby Rush wants to solve this Emmett Till case already, all right? It's only been 50 years.
Mayor Daley has 'no problems' with gay marriage". However, he points out that he doesn't have the power to grant licenses and it's really up to the city clerk.
Here's his slight revealing quote:
"A lot of people are opposed to it. So be it," the mayor said. "But again, you have to point out the strength of that community -- they're doctors, they're lawyers, they're journalists, they're politicians, they're someone's son or daughter, they're someone's mother or father.
"They're parents, and I have been with them. They've adopted children. They have wonderful children. To me, we have to understand this is part and parcel of our families and our extended families."
I think Mayor Daley should come to Showtunes to celebrate.
3 leaders wanted: Arts Lovers/Math Skills/Charisma. Thick Skin Reqd. Oooh! Me! Me! Pick me!
Okay, well, get back to me in 20-30 years. Then pick me.
However, if Bob Falls goes to the public, then the Goodman will need a new artistic director, which will create this spiraling effect of people making moves across companies...hmmm... Yeah. Won't happen. But it's interesting, I really can't imagine the Goodman without Bob Falls.
Low carb move as biggest shift in commercial behavior in a looooong time. You know, it just sucks for we vegetarians. I can't really live on just eggs, cheese and tofu.
They shouldn't have been surprised, but hundreds of children auditioned for Mary Poppins.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Toward the end of class last night we were talking about race relations on campus. My class ends at 9. At approximately 8:43 I said something to the effect of "we don't talk about race on campus, it's a touchy loaded subject, and it's kind of sad that given the fact that the U of C is in a primarily African-American community there is limited dialogue".
And then my professor said (at about 8:45) "I think that's it for class tonight".
I purposefully had tried to say something provocative so there would be more discussion.
Monday, February 16, 2004
I wish I had a day off for this national holiday
but I don't.
I am, however, assuming that traffic won't be a problem. so instead of leaving at 8:15 I'll leave at 8:30. Here's hoping...
It's been a really long, really stressful, couple of weeks. At work, at school, at home, it all just piled on at the same time. Some stuff just didn't go away.
Whine, bitch, moan. I'm sorry that lately this blog has been simply whining and links. I haven't had anything witty or insightful to talk about. I haven't done anything other than work and schools and Sex! (which has extended. the reviews were tepid, but people buy tickets anyway. Shock me).
So now for the links. It's a good link day.
The MFA goes to Vegas
Who will replace Wolfe at the Public?
Too many books?
author's review their own books on amazon? shocking!
Joyce's grandson is as curmudgeonly as the Beckett estate--no readings of Ulysses at the ReJoyce Dublin festival if Stephen Joyce has anything to say about it
Beethoven, as revised by Mahler
Gas prices keep rising. don't you wish you had a hybrid?
How to spend $80million on the arts
Winners and Losers in the A-Rod trade
Below Average Americans
I'm a little bitter about copyright right now. I know it'll pass, but for the moment...check this out...(courtesy of Artsjournal)
"Intellectual Property Wrongs" by John Howkins Creativity is big business. According to the International Intellectual Property Association, U.S. copyright industries' share of the GDP grew more than twice as fast as the remainder of the U.S. economy between 1977 and 2001, exceeding $535.1 billion in 2001 alone. John Howkins, author of The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas (Penguin Books, Ltd. 2001), argues that "intellectual property is the currency of the creative economy," and says that creative industry success depends upon proper balance between public and private intellectual property rights. Read his essay on the Cultural Commons at http://www.culturalcommons.org/comment.cfm. Then share your thoughts on copyright and the creative industries through the Commons discussion forum, http://www.culturalcommons.org/discussion/."
Sunday, February 15, 2004
This is a BAD baseball day for me.
City lets Cubs add seats, play more night games
Let me get this straight: I'm going to spend the baseball season looking for parking and dodging empty beer bottles while listening to my beloved red sox get trounced by the yankees?
55% of Cubs fans think adding more night games will make the cubs more competittive.
Yankees Said to Be Closing Deal to Obtain Rangers’ Rodriguez
It's not fair!
and do they have to rub it in?
Spring training is about to start, and I'm already mad at the yankees.
Love! Valour! Survival! High Drama!
This is an amazing article. Even if I don't like "Hairspray". Passing the Bra: The Search for a New Edna
Thursday, February 12, 2004
It's splitsville for Barbie and Ken
It's splitsville for Barbie and Ken. Like any good celebrity romance, there is speculation and amusement all around.
DRUDGE REPORT --Kerry reportedly had an affair with an intern and asked her to leave the country
Doesn't Edwards look better every day?
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Roddy Doyle hate's Ulysses
The NY Post isn't holding punches as it has fun with the NYTimes theater critics
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
CNN.com - Kerry wins in South, Clark to quit - Feb. 11, 2004
CNN.com - Kerry wins in South, Clark to quit - Feb. 11, 2004
I thought rote memorization went out in the 1970's
I just finished my midterm. It consisted of 4 sections. Section 1 asked us to identify 4 different people. Section 2 was 8 short questions, which were essentially identifications of concepts or seminal articles. Section 3 was a 4-part question about the great awakenings, section 4 was a choice between-- distributive justice or the ethics of technological change.
I don't object to this as a set up. Or to the fear-factor of being told I had to take 4 blue books before the exam started (the whole room tensed. 4? We're supposed to write that much in 90 minutes?). What I object to was that 3 of the 4 sections (each worth 40 points) simply required us to spew information. I suspected this would be the case, and spewed appropriately. But how is that useful? How does that test anything beyond our ability to memorize information? I'm sure I did better then I would have had I been expected to actually think, at least given my lack of studying time, but that was mere coincidence. And it didn't even test the theories we've learned, or ask us to take a stand. This is an ethics class. We've debated a lot in class. We've covered every sensitive topic imaginable. And you're going to ask me to write 2 sentences identifying Salmon Chase? If you asked me to analyze the importance of the creation of the Free-Soil party in the rise of the abolitionist movement, then I would have dropped his name in the discussion and actually said something interesting. More interesting than "provocative anti-slavery proponent. elected Senator from Ohio as one of the founders of the Free-Soil party."
Ah well. My mother teased me last night as I whined about it that I was having the exact same problems and frustrations that plagued me in high school. And she's right. but I haven't been asked to do this since high school.
Further frustrations in the writing class. One of my peers keeps defending herself to the obnoxious guy. Last week she said "I have a degree in economics and I find this confusing. It has nothing to do with not being expert in the subject." this week it was " I actually worked on Wall Street, and to me that sentence does not in any way imply long-term investments. It actually seems much more about the short-term". Why is it that gender politics play into so much? When our papers are critiqued we sit back and listen. Sometimes we disagree, but we don't fight it. We don't say "actually, I'm very clear, you're just dumb". Instead we recognize that we weren't clear to the reader...which is the point of the papers we write.
Looks like Kerry won tonight. I bet that means bye-bye to Clark, at least realistically if not literally. I can't believe in a few shorts months I'm going to have to be adamantly pro-Kerry. I know that as a born-and-bred Boston liberal this shouldn't be too hard, but it is.
Today I received further proof that not all people are good. Some are manipulative liars. Remember a few months ago when I alluded to people alleging things? (yes, I know, that is perhaps the most non-specific sentence ever written). Well, apparently we've been persistent and willful in our evil-doing. Just when my hate and ire was receding to the back of my brain...In the immortal words of Marlene Dietrich: I need a drink.
Monday, February 09, 2004
Saturday, February 07, 2004
I feel a little like my hard-won feminism was called into question today. Maybe I've just been too quiet about it recently. I haven't felt the need to go marching in a while. However, I didn't spend years being mocked about whether or not I would let a man hold the door open for me (and countless classes standing up to the men who thought I should go back to the kitchen) to have my dedication to the "cause" questioned.
Oh well. I know what I believe, and I suppose that's good enough.
On the upside, the potentially two-day meeting finished in one! It was very productive and good. No one left the room in tears, no one insulted each other, eye-rolls were kept to a minimum (mostly), and there was no repetition of useless fights. All in all, not a bad meeting. And now I have all day tomorrow to write my paper and study for my midterms, which is about one day less than I need, but much better then what I thought I'd get.
Friday, February 06, 2004
Another tamereview of my show, this one from the local trade paper.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
And now for some links...
Remember those Faberge eggs I told you were going on sale? Well, the entire Collection Bought by Russian for a Return Home
big changes (or maybe not) at the NYTimes Book review, and that seems to make the San Francisco Chronicle antsy
People can quote Star Wars, but not Shakespeare (Not that this is a big surprise. Or a great tragedy. But the BBC seems a little opinionated about it)
"Watching porn in a classroom becomes a Brechtian experience, causing discomfort and alienation. Porn then reveals not just flesh, but also its formal conventions, it repetitive narratives, its tableau of power, its cold ideologies, it descent into bathos." So say Mark Jones and Gerry Carlin of their controversial class that includes a section on porn
I think I disagree-respectfully, of course--with every line in this article about artists demanding freedom from record labels but I'm glad I read it since I'm writing a paper on the music industry and file sharing right now.
Timberlake's own family was offended. Really? I'm shocked. I thought this whole issue was a big inflated media deal because no one cared or was offended...Wait...
Baby born with two heads...For real
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
I was totally prepared to write a really positive post about how the proposal process (I'm into alliterating p's tonight) is so great. How wonderful it is that we have 15 proposals for shows next season, which are, pretty much across the board, interesting provacative and appropriate projects. How it is a really great problem to have to know you have more good options than you can possibly schedule.
But now there's a wrinkle...I can't really go into details, for obvious reasons, but checking my email complicated things. Drama, with a capital D. I love that people who are really dedicated, who really love theater, are intense and difficult and smart and complicated...but then sometimes at 11pm on a Wednesday when you don't want to be thinking about work, work calls (literally, on the cell).
This too shall pass, as the saying goes, and it will all work out. And in the end, we have a really great, really dedicated, group of students. And it'll be fine. but Drama just seems inevitable.
Oh dear...Wesley Clark Jr. lashes out at the media
I'm sure you've all heard, but yay my hometown
Slate's Joebituary is pretty great.
The returns from last night are pretty fun to look at. My favorite amazing factoid? Al Sharpton got 28 votes in North Dakota.
help me bubby!
Vote while you shop!
It might be in the "offbeat" section of cnn.com, but I think the idea of Voting kiosks installed for mall rats is absolutely brilliant. It might be the best way to increase the turnout...one gap sweater, a gallon of milk, and a vote against bush. Brilliant.
Promoting smoking through the arts
Seattle arts scene has a sly new patron -- Big Tobacco
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
I received a very odd phone call at work today.
It went something like this:
Me: (give my standard greeting)
Him: Hi, I um. I'm an alum. Graduated in the 70's.
Me: Hi, how can I help you?
Him: I'm sorry to call, but I saw your name on the poster for a show,
David and Lisa, that you're producing.
Me: Yes, it opens this weekend. Are you interested in purchasing a
Him: No, um, can't, no I can't can't afford the ticket. can I get a
complimentary ticket? I could provide references.
Me: I'm sorry, we don't normally give complimentary tickets to our shows
Him: well could, could, could I, could I work the house?
Me: I could put you in touch with the production manager to see if he
still needs ticket sellers. May I give you his email address?
Him: no, no, email isn't good. no. no.
Me: well, could I call you back after I check with him?
Him: no, no, can't call, can't call, why don't I call you. is there a
dress rehearsal I could go to?
Me: Well, sir, I'd have to check with the director and stage manager to see about that. There probably is a dress rehearsal Wednesday, but I'm not sure it will
be open to the public.
Him: Wednesday, wednesday. but today is wednesday. today is wednesday.
Me: No sir, I'm sorry, today is Tuesday.
Him: No, wednesday. 2 day weekend, then yesterday, then the holiday.
today is wednesday.
Me: I'm pretty sure it is Tuesday today sir.
Him: No, no, no, wednesday. let me check. had a paper, let me check,
today is wednesday, can't afford a ticket. want to see David and Lisa
Me: Okay sir, well, as I said I have to check with the production
manager and director
Him: When you figure out it is Wednesday I will call.
Me: Okay sir.
Him: Today is wednesday. just saw the paper. (shouts to others) what
day is it?
Him: Tuesday. Tuesday. I'll call you tomorrow. Don't know why I thought
it was wednesday. Wednesday. don't ask why I had a 3 day weekend
Me: Okay sir, call me back tomorrow and I'll let you know
Him: Tuesday, wednesday, tuesday. Thank you
It takes all kinds, as they say.
I would note that tickets cost $5. So if you graduated from the University 30 years ago, not being able to afford a $5 ticket has some specific social implications. Add to that not having a phone or email, and calling from an on campus phone number, and the logical extension is that he called from the hospital.
It's actually, in addition to being a slightly amusing anecdote, a slightly difficult decision. We won't suffer from comping one more person. We probably won't sell out Thursday night. Who am I to say that you can't come see the show? I will tell him when he calls back that there is, unfortunately, nothing I can do (the director was not wiling to have an open rehearsal, or at least not an open rehearsal consisting of the production staff and this random alum). But what if seeing this play (which is, I might add, about residents of a school for mentally distrubed children) would be good for this person? What if he isn't insane but was just having a bad day? He certainly didn't sound dangerous or disruptive, just confused and didactic.
Furthermore, it made me see my future (or at least one version of it). It isn't that much of a stretch for me to see myself 30 years from now, slightly off my rocker and confused about the day, calling to try to talk my way into a show for free.
On another note, my professor was out again this week. The substitute is clearly a good teacher in his own right, but not a Nobel-prize winner. Nor does he know what we did/did not cover in the 3 weeks with the regular professor. I'm a little worried about next week's midterm, though presumably the TA (who sits in the back of the class doing reading for something else) will know what we've covered.
My mother called to ask if she could drop in for a surprise visit this weekend. Very sweet, but I have my show and a three day meeting in addition to a wedding on Thursday and midterms next week. Don't think that'll make for much mother-daughter time.
The three day meeting is a little ridiculous. Usually we have one very long meeting to schedule the shows for next season. In 6 years of attending these meetings, they've lasted anywhere from 3 to 11 hours, but always in one sitting. This quarter we have some scheduling conflicts. So we'll hear presentations for about 2 hours on Friday. Then we'll meet Saturday at 1:30. We have to break at 6pm--if we're done, great, if we aren't, we reconvene Sunday at 10. There are 15 proposals to discuss. Even assuming we talk about each one for only 20 minutes, that's 5 hours--i.e. 30 minutes more than we have Saturday. And we won't talk about each of them for only 20 minutes, though one or two may take less time then that. Plus after we talk about them we have to schedule them and give them stipulations.
It's a good process, it just takes a long time. We kept trying to figure out ways to not have it stretch over 3 days, but every time we stuck to one time we ran into conflicts that made us lose quorum.
The summer show proposal meeting last Friday went pretty well, and only lasted 2 hours. But 1/3 the number of proposals and 1/3 the number of people in the room.
Here's to sanity.
Monday, February 02, 2004
Mostly Links, I'm mostly tired
Was Dickens the first pop star?
Theatre expansion...will anyone fill it?
Stars in Commercials
The golden age of conspiracies?
The Groundhog saw his shadow BUT I'M TIRED OF WINTER