Tboy just signed up for an acting class. Dear God, what am I thinking?
Yeah, so: Derek Goldman is teaching an Acting Shakespeare course at Georgetown this semester, and I've decided I oughta have to learn to do the stuff I complain about y'all doing.
I mean critique, of course. Erm.
Anyhoo, this should be amusing. I haven't acted since high school. And I don't recall anyone suggesting that my Evil Eye Fleagle was a masterpiece of technique -- though I did get laughs, I must say. The exaggerated green eye shadow and the Vaselined hair may have had something to do with that. If there's a God, and if She is merciful, no photographs of this will exist.
So anyway, this, plus the New British Theatre course -- and by "new" apparently they're thinking anything since Look Back in Anger -- plus Timberlake Wertenbaker's seminar on History and Drama. (Islam In the West, sadly, is gonna have to wait until next semester. I think.)
So here we go. I'll be Acting Shakespeare bright and early tomorrow: 11:40 a.m. This is how you know it's academia, rather than the real world: They're apparently expecting actor-types to do something productive before lunch.
Yeah, right, like critics have room to talk. I show up 15 minutes late for the Around Town taping today--12:30, I'm supposed to be there--and nobody else has arrived. We make allowances for Wee Jane, who's always a tad bit late, but honestly, people! It ain't DC that's flooded!
The city I was born in is, though. Jokes aside: Take a minute, willya, and spare a thought -- if not a buck -- for the folks down in New Orleans and on the rest of the Gulf Coast?
Maybe this'll help Tboy's folks understand the Islamist/fundamentalist analogy a little better, when Tboy brings the subject up again at Thanksgiving. Which has become something of a family tradition since September 11.
Starting with the poop link over there on the left.
(Didn't know till yesterday that Stephen Gregory Smith had a blog. That really is a cute puppy, though.)
Anyway, discovering that made me think that it's been a while since I updated any of the blogroll links & book covers & whatnot (also over there on the left). So that was today's killing-time-at-the-car-dealership project.
(Which was after I finished writing up me review of Urinetown. Which, to give you the shorthand version, rocks.)
Backing up: Was feeling bad that I took so long between updates on the aforementioned books/music/whatnot, but then realized you almost certainly didn't want to know what was on my summer reading list anyway.
What, really? OK, fine. School stuff: T.H. Greene, Comparative Revolutionary Movements (for a class on the future of the nation-state). Elementary Lacan, de Saussure, and Husserl, plus Vergogte on depression as neurosis (for a philosophy class). John F. Haught on modes of discourse among theologians and scientists (for a science-and-religion class, curiously enough).
Toldja you didn't want to know. Though that last one came in kinda handy, actually, once Our Fearless Leader started in on the intelligent design nonsense. Just count your blessings that my review of The Miracle Worker didn't wander off into school territory: Annie's speech about Helen not being able to think in a fully human way until she understands the concept of words-as-signifiers -- until she has language, in other words -- are right out of de Saussure.
Anyhoo. Fall semester should be more fun. Classes are Islam in the West and The New British Theatre.
And now we've got new blogroll entries (hello, all). And new book covers. And a bit of new music.
Oh, and links to New York Times theater stories, along with a handful of the most recent Downstage Center interviews from XM's On Broadway channel.
This just in from Matt Conner, whom Theaterboy has seen naked:
(Oh, stop it. You have too. He was in Naked Boys Singing. Which the City Paper made me see. Twice.)
Monday Sept. 5
Showcase of the new musical Nevermore (based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe), premiering at Signature in January 2006.
Young Mr. Conner (Tboy also saw his Judas in Open Circle's JC Superstar) wrote the music. And, if I'm reading right, adapted the lyrics from Poe.
But what Tboy wants to know is: What's it like? Gimme more than the blurb on the Signature site. Talk to me about the music -- what's the right style for Poe? (More critical: How, for god's sake, are you going to keep me from flashing back on the mental picture of Richard Renfield's constipated expression as he stood rhyming "that dirty slut Lenore" with something vile about "my back door"? O, Cherry Red, how we miss thee.)
The rest of you: What are y'all doing at Page to Stage that people need to see? The season-sneak stuff I'm kinda interested in, but I know I'll see those shows soon enough in production. What's good beyond that? What's got you buzzed that I won't see on a local stage this coming year?
Okay, now. This is more like it. Who's got more? I think Joe's responding to someone else's offhand suggestion, but I hereby elevate it to an official request: More stories about empty-house disasters.
What's your worst (funniest, grimmest, angriest, most hysterical) story about hearing "places" only to discover that there were more people taking their places than people taking their seats?
I know it's painful -- sympathetically painful, honestly! -- for me to sit through those shows as a critic. I watch the cast working their asses off, knowing they're not getting the energy they need back from the empty seats, and I just cringe.
So come on: Vent.
Alternate topic: LuckySpinster reminded me t'other day of a dinner-party topic I've batted about more than once with other critics and, on occasion, with random theater people at the gay country-western bar (yes [name redacted], I'm talking about you).
To wit: What charmingly vague phrase do you employ when you've just seen someone you like perpetrate or participate in something excruciating, and you can't escape the meet-and-greet afterward?
"Oh, my God, you guys were astonishing!"
"I can't believe it!"
"I've never seen theater like that!"
There must be subtler ways, but Tboy's on his first cup of coffee. He cedes the floor to...