Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Summer started with Signature's Pacific Overtures for me and Matty.
What an amazing cast and crew of people it was. It was like going home every evening when we went to the theatre. Truly one of the best casts I've ever worked in.
Whether you loved it or hated it, I don't care. It was a blast.
Discussion nights were a treat, too.
I particularly enjoyed an evening when I was commenting on Japan's current threatening rhetoric to China, and an audience member corrected me and told me that it wasn't true. Oh..right. Stupid little actor boy, me. Why should I dare talk about foreign affairs? After the discussion, a gentleman came up to me who was a liaison to the Chinese embassy and told me that I was exactly right. HAH! Take that, stodgy discussion night man!
On the final night of the show, during fight call, (my first professional gig doing fight/dance captain work!...shut up, it's a big deal to me), a certain actor came out for his fight in a complete Spiderman suit. HY-sterical. Following the closing night party, we had a watergun fight in the alley(compliments to Mr. Gartshore for bringing the firepower). It was the best cast party in a LONG time. I still remember me and Will running towards Donna, screaming, "LET'S GET MIGLIACCIO!" (Luv you, Donna...you got us worse, of course).
Plus, step into this dreamscape...I got to attempt to rape my partner...while he was in drag...while we were both in Kabuki-drag...out of this world. (Nice work if you can get it!)
This show was the gateway to my summer, and also saw me halfway through it...I do miss it, even now. The thrill of singing "Advantages", "Someone in a Tree", and "Next" are experiences that I will never forget. No matter what ANYONE thought of the show, it was such an amazing experience..I mean..how many times am I going to to get to do that show? And it is one of Sondheim's most BRILLIANT scores. And the treat of seeing Harry Winter in drag every night..who could put a price on that?
It all started with the tent.
No, I retract. Summer starts for most theatre-folk with the Helen Hayes Awards. A lovely booze and honor filled mixer where, as Bette Davis says, "the elite meet".
It all started with the party there. The best time I've had in a long time...dancing, cheap food, and many rooms in which to avoid people. Or not.
I remember riding up the escalator on my way home, with Matty, yelling down at Tracy Olivera..."YOU SHOULD HAVE WON! WE DEMAND A RECOUNT!!!" Funny.
Then the tent. We were having a party on Memorial Day, and the forecast called for rain. Oh no. There were at least 70 people coming. Our house is very accommodating, but not without the yard. Thus the tent.
I went to Rite Aid to get some bullshit supplies. I spotted the tent. On clearance, $20. I could not resist.
This tent was the cheapest thing imaginable. Ugly, aluminum bones, green and white fabric. Ugh.
Yet, it served a purpose. This tent was predicted to fall 20 times this summer...yet STILL stands. Yes, it is in bad shape now, and should be taken down soon...soon as I can summon the strength.
The tent saved the Memorial Day party, and has given safe house to many a fun and debauched night. Since the tent will shortly fall victim to the coming season, I would feel silly not to start the summer recap without mentioning the tent, which has become a character in my summer...
I will miss this sad, $20 creature that has provided a shelter and a refuse from the rain and sun...RIP the Rite Aid tent..May-September 2005.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Anyone in the NYC area around September 12th? Here's something you should definitely check out...
Beloved friend and diva, Lynn Filusch, will be playing the goddess Aphrodite in a showcase of the new musical, Choosing Helen.
The show will be at 7PM on September 12th at the Ensemble Studio Theatre- 549 W. 52nd St, Between 10th and 11th Ave., on the second floor. For reserved seating, comment on this post and Lynn will get in touch w/you, or, if you already know Lynn, you already have her contact info, don't you?
Check out more info about the show at...
If you have never seen my mighty Aphrodite perform, you should DEFINITELY check this out, NYC folks. She's amazing, and I worship the quicksand she walks upon.
And, in case you missed the comment from an earlier post, (the "Tit" thread), she ends a song with the line, "Look at my tits!"
That sounds like astonishing theatre to me, folks. I would definitely pay cash money to hear her sing that. Hey....wonder if she actually shows them?
Go and find out for yourself, September 12th at 7PM!!!
Monday, August 29, 2005
Well...it's that sad time of year when we say goodbye to summer.
Sure, everyone says, "I love the Fall.." ..yeah. Sure....me too, but...
Spring and Summer are far sexier. You feel your most free during these months...or at least I do. I think it stems from that ingrained feeling of having summer off from school, proms, graduation parties, swim season, 4th of July, ect.
So, when we grow older, we don't have the same kind of events, but we usually invent our own. In the theatre-aspect of my life, I think of summer, and I think fondly and warmly of...One Red Flower....Footloose....Hedwig....Pacific Overtures...ect. Come on, fellow actors...you KNOW you associate timelines in your head by what shows you were doing at the time. That also breaks down into seasons. I won't ever be able to hear the score of Hedwig and think anything BUT having margaritas at Capital City on a gorgeous summer evening.
But hey...I'm ALL about the nostalgia factor. I get nostalgic for things that happened a few months ago. Just caught up in the drama, I guess.
I had many wonderful evenings and afternoons with many friends, seeing many amazing things this past summer. It truly was a special summer for me. (This picture is of the Potomac, from our friend's yacht, "Sweet Freedom").
For the next week, I will post random memories of the summer past, until we put summer to bed next week. (No...these posts will NOT be sappy. They mostly will be a chance o show off some great personal photography from this past summer). And no, these remembrances of a summer past will not be the ONLY posts I do this week. Just going with a theme that has inspired me at the moment.
One more week of summer, folks...make your memories while you can.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
"A writer and his girlfriend become prisoners of creatures of the night who force them to watch striptease dances in an old graveyard."
I have always been an Ed Wood junkie. Since the first time I saw "Plan 9 from Outer Space" on TV one lazy Saturday afternoon, when I was 8.
I stumbled upon this while reading an article on the infamous auteur.
Orgy of the Dead is relentless. Relentless boobies. A parade of tits. And I love it.
It's flimsy plot is an excuse for topless dance sequences that are horrendous. It looks as if the choreographer, whom no doubt was paid in drugs, gave each girl 5 "dance moves" , a G-string, and a joint. They all dance around, somewhat vacant...(dreaming of their first feature film). The music, however, in no way matches what they are dancing to.
If you watch this over and over, you will fall in love with...
The Gold Girl..."MORE GOLD!"
The Kitty-Cat...."A pussycat was meant to be whipped.."
and my personal favorite, The Bride...known to many in my circle as the "One-Titty Shake girl".
The casts of: One Red Flower, The Highest Yellow, and Pacific Overtures have had viewings of these films on my behest...During One Red Flower, we were absolutely OBSESSED with it. We would run to the green room during dinner breaks. We sang the tacky music in the dressing rooms ...we mocked the awful dancing in the green room...(Flo got pretty darn good at that, as I recall). :)
One of the taglines for this film was..."Are You Heterosexual?" I'm surely not, but I'm still obsessed with this piece of trash. I own it on VHS, DVD, and I own the soundtrack. (Yes, believe it or not, there is a Soundtrack!) (Thanks, Jess Speaker).
Put this film on and watch these poor souls try to pull off this ridiculous script. Look deep into the "One Titty Shake" girl's eyes...(wherever they are focused on) ...In this monotony is genius. What an amazing stink-bomb this is! And you don't even have to like titties to enjoy it!
I find it interesting that in the face of one of the worst hurricanes of all time, that one of the anchors at The Weather Channel said of the storm on Thursday, "This won't be a very big deal..."
Of course, now they have changed from The Weather Channel to The Katrina Channel, almost overnight. And they love it.
A guy called in from Biloxi, and said "Well, we are on the eastern edge of the eye and because of that, we will get the worst damage...yet everybody is talking about New Orleans..."
It's not that I don't agree with the man. It is actually very true...providing that the levees hold Lake Ponchatrain back. New Orleans is getting more attention because it is more romantic than Biloxi. Plain and simple.
Come on, you know it's true. We picture the revelers at Bourbon St, drinking away their fears, only to find out, too late that they should have gone to a shelter...I mean...we're talking biblical here, folks. It is the stuff of Cecil B. DeMille in its scope. Can't you see the hethens making their false idols and looking up as the tablets are being thrown at them in one final scream?
Of course it isn't just imagery. New Orleans has long been avoiding a storm like this. It is , quite possibly, the worst place in the US for a hurricane to hit. It is 20 feet below sea-level and surrounded by bodies of water that are held back by dams and levees.
What really came to mind as the gentleman called in, was the need to feel a part of this epic. A major want inside to feel a part of the human drama unfolding. A need to connect.
But do you feel like the rhetoric is ramped up just a little bit? Not by the gentleman caller, but by the news channels?
I am in NO way, shape or form saying that I dislike the coverage on Hurricane Katrina. ANY information on these storms is helpful, and saves many lives. But I believe the Weather Channel is calling themselves-"The Hurricane Station" in commercial tags, ever since Friday.
It all sometimes feels a bit much. I have to stop typing now and go back to watching it, though. I'm hooked, and they know it. Or I will just watch it live here...
So I went back into the fray last night. Back to that foe of foe's lair. Back to the home of the demon seed personified by a 4 month old chocolate lab puppy named Molly.
I came fully armed. LOTS of beer. Lots of movies. A machete. (OK, not really).
And in addition to Rosemary's Baby, there was a toy poodle in the house...named "Ritz". Yes, like the cracker.
The night became about me trying to keep Ritz safe from Molly the terrible. Ritz was absolutely terrified of her. As the night went on, and on, and on, I came to an unexpected conclusion. I felt bad for Molly. Was this possible? Pity for Satan?
I started to liken Molly to many people I know. You know them too. People that want SO badly the attention that you could give them, but are cheeky in the way they try to achieve it, and in the end put you off. You wish so desperately that you could say to them- "Listen...this is NOT the way to win friends and approval.." but you can't. They are set in their ways.
All that Molly wanted to do was play with Ritz...and me...she just went about it the wrong way.
So when that way didn't work, she went on to chew the carpet....or my phone...or my boot.
Yes, folks, she IS just a puppy, I know that. But as many of you know, I have worked with dogs for the past 6 years, in various different companies....this is not just a naughty pup. She is seriously a troubled dog.
So I had a heart to heart with Molly, and I told her why her approach to play was wrong..(this was at 3AM, and after a few too many...wish I could have seen myself do this...)She listened to me intently...with a look in her eyes that I have seen in SO many dogs who want SO badly to please their owners. She lay there on the couch with Ritz and I and slept for awhile. I was amazed. I finally got to sleep, soon after.
When I woke up, my sock was gone. I feel sure that I will never see it again. I don't much care. I knew she just had to get one more dig at me. Have it your way, Molly. I've found your weakness, pup, and know that behind the scales and fangs and fire-breathing...you are just a confused pup.
Why am I writing this like she is going to read it? Do dogs read blogs? Blogs4dogs? I need to go sleep some more...none of this seems to make much sense.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Hope you have a few brews on me. Don't forget your drink tickets.
"So what....I'm a fu*king flying monkey...*turn* *turn* *walk*". -Marcus Davis
Marcus Davis as a Flying Monkey in The Wizard of Oz at Shenandoah University, Summer 98'
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Oh my dear Tracy...
You "Bloggerist" you.
Tracy and I have been friends for many a year...feels like 80. She in many ways is the Vera to my Mame. The Rhoda to my Mary. She also is the friend I would call if I accidentally drove into a wet pool of concrete (Summer 03"), or if my house burned down (Winter 02'). Or if I had to get rid of a body..(Summer of...nevermind).
She used to walk many a dog at the same company as I still do, before she "moved on up" to the East side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Yes, folks, her star-quality hands have been dirtied with doggy do, too.
Did I ever tell all of you about Tracy's first feature film, "Crazy From the Heat"?
Hmmm. What do you think Tracy? Should we make it available for Re-Sale? Oh look...I just found my copy. Forgot that I had legit blackmail on you, huh?
The Fu*ker of your Star.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Ok...Every month or so, I find a picture that makes me chuckle a little too loud at work.
The first one, let's call it...oh I don't know. I've racked my brain, but find no words to describe...
can you think of any?
It just made me lose my control when I saw it. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks it is funny.
Anyone? A lifeline?
Maybe we could call it Pride and Predjudice?
The second image comes to us from Donna Migliaccio, who found this pic on some owl website...You see, Donna reports that they measure owls in juice cans. I don't understand why either, but here is proof...
Donna and I had a very good chuckle over this.
Let us call it, Canned Owl.
It's the new V8.
Have you had your canned owl today?
Monday, August 22, 2005
To view my up to date blog, visit: www.StephenGregory.blogspot.com
Keep a smile on your face, and the dogshit off your shoes...confused? Read below...
OK...All those who know me, know that I am working for a pet sitting company in South Arlington, Happy Hounds..(703-553-0555).
Also...I am an actor in DC...therefore, I am CONSTANTLY fighting for money.
Now that I am not performing in a show till November, I have to make as much money as I can, anyway I can....hey big boy, how ya' doin? Sorry. No. Not that way. Yet.
So, I have taken on some pet-sitting jobs, where I go and stay at people's houses and take care of their pets for money. The way I see it, I'm paid to sleep somewhere...no brainer.
That was, until I met Molly.
Molly, a Chocolate Lab puppy of 4 months is cute, sure. Behind that cuteness lay the eyes of Satan.
I started my stay with Molly on this past Thursday night. She didn't go to bed till 3AM. I was in hell. I played with her all that I possibly could, but it was not enough. When I stopped playing and shut my eyes, she would bark at me. Finally, she fell asleep at 3. She woke me up promptly at 5:30 AM. She ran to the door and back to me, indicating a need for potty time. I said, "Screw you, you just let me go to sleep 2 hours ago, you can wait!" I closed my eyes. I suddenly feel a warm sensation on my feet. I jumped up and saw a huge turd on my feet. Serves me right, I guess. Molly and I were arch enemies ever since.
Oh, yes, my friends...Like Batman and The Joker, such are me and Molly. In the course of my 3 day tour, she ate everything. For all my close personal friends, you know my beer tab necklace. My personal talisman. She ate it. I could have killed her. She chewed my phone till it looks like it went into an acid bath. A DVD of mine, as well. "The Pigkeeper's Daughter", if you were curious.
I ended my sentence Sunday afternoon and returned to the solace of my home, Matthew and Buddha the wonder pug. I slept like a babe, a little richer, even.
Then I get a call tonight from my boss. Molly needs an overnight next Saturday night. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Will I do it? Sure....$.
Will I take a rubber mallet? Perhaps...:)
...well...not exactly, but that's how I chose to see it. Of course, I see what I wanna see...which brings me to my point... but before I get to my point...Isn't that picture adorable? That's Marc Kudisch and my puggy-wug, Buddha at a party at our house last winter...I digress...
If you are in the NYC area this fall, definitely check out "See What I Wanna See" at the Public Theatre. Written by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, The Highest Yellow), See What I Wanna See is based on three short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (translated by Takashi Kojima): "In the Grove," "The Dragon" and "Kesa and Morito" from the book "Rashomon and Other Stories."
Audra McDonald appeared in the premiere of the show (which had a different title) in 2004 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
In See What I Wanna See, several people describe the circumstances surrounding a murder, with each version differing from the others...
The sweetest man alive, Marc Kudisch will star alongside Idina Menzel, Mary Testa, and others.
I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Michael John and Marc last fall in The Highest Yellow at Signature Theatre, and I haven't stopped touching myself since.
Check full schedule and details for See What I Wanna See at...
OK...little drunk here...just had drinks with darling friends, Sherri Edelen an Thomas Adrian Simpson...(I did the majority of the drinking). Saw Urinetown AGAIN tonight...saw you there, Theaterboy...:)
Let's talk about how sexy Amy McWilliams, Eleasha Gamble and Sherri Edelen are as cops in the Cop Song...
The women are so strong in this show...not to screw the men...Tom Simpson, Michael Bunce, Chris Bloch, Stevie Cupo, Evan Casey, and the SEXY Will Gartshore are great...
But the girls are fantastic...
Gay man stuck on strong women...go figure...
Sunday, August 21, 2005
"A Halloween hayride becomes an invitation to terror as a group of teens out for fun, one by one fall victim to zombies. Even though the creatures are hunted down by the authorities, their total destruction is by no means assured. Bill Hinzman, from George Romero's horror classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, directed and stars in the film." - www.playcentric.com
"A group of teenagers that work at the mall all get together for a late night party in one of the stores. When the mall accidently goes on lock down before they can get out, The robot security system activates after a malfunction and goes on a killing spree. One by one the three bots try to rid the mall of the "Intruders". The only weapons the kids can use are the supplies in other stores. Or...if they can make it till morning when the mall opens back up"- www.imdb.com
"It's not you Bernie. I guess I'm just not used to being chased around a mall at night by killer robots. "
Oh my friends. These are stinkers.
This will be an on-going entry to this blog. I will post my favorite stinkers of all time at least once a week. Probably more, lord knows I have SO many.
You see. I have this addiction. I love train wrecks. I like to watch car wrecks long after people turn their heads. I fully identify with John Water's stories of going to the junk yard when he was a boy, just to play "car accident".
To translate into terms of movies, I love these flicks because you just know their creators thought they really had it this time. Maybe they did.
Both films ooze with the trappings of many 80's "Let's Kill Some Teenager" flicks:
-The teenage party- which usually involves taking some beer and a boom box out to the middle of no where. The girls dance, the boys drink and talk tit. One of the girls, while dancing, usually flashes some boobs. Which brings me to the next archetype:
-The Slut- Always the first to show tit. The hair is the most boofed do' in the cast. Has tendency to talk slower.
-boobies Galore- After the first one shows, they all end up coming out, except for...
-The Virgin- who is the only character to survive, since she has not had sex, but probably soon after will, and most likely with...
-The Nice Guy-who doesn't talk as crass as the other boys, not even when he has run ins with...
-The "You Crazy Kids" Guy- who chides the gang along the way with adages before he himself meets his doom first. e.g.-"You kids stay away from that forest, you hear?"
These and more thrive throughout both of these stellar films. Watching them warms my black heart on days when I'm feeling low. If you have a penchant for a good ol' stinker-film every now and then, then please remember these. You will not be disappointed...
Oh, and PS...2 treats to look for in both...
Flesh Eater- I am very partial to the slut girl in this film. Such impressive acting. No, I'm kidding. Also, look for the phone receptionist girl. Her line readings make me giggle outloud.
Chopping Mall- The slut in this film is pretty awful too...and her nipples are enormous. Just freaky. I feel like they stare at me and follow me when I walk away...Chilling. ShowTime has been airing this stink-bomb lately. I have NO idea why, but I'm grateful. Check your listings.
See you next time in Stinksville.
"Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle. "...Angela Lansbury, as Granny in The Company of Wolves.
With "The Brothers Grimm" coming soon to a theatre near you, and Into the Woods coming to Signature in the spring of 2006, maybe I'm just in the mood for a good fairy tale... If you have not seen this movie, and I'm betting most have not, then put it in your Netfix cue ASAP...
"You pay too much attention to your granny. She knows a lot but she doesn't know everything. And if there's a beast in men, it meets its match in women too. "
The Company of Wolves came out in 1984. Directed by Neil Jordan, (The Crying Game, Interview with a Vampire), it is a different twist on the Little Red story. The sexualization and imagery of this film are very creepy, indeed. And Angela Lansbury is fantastic as Granny, of course.
This is a lesser known film for reasons unknown to me. I was reading a British horror magazine 2 years ago, and read an article about it. It intrigued me and I have been searching for it ever since. It came out on DVD last year, and I've finally stumbled upon it on Netflix.
With the Fall slowly creeping upon us, this movie is great for a Saturday afternoon cuddle up on the couch, (as I did yesterday). But whatever you do, don't stray from the path...
"Little girls, this seems to say / Never stop upon the way / Never trust a stranger friend / No-one knows where it may end / As you're pretty, so be wise / Wolves may lurk in every guise / Now as then, 'tis simple truth / Sweetest tongue has sharpest tooth. "-Little Red
Saturday, August 20, 2005
I just want to advise all of you DC area people to buy up all the tickets you can to Urinetown, the Musical at Signature Theatre....I saw it last week and am going again tomorrow. It is a real treat...Will Gartshore is fantastic as Bobby Strong. This is some of his best work, I believe. Other usual Signature powerhouses turn in fantastic performances as well...(Sherri Edelen, Eleasha Gamble, Tom Simpson, Chris Bloch, Amy McWilliams are all standouts among a very talented cast), and Donna Migliacchio creates a hybrid breed of Mrs. Lovett, Ms. Hannigan, and the Mad Woman of Chaillot all rolled up into one as Penelope Pennywise. She is a hoot, and is worth the price of admission alone.
Go see this gem before you can't find anymore tickets!
Ok....shameless plug for my hubby's showcase of his show. But it IS free. And yours truly will be singing much of the music. The program will feature 4 singers (none of which are actually in the show) singing highlights from the piece.
Performing these gorgeous songs will be...Eleasha Gamble (my personal goddess), Jenny Soto (One of the most AMAZING voices ever...), Kurt Boehm (Guy who played the P.O.W. in One Red Flower...kinda looks like my little bro..), and me.
This will be the last free listen of this amazing music...so come and see while its for free!
Anyone seen Reefer Madness the musical on Showtime? ANYONE? I swear, I've campaigned this musical around town to 27 some odd people by now. No one seems to have caught it when it was on Showtime. I just want to advise you, if you get On Demand for Showtime, or have anyway of seeing it, please do. It is unreal.
The music is amazing and hysterical...not just funny, but actually catchy and well written music. (A thing that is SO important in the rash of spoof musicals that we have seen lately-I mean..couldn't The Producers at least have some good music in it?)
I DARE a theatre company in DC to do this show...it will be the hit (pardon my pun) of the season. But alas...I doubt anyone will...let us pray that a good theatre gets ahold of it, not some ridiculous "Renegade" theatre-like troupe. This really needs to be done, and soon. The DVD comes out in November...watch you Netflix cues...
Which also ...somewhat, brings me back to my point. Where is the company in town to take over where Cherry Red left off? Where is the Theatre to do gems like Reefer Madness...or even Evil Dead-The Musical..(an obscure, but WONDERFUL Canadian gem). My good buddy Stephen Bienskie is playing Buffalo Bill in Silence-The Musical at the NYC Fringe as we speak...yet another hysterical spoofical that should see the light of day in our neighborhood.
DC theatre has a stuffy reputation. We desperately need the Cherry Red's of the world to lighten us up, and shake us to our core. Will anyone step up to the plate and take on a new and exciting show like these? Please? You can do Oliver next year...I promise...
Hey there everyone...Thanks so much for stopping by to this, my first blog posting. This blog spot will provide many things odd, bizarre, insightful, and perhaps maudlin. (All depending on the day).
For those of you who do not know me, I am a DC area actor. I have worked at many of the Area's theatres...From Olney to Round House, LOTS at Signature Theatre, Wolf Trap, and upcoming enough, Arena Stage. I was the recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actor last year. Blah, Blah, BLah.
I have a partner of 6 years, Matthew J. Conner, who is also an actor, and an up and coming composer. (His Musical, Nevermore" is premiering January 10th-February 26th at Signature Theatre.)
The purpose of this lil' ol blog is to start an open discussion for other actors, theatre-goers, bystanders, old and young, about this business we call show...but more so, about living through it.
Thus is my mission statement and I'm sticking to it.
I'll share my favs and not so favs. What's happening in my twisted little world, and more.
So come on in, the water's fine.