Monday, February 27, 2006
Photo by Carol Pratt
We are entering the final week of Nevermore at Signature Theatre. This is going to bee an emotional rolercoaster of a week...and tomorrow is me and Matty's 7 year anniversary! I will be so sad to see this brilliant show close. It has captured thousands, by now, of people's imaginations. But come Sunday, we must let the Raven fly...
Photo by Ray Gniewek
Also, I want to remind you that if you have not seen Death of a Salesman at Keegan, this coming weekend is your last chance. I highly advise seeing this show, as you can see by my previous rantings if you scroll down just a lil' bit.
This bird has flown...
Yes, we have lost several talented actors this past weekend, but this one saddened me the most.
The Old Man: Sons of bitches! Bumpuses!
His protrayal of, "The Old Man" , in A Christmas Story remains a favorite of mine.
Watching the "24 Hours of A Chirstmas Story" on TV has become a Christmas tradition for my family. I feel like someone that I spend every Christmas with has passed. Someone whose house I frequent all December long...
But the work he leaves behind is a testament to his skill and craft as an actor. And he also left us with these unforgettable quotes...
Mr. Parker: You mundane noodle!
The Old Man: Notafinga!
Mr. Parker: [Reading Telegram and doing a little jig] Tonight! Tonight! It's coming Tonight! Tonight! Tonight! Tonight! Hot Damn, Tonight!
[Mr. Parker reads a side of the box with the prize that he won]
Mr. Parker: Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian.
Mrs. Parker: Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, dear.
Mr. Parker: Oh, yeah.
[the furnace conks out]
Mr. Parker: It's a clinker! That blasted stupid furnace dadgummit!
[he walks down a few stairs and falls the rest of the way down]
Mr. Parker: Damn skates!
Mr. Parker: Oh for cripes sake open up the damper will ya? Who the hell turned it all the way down? AGAIN! Oh blasted!
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Saturday, February 25, 2006
True. About 3 weeks ago I had done something to piss him off, obviously, and he turned that hurt or scorned feeling into destruction. Very vengeful, pugs.
I have no idea what I did. Maybe I just wasn't doing enough for him...maybe he just was bored. Dunno.
You see, he hardly ever is destructive at all. Well, at least not to our possessions or affects. He has myriad of toys to chose from, and daily batters them all with glee. Every once in awhile, he just gets a wild hair to do some property destruction.
Perhaps I should stop leaving horror films on for him when I leave the house...
So I have been putting off getting a new pair. Why? Because...A) I can't afford it, and B) I can't afford it.
I was telling this boo-hoo canine/myopia tale to Amy McWilliams at "The Office" the other night. She asked me why I just didn't get some through my health insurance.
Having never had health coverage prior to joining Actor's Equity, I still forget that I have it. I actually have never used it...but then again, I hardly ever get sick, so why would I? But for stuff like this...wow...totally forgot that I was covered for vision.
Thanks, Amy. ;)
So I went to Eye Site...(no kidding, that's the name), on Columbia Pike and got a brand new pair. *sigh* The joys of having grown up people insurance.
Now I usually opt for the punk/geek/Buddy Holly/Night of the Living Deadish black plastic kind...mainly because I am allergic to metal. Also because they make me feel geek chic, and I love it. There weren't so many cool pairs of those at Eye Site, though...so I opted for a thin bronze titanium pair. The titanium is non allergenic to my skin, so I had no prob with it.
They gave me a groovy case that I don't think even the likes of Buddha the Wonder Pug will be able to crack. I hope.
But this much is true, constant reader...
Keep your glasses on high surfaces, and your dog content.
Matty and I went to see Death of a Salesman at Church Street Theater by Keegan Theatre tonight. Wow.
Across the boards, the performances were incredible. From the smallest of players to the biggest, it was incredible.
I could not help but to think of my own father. This is the classic American tragedy.
All that your parents want to give you, yet cannot...
I was reminded of Cal Trask in East of Eden trying to give his father something, and that gift being not enough in his Father's eyes.
Alright, I have already said that the entire cast is strong.
Let me focus on what moved me.
Brian Hemmingsen as Willy Loman is a triumph. His depth and understanding of the role is so layered that you lose yourself in him. I never felt anger at this character..this seems to be a theme that is discussed in abundance with this show.
I felt no anger for Willy Loman. I understand him.
Someone once told me that everyone in their own lives is really trying their best. In whatever it is, they really ARE trying their best to be a good person.
Here is this man genuinely TRYING his best in a world that won't have him.
It is devastating to watch.
It reminds me in a strange way of Monster, or even, Nevermore.
Mark Rhea is devastating as Biff.
I see so much Cal Trask from East of Eden in his performance of Biff. I am SO envious of him, in the fact that he has got to play this AMAZING role that SO suits him, and that he is so heartbreaking...it is an actor's dream come true. He and Brian capture the essence of the play so gorgeously. I absolutely GEEKED over Mark Rhea in this play.
Charlotte Akin is an understated and gorgeous exercise in patience...When her rage at her sons comes through, it is so extremely powerful. She is measured patience personified.
I recall a line from "The Bridges of Madison County", where the housewife talks about her "Life of Details.."
Her final monologue at the gravesite shattered me. "We're free..."
I will say that a woman during a crucial scene, had her cell phone ring, and yes, she was in the front row, answered it, and had a full conversation.
This URKED me to no end. In her defense, they were from Egypt, and were visiting. They wanted to see this show, and did not know theatre etiquette.
I hear that tomorrow was supposed to be the last performance of this AMAZING show, but happily, I report that it will play 2 more performances next weekend.
I advise you to go and see this 2006 Helen Hayes front runner before it passes by.
You will not be sorry. Willy Loman and his clan have never been shown to you in such a devastating light.
Keegan Fucking Rocks.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
OK...just finished Cell by Stephen King. *sigh* What a breathtaking ride.
The book shoots you out of a canon from page 2. You never stop after that.
I have always been a fan of Stephen King, but sometimes find him to have a rambling narrarative... Not the case with this sleek and quick novel. You are never checking your watch with this one.
Sure, it bears similarities to many modern works...his own, The Stand....28 Days Later...also, his own-The Long Walk.
But hey...what IS original anymore, right?
The basic premise is such...all of the sudden, anyone on a cell phone gets some frequency that is transmitted through it that makes them go feral. They attack anyone around them in blind rage. Catastrophe springs forth. More people call people on cell phones to see what is going on...they are taken by "The Pulse" as well, and join the madness. And on and on. The world quickly goes ker-plewy.
Soon, we are focused on our main character, Clay. He is a regular guy, as is usually the case, caught in a web of violent and startling evolution. Or revolution. He is written so comfortably, you feel like you have known him for your whole life.
I will not throw away the plot twists involving those effected by "The Pulse". I will say this, however- they start to organize. They start to have other abilities.
NO, this is no pseudo-zombie tale. It is reminiscent of, but these are NOT zombies.
They are simply "re-programmed" humans getting their frequency from a new programmer.
The book is heart-stopping.
I was about 50 pages from the end, and took the book to Cap City to finish it.
I promptly gave it Channez McQuay, who was curious.
In the end, if you are a King fan at all, this is one hell of an adrenaline shot to the heart.
I am, admittedly, a fan of works that discuss the apocalypse, or the breakdown of society. I love to see how it would go down, you know?
This is another in a sling of great interpretations of it.
And how clever...
Cell phones are the gateway to madness and death.
I only got a cell phone 3 years ago. I never owned one. Now I cannot imagine life without one.
Funny enough, my latest cell phone has metal in the face of it. Metal that I am am apparently allergic to. For months it quietly ate away at my face, as I wondered how my face was decomposing before my eyes. I have metal allergies, and never thought to look at my little communications friend as a suspect.
Now I know.
I have regarded cell phones with much more suspicion since...this book didn't help.
I highly advise that you pick it up, since it is impossible to put down once you do...
much like a cell phone.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Matty and I went to see our friend,Euan Morton in concert tonight at Signature Theatre...
He did a fantastic job...the set list was VERY diverse, from "If I loved You", to "Hallelujah" by K.D. Lang...to original songs from his new album, like "NewClear".
Such a stage presence, and such a gorgeous voice...I was so happy I went.
Then, of course, pints at "The Office" with the whole gang....
Most of my night was spent talking to Rachel Applegate, of the Signature, who I helped reunite with my newly adopted big brother, Parker Esse.
Good times were had by all.
Check ya' later...
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Well..I'm honestly sad that these two shows are closing this weekend...
I am sad about the Chita show closing because I worship her, and wish that I could have seen the show before it closed...she is one of our National Treasures.
I am sad that The Woman in White is closing, mostly for Judy Kuhn, who was to take the role over for Maria Friedman. She was 3 weeks into rehearsal when the plug was pulled...
Having done The Highest Yellow with Judy here at Signature, I spoke to her when it was announced that she was to take the role over. She was SO excited to take on the role, that I think would have been a fantastic fit for her. How sad we will not get to see that.
As stated earlier on this blog, I am not sad for Sean "The Tool" MacLaughlin, for he is already deep into rehearsal for Lestat...
Well...off to "The Office" for a pint or two with the hubster.
Is anybody else going to be watching the Project Runway marathon on Bravo starting at 11AM tomorrow? This show is my ONLY reality TV obsession. It is like crack.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Wow. Sorry it's been so long! I really have been a busy man of late...
Well, I was house sitting for a client this past weekend, and their GINORMOUS Great Danes! (Pictured here).
It was a snowy weekend, as you all know, and to tell the truth, I really just wanted to be snowed in at my own home. But, alas, I was not.
I got to read a little...which is unheard of for me. No, I am not an idiot, but it is a time factor. I can watch TV or DVDs because I can muliti-task while they are on. Reading takes total concentration...and this ADHD boy has issues with that kind of devotion.
I did get to read what I consider to be a whole bunch. 46 pages. Ok, before you start making fun of me, you must understand...there were 2 huge Great Danes running around, and that is one thing...the other is this.
Whenever I read, bacause my mind is like in warp drive all the time, I have to re-read paragraphs to make sure I was paying attention.
Ok, I am sounding a little bit like an idiot at this point to you...but it is true.
And no, it is NOT the Red Bull giving me the hyperactivity and lack of attention span. I have given Red Bull up. It's been a week.
The book is fantastic so far...no high and lofty prose, but something right up my alley.
The rest of the week has been about friends visiting, which has been lovely.
R. Scott Thompson is in from California to visit and see Nevermore, and so is Lynn Filusch...(previously featured in On The Heels Of...)
It has been great to see them both and let Lynn's dog and my own buddy boy have some playtime...they are so adorable.
I have heard from my baby girl, Eleasha Gamble. She is deep in rehearsals for Hair at the Perserverance Theatre. Yes, she is loving Alaska. She says that it is gorgeous, of course. She made me laugh when she told me...
"Your people are crazy..there are about 10 people skating out here on this lake...don't they watch movies?? Don't they know what happens every time?? White people ar crazy...you would never catch me out there on that ice..."
And the subject of white people and black people led us to the Olympics...
How about all of the falls this year? Seems like every night I tune in to see somebody falling out of a luge, or on the ice, or somewhere. They must make the ice slicker in Torino, I guess..
I talked with Parker today, and he is well. All seems to be going great with the production of The Wizard of Oz that his wife, Maria is directing at their son's school. He sends his love along.
Ok...that has been the week in review. I'll check in this weekend with more.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
...it snows and everyone bakes, apparently...my checklist usually includes Beer and Pizza, personally...
So this comes in my inbox today...
...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT... A WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT. A STRONG LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL DEVELOP ALONG THE GULF COAST TODAY...AND MOVE NORTHEAST TO THE MID-ATLANTIC SATURDAY. A BAND OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP ACROSS THE REGION SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND SATURDAY NIGHT. SNOW MAY MIX WITH RAIN OR SLEET SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON SOUTH OF THE WASHINGTON DC METROPOLITAN AREA...BEFORE COLDER AIR MOVES IN LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND SATURDAY NIGHT AND TURNS ANY MIXED PRECIPITATION TO ALL SNOW. AT THIS TIME...A SWATH OF SNOWFALL OF 5 INCHES OR MORE IS LIKELY ACROSS THE AREA...WITH ACCUMULATIONS UP TO TEN INCHES POSSIBLE. NORTHEAST WINDS AT 15 TO 25 MPH SATURDAY WILL SHIFT TO THE NORTH SATURDAY NIGHT. THE COMBINATION OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW AND WIND HAS THE POTENTIAL TO REDUCE VISIBILITY TO BELOW ONE HALF OF A MILE. PLEASE BE PREPARED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT. A WINTER STORM WARNING MAY NEED TO BE ISSUED LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT. STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO...OR YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL SOURCE OF WEATHER INFORMATION FOR THE LATEST STATEMENTS CONCERNING THIS POTENTIAL WINTER STORM.
Normally, I would jump for joy...being a Pennsylvanian boy, we eat, drink, and breathe snow...I have been so bummed by the lack of in recent years...well, of all weekends...this one is a bad choice.
I am pet/house sitting a household about 10 minutes away, at the top o' ye VERY steepish hill.
2 Great Danes, one cocker spaniel, and a cat.
Also, my Mom and Dad are coming in to see Nevermore...
It's gonna be a long weekend, I feel.
Updates to follow, when possible.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
And special congrats to those Nominees who were profiled in my On the Heels of... series of interviews. Some amazing perforormances/choreography by these women.
Here are the interviews again, if you missed them..
Donna Migliaccio, Nominee for Best Leading Actress in a Resident Musical
Eleasha Gamble, Nominee for Best Supporting Actress in a Resident Musical
Erin Driscoll, Nominee for Best Leading Actress in a Resident Musical
Karma Camp, Nominee for Outstanding Choreography
Felicia Curry, Erin Driscoll, Meg Gillentine, Donna Migliaccio, Karma Camp, George Fulginiti-Shakar, Jon Kalbfleisch, Joe Calarco, Eric Schaeffer, Jim Kronzer, Chris Lee, Anne Kennedy, Chris Bloch, Larry Redmond, Stephen F. Schmidt, Harry A. Winter, Kay Walbye, Jenna Sokolowski, Brad Oscar, Will Gartshore (2x!), Molly Smith, Ilona Kessel, and my baby girl, Eleasha Gamble....!
Luv you all...
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Me and the husband spent the evening with J. Fred Shiffman at his abode, down the street from us.
The evening intended to be an occasion for us to watch A Very Long Engagement. Instead, we just sat around and talked for the whole evening.
It was very healing for me. It reminded me that I now had the option to have a social life for awhile till Assassins starts.
How were the cigarettes today?
Hmmm...well...less than a full pack....but approaching it.
Not bad for a pack and a half a day smoker.
So sad that Damn Yankees is over...but...new projects leer on the horizon. New goals are being set by yours truly.
I have week of my dear Eleasha before she leaves us for Alaska... but what a great spring awaits after 9 weeks...a fantastic Sondheim show with my husband by my side, Parker will be back for Mame, Kevin Burrows will be here in Spamalot, Eleasha will be back...Craig D'Amico will be through visiting, as will Kim Shriver...
I will be playing a sizeable role for the first time since One Red Flower...I look forward to the challenge and the work. And a priceless 10 minute scene between me and Will Gartshore. One of the best scenes in musical theatre....I look forward to that...and being with my dear Donna Mig again...who has closed her Dino musical in Philly, and is back to her devoted in DC. She gives you one HELL of a Sarah Jane Moore. Look out.
On a sad note, The Woman in White, who my dear friend, Sean "the tool" MacLaughlin was in, is closing on February 19th. So sad. I feel for him.
Well, that is the drunk o'clock update from your proud lil' Steelers fan, who couldn't have been happier last night as we watched backstage during closing.
My mood will improve as the week goes on, I swear.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Clockwise from top:Tracy Lynn Olivera and J. Fred Shiffman, Deanna Harris, Brad Oscar, Kim Shriver, Ellyn Marie Marsh,Christina Lynn Phillips, Michelle Liu Coughlin, Christopher Bloch, Harry A. Winter, Matt Bogart, Meg Gillentine,Rayanne Gonzales, Kay Walbye, Lynn McNutt, Matt Bogart, Lawrence Redmond, Kay Walbye, Matt Bogart, Lawrence Redmond, Brad Oscar.
Some images from Damn Yankees to take us through closing. *Sigh* I'll miss you folks.