24 April 2007

Includes No Silly Pictures Of Cats

Y’all, producing musicals is hard. This dramaturgy thing... things were much simpler when I was planning on sleeping my way to the top.

Anyways, enough bitching and silly pictures of cats. I am back! And also, like, designing the program for the 13P benefit or something, but if I’m gonna keep looking for commitments, I’ve gotta keep the blogging up, too. Otherwise I’ll stop getting free tickets to things. And then I’ll be sad. No sleeping my way to the top, no free theatre – that is a life that is empty.

So other than stressing a lot for the last week and rocking out for two hours a day for the last two days, what have I been up to? Tons.

First, I’ve been helping out a bit on Young Jean Lee’s Church, which starts happening at PS122 on Thursday. So I’m writing here to tell you to go see it. Before I knew Young Jean, I saw her Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, and loved it very very much. So even though I’m not impartial now, I’d be saying the same thing if I were, except without any first-hand experience of the new piece. It’s not as giddy as Songs of the Dragons, or at least doesn’t get me high like that one did, but it’s a different animal, and an interesting exploration of how we function in the church service framework, and also has lots of things to say about our hip New York City lives that has nothing to do with God. (Or does it?) It’s also really funny. So go do that.

Also, Monday night there’s a reading of Adam Szymkowicz’s wonderful play Incendiary at Ars Nova. I will be there. You should, too. Info here.

Last week, or seventeen years ago, I saw transFigures at the Women’s Project. I was excited for two reasons – the last (and first) thing I saw at the WP, as I call it, was the exuberantly awesome Victoria Martin Math Team Queen, and the last (and first) piece I saw directed by Ms. Lear deBessonet was Bone Portraits, which I loved very much – an eerie and subtle collage loosely bound around the invention of the X-ray machine, it was abstract but completely coherent, beautiful and funny, and just a fantastic piece of art. Knowing that transFigures was a similarly structured collage piece, I was very excited.

Which is maybe why I was disappointed. transFigures is centered around Jerusalem Syndrome, which is when visitors to Jerusalem go temporarily psychotic and think they’re characters from the Bible – they wear their bedsheets like togas and roam the streets, and are usually better in 5-7 days. It boasts text from sources that range from Bathsheba Doran to Joan of Arc, and boasts actors like the always wonderful T. Ryder Smith, and this new-to-me guy, Nate Schenkkan, who’s a sweet, honest actor and quite the dancer, too. But the piece never really worked for me. Dance numbers felt awkward – like, I felt awkward watching them – and the collagey business felt a little rote. As in Bone Portraits, several stories were woven through – a couple visiting Jerusalem (guess which one will go crazy!), a police officer who specializes on picking up the nutsos from the Jerusalem streets, a doctor and his delusional patient, and, towards the end of the play, Joan of Arc. (Oh, and a crazy Christian lady whose most notable feature was a pair of glasses I severely coveted.) None of the threads, with the exception of the policeman, really interested me – maybe they were too much all about the same thing, or maybe it just wasn’t super good. Bone Portraits was written with playwright Deb Stein (and collaboration from the cast), where transFigures was an assemblage of text (I think with new material from Doran), and maybe part of the problem was the lack of a playwright? I don’t mean to keep comparing it to Bone Portraits – they’re just by the same auteur, in the same form, and one worked so brilliantly for me, and the other didn’t. But I can’t really begin to figure out why – just, sadly, the magic wasn’t there.

In other theatrical news, for the three of you who read my blog and no other theatrical things, catch up on the Mike Daisy story. Watch the video. Read the follow-up. It’s insane.

Okay, that’s it for now. A lot of blogging after not a lot of blogging – I have to ease myself back in. And figure out how to be a successful person without working too hard. That’s my new plan.


MattJ said...

victoria martin math team queen was totally awesome, agreed!

Rocco said...

Seriously sister, blogging everyday is F-ing hard. Especially when you have actual work to do.

Adam said...

thanks for the plug! seeya there.