Thursday, September 20, 2007

Show Off

I spent the majority of today at North Shore hospital, looking after my grandfather. It was not the happiest of days. Nevertheless, I brought back a story. For some reason the hall is decorated with laminated Broadway posters. Not from classics, but like from things that ran for a few years and closed 3-4 years ago.

My grandmother: "Cara, I noticed one of the posters was for Elton John in Aida. How could Elton John be in Aida? Was it a lot of years ago?"
Me: "No, it's his Aida, he wrote the music."
Her: "But Aida is an opera--it has music."

That was the only thing that made me smile all day. Because it's true. It made so much sense.

Oh, actually, I also smiled when I got home and heard about the regional premiere of In My Life. According to the press release description, Jenny has OCD. Except during rehearsals in NYC, that was eliminated. So... is this a revised script? One can only hope.

Anyway, so last night I was involved in an interesting discussion at the party for Playwrights Horizons latest. It was about whether theaters that receive government funding should primarily do American plays. Many people in the conversation, American playwrights (or aspiring ones), thought the answer was "yes." I have some difficulty with this. Don't we live in all one world? What makes someone American? Citizenship? What happens if the playwright is someone who has lived here her entire life, but was born in Australia and retains citizenship there. Should Roundabout not be allowed to producer her play? Or should there be a guideline that says if they produce her play, they then have to do plays of 50 people who have citizenship? I can totally see theaters wanting to support American playwrights--I do too--but this doesn't seem to me like something you could regulate. What do you think? I'd honestly like to know. (Oh, also last night, my friend abandoned me at that same party. Can you believe?)

On another note--I've decided January 6 for Drowsy closing, maybe before if there is indeed a lock-out. What do you think?

Look how I'm asking for comments! begging! pleading! I need to sleep.

16 comments:

RLewis said...

Since my big rant about theater blogs is that there just aren't enough Comments, I guess I must practice what I preach when someone begs for it. Honestly, I didn't take the -govt' funding only for US writers- seriously when there seems to be real things going on in your life which should be the focus. But, if you need the distraction....

Isn't govt' funding's purpose to improve the lives of the US citizenry? Maybe the fact that it $$ flows through the hands of a few artists might give them a distorted perspective, but I don't think that you can limit how that money is spent based on their needs or citizenship. I hope Americans want to hear the stories of mankind from far and wide. And maybe we can better live our lives when we see on stage how others are living theirs. Maybe we can better deal with others in real life when we know more about what's behind the characters of other countries.

The work of Ionseco, Pirandello, Brecht and many others once changed the lives of Americans, so although I'd love to see US writers get all they can from our government, I fall on the side of staying open $$ that we all might benefit (in whatever small what) from the engaging stories of those beyond our geographic boundaries.

Now, that's just if the money is -bottomline- for us all, but if it's just to improve the writer's play, feel free to ingore all this. How's that?

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