Monday, June 02, 2008


Well, I've been on hiatus more that a few weeks... It took me a long time to get back into the swing of things and I apologize for that. Thank you all for your well wishes during my time away. Don't expect much from this first musing, but I'll be back to full force soon.

While I was gone, the Summer Play Festival announced its lineup and both my favorite composer, Joe Iconis, and favorite playwright, Billy Finnegan, have shows in the festival. Congratulations to the both of them. I want to encourage everyone to see Joe Iconis' The Black Suits (and you will then know it is not financially unproducable off-Broadway, no matter what evil people say) and Billy Finnegan's Esther Demsack. Those of you who are longtime readers of this blog, know I've previously excerpted another play of Billy's, that's how much I love him. So, you know, go support him.

Also, while I was out, news broke that NY Times main theater guy Campbell Robertson is going to Iraq for the summer. Apparently it is more action-filled than the summer NY theater-scene. This came as news to me.

So, this week, I saw three shows: Top Girls, Saved and In The Heights. I don't know how many of you have seen Saved yet, but it has three lyricists and yet features lyrics like "Refugees from a refugee camp" and ""Life is screwey, you do what you can/grab onto a life buoy..." In The Heights you all know about, so moving on.

Top Girls... I don't know if I've ever written here that Top Girls is one of my favorite plays. I love it! And I was so happy to finally see this production! I was surprised when MTC first announced it last year because I know that some of their subscribers have in the past complained about weird things and, um, this is Caryl Churchill, but, MTC actually did it, so let's also applaud that right away. Sadly, some Tony voters in the audience didn't share my enthusiasm and there were a handful that left after Act I. This really pisses me off for many reasons, one of which is that Tony nominee Martha Plimpton has her juciest stuff in the second and third acts. So, basically, if you leave, you're not seeing the main part of her performance. That's shady. Of course, as is well known in the community, many Tony voters don't go to half the nominated shows (despite the fact that they are supposedly not allowed to vote in a category where they have not seen everything), so I know someone out there is totally thinking: "Well, at least they went..." But, no. It still sucks, whether they saw some of her performance or not. If you are a Tony voter, you should be able to sit through an entire show, unless you're physically ill. To not sit there shows disrespect to the nominated performers. Now, there is some argument that if only the show is nominated and you hate it in the first act, you might as well leave because you know there is no way you are voting for it. But, in a case where there is a nominated performer, unless that performer REALLY rubs the voter the wrong way in Act I, that voter really needs to stay for the rest of the show. This is especially true when, as is the case here, that nominated performer plays a different character in the rest of the show. I mean--do I really think that the people who left thought, after the first act: "martha gives the worst performance ever and no matter how genius she is in the coming acts I'd never vote for her?" NO! So, basically, the people who left, unless they were actually ill, are just shady and disrespectful.

I'm tired now. That is enough for my return entry.