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Friday, August 24, 2007

Recent review of events.

I wrote 2.2.2 (Hermaphroditism Through the Ages) to offer a cure for war. The opening lines of Orpheus expanded a quote from George Bush, that "we will not leave until victory is achieved." The additional lines are, "until then I return to my home and my family. Thank you, good-bye..."

Zeus says, "To forestall armegeddon I will turn them into hermaphrodites."

There are three depictions of this metamorphosis, an exchange of plugs for sockets, sockets for plugs, between three couples on three different islands, in three different time zones. The transformation is more than a distraction, it is a defusing of inner tension and turmoil. There is a definition of yoga that it unites the male and female energies, that the practice of yoga is the process of moving toward hermaphroditism.

The mole king calls for the marriage of the three couples before a fresco from Pompei. That artwork indeed graphically depicts the lovemaking implied throughout the piece. I looked closer at this accomplished creation of artist Richard Scott. Incredible. Now what am I supposed to do with it?

The backdrop for the entire play, painted by holographic artist Sam Moree, which is a 10' 6" x 7' canvas, currently hangs across the back wall of my home office.

The mole king character is an independent force. He is a little mole, the recipient of people's calls to the dead.

This is a relatively upbeat and encouraging new musical combined with Ballistic by Ed Malin and Aphrodite by Maria Micheles in "Oh Happy Three," a production of Manhattan Theatre Source for their summer series, Straight from the Source! Directed by Sarah Marck, it ran for eight solid performances.

More fringe update: A stage adaptation of the Ingmar Bergman film Cries and Whispers?

Sharon Fogarty's contribution to the Straight from the Source summer series is "Portrait of the Artist as a Dumb Blonde, a musical in one stupid act." It ran for five performances and received a review last Tuesday from the New York Times, and it was not even a favorable one. Why did they bother saying they didn't enjoy it, especially during the Fringe Fest when they could have used the space to draw attention to something they DID like?

Blinded by Blondeness...After seeing Sharon's show I saw Nelly McKay's show at Joe's Pub. She was at the piano with her piles of music, making that instrument sound great, playing as well as any piano player around. Her casual pure ennunciation and the pitches of her voice were both abrasive and joyous.

I also saw Walmartopia which has mighty fine material. (My typically clueless remark about never having been to the Paris Hilton applies here.)

I read some of Marc Eliot's 1993 Disney bio. (I didn't realize until Mr. Eliot's website alerted me of a controversy that his publisher added a Max Shreck shadow to the book jacket's cover photo of Mr. Disney.) Am I mistaken or does Mr. Eliot ultimately admire Walt Disney's maverick tendencies? In case we're concerned our children are missing out on voyeuristic yearning, there's something out now called High School Musical, which probably uses the same musical theatre gestures found in Walmartopia... Help! I'm just trying to add to what's out there.

Oh, in keeping with my attempt to post useful observations, there was a big building block, it was a former Deutsche Bank building, made entirely of asbestos, opening the boulevard of Hamburg's Reepabahn. I remember walking by it on my way to the Dom back during the early nineties. It couldn't be torn down because of its materials so it just blackened the skyline. I wonder if it's still there.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Fringe Fest play, Dirt, was misleading. Is the production an Austrian import? Transferring an illegally immigrated Basra roses peddler from 1992 Hamburg where white faces break glass upon him, to New York City where he yells over the sound of the subway trains, did not resonate fairly... hopefully Hamburg's population is not that hostile either. I kept thinking of Mahfouz's The Theif and the Dogs, and also of Lawrence Durrell's culture shock in his Alexandria series. I hope, anyway, that Dirt or Dreck, by Robert Schneider, did not accurately portray the personality of this City.

This is the second European import I've seen in this festival. The other, Baaah, was also something of a repackage. It is The Suede Coat, by Stanislav Stratiev (1974). Felipe Bonilla, who originated the role of Gormin Dials in TentagatneT at La Mama was the lead.

One more, dare I call it, repackaging... Dan Fogler's Elephant in the Room... based on Rhinocerous by Eugene Ionesco.