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Loney's Show Notes
By Glenn Loney, March 2011.
About Glenn Loney
Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.
PASSING GLANCES AT SCENES SEEN:
•Peter & The Starcatcher: Meet Wendy's Mother!
•En el Tiempo de las Mariposas: Brave Sisters Die, Opposing Dominican Dictator Trujillo!
•Good People: Rabbit Hole Formula Re Visited, From a Different Angle…
•My Scandalous Life: Lord Alfred Douglas Re Visited--Minus Oscar Wilde…
•Winkie: Teddy Bear Comes To Life--Drama Does Not…
•Play Nice!: Play Not So Nice…
•Kin: The Luck of the Irish--Plus American Complications…
•Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo: Robin Williams Returns!
•The Dream of the Burning Boy: Please Raise My Grade…Dad…
•That Championship Season: Playwright's Ashes in Urn On Stage--Play Also Ashes…
•Arcadia: Et in Arcadia Ego--Brilliant Production of Stoppard's Ingenious Inter Century Drama!
•Cactus Flower: Abe Burrows Transforms French Farce into Big City Sex Romp…
•Comedy of Errors: At BAM--Comedy of Arrows or Comedy of Eros?
•Double Falsehood: Cardenio, Revised…
•Priscilla Queen of the Desert: Costumes Alone Are Worth the Ticket Price!
•The Book of Mormon: Future US President Mitt Romney Won't Like New Musical Version!
•Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark: A Peek Before Web Shut Down & Re Tooling…
•Musicals of 1932: Scott Siegel Does It Again--at Town Hall!
•Skellig: The Old Man Has Wings, But Can He Fly?
•Mischief at the New Vic: Amazing, What You Can Do With Foam!
•Queen of Spades: Three, Seven, Ace: Haunting at the Met!
•The Elixir of Love: NY City Opera Lives Again--at the David H. Koch State Theatre!
•Monodramas with Music: John Zorn, Arnold Schoenberg, Morton Feldman & Sam Beckett!
•Between Worlds/Entre Mundos: Flamenco Meets Stomp!
•This Ain't No Tea Party: Laughing Liberally & Saving Democracy--But Can It Be Saved?
•Canned Ham: Tom Judson--aka Gus Mattox--Tells All & Plays Multiple Instruments!
End of Month Summary: The Poet was Right when he said that "April is the cruelest month." It's that time of year when Nominations have to be made for a variety of Theatre Awards, notably the Tonys™.
Nonetheless, March wasn't so easy either: Nominators' Calendars were crammed with new shows, craving a Thumbs Up for this Award or that…
Why do so many new shows--this time out, often Revivals of Golden Oldies--have to open just before Awards Time?
Can it be that Producers do not trust Critic/Voters to remember the Virtues of shows they saw way back in November?
If that's the case, then this explains Invitations to see again shows that premiered in the Fall!
Rick Elice's PETER & THE STARCATCHER [*****]
Caridad Svich's EN ELTIEMPO DE LAS MARIPOSAS [****]
David Lindsay Abaire's GOOD PEOPLE [***]
Thomas Kilroy's MY SCANDALOUS LIFE [**]
Clifford Chase's WINKIE [**]
Robin Rice Lichtig's PLAY NICE! [*]
Bathsheba Doran's KIN [****]
Rajiv Joseph's BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO [****]
David West Read's THE DREAM OF THE BURNING BOY [*****]
Old Plays in Revival:
Jason Miller's THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON [**]
Tom Stoppard's ARCADIA [*****]
Abe Burrows' CACTUS FLOWER [***]
Wm. Shakespeare's THE COMEDY OF ERRORS [****]
Lewis Theobald's Adaptation of Cardenio--DOUBLE FALSEHOOD [***]
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT [*****]
THE BOOK OF MORMON [*****]
SPIDER MAN, TURN OFF THE DARK [***]
Other Entertainments/Other Venues:
At Town Hall:
Scott Siegel's Broadway by the Year Series
THE MUSICALS OF 1932 [*****]
At The Metropolitan Opera:
Pete Tchaikovsky's THE QUEEN OF SPADES [*****]
At the New York City Opera:
Gaetano Donizetti's THE ELIXIR OF LOVE [****]
Zorn, Schoenberg, & Feldman's MONODRAMAS [***]
At The New Victory:
David Almond's SKELLIG [***]
Theatre Rites & Arthur Pita's MISCHIEF [***]
At Dixon Place:
Tom Judson's CANNED HAM [****]
SHOW NOTES OVERVIEW:
Disney Takes a New Look at the Peter Pan Legend--With a Starcatcher!
One of the most Unusual Entertainments heralding the long awaited Arrival of Spring was Peter & The Starcatcher, commissioned by Disney Theatrical Productions.
This is not a Sequel to the ever popular Tinkerbell Tale created by Sir James Barrie.
Instead, it is What Came Before in Neverland, featuring Peter & Wendy's Mother!
Actually, it's a Fiction created by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson that's been wonderfully adapted by Rick Elice--of Jersey Boys & Addams Family Fame, with music by Wayne Barker.
Humorist Dave Barry & Pearson, in fact, have penned a series of Peter & books: --the Sword of Mercy, --the Secret of Rundoon, & --the Shadow Thieves.
What makes the current production--down at the NY Theatre Workshop--so surprising & delightful is the many ingenious ways in which the Narrative Action is Visualized.
Story Theatre meets Bunraku & Toy Theatre, among other genres…
Direction is shared by Roger Rees--now playing Nathan Lane in The Addams Family--with the innovative Alex Timbers, of Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.
This is such an energy charged & visually inventive show that it deserves to be Up Scaled to a larger Playhouse.
What Disney had hoped for originally was apparently not Direct Translation to Broadway, for the Script was first tried out in 2009, as a Page to Stage production at the La Jolla Playhouse.
That Doomed Explorer, Scott of the Antarctic, is intimately involved in the action, but Boy & Molly are central, with some of Barrie's Characters showing how they evolved…
The Entire Cast should win an Ensemble Award!
Butterflies & Brutal Dictatorship in the Dominican Republic…
Demonstrations against Brutal Dictatorships may be Today's News in North Africa, but they have been occurring here in the Americas for some time: Brazil, Chile, Argentina…
Often, they have been initially ineffective & often brutally suppressed by Strong Men who--if not denounced outright by the US Department of State--were somewhat encouraged by US, to "Preserve Stability."
Caridad Svich--whose Casa de los Éspiritus is also in repertory at the Repertorio Español--introduces us to a brave Trio of Sisters--las Sorellas Mirabals--who oppose the Proud Dictator, General Rafael Trujillo, in the Dominican Republic. Bravely, but not decisively, although their Martyrs' Deaths has a resonance even today…
In a Visual Sense--with Butterflies drifting through the blossom heavy trees--they are also like Butterflies, delicate, colorful, but easily crushed. [Mariposas by Lucia J. Lee!]
As usual at Repertorio, Designer Robert Weber Federico has suggested the Scenic Environment with the sparest of details & props, but overhead, three panels show Videos--by Alex Koch--that enhance the action.
Caridad Svich--who was interviewed in Denver, at the Colorado New Play Summit, by Your Roving Arts Reporter [click here!]--has based this affecting drama on the novel by Julia Alvarez.
Frances Dormand Is A Force of Nature in David Lindsay Abaire's Good People!
David Lindsay Abaire seems to have discovered another Rabbit Hole with his new Family Drama, Good People.
Despite the dynamic performance of Frances Dormand as Margaret, a ferocious Loser, who somehow feels Entitled, this script has some of the same Formularity as Rabbit Hole: a Marriage Is in Trouble…
The Title is, undoubtedly, intended to be Ironic.
But what can you expect of a lot of Losers, who spend time at the Parish Church, playing Bingo?
As a Lively Loser--who makes Puppets out of Pots & Googly Eyes--Estelle Parsons offers good Comic Relief to Dormand's Tempests of Temper.
The estimable Daniel Sullivan directed. The admirable Revolving Set--very ingenious!--was the work of the even more admirable John Lee Beatty.
"Bosie" Has a Cup of Tea: A Long Way Off from Oscar Wilde…
Lord Alfred Douglas [Des Keogh] wouldn't even be a Footnote to Victorian History, had he not been Beloved by Oscar Wilde.
But, after Wilde's Disgrace & Imprisonment--Wilde even wrote a poem about being incarcerated in Reading Gaol!--Oscar's "Bosie" did the Right Thing.
He got Married, which proved that he was All Right, after all.
Unfortunately--as recalled by playwright Thomas Kilroy, in My Scandalous Life--the Aftermath doesn't seem so interesting. After all…
He drinks a lot of Tea, while engaging in Recall.
It's interesting that Alfred Douglas was a son of the Boxer Fanatic, the Marquess of Queensberry, who laid down the Rules for Boxing.
The often angry Marquess was, however, a Man's Man. He detested the affectations of Oscar Wilde & his Lisping Ilk. He was embarrassed by Alfred's fascination with Wilde, who--he wrote on his Calling Card--was "posing as a Sodomite."
When Wilde unwisely brought charges of Libel against Queensberry, the Noble Marquess was able to prove his assertions about Wilde's Sexuality…
Don't Kill Winkie! It's Not His Fault That Clifford Chase Loved Him…
In the tiny theatre space of Theatre C--at 59E59--the energetic cast of Clifford Chase's Winkie are ingeniously deployed by director Joe Tantalo.
Chase--who is played by Nick Pagliano: also Winkie!--very much loved his Childhood Teddy Bear, so he wrote a book about the Bear. Matt Pelfrey has adapted it for the Tiny Stage.
Winkie miraculously Comes To Life. With disastrous results…
There's a fair amount of Homo Erotic Fervor here & there, but Chase is apparently an Expert in Queer Theory. Or is it Queer Studies? I lost the Press Release, which explained it all…
Jean Genet's The Maids Inspires Robin Rice Lightig. But Why…
As with so many Off & Off Broadway efforts, it's only fair to cite the Energy & Dedication of the various Casts to the Tasks that have been dictated to them by the Playwrights & arranged for them by the Directors.
This is certainly true for Play Nice! They all Worked Very Hard.
But I couldn't wait for it to be Over. There was No Way To Escape, however, unless one walked down through the show.
There seemed to be some sort of Problem about someone being Poisoned by Red Squills, with a Lot of Acting Out.
All this was said to be inspired by Jean Genet's The Maids, but Genet is So Yesterday. Who does The Balcony anymore?
We used to kill Mice & Rats with Red Squills when I was a lad, back on the farm. This preparation induces Vomiting, but Rodents cannot vomit. So they Choke to Death!
Even as I was studying my watch, waiting for Reprieve, I noticed a young woman, across the aisle, who seemed intently fascinated by Every Word of Dialogue & every On Stage Action.
She was not following a Script, so she was probably not the Director. I thought she might have been the Playwright, who would not have needed a Script, so entranced was she with the words being so Passionately Uttered.
At the Humana Festival, Robin Rice Lightig turned out to be a pleasant mature woman. Not a Post Teen…
Only at the end of the drama did I learn that the children's Mother was coming home from the Hospital, where she had recovered from being given Red Squills, by one of her Offspring. She would want Revenge…
This was not made Really Clear at the Outset…
Kin & Kinship: Your Relatives You're Born With, But Can You Really Pick Your Friends?
Sean [Patch Darragh] ought to get married. His Family back in Ireland have hopes, but also some Personal Problems, eased now & then with a Drop or two…
Those Three Dots above are/is an Ellipsis…
Sean's Lady friend has written her PhD Dissertation on The Ellipsis, or Ellipses. At Columbia University, no less!
The entire Cast is so good that Kin deserves an Ensemble Award! Cheers for Suzanne Bertish, Bill Buell, Kristen Bush, Kit Flanagan, Laura Heisler, Matthew Rauch, Cotter Smith, Molly Ward, & Darrah, of course!
Cheers, also, for Paul Steinberg--whose Scenic Invention of a Narrow White Frame that is also a Major Playing Space--helps director Sam Gold to move the Inter Actions of Bathsheba Doran's riveting drama of Family & Friend Relationships & Dependencies rapidly forward.
In addition to an Irish Mist that flows out chillingly into the Auditorium, we also get a huge Photo Mural of what look like the California Redwoods!
But No--North Carolina Trees, apparently…
If you want to know how the play works, Go & See It! At Playwrights' Horizons, just down a door or two from Theatre Row on 42…
Robin Williams IS the Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo: Stuff Happens…
Unlike Siegfried & Roy, US Soldiers, deployed to Iraq, really shouldn't put their hands in Tiger Cages!
Even that Vegas Legend Team of Tiger Tamers found out, to their Cost, that you Need To Be Careful.
Now, over at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, Robin Williams is pretending to be a Bengal Tiger in a cage.
But he's no Pussy Cat!
He bites off the Hand That Feeds Him, leaving an American Soldier minus his Right Hand--which makes Masturbation difficult, as it turns out…
He's returned Stateside to be fitted with a Prosthetic Hand.
Nonetheless, he comes back to Baghdad. Not for more Active Duty, finding Weapons of Mass Destruction or Bringing Democracy to Kurds, Sunnis, & Shiites, all alike.
He killed one of Saddam Hussein's two brutal sons: Uday--who is seen in the play holding the Severed Head of his brother, Qusay…
After which he stole Uday's Gold Plated Gun & his Golden Toilet Seat!
They are still in Baghdad & he means to have them back…
So far OK.
But what this intriguing drama is really All About is the Bitter Fate of the Native Iraqui Translator, Musa [wonderfully played by Arian Moayed], who was formerly Uday's Artist Gardner.
Musa created a magical Topiary Garden of Animals: a different kind of Baghdad Zoo, as all these now abandoned Lions, Giraffes, & Horses are ruined…
So is Musa's Life.
His dearly beloved young sister teased & begged to see the Garden. But when Uday sees her there, he seizes & rapes her…
In a sense, Rajiv Joseph's unsettling drama really doesn't take hold until the second act, but then it can become seared into the minds of those who watch it.
Oddly enough, this season Joseph already gave New Yorkers an odd drama that dealt with a young man & woman who enjoy Hurting Themselves. This was Gruesome Playground Injuries, at 2econd Stage.
Moisés Kaufman staged Bengal Tiger, having selected an Outstanding Cast.
The two Elemental American Soldiers were furiously, recklessly played by Glenn Davis & Brad Fleischer.
Musa's lovely girlish young sister, Hadia, was brought to Brief Life by Sheila Vand.
Derek McLane's eclectic collection of moving set pieces--including the Magical Topiaries--was effective but non obtrusive. That the Cage stood center stage was Just Right for Sir Robin!
The Dream of the Burning Boy…My Favorite Teacher Isn't There for Me When I Need Him Most!
Why does Larry--played with a well earned Sense of Desperation by the excellent Reed Birney--always keep Dane [Josh Caras] after Class & give his Papers Poor Grades?
That Dane collapses in the hallway immediately after such a Session with his teacher immediately engages Audience Attention.
That Larry doesn't seem to show the kind of Grief that would seem to be proper in such a Situation is troubling to his Colleagues & to his Students, some of whom stop coming to class.
What the Students--including Dane's Sister--do not know is that Larry is/was Dane's Unacknowledged Father.
Dane died--of an Embolism--not knowing that this man was his Dad…
This drama was one of the most Moving & Troubling that I've seen all season.
Not just because--as a Retired Teacher--I identified with some of Larry's Problems in relating to Teen Agers, but also because they were so sharply, accurately, even painfully, embodied by the young cast, carefully chosen by director Evan Cabnet.
As for Dreams of Burning Boys, we have Dr. Sigmund Freud to thank for that Vision.
David West Read imagined & captured on the page this powerful play!
Don't Miss It!
It is so impressive that it should move from its virtual showcase in the sub basement of the Roundabout Theatre's Black Box in the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.
Formerly The American Place Theatre…
High School Heroes Look Back in Rue & in Anger: That Championship Season Returns…
Mitch Yeargan's detailed set of an aging Victorian House "somewhere in the Lackawana Valley" could serve as well for Arsenic & Old Lace.
In fact, in a Broadway Season padded out with Revivals, it could do service for a number of American Dramas & Comedies, sited in Old Houses in Forgotten Streets of Shabby American Towns & Cities.
Had the Producers chosen to revive Arsenic & Old Lace, that would have been very welcome.
Not so easy, these days, to find another Boris Karloff or Teddy Roosevelt…
But Brian Cox might have been put to better use in such a revival. Even, maybe, Life with Father?
As it was, the evening seemed to be a Bluster Festival…
Even when Jason Miller's small town drama was first presented, it was rather a Sour Reminder that for most men Life Doesn't Work Out the way you thought it would…
This constantly repeated Failure of The American Dream afflicts even Men who Live in Big Cities.
But, if you were a High School Hero & stay on in the town where you Won Your Laurels, it's all Down Hill after Graduation.
Was this play revived as a Rebuke to Tea Partiers who want to Restore America to what it used to be?
Best in Cast was Jason Patric, the Ironic Drunk, who is Playwright Jason Miller's son!
Greg Mosher directed the Players, who included Chris Noth & Kiefer Sutherland.
Et in Arcadia Ego--Tom Stoppard's Arcadia Brilliantly Revived at the Barrymore.
Yes, this is a Brilliant Play!
That's almost the only kind of play Tom Stoppard is capable of writing.
His Knowledge of the Past is so comprehensive; his Understanding of People & Passions, Now & Then, is so intuitive, & his Command of the English Language--which is not Native for him--so Awesome: All Impress!
Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia is almost Encyclopedic in its analysis of the Birth & Development of Marxism & Bolshevism. It is also Three Play Long!
Arcadia is not quite like a Utopia, but it does suggest the Regions of the Blessed…
Entering Arcadia--the drama, not the Destination--we find ourselves at a Great English Country Estate, in a vast white chamber, with a long wooden table loaded with books & an Ancient Tortoise. Designed by Hildegard Bechtler…
The Time is the Early 19th Century. The brilliant Teen, Thomasina Coverly [Bel Powley] is being tutored by the handsome Septimus Hodge [Tom Riley], who is only a few years older.
He is also attractive to her Mother, his Employer, Lady Croom [the excellent Margaret Colin].
She is busy "improving" the Gardens of the Estate, for which she has engaged the Landscape Genius of Richard Noakes [Bryon Jennings], a lesser Capability Brown, the most famed creator of "English Gardens."
Unlike the Formal French Gardens of the Enlightenment, English Gardens of the Romantic Era were designed to Enhance Nature. No Patterns. No Baroque Swirls.
But Nature also had to include some traces of History: a Ruined Aqueduct, a Greek Temple, a Renaissance Fountain, a Mosque, even a Hermitage!
It is not spelled out, but Septimus Hodge surely became the Resident Hermit later on…
He has had Carnal Knowledge of the wife of a very Minor Poet, Ezra Chater [David Turner], whose Rage & thirst for a Revenge Duel, he calms by implying respect for his Poems. Which he actually despises…
George Gordon, Lord Byron, was visiting the Estate at this time. Did the Negative Reviews of Chater's work originate with Byron. Or with Hodge, his old School Friend?
As the drama moves back & forth from Then to Now, author/researcher Hannah Jarvis [Lia Williams] is trying to make Sense of what happened here so long ago.
Her work is complicated by the Critic Bernard Nightingale [Billy Crudup], looking for a Tabloid Scoop.
Thomasina--who apparently burned to death in a disastrous fire long ago, was about to solve Fermat's Last Theorem. Long before the advent of Computers…
As you can see, you really need to Put On Your Thinking Cap when you see this brilliant play, brilliantly directed by David Leveaux, who recently also gave Broadway Audiences the magisterial La Bête.
Also in the Vast White Room: Raúl Esparza & Grace Gummer, who shares the beauty of her remarkable mother, Meryl Streep.
Cactus Flower Blooms Over at the Westside Theatre, Complete with French Farce Doors!
There would be, of course, no Real Need to revive Cactus Flower--anymore than Championship Season--were Our Emerging Young American Playwrights, some of them already Prize Winning, able to write exciting, amusing New Plays, based on Proven Old Formats.
Years ago, Abe Burrows adapted a popular French Farce of Barillet & Gredy--who were not exactly geniuses like Feydeau, the Master of French Farce--for Broadway.
Lauren Bacall really gave it the Cachet that made it a success.
Burrows was a very clever fellow.
My favorite Burrows Parody: "Oh, how we danced/On the night we were Wed/I needed a Wife/Like a Hole in the Head…" [Set to the tune of Donauwellen, or Waves of the Danube…]
Maxwell Caulfield plays an Amorous Dentist who doesn't want to Settle Down. He assures his cute Current Squeeze that he's already Married, so is not Free to make her an Honest Woman.
He enlists his Overworked Receptionist to pretend to be his Wife. This is a Mistake for him, as she has long been In Love with him, although he has not Noticed…
Michael Bush adroitly staged a cast including Lois Robbins [as Stephanie Dickinson] & Jenni Barber [as Toni Simmons].
The handsome & ingeniously changeable setting was designed by Anna Louizos!
Comedy of Errors Definitely Not a Mistake over in Darkest Brooklyn at BAM!
Edward Hall's Propeller Ensemble has a Thing about presenting Shakespeare's Plays with Men in the Women's Roles--originally played by Boys.
They recently returned to the Harvey Theatre in Brooklyn with an odd vision of The Comedy of Errors, in which an indifferent Mariachi Orchestra sought to lend a Festive Atmosphere to the City Center of what might originally have been Renaissance Ephesus.
As hysterically staged by Hall--whose illustrious father is Sir Peter Hall--this production gave New Meaning to both Knock About & Slapstick Comedy. The Twin Dromio servants took a lot of Knocks & Slaps.
For that matter, the Twin Antipholus brothers took a Lot & gave a Lot.
Shakespeare gave us only One Set of Twins--Viola & Sebastian--in Twelfth Night, a later comedy, so he may have thought Two Sets is too many?
In Comedy of Errors, so also in Twelfth Night: the Cure for Madness involved confining the Madman in a Dark Chamber & then harassing him.
Guantanamo in Elizabethan Times!
But this was the Indicated Treatment.
In Twelfth Night, the Bard has a rather unpleasant scene in which "Sir Topas" tries to cure the unfortunate Malvolio of Madness. Everyone save Malvolio thinks this Very Amusing.
In Errors, however, the Quack Dr. Pinch--who is supposed to Exorcise the Devils in one or other of the Antipholus Twins is himself mocked, finally running across the stage Buck Naked, with a Lighted Sparkler up his ass.
The BAM Audience fell about in Gales of Laughter.
But I was able to contain my enthusiasm, as much of the Physical Comedy was fairly obvious & repetitive.
What struck me most was the way Hall directed his Players to deliver the longer Set Speeches.
In many productions, one has the sense that the actor is--as with the arrested old Aegeus, explaining to the Duke of Ephesus & to us his Serial Misfortunes up to the moment of the opening of the play--just trying to get through the Lines. So we can get on with the Play…
This is not the most ingenious way to introduce a play: How about letting the Prequel be revealed during the interactions of the Characters?
Nonetheless, some otherwise Tedious Speeches are made hilarious by having the actors rant & spit them out, accompanied by Super Charged Gestures.
In this staging, Energy is All. Or almost All, for the Costumes of Michael Pavelka are Comedic in & of themselves.
Coming in the wake of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, with its Cohorts of Drag Queens, the Trio of Cross Dressers in the Hall Staging make up in Outrageousness, what they lack in Numbers.
Hats--Wigs, also--Off to Robert Hands [Adriana], David Newman [Luciana], & Kelsey Brookfield as a Dominatrix Courtesan. Chris Myles also has a Porn Provo costume as the Abbess, who is really the long lost wife of Aegeus & the long lost Mother of the Twin Antipholuses.
Fortunately, All's Well That Ends Well, as the Abbess leads All inside her Convent to review, once again, how All this came to pass…
Did Wm. Shakespeare Really Write Cardenio, Known Now at CSC as Double Falsehood?
Questions of whether Shakespeare wrote Cardenio--or at least the first part of this Disputed Drama--are possibly not so important as whether the play is worth producing at all?
Judging by the taut new staging--by Brian Kulick--at the Classic Stage Company, the play is not only worth producing, but also Well Worth Seeing!
The first scenes, ostensibly by the Bard--was Christopher Marlowe still writing his stuff, by this time?--are almost Self Consciously Poetic, but they don't effectively introduce the characters or involve Spectators in their Problems.
Actually, it is Kulick's direction & the physical & emotive powers of the cast that visually engage the Audience: You see what kinds of Lies are here involved, before you really understand them from the Spoken Texts.
The Second Section--after Intermission--does indeed seem written by another hand, less Poetic, but more Action Oriented: credited to John Fletcher.
The play now moves relentlessly toward its conventional Happy Conclusion, despite the Horrid Humiliations the two Heroines have been forced to undergo.
These often Unfortunate Ladies, Leonora & Violante, are affectingly played by Hayley Treider & Mackenzie Meehan.
As Violante is violently Violated by the Violent & Lustful Younger Son of the Magisterial Duke [Philip Goodwin], she is aptly named.
The two side sections of the Thrust Seating at CSC were covered with black cloths, suggesting that Director Kulick didn't trust the play enough to envision Sold Out Houses?
Outrageously Wonderful Costumes & Wigs & Technicolor Bus in Priscilla Queen of the Desert!
Who will win Best Broadway Musical of the 2910 11 Season?
Priscilla Queen of the Desert or The Book of Mormon…
They are both fantastic, hyper charged, & lavishly produced.
Priscilla is a wonderfully animated & hilarious show.
Even Republicans who Hate Gays & oppose Gay Marriages should be vastly amused by the crazy antics of all those Queers!
At least most Gays are not demanding Abortions, another bête noir of the GOP & Tea Partiers. Plus, the Cross Dressing Hero is, in fact, a Father!
The Costumes--by Tim Chappel & Lizzie Gardiner: Instant Awards for both!--are unbelievably ingenious, with Production Number after Production Number introducing the Audience to even more Imaginative Outfits. Some of them Skin Tight…
Stagnant in Sydney, the Drag Queen Tick/Mitzi [Will Swenson] hasn't seen his young son, who lives with his mother in Alice Springs, in the very Heart of Australia. Not far from Ayers Rock.
She proposes that he come to perform his Act in her club there & finally see the son who so longs to know his Dad.
Tick enlists two Drag Queen friends for the Adventure.
You can reach Alice Springs by Air--that's what I did the last time I was there--but the Trio sets out in a Wonder Bus, Priscilla--which can change colors & do all sorts of wonderful things.
Along the way, the Queens--including the matronly Tony Sheldon & the over sexed Nick Adams--discover that not all of Male Australia Outback is quite ready for Big City Surprises.
Lip Synching is an essential skill of Trannie Performers, so we get an amazing performance of Sempre Libera, from Traviata. As well as Material Girl, A Fine Romance, & other gems.
Mary Poppins, flying away over the balcony, down at the New Amsterdam, had better look to her Cables & Wires.
The Divas, in Priscilla, are constantly appearing from the flies. [As for Spiderman & his Menace, they leave poor Mary far behind. But she has not yet been caught in a Web, has she?]
When Tick finally has his rendevous with his adorable young son & decides to stay in Alice Springs, Family Values are firmly reinforced.
So Priscilla Queen of the Desert is surely a show to which you can safely take your John Bircher & Tea Party Relatives!
Wisdom of the Hill Cumorah Golden Plates Brought to Uganda by Mormon Boy Missionaries!
The Book of Mormon is one of the most hilarious, colorful, imaginative, & subversive satirical Broadway Musicals ever!
It is guaranteed to Annoy, Irritate, Infuriate, & Exasperate any Believing Member of the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints. But especially those Saints who represent the Great State of Utah in Our Nation's Capitol.
The possibly Future President of the United States, the ever camera ready Mitt Romney will surely not enjoy this energy packed show, even with its wonderful Production Numbers…
Every Mormon Boy, on reaching the Status of Elder, must undertake two years as a Mormon Missionary in postings World Wide.
But, to keep him on the Straight & Narrow, he must be accompanied by another Boy Elder, ringing Doorbells all over the world, with a Free Book of Mormon in hand.
Of course, if you are in a country where they don't yet have Doorbells, much less Electricity, you have to Improvise!
When I lived in Mormon Land--Las Vegas, to be exact--I had a student who'd just returned from a Mission in Finnland. The only Convert he made was an African American, although that term did not then exist.
The Problem for this Conversion was that, in the Mormon Cosmology, God--the Heavenly Father--had punished wicked Tribes by Turning them BLACK!
Call Me Ishmael!
At that time, Blacks could not even aspire to the Rank of a 13 year old White Mormon Priest…
But Orthodox Jews also are not eager to make any Black Converts. They aren't even interested in Converting Wasps…
The Council of Twelve Mormon Elders--to whom God Speaks Directly--prayed & received Guidance that it was finally OK for People of Color--Men, that is--to become Priests. But not yet Bishops…
In the new musical--which is Selling Out--the Ideal Mormon Boy [Andrew Rannells] dreams of & prays for a Posting to Orlando, which certainly needs more Saints…
His Prayers availeth Nothing. He is to be sent off to Uganda, which, it turns out, is Nothing like Africa in The Lion King.
Worse, he is being paired with a fat fuck up schlumpf [Josh Gad] who has never even read The Book of Mormon.
Golden Boy Elder Price is stuck on himself, while sloppy, clumsy Elder Cunningham is desperate for Friendship & Approval.
Other Boy Missionaries are already in place in the miserable Ugandan Village where they are expected to make Conversions & Baptisms, to win the Ignorant, Child like, Native People over from their wicked Animist Rituals & Beliefs.
One Belief is that, if you have AIDS, you can cure it by Fucking a Virgin. [In Europe, in Mozart's time, this was also believed to be a cure for Syphilis, so what did Western White Men know, anyway?]
As the Supply of Native Virgins is almost non existent, one Infected Native has taken to fucking Babies. One of the Missionaries suggests fucking Frogs will do the trick just as well.
If you are one of those Elitists who do not like to hear Bad Language or see outrageous Sexual Suggestion on stage, this is not a show for you.
If you are adamantly Politically Correct, you won't warm to a Ugandan character named Butt Fucking Naked…
But, if you are already a Lover of South Park, you will be able to appreciate the devastating musical satire that its creators have devised for The Book of Mormon. The songs & production numbers are fabulous.
Thank you, Creators: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, & Matt Stone!
Their Blazing Red Vision of Mormon Hell is a knock out!
Dante would have killed to include this in his Divine Comedy, instead of his all too Literate Inferno…
Trey Parker shared the wildly out of control direction with Choreographer Casey Nicholaw.
Seen only the night after Priscilla Queen of the Desert--which I thought no Production Values could top--The Book of Mormon, as they say, blew me away. But not with the Trumpet of the Angel Moroni exactly…
If you really want to know more about the Revelations of The Prophet Joseph Smith, do not think that you will discover any Divine Truths from a Broadway Musical!
If you believe that you can best understand Religious Truths from Stage Presentations--which avoid the tedium of actually having to read either the Holy Bible or The Book of Mormon--next June, you should go to Upstate New York to see the Annual Mormon Drama at the base of Hill Cumorah.
This is the Holy Hill, now topped with a Golden Statue of the Angel Moroni--the same Image that's atop the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City & also across from Lincoln Center, where Mormon Culture is preserved--where The Prophet found the Golden Plates of The Book of Mormon.
This remarkable Religious Drama--which boasts a 30 foot high Water Curtain!--not only shows The Prophet digging up the Golden Plates, but also Jesus Christ inspecting Pyramids in the Americas, AC & BA--After Crucifixion but Before Ascencion [into Heaven].
There's also The Mormon Miracle Play at the historic Mormon Temple in Manti, Utah…
Years ago, Thor Heyerdahl built a Reed Raft to demonstrate that the Lost Tribes of Israel could have navigated all the way from Judea to the New World.
Having already learnt how to Construct Pyramids in Egypt, they proceeded to repeat this feat in Meso America.
As for the Pyramids of the Aztecs, Mayans, & Incas, they were built too late for Jesus to inspect them. He, apparently, was looking over Pyramids that were subsequently destroyed.
If you can believe that a simple village girl--Jennifer Jones, in the Movie Version--has a Vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary--the BVM, for short--while dumping the trash outside town, you can believe anything…
"Bernadette! It is I, the BVM! I want you to go back into Lourdes & tell them that I want a Basilica in My Honor built over this very Garbage Dump!"
Shortly after the Lincoln Center Mormon Center was opened, I noticed in the front window a Replica of the Golden Plates in a kind of three ring binder. Similar to the one used on stage at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre!
Beside this amazing exhibit was a Primitive Stone Box, just like that in which The Prophet had discovered the Mysterious Plates.
Having lived a long time in Mormon Country & already possessing five copies of The Book of Mormon, I thought it my duty to go inside & chide the Attendants about the Impossibility of this Exhibit.
The Angel initially took the Plates away from The Prophet, for fear he might show them to Gentiles.
[If you are tired of being attacked by Anti Semites, Utah is the Place for You, as everyone not a Latter Day Saint is automatically a Gentile!]
So, when it came time for The Prophet to Translate the Plates--inscribed in an Unknown Language, not Hebrew, apparently--he had to put a bed sheet up on a rope, to prevent his Transcriber, Heber Smith, or someone of the Inner Circle, from actually seeing the Forbidden Plates.
Long before Polaroids, Joseph Smith was able to read & understand the Ancient Language by rotating two black stones before his eyes: The Urim & the Thummim, which I actually once saw in a Glass Case in Salt Lake City!
Or were those Replicas?
When the translation & transcription of The Book of Mormon was completed, the Angel took them away, never to be seen again…
So how could there be replicas of the Golden Plates in the Mormon Center's window?
The next day, the Plates were gone, but the Stone Box remained, as Proof that the Plates were found in just such a box!
When I was in the US Army, at Ford Ord, the next cot to mine belonged to a Mormon Bishop, some two years younger than I, but then, you are already a Priest when you reach the Biblical 13: "Today I am a Man." Or a Priest…
His Immediate Problem was that he was required to wear Mormon Underwear, even though the Army required all of us to wear Regulation T Shirts & Shorts.
Supposedly, in the Word of Wisdom or some other Definitive Source, The Prophet was struck by Lightning when riding a Mule. His Underwear saved him, thus the Sacred Underwear Requirement.
Our Company Commander solved the Problem. Our young Bishop could wear the Underwear under his Army T Shirt & Shorts!
Angry Latter Day Saints might well wonder why the South Park Guys didn't attack Scientology instead?
Why pick on Defenseless Utah?
No, it's Not because Tom Cruise wouldn't permit them to do that. [Does anyone now remember that he used to be Married to Nicole Kidman? Why didn't Scientology Save That Marriage?]
In fact, Alex Timbers had already hilariously savaged L. Ron Hubbard's Divine Teachings some time ago, with A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant, at the NY Theatre Workshop.
Timbers, it may be recalled, helped create Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, recently on Broadway. But that savage satire wasn't about Organized Religion.
Watch Out Overhead! Is It a Bird? Is It a Man? No, It's Spiderman on Cables!
When it was announced that the Producers of Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark had fired the previously much admired director, Julie Taymor--Creator of Disney's long running The Lion King--as well as planning to shut down this $65 million show for Repairs, I decided I'd better take a look, so I'd know what Improvements had been made when it finally Officially Opened for Review.
No one crashed the evening I saw it, but both Spider Man [Reeve Carney] & his vicious opponent, the Green Goblin [Patrick Page] were briefly suspended when the Flying Equipment didn't Function.
The Music, by Bono & The Edge, didn't seem memorable. In fact, I cannot now recall either the lyrics or the melodies. Bouncing Off the Walls--an appropriate title--I recognize only because it is listed in the Program.
Peter Parker's Early History was of no particular interest to me, as I am not a Collector of Marvel Comics. Nor was this exploration of Spiderman's Roots made interesting by the so called Greek Chorus of Miss Arrow, Grim Hunter, Professor Cowbell, & Jimmy 6.
I did like the Toxic Spider Woman, Arachne [TV Carpio]--also Airborne! Even more fascinating were the dancing Multi Legged Spiders, the Sinister Six!
What I admired most of all were the remarkably Art Deco Scenes created by George Tsypin, which could spin & whirl in a most unsettling manner. Hugh Ferris, that consummate Art Deco designer, would have envied the Fantasy Metropolis of Tsypin!
Eiko Ishioka's ingenious costumes--especially for Spider Man's Inhuman/Unhuman & Insectual Opponents were Award Worthy!
Ordinarily, Critics are not supposed to review shows until they are Officially Opened--or look at them a few days before, in Previews--but my old colleague, John Lahr, of The New Yorker, preceded me in writing about this troubled show.
Fearing it might never open at this rate--how can the Producers ever make back $65 million plus?--it seemed incumbent to see Spider Man Aloft!
Deep in The Great Depression, Americans Still Knew How To Sing: Broadway Musicals of 1932!
The Latest Edition of Scott Siegel's invaluable Broadway by the Year© series was devoted to the really Lower Depths of The Great Depression: the Year 1932.
That was the year of Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Actually, these Depths were the Lowest America would reach, as Hoover was Out & Roosevelt was In. 1933 would be see New Beginnings, The New Deal!
Scotty Siegel is a charming MC, with a running Historical Commentary that puts all the Songs--Upbeat & Down at the Mouth--in an interesting Context: Optimism is in the Air!
Some of these Lyrics & Tunes of Yesteryear still echo with Nostalgia: Night & Day, April in Paris, It's Only a Paper Moon, I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues, Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee, The Song Is You, & Through the Years…
Effectively choreographed by Jeffry Denman & semi staged by Scott Coulter, both of whom also performed--the attractive cast included Carole J. Bufford, Bill Daugherty, Jason Graae, Kendrick Jones, William Michaels, Christiane Noll, & Meredith Patterson.
Coming Up: The Broadway Musicals of 1982 [16 May 2011] & The Broadway Musicals of 1997 [25 June 2011].
These are offered at Town Hall, only on Monday Evenings & only once for each show, unlike Encores at the NY City Center. They are Not To Be Missed by anyone who Loves the American Musical!
Town Hall, by the way, is celebrating its 90th Anniversary this year. It was built by Suffragettes, way back in 1921, as a Lecture Hall & Public Forum.
During the Great Depression, American Town Meetings on the Air was almost as famed, in the Golden Age of Radio, as the Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcasts: "Town Hall Tonight!"
Why Is That Old Man with Wings Hiding in Our Garage? Birmingham Stage's Skellig…
This is a Family Drama--produced with Young Audiences & Parents in mind--that came to Forty Second Street all the way from Birmingham, or "Brum," in the English Midlands.
Considering all the Scenic Clutter on stage--designed by Jacqueline Trousdale--this looked to be a tricky show to Travel. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable, the more so when two kids discovered an Homeless Old Man hiding in the clutter of their Garage.
He seemed to favor Chinese Take Out, but he also had Wings!
Director Phil Clark brought David Almond's play to something resembling Life. Despite the Winged Fantasies…
Amazing What Lithe Young Performers Can Do with Soft Plastic Foam & Velcro: Mischief!
Really, it is amazing what the Theatre Rites Ensemble can do with pastel colored sections of Squared soft Plastic Foam. With Circular sections of Foam, they can be even more amazing…
Arthur Pita devised the Choreography, with Sue Buckmaster staging this British Import, created to bring more Dance Shows to children.
Especially Outstanding: Phil King, with his fantastic repertoire of Sounds, scrunched into the mike, as well as his percussive renditions of the songs & music of Charlie Winston.
Life May Be a Gamble, But Watch Out for the Queen of Spades: She's a Killer, Not a Winner…
With a Score by Piotr Tchaikovsky & a Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky, how could Queen of Spades fail?
Modest had nothing to be modest about, with this tale of a man obsessed with finding the Winning Card Combination, even if he has to destroy the Lives of two women, one the Only Woman who loved him, the other her Guardian, the formidable Countess.
As the Unfortunate Lisa, Karita Mattila was superb. Even more formidable was Dolora Zajick as the Countess, once known as The Venus of Moscow…
As the driven, doomed Hermann, Vladimir Galouzine was effective, but not as devastating as he might have been.
Despite the desperate Lavishness of the Met's handsome production, it remained a Question why Hermann was so plainly, even shabbily, dressed in black, when the other members of his Officer Brethern Club were so gaudily Uniformed?
Seldom has an Opera Stage been so crammed with the Panniered Gowns of the Elegant Aristocracy of Imperial Russia. We even get a Personal Appearance by Catherine the Great!
A Theatre Historian's Delight is the scene in which the Countess witnesses an historio authentic chamber performance of an Opera Ballet, a pastiche suggested by Mozart's Bastien & Bastienne.
If you are old enough to miss the Radio City Music Hall Spectacles of former times, you can certainly get your money's worth at the Met with this Elijah Moshinsky production!
Andris Nelsons conducted, effectively commanding the forces of James Levine's Met Orchestra.
I am grateful to the Met's Press Office for permitting me to see older productions such as the Queen of Spades, which I have now seen several times.
But I am disappointed that I'm no longer accorded Press Tickets to comment on important new productions, such as the Boris & the first two installments of the Met's new RING, created by Quebec's Robert Lepage.
When I am at the Bayreuth Festival this summer, it would be good if I were able to discuss Our New RING, when they still have to wait until 2013 for a New Bayreuth RING.
As a long time Arts Reporter on the talents & works of Designers, Directors, & Techies, for Theatre Crafts & Theatre Design & Technolgy, it's long been my stock in trade to describe new Opera Productions & how they work. Or don't work…
When I was writing for Opera News, Opera Monthly, & Opera, I had no difficulty getting tickets to New Met Productions. But, if you are On Line, rather than In Print, there seems to be a Problem…
Way Out in the American Desert, Adina Owns a Diner & Two Gas Pumps: Elixir of Love for Sale!
Instead of the customary boring old Vintage Italian Village usually offered audiences in productions of The Elixir of Love, the New York City Opera situated this charming love comedy somewhere Out in the Deserts of the Great American Southwest.
Adina [Stefania Dovhan] owns an Art Deco Diner--with two gas pumps.
Her tongue tied & love lorn Suitor, Nemorino [David Lomeli, in his debut], is a Garage Mechanic & Gas Station Attendant.
Hardly the sort of Life Choice to appeal to the ambitious Adina, who favors, instead, a US Army Sergeant, Belcore, possibly attached to Fort Huachucha?
Like Lomeli, José Adán Pérez was making his City Opera debut in this staging. Both these attractive Tenors were mentored by Placido Domingo.
The Quack, Doctor Dulcamara [Marco Nisticò], drives up to the Pumps in a Vintage Convertible. His weak wine Elixir seems Just the Ticket to Nemorino, who is not the brightest bulb in Adina's Diner.
Adina has been reading the Romance of Tristan & Isolde, wherein just such a Love Potion is the Spring for Dramatic Action.
But, in the Medieval Romance & in Wagner's Operatic Version, it's Isolde who drinks the Potion, making her fall helplessly in love with Tristan--who has been entrusted to bring this Irish Princess to marry Cornwall's King Mark.
How can Nemorino expect the previously scornful Adina to fall in love with him, if she does not drink the Elixir?
Drinking it himself should only make him fall even more hopelessly in Love…
Fortunately for Nemorino, Belcore & his men are Moving Out. Possibly to Afghanistan?
This delightfully innovative production is the work of Dr. Jonathan Miller, who has given many an Operatic War Horse a New Look. Often for ENO, the English National Opera.
Handsome Brad Cohen was also making a debut: as Conductor. I thought he paced the comedy very briskly, with special attention to Nemorino's popular Una furtive Lagrima.
Monodramas Somewhat Monotonous at City Opera: But Samuel Beckett Sings!
Actually, there's Very Little to be said for Minimalism. Especially in Music, when it's enlisted to serve the purposes of Opera Theatre!
If the New York City Opera had wished to save Money, all three of the Monodramas offered as a single evening during the short, short Spring Season could just as well have been Sung in Concert.
This would have focused more attention on the Singers & their Sung Texts. Of course, the Text for Samuel Beckett's Neither is deliberately diffuse & difficult. Musical Accompaniment by Morton Feldman.
Anu Komsi was making her debut in John Zorn's La Machine de l'Être, which takes its name from a drawing Antonin Artaud made while confined to the Madhouse at Rodez.
Kara Shay Thomson was making her debut in Erwartung, a famed work composed by Arnold Schoenberg.
The veteran Cyndia Seiden sang the Beckett Text. All three gave their best, beset as they were with dubious "Production Values."
Certainly most New York Opera Lovers want City Opera to get back its Groove, somewhat gouged out by the temporary presence of Gerard Mortier as the Future Impresario, who dreamt of Salzburg Festival Spectacles on what is really a Lemonade Budget.
The Visual Problem with all three of the Monodramas was the visualization chosen for them, in his City Opera debut, by Michael Counts.
Counts had almost as many Performers suspended high up in the air on cables as Spider Man or Priscilla Queen of the Desert. But, to what purpose?
For Zorn, he had the stage filled with women--with Burkah Masks, it's hard to tell--clad as Shariah Observing Muslims.
Two large Cartoon Text Ovals rose from the stage. On them were projected drawings that Artaud had made in his final days in the Rodez Asylum.
Erwartung has a Visual Narrative spelled out for it, but Counts didn't make this easy…
For the Beckett, the myriad of Mirror Cubes that descended & rose & revolved on cables was a Show in Itself!
I thought first of all those Flying Toaster Screen Savers of the early days of Computers & Laptops. Then I thought: Everyone onstage wins a Toaster!
There was also a colorful Light Show flickering on the rear & side panels.
Latter Day Son et Lumière?
But even when one first entered the David H. Koch Memorial Lobby, there was a Problem that City Opera needs to address.
The Hall was crammed with a Mass of People, all pointed toward the Left Stairway, apparently waiting for the Distribution of Tickets, while the Box Office Portals were virtually empty.
One had to push & shove to get through to the Box Office. Why?
Once inside & seated, one waited for Conductor George Manahan to stride to the Podium in the Orchestra Pit. Nothing…
I feared he might have been struck--on the way to Lincoln Center--by a Pakistani Cab Driver. They aren't so very careful back in Islamabad or Lahore.
Standing before the Great Golden Curtain--long past curtain time--a thin Young Man & a thin Young Woman stood motionless. To what purpose?
When the curtain finally rose, some twenty minutes late, they helped remove the Face Mask & the Burkah from the Soprano…
West Side Story in the Future: Flamenco Challenged by Stomp like Percussive Break Dance!
The Chain Link Fence set element for Between Worlds looked a bit like that Chain Link Fence in West Side Story.
But, instead of the Jets & the Sharks, we were dealing here with a Tribal Gang Rumble far far in the Furture!
With the Choreography & Performance of Siudy--the entirety staged by Pablo Croce--Flamenco seemed to meet Stomp & Break Dancing. More Exactly: pulse pounding, cross cultural percussion…
But a Quote says it All: Between Worlds bursts through Artistic & Cultural Boundaries, transporting us to a Future where Water has all but disappeared & Desperate Tribes war with each other & the Elements for Survival.
Only one force is powerful enough to save Humanity from Itself: LOVE!
Bagging the Tea Parties & Saving Democracy, One Laugh at a Time…
Sarah Palin is always Good for a Laugh.
Michelle Bachman, even more so!
Then there are all those Huckabees, Pawlentys, & Latter Day Saint Romneys. Not to overlook Ann Coulter…
George Bush used to be good Stand Up Comic Fodder, but he died & went to Texas.
Now--until 22 May, at the Midtown Theatre, 163 West 46th Street, NYC--you can hear a bevy of Stand Ups get the GOP, Gun Lovers, & the Tea Partiers in their Sights, with Jokes, Satires, & Impersonations that really Hit the Target.
This Show is not an Answer to Fox News, but it's more effective in its way than that Progressive TV Show that was supposed to put Rupert Murdoch in his place--Australia, that is
There are some 14 Comics in the rotating cast of This Ain't No Tea Party, but you won't see all of them on stage in any given evening.
The evening I was given gave me fine performances from Scott Blakeman, Baratunde Thurston, Jamie Jackson, Katie Halper, Elon James White, & Jim David.
Being Black or Jewish seems to give a Special Edge to Politically Oriented Satire.
For Black Comics, there's more to be Angry about, given the Absurd Priorities of the GOP. Being Jewish means always having to say you're Sorry. For something or other…
Porn Star Cabaret: Studly Sex Pot Gus Mattox--Also Known As Tom Judson--Blows the Brass!
In the very early days of the Off Off Broadway Avant Garde, there was a play called Porn Stars at Home.
Although I then actually knew some Porn Stars, I'd never been at home with them, so I had no idea that they watched TV, popped pop corn, & drank Coke©.
Now, down at Dixon Place--near the Hester Street Park--an Authentic Porn Star, known professionally as Gus Mattox, is telling His Story in Canned Ham & blowing a lot of brass. As well as several other instruments!
In Real Life, he is called Tom Judson. From some of the varied projections, he also seems to be an Inventive Carpenter.
Because Tom Judson was a serious Stage Performer, with credits in Cabaret & Forty Second Street, as well as in Sesame Street on TV, he offers audiences some amusing bits from those shows.
He was also in Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, one of Charles Busch's earliest forays into the Avant Garde, at Club Limbo, as I recall…
As Mattox, Judson made his Porn Debut at Age 42. Too old to be a Twinkie, but not too old to spank Naughty Twinks!
Performing basically in a Jock Strap--but with boots, shirts, pants, & robes for variety--Judson/Mattox still looks good on stage.
He jests that he was the Oldest Porn Star ever named GayVN Performer of the Year. Not quite the same thing as a Tony, Emmy, or Oscar, but not to be Sniffed At!
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