Monday, June 27, 2011

Hello Summer

A theater critic pal took me to see “One Arm”, an adaptation of several Tennessee Williams attempts at a film script adapted and staged by Moisέs Kaufman on Theater Row. I was delighted to see a friend of mine – Stephen Hauck - in the excellent cast of actors playing multiple roles. I enjoyed the performances and had no quarrel with the narrator, although my critic friend felt the narration an unnecessary device.
Saw Lydia Johnson Dance at Alvin Ailey. The only piece of the four which spoke to me was LAMENT which I found visually stunning and emotionally touching. All Johnson’s dancers had great fluidity of motion, and there were some exciting and remarkable lifts in some of the other dances on the program. In SUMMER HOUSE I marveled at the flexibility of the dancers stepping off the bench and flowing back on. My own legs ached just watching the movements!
George Zarr’s “The First And Last Musical on Mars” closed in Chicago this week. There was a taping made of this great popular hit. Paul Dexter, another of the playwrights I featured in Short Plays to Long Remember, our 2010 Indie Awards finalist, will be having another New York production of his “The Importance Of Being Doug,” one of his plays from that anthology, staged soon. Meanwhile, David Hopes, who has two of his plays in “Short Plays…” has been sending poems back from his travels in Italy, and I expect he will eventually find a new play in all this as well.
One of my pals wondered when I was going to get around to expanding “Spirit of the House,” the one act play of mine which had a staged reading this past winter at the Dramatists Guild. I had said then it would be a year before I would get back to work on it, and it appears I was right. The fantasy story books for bedtime reading to kids have taken over my writing life. Haven’t even time to work on my memoir about growing up during the depression.
Did reading from the bedtime story book Saturday, June 25 at Oasis, 52nd St and 10th Ave, as part of the Hells Kitchen Arts Event.
That night, saw the much raved about 4,000 MILES. Marvelous performances in this hour and 45 minute no intermission theatrical piece. Mostly absorbing, though not terribly theatrical, however. More of a character study of a man devastated by the loss of his best friend but still unable to get beyond his own self-centeredness, though making a stab at it. Looooong scene breaks and slow timing made play appear even longer than it was. The audience, having read the reviews, was ready to laugh and guffawed even at moments that deserved a mere chuckle. I felt I was sitting in the midst of a live soundtrack. It also felt like déjà vu, remembering a man of prejudice and plebian taste, who roared with laughter at the father in TV’s All in the Family – as if thrilled there was someone dumber than himself.

Just finishing Tracy Kidder’s book about Paul Farmer and the work of Partners in Health. Fascinating and compellingly told story.-Incidentally, my PCP just returned from Haiti and finds it mind blowing still!
Have been selected to judge several categories in the Global ebook Awards – poetry definitely, possibly writing and publishing
Also read three novels and a novella by William Dean Howells – who lived a century ago and whose books go deeply into the psychology of the people of his time. Mores have changed so drastically that their social consciences seem almost pre-historic. The books are absorbing and truly create their time of horse drawn carriages, candle lit rooms, and church bound thinking. Got a kick out of the tissue thin pages and the long silk ribbon for keeping one’s place in the book. Recalled the lovingly produced books I used to borrow from the library in my youth.
Am reading several play scripts – my favorite form of reading – the imagination can create the stage and people the characters from one’s own cast
Pixie Tales is now officially for sale as a paper book and is showing up on line at various venues. Elfin Tales will be delivered this week but not set for release until August 2. Fairy Tales Too is coming along slowly in formatting for both ebooks and paper bound books. Illustrations are slowly filling in the allotted pages.
Have asked several people for blurbs for the book – from themselves and in some cases, from little kids. It’s taking longer than expected to get responses on this, so the cover design is being held up as well. Ah, the joys of publishing.
And - off topic - though I am not personally a fan or marriage, hooray for my native New York State in its giant step towards equality - the gay marriage act. I expect many of the people I have worked with and been friends with over the last 35 years to legalize their long lasting unions. Bet they lower the divorce statistics in the years ahead.

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