In my total love for everyone's favorite dirty sexy polygamy drama, Moxie is instituting a weekly Big Love haiku. Think you can do better? Post in the comments. Here's the inaugural poem. Apologies to any real poets reading.
dirty cancer cash
no sex from Barb? try Margene
roman rests in peace
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The other day I was reminiscing with college pals about our old friend whom I'll refer to as Annie. Annie was everyone's roommate at least once in college, because nobody could take living with her for more than one or two semesters. She was dirty, slovenly, unshowered, horny, overweight, she drank far too much, and she is the funniest person I've ever met to this day. She was a total mess, and knew and embraced it, which gave her this enchantingly self-deprecating humor that NOBODY could resist - despite what a pain in the ass it was to live with someone who had equal amounts of dirty laundry and bad chinese takeout covering her bedroom floor. She was a delightful disaster in platform sandals, swigging a forty and talking smack.
Seeing Xanadu reminded me of an night out with Annie. It's so bizarre, and so all over the place, but it's hyper-aware of the giant mess it is, and you can't help laughing with it and at it at the same time. It's entertaining, but does it really have a place in the larger community, or is the entertainment value mostly in the fact that we just can't believe something this insane has made it this far? Xanadu plays like a giant, oversized version of Forbidden Broadway - it's one long in-joke on wheels, with a sizable dollop of Testa/Hoffman crassness mixed in for added flavor. It was fun, sure, and Kerry Butler is doing great work up there, but it bewilders me to think that people are actually paying hundreds of dollars to take their families to this strange 90 minutes of winking and twirling.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I love Weeds. I love the moms that hate their kids, the marijuana culture presented in a complex way, and the fact that Mary Kate Olson is joining the cast. Know what else I love? This:
Whether that's her own ass or not, that is AWESOME.
Cute! Stage Notes has some fun photos of a shoot for the In The Heights commericals. Looks like we won't be seeing any re-casting of the leads, in case anyone was wondering. It's obvious that Lin-Manuel Miranda isn't going anywhere, but I kinda wondered if they would replace Mandy Gonzalez, who seems a little too long in the tooth to play a youthful college student. Don't get me wrong, I like Mandy and think she has the voice of an angel, but the show would be a lot more compelling with an actor in that role who was closer to that confusing age where all of a sudden your ideals aren't what they once were, and there are all these big problems that are no longer black and white. Mandy just seems to have her head too squarely on her shoulders to make us really root for her in that role. I always thought someone more like Krysta Rodriguez would be interesting.
UPDATE: According to a press release, "Full casting for the musical, which will be reworked a bit for the Broadway opening, will be announced shortly." So I guess they are re-casting SOMEONE, but who? Most of the leads can be seen shooting the commercial, so it's unlikely that they'll get the boot, and the ensemble was great off-broadway. Any guesses as to what's happening?
Photos by Bruce Glikas for Broadway.com
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Yes! Cherry Jones will play the President of the United States on the upcoming season of 24. Hopefully, this will make up for the completely unconvincing casting of D.B. Woodside as the faux-menacing President of season six. I think Cherry will be fantastic.
Playbill says, "Production of the series, the Hollywood Reporter reveals, has been delayed until next month because 'a set-in-Africa storyline fell through and the producers [have gone] back to the drawing board.' "
And by "back to the drawing board," they mean "back to figuring out how many nuclear threats to America Jack Bauer can defuse in one season". I really hope they can figure out an interesting, original plot for this season. I hate to say it, but the show just hasn't been exciting or original since, oh, I'd say season four.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I know I'm not the only one who cringes every time they walk by those awful ads for "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry". I haven't seen it, but I have a sneaky suspicion that it's not exactly the comedy of the year - homophobia + Jessica Biel + Rob Schneider playing Asian = the magic trifecta of shittiness for me. That's why I got such a kick out of the final bit of NY Metro's review:
...The prevailing sentiment in "Chuck and Larry": Gay's OK, but straight is
where it's really at. Ultimately, no matter what your sexual orientation
may be, if you pay to see this clunker, you're taking it in the can."
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
"I went to the Premiere in NYC last night and basically lived a fantasy, I am truly sorry that anyone out there went to the movie last night and had the opposite experience."
No, he's not talking about those who went blind while watching Travolta's shimmy in the fatsuit informed by Tim Allen's body type preferences. He's referring to the hordes of fans who hoped to get into the Hairspray premiere (and had passes for first-come first-serve entry), and were dismayed to find that NONE of them were admitted. Shaiman posted on Broadwayworld's message boards, asking what New Line could do to make it up to the fans. "I don't know if that means a free pass, a DVD extra or a back massage."
Back massage? Only if it comes directly from you, Marc!
Though Scholastic is reportedly spending millions to ensure that Harry Potter's destiny isn't revealed a moment before midnight on Friday, there's one guy in Maryland who already has his copy. DeepDiscounts.com shipped the book this past Friday, using USPS in-transit estimates as a guide to when it should arrive.
Money quote: "Oh, that's never good," said DeepDiscounts.com's director of merchandising, Rob Broggi.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Caught The Year of Magical Thinking last week, with the lovely Jeffrey Augustine Songco. I adore the book, and was struck by the way that everything that makes the book so captivating is exactly why the play doesn't work. For an autobiographical book on grief, it's a somewhat unemotional, analytical digestion of the actual process of losing and grieving. The emotional landscape is painted in the bare, isolated, harsh light that feels more authentic than almost anything I've ever read. If you haven't already, just read it.
Unfortunately, the unapologetic coldness of the book's tone makes the piece kind of DOA onstage. I remembered experiencing the book as this intimate sort of confession from Joan Didion to the reader, exposing herself to you from the safety of the pages. Onstage, that exposure became too much. It also didn't help that you could feel the Broadway summertime audience anticipating a weepy tour de force from Vanessa Redgrave, and the following boredom and confusion that set in when they were met with something more quiet and introspective. "Is this worth my $112 bucks?"
Spoiler alert: I did love one clearly dramaticized turn in the play: the reference to a gold bangle on Didion's wrist, which is later revealed as a posession of her deceased daughter. If the creators had used a few more dramatic devices like this, I think it would have made a lot of difference in getting the material to jump from the page into the fullness required in a theater.
All in all, I can't say The Year of Magical Thinking is an effective dramatic piece. However, sitting in row E, not more that 25 feet from Vanessa Redgrave, listening to Joan Didion's words, it was still hard not to be moved.
Monday, July 09, 2007
So much to fill y'all in on.
I made it to the final performance of Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell, featuring Elaine Stritch. I have to admit that I bought the ticket just to see Stritchie, though the show had been on my "to see" list for a while. Predictably enough, La Stritch was fantastic, but it was Grey's stories that stole my heart and will stay with me for a long, long time. I'm adding Gray's "Swimming to Cambodia" to my netflix list right now, and you should too.
Tried to see Romeo and Juliet, but that dang spinning set broke down and kept us waiting for ages and ages. My date and I passed the time by ogling Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy, who were in attendance - he's so hot in person, I had to restrain myself from tackling him to the ground. Damn those Brits, guess I'll have to see Evening after all. Meanwhile, she kept jogging off to the loo - literally, trotting off in a little jog every half hour or so. Hmm. We finally gave up and left at 9:30, and I read on All That Chat that the show did go on, at 10 FREAKIN' PM! Oh well.
Eurydice didn't have me creaming my jeans Isherwood-style, but I enjoyed it. Beautiful direction and design, beautiful language, beautiful storytelling, and I love me some Maria Dizzia. Joseph Parks, who plays converse-clad Orpheus, is a find, and will probably be everywhere after he graduates from Yale next year. The play nimbly treads the line between that weighty emotional melodrama that the Greeks do so well and the more immediate and familiar situations and relationships that tug on our heartstrings so effectively. It gets heavy-handed at times, and the whole thing with the Stones characters seemed to do one thing over and over again, but the poignancy and beauty of the whole production outshone the weaknesses by leaps and bounds. You have until July 21st to check it out, and 2nd Stage has $25 tickets for those who are 25 and under. Plus, it's only 90 minutes long, so no excuses, people!
And tonight is Old Springs Pike night! Yes, that's right, the band with Spring Awakening's John Gallagher Jr. Not only do they boast a Tony-winning guitar/percussion/vocalist, but they also play fantastic songs, cover Wilco, and know how to rock. Full disclosure: OSP are friends of mine, hence my not writing more about my complete love affair with them and their music. Maybe I'll do up a little post about this concert, though. We'll see... in the meantime, why don't you listen to a song or two via their website?
Monday, July 02, 2007
Seth Rudetsky announced in his Onstage & Backstage column that he'll be playing one of the Patrons in the upcoming Roundabout production of The Ritz. Though he hungered for the role of "Snooty Patron", it looks like he will play other, more humble Patrons, as well as understudying the role that Brooks Ashmanskas will play - the "Screaming Queen," I believe. Moxie hears they're considering actors from some odd little corners of show business to play the patrons, so I'm glad to hear they're looking in the right places after all. Congrats, Seth!!
Are you there, God? It's me, Moxie.
Pretty please, God, don't allow Katie Holmes be cast in the upcoming feature film version of Broadway musical "Nine". Yeah, I saw her sing "On My Own" on Dawson's Creek, and she sucked. Plus, her religion is made up, based on a science fiction book. I'm sure this offends you even more than it offends me. Let's end this madness before it goes any further, m'kay?