Archive for June, 2004

Regime Change Begins At Home

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

This essay by Hal Crowther hit me like a punch in the gut this morning. Read it and pass it on. And God help us all.

Assassins Extends Thru June 12; Life In Philadelphia Continues

Tuesday, June 15th, 2004

First, click here for the latest from playbill.com about the extension of the Assassins run. The show won more Tony Awards than any other, according to the author of this story, who was kind enough to mention my name – unlike Todd Haimes, I might add, harrumph harrumph. The show played at 95% of capacity last week. I guess life is good at Studio 54.
Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, things are interesting on a variety of fronts. We’re off to NYC tomorrow for Gemini casting, which continues in Philly on Thursday. D’Arcy’s show opened tonight at the Gay and Lesbian Theater Festival, and runs through Saturday. Kerry got the role of JoJo in Seussical at Upper Darby Summerstage, which opens July 30 (be there). And my mother comes for a visit this week! Never a dull moment!

Sociopaths Just Wanna Have Fun

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004


Broadway.com just posted a bunch of photos from the Assassins recording session, showing the members of the cast clearly elated on the day after their Tony win! Tickets are officially on sale through August 1, though no Wednesday matinees are being offered in July, much to the dismay of the faculty of the Summer Pre-College Program in Musical Theater.

Planet Reagan (from truthout.com)

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

Thanks to Howard for sending along this essay by William Rivers Pitt called “Planet Reagan,” in which he assesses the Reagan legacy. A sobering and forcefully written screed.

‘Avenue Q’ Tony Coup Is Buzz of Broadway

Monday, June 7th, 2004

The New York Times offers this analysis of Avenue Q’s Tony win. The story of its “campaign” was something I didn’t know about; equally interesting to me is that the show recouped its production costs several months ago. Could this (along with Urinetown) be a harbinger of a new trend on Broadway: smaller, smarter, more shrewdly managed? Bodes well for Gemini The Musical!
Seriously, though, June 7 will have to go down in history as Chazzy’s Blogday Blowout – this many posts is surely an indication of excess time on someone’s hands! This is a pace I guarantee I can’t maintain!

GRAND THEFT AMERICA

Monday, June 7th, 2004

Go here now: GRAND THEFT AMERICA is a Flash video about the 1998 election in Florida. Regime change begins at home!

Alex’s Birthday (Soundtrack by Attention Span Radio)

Monday, June 7th, 2004

Happy Birthday, Alex! Son #1 turned 19 today, with attendant gastronomic orgy (orchestrated by domestic goddess) and bestowal of electronic gadgets (orchestrated by gadget god). He seemed particularly pleased that younger brother bought him a copy of Amon Tobin’s Bricolage after seeing it on his amazon wish list. His musical tastes are astonishingly broad – the apple has fallen near the tree in this case. Another fave: Jaco Pastorius, who occupies a prominent spot in his electric bass pantheon. Miracles of Synchonicity: Soon as I wrote that, as if on cue, a song by Jaco came on aTTeNTioNsPaNraDiO, whose fabulous streams of funky-fusion can be found on iTunes and Live 365. Other recent cuts: Greg Rapaport, Jeff Lorber, Michael Brecker, Mike Stern. Makes post-orgy dish duty something to look forward to (almost).

Harriett Levy – Unleashed!

Monday, June 7th, 2004

Oy vey! It’s a new site featuring my favorite diva – Harriett Levy! I could plotz!

Assassins Wins Big at Tonys!

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

Here’s the final awards tally for Assassins on the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards Website: five awards, including Best Revival and Best Director of a Musical. The broadcast featured a rendition of “Everybody’s Got The Right” as it’s heard at the end of the show – did any viewers besides me think that Mario Cantone looked strangely out of it? The orchestra played a peppy, brassy version of that song as the Tonys cut to commercial and I couldn’t help thinking how this event gives everything the same hyperenergized showbiz gloss. Certain theatrical experiences don’t lend themselves well to such an event. Tonya Pinkins in Caroline seemed grotesque and over the top, trying to give a very emotional rendition of a very emotional moment that’s probably quite heart-rending in context but just seemed ugly and shrill in excerpt. Avenue Q (which turned out to be the Birdstone of the event with Wicked as Smarty Jones) seemed shrill and shallow. And then you get moments like Carol Channing and LL Cool J, which feel like they were manufactured by the show’s producer, a baldfaced attempt to give Broadway some borrowed cool. Gack!
But of course I’m happy for the Assassins win, and proud too, thought it would’ve been nice if Todd Haimes has found a way, in the course of thanking a skazillion people, to thank one more, the guy whose idea started the whole ball rolling in 1978. With any luck, the Tony will mean more audience interest in the piece, which will mean more performances at the Roundabout and another wave of regional theater, college and amateur productions. And maybe, just maybe, there’ll be a little bit of residual magic that will spill over onto Gemini The Musical, so that some year soon, you’ll see Albert and me on a future Tony broadcast, looking hyperenergized and over the top as we accept our award for Best Musical. Hey – it could happen, you know!
In honor of the occasion, here’s the image of me in the lobby of Studio 54 at Assassins opening nite:

Greg Palast on Ronald Reagan – Ouch!

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

I’m an aficionado of Greg Palast’s investigative journalism. Tonight, as the tributes to former President Reagan dominated every commercial break on TV, my young son seemed puzzled by the animosity my wife and I expressed about the Gipper. Palast’s article KILLER, COWARD, CON-MAN helped me find concrete examples and words to substantiate those inchoate feelings. Read Palast’s piece, and sign up for his e-mail updates.