Archive for March, 2005

Hachtman rips off Pablo

Saturday, March 26th, 2005

I heard from Tom Hachtman after ordering a copy of his cartoon collection “Gertrude’s Follies” from a bookstore in his neighborhood that, as luck would have it, notifies him whenever he sells a book. That collection is better than catnip for my 70’s-addled brain. Turns out Hac (who is a PCA alum) has also published a handful of cartoons in the New Yorker – here’s a funny example.

Spring (While We’re On The Subject)

Saturday, March 26th, 2005

Saturday spring morning, South Philly style

Saturday, March 26th, 2005

Calliope music in the backyard as I sweep up the morning glory seeds that fell last fall – is the circus in town? For a moment, I thought it was a church organ, but the tunes are unmistakably those of the other big top. Folding a ton of laundry, mating the socks, mopping the wood floors with orange oil spray so they shine. Straightening up the desk, I notice that Phillies tickets have arrived in the mail: the new season begins in a matter of weeks. Out comes the fountain from the basement storeroom and goes back onto its pedestal; fill it up, plug it in – instant serenity! Out front, the buds on the tree we planted last spring (check the blog archive) are starting to open; apart from a branch that got snapped off by an indignant pedestrian, it seems to have survived the winter. As have we all. Having survived the chill months, we prepare to bloom in new ways as April rolls in. He is risen, and so is she.

Happy Birthday, Steve

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Less than an hour before the day is done, and I have yet to acknowledge the 75th birthday of a man who has brought me more hours of pleasure and inspiration than anyone else I can think of. If you have ten minutes to spend, take the time to listen to this audio tribute produced by NPR on the occasion of Steve’s 75th. The weeks that I spent in January working on the Prince Music Theater’s production of Anyone Can Whistle were delightful ones, the realization of a 30-year dream. Tonight I’m deep in the throes of thinking about Company, a musical that opened in April 35 years ago, and a show that blew my mind when I saw it in London in January of 1972. Since then, I’ve been in it, directed it, and conducted it, and it continues to bring me pleasure. Long may you wave!

Photos of A Lyrical Opera Made By Two

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

For those who might be interested, I’ve posted a page of photos fromA Lyrical Opera Made By Two, which played at UArts very successfully last weekend. The response from students and colleagues who saw the work has been very gratifying; it seems like many audience members were both stimulated and moved by what they saw, and don’t seem to tire of discussing it or thinking about it. Family of the composer who attended the opening on Thursday were equally enthusiastic in their response. Now on to Cardiff!

An Interview with Neal Stephenson

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

This interview from “Reason” was passed on to me by friend Darko Vader, who knows of my passion for Stephenson’s novels. I polished off the third volume of the Baroque Cycle trilogy this fall, and found the whole thing enormously satisfying. Currently, younger son Kerry (14) is reading and rocking out on Snow Crash, while I’ve returned to Cryptonomicon to beguile a few spare hours during my spring break. The dude can write, no question – his books remind me of all the things I loved about Thomas Pynchon when I first read V and The Crying of Lot 49 – only Stephenson’s books are consistently a lot more fun and more approachable.