Thursday, May 31, 2007

Speaking of Crime

I just received this email:
To whom it may concern & any and all neighbors living in the Marigny:

Please be aware that the Universal Furniture building, backing up to Spain & Rampart, is abandoned and being used for criminal activity.

This evening, Wednesday May 30th, I watched several young African American men enter the building through the white garage door in the parking lot facing Rampart Street. The door faces the back of the church.

By pulling on the hinges on the left hand side of the chain link gate, they create enough room to slip through, and then lift the garage door about a foot, and roll in. If you had seen how quickly they do this at various times, you would know it was not the first time for any of them.

The large security light on the back of the church, which faces this door, has recently been disabled as well. This is a fairly organized situation, not some kids on a drinking binge.

This building takes up nearly half a city block and is three stories tall. There could be over a hundred people inside and know one would ever notice.

Recently, the detectives who are handling Helen Hill's murder, brought America's Most Wanted to my house for a film shoot of her door step (I live across the street @ Spain & Rampart) and said that the shooter had disappeared after the murder. This is a common story. Perhaps a building like Universal Furniture, with it's easy access, huge interior & disabled security lights, is a perfect place for criminals of that nature to hide after committing these horrible acts. Maybe they stash drugs there.

The possibilities are many, none good.

In closing, let me mention that I called NOPD twice tonight. The first time they sent one officer in a cruiser. I told him how & where they got in. He shook the gate & left. An hour later I called again, explained the situation again, and they sent two officers in two cruisers. I also told them the how & where. They, too, shook the gate & left hours ago. Who knows what's going on in there at this very minute...

Please keep an eye on this spot. Avoid it after dark. Call the city about these security lights. Call the police about this abandoned building. Another murder on my neighbor's doorstep doesn't have to happen.

My one voice alone is nothing compared to a unified front. Remember, silence IS violence.
Just something to think about. I mean, really, there's a lot here to ponder, the behavior of NOPD officers not the least of it.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Last night, shortly after our illustrious mayor (that's funny) said, "crime stats are trending in a positive direction comparing first quarter of 2007 to the last quarter of 2006," little Lisa Davis was set upon and mugged on the five hundred block of Ursulines Street, right outside the old Ursuline Convent walls.

What she took to be a teenaged boy and girl jumped her, all four-feet-something of her, knocked her down, and slugged her a few times before getting away with her wallet. Bless her heart, she fought them back.

Thanks, C. Ray, you're doin' a heckuva job.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thousands of Gov't Workers Got Millions

Gee, this is too bad.
Louisiana wants thousands of state and local government workers to send back $10 million in unemployment pay they received while still collecting regular pay after Hurricane Katrina.

A state audit found lax control by the state Department of Labor was the main reason the 5,439 ineligible workers were able to collect up to $258 a week, Legislative Auditor Steve Theriot said.

Administrative workers with the City of New Orleans received the most money with 2,233 wrongfully collecting $4.3 million. There were 1,638 state workers, many with the state Department of Health and Hospitals, who got $2.7 million. ...

With residents spread nationwide and difficult to contact, state labor officials suspended the requirement for unemployment applicants to contact the department weekly to verify they are looking for jobs and to report any earnings, said assistant Labor Secretary Marianne Sullivan.

She said the agency suspended the call-in rule for 12 weeks based on meetings with officials from the governor's office, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the state AFL-CIO and the Council for a Better Louisiana.

Don't I seem to remember some Labor employees out in the field wondering why such benefits were being paid willy-nilly? Of course, what did they know? They weren't the brains within the Department of Labor.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Revelations

After the first Saturday performance of Nighthawks on May 12th, the cast got together at the notorious Latrine to help celebrate one of Willamina's stepping-stone birthdays. Many aspects of the night were meant to be secretive and confidential; but since a certain amount of time has passed, we are now at liberty to reveal some of the evening's arcana. Herewith, the awful, dreaded truth.
A majority of the cast. Ask Carlos (top row, second from right)
why he is grinning from ear to ear.

The company again, getting bleary.

Willamina, having endured Keith's facial.

Vegetatin'

Since I woke up yesterday morning, I have done nothing productive. I have not lifted a finger to create a thing of beauty. I have not attempted to alleviate the rampant suffering in the world I live in. I have not gone out of my way to be nice to anyone.

I have eaten too much (yesterday, that is - today is not finished yet). I have wasted an inordinate amount of the hours left to me in my life in sloppy sleep. I have hibernated in the twilight of my darkened living room.

I have luxuriated in my seclusion. And it feels good.

And, yeah, I'm gettin' antsy.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Nice Little Comment

Dalt Wonk (really, that's his name) is a freelance reviewer for Gambit Weekly, a local rag. Although he did not deign to visit Nighthawks, he did cross Saint Claude Avenue to see a production of Robert Patrick's Kennedy's Children. This week, in his review of that production, he writes:
... Patrick, a poor Texas boy, went to New York for a look around and found a home base at the Caffe Cino, one of the best and most influential of the Off-Off-Broadway Theaters. This staging of the drama in the Hi-Ho Lounge captures the spirit of low-rent idealism that characterized the Cino and the birth of Off-Off-Broadway.

Curiously, Marigny Theatre is just catty-corner from the Hi-Ho, so perhaps we have given birth to a new, raggedy little Off-Off-Broadway of our own.
Thank you, Dalt. Sorry you didn't see our play. It was good. Your loss.

R I P, Mr. Reilly

You made me laugh so many times. But then again I'll never forget The Belle of Amherst.

I'm Walking on the Air, Dear

We closed Nighthawks last night. It may have been the best performance by the cast as a whole, and they did it in front of a decent-sized house composed largely of some of the top-tiered theater talent in New Orleans.

I know I've been discouraged by the turnout we had for this beautiful play, but attention is being paid to our little corner of Saint Claude.

I have just one last message to the cast:
COME BACK!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Bearing in mind (and heart) the reason for the holiday: Fatalities List Since May 1, 2003.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Nah!

Shit happens, and when it does everything may seem to be going south. But it isn't really.

I've been in a funk for several weeks now, feeling really down and not being able to zero in on a reason for it. But it's just a funk.

Then Donnie Mac, a company favorite, had to leave the cast of Nighthawks to travel to Shreveport for a family emergency. The event occurred Wednesday. He left town on Thursday. Now that's a heavy load.

Keith accepted the challenge of stepping into Don's role of "Gil" in Act One earlier Friday evening. He rehearsed at 6:00 PM and went on at 8:00 with a script.

He performed.

He performed well. So did Lisa and Derrick and Carlos. Really well.

So curses and jinxes belong in fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

Someday, I'll try to express what actors mean to me.

This is not to say I would recommend inviting one into your home.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Can a Work of Art Be Cursed?

Or at least jinxed? A little? I'll let you know tomorrow.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Top This One

Go ahead and try.
Salad Dressing Semen Spawns Trouble

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) -- A judge has ordered a 17-year-old to pay a $750 fine and perform 120 hours of community service for contaminating salad dressing with semen and returning it to a suburban Chicago high school's cafeteria.

DuPage County Judge Terence Sheen also placed Marco Castro on two years probation Wednesday and ordered him to write a letter of apology to Wheaton North High School officials.

Castro must complete his community service work for an agency that works with AIDS patients.

Sheen called the prank "beyond stupid." "If you prove to me you're worthy of another chance, in two years, then I will give it to you," Sheen said. ...

Students reported Castro, and the senior was expelled from Wheaton North. There were no reported cases of illness following the incident.

Castro told police he thought of the prank after watching a movie filled with crude stunts.

"I have no explanation for what I did," Castro said in court. "I felt bad after I did it."

He must be Catholic. Catholic schoolboys always feel bad after ... you know. It's expected.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We Wuz "Ambushed"

The Ambush review is now online. You can find it here on Page 4 of 5.

One Down, Two to Go

All right. The T-P review of Nighthawks is online. Ambush Magazine is available on the street, but no one has updated its website as of this morning. And on top of that, a reviewer from StageClique attended Sunday's matinee but hasn't published his thoughts yet.

Come on, people, get off the can. Time is money!

Final Performances

NIGHTHAWKS

BY

EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE

DIRECTED BY GLENN MECHE


Winner of the 1st Annual Playwrighting Competition

Sponsored by Marigny Theatre & Saints and Sinners Literary Festival


Final Weekend, May 25 to 27

Performances Friday and Saturday @ 8PM / Sunday @ 6PM

Tickets at the Door: $20 / Students: $15


MARIGNY THEATRE

1030 Marigny St – 504-218-8559

www.marignytheatre.org

Featuring the Talents of

Tim Bellow – Lisa Davis – Derrick Deal – Carlos Gonzalez

Keith Launey – Don McCoy – Mandi Turner


Electric... Pitch-perfect... The acting is uniformly excellent... Timm Holt's evocative setting, costume and lighting design are first-rate... Nighthawks deserves an audience.

One of [Marigny Theatre’s] best productions to date... Intense... A remarkable piece of theatre... Unforgettable... Raw, honest and amazing... Nighthawks is the play to see! It’s exemplary.


Another Autochrome

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Impeach the Motherfucker Already

I didn't say that. Dan Savage did when he posted this.

Olivier at 100

He could be something of a bastard; but he became a benchmark. The Guardian Unlimited commemorates his 100th birthday.
He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2
May 22, 1907 - July 11, 1989

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Own Autochrome

A simple Hyacinth.

Today New Orleans, Tomorrow the World

StageClique has begun its inevitable and relentless march to include the entire nation within its domain.

Creator and webmaster, Marc Fouchi, writes:
Last night [May 18, 2007], I updated the site to support multiple cities.

The second city to join the 'click' is Orlando (thanks to Randy Juneau and Melissa Mace for their efforts over there). They have already entered a large amount of shows taking place at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival.

I'm still working on separating the homepage, but other pages like 'Now On Stage', and 'Opening Soon', 'Auditions', and 'Browse Shows' are now based on location.

On those pages, at the upper right, under the search box, you'll see a dropdown box that lets you pick your city. ...

The homepage, as well as all other pages will soon support multiple cities as well.
It seems nothing or no one can stop these people in their expansion. You might as well surrender. It is your destiny.

By the way, have you checked out our page for Nighthawks, the current play running at the Marigny Theatre? There is only one more weekend left to catch this award-winning play by Evan Guilford-Blake. We accept credit cards.

Hell, make me a decent offer, I'll comp you.

WTF?

[From The Fat Lady Sings: Where Were You During the War, Daddy?]

I always knew he would try to do something like this before we got him out of office.
Time to be very afraid, folks. It’s called the “National Continuity Policy” as delineated in two specific Presidential directives: “National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD” and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20.” In it, President Bush authorizes himself to seize complete control over all branches of government should America suffer another catastrophic attack. And just what constitutes a ‘catastrophic attack’?

“…….any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function.”

Any incident? That’s a pretty broad brush, my friends. And the power these two directives invest in the President is staggering. We are talking absolute here – control of “private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators” not to mention utter and unqualified authority over “state, local, territorial, and tribal governments”. Hell – he’s even targeting Native Americas who are, according to established law and signed treaties, their own sovereign nations. What’s he afraid they’ll do? What’s he afraid any of us will do? And that’s not even the worst. This is the passage that frightens me the most:

“This directive shall be implanted in a manner that is consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 USC 19), with the consultation of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved.”


What does that mean, exactly? ‘Consistent with’. ‘Consistent with’ what? The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 established the order of succession in the event that neither the President nor Vice-President is able to ‘discharge the powers and duties of the office’. So Bush is fucking with whom he thinks should be allowed into the oval office – and frankly, I don’t trust his judgment on that. All of President Bush’s decisions have been for his own personal or political gain. America, the country means absolutely nothing to the man. It’s all about George Bush – HIS wants and needs. You know, I’ve been afraid items like this would begin to crop up the closer we get to 2008. Mark my words – this shit is going to the mattresses. It’s not beyond belief to imagine the Bush administration looking the other way in event of an attack to consolidate power. They have a history of abandoning American citizens to their own devices (Katrina, anyone?). I don’t know what any of us can do about this – except hunker down and prepare for the coming storm.

Jesus Christ - the Musical


With a tip o' the hat to Durban Bud - and apologies to all. Hurry home, Pisser, there'll be dancing in the street and High Life's at the Latrine.

Sonnet 94

Ah, Shakespeare always said it best.
They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
And husband nature's riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
I think that's the nicest way of telling someone to keep his puny opinions to himself and just shut the fuck up, don't you?

Two Rare Photographs Come to Light


Two autochromes by Edward Steichen from 1908.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Running on Empty

The attendance at Nighthawks has been discouraging. The opening night held only a few bodies. The second night was quite large. Then Sunday's matinee, the third performance of the play, was sparse again.

This past Friday's house was again quite small. I was feeling ready to chuck it all in by yesterday and early last evening. Then last night a medium-sized house appeared, and the people seemed to be enthralled by the play.

In the second act of the play, the character of Galen Grant, a struggling actor about to be flung into stardom in a new musical comedy, faces - instead of the longed-for culmination of his dreams - only a life of lonely despair ahead of him. The one person he loves is dying. He speaks about his first experience of death, in the person of his grandmother, when he was eleven years old and reveals his frustrations and fears. It is the climax of the second half.

After the performance, an elderly gentleman slowly came up to me, supporting himself on a walking cane, and spoke about how much he had enjoyed our production. He went on to tell me he had recently lost his partner of 40 years and that he had never anticipated feeling the depth of loneliness he was feeling now. He spoke with a sense of wonder about how he found he could no longer cry. He could come close, he said, but tears never formed. And his eyes were dry as he talked with me.

He brought back to my mind the Samuel Beckett quote, "I can't go on. I'll go on."

Those lines open up terrible vistas in my mind: vast empty spaces; bent people trudging toward death; the nightmare darkness of oblivion that ends a life, leaving nothing behind.

At least, I can still weep.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Just Musing

President George W. Bush’s administration is “the worst in history” when it comes to international relations, former President Jimmy Carter said Friday, taking aim at the White House’s policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy.

The criticism from Carter, which a biographer says is unprecedented from the 39th president, also took aim at Bush’s environmental policies and the administration’s “quite disturbing” faith-based initiative funding.

“I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history. The overt reversal of America’s basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me,” Carter said in a copyright story in Saturday’s edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered. But that’s been a radical departure from all previous administration policies.”

Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Bush for having “zero peace talks” in Israel. Carter also said the administration “abandoned or directly refuted” every negotiated nuclear arms agreement, as well as environmental efforts by other presidents.

Carter offered his harshest assessment for the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone.

“The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion. Those things in my opinion are quite disturbing,” Carter said. “As a traditional Baptist, I’ve always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one.”

White House spokesman Blair C. Jones declined to comment, referring questions to the Republican National Committee. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson questioned why Carter, who teaches a Sunday School teacher in his hometown of Plains, Ga., would attack Bush.

“Apparently, Sunday mornings in Plains for former President Carter includes hurling reckless accusations at your fellow man,” she said. “It’s hard to take a lecture on foreign policy seriously from President Carter considering he’s the same person who challenged Ronald Reagan’s strategy for the Cold War.”

Douglas Brinkley, a Tulane University presidential historian and Carter biographer, described Carter’s comments as unprecedented.

“This is the most forceful denunciation President Carter has ever made about an American president,” Brinkley said. “When you call somebody the worst president, that’s volatile. Those are fighting words.”

© 2007 The Associated Press.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hitch vs. Hannity on Falwell

Hitch is on a roll. Hurry home, Pisser! Ya gotta see this one.

What did Jesus Say about "Lukewarm"?

The first published review of Nighthawks is in. I found it online this morning about two hours ago. I didn't want to link to it, but the reviewer obviously considers the play worth seeing (you have to get to the last sentence). So give it a glance if you're so inclined.

Then fish a twenty out of your pocket and come and see the damn thing!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Do They Know Something We Don't Know?

Couldn't they build it here in New Orleans?

The 2007 Hall of Shame

The 2007 Hall of Shame (Human Rights Watch, 16-5-2007)

Happiness Is ...

... Finding yourself at loose ends because you have no rehearsal or performance to attend to so you wind up sitting by yourself in a crowded bar when a good friend arrives and comes right up next to you to order his first Miller High Life only to promptly knock it over into your lap, whereupon a large number of the bar's patrons offer to come right over and daub the dampness of your nether regions with their bevnaps.

Life can be good ...

... Until someone else later asks you to kindly move out of your seat so he can give it to a scrawny street hustler who won't stay longer than it takes to down a draft beer. So then you get pissed off and you take your marbles and go and sit by yourself in the back room and seethe because nobody will come and sit with you and pay you any more attention.

Happiness is ...

... Fleeting.

But then in the morning your producer forwards you an email that reads:
To the cast and crew and author of Nighthawks and to the Marigny Theatre,

I saw your show Saturday night and had a very fulfilling theatre experience. Kudos to all. The ensembles were excellent and the directing sure-handed. And the play worked on so many levels. It truly captured the feeling of Hopper's great painting and then surpassed its scope. The language and the acting was seamless and true. A refreshing and illuminating night at the theatre! Congratulations and thanks!
And life is ...

... Good ...

... Until ...

By the way, have you seen the wonderful clip of Nighthawks at StageClique.com?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Number One with a Star

It seems more of you are visiting StageClique.com via this web site than any other except for the major search engines. I couldn't be prouder if I'd created that database myself. If you have any interest in theatre arts, keep checking it out. It's growing rapidly and will soon expand to cover other cities in the U. S. I hear from a reliable source that it will open soon in Orlando. In the words of a certain song, "Kevin, can you hear me?"

Hitch on Falwell

Li'l Pisser's friend, Christopher Hitchens, deconstructs the "Reverend".

Hallelujah

If you like Jeff Buckley - and if you've ever heard him sing, you like him - check out this Guardian site.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jesus Has His Say

Everybody's Doing It

So, okay, Jerry Falwell is dead - deceased, departed, extinct, inanimate, lifeless.

I have a little bread pudding to finish now.

But I Wasn't Asked to Leave

At the Storer Boone Awards last night, as our evening's hostess was in the midst of introducing a young singer (who wants - or wanted - to perform at the Marigny Theatre), I whispered to my table mates, "I hate this song that's coming up," just as she took a "pregnant pause".

Every. Body. Heard. Me.

I Lost

I lost to Janet Shea, a worthy adversary. Did I mention this and that?

Monday, May 14, 2007

I Don't Think So

From Craigslist this morning:
I was just released from the pen and I needs me a boyfriend. Will teach you all they taught me in lock down. Drop me a line.
I need to read a book or take a walk.

Finally, (Not Quite) a Day Off

Today is the first day away from the Marigny Theatre and Nighthawks. We get back together this Thursday for a pick-up rehearsal, then perform again Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This should have been a day and night off; but the evening requires my presence at an event.

Well, I'm not required to go, but I really need to. Tonight is the occasion of this year's Storer Boone Awards (Storer Boone was the director of the famous Beverly Dinner Playhouse in Jefferson, LA), and some people have nominated me for a directing award for Take Me Out. This kind of thing is really an honor because the nominations and the voting are done by members of the New Orleans theatre community. So it really means something.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't believe for a minute that I might win. But, if on the greatest outside chance, I did, this is what I would like to be able to say:
Thank you for welcoming me back to the theatre after my having been away for so long. I know very few of you are still alive who can remember my days as an actor here back twenty, thirty years ago. But I am very grateful to the rest of you for this honor.

I would like to thank the legendary Mr. Donnie Jay who brought me back at a time of great change in my life and who entrusted me with his production of Take Me Out. I am grateful to the thirteen outstanding actors - outstanding in more ways than one - who performed in the two productions of Take Me Out that we were able to mount. Pardon my French.

I want to thank Timm Holt who has since taken me in and provided me with a theatrical home at the Marigny Theatre.

If it can be said that I have a certain talent, I believe that talent lies in an ability to see possibilities in gifted theatre artists and to be able to impart to them a certain courage to transcend themselves and reveal the motives and the actions of the human heart. To these people I am profoundly grateful that they have allowed me the opportunity to spend some of my time in their company.

Thank you.

And, finally, thank you, Bobby, for your support over the long haul - and for letting me out to do what I love to do.
Of course, if I do win, I'll probably be so snookered on martinis that I won't even be able to get up on the stage, let alone remember any of this.

Did I Mention ...

... There's this really cool, very well-done video on StageClique.com publicizing our play Nighthawks? You really ought to check it out. In it, you'll get to see yours truly with most of my dorky elements cut out, plus all the remarkable people I've been writing about, both as themselves and in character.

Have you seen it yet? Go here. Hurry.

Thanks again to March Fouchi for the great website and this wonderful set of clips.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Why I Love the Theatre

The Playwright, Relieved
Evan Guilford-Blake

Backstage, Act I

What More Can I Say?

You don't wanna go here.

By the way, tonight ... um, last night ... was as nearly perfect as nearly perfect can be.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Jonathan Capehart - Fed Up in Louisiana

Meemaw speaks up.

About Last Night









So there was a brain fart in the first act. No one not familiar with the play caught it since the cast worked around it and recovered the missing chunk of script.

It went well.

If all goals in life are a metaphor for "the search" to recover a missing "grail", then we accomplished something wonderful and breathed life to words on a page.

Forgive me, I was partying till three this morning, and the alcohol is not yet out of my system. Besides, Evan Guilford-Blake, the playwright, offered us more of his plays to do - so he must have a modicum of respect for us.

Tonight we perform primarily for the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival's attendees. I can't wait to meet a roomful of literarians high on cheese and champagne.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Speaking of Openings

Tonight is it! Nighthawks flies! Or crashes into the muck. But I don't think so. If last night's dress rehearsal preview is any indication, the cast can now withstand nearly any glitch.

After repeating the opening announcement, "Welcome to the Marigny Theatre ...", our sound and light tech surprised us with a blackout just as one of the principals entered the "cafe." Out of the darkness came the unmistakable voice of Derrick Deal as Wray Grubs asking, "You got electrical problems from that new air conditioning?" Once the lights were restored, everyone went on as if nothing had happened.

Until the cue for the one AM bell chimes pealed too late. But no matter, nothing could stop our intrepid players. They done good. All night long.

They're a remarkable bunch of actors. I expect a nice review from Ambush and Gambit, a pan from the Times-Picayune, and probably something insightful from StageClique.com.

None of that matters. I travelled with these kids from the beginning until now. I witnessed their growth and expansion from the root stage. And I know what they have accomplished. What more can you ask for?

Aside from a bigger box office, that is.

This Just In

We open tonight, and StageClique opens today. Auspicious. Here's what Marc Fouchi had to say about his new web site:
I’m very excited to announce the arrival of a new website that will showcase our outstanding theater community to the whole world.

If you’ve ever seen imdb.com, this is the community theater version.

But unlike imdb.com, the content on this site is controlled by YOU! You contribute and edit everything on the site once you register.

www.StageClique.com
Are you in the ‘click’?
Videos - Photos – Auditions - News – Interviews
Now On Stage / Opening Soon - People – Reviews - Archive

Very special thanks to Michael Cahill for kick-starting the site by entering over 2000 shows and 3500 people from New Orleans theater archives.

Plans are in the works to get other cities across the country involved as well. Randy Juneau is already heading up an effort in Orlando.

This site is replacing nolatheatre.com. If you had an account there, it could not be copied over, so please register a new account and start adding information!

Search for your name to see what is already listed for you. Upload some photos from your past shows to share with everyone. Feel free to add your information from other cities as well. As you add information and photos, it will cross-reference itself to other people's pages in REAL TIME. There are help videos on the site to walk you through the process.

Please help me spread the word and pass this along to friends and family who are interested in theater - audience members too. (Even if they live in other cities – this is on its way to becoming a national database )

Sincerely,

Marc Fouchi
Creator, StageClique.com
Check it out. It's really cool.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Another Random Google-ization

Someone from Mountain Top, PA, found me by Googling the phrase:
"tweaked his hairy nips"
Um, Mountain Top, drop me a line ... ;)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Playing Internet Mind Games

Thanks for the link, Daniel; but - um - I don't know ... it's a stretch.

You are The Sun

Happiness, Contentment, Joy.

The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.

Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.

The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

From "Welcome to Pottersville"

Bob Herbert: More Than Just Talk

"Nighthawks"

Long rehearsal tonight ... but ... we have a show.

Monday, May 7, 2007

New Orleans' Rebuilt Levees "Riddled With Flaws"

From National Geographic.

Where's New Orleans?

Um, right here, sir.

Not Sure This Is a Good Idea

Big Easy Makes Play for Broadway
It worked with Hollywood, a set of tax incentives and other kinds of government cooperation that in five years has turned Louisiana -- New Orleans in particular -- into one of the movie business's busiest and most beloved locations. But will Broadway respond to the same gris-gris?

Local leaders think so. They're asking the state Legislature to grant deep tax breaks to the owners of shuttered downtown theaters and to theatrical producers who would light them up with major shows, including Broadway tryouts, opera, ballet and standup comedy.

[...]

The initiative, called Broadway South, is being driven largely by Roger Wilson, an actor and screenwriter who returned to his native New Orleans shortly after Katrina.

Wilson began talking about the idea during his unsuccessful campaign for councilman at large in 2006.

Despite his defeat, he kept working on the idea and later won a $300,000 city contract to form an economic development plan for live theater in New Orleans. Broadway South is the result.

The plan is now before the Legislature, with the unanimous backing of the Nagin administration, the City Council, recovery czar Ed Blakely and major theatrical producers.

[...]

According to a summary of the bill, the state would offer tax credits of:

-- As much as 25 percent of in-state expenses incurred by owners and producers in renovating theaters or mounting a wide array of qualifying shows.

-- A 10 percent tax credit on payroll earned in the state.

-- An initial 100 percent tax credit, declining over time, on costs associated with hauling sets, scenery and other necessities into the state.

-- A one-tenth of 1 percent payroll credit on hiring Louisiana students to work in the industry.

[...]

Endorsements from production companies were easy to come by, Wilson acknowledged. But they underlie genuine excitement. "You should see their body language change" as they learn how their costs might be slashed by opening shows or bringing a season's slate of live entertainment to New Orleans, Wilson said, harking back to months of meetings with theatrical producers.

[...]

Now 50, Wilson grew up in New Orleans as "Butch" Wilson, the son of one of the founders of McDermott International.

He left New Orleans in his teens and pursued an acting career in New York and Los Angeles. In 1982, he appeared in "Porky's," sometimes described as the archetype teen gross-out comedy. He later turned to screenwriting.

He returned to New Orleans after Katrina and now lives here.

[...]

The Legislative Fiscal Office has not yet estimated how much the bill would cost the state in lost revenue.

[...]

The film-making incentives that the Broadway South proposal mimics catapulted Louisiana from nowhere to the nation's third-most-popular location for making movies. They also have begun to spawn a rich film-making infrastructure. The freshly minted LIFT LLC, for example, is a Louisiana company with a $50 million payroll that invests in film projects and provides production services. The company said it will build a $185 million production facility and vocational school on St. Louis Street near the French Quarter.

But the state's experience with the film industry may be more complicated than just the burst in local filmmaking suggests. The Hollywood inducements lured filmmakers into Louisiana in far higher numbers than anticipated, and by mid-June of 2006, the tax breaks granted by the state totaled more than a quarter-billion dollars.

State auditors also recently found that the tax credits were at times sloppily administered and the program did not have adequate controls, although supporters of the film-subsidy program attributed that to the state film office's inexperience with a new program that proved overwhelmingly popular.

There also have been basic questions about how the law was written, among them the propriety of having Louisiana taxpayers subsidize the huge salaries of stars who work only a few weeks in New Orleans, then return home.

Some people seem ready to make a lot of money off the taxpayers of Louisiana, leaving the indigenous arts in the damp muck. Furthermore, "the Nagin administration, the City Council, recovery czar Ed Blakely and major theatrical producers" are behind this new legislation? Read between the lines.

Gol durn revenoors.

Many Apologizes

Yesterday I left a post here making fun of my appearance. The photograph I posted was severely retouched to look like the mug shot of a derelict, dessicated, wasted old man - in other words, moi. My point was to make light of our rehearsal process for Nighthawks. I meant it as a joke and tagged it as such.

Unfortunately, one of my players saw it last night and became concerned.

I am adamant that Nighthawks will play well. I do not deny the difficulties we all have faced in mounting this beautiful work; but we are nearly ready to face our audiences, and I believe we will succeed.

So, everybody, chill out, for cryin' out loud. Hit your marks and say your lines. Then leave the rest to the audience.

And as for you, missy, you know I love you.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Happy Annidversity

Thirty-one years ago today you made me
the happiest person I could be.
(And I've been paying for it ever since.)
I L Y
Me

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Sneak Peak

Here are a few photographs from the Marigny Theatre's upcoming production of Nighthawks by Evan Guilford-Blake.

It's (Un)Official - He's (Not) the Real Deal

Never mind. Has another semester. Jeez.

It's Official - He's the Real Deal

Li'l Pisser has aced his finals and is now Nurse Dave. I'm so proud of him. I feel I can finally give it all up and get stinking sick, knowing there's somebody nearby to pop me a pill.

Oh, wait, I feel a cough welling up. Um, Nurse ... Nurse ... Nurse? Where the fuck is that bitch?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

From John Nichols, Writing in "The Nation"

"The President Has Effectively Gone AWOL"
Consider the response to his veto from top military men who commanded troops in Iraq.

"The President vetoed our troops and the American people," says retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste. "His stubborn commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq is incomprehensible. He committed our great military to a failed strategy in violation of basic principles of war. His failure to mobilize the nation to defeat world wide Islamic extremism is tragic. We deserve more from our commander-in-chief and his administration."

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton: "This administration and the previously Republican-controlled legislature have been the most caustic agents against America's Armed Forces in memory. Less than a year ago, the Republicans imposed great hardship on the Army and Marine Corps by their failure to pass a necessary funding language. This time, the President of the United States is holding our Soldiers hostage to his ego. More than ever [it is] apparent [that] only the Army and the Marine Corps are at war -- alone, without their President's support."

Retired military commanders associated with the Washington-based National Security Network have been blunt about their sense that Bush is not just wrong about Iraq but that he is failing the troops he purports to support.

Some make historical comparisons.

Says retired Lt. Gen. Robert Gard: "With this veto, the president has doomed us to repeating a terrible history. President Bush's current position is hauntingly reminiscent of March 1968 in Vietnam. At that time, both the Secretary of Defense and the President had recognized that the war could not be won militarily--just as our military commanders in Iraq have acknowledged. But not wanting to be tainted with losing a war, President Johnson authorized a surge of 25,000 troops. At that point, there had been 24,000 U.S. troops killed in action. Five years later, when the withdrawal of US troops was complete, we had suffered 34,000 additional combat deaths.

Others offer a straightforward assessment of Bush's failure as the commander-in-chief. "By vetoing this bill and failing to initiate an immediate and phased withdrawal, the President has effectively gone AWOL, deserting his duty post, leaving American forces with an impossible mission, suffering wholly unnecessary casualties," argues retired Lt. Gen. William E. Odom.

And Now I Find Out that Marc Fouchi Isn't Pissed at Me

Marc is the mastermind behind StageClique. com, the new website devoted to building a database of New Orleans theatre. I've been busily uploading a ton of photos I've shot of shows we've done at the Marigny Theatre, creating pages for some of the actors who hadn't been listed yet, and more or less making myself a major nuisance.

So I was a little leery when I saw I had an email from him, figuring he was going to lay down the law to me and demand I cease and desist. Once again, I was wrong. Here is what he wrote:
Hi Glenn,

Thanks for adding so much info to the site. Its people like you that will make the site great.

Would it be okay if I come by the theater one night next week to shoot a promo video of Nighthawks for the website?

It won't take long. Just need to get some footage of your favorite scenes, and I'll sit and get some brief comments from the main characters.

Monday or Tuesday night would be ideal.

I'm aiming to have about 5 promo videos of different shows for the site's big opening next week.

Marc
Isn't that a class act?

Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse ...

... It gets better. Funny thing about actors, good actors - they can act. No matter how absent the director might be, they will act.

My first act players began to really work last night. They put away their scripts and went off-book for a sloppy rehearsal. But they acted. Characters began to emerge, and relationships began to form. Personal and shared histories began to congeal, affections and antagonisms. Lisa Davis, Don McCoy, Derrick Deal, and Carlos Gonzalez are going to be astonishing by the time we open.

And Carlos tops himself in the second act, playing another character. He is putting away personal mannerisms and playing for simplicity. In doing that, he is mesmerizing. He has one moment during which he is given bad news. He reacts by turning away, his back to the audience, and leans against a countertop. His sadness shimmers around him like a desert mirage.

Tim Bellow is an actor I had never worked with before, but when he came to audition, Keith took me aside and excitedly begged me to cast him. I know when to take advice and so I did. Good thing. He is one of the best actors working in New Orleans today. He constantly surprises me with a movement or a phrase. I'm afraid I'm kind of hoping he doesn't get cast in this new Denzel Washington movie about to start shooting in Shreveport soon. Sorry, bud.

Then there's Mandi Turner and Keith Launey. I really can't write about them. I don't have the words to write about them. All I have are the emotions they engender and a sense of wonder at their mysteries as they grope their way into dark and hidden places where they shine a light on what they find there.

So things are looking up as I sit here and wonder why these seven people would want to work with me.

Somebody up there likes me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Snap Out of It

I've been in a funk for at least a week now. My head is filled with creeping bad news about the country, the city. I'm concerned about the health of Donnie Jay, the head of To Do Productions, who gave me my break with Take Me Out. Last night I heard about a serious health concern for Lewis Routh who is the playwright/director of the next show to be opening at the Marigny Theatre after Nighthawks. He's currently in ICU at Tulane Medical Center.

And Nighthawks. Nighthawks. I can't seem to get hold of this play. I don't seem to be able to communicate with my actors, nearly all of whom I've worked with before. I'm letting them down more and more each day. I'm proving myself useless to Timm, the Marigny producer.

This is probably normal for someone who is basically a director for hire. You take what they give you, the bad with the good. But Nighthawks is very good, and I'm flailing and failing. The play is an understated tone poem on the themes of isolation, loss, and loneliness. And I can't get a grasp on it, can't hold it in my hands. It deserves better than what I'm giving it.

If I had the energy, I'd scream.
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