Archive for broadway

Elaine Stritch, Broadway actress and singer, has died. She was 89.

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elaine stritchPhoto via

Sigh. RIP, Elaine Stritch. I loved her work, and I was one of the lucky ones who saw her in "Company."

Via the New York Times:

Elaine Stritch, the brassy, tart-tongued Broadway actress and singer who became a living emblem of show business durability and perhaps the leading interpreter of Stephen Sondheim’s wryly acrid musings on aging, died on Thursday at her home in Birmingham, Mich. She was 89. [...]

Ms. Stritch’s career began in the 1940s and included her fair share of appearances in movies, including Woody Allen’s “September” (1987) and “Small Time Crooks” (2000), and on television; well into her 80s, she played a recurring role on the NBC comedy “30 Rock” as the domineering mother of the television executive played by Alec Baldwin. But the stage was her true professional home, where, whether in musicals, nonmusical dramas or solo cabaret shows, she drew audiences to her with her whiskey voice, her seen-it-all manner and the blunt charisma of a star. [...]

One of Ms. Stritch’s most memorable appearances was in the Sondheim musical “Company” (1970), in which, as a cynical society woman, she saluted her peers with the vodka-soaked anthem “The Ladies Who Lunch.” It not only brought her another Tony nomination but became her signature tune — at least until, in her 70s, she became equally known for Sondheim’s paean to showbiz longevity and survival, “I’m Still Here.” It was the centerpiece of her 2001 one-woman show, “Elaine Stritch at Liberty,” and she sang it in 2010 at Mr. Sondheim’s 80th-birthday concert at Lincoln Center (Patti LuPone took on “The Ladies Who Lunch”) and at the White House for President Obama.

Much more about her life and career at the link.

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'Holler If Ya Hear Me', An Illuminating Look Back at Tupac

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Realize
You might associate Tupac with a hammer-hard beat and some vernacular you're not always comfortable with hearing in your mother's company, or as the symbol of what is feared about 'rap' ... you'd be underestimating the young poet.
There's a new Broadway Musical with Saul Williams at the Helm showing at the Palace Theatre in New York City and focus of a Morning Joe segment you don't have to cringe to get through,
Win win win.
tupac
Tupac was born into an activist family, he was nearly born in prison because his mother was an active Panther - and was a 'Drama Kid' himself, performing a role in Raisin in the Sun before he even reached adulthood.
There wasn't much time for gang hanging, banging or any of the violent 'gangsta' culture he is assumed to have stood for. Even died for.

 

Allow this footage to disabuse you of that notion, and there's an excerpted review below to add background and more nuance to the fascinating story of this young man's contribution to our culture. Willie Geist is a fair hand at the entertainment interview, and Joe Schmoe was happily absent. (I went to Fvx, to see Zerlina Maxwell, as mentioned yesterday. Still nauseous and Phenergen is never far away from the cable remote control.)

 

 

My eldest nephew is 23, and I've been hearing his woofer up close and personal since he learned to bike, then drive to our house, and right up to a couple of longish 'visits' - I'm really starting to see why he relates to the raw emotion, the deeply honest lyrics that cut across a lot of culture lines.
HANDLEIT
Wish I could take him to see this show. Broadway's not that far from Vermont.

 

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Dreaming Of A Black Christmas

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Christmas

Well, we survived the War on Christmas, this year, and hopefully, thanks to people like Congressman Doug Lamborn, Representative Candice Miller and others like Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly, the battle will be easier next year.

From The Hill:

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) on Tuesday vowed to protect Christmas against what he called a “vocal minority” offended by its symbols and traditions.

“There is a vocal minority that is offended at the rest of us who want to celebrate Christmas,” he said Tuesday on “Fox and Friends.” “Just because someone is offended doesn't mean that they can shut down the religious celebration or acknowledgment of every other American.”

He's got a good point. We shouldn't let Christmas be compromised. It's written in stone, book and in movies. We all know the symbols of Yuletide by the time we reach age five. There's Christmas trees, Santa Claus, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, oh, and electrical light icicles outlining the outside of our houses. It wouldn't be a real Christmas without them.

Two of the most important figures are that of Jesus and Santa. Both white if you listen to Megyn Kelly on Fox News.

Black Santa

Fox News host Megyn Kelly drew strong criticism recently for declaring on air that Santa and Jesus Christ are white. She was reacting to an article by Slate called, “Santa Claus Should Not be a White Man Anymore.”

“When I saw this headline, I kinda laughed and I said, ‘Oh, this is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it's racist to have a white Santa.’ And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white,” Kelly said on Fox News.

First, from strictly an anthropological study, Jesus was not your traditional white man -- he would have features more natural to the region and parents he was born to.  He was born a Jew and looked like the rest of the Middle Eastern looking Jews of the time. According to Biblical History Daily:

The influences of the artists' cultures and traditions can be profound, observes Carlos F. Cardoza-Orlandi, associate professor of world Christianity at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. "While Western imagery is dominant, in other parts of the world he is often shown as black, Arab or Hispanic."

But let's go along with the fact that Jesus was a real man -- a God or son of God, who knows? But he was flesh and blood. So an argument can be made over his looks.

Now we come to Santa. He's fictional despite the ever foggy Megyn's protests. Perhaps he's based on a compilation of real people, but that's not known for sure. So how he looked, how he dressed and how he acted are all fiction, the product of imagination and legend -- not doctrine, treatise or tenet. Please Megyn, get this straight, there never was, is and never will be a real Santa Claus. Sorry to break the news to you at this age. Perhaps your parents neglected to explain that to you. But okay. Now you know.

Armed now with the truth, you should know that a fictional character can be interpreted many ways. Look at this list of Broadway shows, Hello Dolly, Streetcar Named Desire, Wizard of Oz (The Wiz), Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cats, Fiddler On The Roof, and Oklahoma. You know what they have in common? They were predominantly White casted plays, with Black cast versions done as revivals. And all were successful. Broadway didn't shut down when Pearl Bailey became Dolly Levi or Blair Underwood as Stanley.

Black Hello Dolly Black Streetcare Named Desire

So chill your jets, Mr. Kelly, with your outrageous claims that a fictional character could only be one color or race. Accept that real characters have definitive images. Fictional ones like Santa have all sorts of incarnations. And Black can be one of them. Even a newsreader like you should know that. Or maybe you don't -- and that's why you're the darling of Fox News. You can say and do anything and a number of people will believe you.

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Video Mid Day Distraction- The 67th Annual Tony Awards - Opening Number

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NPH needs to be cloned.

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Video Overnight Thread- 'I Dreamed a Dream' Parody

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Video Mid Day Distraction- Anything Goes "What Makes You Beautiful"

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Just fun. Via.

Starring the Broadway cast and crew of
Roundabout Theater Company's ANYTHING GOES
www.anythinggoesonbroadway.com

Choreographed By: Brandon Bieber & Brandon Rubendall
Directed/Edited By: Raymond J. Lee

"What Makes You Beautiful" sung by One Direction

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Video- Ex Texas Gov. Ann Richards portrayed in one-woman play 'Ann'

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What a wonderful idea and wish I could see it. Taylor has always been great, but her performance (as far as I can see in the clip) looks outstanding.

WASHINGTON — Texas Gov. Ann Richards had hair that defied gravity, a wit that left opponents laughing and a grip on grass-roots politics that made her a legendary figure among women and minorities even after her one-term stint as chief executive of the Lone Star State.

All of which makes for pretty entertaining theater in a remarkable performance by veteran actress Holland Taylor in the play "Ann," which Taylor also wrote, now playing at the Kennedy Center before heading to Broadway.

Taylor, a stage, movie and television actress best known for playing the mother on CBS's "Two and a Half Men," is spot-on as Richards, who dominated Democratic politics for years after her electrifying national debut as keynote speaker at 1988's Democratic National Convention.

The one-woman play begins with the governor — Richards was Texas' governor from 1991 to 1995 — talking from a podium to a graduating class of high school students, which, of course, is the audience.

"George Washington was from Texas," Ann begins, in a bit of bravado that is part of all tall Texas tales. But when Washington admits to his father that he could not tell a lie and chopped down that legendary "mesquite" tree, his father says, "We're moving to Virginia. If you can't tell a lie, we can't stay in Texas."

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