Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Perfect Timing

Since my last post was about Noburo Iguchi's Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, I was thrilled to come across the trailer for the Japanese director's latest work Robogeisha (which, when you think about it, is a brilliant title). Truly the work of a madman, Robogeisha combines every over-the-top element of gore from Iguchi's previous films, with... are you ready?... you sure?... OK... Don't say you weren't warned... Transformers (Robots in Disguise!). The title character can actually transform into a rather bizarre form of tank and appears to have another robot inside her, like a bizarre Japanese version of a Russian nesting doll.

And please forgive me this momentary digression, but "Transformers" were toys that came out when I was already too old to play with toys. I had to settle for G.I. Joe. Real G.I. Joe, mind you. Not those miniature pieces of plastic they sell these days. I'm talking about G.I. Joe with "Kung-fu Grip;" G.I. Joe with "realistic" hair; G.I. Joe who was big enough to risk his military career by dating Ken behind Barbie's back (though Joe & Ken's sex life was as boring as Barbie and Ken's, seeing as how none of them had even the semblance of genitalia).

Anyway, via Twitch comes the possibly NSFW trailer for Robogeisha, which features Iguchi's signature fountain sprays of blood; breast guns; beheadings; defenestrations and - I kid you not - breast milk acid! Don't say you weren't warned:

Fried Shrimp! Mmm-mmm!

Now that that's out of the way, via Towleroad comes this great new music video from Marina and the Diamonds - "I Am Not a Robot." The video is slick and fun and superhero-ish. And the song is just terrific. Enjoy:

Of course, the two videos above have absolutely nothing to do with one another, other than my liking them both, very much.

More, anon.


Monday, June 29, 2009

More Movie Nonsense

Okay. Enough ranting for a while. I hope everyone had a terrific Pride weekend. Sadly, I attended only one official event this year - I was just too booked.
Anyway - let's get back to movie nonsense, shall we?

Fellow blogger and gay horror fan, JA over at MyNewPlaidPants, was going to the Asian Film Festival this weekend, in NYC. I posted my jealously on his blog because he got to see a movie I will have to wait to see on DVD, Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl. I have posted about this outrageously gory and ridiculously plotted film before, but I came across some new footage a while back and have been just too damned busy to post it.
Just like the kaiju movies of the 50's and 60's, modern Asian horror seems to revel in being way over-the-top. Watching the trailers for VGVFG is like watching a cross between Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Andy Warhol's Dracula and I Survived a Japanese Game Show. It even manages to satirize Japan's obsession with suicide. Creepy, weird, gory and surreal, today's Japanese horror has moved away from the creepy and inexplicable terrors of Ringu (The Ring) and Kairo (Pulse) and onto the explicit (if ridiculous) gore of films like Machine Girl and Ghost VS Alien.
So, below you will find the newest clip (albeit a few weeks old) from Vampire Girl vs. Dracula Girl. Fair warning - it's weird, sick and filled with shots of spurting blood, bloody skulls and extreme wrist-cutting. Can't say you weren't warned...
I'm still waiting to hear what JA thought.
By the way - I'm getting new ink on my left calf for my upcoming birthday (D and I are going together), and I'll be posting a few different versions of what I have in mind and putting them up for vote. I can't promise that I'll actually end up with what you guys choose, but it will most definitely have an influence on my final decision.
And just in case I forget to say so, I hope you have a fabulous Holiday weekend this 4th.
More, anon.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why Do We Still Need "Pride?"

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of the infamous Stonewall Riots, commonly accepted as the start of the Gay Rights Movement. A group of drag queens, gay hustlers and bull dykes had gathered in mourning over the death of their beloved icon, Judy Garland. Indeed, it was probably Garland's signature song, "Over the Rainbow" which inspired graphic artist Gilbert Baker to design the Gay Pride Flag. Originally, the flag included Hot Pink and Turquoise stripes, but those were later removed, presumably for aesthetic reasons.

But here's the thing: Why, 40 years later, do we still need to have "Pride Month?" Why do still feel the need to make ourselves heard? Why, after 40 years, are we still repressed? I'll tell you why.

We voted for Obama because he promised change. He promised to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell." He promised to work toward LGBT rights (which are really just basic, human rights). But here we are, still being ejected from the military, still unable to marry in the majority of states, still treated as second-class citizens, still looked upon as deviants, predators and pedophiles.

The ignorant still claim that homosexuality is a "lifestyle choice." And I continue to ask them why anyone would deliberately choose to be a member of the single most hated minority on the planet. I have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. Never before has the need for education and enlightenment been so important. Hate against the LGBT community are on the rise. Hate is a response to fear. Fear is a response to ignorance. Sadly, as history proves over and over, hate is a learned emotion; prejudice is a taught response; change is slow and painful.

We still need Pride because we are still marginalized, and in many countries, criminalized. We still need Pride because even though we have made many strides, the LGBT community is still isolated and abused, simply for being who we are. Only we can change that. Only we can take pride in ourselves, knowing we are worthy and productive members of the human race. Only we can make "them" stop hating us.

More, anon.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Review: "Crank: High Voltage"

I travel several times a year for my day job. It's a weekend or two, but it's a chance to travel the country and meet all kinds of great and interesting (and sometimes scary) people. Our hotel rooms (usually very nice ones), travel, meals, etc. are paid for and it's a good chance to get to know co-workers from other departments a little better. We always work hard on these trips, but we manage to have plenty of fun, too. I really am lucky and honestly have a fabulous day job with a really terrific non-profit. One of our travel perks is that we can rent an in-room movie per night. I usually pick a recent movie I missed in theatres, but is not yet out on DVD. I saw both the atrocious Hancock and the deplorable Mummy sequel in Chicago this way, last fall.

Last night, I got a much-needed dose of Statham-osterone and watched Crank: High Voltage. The highly improbable sequel to 2006's highly improbable Crank, literally picks up at the end of the first movie. Paid assassin Chev Chelios (Statham... Mmm... Staaa-thaaaam... garble, blargel, gargle) has survived the deadly Chinese poison which forced him to keep adrenaline pumping through his system until an antidote could be administered, only to fall over a mile from a helicopter (free-fall fist-fighting a bad guy most of the way down), bounce off the roof of a car and then land with a thud on the street, where after a second.. he blinks! A black van pulls up, five men literally scoop Chelios off the ground with a snow shovel, and carry him off to a filthy O.R. where Chinese gangsters remove his heart and replace it with an artificial heart, powered by a battery pack around his waste. He learns that his heart is destined for an ancient Chinese mob-boss (the recently late David Carradine wearing tons of latex make-up and yak hair), and he is being kept alive so that said mob-boss can continue to harvest his organs, including Chelios' appropriately enormous schlong (sadly, we never get to see said schlong). Chev's soon after the heart and off on a nearly identical journey to save his own life, while continually (and amusingly) finding ways to bring himself back from the brink of death. This time, he needs to find ways to continually charge the plastic pump's auxillary battery, using everything from a wet finger in a car lighter; jumper cables (on his nipple and tongue); friction (another bout of public sex with girlfriend, Eve played the returning Amy Smart) and several other outrageous acts. Dwight Yoakim is also back as Chev's disgraced doctor friend who plans on returning Chev's own heart to his body (once Chev has retrieved it, of course). New to the franchise is looney-tune Chinese actress Bai Ling as a skanky ho (type-casting, anyone?) who thinks Chev is her Prince Charming because he saved her life while storming a "social club" in search of the guy with his heart in a cooler. Ms. Ling's dialogue is entirely (supposedly) in English, though we are graciously provided subtitles that would make a sailor blush for every one of her insane malapropisms. There's a hilarious cameo by John "Q" Delancie as a foul-mouthed local news anchor and Corey Haim is hilarious as mulleted loser Randy, who gets beat up by a girl. Efren Ramirez returns as well, this time as Venus, the gay; "Full Body Tourettes" afflicted; revenge-bent twin brother of the character he played in the first movie.
The action is way beyond over-the-top, the comedy is as broad as it gets (it actually degenerates into a very silly - and a bit too long - Godzilla parody near the end) and the language couldn't be fouler (the phrase "F**k you, Chelios" is repeated, both verbally and in text so often, I lost count). But, like most of Statham's films, it's a terrific "park your brain at the door and just enjoy the ride" kind of movie. Writers/Directors Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor (Pathology and the up-coming Jonah Hex comic adaptation) use dozens of techniques and styles to keep the action moving along so quickly, you don't have time to think about how just completely ridiculous the whole thing is.
They also provide a very amusing sequence in which young Chev and his Mum appear on a British "Dr. Phil" type show; where we learn that Chev has always been a bit more than just a hellion and a painfully funny anal rape scene (yes, it goes there) involving a fat biker, motor-oil and a shotgun. Whether you're craving a dose of testosterone, outrageous action, surrealist comedy or an eyeful of Jason Statham's delicious eye-candy, Crank: High Voltage should be in your Netflix queue, if it already isn't.
And yes, if you must ask, room is left for another (though completely unnecessary) sequel.
**1/2 (Two and a Half Stars). Rated "R" by the MPAA for Extreme Violence, Gore, Language and Sexual Situations.
More, anon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Life's a Bitch...

Lots to talk about tonight (I'm off to D.C. - holla, Sean! - on a business trip tomorrow morning, so I won't get a chance to post again until late Saturday), so let's get right to it, shall we?
I am saddened, but not shocked at the death of Farrah Fawcett, who bravely documented her struggle with cancer, hopefully inspiring others to fight even harder. The footage of her last visit with son Redmond is just heart-breaking. But her pain and suffering have ended. My heart goes out to Ryan, Redmond and her entire family.
Farrah was many things to many people (surprisingly, I did NOT own the iconic poster pictured here - my walls were covered with movie posters, show posters and monster posters in the '70's) but she will always be one of Charlie's Angels to me. However, I fear she will be to MJ what Groucho is to Elvis.
On the other hand, I am shocked, but not saddened by the death of Michael Jackson. An exceptional talent, but an exceptionally disturbed man. MJ was my contemporary. Only a few years older than me, but a superstar before puberty. While some reports portray Papa Joe Jackson as abusive and manipulative, at least he was able to tell his young prodigy "no." Once Michael went out on his own, and had no one to tell him "no," he went a little... okay, a lot... crazy. I, for one, have no trouble believing the charges brought against him in both 1993 and 2003. I hope his troubled soul is finally at peace.

Funny how the picture I have posted of MJ features zombies, doncha think? And speaking of zombies, can you believe Liz Taylor out-lived him? Yikes!

Here's the thing: We live in a bizarre Cult of Celebrity these days. Entertainment News is now Headline News. Granted, 3 famous people have died recently. But why should that overshadow the thousands dying every day because of war, disease, famine and genocide? Why are these three people more important than the the countless killed by acts of violence committed by their fellow men, often in the name of "God?" Yes, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson will all be missed. But so will thousands of soldiers killed in Iraq since that pointless war started. So will thousands of children slaughtered in the jungles of Africa. So will thousands upon thousands who will die of AIDS; cancer; heart disease; plane crashes; train crashes; bombings; car crashes; bus crashes; earthquakes, tsunamis; fires; floods; lightning strikes and any number of freak accidents and acts of stupidity. Sometimes, it's a good idea to step back and gain a little perspective, you know?

Now how's this for a segue?

More on Zombies in a sec...

Next, I want to talk about the most outrageous LGBT story of the day. I saw this mentioned on my local news tonight and laughed myself silly at the idiocy of everyone involved. But then I thought about how awful it must be for the young man that he resorted to this. And how even worse it was for the adults to go along with it. This is plain and simple abuse, both physical and mental. I hope these people all go to jail for what they've done to this young man (via):

There's a special place in hell for these kinds of "Christians."

Okay, time to lighten the mood, just a bit. Via Towleroad, comes this amazing clip of the always fabulous Grace Jones (one of the few women I would actually consider having sex with), performing "Slave to Love" (actually appropriate to my mood, of late) as part of her recent come-back tour:

I can't even hoola-hoop for 5 seconds, let alone an entire song!

Finally, here are some links to three rather amazing trailers for upcoming film releases (via):

First up, Richard (Donnie Darko) Kelly's latest thriller The Box. starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella and based on Richard Matheson's short story "Button, Button." Watch it here. Kelly may well have made a come back after his last film, Southland Tales, was both a critical and financial flop.

Next, this juicy trailer for Zombieland (See? I told ya!), the newest Zom-Com starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Esinberg, Abigail Breslin and Bill Murray as a character listed on IMDb as "Zombie."

Finally, I have to admit a deep, dark secret... Shhhh... Don't tell anyone, but I am not always a Scorcese fan. I don't usually like movies about the violence real people commit against one another. Mob movies; 'gangsta' movies; war movies, boxing movies... There's something different between being killed by one's mortal enemy and being killed by a mythological being or an imaginary movie-maniac. For me, Scorcese's most effective films are about truly disturbed individuals: Taxi Driver; Cape Fear. And I have never been a Leonardo DiCaprio fan. I have no idea what all those girls saw each one of the 500 times they went to see Titanic. But I have admit that he's finally growing into his looks. Though I must admit that I find the trailer for Shutter Island absolutely terrifying. Watch it here.

I'm off to our nation's capitol for a Law School Forum in the morning. I've been to plenty, all over the country, but not to D.C. before. I imagine it will be a little more... intense than most. I'll let you know.

More, anon.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Betty Bowers Explains It All 4 U

My friend Ken saw my show (twice!) and thus thought of me when he saw the video below. I'm also emailing a link to my cast. It's possibly the funniest comment on Biblical marriage I've seen in a long time. Apparently, 'Betty Bowers' is the self-proclaimed "Best Christian in America." I may have to subscribe to Betty's thread. She's pretty freakin' hilarious. Please enjoy this short, smart and hysterically funny video. Ladies and germs, I give you "Betty Bowers Explains Biblical Marriage:"

By the way, the "Adam" and "Steve" in my show were way hotter than those two schlubs above. Jealous yet?
Wow! How did such juvenile snarkiness get into this post? I am clearly still in recovery. My Facebook status says : "(Prospero) needs a repairative spa weekend..." My up-coming weekend business trip to DC doesn't exactly count. Though my "work spouse" R, AKA "Lady" (don't know if I ever mentioned her, before) and I always seem to have a good time when we go on these outings together. Two years ago in L.A. and San Fran; last year in Chi and this year in DC... People are starting to talk (as if they don't, already). And just for the record; I am not, nor would I ever pretend to be "Guy." He's way cuter than I am.
I thought I'd get a break... but every Saturday through July 18th is booked, already. How the hell did that happen? And do I wonder why I'm tired? The 18th is the one to which I am most looking forward. It's my birthday and D and I are off to get new ink together in the afternoon and then out carousing (that word makes me sound old, doesn't it?) with a bunch of our friends in the evening. And somewhere in there, rehearsals start for my next acting gig (more on that, anon). I suppose I can't afford the luxury of recovery, can I? Ah... screw it! You only live once, right?
As ever... more, anon.

Toy Movies

This week's big tentpole movie is Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. I'm sure it will be the same mind-numbingly loud and pointless mess as the first one. In fact, it'll probably be even more so. Of course, a friend of mine is an extra with face-time in the thing, so I'm sure I'll dragged along...

What's worse, it stars the increasingly annoying Shia Lebeuof. Lebeuof infamously crushed his hand in a drunk-driving accident while filming and they had to write the injury into the script, so there'd be a reason for his hand to be all bandaged up. And teh boy is crazy. Ever listen to an interview with him? His father was carnival barker and he was clowning and shilling pretzels at age 10. No idea what his mother did (or does), but he said he though she was beautiful and he would marry her if he could, because she used to hang around the house naked when he had friends over. Yikes! No, thanks.
Now this movie, I would LOVE to see:

I'm not a big fan of movies made about toys. They seem to be just long, loud commercials (with the exception of Clue, which is a terrible movie for reasons other than being based on a board-game). The folks over at ComedyCentral have posted this amusing little short about this very subject (hope this embedding code works):

In all honestly I'd probably consider paying money to see David Cronenberg's Cabbage Patch Kids, David Lynch's Kooshball and John Carpenter's Alf.
I have heard that there are actually plans for movies based on Monopoly, Candyland and Ouija. Really? What the hell? Stop making crap, Hollywood.

More, anon

PS - Uncle Wriggly had better be in digital 3D, bitches.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Gayest Thing You'll See This Week

Damn! Does every freakin' fetish group have a convention? And why did I just ask a question to which I already know the answer?

San Diego's ComicCon is coming up very soon. What started out as a small gathering of local comic book fans has become a multi-million dollar event, promoting not just comic books, but science-fiction, horror and fantasy movies, novels, toys, collectibles, celebrity appearances and weirdos-in-costumes. A "Fanboy's" wet dream, in other words.

Now, it is no secret that I love the odd, unique, dark and/or arcane side of this thing called life. Especially when it comes to movies. I grew up watching movies with Bela Lugosi; Boris Karloff; Peter Lorre; Gale Sondergaard; Lon Chaney (Sr and Jr); Simone Signoret and Fay Wray. Later, Peter Cushing; Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. Dracula, in all it's incarnations, was a staple in my house (I'm Hungarian, German and Scottish... do the math).

The vampire, both laconic (Interview with the Vampire) and viciously aggressive (the Blade trilogy), is inherently sexy. The mouth on the throat; the piercing of flesh; the sharing of bodily fluids - no wonder so many films, novels, comics and short stories equate vampirism to a virus. The act of vampirism certainly requires a physical intimacy akin to sex. And of course, virginal sex often (if not, usually) involves at least a little spilled blood. And let's not even talk about the allure of eternal youth and power. In fact, the vampire may be the oldest dark creature of legend, ever. Alternate versions of the creation myth posit that Lilith (or sometimes, Lamia) was the first woman, made of Earth, as was Adam. When Adam spurned her, Lilith/Lamia joined the Dark Side, as it were. She became a creature of the night, feeding on the blood of God's creatures and the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. God's punishment was eternal hunger for an eternal life, and so she and her progeny roam the night in search of innocents on whom to feed (funny how lately I've been focused on creation mythology, ain't it?).

My friend Janet and I once witnessed an act of vampirism at a Devo concert at City Gardens in Trenton (yes, the Jon Stewart City Gardens). This was the mid-to-late 80's. A young lady (who would be described as "Goth" today) and her companions kept bending down and putting their faces in what I thought was her palm, immediately conjuring thoughts of snortable drugs. It wasn't until one of the young men stepped back and wiped his lips that I noticed the smear of blood across his mouth. The young lady had actually opened a wound in her wrist and her friends were all taking part... Poor Janet was very upset. I have to admit, however, that I was fascinated. I've also worked with an actor and merchandiser who both claimed to be vampires. Both of them were very attractive, though clearly insane.
My sister and I once attended a Fangoria convention in New York. We met plenty of really interesting and very nice folks (Michael Berryman and Tom Savini among them). We saw a sneak preview of the then-not-released Day of the Dead. We bought some cool stuff. Mostly, we were freaked out by the costumed loonies who wandered about the hotel in which the convention was held. Horror fans can be very scary...

So , what does all of this have to do with "The Gayest Thing You'll See This Week?" Well, I'll tell ya!

The Hollywood "Vampire-Con" is coming up, and they've been advertising to some very specific demographics (via):

I suppose it's nice to know that while the state of California isn't fully inclusive, the Vampire Community is. Suck it, California!

More, anon.


Monday, June 22, 2009

I Wonder...

These pictures are everywhere, which is why I'm only posting two of them. I'm beginning to think that Johnny Depp does Tim Burton's movies just so he can wear the bizarro make-up. Burton's take on Carroll will either be genius or crap. I'm hoping for the former, but bracing for the latter. Don't get me wrong, I love Burton (hate me all you want). Edward Scissorhands remains one of my favorite modern movies. From Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and Beetle Juice, to Batman and the overly maligned Mars Attacks, Burton's stamp is both indelible and instantly recognizable.

Of course, there's Planet of the Apes (a deeply-flawed movie I still manage to enjoy). And I don't mind repeating how much I HATED Sweeney Todd. Burton managed to transform Sondheim's lush tragic operetta into a cheap horror-show. And no offence, Depp fans (and I am one), but Johnny was horribly miscast. Of course, Depp is brilliant in Burton's arguably best film Ed Wood.
Then again, I am one of a few true fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which follows Roald Dahl's book so much more closely than the Gene Wilder version.
So, we will wait and see. Will Burton tap into the young genius he once was and deliver a dazzling, dizzying Alice in Wonderland, or will he resort to cheap camera tricks, weird makeup and bad CGI ?
JA over at MyNewPlaidPants said that the image of Depp's Mad Hatter looked like "if Elijah Wood and Carrot Top had a baby." I tend to agree with him. It will certainly be the Halloween costume for 2010 (seriously, how many Jokers did you have ringing your doorbell last October 31st?). And of course, I am very much looking forward to the Burton-produced CGI fantasy 9, coming this September. So what do you think?

And now, on a not entirely unrelated note...

I found this on Towleroad. The embedding has been removed, but I can still link you to it. A dear friend of mine is exceptionally coulrophobic. Of course, all of his friends torture him about it (and yes, I am guilty of it, too). So I sent him this link as a bit of revenge fantasy:

If I could have embedded that video, it might have ended up as a "Gayest Thing..." post. I guess I'll have to just tag it as "Randomly Funny." I put these items together, because Depp's Mad Hatter certainly carries an air of "Evil Clown." Don't you think?
And how have you been? You know I love to hear from you. Help me through my aforementioned grief, and leave a comment.
More, anon.

On Grieving...

Grief is a very strange emotion. It's usually on display at times of death, but it pops up in many forms and is caused by many different kinds of losses. If you're Charles Schultz, you use it to create an oxymoronic catch phrase for the star of your comic strip. How can there be such a thing as Good Grief? But apparently, grief and mourning are good for us, as long as (just like anything else in life) we don't take it too far. It helps us deal with loss and change and gives our psyches a bit of a purge.

Tonight, I am in mourning. No, no one has died. But a magical world inhabited only a few hours a night, did. Gone... gone... (Who the hell am I and what did I do with Prospero?).

I had to share one last image with you. It's the one I've had made into an 8x10 for my office. A cast so good, they deserve another mention. So... Back row, L to R: Kathy Garofano ("Rabbi Sharon"); David Hamm ("Steve"); Prospero; Damian Gaeta ("Adam"); Matt Paul ("Trey"); Alycia Bauch-Cantor ("The Stage Manager"). Seated, L to R: Maddie Patrick ("Mabel"); Nicole Patrick ("Jane"); Matty Daley ("Kevin") and Caitlin Blauvelt ("Cheryl").

I've been a director for a relatively long time and I have had my share of both triumphs and failures (someday I'll tell you about my Romeo and Juliet). Usually, the show's over; I have a little break and then I move on to the next one. But I'm not quite ready to let go of this particular bit of magic, just yet. A show this special needs to be savored and stored a way safely, so you can recognize its like, when you see it again. So, I need time to grieve...

More, very anon.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Comfort and Joy

I have literally lost count of the number of shows I've done. Some have been truly extraordinary experiences: playing Sweeney in "Sweeney Todd;" taking off my clothes in "Love! Valour! Compassion!;" directing an amazing production of "Much Ado About Nothing." All major milestones and/or life-changing events for me. As of today, they all take a back seat to "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told."

It was the perfect storm of cast, crew and script that somehow rained down what would be an extraordinary event under any circumstances.

I was blessed by the bravest, most trusting, most loving and most uninhibited cast I have ever had the privilige to know. They managed to do something that only two casts before have ever gotten me to do; cry during a performance. They also managed to be the first since high school to make me cry because it was over. That kind of joy mixed with melancholy can be as addictive as crack and I'll be going through a an exceptionally painful withdrawal over the next week. Of course I will see all (or at least, most) of them again. Many of us were already were good friends even before the show, and we'll see each other in the very near future (some of us have already made plans to do so). But it will never again be for this particular reason. :::sigh::::

Theatre truly is a "living art." It exists, but only in each moment in which it is played, because that particular moment cannot be exactly duplicated ever again. Once it's gone, it's gone, never to be again. Which is all the more reason to drink deeply and often. Art can never hurt you.

OK - The Philosophy of Theatre 101 lecture has now concluded. Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow night (though I may have a few more words on this subject before I'm ready to fully move on). Thanks for indulging me.

By the way, that's me (sans mask) in the bright green shirt (they called it my "happy shirt"), behind my cast. They are wearing costumes from the end of Act I, on the set of Act II. I took a million pictures at dress rehearsal, none of which were usable due to a camera malfunction. I was very unhappy. We rushed a couple real quick, after the show today.

From left to right, back to front:

Prospero, Matty Daley ("Kevin"); Matthew Paul ("Trey"); David Hamm ("Steve") Caitlin Blauvelt ("Cheryl"); Alycia Bauch Cantor ("The Stage Manager"); Nicole Patrick ("Jane") Kathy Garofano ("Rabbi Sharon"); Damian Gaeta ("Adam"); Maddie Patrick ("Mabel"). The bravest cast ever known.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Miss Ms. Kahn

I adored Madeline Kahn. I was lucky enough to have seen her on stage in "On the Twentieth Century" and she was astonishing. She's very often the best part of whatever she's in (though TV never figured out what to do with her). From What's Up, Doc? (an underrated Bogdanovitch gem and her first film) to Young Frankenstein; from her brilliant turn in Paper Moon (Bogdanovitch again) to the deplorable First Family, her performance was always something to be remembered.

I suppose all of this is the long way of saying "I'm Tired."

Ah, Lili. You are missed.
It's officially Opening Night, though I haven't been to bed yet. I think I've had 15 hours sleep all week. I'm going to bed soon. I have a few things to pick up tomorrow afternoon and then I will be officially finished and can sit back, relax and enjoy my show (yeah, right).
There' still time to get tickets! Or make a donation. (Shameless, ain't I? I think Maddie would be proud).

More, anon


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I am so tired, I want to scream. But this clip was too awesome to not share. Toto's "Africa" as you've never seen it before. I apologize for forgetting where I first saw it. It's an exemplar of what I've been trying to get to my cast to to play - the joy on the singers' faces says it all.

More, anon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hell Week

Tonight at 6, we have our load-in at the theatre. Then, hopefully, a full run rehearsal. Since it's "Hell Week," I probbably won't be posting much at all. I still have a million and five things to do before Friday's opening.
I hope as many of you that can, will come to see "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told." You can still order tickets here, or buy them at the door one hour before curtain. I'll post lots of pictures next week, for those who couldn't make it. And remember that you can make a donatation via PayPal at our website.
More, anon.

Pride Month

June is Gay Pride Month. It not only commemorates the Stonewall uprising of 1969, but celebrates sexual diversity in all its forms. It is also the perfect time of year for the annual JTMF AIDS Fundraiser event.
This is our seventh year, and it seems like we've almost gotten it down to a science. The show is almost ready for performance; the caterer is in place and ticket sales are booming.
This coming week is known in theatrical circles as "Hell Week." It's when all the elements come together to create the show as a whole - acting, sound, lighting and scenery finally combine into one amazing creation that defies the laws of physics. No one who has ever been part of a play knows how it happens. It just does. Those of us in the business know and accept that it is (and always will be) one of Life's Great Mysteries.
But this post is not just about the Miracle of Theatre. It is about how far we (the LGBT Community) have come since 1969.
Judy may have died the night before the infamous NYC riots, but what happened to us all since then has been nothing short of miraculous. Six states now recognize same-sex marriage. Even more reject discrimination against sexual oriention. We may not get there in my lifetime, but I can foresee a day when sexual orientation is no longer an issue in America and every person, regardless of race, creed, or sexuality is treated equally. It's simply a matter of time.
So, in the spirit of how far we've come (and just because they're so damned funny), here a a few videos from the past (and one from the present) that I hope will amuse you.
Boys: Beware!
I hope this doctor is long dead:
And finally - a parody of the disease one can catch: The Gay:
I hope you will all join me in celebrating Pride this month. And I also hope that I will live to see the day when Pride Month will no longer be a necessity in America.
More, anon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Gayest Thing You'll See This Week

From gorgeous young singer Shane Mack comes this lovely song and video "Lie to Me", via yet another gay blogger named Stephen:

I hope Mr. Mack's career takes off. He's really quite talented.

More, anon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Holidays

Have you ever tried to find Christmas decorations in the middle of June? It's not easy, trust me.

And I'm looking for the kind of stuff nobody makes anymore. You know, those extruded plastic figures that you stick a bulb inside and put on your lawn in hopes that no idiot punks will come along and steal them? Pretty awful, but what the script calls for. Yes, some of the cast and crew have volunteered to scour their attics (and a member of a sister theatre company brought us one), but I'm looking for loads. I have a big stage to fill. Here's some examples of the kind of things I'm looking for:

See, it's even hard to find pictures of the damned things. I had to post a picture of decorations from Christmas' lonely Spring cousin, Easter... Gruesome, ain't they?

So, if anyone out there in cyberspace has any suggestions as to where I can find these, or if any of my local friends reading this post have any of them yourselves, please let know, ASAP. Thanks.

More, anon.


Update: My adorable cast member Matty has come through and delivered Santa & Mrs. Claus; a Teddy Bear; Choir Singers and Lampposts. Now I just need furniture and I'll be very happy...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nine Times Three

OK - you all know how my nights have been crazy. Well, the slow season has finally started at work and I actually have some time to post during the day.
I came across this new trailer for District 9, the Peter Jackson produced South African film about an extraterrestrial internment camp (via):

District 9 shouldn't be confused with Rob Marshall's adaptation of the musical Nine, or the animated post-apocalyptic Steampunk fantasy 9.
Here are the trailers for those films:



So the Summer of 2009 seems to also be the the Summer of Nines. It just struck me as odd that all three of these films are being released in the same season. Of course, I plan on seeing all three (as soon as I have time to get to the movies again).
More, anon.

Trying to Remain Sane

Very short post tonight.
My cast, as wonderful as they are, are having issues remembering their lines. We still have a little more than a week to go. Should I ask them all to start a ginko biloba regimen?
Not to mention the million and four props, the 7000 sound cues and the 8 billion lighting cues...
And I wonder why I am tired...
More, anon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Christmas in June

So, here it is, June 7th, and I'm listening to Christmas music. No, seriously. I'm trying to choose Intermission music for "Most Fabulous..." which ends Act I with the Nativity and places Act II at a Christmas Open House party in modern-day New York City (you'd be amazed at how much gay Christmas music there is). Why wouldn't I be listening to Christmas music (most of which, by the way, I despise)?

This is my last week to devote 97.99% percent of my attention to my cast, which saddens me. I love them and want to watch them play and help them grow as much as I can. But I find myself devoting more and more time to the technical side of the show, which excites me too, because I'm starting to get into how all the elements of the show will work together as a whole. So, as you can imagine, I am torn and in need of an occasional distraction.
Weekends are light for most of the blogs I read regularly (some don't post at all on Saturdays and Sundays), so I branch out and hit YouTube and funnyordie and any other number of sites I only visit on the weekend or once-in-a-while. Tonight, in a YouTube search for "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told," I came across this report of a Florida production this past January:
I may have mentioned this before, but we're actually hoping the "good" Reverend Phelps and his clan show up. Their presence is just what may be what it takes for the entire New Jersey LGBT community to fully embrace the JTMF and what we are all about.
Yesterday afternoon was a line-through with most of the cast, and a barbecue/hot-tub/pool party as their reward, after. We carried-on, drank, ate, laughed and tortured each other, as usual. I quizzed my newest find about horror movies (he's good), gave some amazing foot-rubs and further cemented the bonds between us (no, NOT in THAT way, you pervs! ;-0).
There is something truly magical about a cast that not only 'gets" it, but connects to one another so extraordinarily. Either I'm a genius, or I am just a casting savant (though I doubt the latter... I've made more than my share of casting mistakes... lol). In either case, I am certainly the luckiest director on the entire East Coast.
Today was an amazing choreography session with one of the best fight guys around. The Bravest Actors in the World had it down and running at full speed in less than 30 minutes. Props to all three for once again delivering beyond expectations.
Finally, here's something funny. While I am not particularly a fan of Tori Spelling (except in Trick), this clip from her show, featuring Star Trek and "Heroes" alum, Zachary Quinto, is both hilarious and hot!
On that note, I am off to continue (and hopefully, soon finish) work on my soundplot. We'll talk again soon, I promise.
More, anon.
PS - I am deliberately not watching the Tonys, because even though I took the time to write this post, I still have 12,546 things to do before the show will be ready to open. "Oy gay!"

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Night Off

And a million things to talk about. Even though I have also been working on getting the show's sound plot completed, I have been bouncing around the Net again tonight and have thoughts on many things:

In Gay Movie News, according to AfterElton.com, actor Wesley Eure of "Days of Our Lives" and "Land of the Lost" fame, has finally come out. I guess he was sort of cute, but I never really got it. Too pretty, I think.

And Marvel Studios have announced that they are planning to release four features a year and will be bringing back the Hulk for their Avengers series (via).
Let's hope technology will have developed enough to finally give us a believable version of the big green brute.

In Gay Music News, Parisian musician Reead has a new video out for his song, "Baby," which features Paris' Chinatown, a boom box and three rather attractive young men wearing only animated blocks (via):

Reead "Baby", 3 mecs à China Town, avec NuitSexy.fr
by rollrecords

Finally, I just think this is very cool. MonkeyLectric offers this exceptionally cool Persistence of Vision light gadget for your bicycle wheels. At an amazingly affordable price (about $60 per wheel), their safety/marketing system allows you display just about anything you want on your wheels as you make your way through the darkened streets, roads and pathways of your hometown (via).

Last night's rehearsal was better. Without the books, they are really starting to grow. Tomorrow is a line-through and then a pool/hot tub party. They continue to amaze and amuse. Off to try and finish my sound plot... two weeks to go...
More, anon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It's late. I'm very tired. I feel I've abandoned the Faithful...

Rehearsals this week have been... interesting. Monday was their first night "off-book" (no scripts in their hands). It started out good, but fell apart in many places. I didn't help by trying to add sound cues, but still...

Tuesday was Act II, which has a much more traditional narrative structure than Act I, and they alll seeemd to have a better handle on how to play it, so I (perhaps foolishly) hoped they would know it better than Act I. I have never been more wrong. To be honest, two of my supporting players were exceptionally well-prepared and made me laugh once they finally entered the scene. We did manage to take some very nice publicity shots, so it wasn't a total bust.

Then came tonight. Act I again. Oh, so good. Two other members of my supporting cast had amazing break-throughs, and while it got a bit bogged down toward the end, it was miles from where it had been on Monday. Hope is restored.

So that's the latest. Sorry it wasn't more interesting, Oh - I was surprised to find the CD's I'd ordered from Amazon arrived a day before I expected them, so I was able to add additional music cues tonight.

I know - YAWN.... right? Maybe I can talk about how gorgeous my leading men are, some more. Got your attention there, didn't I?

I need sleep.

More, anon.