Monday, April 30, 2012

They're All Gonna Laugh at You!

Sissy Spacek in Brian DePalma's 1976 version of "Carrie"

Uncle P is old. I was in high school when Brian DePalma adapted Stephen King's first novel into an incredibly well-acted movie, starring Sissy Spacek; Amy Irving; William Katt; John Travolta; Nancy Allen; PJ Soles; Betty Buckley and the incomparable Piper Laurie as Carrie's religious nut-job mother. I wasn't old enough to drive and none of my friends wanted to see it, so I somehow convinced my mother to drop me off at the Eric Twin in Fairless Hills on a Saturday afternoon, where the bored girl in the box-office almost sold me a ticket to the soft-core porn version of Tarzan, which was also playing there. But I was a die-hard horror fan (and a relatively naive kid), so I opted to see my first choice. I had read and loved King's novel (structured in the form of diary entries, newspaper articles and court transcripts, much like Stoker's Dracula) and really wanted to see the film version.

I had no idea how much I was going to love this movie. But love it, I did. Like so many movies, the details of the first time I saw Carrie are firmly entrenched in my memory as one of a few 'perfect' films of my youth. Sure, it had some silly moments (the tuxedo scene; Edie McClurg being at least 10 years too old to be a high-schooler; that damned spinning dance scene), but Spacek was absolutely brilliant. Laurie even more so (they both garnered Oscar nominations). And DePalma's use of split-screen during the prom had me losing my mind. Carrie's eerie candlelit arrival at home; the washing off of the pig's blood; the crucifixion of Paul re-enacted on Carrie's mother. All of it amazing and new and terrifying. I had never seen a movie quite like it. And then there was that ending! As Sue Snell (Irving) knelt to lay flowers on the decimated ground where Carrie's house once stood and that hand popped up through the rocks... I practically leapt from my seat in surprise. I waited outside the theater to picked up, breathless and so excited by what I had just seen -- only to be further unnerved by a fellow who, also waiting for a ride, wanted to tell me all about how the government was testing people just like Carrie to use as weapons in the cold war (the Berlin Wall still stood strong at the time). I nodded and tried not to be freaked out and was exceedingly relieved to see Mom pull up in the family's VW station wagon to pick me up.

I was so very disappointed by Bryan ("Pushing Daisies") Fuller's 2002 TV adaptation, which starred Angela Bettis (May; The Woman) and Patricia Clarkson (The Green Mile; Shutter Island). Bettis and Clarkson were fine, but Fuller's teleplay tried too hard to include everything in King's novel and the result was too long and too... messy. And the limits of television censorship crippled the film in the same way it did Mick Farris' versions of The Stand and The Shining.

MGM recently announced yet another remake, this time starring Chloe Grace Moritz (Kick Ass; Let Me In) in the title role and Julianne Moore (The Kids Are Alright) as Margaret White. This, of course, on the heels of an updated Off-Broadway revival of the infamously disastrous Broadway musical version. As much as I love both Moritz and Moore, I'm not sure that Boys Don't Cry and Stop-Loss director Kimberly Pierce is right for this project (though I think "Glee" and "Big Love" writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is as good a choice as any to write it). 

Regular readers know how I generally feel about remakes, but remakes have been around almost as long as movies themselves. While DePalma's original version of Carrie may have been perfect for audiences of the mid-seventies, who is to say that audiences 35 years later don't deserve their own version? With bullying so malignantly prevalent among today's youth, they just night need to be scared into stopping it. I just hope the makers of the new version don't give us reason to laugh at it.

More, anon.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

O, Superman!


In her 1981 single "O Superman," Laurie Anderson asks "Smoking... or non... smoking?" Personally, I prefer Smokin'! 

Celebrities have been in the news recently for more than just being good looking and/or talented.  Last summer, hottie Ryan Gosling (Drive) made headlines when he broke up a fight in Manhattan between a street artist and an accused thief by paying for the painting in question. 

That same month, zaftig beauty Kate Winslet was visiting Sir Richard Branson's mansion on his private Carribean island when a fire broke out. The Titanic star sprang into action and carried Branson's 90 year-old mother to safety.

Not one to be upstaged, earlier this month Gosling saved British journalist Laurie Penny from certain death in New York City by pulling her out of the path of an oncoming taxi. Penny, not used to right-side driving, looked the wrong way while crossing 6th Avenue. Gosling yelled "Hey, watch out!" and grabbed her before she could become yet another greasy smear on a Manhattan street.

Then this week, "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick ('McDreamy') Dempsey pulled a teenager from his wrecked Mustang, right in front of the actor's home. Dempsey used a crowbar to get the kid out, probably saving his life. 

Now, not that I want to put myself in any real danger, but why can't I get rescued by a hot, handsome movie star? Maybe George Clooney could stop me from buying an unhealthy, cholesterol-laden popcorn at my local cineplex. Perhaps a shirtless Ryan Reynolds could lean in and make sure my seat belt was correctly fastened or a nearly-naked Chris Evans could save me from drowning in a dangerous undertow off the east coast of Florida. Or, best of all, Jason Statham could protect me from a mysterious cabal who wants me dead before I can reveal their plans to take over the world through some nefarious means. 

Needless to say, I'd be willing to show my gratitude to any one of these heroes in any number of ways... That is, of course, if Winslet stays home that day. It's not that I don't like her - she's just not my type, if you know what I mean.

More, anon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

And the Beat Goes On

And this is the official poster for the JTMF 10th Anniversary production of Jeffrey.

Jeffrey is playwright Paul Rudnick's romantic comedy about an actor/cater-waiter named Jeffrey living in New York City in the early 1990's. Jeffrey is so terrified of contracting AIDS that he swears off sex, forever. Of course, as soon as he does so, he meets Steve, the man of his dreams (who just happens to be be HIV+).  Jeffrey's mentor and older gay friend Sterling (an interior decorator), is in a committed relationship with Darius, an HIV+ member of the Broadway ensemble of Cats.

As the four men navigate their way through life in 1990's NYC, Jeffrey learns that love trumps fear; real friends will always tell you the truth; phone-sex with your parents is never a good idea; therapy isn't always helpful; Country/Western dancing can lead to trouble; game shows can be terrifying and Martha Stewart is a bitch.

Uncle P is reprising his role as Sterling, while several JTMF regulars join a few new-comers in this ensemble comedy from the man who wrote both Addams Family movies; In and Out and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told

Box-office proceeds from Jeffrey benefit The Open Arms Foundation, which provides support and services for NJ residents (and their families) living with HIV; The James Tolin Memorial Scholarship at Mercer County Community College, which provides financial aid for Performing Arts majors at the college and The Tyler Clementi Foundation, which strives to end bullying and prevent suicides among New Jersey's young LGBT community. The Friday and Saturday evening performances feature a catered reception and silent auction. Sunday's matinee is a performance only. Tickets are on sale now here. If you are unable to attend, but would like to support our causes, you can make a secure donation via PayPal at our website, (though we honestly would much rather see you in our audience).

More, anon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Rest for the Wicked

I'm Not Patrick Stewart

The first read-through for the JTMF 10th Anniversary production of Paul Rudnick's gay romantic comedy Jeffrey is one week from tonight.

The poster to your left is from the 1995 film version which starred Stephen Weber; hottie Michael T. Weiss; Patrick Stewart; Sigourney Weaver; Nathan Lane; Christine Baranski; Victor Garber; Cameron Mannheim and Olympia Dukakis, among others. The movie's good, but the play is better.

I'm reprising the role of Sterling (Patrick Stewart in the movie), a part I played 10 years ago in the first JTMF show, before were the JTMF. We were simply "The Friends and Family of James Tolin" back then. 

We had no idea that 10 years and 12 shows later we'd still be raising money in honor of the name of a fallen compadre. I do love that after directing 9 shows, I'm back to acting for the company in a play I really like and a role I love. It's also a chance to really act alongside my Dear D for the first time. Yes, we both appeared in A View from the Bridge a few years ago, but we had only one small scene together.

I'll be posting about Jeffrey probably more than I posted about Hairspray, though I promise not to get sickening about it. There will plenty of other things to talk about in the next two months, including movies like The Avengers; Men in Black III; Snow White and the Huntsman; Prometheus and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  And I'm sure there will be plenty of "Gayest Things" to discuss. In the meantime, watch the trailer for the movie version of Rudnick's Off-Broadway hit and think about trying to get to see our production of it.

And here are the trailers for the movies I want to see this Spring:

More, anon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Least Straight Thing You'll See This Week

This Post Actually Isn't About Richard Simmons, Though It Could Be

Many years ago, I appeared as Arthur in the NJ premiere of Terrance McNally's play Love! Valour! Compassion! The show was a bit of a hit, despite my appearance in the nude. The young Hispanic actor originally cast as Ramon freaked out at the last minute and left the show just about a week before we were supposed to open. Thankfully, we had a backup plan.

A young actor* (who looked about as Hispanic as Prince Harry) stepped in and did an amazing job with only a few rehearsals. The rest of the cast (all but two of whom identified at the time as gay) couldn't help but notice just how comfortable *Shando was stripping down in front of us. One night, celebrating at local gay club, Shando tried to prove how straight he was by making out with another cast member. 

The next Fall, Shando came to me and said "I have a confession to make." I immediately responded with "You're gay." The poor boy seemed upset that no one was surprised by his revelation. And honestly, no one was. We all knew. Even his straight friends knew. I'm happy to report that Shando now lives and bartends in the Castro.I was lucky enough to run into him a few years ago while on a business trip to San Francisco and am happy to report that he is happier than ever.

I must suppose that such is the case with the shirtless young man in the video below, who believes that he is straight enough and comfortable enough with his sexuality that he can make out with a gay friend. The clip has been making the rounds, though I first saw it here.

Here's the thing - "straight" boys who make out with gay boys like this always end up coming out as gay boys, eventually. Always. Just ask my friend, Shando.

More, anon.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Gayest Things You'll See This Week ( Probably NSFW Version)

Just Say "No" to Collagen Injections

That's plastic surgery victim and gay club icon Amanda Lepore, who is featured heavily in one of today's three very gay video clips, all of which are via Towleroad. Lepore has had a rather fascinating career as a model and trans advocate, but has lately become a clownish version of the icon she once was. She was once actually quite beautiful, but her addiction to surgery has turned into a bizarre parody of herself. It's a shame, really.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about tonight. No. Tonight is all about celebrating the Gay. The clips I'm including here are very and most decidedly gay. One of them is political, one promotional and one just downright "Gay" with a capitol G. So let's get down to it, shall we?

First up, a flash mob response to wing-nut religious protestors at Phoenix Pride this past weekend. The fun starts at around 5:30 (and you know how much Uncle P loves me a Flash Mob!). Gaga should be proud of her New Mexican monsters:

Next is this gay parody of Madonna's single "Girl Gone Wild." Honestly, it doesn't get much gayer than this:

Finally, here's a promo video for Eliad Cohen's gay travel apartment-rental company, Gay-Ville, featuring the aforementioned Lepore as a maid fantasizing that she's a guest:

Trannies and twinks and bears,oh my!

If you are so inclined, Sean shared a few thoughts about and photos from "Hairspray" on Just a Jeep Guy. I  hope he loves "Jeffrey" even more. I was thrilled to finally meet him last week. That leaves only Stephen at Post Apocalyptic Bohemian, Pax Romano of Billy Loves Stu and Jinx of Totally Jinxed on my bucket list of like-minded bloggers I must meet in person before I die.

More, anon.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Almost All Girl Punk Bands For $400, Alex.

Who Are 'Edna and the Jailhouse Ho's?'

This should be the last post about this subject for quite a while. 

I have been very lucky to have taken part in some exceptional theatrical projects over the last (indecipherable noise) years. Sometimes, everything falls into place very neatly and easily and a show comes together and it's a success. Occasionally, it fails despite appearing to be poised for success. Sometimes, it's obviously a disaster from the first read-through and it crashes and burns like the Hindenburg. You don't invite people to see it. You don't talk about it. You don't post pictures on Facebook. 

Rarer still, are the times when what appears to be an unmitigated failure suddenly and magically comes together in an insanely short amount of time, ending up in something that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Such was the case with Hairspray. Early on, there were scheduling issues. Some bars were set to high and others too low. Roles were left un-cast. There were changes being made to things already covered, while tons of material remained uncovered. I had serious reservations. Things did not improve and I grew frustrated and I wasn't always quiet about being so and soon found many other cast-members felt the same way. And it wasn't as if there was one person in particular to blame. It just wasn't working on a whole lot of levels.

Then, something happened in the last week of rehearsal:

I have no idea how what happened with Hairspray happened. The odds seemed so stacked against it. But last Friday night, a very loud and enthusiastic full house gave us an exhilarating curtain call. And it just got better and better. The following night, we had a full-house standing ovation. And again on Sunday! It was crack for the newbies. Hell, it was crack for Uncle P. Yesterday afternoon was good, and we got a full standing O from a just slightly less-than full house. Then came last night's "off" performance. Everyone had at least two things go flunky. I had three, including a wardrobe issue (my slipper fell off); a prop issue (I had a problem hopping up onto the hot dog cart) and a lyric issue in the finale. Most of the audience still stood, though. At least I didn't get stuck in the can:

Maybe I Should Do "Dirty Blonde" Next
Today's closing matinee (and I HATE closing on a matinee) saw yet another SRO crowd. Emotions were running high. Many of the younger cast members were down after last night or tired or both. The hot tea with lemon and honey was flowing. There was a palpable frisson in the air. Clicks and flashes abounded backstage as people used their phones and cameras to document the day. Hugs and kisses and love abounding, we went to 'places' not knowing quite what to expect. What we got was pure theatre nirvana, fueled by another adoring crowd who (well, those who could - it was a Sunday matinee, afterall) rose to their feet and danced right along with us during curtain call. 

Like many actors, my theatrical career had it's start(at an early age) in Musical Theatre. One of my early ventures on stage was playing Prince Charming in a French-language version of Cindrion, complete with the Disney songs sung in French by an off-stage chorus  in the 7th Grade. Effin' crack, bitches! You never lose the taste for that particular high. I know several of you reading this know exactly what I'm talking about. We're addicts, plain and simple.I wish I had pictures from those early years. I'm very glad I have them from more recent shows.

I couldn't be happier to end this show on the high I had hoped it was going to be, long before the auditions had been announced. Below are some pictures of today's love-fest from backstage. They belong to the very talented Megan Sherrow who played Penny Pingleton. You'll quickly figure out who she is.
The World's Saddest Prostitute

The Turnblads +1

Seaweed and Amber, Sittin in a Tree...

Wigless and Wigged Out
The 'Corniest' Smile, Ever

'Everything Floats Down Here"

"Are You Sure You Aren't Faster than a Speeding Bullet?"

"Mama, I'm a Pretty Girl!"

I am thrilled that this amazing and talented cast pulled together and delivered an exceptionally well-received show that entertained its audiences and satiated its cast's needs for validation. 

I'm tired beyond tired, but all the pain and aggravation have proven worth it. It's really nice to be wrong, sometimes.

A few weeks rest and then on to Jeffrey, whose cast will (I am happy to report), include two very talented young men from this cast; one of whom is pictured above. I'll let you guess.

More, anon.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dork Shadows

The Late Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins

When I first heard that Tim Burton was making a Dark Shadows movie, I hoped he would remain true to the campy soap's themes - dark, grim and unintentionally funny. Sadly, he seems to have gone in the opposite direction by casting his go-to actor Johnny Depp in a deliberately comedic version of the story.

Like many folks my age, I would rush home from school to catch the decidedly weird soap about the cursed Collins clan (told you I love alliteration) and the patriarchal vampire Barnabas.

The ABC soap (which ran from 1966 to 1971) was populated with vampires, werewolves and witches before Stephanie Meyer was even born. It featured an alternate universe long before "Lost" or "Fringe" and held true to the Gothic atmosphere created by Hammer in the late 60's. It was literally groundbreaking for daytime soap-operas, which had been until then populated with torrid romances and hospital dramas. It's like wouldn't be seen again until NBC's "Passions" which ran from 1999 to 2007.

Today, it was announced that Canadian actor Jonathan Frid (the original Barnabas) passed away at the ripe old age of 87.  Frid has a cameo in Burton's film. I can't help but wonder if seeing the trailer for Burton's film was the final nail in his coffin. See the travesty for yourselves, if you already haven't:

Ugh! Like many fans of the original series, I will not be seeing this film. It seems to me that Burton and Depp have spent far too much time in Wonderland and the Chocolate Factory. Call me when someone makes a serious "Dark Shadows" film. 

More, anon.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Hairspray" Act II

That's it. Tickets to the MCCC/JTMF production of Hairspray are all gone. Which means I have three more performances to go before I start Weight Watchers. I've already lost 7 lbs during hell week and last weekend's performances. I'd like to lose another 20+ before Jeffrey opens at the end of June. These pictures have helped motivate me, though I know Edna is supposed to be an "ample American," as Motormouth Maybelle says. These days, I'm looking to be a bit less ample and a lot more healthy. Anyway, here are a few more pictures (of the over 300) taken at last Sunday's matinee (copyright: Robert Terrano):

"Big Doll House"
"Hold it right there, sucker man!"
"You're Timeless to Me"
"Without Love"

"I Know Where I've Been"
"It's Hairspray!"

"You Can't Stop the Beat"
"You can't stop my happiness..."
Tracy and Link - Happy at Last!
While I will be sad to say "Farewell" to 1962 Baltimore and the many friends I've made there, my feet will be very happy to never have to be jammed into those pumps again. And I'll move on to Jeffrey, reprising the first role I played (Sterling) in the very first JTMF show back in 2003. It's so strange to realize that a decade has passed since we started this amazing thing. Nine June Galas, Twelve shows and $50K+ for AIDS; Arts Education and Suicide Prevention Charities later and we're still going strong. 

Tickets for the JTMF 10th Anniversary Gala featuring Paul Rudnick's  Jeffrey are available now. If you are unable to attend, but want to help, you can always make a donation via PayPal here or contact us at to donate an item to our Silent Auction.

More, anon,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Hairspray" Act I (or: R.I.P. Dick Clark)

John Waters based the character of Corny Collins in Hairspray on America's "Perpetual Teenager," Dick Clark. In the 50's and 60's, Clark hosted "American Bandstand" which was broadcast nationwide out of Philadelphia. He later went on to host "The $10,000 Pyramid" and in the 70's became the face of New Year's Eve as part of ABC's "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve." Clark - a respected and much-loved TV icon - passed away today age 82. I'll be dedicating my final performances in Hairspray to his memory. 

On a lighter note, here are some pictures from Act I of the MCCC/JTMF production of Hairspray.  Act II will follow tomorrow (Photos copyright Robert Terrano).

"Good Morning, Baltimore"

"The Nicest Kids in Town"

"Tracy Turnblad, where are your manners?"

"I Can Hear The Bells"

"The Madison"
"Miss Baltimore Crabs"
"You're Mama's Welcomin' the 60's"
"Go Mama, Go, Go, Go!"

"Run and Tell That"
"Tracy, Maybe He's Right"

"Big, Blonde and Beautiful!"
"Two-Four-Six-Eight! TV's Got to Integrate!"
And that's Act I. There are still a few tickets left for the Saturday and Sunday matinees, if you are in the area and so inclined.

More, anon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Quickie

Corny Collins: "It's Hairspray!" (click Corny's pompadour to embiggem)

I'm uploading pictures tonight, so I thought the very least I could was to give you another teaser.

Since everyone has already posted them on Facebook, I'm going to post a whole album of Hairspray pictures tomorrow. We rehearsed tonight and I'm tired and lazy and still not recovered from a rather grueling (though in the end, worth it) hell week. 

I do hope there's a picture of me riding the hot dog cart in my second costume and wig.

If you're so inclined, you can read our only local review (so far) here. The reviewer seemed to either forget or ignore JTMF but she liked the show, so I'll give her a pass. I promise to stop talking about it, soon (don't worry, Jeffrey will take it's place in a few weeks). Anyway - I'm off to finish downloading the rest of the pictures.

More, anon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Gayest Things You'll See This Week ( Probably NSFW Version)

Where's Uncle P? (click on Tracy Turnblad's wig to embiggen)

So, the first four performances are just memories. We are off tonight and most of the week (we do have a brush-up scheduled) and and by not jamming my toes into those "Cruel Shoes," my feet like they've died  and gone to Foot Heaven.

This picture was taken during curtain call, though I'm not sure at which performance. Think of it as a teaser for next week. This rather terrific cast of very attractive young folks with loads of talent, working alongside a trio of what they must think of as "Golden Oldies" (who between us have more shows under our belts than the other 29 cast members combined) has managed to become a show-family, at last. I see a young version of myself in them and I feel compelled to tell them to get out before it's too late. But would they listen? No. When it works, it's better than any artificial high there is and I'm afraid it's even more addictive than crack. Every single one of them is hooked for life, now.

Anyway, I'm being lazy (because tonight I'm just plain tired) and writing about three very different, but very gay videos I found at one of my usual haunts and thought worthy of sharing with those of you who may not have seen them.

Is This What They Mean by 'Sexting'?
First up is Jonny 'The Gay Pimp' McGovern's latest music videos for the singles, "#TOTDF" and "Man Areas" (Totally NSFW) from his album The Gayest of All Time. I've posted videos from Jonny before, and you might know him as a member of the 3-season Logo show "The Big Gay Sketch Comedy Show."  Featuring outrageously hilarious lyrics, a usually good dance beat and lots of semi-clothed men in flagrant displays of PDAs, Jonny's videos are always fun and sexy (via):

Now that's pretty gay.  But the next one is even gayer and a little naughtier (via):

This next clip is from the HBO series "Game of Thrones," based on George R.R. Martin's novel. Last week, Michael Offutt offered up (I love unintentional alliteration) his thought's on Martin's gay characters Renly and Loras and today, Towleroad posted this almost-steamy clip. You might get away with watching this one at work by saying you're just catching up on the show, but I still can't recommend it for most workplaces.

As much as I'd love to see this show, I just can't see paying for a premium channel that only has one or two shows I'd want to see. Besides, I simply don't have the time to invest in another series. Hairspray hasn't closed and I'm already working on publicity for Jeffrey, the JTMF 10th Anniversary show. I'm so glad this is the day job's slow period.

More, anon.

The Good Kind of Tired

Pictured kneeling from left, are Shannon Brueckner, Sabella Lichtman and Nicole Erkoboni. Standing, from left are Chris DiTullio, Meredith Bleemer, Ben Menahem, Ethan Daniel Levy, Dan Johnson, Alexandra Baldwin, Parker Harris and Julia Procaccino.
That's Corny Collins (c) and the Council Kids in a publicity still from Hairspray, about which you all must be sick to death by now. Uncle P was deliberately kept out of publicity photos, but I promise to post some of me and the rest of the cast in our full costumes, wigs and make-ups next Sunday, after the show. I'll be taking tons of pictures next weekend.

That having been said, I am both exceedingly pleased and happily surprised by the by the show's abject success! We've played to three sold-out and one near-capacity audiences and have had three full house standing ovations. The audiences are loving it; the cast is loving each other and the entire team couldn't be more happy. What was a sometimes difficult rehearsal-process resulted in a not-to-be-missed production of a fun, silly, toe-tapping musical that has left four very happy audiences in its wake.And while I may be bragging just a little bit, I'll risk having pride in being a part of yet another amazing theatrical experience.

Needless to say, after what amounts to seven full performances (we had two yesterday), I am very tired, and very sore. Given my recent absence of something else that could cause those symptoms (TMI??), the joy of performing and the rush from applause is better than any drug I can imagine.

If, like my buddy Sean* (who brought me some beautiful and exceptionally fragrant flowers), you want to see me singing and dancing in dresses and heels (and face it, you know you do), you have three more chances next Saturday and Sunday. Word on the street says that Saturday evening is very close to being sold out, though you might find limited-view seats for both the Saturday and Sunday matinees.

*Sean was an early follower who share's Uncle P's taste in men and is very sweet man who I met for the first time this weekend. You can link his very popular blog by clicking the link to 'Just a Jeep Guy' on the left.  (While very little of what Sean posts is NSFW, some of the links he shares, are). He, I and two of my friends from college (Alex and Gail) whom I hadn't seen for 25 years, shared a delightful dinner between shows on Saturday. I only wish I could have spent more time with all of them. All three shared their enthusiasm for the show, as has everyone (friends, co-workers and complete strangers) I've talked to, including the people I know will tell me the truth.

Because unlike most media, theatre is a temporary art; I thought I'd share with you something I shared with the company on the production's Facebook timeline. It is heartfelt and honest:
Dear Cast and Crew: Enjoy being with this family as much as possible. Continue to share that love for each other with our remaining audiences, and we'll be guaranteed full houses and standing Os for every performance. What we have is a rare and magical thing; it's like to be sought after with every show you do. When you find that magic again (and you will), remember the joy we're sharing now and include it in the joy you share then. You guys are all extraordinary and I am so very proud to be associated with each and every one of you and this production. I love playing Edna and I love playing her with all of you! Thank you for sharing the love with me.
The show as (every show does), has its flaws but this large and diverse cast has pulled together in way I worried it never would to deliver a funny and entertaining show that our audiences are loving. And that's good enough for me. The magic of a show coming together never ceases to amaze me. It's a better high than any drug you can imagine.
Enough crowing. It's back to the real (for a little while at least) tomorrow (well, today). And I'll be forming a new temporary family when rehearsals begin for the JTMF 10th Anniversary Production of Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey in May.
More, anon.

Friday, April 13, 2012

5 For & 5 Against: "The Cabin in the Woods"

I literally just got home from seeing Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's The Cabin in the Woods, and thought that writing a full review would be far too spoilery (even though the premise is pretty obvious from the get-go), so I decided to borrow from my buddy Sean again and do a quick 5 For & 5 Against review.

Let's start with 5 For:

1. Whedon and Goddard's often hilarious script takes a standard horror trope and turns it on it's ear in a crazy, Lovecraftian story that is aptly represented by the movie's Rubik's Cube poster.

2. Here there be some very fun monsters!

3. Goddard has assembled a cracker jack cast that includes the always wonderful Richard Jenkins; Bradley Whitford; Chris Hemsworth; Fran Kranz and a super-secret cameo that should have JA wetting himself.

4. References to at least a dozen horror movies including Hellraiser; Night of the Living Dead; and An American Werewolf... to name a few.

5. Some truly terrific CGI effects.

Fran Kranz and His Giant Coffee Mug Bong

And now the 5 Against:

1. Hemsworth doesn't spend nearly enough time out his clothes.

2. I didn't buy Kranz as a stoner but that may be because I know him better as the nerdy genius from Whedon's ill-fated (but excellent) series "Dollhouse."

3. The machinations that drive the plot are actually quite ridiculous and the plot holes are plenty. Too many things conveniently happen, especially near the end.

4. Who is spending all that money for these secret facilities around the world?

5. Final Girl Dana (Kristen Connolly) actually just annoyed me.

Overall, the movie is fun and original, but it's too self-aware and ultimately silly to be an effective horror movie. **1/2 (Two and a Half Stars Out of Four).

More, anon.