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Monday, February 08, 2016

Erin Pike Performs Only the Women’s Parts from the Most-Produced Plays in America, and It’s Brilliant - Slog

The Stranger: Erin Pike stands onstage and apologizes for over a minute. At various moments a disembodied male voice describes her as mousy, elegant, attractive, a mess, and Pike struggles to embody each of them in quick succession. She runs up and down the stairs wearing heels. She stands in the spotlight and takes off most of her clothes. She immediately puts them back on. She takes them off again. An invisible hand pushes her to the floor. She picks herself up. She's pushed to the floor again.

These are a handful of actions Pike performs in That'swhatshesaid, a dramatic collage written by Courtney Meaker and directed by HATLO.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre flies again with 'Peter Pan' for rare two-week run

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: When Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s “Peter Pan” returns Friday to the Benedum Center for a rare two-week run, the title character will still be flying through the air with the greatest of ease and his trademark bravado.

But maybe it’s time to talk about the females who populate his adventures. In an art form that relies on the elegance and seeming delicacy of women, choreographer Jorden Morris has, in keeping with the current trend of revisionist storytelling that we find in Disney’s Mulan, Belle, Pocahontas and Alice, given his heroines a bold voice as well.

Stage preview: Trust Cabaret teams Laura Osnes and Rob McClure

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Laura Osnes’ co-stars were switched from Charming to Chaplin, and a new act was born for the Trust Cabaret Series.

Ms. Osnes had been slated to share the stage with Santino Fontana, her Prince in “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” on Broadway, but his busy TV schedule — The CW’s “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” — forced him to bow out. Enter Rob McClure, a Tony nominee for the bio-musical about Charlie Chaplin and now on Broadway in “Noises Off!”

Take a look inside Broadway's most exciting musical numbers

TribLIVE: Even in a show with plenty of magic, a special sort of it happens right after intermission at “Aladdin” on Broadway.

No sooner have you settled back into your seat than a revolving door of what seems like hundreds of dancers performs the song “Prince Ali” at a hyper-caffeinated pace. They. Never. Stop. Coming.

Local Theatres Face Off in a Super Bowl-Inspired Competition

AMERICAN THEATRE: The Carolina Panthers might be going head-to-head with the Denver Broncos on Sunday in Super Bowl 50, but several hometown theatres are taking the competition from the football field to the stage.

Michael Coveney: Sound bites back One of the un-lauded aspects of the magnificent revival of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the National is the sound design by Paul Arditti which matches, seamlessly, the "playing" of the onstage blues and jazz quartet with a backing track. But this technical miracle struck me as an exception to the norm these days.

O'Reilly Theater's 'Guys and Dolls' delivers wit, warmth, impressive singing

TribLIVE: “Guys and Dolls,” now playing at the O'Reilly Theater, Downtown, turns 65 this year.

But this Pittsburgh Public Theater production is in no need of Medicare, Social Security or retirement planning.

Unlike many musical theater classics, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows' book is as fresh, funny and lively as it was when it debuted on Broadway in 1950.

Northwestern Burlesque makes changes after concerns about inclusiveness, diversity

The Daily Northwestern:With Northwestern Burlesque surpassing 100 cast members for the first time this year, participants raised concerns that its solo and small group performances do not sufficiently represent different races, body types and experiences.

Following the concerns, the show’s directors said they are working to make the show feel more inclusive.

Dance review: Point Park Conservatory Dance Company's 'Five' a visual feast full of twists, turns

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: For those with a desire for dance, the biggest must-see in Pittsburgh may be located at Point Park University’s Conservatory Dance Company. With the latest in American choreographic trends, hundreds of student performers knee-deep in talent and bargain-rate ticket prices, the program has generated the kind of excitement that befits its national reputation.

Then She Fell Review: Alice in An Immersive Wonderland

New York Theater: Those looking to unlock the secret to the success of “Then She Fell,” the Third Rail Projects’ immersive take on Lewis Carroll and his writings now entering its fourth year, might start with the old-fashioned set of keys each member of the audience is given at the start of our adventure through this theatrical Wonderland.

The Guard at the Door: Theatre in Dangerous Times

HowlRound:Back in December I went to the Lyceum Theatre on West 45th Street to see the Young Vic’s startling production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge. 2015 was the centennial of Miller’s birth, and the New York theatre is saluting him this season with at least three productions: A View from the Bridge; Incident at Vichy, directed by Michael Wilson, which had a limited run last fall at the Signature Theatre; and The Crucible, which begins previews at the Walter Kerr in February. The audacious Belgian director Ivo Van Hove staged both View From the Bridge and The Crucible.

Kurt Russell destroyed antique guitar on the set of 'The Hateful Eight'

Business Insider It turns out Kurt Russell went a little too far in portraying a cagey bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie "The Hateful Eight."

The actor is responsible for destroying a 145-year-old guitar during shooting.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

NFTRW Weekly Top Five

Here are the top five comment generating posts of the past week: Doctors have started the procedures to assess brain death in Raphael Schumacher, the actor in a coma after being choked when a hanging scene he was performing went wrong.

‘Grease’ Fights Through Rain, Tragedy To Reach 12.2 Million

Pollstar: Fox’s live production of “Grease” fought rain, wind and personal tragedy to emerge a winner, with its audience of 12.2 million people eclipsing viewership for the last two musicals presented on NBC.

The Nielsen company said Fox’s audience was more than three times what the network typically gets for a Sunday night.

Creative people’s brains really do work differently

Quartz: What makes highly creative people different from the rest of us? In the 1960s, psychologist and creativity researcher Frank X. Barron set about finding out. Barron conducted a series of experiments on some of his generation’s most renowned thinkers in an attempt to isolate the unique spark of creative genius.

Publicity Rights For A Photobombing Horse? Owner Demands Cut Of Photo Prize

Techdirt: We've written many, many words on the ridiculousness of publicity rights, and how they're frequently abused to stifle perfectly reasonable activities. But this latest example really takes it up a notch. The owner of a horse in the UK is apparently demanding some of the prize a man won in a "selfie" contest, because the horse made a key "photobombing" appearance in the background

Marijuana Use and Its Impact on Workplace Safety and Productivity

Occupational Health & Safety: The number of people using marijuana in the United States is rising rapidly, and the impact of this increase is showing up at work. Drug testing services report more positive tests for marijuana, both in pre-employment drug screens and drug tests conducted for other reasons.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Take-Two Interactive accused of infringing tattoos in NBA 2K video games

Ars Technica: The rights holders of tattoos on NBA superstars Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and other professional basketball players are suing Take-Two Interactive, alleging that the maker of the NBA 2K video game series and other titles is infringing their artwork. The federal copyright infringement lawsuit accuses the video game maker of copyright violations because it has not licensed the tattoos from Solid Oak Sketches.

Theater hanging: Doctors test actor for brain death Doctors have started the procedures to assess brain death in Raphael Schumacher, the actor in a coma after being choked when a hanging scene he was performing went wrong.

So, just how was that Chemical Brothers video made?

fxguide: As far as VFX challenges go, the latest Chemical Brothers promo Wide Open (feat. Beck) is a doozy - a woman dances around a warehouse space as parts of her body are revealed as 3D-printed lattice constructions - in one four and a half minute shot. That’s right, one shot. If matching the dance performance with see-through body parts wasn’t hard enough, the effect had to last almost 6,800 frames.

Kevin Harry Brings Sweeney Todd to Life in Atlanta Kevin Harry is taking a break. The average person with a few minutes to kill during work might grab coffee or sneak in a nap. Perhaps they gather around the microwave and argue about Leonardo Dicaprio’s Oscar chances. But this particular actor is using his break time between rehearsals to talk to a reporter about musical theater. Sweeney Todd in particular.

Imagination key to success of 'Room on the Broom'

TribLIVE: Kids in the audience for Tall Stories Theatre Company's production of “Room on the Broom,” should be scared silly — with the emphasis on the silly part.

Young theatergoers might scream, but it will likely be with delight at the musical stage adaptation of the best-selling book by Julia Donaldson, one of Britain's favorite storybook authors and a 2011 Children's Laureate honoree.

“Blacklisted: A Concert of Songs Made Famous by Blacklisted Artists” An American History Lesson

SHOWBIZ CHICAGO: Throughout history, the United States has managed to witness many politicians and their followers who had very narrow thinking and were bullies to push their own agenda. In 1950 Senator Joe McCarthy was a politician who thought that communists were residing in the United States. Therefore, he thought it was important to identify communists or people who had connections to communists in order to protect the United States. Therefore, anyone who had adverse opinions with the government or demonstrated a certain way of thinking through their art was targeted. People were called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAAC).

The Self-Employed Artist Trying to Survive in the Free Market An article I wrote last year entitled "What Do Opera Singers Actually Get Paid" has been making the rounds again on social media lately. The questions and problems posed by this article are ongoing, so seeing the article resurface gave me the impetus to want to continue the discussion. That, and the fact that I just re-binge-watched Mozart in the Jungle after it won big at the Golden Globes. Having lived for years in the artist filled apartment building featured prominently in the memoir by the oboist and author Blair Tindall on which the series was based, I had always been fascinated with both the book and the series. In re-watching, I was particularly appreciative of the fact that the series creators chose to focus on the huge challenges of donors and arts funding (they even frequently feature the ubiquitous donor parties and dinners), versus the amount of dedication and the sheer practice hours musicians spend on their craft.

National Theatre commits to gender equality by 2021

Carousel, News | The Stage: National Theatre director Rufus Norris has committed to ensuring gender equality in terms of the directors and living writers the venue employs by 2021.

The measure is part of a diversity drive at the South Bank theatre, which has also announced that Lenny Henry – a high-profile diversity campaigner – has joined the venue’s board.

Pulling beauty from Restraint Part Two

SoundGirls: The bulk of my design centered around the opening of the show. My brief was to create an ambient hospital soundscape which built to a climax as the singers entered, changing to a gentler version of the same soundscape which played under the first unaccompanied madrigal. The soundscape then crossfaded into a pre-recorded prologue of the Health Minister addressing modern-day parliament, with raucous “hear hears” merging into the opening chords of the opera.

Paris Int’l Shoots ‘Quickly Returned to Normal’ Post Terrorist Attacks

Variety: Paris int’l shoot levels ‘quickly returned to normal’ after November Terrorist attacks, says Paris Film Office head Michel Gomez, who also talked to Variety about recent and upcoming shoots, and new Paris Film Office initiatives

Publicity Rights For A Photobombing Horse? Owner Demands Cut Of Photo Prize

Techdirt: We've written many, many words on the ridiculousness of publicity rights, and how they're frequently abused to stifle perfectly reasonable activities. But this latest example really takes it up a notch. The owner of a horse in the UK is apparently demanding some of the prize a man won in a "selfie" contest, because the horse made a key "photobombing" appearance in the background

Fresh, more intimate 'First Date' to debut in Pittsburghx

TribLIVE: When Aaron and Casey meet for their blind date, they are not alone.

They have each brought along all those hopes, disappointments and expectations gathered from previous relationships, as well as the well-meant cautionary advice of their relatives, concerned co-workers and therapists.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

NEA Releases Report on the Arts and Healthy Aging

NEA: One in seven Americans is 65 or older, and that number will double by 2020. This monumental demographic shift calls for better resources to promote healthy aging. Today, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) release The Summit on Creativity and Aging, which offers recommendations for the public and private sectors, noting that the federal government is poised to take a leadership role in fostering change.

Ryan Murphy Launches Foundation to Tackle Hollywood's Diversity Problem

Hollywood Reporter: Half, a foundation within his 20th Century Fox TV-based production company, aims to have 50 percent of all director slots on his shows filled by women, people of color and members of the LGBT community and will begin outreach efforts at colleges to align candidates with mentors: "I personally can do better," he tells THR.

“Some Brighter Distance” at City Theatre

The Pittsburgh Tatler: Keith Reddin’s Some Brighter Distance (in a world premiere at City Theatre, under Tracy Brigden’s direction) tells the story of German rocket engineer Arthur Rudolph (Jonathan Tindle), who, along with physicist Wernher von Braun (David Whalen) and a contingent of other German scientists, surrendered to the US at the end of WWII in order to bargain his scientific expertise for his safety.

Stage preview: Luke Halferty goes on 'First Date' as a leading man in CLO Cabaret production

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: CLO Cabaret’s “First Date” boasts a couple of firsts for Pittsburgh and one Pittsburgher in particular — the Broadway musical comedy was revamped specifically for the city by the original writers, and Luke Halferty, whose upward trajectory started with a 2011 Gene Kelly Award as best actor, has his first professional gig as a leading man.

Stage review: Benedum welcomes a stunning ‘Cabaret’

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Even if you know what’s coming, the end of “Cabaret” arrives like a knockout punch after a series of jarring jolts and jabs.

The 50th anniversary touring production of the dark musical takes its cues from the Sam Mendes-Rob Marshall revival for the Roundabout Theatre Company, forgoing razzle-dazzle for gutsy staging and bold characterizations.

Muslim teen wants to be first professional hijabi ballerina

NY Daily News: This Muslim dancer is raising the barre.

Sydney schoolgirl Stephanie Kurlow wants to become the first hijabi ballerina in the world - and to open a dance school for girls of all backgrounds to pirouette in her footsteps.

“Dancing is like flying for me. It makes me feel free,” the poised 14-year-old tells the Daily News.

‘The Ballad of Emmett Till’ brings slain teen to life

New Pittsburgh Courier: The horrific images of 14-year-old Emmett Till’s bloated, disfigured body at his 1955 funeral has remained in Joyce Meggerson-Moore’s mind since she saw it in two Black magazine years ago.

Let’s Talk About Who Bears Responsibility For Cultural Appropriation

The Frisky: Monday’s piece “Beyonce is Not Appropriating in Hymn For The Weekend” sparked some expected backlash and I would really love to address some of the concerns that were raised in the comments section out of respect for my readers.

I want to stress the fact that Beyonce’s participation in the video was utterly and absolutely exploitative. The video reduced India’s beautiful and complex culture to a stereotype. I do not want that to be overshadowed by the conversation about appropriation. Whether or not the video was disrespectful is not up for debate– it was.

With film tax credits restored, city lands new drama from Netflix

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh may have lost the upcoming Starz drama “American Gods” in November because of the state budget impasse that temporarily froze the film tax credit program, but that series has been replaced by the new Netflix drama “Mindhunter” from director David Fincher (“House of Cards”) and actress/​producer Charlize Theron.

Interview: Bones Composer Julia Newmann

The Mary Sue: Since its premiere in 2005, popular television series Bones has delivered one of the most consistently smart and complex female protagonists on primetime, Dr. Temperence “Bones” Brennan. Created by Hart Hanson and loosely based on the writings of real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, the show is now in its 11th season and is the longest-running one-hour drama series produced by FOX.

Alex Nogales: Diversity and inclusion don’t start with the Oscars, but at the top

Fox News Latino: The United States is stepping closer to a future where ethnic minorities will be the majority. Yet, the absence of diversity in the pool of Oscar nominees for the second consecutive year has cast a harsh light on Hollywood and its struggle to be inclusive. While #OscarsSoWhite has caused a social media uproar, it is Spike Lee's comments on the justified outrage that has unveiled the larger problem

Review: 'Cabaret' still delivers 50 years after its debut

TribLIVE: One of the best tests of a musical's quality is how many times it can still move you.

On this, “Cabaret” delivers.

Each time you see it, it draws you into a world with characters you care about and events that touch and trouble you.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Tweets Vs. Tickets, and Other Insights From Broadway’s Social Media

Selling Out: Recently, Forbes contributor Lee Seymour shared “10 Insights From Broadway’s Twitter Stats,” which compared tweets and ticket sales. His highlights and analysis — including the biggest takeaway that the two were not correlated, and that tweets do not, in fact, generate sales — attracted so much interest, Seymour posted a follow-up article, “Why Broadway Is The New Wild West – 7 More Insights From Its Social Media.”

Marijuana Use and Its Impact on Workplace Safety and Productivity

Occupational Health & Safety: The number of people using marijuana in the United States is rising rapidly, and the impact of this increase is showing up at work. Drug testing services report more positive tests for marijuana, both in pre-employment drug screens and drug tests conducted for other reasons.

Fiddler Producers Will Donate Funds To Flint Water Crisis

Luner on Theatre: Theatre too often reflects real life. That goes to say, in both good and bad times, the art form has provided a first hand look into what it is like to deal with some of life’s best and worst moments. A current Broadway musical, that covers material one could argue as a dark hour in history, will now help an American city in one of its darkest hours. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news that producers of Broadway’s Fiddler On The Roof will donate a portion of ticket sales to the Flint Water Crisis!

USITT Names Young Designers and Technicians Winners for 2016

Stage Directions: USITT will celebrate 10 early career designers and technicians with its 2016 Young Designers & Technicians awards. The winners were chosen in 6 categories (costumes, scenic, technology, lighting, sound and stage management) and will each receive free registration to the USITT Conference as well as cash and prizes from each of the awards’ sponsors.

The Selfie Monkey Could Still Win Copyright, Long Live The Selfie Monkey

The Frisky: This is the selfie-loving monkey Naruto, perhaps you know her from the Internet?

Naruto took this pic of herself among others with photographer David Slater’s camera. Slater thinks he owns the photos because he owns the camera, and Naruto disagrees.

Look at All the Green Screens in Agent Carter Visual Effects Reel for Season One

The Mary Sue: Agent Carter‘s first season used a lot more green-screen techniques than I ever would have guessed upon first viewing. Whether it’s just a simple green-screen mask over a storefront to replace it with a more period-accurate laundromat logo, or a full green-screen background behind characters during some of the trickier on-location scenes, I didn’t really notice any of these changes the first time around … probably because I felt so captivated by the fast-paced story, but also because the visual effects used on the show seem pretty understated and well-used overall.

‘Grease’ Fights Through Rain, Tragedy To Reach 12.2 Million

Pollstar: Fox’s live production of “Grease” fought rain, wind and personal tragedy to emerge a winner, with its audience of 12.2 million people eclipsing viewership for the last two musicals presented on NBC.

The Nielsen company said Fox’s audience was more than three times what the network typically gets for a Sunday night.

Formlabs Form 2 SLA Desktop 3D Printer

Tested: A few months ago, we previewed the new Formlabs Form 2 SLA resin 3D printer, which on paper looked to be an improvement on the Form 1+ printer in every way. Since then, Formlabs supplied us with a review unit to evaluate those improvements in long-term testing. The upshot is that the Form 2 lives up to its promises--it's an amazing 3D printer. But you should read our extended review before you go out and buy one.

Here's How Those Big Store Signs Are Made Here’s how channel signs—basically those big signs that hang above stores and restaurants across the world—are made. The Science Channel gives us a sneak of the way things are done and it’s surprising that so much of it still requires the help of a human. It’s not all robots! And it’s actually a lot more work to shape vinyl and aluminum into letters and logos than you’d think.

50 Ways to Support Female Artists

Clyde Fitch Report: At the heart of the gender parity debate–in my humble opinion–is a determination of value. What we value, what we perceive has value, we encourage and support. By not supporting gender parity (or diversity in accolades, or different abilities in casting), we’re essentially saying “this work has lesser value.” But we know that’s not true.

What Makes an Award-Winning Visual Effect?

Cinefex Blog: But just how do you choose between a sexy robot, monumental vehicular carnage, extra-terrestrial super-science, trials and trauma in the North American wilderness, and an entire galaxy filled with beeping droids and exploding spaceships? In an age where seamlessly-integrated, photoreal effects are taken completely for granted, what constitutes a “good” visual effect?

10 tips for better slide decks

TED Blog: Aaron Weyenberg is the master of slide decks. Our UX Lead creates Keynote presentations that are both slick and charming—the kind that pull you in and keep you captivated, but in an understated way that helps you focus on what’s actually being said. He does this for his own presentations and for lots of other folks in the office. Yes, his coworkers ask him to design their slides, because he’s just that good.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Will the Arts Help Us Rediscover Shared Common Values?

Clyde Fitch Report: All of us struggle today with determining the best response to the changing facts of life around us and in our field. In many conversations, we hear regret and pessimism rather than see the adoption of the technological and other changes we are experiencing. While holding on to the known past even as it disappears is natural, we would be more effective and successful in so many ways if we adopted a proactive, forward-looking stance instead. In order to do this, however, one would have to know in which direction to head. This is a tall order, given that nobody can really say where we will be or how artists will practice in five or 10 years.

'NBA 2K' Videogame Maker Sued for Copyright Infringement Over LeBron James' Tattoos

Hollywood Reporter: Take-Two Software is taken to court by a company that demanded more than $1.1 million for a license to eight tattoo designs.

A new lawsuit addresses an uncertain legal issue that's been stained in the minds of the public ever since Mike Tyson's tattoo artist sued in 2011 to stop the release of Hangover 2.

The New York Times’ Coins ‘DuVernay Test’ for Race in Film

Flavorwire: Have you been looking for a barometer for whether or not a film respectfully realizes its non-white characters? If so, New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis may have a gift for you.

The critic floated the idea for a racially-minded version of the feminist Bechdel test, called the “DuVernay test,” in a report on the films that subvert Hollywood’s lack of diversity at this year’s Sundance festival.

Broadway's FIDDLER ON THE ROOF to Donate Portion of Ticket Sales to Flint, MI This Month The producers of the hit Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof announced this morning that the production will donate $2 from every full-price ticket purchased to the show for all February 2016 performances to The United Way of Genesee County's Flint Water Fund, which directly provides aid the Michigan city's residents, currently suffering from a critical drinking water contamination crisis.

Cardiologist hopes to decrease cardiac death in touring professionals

WWAY TV3: One Wilmington cardiologist is hoping to make a difference in the music industry.

Doctor Damian Brezinski recently created a nonprofit called ‘Keep the Beat Alive’. The organization is dedicated to decreasing premature cardiac death in touring professionals.

Brezinski’s friend and patient Chris Musgrave spent more than 20 years in the music industry, but one day would be turning point for him.

Paradise Found in Bushwick, Thanks to Immersive Theater Company Third Rail Projects

Bushwick Daily: As you step into the inconspicuous Bushwick warehouse (located right next to The Johnson’s), you enter a departure gate, clad with carpeting, a cushioned bench, and a smiling flight attendant behind a booth. For your reading pleasure are four issues of The Times, except they date back to the 1970s. Indeed, everything in your surrounding is a little dated. After watching a short boarding video, the doors to The Grand Paradise are opened, and you (and the other 60 guests) are transported to a distant, beachy tropical resort set in the swaying, raging ’70s.

David ‘Dstew’ Stewart: How USITT Got Me to the Guthrie David S. Stewart was perfectly happy as Academic Production Manager at Texas Performing Arts and UT-Austin when a friend suggested he apply for the production director job at the famed Guthrie Theater.

He laughed. “I was like, ‘No way, they’ll want someone with regional theatre chops, not an academic.’”

Then the Guthrie’s Human Resource Director called and asked him to apply. A UT colleague said, “When the Yankees of theatre call, you pick up the phone.”

Creative people’s brains really do work differently

Quartz: What makes highly creative people different from the rest of us? In the 1960s, psychologist and creativity researcher Frank X. Barron set about finding out. Barron conducted a series of experiments on some of his generation’s most renowned thinkers in an attempt to isolate the unique spark of creative genius.

CSA Offers Free Workshop for Actors with Disabilities Today The Casting Society of America (CSA), in partnership with the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, kicks off its series of free workshops for actors with disabilities with The Business of Acting 101 Feb. 2.

Swooning, screaming, crying: how teenage girls have driven 60 years of pop music

Vox: Swooning, screaming, crying, hiding in dumpsters and climbing through windows and fighting police officers: For decades, young women have done all of the above and more, in pursuit of their teen heartthrobs. Franz Liszt, the 19th-century piano composer whose performances drove women to hysterics, struck the match, but the great teen idols of the 20th century, with their flashing teeth, vulnerable eyes, and crooning music, really fanned the flames of frenzied fandom that characterized midcentury pop music.

‘Grease Live’ Review: Fox Musical Raises Bar On Live TV Presentations

Deadline: I suppose you could say they had me at the umbrellas. Over two years in the planning and threatened by heavy rains all day, Fox’s sprawling presentation of Grease Live went forward Sunday evening with nary a hitch and one last-minute change in the out-of-doors opening number that paid tribute to the greatest movie musical of all time, Singin’ In The Rain. As singer Jessie J led the cameras across the soundstage from a brief opening scene onto the Warner Bros backlot, we were brought outside where the rain finally held off but the streets were puddled and the cast sported bright umbrellas for the opening number, Barry Gibb’s “Grease Is The Word.” Announcer Mario Lopez introduced the cast with an ad lib, “and our special guest of the evening, El NiƱo.”

'The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes' is hot on trail of a great musical

Chicago Tribune: The Mercury Theater, in Chicago's booming Southport corridor, is a jewel-box of a theater. But it rarely has contained a jewel box of a show, mostly because producers and directors have thoroughly enjoyed stuffing full-blown Broadway musicals into its challenging dimensions. But "The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes," a jovial, clever little musical whodunit, really does fit these friendly confines uncommonly well.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Councilman sparks outcry with musician, DJ registry proposal

New Pittsburgh Courier: A Philadelphia city councilman is hearing boos for a proposal that would seemingly give police the authority to approve which bands, rappers and DJs can perform in certain venues.

The bill proposed by Councilman Mark Squilla last week would require restaurants, nightclubs and bars accommodating 50 people or more to collect contact information for all performers. They would be required to give the information to police, if asked. Police would then decide whether they get a license to perform.

The proposal unleashed an outcry by musicians and fans on social media.

‘Grease Live’ Costumes: Wardrobe Inspired By ’50s, But Fit for Modern Times

Variety: Step into William Ivey Long’s “Grease Live” lair on the Warner Bros. lot in L.A., and you’ll feel like you were transported back to Broadway.

The costume designer has decorated his walls with inspiration: stills from the original movie, multi-colored fabric swatches and photos of “bad boys of all time.” Next to Marlon Brando hangs a photo of James Dean — because “our Danny is blonde,” says Long, referring to star Aaron Tveit.

Pinter Estate Shuts Door on ‘The Room’

The New York Times: For decades, the Wooster Group warily circled Harold Pinter’s first play, “The Room.” The theater troupe — a fixture of the downtown New York experimental theater scene — never had quite the right configuration of actors, never quite the right opening in its schedule.

Two years ago, Elizabeth LeCompte, the group’s director and leading light, decided it was time. The company began working on the play and last fall staged preliminary performances in New York; next week it begins a full (albeit brief) run in Los Angeles.

But it has now hit a serious, and unusual, obstacle.

A One Minute Play Festival?

OnStage: If you aren’t from the Kansas City area, you might not think of Kansas City as being an artistic community, but as Dominic D'Andrea has recently learned, it is.

D’Andrea is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of the One Minute Play Festival. The One Minute Play Festival is a monumental, nation-wide theatre project. It includes 10 festivals a year, and Incorporates 25 cities, 13,000 playwrights of all backgrounds, as well as countless artists of all capacities.

One Up Your Editing Game By Using A Gaming Mouse

DIY Photography: If you are reading this blog, you know that we are big fan of keyboard short cuts, but for some programs, working with a mouse is unavoidable. I was talking with an editor friend, Ariel Hadar from Kaveret, and he showed me quite an awesome was to utilize a gaming mouse and keyboard to get the benefits that you would get when working with a keyboard while working with a mouse. The best of both worlds.

Artists can't survive on thin air

Stage | The Guardian: On 28 January, the Scottish-based Greg Sinclair, whose work includes the award-winning Sonata for a Man and a Boy and I Do, I Do, won the Arts Foundation award for children’s theatre. Others on the shortlist included Rosie Heafford, whose show Grass is currently at the Unicorn; Steve Camden, better known as spoken-word artist Polarbear; and Liz Clark, a dancer turned theatre-maker makes tactile theatre for the under-fives, and whose show Sponge will tour this year. I confess an interest: I was on the selection panel that chose the shortlist from a longlist of artists nominated by industry experts.

Stage preview: At 50, 'Cabaret' still beckons

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: For 50 years, the Master of Ceremonies has been inviting us into the Kit Kat Club with a “Willkommen” and a conspiratorial wink.

The emcee promises us beautiful girls and a grand time, but life isn’t much of a cabaret in the world created by Joe Masteroff, with songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb. During the course of the musical, set in Berlin as 1930 begins, the city’s hedonistic underground gets its introduction to the Third Reich.

The Search for an Authentic Zoot Suit

Unframed: The opportunity to enhance LACMA’s permanent collection has often been a consideration when curators organize an exhibition, and the upcoming special exhibition Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 inspired us to forge a strategy to fully develop the museum’s permanent collection of twentieth- and early twenty-first-century menswear. Five years ago, when we began planning for this 300-year survey of men’s fashion, an authentic zoot suit was at the top of our list.

Review: S. African choreographer's 'Swan Lake' makes bold statements through wit, movement Young South African choreographer Dada Masilo uses elements of one of the classics of Romantic era ballet, “Swan Lake,” as a springboard for a provocative and rewarding examination of issues of contemporary life. It was presented Jan. 30 by Pittsburgh Dance Council at the Byham Theater, Downtown.

Can I Be Latina and Not a Playwright of Color?

HowlRound: On a recent playwriting submission, I was asked to check a box, yes or no, am I a playwright of color? I have always struggled with this term because I am a very light-skinned Mexican American. I have no problem checking the box that says: yes, I am Latina. But a playwright of color? Unless you’ve spoken to me about my race, or have met anyone from my mother’s side of the family, chances are you will assume I am white. Most people do. And if we break down the phrase “playwright of color” it seems apparent that the question is only interested in defining a person based on skin color. So it seems an obvious answer: no, my skin is white; therefore, I can’t possibly be a playwright of color. And I understand the utility of such a clear-cut binary. I’d have to be completely ignorant about the world we live in to not understand that my whiteness comes with advantages.

Court Rules For Indiana In State Fair Stage Collapse Case

Pollstar: Mid-America Sound Corp. had argued that a voucher claim form the State Fair Commission signed months after the August 2011 collapse included an “indemnification” provision that released it from any claims arising from the use of its equipment. But the high court ruled Thursday that the invoice form’s language “did not clearly and unequivocally provide for retroactive application” of that provision for any claims arising from the deadly rigging collapse.

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