CMU School of Drama

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stage Review: CLO's 'Joseph' an energetic revival

Post Gazette: "Opening the season with a show like 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' can seem ho-hum if you've seen it countless times, in productions from high schools to the pros, like the current Pittsburgh CLO revival.
Now try to remember the first time."

'Spring Awakening' rebounds after uneven first act

Post Gazette: "'Spring Awakening' challenges audiences with its unconventional structure and choreography, songs that are anachronistic to the action and a sexually explicit story that crosses into Shakespearean tragedy."

West: Theater shines at Mancini Awards

Post Gazette: "The Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards, presented last week at Geneva College, boasted, as usual, a member of the Mancini family. This year, it was Luca Mancini, 21, a grandson of the famed Aliquippa native and himself a budding singer-songwriter, musician and record producer."

Review: Civic Light Opera makes most of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The story is simple, and some of the lyrics are as puzzling as a Zen koan.
But that doesn't prevent 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' from being a perennial audience favorite.
For its season opener, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera wisely chose not to dwell on the musical's shortcomings.
Instead, it delivers a high-energy, glitzy, often funny and color-saturated romp through Joseph's travails and triumphs in Egypt."

Mountain Playhouse musical lovingly parodies 'Gone With the Wind,' actress says

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "To kick off its 70th anniversary season, the Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown is opening with a musical that has had audiences coming back again and again.
'I'll Never Go Hungry Again' is a musical spoof of 'Gone With the Wind.' The film is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year."

Review: Strong cast brings nuance to mature-themed 'Spring Awakening'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "For many, the dilemma raised by the musical 'Spring Awakening' is whether they should take the kids.
The rock musical epic that's appearing through Sunday at Heinz Hall as a presentation of the PNC Broadway Across America -- Pittsburgh explores the dawning sexuality of a group of youngsters. It comes with an advisory that it contains mature themes, sexual situations and strong language. There's also some brief flashes of nudity and same-sex kissing.
For some, that's all they need to know."

'Mojo' director promises guts, gore and glorious fun in Rep production

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Leave the kids at home and treat yourself to a night of theater that's as gory as it is funny, advises Kim Martin, who's directing 'Mojo.'
The final play of the season for the Rep, Point Park University's professional theater company, is definitely not for children, Martin says."

Actors share stage, traditions in St. Vincent's 'Bench in the Sun'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The 'Odd Couple'/'Grumpy Old Men' dynamic is alive and well in St. Vincent Theatre's first summer show 'A Bench in the Sun,' opening May 28.
In the show, longtime friends Burt and Harold live in a retirement home and spend their days comically bickering while sitting on a bench in the garden."

South Park Theatre Stage Manager

Craigslist: "South Park Theatre is currently looking for a stage manager for their production of BAREFOOT IN THE PARK."

Kushner to critics: Please don't review my new play; Critics to Guthrie: Thanks for mishandling this

TwinCities.com: "Playwright Tony Kushner has asked that no national reviewers critique the Minneapolis production of his world-premiere play at the Guthrie Theater — a sign he feels his newest work is not ready for the national spotlight and a potential blemish on the theater's celebration of the Pulitzer Prize-winner."

Actors' Equity Changes Rules for NYC Showcase Productions

Yahoo! News: "These Off-Off-Broadway 'code' productions are presented in theatres of 99 seats or less, but should not be confused with shows that operate under actual Equity contracts in houses this size.
The AEA Showcase Code allows Equity members to participate in productions in small theatres without the benefit of an Equity contract. The members receive no salary or benefits, and the performance and rehearsal schedules are limited in number."

White actor's refusal to kiss black man turns into a race row in South Africa

The Guardian: "A theatre production designed to promote inter-racial harmony in South Africa has been hit by recriminations over an onstage kiss between a white and a black actor.
Carolyn Forword walked out of a production of The Pied Piper of Hamelin after being directed to kiss fellow cast member Unathi Dyantyi repeatedly on the lips."

Diamond Mine, Shady Money Fuel Post-Apartheid Drama

Bloomberg.com: "Ian Bruce’s “Groundswell,” produced in midtown Manhattan by the deserving New Group, is an unblinking if somewhat contrived tale by a South African playwright well aware that, even 15 years after the end of apartheid, his country is far from a hoped-for earthly paradise."

46-Foot Long Self-Supporting Lego Bridge to Set New World Record - Self-supporting bridge

Gizmodo: "Part of a gigantic Lego train display to be shown at the 2009 Australian Model Railway Expo, this 46-feet self-supporting bridge will attempt to break a world record. It has already broke my world record for Lego awesomeness."

Casting The Tempest

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: "Hello – Tina here, the director of The Tempest. I’m thrilled that this conversation is being had on our blog – so thank you to all of you who have contributed.
I’d like to respond with a general account of how I cast this play and why, and then by addressing some specific comments."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select"

How Regular Movies Become "IMAX" Films - Imax movies

Gizmodo: "Pretty as it is, 70mm film has been deemed too expensive for shooting Hollywood productions. So this is how IMAX preps finished movies for the up close and personal demands of IMAX."

What does the director of an animated movie do?

Slate Magazine: "The new Pixar movie Up, about an old man who ties his house to a bunch of helium balloons, hit theaters Friday. Its director, Pete Docter, also directed the animated film Monster's Inc. What does the director of an animated movie do, exactly?"

Resume Basics for Freelancers, Part One: Get Objective about Objectives

FreelanceSwitch - The Freelance Blog: "Many freelancers may think that a resume is a thing of the past—something only used to get a corporate job. So if you’re done climbing the corporate ladder, why would you need a resume?
Two reasons: Resumes can help you get freelance gigs and they offer a quick profile so potential clients can assess you."

Worried About Your Job?

Carnegie Mellon University: "'When companies look to cut back, they start at the peripheral functions and work toward the core of critical path activities,' explained Kelley, who authored the national best-seller How To Be a Star at Work. 'Whether in a profit or non-profit firm, you want to be doing work essential for the organization's success.'"

Babes in Broadwayland - How Old Is Old Enough?

NYTimes.com: "PERHAPS I shouldn’t draw sweeping conclusions about my kids’ cultural tastes based on the fact that they seemed distinctly more captivated by Shrek and Fiona’s brazen flatulence face-off in “Shrek” than by Tony and Maria’s clandestine fire-escape clutch in “West Side Story.”"

Tony Nominees for Best Choreography

NYTimes.com: "YOU can have successful musicals without important choreography. But from the early 1920s to the early ’60s they often had both, and it can’t be just an accident that those years have left an abiding impression as the golden era of the stage musical. Forms of music related to ragtime, jazz and swing helped to make the musical irresistible, and those forms had dance potential — intricacy of rhythm — built in."

Quality too good to pass up

Variety: "Legit pundits have been scratching their heads all spring over Broadway's resilience in a down economy. But the answer may simply be that audiences found the quality of this season's slate too good to pass up."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Texas Legislation Impacts Lighting Design

Live Design: "The Texas state legislature passed a bill this morning that could seriously impact the profession of “lighting designer.” While most likely intended to regulate the permanent installations of architectural lighting on the interior and exterior of buildings, the language of Texas HB 2649 is vague and could be interpreted to mean theatrical installations as well (i.e. theatre, dance, music, concerts, opera, festivals, etc). One can only ask “what were they thinking?”"

Turning the Lights Off on Texas Lighting Designers

KERA Art&Seek Blog: "Today, the Texas Senate will be voting on Texas House Bill 2649, a bill that could put thousands of lighting designers in Texas out of business."

The great Texas stage blackout: an update, and what you can do.

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "First, the offending amendments to HB 2649 regarding Lighting Designers were added during the Senate session. So the bill needs to go back to the House to have the new language approved. It is still not known WHY this language was added in the first place."

UPDATED: Texas secedes from reality, outlaws Lighting Design as we know it.

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "This morning, the Texas House Senate passed HB 2649, which outlaws nearly all theatrical lighting designers currently working. This bill forces all lighting designers to be either licensed electricians, or registered as an architect or interior designer."

Actors share stage, traditions in St. Vincent's 'Bench in the Sun'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The 'Odd Couple'/'Grumpy Old Men' dynamic is alive and well in St. Vincent Theatre's first summer show 'A Bench in the Sun,' opening May 28.
In the show, longtime friends Burt and Harold live in a retirement home and spend their days comically bickering while sitting on a bench in the garden."

'Sister' has formed a habit with 'Late Night Catechism' role

Post Gazette: "In the funny, formidable role of Sister, Kimberly Richards dons a nun's habit, fires humorous retorts faster than a pair of pistols and illuminates audiences about sacraments, saints and sacred mysteries."

August Wilson Center offers a sneak peak to the public on Saturday

Post Gazette: "Months away from its grand opening, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture is shaping up into a handsome building whose interior spaces have dramatic, panoramic views of the many historic structures in its neighborhood.
Though construction workers are still swarming inside and out, on Saturday the center will open its doors to the public for a community day preview of what's to come."

'Catechism' role becomes Kimberly Richards' habit

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "After eight years of playing Sister in 'Late Nite Catechism' there's no joke about nuns that's unfamiliar to Kimberly Richards.
'I've heard 'em all,' Richards says.
Appearing onstage as a nun has become more than a habit for Richards."

Little Lake Theatre goes on a 'Family Picnic'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The healing power of the family picnic is explored in 'The Loman Family Picnic.'
The second offering of Little Lake Theatre's 61st season interweaves comedy and serious drama in Donald Margulies' play about a couple experiencing marital strife while planning their son's bar mitzvah."

Styx, REO Speedwagon concert sidelined by falling stage lights

LiveDaily: "Styx [ tickets ] and REO Speedwagon [ tickets ] canceled their Saturday (5/23) night concert at Konocti Harbor Resort in Northern California after the overhead lighting standard began to fall down during opening act .38 Special [ tickets ]'s first song, according to a Santa Rosa Press Democrat report."

Sky Arts plans new plays but snubs playwrights

guardian.co.uk: "I'm always banging on about the dearth of single plays on television. So I suppose it has to be two cheers for Sky Arts, who plan to show a season of six half-hour plays live, hosted by Sandi Toksvig. Some good names are involved: Fiona Laird and John Alderton among the directors, Michael Dobbs and Nicci French among the writers and Pauline Collins as one of the performers. It still doesn't address the problem that, thanks to a gutless BBC, a whole generation has grown up never having seen a Shakespeare, Shaw, Stoppard or Pinter play on TV. But at least it's a start."

Record Broadway Season Ends With $943.3 Million in Ticket Sales

Bloomberg.com: "Broadway outfoxed the national economy this season, with ticket sales up $5.8 million from last year, to $943.3 million."

Brazen Jockey Beats Slavery, Finds Love in ‘Confidence’

Bloomberg.com: "The Mixed Blood Theatre of Minneapolis has brought “Pure Confidence” to the 59E59 Theaters complex in Manhattan and, like “The Dishwashers,” also in residence, this unheralded work deserves your attention."

Live Design 09 BLMC day 1

(td)squared: "Back from New York City last Saturday after Broadway Lighting and Projection master class. It was definite a great experience, I have learn a lot from the speakers, watching videos of their finished design as well as process also touch and “play” the gears that different company brought to the showcase like the grandMA 2, green Hippo etc."

Set Boundaries to Stay Sane Working From Home - Home office

Lifehacker: "You can love or hate working in a traditional office and clocking a 9-5, but doing so provides clear cut boundaries to your day. Work is a place you go to with a distinct culture, set of rules, and physical space. Everything from the scowling security guard to the smell of cheap burning coffee wafting from the break room works together to tell your brain that you're at work and it's time to get stuff done."

The game on Broadway has changed.

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "And by game, I mean traffic. And by Broadway, I mean the actual street.
The picture in this post is of Broadway (que Ripley). Those are chairs down there. And people sitting in them . . . in the middle of the street, where taxi cabs and City Sights buses once fought for the same slice of the street."

A Times Square ‘Sanctuary’ on First Workday Without Cars

NYTimes.com: "The difference between the old, frenetic Times Square and the newly reconfigured, still frenetic Times Square became clear on Tuesday: now you can pull up a chair to watch the show."

Broadway Posts a Slight Increase in Receipts for Most Recent Season

NYTimes.com: "Broadway musicals and plays had total gross receipts of about $943.3 million during the 2008-9 theater season, a slight increase from the previous season and a record for total grosses, according to data released this week by the Broadway League, the trade association of theater owners and producers. Those numbers reflect the enduring appeal of entertainment as a form of escape in the midst of a recession, some producers said on Wednesday."

New York to renew popular film tax credit

Hollywood Reporter: "New York City is introducing legislation in Albany to extend but modify its wildly popular production tax credit program, including new credit caps.
The program, started in 2005, is close to running out of funds and also needs retooling to make it viable longer-term, according to city sources."

BSkyB brings back live theater

Variety: "Live legit is returning to British TV screens in what is believed to be the first initiative of its kind for 25 years.
Sky Arts, part of U.K. paybox BSkyB's channel offering, is responsible for the initiative, which will see six newly commissioned theater plays air on U.K. TV this summer."

Blanchett's theater sees money woes

Variety: "Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton's first year managing the Sydney Theater Company has been marred by a significant erosion of the company's financial position.
The result does not reflect the co-artistic directors' programming, which began in earnest only at the start of calendar year 2009, but will impact their plans to expand the activities of Australia's preeminent not-for-profit."

Monday, May 25, 2009

'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' Narrator is a 'Wicked' singing role

Post Gazette: "When talk at the University of Cincinnati's music conservatory turned to summer theater jobs, Shoshana Bean heard all about Pittsburgh CLO.
'It was always 'CLO, CLO, CLO.' That was what everyone wanted to do,' she said from CLO offices on her first day in Pittsburgh. Bean, Class of '99, found work in other cities back then. But she's here now, appearing as the Narrator in the season-opening production of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.'"

'9 to 5' works harder than well-known revivals

Post Gazette: "I recently heard somebody ask, innocently enough, 'do they write new musicals anymore?'
Naive the question may be, but you can see where it comes from. The canon of the American musical is so grand that the casual observer might consider it closed, not noticing the annual handful of new work that competes for entry."

'Hair' styled by '60s

Post Gazette: "If you're in the front row or have an aisle seat, there may be a performer in your lap at any moment as the merry Tribe members of 'Hair' gallivant, cavort and sing the familiar songs that filled the airwaves back in the day."

New York theatre needs more grand, site-specific performances

guardian.co.uk: "At a bar. In a car. At a school. In a pool. On boats, in homes, at ferry stops, in boites. A list of the locales for site-specific performance in New York sounds suspiciously like a book by Dr Seuss. But while our city has hosted and devised plenty of cosy site-specific performances, Gotham is lacking in grand immersive spectacles."

Dinosaurs Lumber Around Singapore as China Kung-Fu Monks Dance

Bloomberg.com: "“Dinosaurs in the Garden” is one of more than 600 performances from 22 countries in the Singapore Arts Festival, the city’s monthlong showcase of performing arts and community events that runs through June 14. In town are the Finnish National Ballet, the Moscow State Chamber Choir, British pianist Joanna MacGregor and a man from France who dances with an earth excavator to the strains of Maria Callas."

August Turns The Page On Color-Blind Casting

Steve On Broadway (SOB): "Come Tuesday, the composition of the Weston family will experience a dynamic change when one of the stage's most celebrated and accomplished contemporary actresses, Phylicia Rashad, assumes the mantle of matriarch. When I first learned that Rashad would join the cast, I was positively intrigued. I had wistfully imagined whether she might be joined by James Earl Jones, along with some of the stage's top African American actors, so they might do for August what they had done for other classics like Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

However, in the latest attempt at color-blind casting, Rashad's Violet will just happen be mother to three white daughters. Will it matter?"

YinzCam

Carnegie Mellon University: "It's hockey time in Pittsburgh, and researchers at Carnegie Mellon are as excited about the game as they are about fans using their new 'YinzCam' technology."

Theater Matters – Notes from EMOS 2009 Part II

ecoTheater: "It began by sitting in a classroom, listening to theater scholars describe their work. “Theater scholars,” I thought when I heard the term spoken from behind the lectern for the first time yesterday. “Not theater artists?”
Within the several scholarly talks I listened to yesterday there were a few that stood out, and rose above the scholarly drone."

Sound Design Interview on Talk Theatre in Chicago

Sound Design Interview on Talk Theatre in Chicago | Theater For The Future: "Chicago-based sound designers Josh Horvath, Ray Nardelli, and little ol’ me are interviewed by Anne Nicholson Weber in this week’s Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast. Ray and Josh talk about their design for Rock & Roll at the Goodman Theatre, and I talk a bit about the work I did for Piano Lesson at Court Theatre."

Broadway has high hopes for summer

Variety: "Memorial Day traditionally marks the start of the influx of warm-weather tourism in Gotham, and the Main Stem, coming off a season that saw box office defy the gloom of the economic downtown, has good reason to hope receipts will remain high."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

'Spring Awakening' proves revelatory to its young cast

Post Gazette: "A quick rundown: The story comes from the 1891 play of the same name by German playwright Frank Wedekind, whose explicit drama about adolescents during a time of their sexual awakening was banned for decades. Perhaps most vexing for censors of years past was the culpability of adults in the young characters' fateful choices."

Gene Kelly Awards bring pizazz to Benedum Center

Post Gazette: "Glam outfits, high-energy entertainment and loud applause at the Benedum Center last night were right out of the Broadway playbook at the annual Pittsburgh CLO Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater."

Guys of 'Awakening' look to next projects

Post Gazette: "Steve Sater has a full plate besides the movie version and worldwide productions of 'Spring Awakening.' ('In the midst of all the things I have going on, it's always, 'Oh, and can you back-read the translation of the Korean lyrics by 5?' ')."

'Spring Awakening' a trip for Ross native

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Posting an audition notice on his Facebook fan site led Andy Mientus to a role in the 'Spring Awakening.'
Mientus, a Ross native and North Hills High School graduate (class of 2005), plays Hanschen in the national touring production of the highly lauded and Tony Award-winning musical that begins performances Tuesday at Heinz Hall as a presentation of the PNC Broadway Across America -- Pittsburgh series."

72 area children swell cast of Civic Light Opera's 'Joseph'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera production that begins the company's 63rd summer season has a cast that's as epic in size as the story they perform.
To bring this tale to the Benedum stage, director and choreographer Richard Stafford has assembled a cast of 24 principal actors headed by David Osmond, reprising the role of Joseph that he performed in Civic Light Opera's 1998 production, which Stafford also directed.
He's augmenting that cast with 72 area children between the ages of 9 and 15 who are students at the CLO Academy. They are split into two smaller groups -- each group will perform one week of the production, which runs from Tuesday through June 7."

Will Broadway Productions Be Seen as 3-D Movies?

Yahoo! News: "Fugobi principals Dale Smith and Tim Hickson shared their ideas - 'plans for a 21st century model for theatrical distribution' - with an audience of Broadway producers, tour presenters and industry professionals at the Broadway League's annual Spring Road Conference.
According to a press release, Smith and Hickson project that Fugobi 'will capture five 3D films of Broadway shows for international release within the next 18 months.'"

Eleven die in stampede at Morocco concert

Reuters: "Eleven people were killed in a stampede at a stadium in the Moroccan capital Rabat overnight when thousands of spectators hurried to leave at the end of a concert wrapping up the city's landmark music festival."

From Movie to Musical

Women & Hollywood: "Two beloved films — Bridget Jones’ Diary and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown are being made into musicals.
Helen Fielding who write the book of Bridget Jones’ Diary has been working on the musical which held a recent reading in London attended by Stephen Daldry who brought his film Billy Elliot to the stage."

Theatrical Conversion @ City Lit

Chicago Stage Review: "Chicago is a city where theater can be seen almost everywhere you turn. The most unassuming storefronts or lofts might house remarkable productions. Performance can be found in cafes, wear-houses, breweries, community centers, a leather archive museum and traveling on the back of a bike, a PUPPET BIKE that is."

Coraline Musical Offers Unexpected Pianos And Casting - Coraline

io9: "You've read the book, enjoyed the graphic novel and loved the movie. But can you really call yourself a true Coraline fan without going to see the musical... especially considering the 56-year-old child star?"

Theater Matters – notes from Earth Matters on Stage 2009 part I

ecoTheater: "I’m here in beautiful Eugene, Oregon attending the 2009 Earth Matters on Stage: A Symposium on Theatre & Ecology at the University of Oregon. Last night was the official beginning of the event with keynote speaker Una Chaudhuri giving a talk on what she has dubbed Zooesis, or the discourse of animals (or, rather non-humans) in the media."

Roberto Benigni Takes On Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’

NYTimes.com: "Roberto Benigni leapt up with a riff on the 26th Canto of Dante’s “Inferno,” in which fraudulent advisers are engulfed by flames that scorch them. “It’s like landing in Los Angeles or Manhattan, full of little lights like a skyscraper,” he exclaimed in his frenetically choppy English. “Dante describes the lights like fireflies, like a farmer who sees billions of fireflies. And every single firefly is hiding a fraud — people like Madoff. Very cunning, very shrewd. These people are hiding inside the flame because they are hiding in life. The Florentines, you know, they invented finances.”"

Motherhood Again - Phylicia Rashad Plays the Matriarch in ‘August - Osage County’

NYTimes.com: "PHYLICIA RASHAD is a mother who gets around. She killed her own children in a jealous rage as Medea. She bought a house in a hostile white neighborhood then persuaded her offspring to live there as Lena Younger in “A Raisin In the Sun.” And she juggled a law practice, five children and a mischievous husband without breaking a sweat as Clair Huxtable on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show.”"

Forget the Ingénues; Cue the Grown-Up Women Ostage

NYTimes.com: "HOLLYWOOD has always been a man’s world, but as Pink might sing, so what? On Broadway at least, women can still be rock stars. Among the big-name talents from film and television who have appeared behind Broadway marquees this season are Joan Allen, Jane Fonda, Allison Janney, Susan Sarandon and Kristin Scott Thomas. Along with more than a dozen other equally renowned actresses on New York stages, they have been playing rulers, heroes, scholars and terrorists. As lovers they have been pursued rather than pursuers; as angry combatants they have been the first to resort to violence. Once in a while they even get to sing. And they are all over 40."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Humble CMU grad makes name with O'Neill

Post Gazette: "Pablo Schreiber may not have the most recognizable name on Broadway this season, but his performance in Eugene O'Neill's 'Desire Under the Elms' has cemented his reputation as one of his generation's most promising talents."

CLO Cabaret takes a trip back to the bell-bottom age with '8-Track'

Post Gazette: "Dig up your old pet rock, take the Farrah Fawcett poster out of hiding and make sure you remember how to do The Hustle.
All right, you don't actually have to go through the horror of finding out if the velvet magenta bell bottoms still fit, and your hips are not required to do any moving -- the cast members of '8-TRACK: The Sounds of the '70s' are going to do it for you."

Mancini Awards celebrate musicals at 14 high schools

Post Gazette: "The 15th annual Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards, honoring high school musicals in Beaver, Lawrence and Butler counties, were announced Wednesday evening at a festive showcase at Geneva College in Beaver Falls. College president Ken Smith welcomed a packed and appreciative audience to Metheny Fieldhouse, then turned the emcee duties over to a suitably informal and enthusiastic Ian Rosenberger."

'Swim Club' looks at frendship's bonds

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'The Dixie Swim Club' has a theme reminiscent of Neil Simon's classic comedy, 'Same Time, Next Year.' They both involve occasional personal encounters — one among friends, one between lovers."

Looking for Videographer and crew for local music video

Craigslist: "Our National Recording artist 'Mr. International' is filming his first video off his upcomming release due out June 14th.
We need a videographer and crew to film this video."

Mission speaks

MinnesotaPlaylist.com: "There is supposed to be a critical distinction between the commercial theater and non-profit theater. The commercial theater asks its audiences what they want to see and produces theater in response to those answers. We in the non-profit theater must lead audiences to what we think they should want to see. A commercial production is like the production and sale of a widget that must take in more than it costs to produce while a non-profit production is subsidized in order to beat back Commerce as the lone determinant of success."

Clownish ‘Dishwashers’ Bicker in Funniest New Play

Bloomberg.com: "Morris Panych’s mordant comedy “The Dishwashers” is on felicitous display in one of the smaller houses of the invaluable 59E59 Theaters in Manhattan."

The Fast Track Past A Failed Project: 5 Steps

Stepcase Lifehack: "I’ve been working on a pretty big project — a book — for going on eight months. This week, I got word that the project had been scrapped, at least as far as the publisher was concerned. It was a pretty big let down for me: we were only about two months away from the end of the project. Since I’ve gotten word, I’ve been working through everything from shock at the news to anger at some of the other people involved. When you’re emotionally attached to a project — which can happen just because of the sheer amount of time you’ve been working on something — hearing about its cancellation can take it out of you. You get knocked down; it’s important to get back up again and keep moving forward."

Michelle Obama – Arts Warrior!

Chicago Theater Blog: "I’m excited to report that, during her second New York City visit, first lady Michelle Obama spent her time emphasizing the crucial role the arts play in our society, reopening part of the American wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday and later addressing the crowd at a glittering ballet gala – where she was greeted with enthusiastic ovations from audiences that included prominent figures in politics, the arts, entertainment and fashion."

How to negotiate a salary without tipping your hand

Manage Your Life on Shine: "You’ve gotten pretty far in a job discussion. You like them. They like you. And it's getting down to the nitty gritty. Then your prospective employer pops the question you’ve been dreading: “So what are you making now?” (or some variation like, “What were you making in your last position?”) You freeze. You know that answering the question can only hurt you. It might peg you at a salary you feel you’ve outgrown or that you improperly negotiated. And you know that you’re always supposed to let the other person name a price first in any negotiation.
So what do you do?"

How To Be The Freelancer That Everyone Wants To Work With

Freelance Folder: "When your clients decide to hire you they aren’t really buying your services, they are buying two things that we as freelancers sometimes forget — they are buying a solution to their problems, and they are buying feelings that that make them feel good about themselves and their business.
So what does it take to be the freelancer that everyone wants to work with?"

Student loans turn into crushing burden for unwary borrowers

Los Angeles Times: "Natalie Hickey left her small hometown in Ohio six years ago and aimed her beat-up Dodge Intrepid for the West Coast. Four years later, she realized a long-held dream and graduated with a bachelor's degree in photography from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara.
She also picked up $140,000 in student debt, some of it at interest rates as high as 18%. Her monthly payments are roughly $1,700, more than her rent and car payment combined."

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select"

Animatronic Obama Going to Disney World With High-Tech Style

NYTimes.com: "Barack Obama was standing on a riser inside a warehouse here, delivering an inspirational speech about the blessings of freedom, when his left index finger began to twitch uncontrollably, unnerving his aides."

Film Gender Gap: More Stats on Women Working Behind the Scenes in Film

Women & Hollywood: "Dr. Martha Lauzen at San Diego State University has for the first time drilled deeper into women’s representation on films looking into the numbers of women production designers, production managers/production supervisors, sound designers, supervising sound editors, key grips, and gaffers"

The Ultimate Welding Table

Toolmonger: "Strong Hand Tools’ BuildPro Welding Table is reminiscent of this design, but instead of threaded holes, the ground-steel 5/8″-thick plates have CNC-machined 5/8″ through-holes spaced in a grid every 2″ apart. The table is flat to within 0.004” per foot, and the hole spacing is accurate to ±0.0015″."

I Have Been to Hiroshima Mon Amour

'külr: "Much of I Have Been to Hiroshima Mon Amour is spent blurring the lines between 1945, 1959, and today, making a case for the collective sense of memory that belongs to us all. What is lost in Chiori Miyagawa's writing, then, is the requisite personal perspective. The sorrows that reach us are machine-made and form-fitting, as aesthetically pleasing yet predictably stated as Glenn Reed's rotoscope of a set."

Producer Redoubles Effort to Sell a Triple Comedy, Ayckbourn’s ‘Norman Conquests’

NYTimes.com: "Despite a raft of positive reviews and seven Tony Award nominations, this spring’s Broadway revival of “The Norman Conquests” — Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy of interconnected comic plays — has proved to be one of the biggest business challenges of the season, starting with deep losses at the box office that have only just begun to turn around."

Lee Solters, 89, Press Agent Who Gave ‘Good Quote’

NYTimes.com: "Lee Solters, a foxy, flamboyant press agent who cranked up his raspy Brooklyn-accented voice to hyperbolize about Broadway, Hollywood and, for 26 years, Frank Sinatra — not to mention the psychic who summoned the ghosts of the Three Stooges — died on Monday at his home in West Hollywood, Calif. He was 89."

Opposing a Tax, Broadway Added a Fee

NYTimes.com: "Broadway theater owners and producers fought vigorously and successfully this winter to block a new state tax on theater tickets, saying such a levy would anger theater-goers and damage business during the recession. Yet at the same time, they were quietly imposing a new fee of their own on patrons of Broadway."

Broadway League Adds $1 Fee to TKTS Sales of League-Affiliated Shows

Playbill News: "The Broadway League, the trade group of Broadway producers, theatre owners, presenters and other industry professionals, added a $1 per ticket fee to all tickets for League-affiliated shows sold at the famous TKTS discount ticket booths."

Legit directors' union gets new name

Variety: "The legit helmers’ union has a new name, with the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers now rechristened the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society."

Benigni to take 'Dante' to America

Variety: "Roberto Benigni will make his U.S. stage debut with 'Tutto Dante' (Everything About Dante), a one-man show in which the Italo multihyphenate recites and expounds on verse from Dante Alighieri's 'Divine Comedy,' written in the early 1300s."

Zhang Yimou to stage 'Turandot'

Variety: "Top Chinese helmer Zhang Yimou is staging the opera 'Turandot' in the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing as part of celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the People's Republic of China."

Broadway embraces web community

Variety: "For Broadway shows, it's starting to look like Twitter is the new black.
'Next to Normal' is posting 140-character missives from its characters; 'Billy Elliot' is accepting questions to be posed to the show's creatives, incorporated into online video segs; 'Rock of Ages' is using feeds to dispense '80s fun facts."

Theater crowd out front in gay activism

Variety: "In Hollywood, Oscar-winner Sean Penn ('Milk') is called courageous for playing a gay activist. On Broadway, 2009 Tony nominee Gavin Creel ('Hair') and erstwhile Tony winners Cynthia Nixon ('Rabbit Hole,' 2006) and David Hyde Pierce ('Curtains,' 2007) are gay activists."

'Coraline' musical comes to life

Variety: "Once upon a time, there was a writer named Neil Gaiman who really wanted to see his children's book 'Coraline' become a musical. Then along came Gaiman's indie rocker friend Stephin Merritt and writer-performer David Greenspan to grant his wish."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sister Act

Carnegie Mellon University: "It's dark inside the New World Stages in New York. Actress Patina Miller (A'06) fidgets nervously as she looks out across the empty seats. Her anxiety has nothing to do with stage fright, mind you. This star of 'Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy' is about to meet her idol, Whoopi Goldberg, who is on her way to the theater."

Playwrights' Center head moving to Chicago

Star Tribune: "Polly Carl, who has served as artistic director of the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis for seven years, will leave the Twin Cities in September to take a job with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre. The news is to be announced today."

"REASONS TO BE PRETTY" PLAYWRIGHT WILL BE OVERSHADOWED BY PRODUCERS AT TONY AWARDS

New York Post: "LET'S imagine, for the sake of argu ment, that 'reasons to be pretty' wins the Tony this year for Best Play.
By my count, at least 20 producers will storm the stage of Radio City Music Hall to claim the prize."

Glam Lesbian Is Funky Barmaid in ‘Peter Grimes’: London Stage

Bloomberg.com: "A glamorous lesbian with a stylishly severe haircut and a long fur coat is one of the surprising inhabitants of a poor 1940s fishing village in a new London production of “Peter Grimes.”"

Cirque du Soleil Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary This Summer

Fascination! Newsletter: "Cirque du Soleil is offering specially priced tickets throughout the summer to celebrate its milestone 25th anniversary. Guests can also enter the summer sweepstakes for a chance to visit Las Vegas and see all of the Cirque du Soleil shows like a celebrity VIP."

Win a FREE Trip To LDI Show in Orlando

iSquint | Entertainment Lighting News & Review: "Are you a lighting Designer looking for a way to attend the LDI Show this year in Orlando Florida? Don’t have the money to attend?
Show off your talents and will a FREE, all expense paid trip to LDI show in Orlando Florida November 19-22, 2009 at the Orange County Convention Center from Elation."

Preview: Milwaukee’s New 10-1/4″ Circular Saw

Toolmonger: "Milwaukee sent out a press release Friday introducing their new 10-1/4″ circular saw. Not everybody is going to need a saw this large, but it’s interesting that they managed to shave 1-1/2″ pounds from the previous model, to make the new saw 17.8 pounds."

Is Colorblindness Possible?

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: "The other night at a post-show discussion for The Tempest, a man, the only African-American person who’s stayed for a Tempest discussion of mine so far, mentioned that the black friends with whom he attended were offended by the portrayal of black people in the play."

Motion-activated theater seats to give new meaning to the term 'movie'

DVICE: "The next Terminator movie debuts tomorrow, and along with it, a new theater gimmick: moving seats. At a theater that will be showing Terminator Salvation in Bloomington, Minnesota's Mall of America, special seats will shake up startled moviegoers using patented D-BOX Motion Code to make them move along with the movie"

Phantom Fanatics Invited to "Fans Week" in Las Vegas; Hal Prince Will Speak

Playbill News: "Famed Broadway director Harold Prince will give the keynote address and share his experience of putting together The Phantom of the Opera at a 'Phantom Fans Week' Sept. 16-20 in Las Vegas, NV."

Imax: Screen size not important

Hollywood Reporter: "Imax execs sought Tuesday to wow the media at a company presentation while also performing a bit of damage-control amid a controversy over the size of the specialty exhibitor's new digital screens.
That might sound like an awkward dance step, but corporate twists and turns are nothing new for Imax veterans."

Vegas' Smith Center given greenlight

Variety: "Targeting tourists and locals alike, this two-building center will be home to the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Nevada Ballet Theatre. Plans are to stage a variety of national/international touring productions."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Class of 2009 Could Be Among "Greatest Generation"

Carnegie Mellon University: "Eric Schmidt, chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Google Inc., gave the keynote address at Carnegie Mellon's 112th commencement ceremony yesterday (May 17). He underscored the importance of technological innovation and understanding the value of the family, friends and people around you."

Google CEO speaks to 'Facebook Generation' at CMU commencement

Post Gazette: "The students assembled at windswept Gesling Stadium for Carnegie Mellon University's 112th commencement ceremony yesterday morning laughed when the chairman and CEO of Google Inc. told them they 'have the opportunity to be the greatest generation' despite the worst recession in decades."

Commencement 2009

Carnegie Mellon University: "Eric Schmidt, chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Google Inc., gave the keynote address at Carnegie Mellon's 112th commencement ceremony May 17, 2009. Schmidt underscored both the importance of technological innovation and understanding the value of the family, friends and people around you."

Children's plays at Playhouse impart positive messages

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Two children's plays -- one that deals with the adage 'Be careful what you wish for,' and the other with the circle of life -- will entertain young audiences on weekends through the rest of May at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland."

'Speak American' fleshes out complex immigrant issues

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "There's more to speaking American than learning English words and grammar.
That distinction is at the heart of Eric Simonson's 'Speak American,' which City Theatre commissioned as part of the celebratory activities for Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary."

Summer 2009: Spotlight is on musicals at the theater

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Summer theater should bring a deluge of musicals and nuns with only a sprinkling of Shakespeare and classics."

Seeking Interns for Indie Film Production

Craigslist: "Production company is seeking an intern to assist with preproduction (casting, rehearsals, location scouting, etc.) for an independent dramatic film to be shot in the Pittsburgh area in July and August."

Crew & Casting Call for Comedy

Craigslist: "We are just some fools out of college who enjoy Barats and Bereta, Whitest Kids You Know, Rhett and Link, Lonely Island, etc. If you are looking for a well paid gig, I'm sorry but this post is not for you. If you want to have some fun, and make some funny videos like the people I mentioned before (who by the way made all their original videos with no money), then please read on."

Creative dance recitals are plentiful this year

Post Gazette: "Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Pittsburgh Youth Ballet Company will feature dueling productions of George Balanchine's hallmark ballet 'Serenade.' Ballet Classique will counter with 'Concerto For Six,' choreographed by Jean-Pierre Frohlich, ballet master of New York City Ballet."

'Billy Elliot' tops list of Drama Desk winners

Post Gazette: "The joyous story of a coal miner's son who dreams to dance was the big winner at the Drama Desk Awards, picking up 10 prizes including best musical. The show previously had collected top musical awards from the New York Drama Critics' Circle, the Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle."

Mark Ravenhill on theatre and the current economic gloom

The Guardian: "Those of us who started working in the arts during the Thatcherite 1980s were taught that the economics was easy. It was all about supply and demand, in the arts as in everything else: you had to identify who your audience was, work out what they wanted, market yourself to them - and all would be well."

The joy of not getting it

The Guardian: "Art that bewilders one generation becomes accessible to the next; or so it would seem. Widely reviled on its first appearance in 1955, Beckett's Waiting For Godot now packs out the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, which is usually associated with dressy revivals of Wilde and Coward. Pinter's No Man's Land, once regarded as unfathomable, recently had a profitable West End run. Picasso and Rothko are established gallery favourites. And, although Britten's Peter Grimes is now seen as England's national opera, in 1945 it was viewed by many as a 'difficult' piece. So how does one explain the transformation in popular taste?"

League Loves 'Billy,' Rush

Backstage: "The Drama League joined the conga line to honor Billy Elliot, presenting the musical with its award for distinguished musical. The show, based on the 2000 film about an aspiring ballet dancer, has won similar citations from the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle."

'Billy' Dances Atop the Drama Desk

Backstage: "The awards, presented by the Drama Desk, an organization of New York-based critics, reviewers, and editors, cover Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway in all of its multiple categories and were presented May 17 at the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art in Manhattan. 9 to 5, which had received 15 nominations, the most of any show in Drama Desk history, only won one citation—outstanding performance by an actress in a musical, for Allison Janney."

Obies Totally 'Ruined'

Backstage: "Ruined, the multi-award winning play about women surviving rape and civil war in the Congo, dominated the 54th annual Village Voice Obie Awards, winning prizes for playwright Lynn Nottage for best new American play (and a check for $1,000) and for cast members Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, and Russell Gebert Jones."

Obama Choice for Arts Endowment Had Inside Track

Bloomberg.com: "“The president said, ‘Let’s find a game changer,’” Lion told me. “I didn’t have long-held plans, it wasn’t a strategy. But Rocco’s an unusual leader. He combines an impressive intellect, bravery and humor with a talent for getting the best out of people.”"

Alastair Fuad-Luke puts the "Co" in "Collaboration"

Core77: "I recall a quote from John Thackara that pointedly articulates one of contemporary design's biggest opportunities (and challenges). He said, in essence: 'Whatever you decide to do, don't do it alone.... We're all designers now.' The idea of collaboration is nothing new, but truly productive collaborative design for sustainability's sake is easier said than done."

The Future of Making Props 2

Props: "In the last post, I looked at desktop fabricators and how they might impact the future of building props. In this post, I’ll check out what kind of new materials will change how we make props."

ETC iPhone/iPod Touch iRFR App Update

iSquint | Entertainment Lighting News & Review: "Doing our morning stroll around the internet, we noticed that ETC’s David Lincecum has posted an interesting and insightful update on the progress of ETC’s iPhone/iPod Touch app, the iRFR at the companies blog, Light Minds Think Alike."

Play The Producer's Perspective Tony Pool! Win $500!

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "Calling all Broadway handicappers! It's time to put your Tony pickin' skills where your mouth is!"

Very Happy Returns - The Revival of ‘Joe Turner’s Come and Gone’

NYTimes.com: "ACHIEVEMENT can be measured in any number of ways, with only the more public and publicized yardsticks involving red carpets, unpaid-for designer dresses and the doling out of baubles to put on the mantelpiece. On a cool, cloudy Wednesday afternoon recently I was reminded that at the theater simple silence can be the most telling reward of all."

Broadway 2008-9 - Such a Great Show, Especially That Last Act

NYTimes.com: "The season that just ended with the announcement of the Tony nominations was, by its conclusion, so fully alive and functionally adult it felt as if some brain-freezing, senses-numbing spell, cast perhaps by a singing witch from a Disney show, had at long last been lifted. New Yorkers who had more or less abandoned the theater as a necessary cultural pursuit started sounding like Deborah Kerr in “From Here to Eternity,” who, after discovering that sex could be fun, murmured, “I never knew it could be like this.”"

The Führer Returns to Berlin, This Time Saluted Only by Laughs

NYTimes.com: "Eight years after conquering Broadway and then much of the rest of the world (it just invaded Moscow), the show rolled into town on Sunday night. It’s booked for a two-month run at the Admiralspalast, where Adolf himself liked to take an occasional break from invading Poland and France to enjoy light operettas from the Führer’s box."

Officer trio reupped at Actors’ Equity

Variety: "Three top officers at thesp union Actors’ Equity Assn. have been reupped for a three-year term, with a trio of incumbents -- prexy Mark Zimmerman, first VP Paige Price and third VP Ira Mont -- all running uncontested in recent elections."

Slow transition for Intiman

Variety: "After keeping one foot on each coast in recent years -- as artistic director of Intiman Theater in Seattle and directing shows on Broadway -- Bartlett Sher is preparing to plant both feet more firmly in New York."

'Kristina' set for Carnegie Hall

Variety: "'Kristina,' the musical by ABBA's 'Mamma Mia!' duo Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, gets its first English-language presentation in a Carnegie Hall concert in September."

'Ruined,' 'Road' top Obie Awards

Variety: "Off Broadway's 54th Obie Awards honored 'Ruined,' 'Road Show,' actor Earle Hyman and legit companies Classical Theater of Harlem, the Chocolate Factory and the Lark Play Development Center on Monday."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

'Speak American' is deeper than it may seem

Post Gazette: "We already know these begrimed, hard-working eastern European steelworkers and their dour Irish boss, himself an immigrant of a generation earlier, now part way up the ladder and not so fond of those down below."

Theater interview podcasts: Montae Russell ('Seven Guitars'), Ray Anthony Thomas ('Human Error') and Amy Hartman ('Disinfecting Edwin')

Post Gazette: "Recent podcasts of theater interviews by senior theater critic Christopher Rawson include the following. To hear them, CLICK HERE, then scroll down by date to find the podcast you want."

Pittsburgh Children's Festival spurs the imagination

Post Gazette: "A runaway bunny.
A hobbit under the stage.
Pulsing African music.
A speedy delivery from Mr. McFeely.
They're just a few of the highlights of the 23rd annual Pittsburgh International Children's Festival -- one of four such festivals for children in the United States -- which started yesterday and continues through the weekend at various venues in Oakland."

The rarest role in musicals? The female director

Post Gazette: "Marcia Milgrom Dodge has never been one of the usual suspects.
She's toiled for decades in the quasi-anonymous vineyards of regional theater, directing an 'Anything Goes' here, choreographing a 'South Pacific' there. The gigs have been pretty steady, and most of the time she's had a blast. But not until she got the out-of-the-blue call to come to Washington to direct and choreograph the Kennedy Center's centerpiece revival of 'Ragtime' was she given a bona fide crack at a career-maker."

Endings in Wilson's and Stoppard's plays detract from excellent acting

Post Gazette: "The past meets the future in two plays running on Pittsburgh stages. While they both give audiences scenes of exceptional theater, their muddled endings don't deliver on the promises the plays make early on.
Blame it on the playwrights August Wilson and Tom Stoppard."

Civic Light Opera's Pink Frolic Ball held at Omni William Penn

Post Gazette: "It was a totally Pinksburgh night Friday during the Civic Light Opera Guild's 'Legally Pink' Pink Frolic Ball at the Omni William Penn."

newMoves Festival features hip steps from 3 cities

Post Gazette: "New York City has a Fall for Dance Festival in September, featuring cheap admission to the Big Apple's unparalleled potpourri of dance. Philadelphia has had a strong dance component in its Philadelphia Live Arts and Philly Fringe festival for the past ten years."

'Speak American' fleshes out complex immigrant issues

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "There's more to speaking American than learning English words and grammar.
That distinction is at the heart of Eric Simonson's 'Speak American,' which City Theatre commissioned as part of the celebratory activities for Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary."

Children's plays at Playhouse impart positive messages

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Two children's plays -- one that deals with the adage 'Be careful what you wish for,' and the other with the circle of life -- will entertain young audiences on weekends through the rest of May at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland."

International Children's Theater season announced

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Cows that type and pigeons that party are among the characters set to appear as part of the Pittsburgh International Children's Theater's 40th season.
A division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pittsburgh International Children's Theater will present five live stage performances for audiences age 3 and older."

Personality Test: Ballet dancer Alexandra Kochis

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Alexandra Kochis joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2006 and was promoted to principal dancer in April. She lives in Ross Township with her husband, Christopher Budzynski, who also is a principal dancer with the company."

'Magic Tree House' books hit the stage at Palace Theatre

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The profound success of Mary Pope Osborne's 'Magic Tree House' children's books is the basis for a hit stage musical headed to Greensburg for one performance at the Palace Theatre."

Stage Right productions prepare students for career

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It's time for Stage Right students to shine.
But not at a typical end-of-year recital for proud parents and grandparents, where kids sing a song or act out a skit that demonstrates what they've learned at the Greensburg performing arts school."

Commencement 2009

Carnegie Mellon University: "It's an emotional day. Bags are packed. Families have arrived. Friends have hugged and promised to stay in touch. This weekend, Carnegie Mellon will send its Class of 2009 out into the world."

The future is here at Carnegie Mellon’s Meeting of the Minds

Pop City: "Carnegie Mellon’s undergraduate researchers showered sparks of future science at the university’s 14th annual Meeting of the Minds this month."

Roboworld, nation’s largest permanent robotics exhibition, opens June 13!

Pop City: "The nation’s largest robotic exhibition opens in Pittsburgh this June, a playful homage to the world of robotic technological achievement and Roboburgh. Let the fun begin!"

The Urge to Merge

Backstage: "Co-productions between nonprofit theaters, whether crosstown or cross-country, are becoming ubiquitous, and the economy—if anyone had any doubt—is the explanation. Even large, well-funded institutions are feeling the pinch. In late April, Playwrights Horizons and the Vineyard Theatre, two Off-Broadway titans, announced they'll co-produce The Burnt Part Boys, a new musical, in 2010. And in Southern California, Bruce Norris' play The Pain and the Itch will be co-produced by the Theatre @ Boston Court and the Furious Theatre Company."

Danny Kaye Musical Skips Over the Real Walter Mitty

Bloomberg.com: "The life of Danny Kaye is a whopper of a story, though you might not know this sitting through “Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical” which opened this week in Manhattan’s theater district."

What recession? Broadway ignores economic downturn

Reuters: "Wall Street may be in a slump as the global economic slump grinds on, but 4 miles north in midtown Manhattan, Broadway theaters continue to lure crowds as they have for decades during times of recession."

The Five Reasons Why You Are Not Fulfilling Your Potential.

Stepcase Lifehack: "Very few people can claim that they have achieved all that they are capable of. In the Western world most of us do moderately well. We get an education and a succession of jobs; we have some relationships that work; we are well fed; we avoid penury and destitution. We can take comfort in modest achievements. But for many people there is a nagging feeling that they could have done much, much more with their lives and careers."

33 Unwritten Rules of Management

Ian's Messy Desk: "These rules are credited to Bill Swanson. In a news story about three years ago, it was revealed not all the rules are original. Whatever the source, they are useful aphorisms for life management."

Subtle Connections That Surprise

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Blog: "During my nine months at Steppenwolf (as Literary Apprentice) I’ve revisited some of the same subjects through the new lens of each show, and though the perspective is different, there are fascinating intersections. Sometimes these thematic links are obvious, but on other occasions there are subtle connections that surprise me."

TiltShift Makes Your Photos Look Like Miniatures - Tilt-Shift Photography

Lifehacker: "Web site and Adobe AIR application TiltShift gives your photos a tilt-shift photography effect that normally requires expensive special lenses or Photoshop chops."

Dramatic battle in Carmel

Arts and Entertainment: "Carmel Community Players, a volunteer theater founded in 1993, has announced an ambitious season of all Pulitzer-Prize-winning shows – even though a chunk of its funding was shot down by the Carmel Support the Arts Fund and its performance venues in question."

The Future of Making Props

Props: "Every once in awhile, I thought I’d try to look ahead at the future of building props. Prop-making has come a long way in the last few decades, from papier-mache and chicken-wire, to sculpted Styrofoam and CNC-routed parts. Today, I’ll take a peek at desktop fabrication."

Urgent! Action Required!

Peg’s List: "I’m pleased to inform you that Lincoln Center Institute’s very own Robert Post (of 2007-2008’s Post Comedy Theater) is scheduled to appear on the TODAY Show on Monday, May 18, at approximately 8:30am."

Rocco Landesman, Broadway Producer, to Lead National Arts Endowment

NYTimes.com: "Rocco Landesman, the colorful theatrical producer and race-track aficionado who brought hits like “Big River,” “Angels in America” and “The Producers” to Broadway, has been nominated as the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House said on Tuesday."

Tony Nominations Don’t Always Fill Broadway Seats

NYTimes.com: "The Tony Award nominations on May 5 generated mixed results in Broadway ticket sales: most of the honored musicals and plays did normal business for the week — sluggish, compared with many nominees in years past — while several producers said their advance ticket sales were unusually strong."

Tonys Approve One ‘Elliot’ Viewing for 3-Way Vote

NYTimes.com: "Tony Award voters have to see only one of the three boys rotating in the title role of “Billy Elliot: The Musical” before voting on their joint nomination for leading actor in a musical, according to a memo from the Tony Awards administration committee."

Broadway Looks for Another Ambassador as Rocco Landesman Goes to Washington

NYTimes.com: "Ever since the November death of Gerald Schoenfeld, the theater owner and the longtime public face of Broadway to New Yorkers and their mayors, governors and lawmakers, many people in the theater world thought one of his peers, Rocco Landesman, would succeed him as the next ambassador for Broadway."

Grafiti artist wanted to paint snow camoflage.

Craigslist: "Can anybody airbursh my 17.5 foot boat snow camo? This is NOT to be a show boat, just something fun to hit the river in and the faded 1980s red paint has GOT to go"

Friday, May 15, 2009

j-o-b

Signature Theatre: "This is a senior administrative position, full-time, salaried and reports directly to the Artistic Director and Managing Director. Supervises all Production Department Heads, Company Manager, Associate Production Manager and Facilities Staff. Duties listed may be shared with or delegated to Associate Production Manager"

Monday, May 11, 2009

Children's Fest to present variety of performers

Post Gazette: "The moon, a bunny and a few friendly neighbors will make appearances at the 23rd annual Pittsburgh International Children's Festival that kicks off Wednesday.
Hosted by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Children's Festival will feature performances by internationally renowned artists, including the U.S. premiere of 'African Sunshine' by Compagnie Punta Negra of the Republic of the Congo."

Children's Theater family series takes balanced approach

Post Gazette: "From its original home in Mt. Lebanon to its growth throughout the Pittsburgh region, the Pittsburgh International Children's Theater has come a long way in 40 years. And its journey has been largely fueled by passion.
Maranne Welch, founding artistic director of the Children's Theater, had big dreams of expansion, hoping to bring international theater to children throughout the Pittsburgh area."

International Children's Festival keeps it diverse

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "At 23 and counting, The Pittsburgh International Children's Festival shows no signs of lapsing into the complacency of old age.
'I think the schedule is really well-rounded and diverse in the kinds of offerings and their geography,' says Pam Lieberman, executive director of the Pittsburgh International Children's Festival, a division of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust."

The question of excellence in musicals inspires debate

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Ask a group of Gene Kelly Awards judges to define what makes a high-school musical excellent, and you're assured of a lively discussion.
After participating in this year's judging session, which ran more than seven hours on May 1, it was the question left unasked.
We had debated the pluses, minuses and worthiness of 28 productions and numerous nominees.
But again this year, as in past years, we never actually defined whether we're talking about excellence of process or product."

PICT takes a 'Rock 'n' Roll' journey — through politics

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "It's the music that grabs their attention.
It's the Eastern European politics that makes them wary.
That's the dilemma facing Andrew S. Paul, the producing artistic director of Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre as he starts his 2009 season with Tom Stoppard's play 'Rock 'n' Roll.'"

City Theatre's 2009-10 lineup covers a lot of territory

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "City Theatre has filled the three previously uncommitted slots in its 2009-2010 season."

How to Stop Dealing With Someone Else's Lateness

wikiHow: "Although being late is not an awful thing every once in a while with a legitimate excuse (sleeping in does not count), constantly losing track of your schedule is disruptive not only to you but to others. If somebody around you continues to be late every time you try to meet up, are meant to be handing in something or just in general, it can drag down your own schedule and perhaps, via association, make other people doubt your performance as well. Forcing yourself to wave off delays and disruptions should not be a frequent part of your relationship, business or personal. Here's how to prevent your blood pressure from rising when your 'late' friend pulls this on you. You don't need to get angry; you just need to be prepared."

How to Research

Props: "Research is a vital skill for a props person. We may be given a vague description of an object or item and be expected to build something that is either historically accurate, or something that looks “correct”. For example, we all know what a dog looks like, but when we sit down to sculpt one, our minds become incredibly blank; details like the shape of the head, the proportion of the features, and how parts transition between each other are what will sell the prop. Even when a director or designer provides us with full drawings or draftings, we may still need to do research of our own to fill in the blanks or flesh out the specifics."

Where is the Indusrty Heading: Interview with Jim Hutchison

iSquint: "In our continuing column called Where is the Industry Heading, we bring you another interview of a professional lighting design, Jim Hutchison with Alive Lighting. Mr. Hutchison is the Chief Design Consultant and founder of Alive Lighting."

Agility Is Not Just About Software Development

Web Worked Daily: "In the web world, we tend to associate the word “agile” with software development, but in this ever-changing world, it’s not a bad idea to apply the basic principles of agility to our busy professional lives. Does this mean you have to be some kind of superhero to manage a lifestyle like ours? I think not."

Becoming a Keyboard Warrior – Getting Ctrl of CAD

The CAD Geek Blog: "Given the response I have received from my last post, Becoming a Keyboard Warrior – The Command Alias Editor, I thought I’d do a little mini-series on using the keyboard more efficiently in AutoCAD. So now that you have created a dozen new command aliases, what else can you do with all those buttons sitting between you and your monitor?"

Chiori Miyagawa Answers a Film and a Nuclear Horror

NYTimes.com: "WHEN the playwright Chiori Miyagawa began research for a play that touches on people who suffered during World War II, she could easily summon pictures of victims of the Nazis. Harder to call to mind, however, were the people who suffered a very different horror."

What Plays in Vegas

NYTimes.com: "FOR 49 years the topless showgirls of “Les Folies Bergère” defined the flashy, freewheeling theater scene here for those seeking satisfaction away from the craps tables. On a holiday weekend a few months ago couples streamed off the casino floor at the Tropicana Hotel for the late show of sexy song and dance, and they cuddled and snuck kisses amid the high kicks on the stage."

Billy Boys, Gwynne, Ireland, Rush and Grisetti Among Theatre World Award Winners

Playbill News: "Colin Hanks, Condola Rashad, Josh Grisetti, Josefina Scaglione, Chad L. Coleman and Marin Ireland
photo by Aubrey Reuben
The winners of the 65th Annual Theatre World Awards — honoring performers making their New York stage debuts on or Off-Broadway — were announced May 11."

Saturday, May 09, 2009

CMU names new dean of student affairs

Post Gazette: "Carnegie Mellon University has named Karen D. Boyd as the school's new dean of student affairs, effective July 1.
She succeeds Jennifer Church, who left the university last summer to relocate with her family. G. Richard Tucker, the Paul Mellon university professor of applied linguistics, was interim dean of student affairs this academic year."

Slow-starting 'Edwin' gets a lift from fine acting

Post Gazette: "As a title, 'Disinfecting Edwin' is rather weird. Why not? So is the play.
We've seen this sly mixture of genres before in Amy Hartman's taste for surreal comedy and loopy seriousness. I'm thinking most of 'The Chicken Snake,' a touching family drama that feels like farce but digs deep, staged by Playhouse Rep in 2007, but also of several workshops and short plays, including 'Digesting Henry Hill,' an earlier version of the promising work now at Open Stage."

Music sets the scene for PICT's 'Rock 'n' Roll'

Post Gazette: "1968 was the most tumultuous year of a troubled decade. Rebellion was in the air, not just in the United States, but Europe as well.
As America grappled with anti-war demonstrations, political assassinations and race riots, massive unrest in Paris threatened the old-guard government of Charles DeGaulle."

Gene Kelly Award nominees for 2009

Post Gazette: "The nominees for the annual Gene Kelly Awards, honoring excellence in high school musical theater, were announced today by Pittsburgh CLO and the University of Pittsburgh.
The awards will be presented May 23 at the Benedum Center, Downtown, which is always packed with the nominees and their supporters, dressed as if for Oscar night and exuding enough energy to power the stage lights."

City Theatre play recounts immigrant steelworkers' struggle to adapt to life here

Post Gazette: "While paging through a book of historical South Side photographs, Eric Simonson came across an image of immigrant steelworkers learning to speak English in a YMCA basement.
Captivated by the expressions of eagerness, naivete and fear etched on the men's faces, the Academy Award-winning director began writing 'Speak American,' a play commissioned by City Theatre for the 250th anniversary of Pittsburgh's founding."

Disney/Pixar launching new studio in Vancouver

Reuters: "Woody and Buzz are heading north.
To accommodate a growing slate of nonfeature projects, Disney and Pixar will launch an animation studio in the fall in Vancouver."

At the Broadway League conference: Day 3/What is Web 2.0 and how do we use it?

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE: "If there was a theme at this Spring's conference it was Web 2.0 and the following questions:
- What are the essential Web 2.0 tools in a modern theatrical marketing plan?
- How do we use and then track those tools?
- How we do we turn all those 'friends' and 'followers' into buyers?"

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select"

Richard Foreman (SDCF Masters of the Stage #20)

ATW: "Professor/Playwright Steven Drukman sat down with theatre artist Richard Foreman in April of 1997 at Artsconnection to discuss theatrical innovation in an interview co-sponsored by SDCF and the Drama League Directors Project. Foreman illuminates an early career of set design as a teenager in Westchester, NY; as an actor at Brown University; as a playwright at Yale. He confides that his origins as a director stem from an unwillingness of his contemporaries to direct his pieces. Drukman questions the reasoning behind the geometric, psychologically-charged staging of his earlier minimalist works in New York and his progression to the maximally theatric. Foreman discusses his 8-12 week rehearsal process, his admiration for film and irrational imagination. This enlightening interview gives listeners the opportunity to experience the mind of one of avant-garde theatre’s pioneers, and his theatre of “infantile impulses”."

The Old Vic and Punchdrunk collaborate on Tunnel 228

thelondonpaper.com: "IN a tangle of tunnels deep beneath Waterloo, an army of faceless workers toil in the dust and dark.
Banging machinery echoes through this dank subterranean maze - while shadowy figures lurk, bloated corpses float by and cigar-chomping fat men lounge in their management offices."

Augusto Boal, 78, Director Who Gave Voice to Audiences, Dies at 78

NYTimes.com: "Augusto Boal, a Brazilian director and drama theorist who created interactive, politically expressive theater forms under the rubric of the Theater of the Oppressed, died last Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. He was 78."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

'Billy Elliot' leads Tony nominees with 15

Post Gazette: "'Billy Elliot,' the season's biggest musical hit, dominated the 2009 Tony Award nominations yesterday, picking up 15, more than any other show."

Tim Hartman finds light on stage in two cities

Post Gazette: "There's busy, and then there's Tim Hartman.
The versatile Pittsburgh actor can go off in several different directions at any point in time, including political cartoonist, voice-over actor and storyteller."

'Billy Elliot' scores 15 Tony noms

Pittsburgh Tribune: "'Billy Elliot,' the tale of a British coal miner's son who dreams of becoming a dancer, has the potential of winning a record number of 2009 Tony Awards, honoring the best of a star-driven Broadway season."

New college grads wrestle with health insurance

Post Gazette: "Graduating senior Meredith Johnson's wake-up call came when her University of Pittsburgh roommate realized she'd waited too long to schedule the dentist appointment to remove three impacted wisdom teeth. She couldn't get in until after graduation, when she'd have a diploma but no health insurance."

N.Y. Desk Critics hand out awards

Variety: "'Ruined,' 'Billy Elliot' and 'Black Watch' snagged honors in the annual round of kudos handed out by the New York Drama Critics Circle."

Adopting playwrights is no laughing matter, says Fin Kennedy

guardian.co.uk: "Last week, Alfred Hickling wrote about a funding scheme with which I am involved, Adopt a Playwright. I left my own detailed defence of the scheme in the comments section, but the bulk of his article seemed to poke fun at the idea that beginner playwrights should be paid anything at all, let alone have anything to do with those offering private finance. His thoughts, and some of the comments, seemed to ignore the realities of surviving as a freelance theatre artist."

Live Nation sells three Boston theaters

Reuters: "Live Nation Inc., the world's largest concert promoter, has agreed to sell three well-known theaters in Boston for about $22.5 million, using the proceeds to pay down debt."

The Tonys: Musical fluff prevails while revivals trump new plays

Los Angeles Times: "A glut of great acting talent and a scarcity of distinguished new plays and musicals — the Tony nominations for the 2008-09 season, announced this morning, reveal that the more things economically change, the more they commercially stay the same."

2009 Tony Award Nominations

NYTimes.com: "A complete list of nominations, with links to the original New York Times reviews."

Tony Nominees Offer Their Reactions to Being Honored

Playbill News: "The Tony Award nominations for the 2008-09 Broadway season were announced in the early hours of May 5. Playbill.com talked to some of the honored to get their reactions."

Tony Awards sing the praises of 'Billy'

Variety: "How’s this for stiff competition? Elton John vs. Dolly Parton; Liza Minnelli going mano a mano with Will Ferrell; peacenik hippies facing off with warring gang members; and a preteen ballet dancer in the ring with a bipolar mom off her meds."

Monday, May 04, 2009

Dance, jazz and Teenie Harris photos tell story of the Hill in 'One Shot'

Post Gazette: "It proved to be an evening of contrasts at the Byham Theater on Saturday, with the relative permanence of photography up against the ephemeral nature of dance, and the motion of the dance playing out against the stop-action of picture portraits."

Two for the show in 'Greater Tuna'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "There are 26 roles that represent the men, women and dogs of Tuna, Texas, in 'Greater Tuna.'
A total of two actors -- Mike Crosby of Greensburg and Dan Shaffer of Jeannette -- make up the cast of Greensburg Civic Theatre's production of the Jason Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard comedy."

Herman, Herz, Newman and Signature Theatre Are 2009 Special Tony Award Winners

Playbill News: "Winners of the four non-competitive Tony Awards categories were announced May 4. Composer-lyricist Jerry Herman, Virginia's Signature Theatre, longtime press agent Shirley Herz and actress/writer Phyllis Newman will be honored at the 63rd annual Tony Awards ceremony on June 7."

Henry Miller’s Theater to Reopen on Broadway

NYTimes.com: "Henry Miller’s Theater, the first newly built Broadway house in more than 20 years — and the first so-called green theater on the Great White Way — has completed major construction and is set to open in September with Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of the musical “Bye Bye Birdie.”"

On Broadway, Plays Provide an Upswing During Economic Downturn

NYTimes.com: "When the musical “Spring Awakening” closed on Broadway in January, a dark month when the recession threatened shows with big budgets and casts, the modest-sized play “33 Variations” took its place at the Eugene O’Neill Theater."

Semi-Mennonite Turns Broadway Diva In ‘Rapture’

Bloomberg.com: "Sherie Rene Scott has been winning the hearts of Broadway theatergoers for years, and why not? She played the beautiful dumped girlfriend Amneris in “Aida,” the beautiful swindler in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and the hideous Ursula in “The Little Mermaid.”"

'Ruined,' 'Fela!' Win at Lortel Awards

Backstage: "Two productions about African subjects dominated the 24th annual Lucille Lortel Awards, presented May 3 at the Marriot Marquis in a ceremony hosted by Kristin Johnston. Ruined, Lynn Nottage's searing play about a group of women surviving a civil war in the Congo, continued its winning ways by taking home the Lortel award for outstanding play. Saidah Arrika Ekulona, who plays Mama Nadi, the pragmatic owner of a bar-brothel in the play, won the outstanding leading actress award."

Special Tony Winners Announced

Backstage: "Winners of four special Tony Awards were announced May 4, one day before nominees for the competitive Tony Awards for outstanding achievement in Broadway theatre are to be unveiled. The honorees are composer Jerry Herman (lifetime achievement); Signature Theatre of Arlington, Virginia (outstanding regional theatre); actress Phyllis Newman (Isabelle Stevenson Award); and press agent Shirley Herz (Tony honor for excellence in the theatre)."

Hey, Hollywood: Why not work on the L.A. stage?

Los Angeles Times: "There are precious few guarantees in the theater anymore. Boffo playwrights went out with the Neil Simon dinosaurs. A new show by Stephen Sondheim, hands down the greatest living musical theater composer, can't even count on a Broadway booking. The only thing producers can bank on are stars. Celebrities still sell, which is why so many of them are working these days on the Great White Way."

Themes get dark at this year’s Pacific Playwrights Festival

OCRegister.com: "American playwrights are finally tackling the history-changing events of the last eight years, not nibbling around the edges or misfiring in wild directions as they’ve done in seasons past. And it’s about time."

The female advantage

The Boston Globe: "IN THE CUTTHROAT world of business, companies are always looking for ways to increase their profits. They outsource to Bangalore. They endlessly tweak their 'brands.' Some even try to shed their least desirable customers.
(Joel Castillo for the Boston Globe)
Now, a growing number of consultants and corporate leaders swear by a new strategy to boost the bottom line, one that departs from the standard bag of tricks: put more women in charge."

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Heard, but Not Seen

WSJ.com: "What's the first thing you think of when you think of the score to 'Gypsy'? For me it's the brazen, tassel-twirling overture that explodes out of the orchestra pit at the top of the show. John Gielgud is supposed to have said that the 'Gypsy' overture was the piece of music he'd most want to have in his suitcase if he were to be stranded on a desert island. I can see what he meant. Jule Styne, who composed the music for 'Gypsy,' never wrote anything better in his life."

Exclusive: Stratford East audiences to choose theatre programme in run up to the Olympics

The Stage: "Audiences will be able to choose both the productions which take place and “the pattern of the work” - meaning the season could feature three or four large shows, or several smaller ones. These could be revivals that have taken place at Stratford East, or elsewhere, or new works."

Shadows and Light in the Auditorium Theatre

Chicago Stage Review: "From its opening in 1889, the Auditorium Theatre has been considered one of the world’s most splendid and functional theaters and the crowning achievement of Chicago architects Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan.
Before the start of The Joffrey Ballet’s Spring Program, I was struck by its haunting atmosphere and captured these brief glimpses of its classic beauty."

City Opera raids endowment. Faces possible strike.

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com: "The New York City Opera faces a possible strike from it’s main union, as the opera struggles to survive the recession. The American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents opera singers, directors, and other production staff, claims that City Opera is looking for excessive concessions in the upcoming contract. The AGMA has warned that if General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel pursues major changes in the contract, a strike is a likely possibility."

Christopher Durang’s ‘Why Torture Is Wrong’ Grows More Timely

NYTimes.com: "During the last couple of weeks, the actress Kristine Nielsen has noticed a change in the audiences at Christopher Durang’s satirical new play, “Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them,” especially in the second act, when blood appears on the T-shirt of a suspected terrorist and on the blouse of one of his comically daffy interrogators."

Henry Miller’s Theater to Reopen on Broadway

NYTimes.com: "Henry Miller’s Theater, the first newly built Broadway house in more than 20 years — and the first so-called green theater on the Great White Way — has completed major construction and is set to open in September with Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of the musical “Bye Bye Birdie.”"

On Broadway, Plays Provide an Upswing During Economic Downturn

NYTimes.com: "When the musical “Spring Awakening” closed on Broadway in January, a dark month when the recession threatened shows with big budgets and casts, the modest-sized play “33 Variations” took its place at the Eugene O’Neill Theater."

Hair to Launch National Tour During 2010-2011 Season

Playbill News: "The producers of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, which is currently playing the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, have announced that they will launch a national tour of the Broadway musical during the 2010-2011 season."

Who musical searches for identity

Variety: "'We're hoping for a new kind of musical.'
So says Pete Townshend, guitarist and songwriter of British rock band the Who. And that potential mold-breaker is 'Quadrophenia,' opening May 9 at Theater Royal Plymouth, one of the U.K's. largest regional houses, ahead of a six-month tour."

Tony org overturns prior precedents

Variety: "The season’s fifth and final meeting of the Tony Awards Administration Committee resulted in few surprise decisions regarding Tony eligibility, but the committee did overturn a couple of precedents set in prior years."

Friday, May 01, 2009

Anthony Page of ‘Waiting for Godot’ Teaches Us How to Pronounce Its Title

NYTimes.com: "Playing Six Degrees of Samuel Beckett with Anthony Page, the director of the Broadway revival of “Waiting for Godot,” doesn’t take very long.
As the artistic director at the Royal Court Theater in London at various times from 1964 through 1973, Mr. Page worked with Beckett on the first British revival of “Godot.” Talk about source material."

Westmoreland's Night of the Stars marks 13 years

Post Gazette: "A Westmoreland County high school tradition will celebrate a lucky 13th anniversary Wednesday, when local schools present highlights from their spring musicals at the annual Night of the Stars showcase at the Palace Theatre, Greensburg."

Jude Pohl bringing cabaret theater back to South Hills

Post Gazette: "Jude Pohl walks into the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Fort Couch Road in Bethel Park and doesn't see a restaurant, a bar, a lobby.
He sees space. Theater space.
Little wonder: The well-known producer of theater on stages large and small throughout Western Pennsylvania has developed live entertainment at this site two other times in the past 30 years."

Two for the show in 'Greater Tuna'

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "There are 26 roles that represent the men, women and dogs of Tuna, Texas, in 'Greater Tuna.'
A total of two actors -- Mike Crosby of Greensburg and Dan Shaffer of Jeannette -- make up the cast of Greensburg Civic Theatre's production of the Jason Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard comedy."

Rossini's comedy is perfect for opera first-timers

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Italian composer Gioachino Rossini was 21 in 1813 when he wrote his first big hit, 'The Italian Girl in Algiers.' It was his ninth opera, and within five years and with two more comic masterpieces before the public, his popularity would surpass even Ludwig van Beethoven's across Europe, even in Vienna."

'Cardigans' bring '50s vibe to redesigned Theatre Factory

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Nostalgia runs rampant in 'The Cardigans.'
The same way that 'The Taffetas' musical revue pays tribute to 1950s girl groups, 'The Cardigans' by Rick Lewis focuses on the guys who made the Top 40 hits that baby boomers listened to on the first transistor radios."

'Westing Game' makes world debut at Hazlett

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The stage version of a popular pre-teen novel that many people describe as a literary game of 'Clue' is making its worldwide debut in Pittsburgh this weekend."

Casa Interview: Grey Gardens Set Designer Kalina Ivanov

CasaSugar - Home & Garden: "In a Love It or Hate It poll, I asked for your opinion on the sets of the HBO movie Grey Gardens. You overwhelmingly loved them, just as I did. The film, which focuses on 'Big Edie' (played by Jessica Lange) and 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale (played by Drew Barrymore), and their home, Grey Gardens, is currently playing on HBO, and the DVD will be available in July. The film's beautiful look is courtesy of designer Kalina Ivanov. Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Kalina about how she crafted the set of Grey Gardens, and how the designs developed."

Wooster Group, REDCAT to team up for four-year partnership

Los Angeles Times: "Fans of experimental theater can look forward to more Brechtian multimedia madness and robotic androgyny in the next few years.
The famed New York-based Wooster Group is embarking on a four-year partnership with REDCAT that will bring more of the avant-garde troupe's offerings to Los Angeles."

Lane Tramps Through ‘Godot,’ ‘9-5’ Says Hi, Dolly

Bloomberg.com: "Capped by a memorable comic performance from Nathan Lane, the Roundabout Theatre Company has solidly revived Samuel Beckett’s seminal 1953 play, “Waiting for Godot.”"

Canadian actors and producers reach deal

Reuters: "Canadian actors and independent producers unveiled a new multiyear labor deal Thursday to send Hollywood a signal of industry stability."

The Week in Tools: Toolmonger Top 5

Toolmonger: "It’s been a busy week here at Toolmonger. If you’ve been spending time in the shop — you should! — and you haven’t had a chance to keep up with Toolmonger this week, we suggest you start with these posts, which our readers helped to select"

Let’s Get This [title of show] on the Road

NYTimes.com: "Add one more layer of meta to the already heavy-meta musical “[title of show]”.
The little comedy about theater geeks and the women who get their obscure references — yes, it’s also a musical about two guys who write a musical about writing a musical — is having its first production outside of New York."

Pics from CMU Drama