Following the election results in Brazil has been a bit discouraging with the “Brazilian Trump”—Jair Bolsonaro—getting 46% of the votes in the first round of the presidential election. Perhaps a slight silver-lining to this dark news cloud is that thinking of things Brazilian reminded me of the fantastic 2006 video Tyger by the Brazilian filmmaker Guilherme Marcondes, inspired by William Blake’s poem of the same name. For those curious about how Brazil may be getting its own Trump, check out John Oliver’s take on Last Week Tonight. [Read more…]
As a response to its successful run at the Young Vic (December 2017-January 2018), The Jungle opened at Playhouse Theatre in London in June 2018 for a 20-week engagement. Created by Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy and directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, The Jungle tells the stories of the inhabitants of the makeshift camp in Calais, France, known as the Jungle.
The Jungle was an unofficial refugee camp with more than 8,000 individuals from over 17 countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, Somalia, Egypt, Chad, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kurdistan, and Iran. The inhabitants of the camp were awaiting a chance to cross the Channel to the UK. [Read more…]
If you come to Will Power’s reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard III at La Jolla Playhouse expecting to hear that line about the winter of our discontent, or at the end of the play hoping to watch Richard stumble around the battle of Bosworth Field, crying for his horse, you will not find it in Seize the King.
But you will find a powerful tale of a contemporary Richard, lusting for his own power, lacking a conscience, and spouting his lines in a modern iambic pentameter, tinged with hip hop. (Will Power, playwright of the piece, is partially responsible for the development and popularity of hip-hop theater).
By Peter Dreier
In their recent documentary ACORN and the Firestorm, Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard not only reveal how the mighty ACORN fell but also show how the attack on ACORN was a dress rehearsal for our current toxic political culture, including the rise of Donald Trump and the alt-right.
Through archival clips and interviews with ACORN staffers, leaders and members, friendly and hostile politicians, and political analysts, the film recounts the group’s history, starting with its founding in Arkansas in 1970 by Wade Rathke, a charismatic and brazen young organizer.
In addition to registering millions of voters, ACORN assisted the working poor to buy homes and avoid foreclosure, challenged banks’ racist and predatory lending practices, stopped companies from spewing cancer-causing pollution in low-income neighborhoods, got local governments to fix up abandoned buildings that had become havens for crime, and fought for fair treatment by employers, landlords, insurance companies, and government. ACORN led the campaign to get Congress to strengthen the anti-redlining Community Reinvestment Act. It organized the victims of Hurricane Katrina to gain a voice in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. It spearheaded the living-wage movement in more than 100 cities and helped make the federal Earned Income Tax Credit an effective anti-poverty program. [Read more…]
From the Vimeo web site:
Photographer Ray Collins captures the magic that happens at the intersection of water and light. Each shot in this film was created from a single one of Ray’s original photos. The stills are transformed into cinemagraphs – a hybrid between photo and video – an infinite loop that makes a single moment last forever.
The original soundtrack was created by two very talented musicians, André Heuvelman on trumpet and Jeroen van Vliet on piano.
The world premiere of The Loneliest Girl in the World is a creative and moving work that looks at an early period of the gay rights movement by paralleling the lives of two figures, Anita Bryant and Thom Higgins (just Tommy in the musical).
The show opens with the press conference in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1977, where Tommy threw a pie in Anita’s face. The next two scenes take the audience back to the 1959 Miss America pageant, where Anita was the second runner-up. A young Tommy watches the pageant on TV while baking a pie with his mother. These scenes sets Tommy’s fixation on Anita, who, in his imagination, sings and dances with him.
The rest of the musical alternates between Anita and Tommy, capturing key events and experiences in their lives: Anita’s marriage to the former disc-jockey Robert Green, who becomes her manager; Anita’s appearances in commercials; her thriving career in the music industry. Tommy’s moving to a new city; his growing awareness of his sexuality; his first awkward encounter with Kyle, his future boyfriend, highlighted by a musical number “Twin Bed.” [Read more…]
From the CBS YouTube site:
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, perform Rent’s “Seasons Of Love” in honor of their theatre teacher, Melody Herzfeld, who was named the recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award, presented by Carnegie Mellon.
The Moxie Theatre production (National New Play Network, Rolling World Premiere) of The Madres, written by Stephanie Alison Walker and co-directed by Maria Patrice Amon and Jennifer Eve Thorn, presents a “slice of life” of those affected by the Dirty War (1976-1983)—a seven-year campaign by the Argentine government which led to the kidnapping and murder of over 30,000 people under the direction of General Jorge Rafael Videla.
During the Dirty War demonstrations began on April 30, 1977 in Buenos Aires when fourteen mothers assembled in the Plaza de Mayo (a square built to celebrate the beginning of the Argentine republic on 25 May 1810) to petition for information on the fate of their “disappeared” children. These demonstrations—which some historians call political “performance”—grew during the Videla regime and drew international attention.
All of the demonstrators wore white shawls embroidered with the names of the disappeared. Their demonstration became more choreographed over time as the participants increased in number. Today the Mothers continue marching in the Plaza de Mayo every Thursday. [Read more…]
Last night was movie night. I soaked in a film by Paolo Sorrentino—Youth—that deals with all the big issues: life, death, family, friendship, love … I’m still not sure I’ve entirely absorbed it. The cast includes Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano and Jane Fonda. The cinematography by Luca Bigazzi was exquisite, in fact painterly, in several scenes. There were several surreal passages that still have my mind swirling. The music, by David Lang, was tender, captivating and compelling. Here’s “Simple Song #3” from the closing scene. [Read more…]
The San Diego Repertory Theatre production of FLYING SOLO, a collaboration of Nathan Gunn and Hershey Felder, chronicles Nathan Gunn’s life and career. The show captivates the audience not only with musical selections from the operas and musicals that he has performed but with its genuine portrayal of Gunn’s life and his relationship with those who have influenced him.
In addition to numerous operas and operettas at major venues around the world, Gunn has starred in a number of musicals including Sweeny Todd (The Houston Grand Opera), Camelot and Carousel (both with the New York Philharmonic) and Show Boat (Carnegie Hall and the Lyric Opera of Chicago). He will be seen in the revival production of The Magic Flute (directed and designed by Julie Taymor) at the Metropolitan Opera in December 2018. [Read more…]
A group of stop-action musicians performs in a poignant little short animation by ainslie henderson via Puppet Animation Scotland. [Read more…]
When Teresa Gunn performs her one woman show Teresa Gets a Boyfriend at City College’s Saville Theatre on Saturday, February 24, she will take on the universal and often time worn themes of looking for love, finding love and trying to keep love.
Creative storytelling makes old stories new and Teresa Gunn is a consummate storyteller. Twenty years ago the San Diego recording artist and educator undertook a series of one woman performances as fundraisers for the nonprofit Musicians for Education/Street of Dreams. She refers to this series as the Trailer Park Queen Project. [Read more…]