The electric final 15 minutes of the new musical based on Sylvester Stallone’s small-town Philly boxer are likely to inspire a heavy outpouring of adjectives: Game-changing. Jaw-dropping. Astounding. All are fair…
In terms of organic self-promotion, it’s going to be hard this week to beat the teaser for Kelly Haramis‘ Double Happiness, debuting Thursday at St. Marks Theater as part of the Frigid New York festival and encoring February 23, 26, March 1, 4 and 6. The show is about Haramis’ fertility and adoption quest to build a family, and the promo for the NYC performances features her two young daughters.
Formerly a writer and editor for the Chicago Tribune, Haramis chronicled her efforts to adopt a child through a popular column, “Journey to Adoption,” in the paper’s Sunday “Q” style section from 2005 through 2007. She received hundreds of letters from around the world, and her daughter, Athena, would be recognized on the street after her arrival in the U.S.
You know how often it’s the most trivial, youth-driven stuff that goes viral? Well, here’s a potential antidote to all that to start off your February 10-14 week.
Sting and Paul Simon kicked off their two-month tour this weekend in Houston. At one point, they teamed for a great version of the Simon & Garfunkel song “The Boxer,” ending with Sting kissing Simon on the forehead. Enough said.
Under the website blog post headline “A MESSAGE FROM FLEA” and the salutation ‘Dear everybody,’ the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ flamboyant bassist has penned a detailed explanation of how he and his bandmates came to accept a fate they swore they never would ever again. Being forcibly unplugged on a concert or TV performance stage. At the Super Bowl, no less!
Are hardcore fans buying Flea’s account of the NFL’s unbending halftime show live-performance rules and the band’s reasons for going along with them? Well, it depends which reader comment response(s) you peruse. At press time, there are dozens of supportive registered-user comments among the 100+ left so far (many, for some reason, are duplicated).
Most recently from the “Not Buying It” side (n2suntzu):
What a pant load…
You knowingly engaged in deceiving the people watching and expecting to see live music. Deception is fundamentally a lie. Lying is fundamentally an insult as it either consciously or unconsciously expresses the belief that the person being lied to is not smart enough to figure it out.
Opera superstar Renée Fleming, who will perform the national anthem at MetLife Stadium on Sunday accompanied by the New Jersey Symphony and 32 standout U.S. military singers, needs no introduction. However, we have to applaud her for one of the liveliest website “clippings” sections we’ve recently come across.
In terms of both navigation and curation, Fleming’s “Kudos” tab is a breezy blast, bracketed by an April 2013 New York Times article and trio of November 2007 New York newspaper reviews of La Traviata. There’s much more to savor in-between, from how Fleming helped organize a one-night comedic event last winter at Chicago’s Second City to the way she took hold of an Albert Hall “Proms” series in the fall of 2010. From Ivan Hewett‘s excerpted Telegraph write-up:
One of the two star guests alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jiri Belohlavek was soprano Renée Fleming, and she provided the most ravishing vocal sounds I’ve heard in the Albert Hall these past two months.
Looking resplendent in a purple power frock designed by Vivienne Westwood, she nailed the emotional heart of Strauss’s songs in a way that stilled the waving flags and brought total silence to the packed hall.
On Tuesday, Above the Fold began previewing at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. That’s close to KPCC 89.3 FM, a short MTA Gold Line ride from the Los Angeles Times and a couple of 134/210 freeway exits east of ABC 7.
Why the media triangulation? Because the author of the play is none other than Bernard Weinraub, former formidable New York Times reporter and husband to Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal. From the official synopsis:
Jane (Taraji P. Henson), an African-American newspaper reporter from New York, flies to a Southern university where three white fraternity members have been accused of raping a young African-American woman. Taking place amidst the shift from print to digital journalism, Above the Fold asks tough questions about the exploitation of tragedy, the cost of success and the dangers that come when ambition collides with truth.
Previews of Bikeman: The 9/11 Theatrical Experience begin Sunday January 26 at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, with 7.5% of every ticket after mandated deductions going to the 9/11 Memorial. The official opening is set for February 18, with Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark) in the lead role.
The one-hour show is based on a book of the same name by Thomas F. Flynn. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, Flynn was a writer-producer with the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. From the starting point that fateful morning of his Greenwich Village home, Flynn headed to the scene on his bicycle after the first plane hit and quickly became much more than a mere reporter.
Flynn, a part-time resident of Cape Cod, still does some writing today for the CBS Evening News, though he contributes mainly to former boss Rather’s HDNet show. From an article in the Cape Cod Times:
Flynn says he believes Bikeman is “everyone’s story” because what happened on September 11 “was the most watched event in the history of the earth…”
This promises to be quite the sideline attraction. Per a statement released today by Amnesty International and picked up by the New York Observer‘s Matthew Kassel, formerly incarcerated Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina will be part of the “Bringing Human Rights Home” charity-event bill February 5 at Barclays Center. Three days after the Super Bowl:
“We, more than anyone, understand how important Amnesty’s work is in connecting activists to prisoners.”
“A month ago, we were freed from Russian prison camps. We will never forget what it’s like to be in prison after a political conviction.”
Or, more precisely,”Allen Parkway Inn.” Per Stephen Holden‘s review in the New York Times of the actor’s recent musical run at 54 Below, the song highlights the class system that unfolds on most big Hollywood movie sets:
The song describes with barbed good humor Daniels’ humiliation at being put up in a dingy motel while filming Terms of Endearment, while those higher on the marquee received comparatively royal treatment.
Amazon is, presently, temporarily out of stock of the CD from which that song came, Live at the Purple Rose. That’s a good thing; it suggests that in-between seasons, Newsroom fans are turning to Will McAvoy‘s very tuneful night job.
British journalist Peter Cordwell, who was rudely dumped this past summer by a weekly publication, has never been to Manhattan. But by the time his 67th birthday rolls around, he will have finally made the pilgrimage.
“I always wanted to go to New York – I’m a big Bob Dylan fan and loved JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye – and there’s no better way of doing it than this,” said Cordwell…