BOB DYLAN DOES THE AMERICAN STANDARDS HIS WAY and more...


BOB DYLAN DOES THE AMERICAN STANDARDS HIS WAY

 

(Robert Love’s article appeared in the March issue of AARP; via Pam Green.)

For a man who has lived in the public eye for more than 50 years, Bob Dylan is fiercely private. When he’s not on stage — since 1988, he’s maintained a performance schedule so relentless it’s known as the Never Ending Tour — he slips back into anonymity. But early last summer, Dylan’s representatives reached out and told me he wanted to speak to AARP The Magazine about his new project. “I don’t work at Rolling Stone anymore,” I told them, thinking it was a case of crossed wires, since I put in 20 years there. No, they said, there’s no mistake; he wants to talk to your readers.

And now, after five months of negotiation, a cross-country flight and days of waiting, it is less than an hour until our interview, and I still don’t know exactly where I will meet the reclusive artist. Driving down into the late October sun from the hills of Berkeley, California, toward the San Francisco Bay, I wait for a phone call with directions to a certain floor of a hotel. Then I’ll be given the room number, told to knock, and wait.

(Read more)

http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/style-trends/info-2015/bob-dylan-aarp-magazine.html?intcmp=ATMBB2#.VPaYqRYBzcI.mailto

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .  

     

***** CHRISTINA MASCIOTTI: 'SOCIAL SECURITY' (REVIEW PICK, NY)

(Helen Shaw’s article appeared in TimeOut New York, 3/3.)

A woman putters around the stage, adjusting a paper grocery bag from Giant, plugging in a clock radio. We can hear an old woman's voice nattering away on a recording (“And then he took all the black forks! You know my black forks”), and slowly—as she dons a saggy bra and wig—young Elizabeth Dement becomes 80-year-old June, waddling slightly in her baggy shorts and curly gray ’do. Under her breath, Dement takes over June's running patter, picking up from the real recording. In a way, this is what playwright Christina Masciotti has done in the sly comic thriller Social Security, using her keen ear for inflection, malapropism and dialect to convert her own mother's actual neighbor into a wonderful stage creation.

June recently lost her husband to cancer, but she's surrounded by people who seem willing to help. Her disgraced-podiatrist landlord, the mustachioed Wayne (T. Ryder Smith), and her massage-therapist neighbor Sissy (Cynthia Hopkins) drop by constantly, so they can take June to get groceries (“Oh! We should get them Jell-Os with the fruit in 'em!”) or to the bank to cash her social-security checks. They're willing to lean in close to June, who is deaf as a post, writing her notes and negotiating her strangely prickly dependence. The comedy is immediate, but the drama emerges imperceptibly, a slowly dawning realization that Wayne's generosity isn't all it seems. “He grew up in a cave by wolves,” warns Sissy. “Very quiet, very low-key wolves.”

(Read more)

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/theater/social-security

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .  

     

TENA STIVICIC WINS SUSAN SMITH BLACKBURN PRIZE

 

(from the Telegraph, 3/4.)

Tena Stivicic has won the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the oldest playwriting prize for women, for her 2014 play 3 Winters, which was produced at the National Theatre in London last December.

Stivicic already plans to write another play for the National Theatre and later this year hopes cameras will roll on an independent film adaptation of her play Invisible, which explores the many sides of migration.

Speaking at the prizegiving ceremony, Stivicic said that she wrote 3 Winters to try to address the imbalance in the male-dominated theatre community.

"The problem is we've all internalized this perspective so it seems perfectly natural to look at the world from the male perspective," she said. "A lot of women have internalized it. It doesn't even occur to us that it doesn't represent life."

(Read more)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-news/11448878/Tena-Stivicic-wins-womens-playwriting-prize-and-announces-new-play.html

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .  

     

WHEN BRECHT MET WEILL: A DAZZLING BUT DOOMED PARTNERSHIP

 

(Philip Hensher’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/3.)

Some historical periods immediately conjure up the sound made by their orchestras. Think of high imperial Vienna and a Strauss waltz starts to sound, while Edwardian England calls up Elgar. Another is, surely, Weimar Germany. Its characteristic sound is a small orchestra, heavy on the brass and wind, a banjo and a guitar at work. They are making a busy, sour, staccato fugue. Soon a woman will start declaiming in a harsh voice. It’s the sound of Brecht and Weill – and nobody summons up the sound of helpless, furious laughter on the precipice of catastrophe more vividly.

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny is about to be mounted at the Royal Opera House in London. It’s a rare outing for Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s most extensive and demanding collaboration, itself the culmination of a series of joint works: The Mahagonny Songspiel, The Threepenny Opera and Happy End. The collaboration was problematic – Brecht and Weill came from very different places, and had very different ambitions. What happened after the March 1930 premiere in Leipzig permanently hobbled the piece, and it has never quite recovered. With the exception of Alabama Song, covered by everyone from Gisela May to the Doors, its songs have not seeped into the mass consciousness like Bilbao Song and Surabaya Johnny, survivors of the wreckage of Happy End.

(Read more)

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/mar/03/when-brecht-met-weill-a-dazzling-but-doomed-partnership

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

REVIEW: BARBARA COOK SANG STANDARDS, WITH AUDIENCE MEMBERS AS ACOLYTES

(Stephen Holden’s article appeared in The New York Time, 3/1; via Pam Green)

Barbara Cook’s American Songbook concert at the Appel Room on Saturday evening had the air of a family gathering at the bedside of an ailing but still vital matriarch. “I’m not dying,” she assured her flock, for whom she is a voice of sanity and wisdom like none other. Her difficulty in walking she ascribed to two lower-back fractures that may be treatable.

In the twilight of her career at 87, Ms. Cook knows full well that her voice isn’t what it used to be. Her vocal strength has diminished. Her intonation was shaky. And she had momentary lapses of memory that were more frustrating to her than to the audience, which had come to pay tribute and to bask in her still-radiant presence. Nobody came expecting technical perfection, although her renditions of “No One Is Alone,” from “Into the Woods”; “If I Love Again,” a little-known ballad by Ben Oakland and Jack Murray; and the Billie Holiday hit “Lover Man” conveyed plenty of the old magic.

Ms. Cook prefaced “No One Is Alone” by expressing her fascination with a particular line: “Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood,” then remarking on how it relates to surviving the death of a loved one. She went on to compare Stephen Sondheim to Shakespeare in the layered quality of his imagery. “Man, he’s a trip!” she exclaimed. Another of her idols, Mabel Mercer, was remembered with an analysis of Mercer’s elegant pronunciation of consonants.

(Read m0re)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/02/arts/music/review-barbara-cook-sang-standards-with-audience-members-as-acolytes.html?_r=0

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     


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