Archive for October, 2010

Quote of the day: MASOCHISM

October 20, 2010


Masochism is a perverted attempt to express a (prohibited) desire. And usually involves a bid for ecstasy.

— Emmanuel Ghent, “Masochism, Submission, Surrender”

Photo diary: the Bessie Awards

October 20, 2010
that's Ishmael Houston-Jones, by the way, one of the judges and presenters

I went to the Bessie Awards at Symphony Space as the guest of Keith Hennessy. Like most awards, the Bessies are supposed to be a secret until they're announced onstage, but since Keith lives in San Francisco they let him know in advance, and he decided to fly in to accept his award in person.

We stopped for a piece of pizza on our way to the awards. Keith was wearing his pink cowboy shirt handmade in Bangkok.

He wore his brown suit with bright green shoes. I wore my handmade Italian wool three-piece navy pinstriped suit with my red faux-horsehair shoes from Daffy's. We took the subway.

Here's Keith with Carla Peterson, executive director of Dance Theater Workshop, where he performed his award-winning show CROTCH last year.

The reception was fun. I ran into people I haven't seen in years -- Lori E. Seid, Mark Russell, Stephen Greco, Dennis Cooper, and Harold Norris (pictured here with me).

Isaac Mizrahi was the MC. I thought he was funny and dishy and loving to the performers, but he horrified many audience members by telling a story about running into a former ballerina on the street and thinking to himself, "Omigod, you've blown up!"

The Bessies didn't happen last year, for various (mostly fiscal) reasons, so this year they played catch-up by citing 6 shows from the 2008-2009 season and 6 from the 2009-2010 season. Those awards were given to everyone involved in the show. Plus there were 7 awards given to performers, two of which were for multiple performers, one of which was the final award of the night given to Paradigm, the group of legendary veteran dancers pictured here: (from right) Carmen deLavallade, Gus Solomons Jr., Valda Setterfield, Dudley Williams, and Michael Blake. (not pictured: Hope Clarke and Keith Sabado)

Ish and Keith after the show

There was an after-party on Columbus at 71st Street, and then we walked home, stopping at Columbus Circle for a falafel sandwich and a peek at this emptied-out retail space on Broadway and 58th Street. Life in New York City.


October 18, 2010

Anybody who knows me is probably getting sick of hearing me rave about Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, but here’s my review for CultureVulture of the Broadway production. I think it’s a really smart play about the dumb people we are that uses very silly means to ask very serious questions about this project called America:

What was it for this country?
The farms and the blood across the prairie?…
What was it for?
The swimming pools?
The highways?
The ballgames in the dusk?

Quote of the day: HATE

October 18, 2010


“Hate Hotel”

Sometimes I like to think about the people I hate.
I take my room at the Hate Hotel, and I sit and flip
through the heavy pages of the photographs,
the rogue’s gallery of the faces I loathe.

My lamp of resentment sputters twice, then comes on strong,
filling the room with its red light.
That’s how hate works—it thrills you and kills you

with its deep heat.
Sometimes I like to sit and soak
in the Jacuzzi of my hate, hatching my plots

like a general running his hands over a military map—
and my bombers have been sent out
over the dwellings of my foes,
and are releasing their cargo of ill will

on the targets below, the hate bombs falling in silence
into the lives of the hate-recipients.

From the high window of my office
in the Government of Hate,
where I stay up late, working hard,
where I make no bargains, entertain no
scenarios of reconciliation,

I watch the hot flowers flare up all across
the city, the state, the continent—
I sip my soft drink of hate on the rocks
and let the punishment go on unstopped,

—again and again I let hate
get pregnant and give birth
to hate which gets pregnant
and gives birth again—

and only after I feel that hate
has trampled the land, burned it down
to some kingdom come of cautery and ash,
Only after it has waxed and waned and waxed all night
only then can I let hate

creep back in the door. Curl up at my feet
and sleep. Little pussycat hate. Home sweet hate.

— Tony Hoagland

Music review: Ann Magnuson and Adam Dugas in DUELING HARPS

October 18, 2010

On Thursday night I saw Dueling Harps, a sort of conceptual performance art concert by Ann Magnuson and Adam Dugas at the Abrons Arts Center, and reviewed it for CultureVulture.

“It was the kind of high-concept show that’s perfect for a late-night, booze-lubricated, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants club gig at a place like Club 57 on St. Mark’s Place, where Magnuson and cohorts like Kenny Scharf and John Sex threw theme parties like ‘Putt-Putt Reggae’ and the punk-rock quiz show ‘Name That Noise.’ But mounted as a theater production with real costumes and lights and musical arrangements, on a famous stage where Orson Welles and Martha Graham had performed (as an awestruck Magnuson acknowledged), Dueling Harps didn’t hold up.”

You can read the entire review online here. I have a lot of affection for Magnuson, based on seeing her work as an emerging East Village artist back in the 1980s, so I was sorry not to have liked the show more. You can read the feature story I wrote about her for the Village Voice in 1985 here.

%d bloggers like this: