Archive for January, 2012

Theater review: NEWYORKLAND

January 30, 2012

My review of Temporary Distortion’s Newyorkland at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (part of P.S. 122’s COIL festival) has just been posted on Check it out here and let me know what you think.

The sound score for the piece is available for streaming or downloading from Temporary Distortion’s website — nice work by John Sully.

Quote of the day: CLASS WARFARE

January 30, 2012


In her book A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, Barbara Tuchman writes about a peasant revolt in 1358 that began in the village of St. Leu and spread throughout the Oise Valley. At one estate, the serfs sacked the manor house, killed the knight, and roasted him on a spit in front of his wife and kids. Then, after ten or twelve peasants violated the lady, with the children still watching, they forced her to eat the roasted flesh of her dead husband and then killed her. That is class warfare. Arguing over the optimum marginal tax rate for the top 1 percent is not.

— Al Franken

Photo diary: miscellania since New Year’s day

January 30, 2012

New Year's day at Andy's with classmates from Cornell and their plus-ones

Keith Hennessy onstage (above and below) at the Abrons Arts Center in improvised performance Almost for the American Realness festival

random profile pic on Scruff

Dinner at Cha-Ya in the Mission with Keith Hennessy, Andrew Ramer, and a guy wearing a Big Bird winter hat

Theater review: WIT

January 29, 2012

My review of Manhattan Theatre Club’s excellent Broadway revival of Margaret Edson’s justly acclaimed play Wit, starring Cynthia Nixon, has just been posted on Check it out here and let me know what you think.

The production doesn’t obliterate my strong memories of the original 1998 New York production starring Kathleen Chalfant (see my review of that production here) — nothing could — but it’s very good, and I highly recommend it.

Quote of the day: EMPATHY

January 28, 2012


My father used to say, “Son, you can’t listen with your mouth open.” He accused me of loving the sound of my own voice, but to me it was more that my mind was filled with information I wanted to share.
In college I took a counseling course, and the professor stressed empathy. He said we would do more good if we listened for feelings rather than gave advice. I thought this was bull and made an appointment to tell him so.
“Try an experiment,” he said. “Talk to someone with the one goal of listening to their heart. Then ask them how they feel.”
I decided to try it on my wife. I asked about her problems and just let her talk. It felt strange to offer no input and ask no questions. I just reflected back to her what I sensed she was feeling. After what was, for me, an exhausting discussion, I asked how she felt.
“I felt loved,” she replied.
I signed up for another course with that professor.

— Wade M. Nye, “Readers Write About: Saying Too Much,” The Sun

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