Posts Tagged ‘Theatre’

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Tony Award Nominations

April 30, 2011

You know when there’s a new show opening on Broadway every night that the cut off for the Tony Award nominations is fast approaching.

It’s more flagrant this year than most it seems to me, this barrage of Broadway shows opening just weeks, or days, actually hours…before the Tony deadline.

There’s nothing especially theatrical about April so these openings are not timed for artistic relevance. It’s not reliably the best month for box office, although Easter week was a blockbuster this year. No, April openings are about one thing: getting Tony Award nominations.

Look, Broadway didn’t invent this. The movie industry led the way with the Oscars. That’s why all the “good” movies open between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Movies have to open by December 31st for Oscar consideration, if only in New York and L.A.

I want to be believe shows are nurtured, rehearsed, perfected until they become life affirming, soul shaking spectacles to be performed on the prestigious stages of Broadway. Whenever that time comes.

But I would be wrong.

It’s  very much about business and about getting things, in particular, Tony Awards. It’s the highest award for stage, a nomination or win brings bragging rights and generates press coverage.  Which in turn producers hope will sell more tickets.

Show business is a slave to habit. So I would guess we will continue to see Broadway shows pop up this time of year like April showers. More stars will turn out for the premieres than any other time of year, because there will be more stars appearing in the Broadway plays and musicals this time of year with their hopes high that Tony voters will have short memories and look favorably on the season’s late entries.

We’ll see if they are proven right when the nominations are announced next week.

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Interviewing Christine Ebersole

March 5, 2011

It was in the works for a couple of weeks, now, and last night I interviewed Christine Ebersole  for ON THE SCENE. (She’s the winner of two Tony Awards for “42nd Street” and “Grey Gardens” ). We also taped her concert rehearsal at the Mayor Center For The Arts in Morristown, New Jersey.

People always ask me about the famous people I’ve interviewed and they mostly want to know who was the biggest jerk, the most difficult, what went wrong, the drama. And sometimes there is plenty of it. But  this time I can say there was none of the above. Disappointing to those who like some dirt with their dish,  I know.

What I notice immediately about the artist I am interviewing is: are they willing to go inside themselves, reveal, show the connection between their life and their art.  Since that is the basis of the ON THE SCENE show, by now most people know those are the type of questions I ask and they come ready to have a conversation.

And Ebersole headed down that road on my first question. She described her new concert being themed on her own maturing, how to age with wisdom and grace and yet stay youthful in spirit.

That’s exactly what a lot of people watching tv at any given moment are experiencing, too, so I know women and men of all ages will relate to what she has to say.

 

 

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“The Accidental Pervert”: A Review

February 2, 2011

Of all things to forge a sacred bond between father and son…tossing a softball in the park, fishing together at a favorite lake, watching the football game on a Sunday afternoon… this is not a shared interest that you’d post pictures of on Facebook. Or document in the family photo album. Or brag about to the grandparents.

You’d be more likely to tell it to a priest. At confession.

In fact, that’s what “The Accidental Pervert” is like. A confession. Andrew Goffman reveals in his one man show that the tie that binds his family is a G string.

Pornography. A father’s legacy. A son’s obsession.

Goffman’s entertaining semi-autobiographical comedy (a true story in which names and certain details are changed to protect the un-perverted) is a trip down a XXX-rated memory lane.

As Goffman tells it, at age 11 he stumbled upon a box of pornographic videotapes tucked away in a closet, left behind by his father who had moved out after a divorce. Curiosity+hormones=the rest of the story.

“No one starts out to be a pervert,” Goffman rationalizes to the audience. But those tapes, a VCR and abundant hours home by himself, turned Goffman’s young life into the Ron Jeremy edition of an after school tv special.

Set in Goffman’s room, circa 1980 and complete with a recliner, Norman Rockwell prints hanging on each wall and Goffman in boxers and a t-shirt,  he speaks directly to the audience, animatedly recounting with the help of some provocative sound effects and props.. and a dose of humility, charm and self-deprecating humor…how porn took over his life, warped his image of women and set him up for the most unrealistic expectations.

By the time the nearly 90 minute performance winds to close, Goffman’s conclusion that it has taken marriage and fatherhood to get him to put aside his penchant for porn and to have a healthy relationship in the living flesh, hardly comes as a surprise. The noteworthy twist is his relationship with his father…this odd, but intriguing and unspoken-between-them connection he now feels toward his father through these videos.  This is where Goffman’s show finds its heart and while drama does not seem to come as naturally to him (Goffman is a former stand up comedian and the comedic elements of his script are more strongly written)  he  succeeds in taking the audience in some unexpected directions.

“The Accidental Pervert” is written and performed by Andrew Goffman and directed by Charles Messina. It runs through June at the Players Theatre located on MacDougal Street in the West Village.