Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cell phone pic

Here's a picture from one of those rainy days a couple of weeks ago. It's a view outside my office building. I was taking it for the snow on the mountains in the distance; if you squint you can just make it out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I could drive a person crazy.

I finally finished watching Company on PBS, after recording it on my DVR and savoring it over the course of three days. I was a little nervous because someone I know hated the production when he saw it in NYC, and I wasn't all that crazy about Mr. Doyle's Mahagonny at LAOpera last season. It was so nice to discover my nervousness was unnecessary; I have to say I went for the whole thing hook, line, and sinker.

Last night, JW walked in the bedroom and asked, "Are you STLL watching that?" Not only did I answer in the affirmative, I wouldn't let him leave until "Ladies Who Lunch" was over. It was so dark it kinda made us both uncomfortable, but when it was over I turned to JW and said, "Seeing that in the theater would've been HOT." I was imagining the goosebumps. And then they just go back into the scene without giving the audience a chance to applaud! Wonderful. They were all probably too stunned to know how to respond.

The purists were probably infuriated, but the emotional charge to the curtain call made me forget how quaint the whole marriage dilemma of the show seems. Even when the odd jocular line didn't quite fit the tone the production was going for, the results were so rich I really didn't care. And Bobby sitting down to the piano after not playing a note the whole play...just gorgeous. And all that on top of how elegant and sophisticated the take on the show was. I just want to go home and watch it all over again.

Cue JW's massive eye roll.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I feel like I should

post something about the Oscars here, or maybe Hillary and Obama, or something else that's topical and notable, but lately I've been having a kind of blogger's crisis.

It seems blogs fall into two categories -- the opinionated and the diaristic. FWL is often both; I tend to prefer it when it's personal and I'm storytelling, honestly. Here's the thing, though -- I have a lot of good stories. A LOT! But I sure as hell ain't gonna post them on the internet.

And as for the opinionated option -- lately when I visit a blog that sounds off on politics or the arts or anything of the slightest consequence, I'm reminded of a friend of mine from college named Adrienne. It was 97-98 and we were all wound up with the Lewinsky scandal and watching a lot of TV news. They would inevitably cut to some man-on-the-street segment and be asking people their opinions on the event and Adrienne would shout, "WHY IN HELL SHOULD I CARE WHAT YOU THINK?"

So yeah, I like the blogs I like, but sometimes I read all the Obama this and Hillary that and theater this and movie that and I hear Adrienne's frustrated voice in my head. And I've been hearing it a lot when I set out to write on my blog too.

All that said, since that was a little diaristic, here's a little opinion for you.

I want to hate Juno but I only hate the first few minutes. Otherwise it's overrated but still charming. Love There Will Be Blood and Michael Clayton, and admire No Country for Old Men but find it more of a heady, interesting puzzle than a great emotional ride, even if a lot of it is pretty exciting. I haven't seen Atonement because I want to read the book first, but right now I'm just getting around to Fast Food Nation and Katherine Graham's autobiography, so I'm not anticipating cracking that one anytime soon. And I'm also reading this adorable gay novel for teens that I picked out at A Different Light solely because I like the cover and blocky shape of the book. It's called Absolute Brightness, and so far, so good.

Oh, and I'm ready for Obama to be able to focus on McCain, but I'm also pleased Hillary's going to go down swinging. And if she manages a late round KO, then more power to her.

And I want some change I can Xerox. Where can I get that again?

Friday, February 22, 2008

IL BIDONE closing weekend!

This weekend is your last chance to see the play that the L.A.
Weekly calls "an impressively mounted production, executed with
aplomb by a solid ensemble."

The L.A. Times agreed, saying "IL BIDONE is no mere curiosity. Its
aplomb heralds a company well worth watching."

Rushforth Productions
in association with Bootleg Theater
IL BIDONE
by Federico Fellini
adapted for the stage by Patrick Mapel

This Thursday-Sunday at 8pm!

Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
213-455-1495
www.rushforthproductions.com

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm loving Los Angeles today.

I've been sitting in my coffee shop all morning working on a revision of this gay, indie, 20-something, big-fish-in-a-small-pond screenplay set in the urban metropolis of Little Rock, Arkansas, and this older supporting character has started to emerge as something of a thematic anchor. From the first character sketches I had a certain adorable southern character actor with a name that rhymes with LESLIE JORDAN as an ideal casting choice for the role. Occasionally I even think about trying to get in touch with him and send him the script. And seriously, he JUST WALKED IN AND ORDERED A DRINK. I even think it was ICED TEA. Wonderful. I hope he Googles himself a lot.

I just noticed something else -- Jordan shares a first name with my late grandfather and his last name is the name of the protagonist in my screenplay. It's all too much!

I swear I'm not crazy, Mr. Jordan. Want to read my script?

Friday, February 15, 2008

No more guns.

Enough already.

Okay, now that that's out of my system, Joe.My.God. suggests we should all donate to the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance in memory of Lawrence King, the gay youth in Oxnard who was shot and killed by a fellow student in what police are calling a hate crime. Sounds like a good idea to me. Read Joe's post here, or just go straight to the Paypal page here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Attention New York School geeks!

I know you're out there! REDCAT's got a show up next Wednesday for us.

Women, the New York School and Other True Abstractions

Some of the most influential voices in poetry, performance and criticism come together for a multidisciplinary celebration of Maggie Nelson’s new book, Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions -- the first full-length study of the roles played by women in and around the New York School of poets and painters, dating from the 1950s to the present. Anne Carson, Bruce Hainley, Eileen Myles, Tara Jane O’Neil and Claudia Rankine and many others are invited to respond to Nelson’s book in any way they see fit -- through music, poetry, visual art, performance or critical dialogue.

Join scholar and poet Maggie Nelson for a free lecture at 6 pm prior to the 8 pm performance. She will speak about her research on the New York School in this rare opportunity to hear her contextualize the experimental evening that will follow.
Check the website here.

Holly Hughes is going to be there next month, too! I'm going to Otello that night or I'd definitely check that out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One

of the fun surprises of my first issue of Out Magazine was that the cover story is about the boys from Gossip Girl. I watched one episode and was on the verge of dismissing it altogether, but JW flipped through Out and now he's suddenly taken an interest.

That's what cable has done to us, people. Project Runway and Gossip Girl.

How did we ever live without it??

A friend of mine

gave me a gift subscription to Out Magazine over the holidays and I got my first issue a few days ago.

It arrived wrapped in opaque plastic.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I've got 33 pages

on a new play, which is encouraging. I was afraid I hated it last weekend, but I'm starting to think I might not.

Saw the Wooster Group Hamlet on Friday, which gave me a lot of ideas and things to think about. I'm writing this metatheatrical thing, and their whole exposing-the-artifice thing egged me on a bit. That show gets better for me the more I think about it. The L.A. critics just didn't seem too willing to engage with its ideas, I'm afraid. I found much to consider about voyeurism, the relationship of the performance of a play and its historical antecedents, the tension between imitation and authenticity, and the general hotness of the big Gertrude / Hamlet scene after he kills Polonious. If they'd just presented that moment alone, it would've been worth the ticket, but everything else was pretty exciting too.

What else? Oh, come see Il Bidone.

And Diane Lane can't save Untraceable's lameness. Neither can her hair.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm having an Elliott Smith

afternoon. He came up in conversation somehow and now I'm knee-deep in youtube clips. Here's a nice one:



I paid two dollars to see him at Carnegie Mellon on Halloween in 2000. He was wearing a grim reaper costume, and he and his band played "Don't Fear the Reaper" to complement his wardrobe. Best two bucks I ever spent.

So I bought a copy

of August: Osage County. I want to read it, but I think it's safe to assume that I'll get to see it in Los Angeles at some point in the near future. Should I read or should I wait?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I found this

adorable love poem by James Schuyler that I wanted to share. There are several more nice ones at this link. But this one is especially sweet. It makes me wish I had a copy of his diary here so I could figure out who he might be writing about. I'll have to put that on my to-do list.

HAVING MY SAY-SO

What a sweet dear good boy he is, I said aloud to the empty room.
I never expected to feel like Elizabeth Barrett Browning again,
not this soon.
It’s not so soon.
Surely it’s undignified for a gent to want to take another
gent bouquets, and absurd?
Just as surely I could not care less.
Surely it’s an incredible invasion of someone else’s privacy to sit
around writing unsolicited poems to and about him?
Well, as you-know-who would say,
I’m sorry but I just can’t help it I feel this way.
Deeply.
What kind of thing does a man say to a man he’s in love with? Things
like,
I can’t tell you how adorable you looked in your new suit and that tie
the other night.
Then he says, That suit is rather me isn’t it,
then I say, yes,
and the world lights up like the hot star they say it used to be
or may become
burnt by the sun.
It’s still glowing!
That’s not my sleeve, that’s my heart.
Not less than any other lover who ever wrote I want to describe his looks,
the way his wide eyebrows uniquely die away in a haze of fine short hairs
on the East and West slopes of his forehead,
the way they join in a tuft, a small explosion of longer hairs above his
nose,
the crinkled pink of a new small scar, still touched by the black recent
stitches,
the fullness of his lower lip, like the excess that shaped the pear,
sulky and determined, boyish and sweet,
Greek, before they got refined:
but if I’m such a lover why can’t I remember the color of his eyes?
I know their movements, how they twinkle wickedly (love is all about
clich├ęs)
when he’s silly-drunk and cute,
how animal and slitty they get when he’s tired,
their hard look at the floor when he won’t be shy:
I think they’re the color of the sky, which is not always blue.
Then there’s his jaw that has a long-bow curve to it
his hair curling on his nape, not silky or wiry, lively,
and in a quick transition to a longer view
the thin-skinned very-naked whiteness of his back with muscles lapped
and
moving in it,
his belly, firm as a flank, sprouting little curves like dune grass around
the Lake Nemi of his navel:
Moon! look down and see the small dark pit of your reflection on this
pale
shaded plain of flesh.
Heart, dream no further:
do you want to go off like the rockets on the 4th at the Washington
Monument?
I must get back to work,
but first I’ll look at the clock and imagine where he is.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Grace Hartigan on Frank O'Hara

-K- of Jimson Weed Gazette sent me a nice interview with painter Grace Hartigan about her friendship with Frank O'Hara. You can read the whole thing here, but I'll paste my favorite quotes below.

You used to sign your work “George Hartigan.” Why?

Because I identified with George Sand and George Eliot—they were my heroes. The real story is I had gay friends who all had female names amongst themselves and I thought it would be fun to have a man’s name.

When you moved to Baltimore, what happened to your friendship?

It broke off during this time; our lives went into different places. I wrote him a Dear John letter and earned the wrath of the New York gay community. I could not see how to share my feelings with a new husband and Frank.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Another good review

In today's LATimes. Click here for the whole thing. We're the third review in the Theater Beat section.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:

There's much to admire about "Il Bidone," presented by
Rushforth Productions at the Bootleg Theatre. Patrick
Mapel's adaptation of Federico Fellini's 1955 film has
its quirks, but they spring from a glut of theatrical
invention....

"Il Bidone" is no mere curiosity. Its aplomb
heralds a company well worth watching.