Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This Sunday

is turning out to be a big day for me. I'm presenting my writing in two different venues, starting in West Hollywood at 10am and ending in Culver City at 7pm.

October 2, 10am, homo-centric at the WEHO BOOK FAIR.

I've recently been expanding on an old blog post from FWL called "The Indie Rock Tastemakers of Heber Springs, Arkansas," and submitted it for publication. I've been working with an editor to shape it up. We'll see how things proceed with that, but in the meantime, I'm reading it in West Hollywood this Sunday during the 10 o'clock hour in Booth B35 at the West Hollywood Book Fair.

West Hollywood Library & Park
625 N San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA
www.westhollywoodbookfair.org

October 2, 7pm, A Month of Sundays Play Reading Series, ExAngelus at Psychic Visions Theatre, Culver City.

I've begun a new writers group with some fellow southern California playwrights. We're called ExAngelus, and we've put together a reading series. I'm kicking things off with my new comedy, which is equal parts elegy for Elliott Smith and tribute to the folly of producing live theater in Los Angeles. Strange combo, I know; come check it out and tell me if it works. It's called make a whisper. I've got some of my favorite actors in Los Angeles involved -- Brian Rohan, Mark Slater, Andrew Hamrick, Marnie Olson, Edward Alvarado, and Sasha Harris -- and it's at my beloved Psychic Visions Theatre.

Psychic Visions Theatre
3447 Motor Ave, Ste A
Culver City, CA

Come check me out this Sunday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

tUnE-yArDs

are getting me through this week. Thank you Merrill Garbus.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maurice Sendak

on Fresh Air just about made me cry last night, y'all! Here's a taste:
Sendak says that he worked on Bumble-ardy while taking care of his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, who died of lung cancer in 2007.

"When I did Bumble-ardy, I was so intensely aware of death," he says. "Eugene, my friend and partner, was dying here in the house when I did Bumble-ardy. I did Bumble-ardy to save myself. I did not want to die with him. I wanted to live as any human being does. But there's no question that the book was affected by what was going on here in the house. ... Bumble-ardy was a combination of the deepest pain and the wondrous feeling of coming into my own. And it took a long time. It took a very long time."

Sunday, September 04, 2011

There is serious

comedy and serious tragedy occurring on the Westside right now. I got to see both this weekend and I recommend both.

SITI Company's The Trojan Women at The Getty Villa is elegant and severe, gorgeous in the Villa amphitheater, with a stunning performance by Ellen Lauren as Hecuba. It's still in previews but I doubt they'll mind me gushing about it. Here's the LAT preview that ran last weekend about it.

And at the Geffen we have The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz, in a production that brings together original players from the Chicago and New York productions. It was a Pulitzer finalist last year -- I like its print ads announcing it as "Pulitzer Prize LOSER" -- and it's easily the coolest thing I've ever seen at The Geffen. Loud, brash, and heavy on spectacle, it's engaging and ingratiating, with much to say about about American identity and exploitation. Also still in previews, but, since it's rare I ever get to things I want to mention while they're still in previews, here you go.

Here's the Geffen's trailer for the show.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Furious about

this.

The Bilerico Project has a good breakdown of the legal issues regarding the gay panic defense in the McInerny trial. Here's a good excerpt:
it was clear that the defense was banging away at a gay panic defense, suggesting that King's sexual "advances" were the trigger for McInerney's actions. But there are certain things we are not prepared to accept as a "reasonable" provocation. The fact that someone hates people of a particular race or ethnicity, for example, is not generally accepted as "reasonable" provocation. It might have actually acted as a factor that provoked the defendant, but our law does not consider that as a reason for diminished responsibility. A defense lawyer would not be allowed to make such a case, ask questions insinuating as much, or argue it to the jury. It is also clear that, had King been a girl that McInerney had killed because he didn't like her sexual advances, such an argument would also be deemed inappropriate. And yet, such an argument happened just now in the Larry King case, and the judge said nothing and did nothing to stop it.

As a side note, there was much hullabaloo about a law passed a few years ago in California against the "gay panic" and "trans panic" defenses. However, it was nothing more than a law requiring a jury instruction that the jury shouldn't consider the victim's personal identity, including, among others in a long list, sexual orientation. That's a meaningless law as demonstrated by this case. Jury charges can be pages and pages long and simply stating that one should not take the victim's sexual orientation into account is meaningless in the context of a trial such as this. Of course they took Larry King's sexual orientation into account. How could they not, when the defense presented 100 witness and weeks of testimony about Larry King's sexual orientation and the judge allowed it? The law that's needed is a law that says that evidence pertaining to a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity is deemed irrelevant and prejudicial, and therefore inadmissible.
Read the whole thing here.