Monday, May 21, 2012

“Ted Cruz is a true conservative you can trust to stand on principle and change the way Washington does business… Today, through May 25, please vote early for Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate.”
Sarah Palin campaigning in Topeka, Kansas for Ted Cruz to be Senator from Kansas. 

Minor detail -- Mr. Cruz is running for the U.S. Senate from Texas! 

Ms. Palin is really almost too good to be true:  it's just like her statement that Paul Revere was riding to warn the British that the Americans were coming to get them (thereby making him a traitor rather than the American hero we were all taught he was) all over again.  It's a wonder her handlers, if she has any these days, allow her out in public unsupervised.


For some years now, my performance-going in New York City has been confined to opera for both professional and financial reasons.  My life as a designer and speaker, and my love of the medium, has focused tightly on opera and I can go to performances at the Metropolitan for under $45 per ticket.  The prices on Broadway can be well over $125 a ticket and that's not just for the "best" seats since a great many theaters are close to being one price throughout the house.   

The following article [which I have edited] indicates that a movement is gaining traction to give theater-goers a place to go that they can actually afford while seeing new work of a kind that Broadway seldom does these days.

Lincoln Center Theater to Open a New Stage  
By Robin Pogrebin in the New York Times

At a time when Broadway has grown increasingly costly, Lincoln Center Theater is opening a new stage that will feature work by emerging playwrights, directors and designers, and will charge just $20 for every ticket.

The 112-seat theater aims to develop new talent, feed the company’s two larger theaters — the Vivian Beaumont and the Mitzi E. Newhouse — and attract younger, more diverse audiences.  In making this commitment, Lincoln Center joins nonprofit companies all over the country that are creating modest black-box theaters to present scaled-down productions by rising artists and to build a new generation of patrons. 

Examples abound in New York, the nation’s theater capital. In September the Brooklyn Academy of Music will open a 250-seat theater with $20 tickets. In February the Signature Theater Company opened its new complex on West 42nd Street that includes a theater with 190 seats and a price of $25 a ticket. Over the last few years the Public Theater has offered $10 to $15 tickets for its Public Lab in two small theaters. And the Roundabout Theater Company is running Roundabout Underground, a 62-seat theater below its Laura Pels Theater on West 46th Street, with $20 tickets.

“I hope it’s a response to what’s happening on Broadway, because what’s happening on Broadway is unconscionable — it’s really leaving out the mass of humanity,” said the director and playwright Robert Brustein, who founded the Yale Repertory and American Repertory Theaters. “This invites people in warmly on the basis of what they can afford.”
André Bishop, Lincoln Center Theater’s artistic director, said, “I see this as a legacy — all these young writers, directors, designers are now part of our world,” he continued. “It means I as an artistic director don’t have to do artistic direction by shopping. It’s fun to see people grow under your own roof — on top of your roof.”

The company’s $42 million new theater, called the Claire Tow, was indeed built above the Beaumont. A boxy structure, it includes rehearsal space, offices and a terrace overlooking the North Plaza.  But don’t call the new stage a black-box theater. “I didn’t want there to be the sense that this Lincoln Center theater was experimental,” Mr. Bishop said. “I wanted it to be another theater on a level with the others.”  He added, “Many of our writers are beginning their careers, and they’re not known yet, and you want to break them in gently, yet with full production values.”
While the theater’s programming will be progressive, its aesthetic is rather traditional, with cushy red theater seats and a conventional layout. “We decided, let’s just have a normal space where everyone is looking in the same direction,” Mr. Bishop said.
In designing the theater, Hugh Hardy, the building’s architect, used simple materials: stained oak for the lobby floors, walnut for the theater’s sloping walls. “This should not be a pretentious place,” Mr. Hardy said. “It should be made with very straightforward stuff.”  Lincoln Center “couldn’t pretend this was some East Village bar theater,” Mr. Bishop said. “That would be coy.”
In other ways Lincoln Center wants the theater to be un-Lincoln-Center-like, with less expensive drinks and snacks (prices still to be determined), a bar that stays open well after a performance and an informal atmosphere.

For Mr. Bishop the new theater represents the fulfillment of a need he anticipated when he first came on board in 1992: to have a small theater like the one upstairs at Playwrights Horizons, where he developed productions like “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Falsettos.”


The Guardian (UK) has published a nifty information graphic breaking down gay rights in the U.S. state by state.  Issues like marriage, adoption, employment discrimination protection, hate crime laws, and whether schools have regulations to ban harassment based on gender and sexual orientation. Is the rainbow color scheme of this blatantly pro-homosexual infographic a coincidence? I think not. (via @jeaninegibson)

Not unexpectedly, the Northeast is extremely colorful, indicating that it's a great area for GLBT people to live.  


The latest Sarah Palin gaff is so satisfyingly moronic.

I love the info graphic. Thanks for sharing!

That's great news about Lincoln Center. We were just talking about how, if we still lived in the States, we would probably not be going to much "big" theater anymore. And we also used the word "unconscionable."

I haven't been to BAM in years and miss it. God for them!
Well... GOOD for them... too!
I love that chart. Who was that author who wrote a book on Visual Presentation... just a google minute...yes, Edward Tufte Surely, this would meet with his approval.

On your first topic, I am gradually getting worried that your country might prove as electorally short-sighted as mine come November
I get the impression Palin- followers either don't listen or dismiss these as without merit. Amazing.
Even in Portland, Oregon, an evening out at the theatre is $300. Good seats- $60-90 a person, dinner for 2 with wine- $100.

Dinner for 2 at home with wine- $25, a movie On Demand- $4
I despair that people who listen to Sarah Plain support her not in spite of the gaffs, but rather because of them. I'm completely serious. Can there be any other explanation? I also despair that your colorful 'mandala' representing regional enlightenment is especially pale in my area of the country. Winged pigs will fill the skies of Georgia before marriage equality occurs here.
it has always been less of a mystery to me how those who purport to be the earthly representatives of a man who ran the moneychangers outta the temple, lived simply and eschewed the vanities of this material realm could possibly justify even to themselves their ridiculous excesses, than why their faithful supporters put up with it.

why anyone with a high two-digit IQ would willingly give even a dime to any religious organization presided over by such corrupt peacocks is one of those things i'll never understand. oh well, at least the world got some great art and architecture outta the deal.
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