Archive for September, 2012

new directions, atonement, a grinning ghoul and theatre round up

September 27, 2012

mes amis–

first some quick updates. the art log will be going on hiatus for a while as i reconsider the direction my weblog will take. it seems i am pulled in a million directions. part of me has toyed with tweeting or posting many pithy posts throughout the day… but the philosopher in my heart knows that to do so would be disingenuous! i crave pensive pun filled diatribes! i will continue to serve you, dear reader. i will continue to serve.

fear not: i will still provide unfailingly honest thoughtful cri-chic (that’s a more elegant form of critique!) about the contemporary performance i see. plus, i will keep reporting on my musings, opinions and life encounters. just yesterday on the eve of atonement i spotted a street performer in a metro station. it had been a rather dreary commute home (train delays, crying children, no seats for this sally and not even a proper livre to read). as i exited the train it was a chaotic scene of hustle and bustle and sad dreary faces. i will admit that mine was one of them!

in italian they say “to do the pendulum” quite glum!

yet, lo and behold! i caught the eye of a ghoul! i do not know if he was a statue street performer or late to an appointment at a haunted house. the fellow (i believe it was a man, but i could be wrong!) was wearing face paint and carried a little rolly bag cart. he was getting into the elevator with it and i caught him looking most quotidienne despite his most unusual attire! our eyes met and instantly a grin crept across this kippy’s face. i couldn’t help it! it was a joyful force stronger than my heart of coal could take. the grin was there and i stared. the ghoul also smiled! we shared a grin and this made me smile even more. i must have walked with that grin the length of two train cars before popping into the over air conditioned vehicle saturated with the smell of stale deodorant.

speaking of air conditioning: i caught that bob wilson/philip glass/lucinda childs collaboration einstein on the beach. after all these years it still feels fresh as a daisey! i remember when that show put them into debt but how pleased i am that they’ve made it out to the other side of a career. it really took all three of those cats to pull that off. without the music there wouldn’t be such fine choreography of floating dancers–riveting!–or those slow and suddenly sudden stage pictures. hmph! magic.

a fan recently requested a run down of all there is to see in new york theatre at the moment. there is indeed a panoply! and while i am no encyclopedia i will do my best here. i never ignore my fans!

nantucket breeze, a fine artificial zephyr

no correct dancers: get your glasses on and hop on over to that closet-of-a-space on 37th and 8th ave aka chashama window gallery. dan o’neil and katie rose mclaughlin have teamed up to create a deliciously abstract and funny piece about going to the eye doctor. ask the collaborative team about asmr and give this a listen:
closes friday, Sept. 28th. they are raising $ here.

mickey and sage: pulls-at-your-heart-strings good, a play by lady farrington about kids with messed up parentals. there’s a panel discussion tomorrow evening, thursday Sept. 27th, at the incubator arts project that i sadly will not be moderating. nevertheless, a play worth seeing. the actors have great presence and the script is hole proof. (i have seen it both at foxy film studios and in the great stake of omaha, nebraska)
closes sept 30th. they are raising $ here.

prelude 2012: there is so much juicy programming in this three-day event at the martin e. segal center (CUNY graduate center) i am plotzing. a must-see for those looking to get a taste of the season to come. i will be seeing everything if i can liberate myself from the office i attend mondays through fridays. esp. the one about wizards! i look forward to ebullient celebration on the final night of the festival. last year the programming director, a fine feathered german fellow, lifted up a fellow human being on the dance stage and everyone screamed!
runs: oct. 3-5, programming is free. more info here.

blood play: i caught an in-development reading of this hootenany with creepy undertones many months ago. the debate society recently won and obie and their proverbial starr is rising. plus the cast has some super excellent hilarious performers (all of them).
runs: oct 3-27 at le bushwick starr.

missing person(s): what to say about this upcoming gem? la megan murtha is an excellent playwright, person and friend. i highly encourage seeing this play that is as curious as its venue: dixon place. plus the cast is all-star. just look at who’s involved here.
runs: oct 11-13 at dixon place.

helen & edgar: the inimitable storyteller and performer, edgar oliver, will surely delight and haunt his audiences with this latest offering that tells tales of travels with his sister. i have had the great pleasure of performing avec mr oliver in a concrete room in queens. beware!
runs: oct 9-27 at 80 st. marks place.

other things that i know will be good:
natasha, pierre & the great comet of 1812 (noted in this week’s “goings on about town” in the new yorker!) oct 1-nov 10.
ben gasman has a reading at b’wick starr on oct 15.
alicegraceanon from new georges at irondale center, oct 18-nov 9.
big dance show by sibyl kempson at chocolate factory oct 25-nov 10.
the richard maxwell show in nov plus job at the flea right now! oh my … such a panoply… i positively need a parapluie!


a bientot,


just for fun

September 6, 2012

mes amis

with all my art logging in recent weeks, i have been remiss in web logging! let us fall some logs then shall we?

timber! (courtesy of oregon historical society)

i was reminded of this fact during a recent jaunt to the upper east side where i had my eye balls examined. narry a year has passed since there was an earth quake! i recall the day of the quake was the first time i had gone to this particular eye doctor’s ufficio and what sadness that i hadn’t even felt a tremor or tremble from the earth. neither had the receptionists. nevertheless, they fielded phone calls from loved ones: “an EARTH quake?! i didn’t feel a THING,” one joked with an exaggerated eye ball roll. indeed, none of us had felt the quakings or shakings. could this mean the upper east side is impermeable to natural disasters? (such as earth quakes, polyester and bad hair?) hmmm.

quel horreur. (courtesy of ivman’s blague)

popping back down to middle manhattan i felt deserving of a treat. after all, i had been to the doctor and had my eyeballs examined. i didn’t want candy and i had already indulged in my daily banana. i paused on the street when lo and behold it struck me. a frosty! i usually consume about two frostys per season. one at the start of estivating and one at summer’s end. and so i moseyed into the wendy’s on 34th street where a fine assortment of folk gathered in wait of ordering.

i find waiting in lines to be meditative… do you?

i admired the servers, cashiers and cooks. they seemed to be having much fun and for a moment i wondered–have i erred in my career choice? perhaps i would have made an excellent employee of a fast food restaurant. i certainly love the food enough to a have a passion for quick affordable deliscious food… even if it is not the best for one’s bottom! as the employees laughed and teased and tended to customers  i longed to be a part of their camaraderie. and yet was i perhaps exoticizing this employ? i have never worked in the food industry (only the magic and tennis industries!) before i could decide it was time to order.

good day, i would like a kiddie frosty and a small french fry.
chocolate or vanilla?
chocolate, bien sur!
are you sure you want the kiddie? cuz it’s like this big (indicates an inch with her thumb and pointer fingers)
surely you are joking!
no. the small is like this big (inch and a half hand gesture) and the kiddie is like this (tiny inch, even smaller than previous inch indicated)

like celery and peanut butter, so is a frosty and a fry

with a sigh i agreed to order the small. hmph! yet, i wasn’t so sorry when it arrived. it had just the proper mixure of coco, sugar and milky iced cream. oooh what heaven! the french fries were adequate at best. but i would rather have one sublime treat and one so-so fry than a mediocre medly. and so it was with great relish that i strolled back to the office-i-frequent-mondays-through-fridays. the people on the street didn’t even bother me so much…for they looked with envy at my tasty treat (when they weren’t texting, that is!)

texting while walking has been banned in new jersey…then again people there say “down the shore” … hmm…

i like how wendy’s doesn’t insult its customers by suggesting a straw. nay. rather they offer a spoon wrapped in a clear thin plastic. naturellement, as i mulled on this fact i remembered that the ketchup came from one of those squirt tub things and i began to fear it was perhaps laced with anthrax. was there a somewhat spicy flavor i detected in that tomato taste?! of course the only medicine i am allergic to is cipro: the drug used to stop anthrax poisoning! aidez moi!

j/k… i am sure i will live.

healthfully + hopefully!,

ps. i have been alerted to the fact that wordpress (and world of war craft, too) has been blocked in iran. this is most distressing to me. let us all hope and inshallah that the government officials have a change of internet mind + heart


other elegant people of the theatre: boudreaux edition (artlog #10)

September 4, 2012

mes amis—

What is there to say about playwright and person-of-the-theatre Frank Boudreaux? Too much I’ll have you know! Tales of his talents preceded my meeting of him back in ’10. His great warmth of spirit and hearty pats on the back were naturally met with a good measure of North Eastern suspicion on my part. (“Is this guy for real?” I wondered. I shuddered to think of his plays.)

But it seems Boudreaux and I have not only some shared heritage—his is of the Cajun variety mine is of a more French Canadian persuasion—but also a shared fervor for the theatrical arts, philosophizing, and cold beverages. Those back slaps are for real and most genuine…! Frank-o’s passion and zest for all things theatrical (I recall popping into some Brooklyn College workshops and seeing him ardently argue on behalf of a play’s merits while other classmates may have rolled an eyeball or two) are indeed something to behold. Never a cheerleader, always a thoughtful considerer of work: “We’ll talk about it more at the bar,” Frank-o would say with a casual wave of his hand. It was with great plaisir that I discovered Boudreaux’s own playwriting as an amalgamation of his as a person: joyous, rigorous and provoking in the deepest of contemplations. I’d expect nothing less from a fellow philosophe!

I warned you: there is simply much too much to say! Frank-o was kind enough to take some time out of his busy pre-production work cycle for Everything that Is the Case for Two Young Women on the Eve of the Great War Among Other Elegant Lies, which premiers at the very fine Incubator Arts Project Sept. 6-16, to have a quick chat with old Kippy. Here’s what we discussed over the Internet transom.

gaffney and corbett in “other elegant lies…” photo by: Zack Rubenstein

Allora, Frank. Let us commencer.
Warning: Something about you brings out the twee in me, I do say, Kippy.

Very well. What sparked the idea for this play?
What better way to write about two dead philosophers than through two historical teenage girls?

Touché. The title is extremely long: Did someone put you up to this? Have you been using a nick name or acronym?
Alas, I need no provocation to be loquacious.

I have observed this in classrooms and in bars!
The title is mine. But my producers call it …Other Elegant Lies, for short (ellipses included).

How does this play fall into your other work? Same? Different? Contextualize us.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I feel my style always suits the form. And I’ll admit to a bit of fretting that this play is SO technically complex, and SO heady, audience members may think it’s all I can do… or what I want to do. But I have other plays that are either simpler or slower or more gut than head.

Aye, your play, Lowen and Joe, which had a reading at the Bushwick Starr in fall 2011, seems to me more of this variety. Though perhaps still with subversive intellectual tones.
Yes, I would say Other Elegant Lies… achieves a theatrical energy, and the production will be a live event of a level, that I would like to think of as characteristic of my work… even if past and future productions of mine could look and sound quite different. Also, I will not always direct my own work. This is a bit of a “vision” play …realized by an AMAZING design team, by the way.

A “vision” play! I love this term…Also, your use of “live theatrical event” also reminds me a bit of Rob Berry and the ethos around the Austin Fusebox Festival. At any rate, I understand you are working en famillemais c’est vrais?!
C’est vrais, c’est vrais. But Megan Emery Gaffney and I are very careful to put on our professional hats while in the room. Just ask her co-star, Winslow Corbett. Not one moment of personal discomfort, I hope! Mon frere is also involved, John Henry Boudreaux. We try not to curse at each other too much in front of everyone else.

You have a talented and attractive family, Frank. Dimmi: what is better: your Italian, French or Cajun?
Italiano, certo. No explanation for it. Just chose Firenze to study abroad. Cajun and French heritage, but don’t speak the languages. Pathetic.

Pas de toot! There’s time yet. So, what artist/piece of art is a secret influence?
Ooo, devilish question, Kippy. Secrets, secrets. Umm, David Byrne, the pop musician and prominent weirdo. Paul Thomas Anderson, the filmmaker. Caryl Churchill is easily my favorite playwright, but that’s no secret. And Donald Barthelme is my secret author hero.

I didn’t know this about Churchill. Tres interessant. I see you are taking a note from the regions and holding two talk backs, tell me about those.
Not ‘talk-backs’. Panels.

No one wants to hear me talk about my work–

I would disagree!–
And I wouldn’t ask such esteemed artists to talk about it either. (these include Jeff Jones and Sibyl Kempson on Sept. 9 moderated by Eliza Bent and Maria Striar and Erin Courtney moderated by Rachel Chavkin on Sept. 11). The panels will relate to the themes/world of my play, I guess, but not ABOUT the play at all. Or me. I’m interested in the theater being an evening—an entire event; giving you all kinds of perspectives and unexpected live encounters that have never happened before and will never happen again. These panels are part of that design.

You are a holistic thinker my friend. Kudos.
We also have a pre-show, improvised every night by Saint Fortune theatre company.

Ooh I love those young Saintly Fortunates! Each is more cute and lively than the last. Any thing else…?
I’ll see your two tails and raise you a tuckus! Pleasure to chat.

The plaisir is all mine. I hope we can dance in the Cajun style in Omaha and other exotic land with your lovely famille soon. A bientot, my friend.


Everything that Is the Case for Two Young Women on the Eve of the Great War Among Other Elegant Lies premiers at the very fine Incubator Arts Project Sept. 6-16.