Posts Tagged ‘bushwick starr’

philadelphia you sexy thing

February 20, 2015

mes amis–

where oh where to begin?

february isn’t even over and yet the wheels spin like the fires in my heart…! change is afoot in kippy-land but so it goes. i am pleased to announce many upcoming incredible things. (vagueries are the keynotes of self-promotion!) but for now i must rue the thing i shall miss this weekend, philadelphia and other stories, produced by the intrepid chip rodgers.

philadelphia and other stories played at the bushwick starr in december for all-too-brief a moment and it’s returned to walker space this month. and rightly so! for it received critical acclaim its first go round (the curators at the starr being a savvy bunch). but once again the time is never enough and this kippy shall miss it this weekend, which is why i wanted to catch up with les artistes.

before i introduce paul rome and roarke menzies to vous (the respective writer and composer of philadelphia and other stories) i want to take a moment to recall my first encounter with mr. rodgers (chip, that is!)

i was running late for a half straddle meeting at the new museum when i spotted rodgers clad in the most adorable preppy outfit in the world. it was late summer so i was in saffron sirong but chip had on a nice collared shirt with tiny whales on it and salmon toned bermuda shorts. “ms. winston? are you here for half straddle?” and thus was the start of mutual fandome b/w chip and kip. c’est vrais. he is as polite as he is an unfailing wit and i’m glad to know him.

its no wonder he’s helping bring to life what sounds like a lovely and love-filled evening of radio-inspired theatre. but before i wax on let’s here from the artists menzies and rome themselves.

a show that i hope occurs again

a show that i hope occurs again

What sparked the idea of this show for you?


PR: I was interested in exploring the interstitials of love, to capture love, or potential love, in that moment of transition, when everything feels open, as yet undetermined, but where there’s simultaneously an awareness of one’s options, of how the romance might play out, or not. Road trips or train rides, as different narrator’s in Philadelphia and Other Stories recount, parallel this state of flux: should I go left or right? East or West? Or perhaps stay where I am? I was also just drawn to the purely blissful feeling inspired by travel, the pleasure of moving, the way a song on the radio hits you when driving along an open road.


RM: Musically, I was interested in all the pop music referenced in Paul’s stories. I wanted to use the tools of contemporary pop music to create long form pieces that really allow you to settle in and get comfortable in the sonic spaces created.


I do love a montage of memory and modern love .. tell me do you have a favorite tale?


PR: For me, it’s probably the title story, “Philadelphia.”


RM: One of the standouts for me is a story Paul reads called “The Rash.”


I’m already scratching!
Tell me, what is the reduction sauce version of that tale in three sentences?


PR: Two brooklyn transplants wake up next to each other. They’ve been casually seeing each other off and on for the past two or three months. It’s New Year’s Day and they decide to drive to Philadelphia to see a 19th century automaton, a mechanical boy who draws pictures and writes poetry. They have a really lovely day together. Could it be they’re falling in love?


RM: A guy has this weird thing on his skin that neither he, nor his friends, family, or multiple doctors can identify. Is it allegic? Is it psychosomatic? Is he dying? Is he just making it up somehow? Is he losing his mind? Health issues get moralized in weird ways in our society. People often, weirdly, have sort of a ‘blame the victim’ mentality. As though, because you have this thing you somehow deserved it or brought on yourself through an irresponsible or immoral lifestyle or just plain hubris; that it’s somehow a reflection of your character. “The Rash” is a fun, and funny, very honest exploration of those subjects.


Would love to hear a freestyle riff on the Cheesesteak and other peculiarities about the city of brotherly love.


RM: The cheesesteak is one of the great sandwiches in existence. An instant classic, from the first bite. I’ve only been to Philly a couple of times and never even had an ‘authentic’ one, but it’s my sandwich of choice from most New York bodegas.


RM: The last time I was in Philly I was completing a score for a ballet company called BalletX. They have a theatre district on one of the main streets where a lot of the major performing arts institutions are — University of the Arts, the Kimmel Center, the Wilma Theater (that’s where we were working). There aren’t many cities in America with bones as old as Philadelphia’s. I grew up on the West Coast where most of the cities, and their attendant architectural DNAs, are much younger than Philadelphia’s. You see it immediately in the materials used — cobblestone streets, old growth wood, brick, etc. — as well as the styles. It’s a very handsome city. The main branch of the post office there and Penn Station are just like the ones in New York (although, in what can only be seen as a horrible call, New York demolished the original Penn Station and put up the impeccably drab non-thing that exists there now).


Philadelphia has its own life, its own stories and subjectivities.  But in my life, it feels a bit like an attractive stranger you’ve bumped into here and there, but only ever exchanged a few words with.

Aye, perhaps a man in uniform! A man who knows how to fix things and uses his hands.

did i see you driving in the city of the cheesesteak?

did i see you driving in the city of the cheesesteak?

PR: I waited in line for “real” cheesesteak in Philly. It was delicious.

mon ami, i have waited in line for a real cheesesteak too! and though i have paid for it later i have never regretted a cheesesteak in my life.

a sandwich that is as disgusting as it is delicious !

a sandwich that is as disgusting as it is delicious !

tell me, what is your secret guilty pleasure inspiration?


RM: Whiskey. Although, I guess I’m not very guilty about it.


PR: Movies in the daytime and buying cassettes for my boombox.

Fine pleasures to indulge in!! Oh I really am sad to miss this show. I hope it goes marvelously well and that it plays again soon.



toilets, gulls, and who nose it!

December 7, 2012

my friends–

il y a beaucoup de temps since my last missive. i’ve been trying to post more regularly…. but my weblog ruminations, much like my digestive systems, do not follow a normal clock. rather they are sporadic and fitful indeed! but hopefully, more full of soul also.

well then. while we are on the topics of toilets, (zing!) i feel  i should share with you the following image taken at mass mocachino.

what time is it? it's toilet time!

what time is it? it’s toilet time!

nothing makes my heart sing–and mind speak–as much as when i see this kind of disjointed hilarity. i can only imagine that some of those sea-gals and gulls will be popping into this gender normative rest stop and rustling some security guard feathers while “they” are at it…! i even understand that the actors featured in la foto will be ready for signatures. plump those pens!

bello, no?

bello, no?

a final thought as i write this from my hotel room in hong kong … i wanted to share with you this tid bit about the nose, which knows. (thank you pacific standard for always offering interesting articoli)



i am intrigued by this study.. most of all because i feel as though it was common sense as a kid. did someone at the amos e. lawrence school in brookline, ma suggest this as a study tool and technique?? i would not be surprised… brookliners are always ahead of any curve ball.

real balls have curves

real balls have curves

i recall a high school chemistry teacher saying that one “does not learn through osmosis…” but perhaps with the right scent one can! that teacher made an excellent kahlua cake and inspired even the hopeless (ie moi) with the vim and vigor to study hard. that B+ i earned was one of my prouder grades (even if it didnt have the austere simplicity that A carries)

at any rate, i look forward to bringing scents (and sense!) back into the theatre tradition this spring with un certo spettacolo speciale at the bushwick starr.

until then i remain faithfully and fruitfully yours,

ps … go see tube it’s a hoot and holler and you won’t be sorry. sitko and his band of merry makers create a most enjoyable spectacle with lovely music interludes and some fine stories.

pps “Helium walks into a bar. The bar tender says ‘We don’t serve noble gasses in here.’  Helium doesn’t react.” …  for more: InorganicVentures!

o starry night ; hello to arms

November 19, 2012

mes amis–


it was a starr studded (wink!) gathering the other evening at brooklyn’s finest theatrical venue: the bushwick starr. art star(r)s, and constellations, of all stripes gathered for a soiree to benefit the obie-award winning teatro. well-heeled folk attended un dîner upstairs while more pauper-like bohemians gathered in the theatre’s downstairs espace.

i’d prefer power, but i’ll take pauper!

i remember those stairs to the upstairs well. i had just attended karma kharms back in march and needed to dash upstairs to congratulate the fine performers that peppered that cast (i was running late for a flight to lahore) when–whack!–kippy down.

i’d rounded a corner into a dark hallway and careened, with great velocity, into a plastic bucket. you read that right. off the bucket tumbled. i attempted to save face while laughing it off. those who know me well know that i usually err on the side of hypochondria. but that night, as my assistant kindly changed my flight to the next day, i decided to carouse avec le cast at nearby bodega bar even showing off my wounded bloody ankle all the while joking “mais, c’est rien.”



au contraire! the next day i could hardly hobble to my car service to take me to jfk. but nothing could stop this kippy! and it was true, i had important meetings in lahore. nothing could hold me back. a few weeks later, i was getting a leg wax (as i’m prone to do every 6-8 weeks) in poland when the wax gal purred “what is?” she recoiled in horror at the sight of my scab-scar. months later, back in nyc, a doctor told me it was probably a sprain. even now, if i brush against this foot spot at a certain angle, and with a certain force, a twinge of pain shudders through me.

but basta injuries! i arrived for the après dîner portion of the evening where i spotted starrs from target margin, the starr’s board (not bored like most other theatres!) and even a couple of those gals from doll parts (brooklyn’s premiere dolly parton cover band). we mingled on the roof adjacent to the theatre espace and i marveled at the new york city skyline which served as a perfect backdrop to karma kharms not so many months ago.

ma che bello


i am a believer in the saying “make new friends, but keep the old.” as a gemini, i find i’m constantly collecting new cohorts, friends, acquaintances and professional peeps i look forward to seeing (or avoiding!) in the downtown theatrical midst. what luck to meet a dear friend in my youth.

todd goldstein and i discovered we sported the same “top siders” (footwear) when we were five years old. later, when i was ten and testing the limits of my confidence, i teased todd. surely i was jealous of his preternatural talents! and who wouldn’t have been?! todd is a magnanimous type though, and upon entering 7th or 8th grade we formed a true and lasting friendship. (there was a paucity of other interesting folk in our nerd-filled french class as i recall… to be the coolest of the nerds like todd et moi … c’etait difficile!)

c’est un nerd comme moi

i was there for “grist harps” (his first band foray) and then “clifford” (i believe that was when todd and i were co-eds)… i even attended shows of “the harlem shakes” (marveling always at the vehemence and asymmetrical haircuts of that group’s fan base).

“hipsters at a concert”

it is with great delight, therefore, that i share with you arms–todd’s current musical outlet (they’ve been around the block for a few years now i believe.) of late they’ve made a rousing (!) music video and you’ll see todd–who is as handsome as he is talented–appear in a bit role. next time give us more than a walk on please!

in my jeuness, todd and i co-wrote (and starred) in a french art film entitled “la vue par d’oeil d’un chien” (c’est vrais!) it is high time we see him on stage and screen again (not to mention hear his beautifully plaintive tunes) this isn’t a farewell… but a hello to arms.

leggily yours,

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.

love me some winter

January 30, 2012

mes amis–

i am not one for “favourite” seasons (note my spelling anglais!) … but i do love me some winter. while the holiday season is over—thank heavens!—i am most pleased to return to this darkest of seasons… the days are getting brighter. just a glimmer longer. i didn’t have to turn on a lamp until 5:15pm hier soir!

indeed, i was pleased as punch last night (and this morning too) to be scurrying along to various activities (play viewing, the office i attend mondays through fridays), breathing in the clean and crisp wintery air under a toasty woolen jacket (an heirloom … not a hair loom, mind you!)

trachten aus österreich von macintosh!

… ah was brisk pleasantness… and pleasant briskness!

not to mention  savoury winter wonders! does risotto al funghi have the same appeal on a sweltering summer’s day? and what about the root vegetables? hmm? i had a heavenly parsnip soup in cambridge earlier this month at hungry mother. what a creamy confection it was! most palatable indeed. ooh and the roasted brussel spouts (a recent favourite!) and butternut squash (always a classic in my book). my mouth waters as i type these most vainglorious of vittles!

do yourself a favor and add some parmigiano reggiano to yours!

allora, that’s all for now. you should catch mickey and sage when it bows again at the incubator arts project this coming fall. as well as a certain gunga wunga i’ve been hearing much talk of. the bushwick starr should rename itself the bushwick lodestarr, a mon avis.

and that’s all for now!

ps. tonight a playwrights meeting of high historic proportions will take place and i am most excited!