Many things are destroying me
I'll be honest with you: I'm really, really sick today. Fever. Body aches. Coughing like a half-dead mule with emphysema. I have been sitting here in front of my computer for the past 45 minutes under NyQuil's sweet, syrupy embrace, and I just realized that I sat here staring slack jawed at my keyboard for 20 minutes between "half-dead mule with emphysema" and "I have been sitting here," so this may be a short one today. Just bear with me, and I'll try to get back to being drunk and witty next week. Or at least drunk. That much I can promise.
In the meantime, to my new editor, Laura: I apoliguse profusely for the number of typing errors you will probably find in this. (For example, I just spelled misspelled "apologize" unientionally… and than I accidentally mispelled "unintentionally"… and "misspelled"… Dammit!)
I may be feeling like an entire front line marching band just stamped over my chest playing a massively out-of-tune version of "Shadow Dancing," but at least it's a step up from dealing with all the April Fool's Day "hilarity" online. Last Friday was the day that online sites stop pretending to be real journalistic enterprises and just straight up start lying to your face. I could sort of stomach American Theatre Magazine's announcement of a theme park based on the works of Henrik Ibsen (which would have tied for "Most Depressing Theme Park" with Euro Disney), but the Clyde Fitch Report dared to get my hopes up with an announcement that Steppenwolf would be doing nothing but Batman-themed plays for 2016-2017. There's a line between "Ha, ha! That's hilarious and that's obviously a joke!" and "This would be awesome in real life, and furthermore I don't see any actual jokes here other than you outright lying to me, which actually isn't funny, it's just you being a dick," and I'm pretty sure I know which side SteppenBat is on.
Seriously, guys, if you're going to pull a stupid April Fool's stunt, let the audience in on the joke and don't be dicks about it. (Lest you end up groveling and apologizing to your apoplectic followers like Google.) Perhaps you should have a little fun at your own expense instead, maybe something like CornHub.
[Warning: that last article is safe viewing, but the website it is talking about is definitely, definitely NSFW. Enjoy.]
Cast your lot
Hey there everyone waiting on bated tenterhooks for a touring production of Hamilton to come busting through your town: did you know that their multi-ethnic, mostly non-white casting is discriminatory?! And maybe even racist?! See? White people are too the most discriminated-against people in the whole country! (Unless you believe actual research into the subject; but, c'mon, research is for sissies, am I right?!)
Hamilton is getting its regional and national tours cast up, and a civil rights lawyer believes that the casting call for "non-whites" violates New York City's Human Rights Law. Then Actor's Equity got involved and said that it also violates AEA's agreements. Now all we have to do is wait for those big old meany racists at Hamilton to… oh, say that they're changing the casting call to fit AEA's requirements. In fact, they released a statement, and the language fix was pretty minor.
But this is just the start, friends. Remember how some of you out there are clamoring for the Jubilee in 2020? This is the kind of stuff you will have to deal with. So, start getting ready now, and arm yourself with this rebuttal to the "discriminating against white guys" narrative. You'll need it.
Cross the streams
This week, the Star Tribune dropped a pair of articles about online streaming of plays. The main one tells you how far the tech has come and how amazing it could be for smaller companies struggling for traction. The smaller, secondary one tells you that online video is pretty useless to an actual audience member and only good for study.
In the meantime, BroadwayHD, who are definitely not the smaller companies, just announced that their next live stream project will be a performance of the Sam Shepard play, Buried Child, which I'm sure promises to be the feel-good hit of the year.
While BroadwayHD is trying to corner the market on Broadway streaming, NBC is continuing on with its live broadcasts, but this time, they're leaving behind the toe-tapping musicals. Instead, the stage version of Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men is getting the live broadcast treatment, since absolutely no one in the movie version turned in any iconic performances. Don't worry, musical fans, NBC is throwing you a bone with Hairspray this December.
The persistence of place
OK, I'm just about to lay mostly dead on the couch, but here's something to watch, since we've been talking so much about new theater spaces in town lately. Patrick's Cabaret may be going on hiatus for a while, but the Fringe Festival just announced their venue lineups for the summer, and they include two venues that have never been in the Fringe before (one of which doesn't even exist yet).
But should theater remained tied to a "place"? Over in the UK, one adventurous group has moved beyond "Interactive" theater and even beyond "Immersive" theater. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to "Pervasive" theater, where the performance could keep hounding you out in the real world for up to a month. I don't know if it's the Cherry/Vanilla NyQuil kicking in, but I'm either confusing this new information with my actual memory, or I've seen this movie before. Please let it be the second one.
Hack. Cough. Bye.