Sunday, March 29, 2009

Review: San Jose Rep's The Kite Runner

A moving night at the theatre. Explained as best I can without giving away any plot spoilers, over at my personal blog.

Anyone else seen it?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My theatre schedule: Foothill, SJ Rep, Lyric Theatre, 42nd Street Moon

OK, after months of being in a live theatre desert, I'm hitting a busy two week period, filled with theatre-going opportunities.

Last night we went and saw Bat Boy at Foothill Music Theatre. It closes today, so unless you movie quickly, you've missed your chance, but we really enjoyed. it. I saw it at TheatreWorks a few years ago, and really wasn't that into it...I felt it lacked the inherent heart that a show of similar style and tone (LIttle Shop of Horrors) had. BUt last night's production convinced me that this was a problem of direction and acting approach, not the piece itself. When you take your characters absolutely seriously in the face of completely absurd comedy, it's the only way to make the audience care from curtain to curtain. Foothill and Jay Manley excel at that approach, which is why I've typically enjoyed Foothill productions of such shows more than TheatreWorks.

Next Saturday night we're seeing The Kite Runner at San Jose Rep. Great book, local connections, world premiere. Fascinated to see how they adapt this to the stage. I didn't see the movie, so only have the book in my head.

On April 11th, my birthday, I'll be seeing High Spirits at 42nd Street Moon. This is the musical adaptation of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, which I've never seen. This will be the first show I've seen there in a while, and since I joined their board. Last time I went they were still holding binders and doing staged concerts, so it should be quite fun to see them to more traditional stagings. I love the glamour of this photo of Dyan McBride as Elvira.

That leaves only one question mark. A good friend is playing Guenevere in the Lyric Theatre's production of Camelot. I don't understand these theatres that do runs of only two weekends. We lead busy lives, people, come on!! I don't know if I can make it. There is literally only one date that I can make, and I need to check with the S.O., but it's on a week night...which he usually totally shuns for social activities (this is a night owl software engineer, folks.) I'll have to play it by ear :(

So, seen any of those? What's on your March/April theatre agenda?

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Although she doesn't read them, Jane Fonda's reviews look good

As I blogged a few weeks ago, Jane Fonda is blogging and tweeting up a storm, which is how I know that she decided not to read her reviews of her first Broadway performance in 46 years: 33 Variations.

Too bad, because the NY Times review was very kind indeed.

So, do you read your reviews?

I could never resist.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hey, I totally forgot to blog: I've joined 42nd Street Moon's Board!!

Can't believe I forgot to blog this, but last month I joined the Board of Directors of 42nd Street Moon, a very fine purveyor of "uncommon musicals" in San Francisco.

Back in the 90s I did about five shows with Moon, and they have come a long way since then. They no longer do only "staged concerts". Back in my day we held binders containing the scripts, and we just wore some nice outfit of our own as a costume. The best we really went for was that it was somewhat evocative of what kind of costume the character might wear. These days 42nd Street Moon is doing more full-fledged productions.

Why did they want me on the board? Well, they did know me from not only my acting days, but from my Worker Bees days, as I did some marketing and social media consulting for them.

They wanted to grow and diversify the board. I think I'm the only Silicon Valley type, the only entrepreneur type, the only Internetty type. They also wanted help, at a high level, re-thinking how they market and brand themselves, and how they get their word out.

One new way they're getting their word out is their Facebook fan page.

You can also check out their impending productions on Facebook. Sure you could check out the season on their web site too, but isn't it fun to check it out somewhere interactive where you could leave a little comment if you wanted too?

The next show is High Spirits (a musical version of the Noel Cowad play, Blithe Spirit.)

Gotta figure out when I'm going, because it starts previews this coming week (Thursday to be exact)! And only runs through April 12th.

Hmmm. It closes on my birthday weekend. Maybe I'll talk to the S.O. about spending the weekend in Sn Francisco!

OK, enough real-time life planning on my blog. This was big news, and I can't believe I didn't share it until now. I hope I'll see y'all at a 42nd Street moon show soon (or every 42nd Street Moon show, I should say.) Like any arts organization right now, they are feeling the pinch of the bad economy. I hope I can help them get through this with flying colors!

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Once on This Island in Berkeley

One of my favorite musicals is actually a fairly rarely produced one: Once on This Island, by Ahrens and Flaherty, the pair who brought you another favorite musical Ragtime. The score is especially tuneful, and the story is sweet and poignant.

Turns out The Berkeley Playhouse is producing the lovely show, but I only heard about it now, when it ENDS this weekend, March 13,14 and 15. I leave tomorrow morning for Austin, TX, for the annual geek fest SXSW.

For those of you who are in town, you might want to check it out, especially if you've never seen it. The production is directed by Kimberly Dooley, with musical direction by Phil Gorman and choreography by Dane Paul Andres.

Showtimes: Friday 7:30, Saturday 3 and 7:30; and Sunday 1 and last show @ 5. Tickets are $22/$28 available online at

If you go, let me know how it is. So I can be more jealous.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Not Just Jane Blogs...

I totally meant to post this on this blog before I left on vacation, and instead I posted it on my Worker Bees blog about social media marketing and business. (Good thing it was somewhat relevant there too.)

Anyway, what I meant to post was:

NewYorkology has a list of other Broadway shows that are blogging or otherwise participating in social media.

See, my Worker Bees business (originally started to help arts and non-profit organizations leverage blogging etc.) was totally ahead of its time!

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