Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Tap App!

OK, I'll bite.

I get a lot of PR pitches for some of my blogs, but not really this one. I guess theatre really is a niche subject. So, when I do get one, I definitely take a look. And sometimes, I bite.

Former Bay Area resident Eli Newsom runs a site called Tap Dance Made Easy, and now they have introduced the Tap App.

It includes both visuals and textual descriptions of the various tap steps.

Now, there are a couple of other tap apps, but one is more of a glossary of terms without the visuals, and the other seems to want to tech you to tap via stick figure drawing. (I know, don't ask me.)

So, for those of you who have always wanted to be the next Gregory Hines or the next Ann Miller, this app seems like a low-risk way to start your journey.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Plays that changed your life

Hat tip to San Jose Merc theatre writer Karen D'Souza for pointing me to an article in the New York Times about the "plays that changed your life". D'Souza shares some of hers, including Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

And the answers in the NY Times run the gamut, from musicals to drama, new and old.

My list would have to include:

  • The original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd...kicking off my lifelong admiration for every note spilling out of Sondheim's brain

  • The original Broadway production of Fences, starring James Earl Jones...I alter saw his co-star, Mary Alice, in the elevator in the Equity Building, and it's one of the few times I actually spoke to a famous actor and told them what their performance meant to me.

  • The Steppenwolf production of Grapes of Wrath once it came to Broadway, starring Gary Sinise and Terry Kinney, and the Broadway production of House of Blue Leaves, starring Joh Mahoney, Swoosie Kurtz and Christine Baranski...truly as gripping productions as I have ever seen. And both featuring endings that leave you, I can only describe it as: Shattered.

    It's funny, because I'm a musicals person. I rarely see straight plays, particularly these days when I see maybe one or two shows on broadway a year, if I'm lucky. But clearly, straight plays have wormed their way into my brain (and heart) pretty well!

    So. What are yours?

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