Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Source: Dallas Morning News.
Eyebrows rose last summer when the Dallas Opera named George Steel its new general director.
Oh, sure, the opera board was proud of landing a "star" from New York.
And there was boo-hooing in the New York media at the loss of one of the artsy crowd's darlings, acclaimed for 11 years of imaginative programming at Columbia University's Miller Theatre.
But with the Dallas Opera facing daunting financial challenges with its impending move to the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Winspear Opera House, savvy operaphiles wondered why Dallas was hiring someone who had never run an opera company. And it wasn't long after Steel's arrival here, in October, that whispers of discontent became a crescendo of complaint.
Then, on Wednesday, came confirmation of what had been rumored for the last month: Steel is leaving at the end of January to take over the New York City Opera.
Abuzz with gossip for weeks, opera blogs have gone nuclear over the news. (If you don't mind some adult language, check parterre.com.)
Whatever his gifts, and the good intentions of the Dallas Opera board, George Steel was miscast here.
He was right to advocate more adventurous programming. For a company with a history of imaginative offerings in decades past, the Dallas Opera has gone bland in recent years. The 2008-09 season is about as daring as macaroni and cheese.
But, in a challenging economy, when audiences hesitate to take chances on anything but sure bets, Steel was making noises about booking really obscure French operas and Leonard Bernstein's generally dismissed A Quiet Place.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
It didn't really come as a big surprise to me this morning to learn that the Village Voice has laid off the legendary Nat Hentoff. The Village Voice has pretty much been an ineffectual dinosaur for too many years now, and has long since outlived its meager usefulness. Now they've laid off the one person who still gave their rag a shred of credibility.
Think I'm being hyperbolic? Check out their website, or the screenshot I just took of their front page. These people consider an interview with scumbag gossip-columnist Perez Hilton to be front-page news. Other scintillating articles considered vital by their website at this moment include "How tacky will the inauguration balls be?" and "My boyfriend became an ugly fatty, help!"
Newspapers are dying all over the world at a rapid rate, and the Village Voice looks poised to be next on the list, having committed seppuku with this extremely bad play. Good riddance to 'em, I say.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I've just put the finishing touches on a brand new comedy-drama play entitled Patrick Amsterdam. The title character, Patrick, is a failed washed-up lounge singer determined to succeed but increasingly watching his chances slipping away.
There's a good possibility that this will be the next Catclaw production in NYC after Toulouse-inations.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
A few years back, I did a deliberately crappy, stream of consciousness, done-in-ten-minutes weekly comic project called Window Comics. Each Sunday morning, I'd slap out a crude comic and paste it up in the window of my studio for passersby to gawk at.
A recurring feature was Panola, originally begun as a mini-serial inside the Window Comics project.
Never one to let go of old half-baked ideas, I'm pleased as pie to announce that Panola is being given a new life as an independently syndicated comic strip! Look for it to debut in worthy publications later in the year....
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Ever been to 105 Riv? I was there only fleetingly and didn't get to try the drinks spoken of at Shecky's:
Try one of the zany house cocktails guaranteed to start a conversation. How about, Good Night and Good Luck? It's loaded with Absolut vodka, berry puree, Red Bull, and Pop Rocks. It might sound cheesy now, but in the future people will be sitting in a floating eco-thermal café on Rivington, sipping non-alcoholic, soy-based, decaffeinated green teas, asking, "Where’s the Pop Rocks and vodka?"