Muhammad: the Opera (Yes, the Prophet of Islam)

Clusters of Light

“It was quite a challenge, even for the crack team of theatrical experts summoned from around the world: less than six months to produce a hi-tech musical extravaganza about one of the most renowned figures in human history. Oh yes, and the title character can’t appear on stage.”

Can Comedy Bring About Real Political Change?

Can comedy bring about real political change

From Lysistrata to Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to the satirical banners in Tahrir Square, it can seem that comedy really is that powerful. On the other hand, all those Soviet jokes weren’t what brought down the USSR. (On the third hand, it wasn’t actually Sarah Palin who said, “I can see Russia from my house.”)

Understanding the Frustration Behind #CancelColbert

colbert whos attacking me now

Jay Caspian Kang: “There’s a long tradition in American comedy of dumping tasteless jokes at the feet of Asians and Asian-Americans that follows the perception that we will silently weather the ridicule. .. Even when you want to be in on the joke – and you understand, intellectually, that you are not the one being ridiculed – it’s hard not to wonder why these jokes always come at the expense of those least likely to protest.”

If You Printed All Of Wikipedia It Would Look Like…


“Nowadays you just use Wikipedia every day without even thinking how large that might be … the English Wikipedia has 4.5 million articles. Nobody can imagine this number. It’s only when you see this in print or in a physical form that you realize how large it really is.”

Needed: Better Definitions For Slang


“Super-geeks (from geek, meaning fool) to a man, slang’s lexicographers tend to be self-appointed guardians who, while cheerfully plagiarising each other in their project to demonstrate the importance and scope of slang, have yet to agree on a definition of what, precisely, slang is, or was – or even its origin.”

Minnesota Theatres – Right Now A Moment Of Greater Diversity

Porgy and Bess National Tour

“Some Twin Cities performing arts venues have come in for severe criticism in recent years over issues involving inclusion, diversity and casting — issues that confront the field nationally. Yet at this moment, this last week of March, 2014, the offerings of major stages in the Twin Cities have never been more diverse. (And all the shows are commendable.)”

Why Should You Have To Believe God Exists In Order To Be Religious?

NYT The Stone logo

“Richard Feynman, the great physicist, is rumored to have said that he lived among the numbers, that he was intimate with them. However, he had no views about their metaphysical status … Just as a practicing mathematician need not have views about the metaphysical status of numbers, so too religious life does not require a theoretical stance on God’s existence.”

The Paper Versus EBooks Debate Is A Waste Of Time (Isn’t It?)

Ebook in Waterstones

“Until a digital book is a magical object which physically transforms from 50 Shades into the new James Smythe novel according to your whim; until you can walk through a digital library and open books at random; until the technology becomes as satisfying to the physical senses as the text is to the cognitive self, there’s still a need for shiny, gorgeous, satisfying books.”

New Interactive Site Lets You Create Your Own Symphonies


“Each letter of the alphabet gets mapped to a unique sound and a playful animation. Holding down a key plays both the sound and the accompanying visual on repeat; smashing several at once layers everything into more complex soundscapes.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 03.30.14

More Troubles For DIA-Detroit
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-03-30

The Talking Cure, Part II (discussion and debate)
AJBlog: We The Audience | Published 2014-03-30

English director provokes German storm by supporting opera cuts
AJBlog: Slipped Disc | Published 2014-03-30

 Woman’s Point of View from a Tough-Guy Novelist
AJBlog: Straight|Up | Published 2014-03-30

What’s the Matter With San Diego, and a Deadly Impostor
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-03-27


Why The Effing Eff Do We Censor The News?


“Even when certain words are necessary to the understanding of a story, the media frequently resort to euphemisms or coy acrobatics that make stories read as if they were time capsules written decades ago, forcing us all into wink-wink-nudge-nudge territory.”

British Theatre And Studios Destroyed By Fire


“We looked round and saw smoke pouring out of the corner of the theatre. We went running over with a fire extinguisher, thought ‘well maybe it’s just a small fire’, went in and the whole building was just well alight.”

How Is Child Star Martha Plimpton Dealing With Her Forties?


“There are just more interesting parts for women in the theater. There’s just more to do. I could play Hedda Gabler on stage, but no one will ever hire me to play Hedda Gabler in a movie. … I don’t have the face of a movie star. I have a face of a character actress.”