Like most baby boomers, I’ve never quite managed to get over the feeling that I’m entitled to be less busy in the summer, not more. In fact, I’m barely keeping ahead of the next deadline, and though it’s true that my recent illness threw me off my stride, I’d be up well past my ears even if I hadn’t been sick.
I saw two shows on Saturday, for instance, and yesterday I put in eight straight hours cleaning up the copyedited manuscript of All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine, which I have to return to Harcourt today so that they can publish it in November. In addition, I’m writing two newspaper pieces, one for Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal and another for the Washington Post, and tomorrow I write my drama column for the Journal. I’ll be in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday to see Ballett Frankfurt and Mark Lamos’ new production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (both at the Kennedy Center), after which I rush back to New York on Friday to hear Joao Gilberto at Carnegie Hall that evening. The whole cycle starts up again on Saturday, when…
But enough about me. You get the idea–I’m busy as hell–and while I’ll do my best to blog whenever I’m in town, I expect that the hitherto semi-invisible Our Girl in Chicago will be more or less in charge of “About Last Night” for the better part of the next couple of weeks. I’ve missed her genial presence in this space of late (as have many of our fellow bloggers), so be sure to send her lots of encouraging e-mail!
And now, a concise rundown of recently consumed art:
– I saw two plays over the weekend. The first was Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation, the latest from the author of Intimate Apparel. The second was Charlie Victor Romeo, a performance piece based on transcripts of the black-box recordings of six flights–five commercial, one military–that crashed. Both will likely figure in my Wall Street Journal drama column this Friday, so read all about ’em then.
– I also went to the Triad on Saturday night to hear Mary Foster Conklin and Mark Winkler sing the songs of Matt Dennis (“Angel Eyes,” “Everything Happens to Me”) and Bobby Troup (“Route 66,” “Meaning of the Blues”). Conklin, one of New York’s top cabaret singers, presented a one-woman Dennis show earlier this year at Danny’s Skylight Room, while Winkler, a Los Angeles-based performer best known on this side of the continent as one of the writers of Naked Boys Singing!, recently released a CD called, logically enough, Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup. The two hadn’t shared a stage prior to last Saturday night, and I’m delighted to say that their shows fit together with tongue-in-groove exactitude. “Songs of Matt Dennis & Bobby Troup” was, I’m told an experiment. If so, it’s one that begs to be repeated–frequently. Watch this space for details.
– Now playing on iTunes: not a damn thing, thank you very much. I need some silence so that I can concentrate on getting Piece Number One written and shipped off to the Journal so that I can get out of here in time to meet Maud downtown for a quickish lunch, followed by a doctor’s appointment, followed by more writing, followed by a nervous breakdown. (Just kidding.) Cross your fingers, please.