Now that Los Angeles-area theaters with 99 seats or fewer must pay Equity actors minimum wage – which the tiny-budget theaters insist would bankrupt them – they want to see SoCal’s enormous pool of non-Equity talent. Jessica Gelt sat in on open call auditions held by a group of ten small theater companies.
Quixotism – “adopting the moral courage necessary to fight for lost causes without caring what the world thinks” – can “save people from the paralysis that often accompanies defeatism.” Mariana Alessandri argues that “today, when much of society and politics – both in and outside the United States – looks like a lost cause to a great number of people, we might do well to consider Quixote’s brand of lunacy.”
“Americans are more static: the proportion moving across state lines is half what it was in the 1950s and 1960s. They are more less entrepreneurial: the share of under-30s who own a business has fallen by 65 per cent since the 1980s. And they are less innovative: the country creates 25 per cent fewer high-class patents per worker than it did in 1999.”
“All the Warners execs walked out without a word at the first screening. They said: ‘There’s never been a film in the history of Hollywood without women in it that made a lot of money.’ But it made $46m, the No 5 film that year. And it’s entered the language, as poor Ned Beatty can testify. Wherever he went, people would say: ‘Squeal like a pig!’ It went on for years.”
Nina Stoller-Lindsey tries another angle in defense of the NEA: “At first glance, eradicating this cultural hub may seem to have little to do with the military – but giving soldiers access to the arts is one of the most effective ways we can help them both prepare and recover from the demands of their duty. In eliminating this agency, Trump would be doing a huge disservice to them and to the veterans he promised to support.”
“Anyone who has played improvisational music with others is familiar with the virtuoso who has great skill and expertise but bad social sensitivity. In performance, he tears into melodic acrobatics, but never listens enough to know when to stop, or hand it over to another player, or modify and adapt to the aural environment. His narcissism undoes his own musicality. And it can go the other way too, since the overly shy improviser never gets courage enough to assert his musical ideas. A psychological balance of humility and hubris facilitate good improvisation, not just in music but in art, science and business.”
Unlike many great twentieth-century writers, who saw truth in despair, Milosz’s experiences convinced him that poetry must not darken the world but illuminate it: “Poems should be written rarely and reluctantly, / under unbearable duress and only with the hope / that good spirits, not evil ones, choose us for their instrument.”
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, now nearing the end of its national tour, always works in local references. Erik Piepenburg finds out how those references get chosen and offers a few choice examples.
Not having the biggest star from the season’s biggest musical appear on the show that’s Broadway’s biggest chance to market itself to America – well, that could be a problem. But it looks like that’s what will happen, thanks to an “an impasse [in negotiations] over the conditions under which Ms. Midler would sing.”
“[She was] a novelist and memoirist who recounted her bittersweet Jewish roots in New York as a rabbi’s daughter in Hell’s Kitchen and her turbulent marriage to the literary critic Alfred Kazin.”
Mussolini’s hometown is a font of fascist memorabilia and marches. “For Frassineti, Predappio’s mayor, building the museum has become an urgent matter, as a number of pro-fascist parades and visitors have drawn increased attention to the town. ‘It is difficult for things to be any worse in Predappio than they are right now,’ he says with barely suppressed impatience. ‘I’m hoping that a serious, sober, historically sound museum will get rid of the neo-fascists that come here, or at least contain them.'”