The Aisle Seat: Tossing Back a Terrific ‘Tempest’ at the Delacorte

It’s with great pleasure and a modicum of regret that I write about The Public Theater’s two-part late season event(s) at Central Park’s popular and populist Delacorte Theater. I refer to the production of Shakespeare’s comedy-drama The Tempest and, two weeks later, the two Fall for Dance evenings. Actually, since the dance program was a gathering of […]

Triple Axelrod: The Whole Backstage and Nothing But

“A lot of theaters have to use somebody else’s space to do anything,” says Richard Resler, a volunteer for the Whole Backstage Community Theatre in Guntersville, Alabama. He is standing in the renovated mainstage auditorium, looking around. “It’s amazing what having your own place does to your attitude. It kind of takes an element of fear out […]

Arts News: ArtsATL editor wins prestigious award

Congratulations are in order for Catharine Fox, the executive director and editor of our sister publication ArtsATL, for having won an important award from Emory College. Here’s the story from Atlanta. ATLANTA – Catherine Fox, ArtsATL’s executive director and editor, has received the 2013 Community Impact Administrator Arts Award from the Emory College Center for Creativity […]

The Aisle Seat – Julie Harris: A Devoted Fan Remembers

During the 1950s, ‘60s and 70s, Julie Harris—eventually collecting five acting Tonys—didn’t appear in a new production every year. But she almost did. And I missed few of them. (Between 1945 and 1997 she’s listed as helping populate 33 productions.) Harris was my favorite stage actress—and if talking “favorites” has a sophomoric ring to it, […]

Actress Miki Yamashita on Diversity and Invisibility

“I remember almost always being the only Asian American in my classes, growing up in grade school and middle school,” says Massachusetts native Miki Yamashita. “For the most part, though, I didn’t feel that separate from everybody else. I feel like the environment was pretty inclusive.” She said it wasn’t until she went out into the […]

Interrobang?!: Shakespeare, London and a Good Pair of Boots

The Present The most recent issue of American Theatre Magazine featured an excellent article about New Dramatists’ artistic director and “official gadfly of the institutional theatre,” Todd London, whose book Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play I wrote about on my Theatre Ideas blog when it first came out in 2009. The American Theatre article by Stephen Nunns prompted me to order […]

Downtown Dispatches: What Happens When They Hate It?

Sometimes people just hate your show. Or, worse, they don’t get it at all and they dismiss your work as messy, unclear, unserious, which actually hurts more. But man, either one stings when you worked as hard as you worked. But that, friends, is part of the game. If you’re going to memorize and incessantly […]

The Aisle Seat: Theater in the Around Rules(?)

Why, oh why am I suddenly immersed in immersive theater, and what good is it doing me? These days, immersive theater seems always to be with us.  Like the poor.  So much so that at my mentioning the current inundation of emailed press releases announcing these impending entries, one respected critic I know said, “When […]

Luhrmann v. Fitzgerald, or There Oughta Be a Law

We interrupt this theater-oriented column to talk about a book and a movie.  At first, you’d think they’re the same: The Great Gatsby.  They’re not.  They’re F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, and Baz Luhrmann’s anti-masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, wherein he treats the April 10, 1925, novel as if it were the blueprint for a bungalow that […]

Elaine Stritch Took Advantage of Me and Vice Versa

Elaine Stritch made her take-no-prisoners way into my consciousness when I heard her sing “You Took Advantage of Me” and “Too Good for the Average Man.”  I’d bought Decca’s cast album for the 1954 revival of On Your Toes mainly because I’d become a fan of Richard Rodgers’s music for the “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” ballet—not for […]

Kendeda Fund boosts ArtsATL with $10,000 grant

I am pleased to announce that the Kendeda Fund has awarded ArtsATL a $10,000 grant. “The Kendeda Fund has long acknowledged the importance of a vibrant local arts community in bridging the many facets of Atlanta,” says a spokesman for the fund’s anonymous donor. “By providing topical and current commentary, ArtsATL helps drive attendance, participation […]

Playwrights Horizons’ Sanford Writes a Lengthy Letter on Length

Two of my three favorite plays this season have been produced by Playwrights Horizons. They’re Samuel D. Hunter’s drama, The Whale, about a 600-pound man self-destructing and Annie Baker’s comedy drama, The Flick, revolving around three adrift souls working at a small town movie house. I’m so enthusiastic about the courageous nature of both plays […]

Aaron Diehl, Ambrose Akinmusire, Miguel Zenon complete Jazz Festival lineup

Pianist Aaron Diehl, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and saxophonist Miguel Zenon are among the final additions to the 36th annual Atlanta Jazz Festival, taking place Memorial Day weekend in Piedmont Park. Singers Julie Dexter, Alexandra Jackson and Ginou, as well as saxophonist Uri Gurvich, are also slated to perform on one of two stages during the three-day […]

Waving the Annual Arts Advocacy Day Flag

With Washington, DC’s cherry blossoms in bloom, every year over 500 arts advocates from big cities and small towns across the country converge on Capitol Hill for Arts Advocacy Day, this year held April 8-9. Co-sponsored by Americans for the Arts, this is the one event out of the year where I put all my political views, […]

Essay: The night I danced with Atlanta Ballet and caught a flying ballerina

ATLANTA – I went to the dress rehearsal for Atlanta Ballet’s “New Choreographic Voices” Thursday night to live-tweet, not to dance. I was stationed in the front row at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre — an advantage of being at the dress rehearsal — with a tweet on my phone ready to send out. […]

CitiGroup Has 2,909,547 Reasons To Ask Artists For Free Labor

Like a great many artists, I work a day-job. For many years, that day-job was that of a substitute teacher. So, it was a natural fit that I supplemented my income as a teaching artist for summer and after-school programs. During this time, I regularly sent résumés to any number of programs with the hope […]

For 2013-14 season, could it be magic for Barry Manilow and Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre?

ATLANTA – Last year, the Alliance Theatre brought in the star power of John Mellencamp and author Stephen King. Next year, that star power will come in a new musical co-written by pop music star Barry Manilow and a show that features tap dance legend Maurice Hines. The Alliance unveils its 2013-14 season today. The season will […]

Preview: 37th annual Atlanta Film Festival keeps sharp eye on local talent

The titles in the 37th annual Atlanta Film Festival, happening March 15-24, can take you as far away as Argentina and Cambodia. But a large number of the shorts, features and documentaries center on our own city. That’s intentional. “We have been a lot more aggressive this year about trying to find films that represent Atlanta in […]

Essay: Academy Theatre, Julia Roberts’ parents laid foundation for blossoming of theater in Atlanta

I kissed a girl, and 10 yards away a Buick exploded. I was on the back of a flatbed truck that had been converted into a swamp. I was a fox. The girl was a terrapin. We were in Atlanta, it was a very nice summer day in 1965, and I was 15 years old. […]

University of Iowa Links with Chinese, Russian Theaters

The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) will link with the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and the Moscow Art Theatre for collaborative theatre performances on Tuesday, March 12, and Thursday, March 14. Through UI’s Book Wings Project—using the latest videoconferencing technology—theatre arts professionals and new media specialists will bring together actors, playwrights, directors, dramaturges, and stages to […]