Friday, September 30, 2005

More short reviews

Longer reviews to follow (yeah, right):

I saw two shows this week, The Musical of Musicals: The Musical! and the ever popular WYSIWYG.

TMoM:TM! was fun. Not unlike Forbidden Broadway, it really helps if you are familiar with the shows/composers being parodied. The basic plot of the show is written around the proscenium: "I can't pay the rent. You must pay the rent. I can't pay the rent. You must pay the rent. I'll pay the rent." Good old-fashioned melodrama. This plot is run five times, parodying the style of Rodgers & Hammerstein (Corn), Stephen Sondheim (A Little Complex), Jerry Herman (Dear Abby), Andrew Lloyd Webber (Aspects of Junita) and Kander & Ebb (Speakeasy).

The jokes were hit and miss, but they were constant. If something didn't work, there was a joke right behind it that would. But more often than not, the jokes worked.

Well, that's enough for now. Go see it. And buy the album. It's worth the ticket price.

And WYSIWYG . . . dear, sweet WYSIWYG. What is there to say? Like pizza and sex, even if it isn't great, it's still pretty darn good. Luckily, this was great. Frank, as expected, did a swell job and provided the winning I'll-never-get-that-out-of-my-head phrase "Make a mess for Daddy". Carolyn was freaking hilarious and didn't give birth live onstage (and thank goodness, because how could you follow that?). Jon Collins, who despite being on livejournal is still pretty cool, told an amusing tale that had something to do with homoeroticism among half-naked straight boys. I kind of drifted off into an A&F inspired "daydream" after that, but I'm sure the rest of it was good, too. Chris, as usual, gave good blog and used my second favorite line of the night "Bitch done fucked with my cats!" Dashiell won me over by bringing props (an Axis & Allies game). David had a tale of a straight roomie who turned uncomfortably bi-curious. And Rachel took the high road and told about the best roommate ever. All in all, despite the worst fucking seating in the whole wide world (which wasn't their fault), it was a great time.

My next three shows are this weekend. Two staged readings at the Public Theater (Short Eyes and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel) and The Bubble, a new gay play that I know almost nothing about.


Remember, tomorrow is Mark's AIDS Walk. There is still time to donate. At the very least, drop by his site and wish him luck.

More funny stuff

Since I don't want to write about myself right now, here's The Sawyer Song (a/k/a Sawyer Sawyer Locke). Hats off to Lee for posting this.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Ultimate Date Movie

From the best-selling novel by Steven King, it's Shining . . . the feel good date movie of the year.

Trust me . . . if you've seen the Jack Nicholson/Olive Oyl film, The Shining, you'll think this is a hoot.

I got this from Defective Yeti, which is one of my favorite blogs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Balsamic Jihad

Found a link to this site through Nicole.

My favorite list so far, Less-Threatening Islamist Groups.

I had a giggle over Log Cabin Martyrs Brigade . . . there but for the grace of God goes Boi.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Much ado about Rita

No damage. Turns out she wasn't as bad as we'd feared.

Hopefully, she'll be the last one of the season, but I kind of doubt it.

Friday, September 23, 2005

And now for something completely different

In non-hurricane related news, I've seen a few shows in the last week. I don't want to write reviews just yet because that takes time and frankly, I'm tired and don't want to.

But here's a little info about them:

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - Loved it! Hilarious show with great catchy songs. John Lithgow was amazing. Norbert Leo Butz was slimy and wonderful. Joanna Gleason was fabulous. I was so thrilled to finally see her live. I went with British David and our seats (5th row, center) were great.

The Big Voice: God or Merman? - Not bad. A little uneven, both in the book and the music, but still a pretty good night of theater. This is a little two man cabaret/musical about the life and love (of theater, music and each other) shared by the writer/performers Steve Schalchlin (who wrote The Last Session) and Jim Brochu. Some really funny bits, some really sad bits, some bits that go on a little too long, but like I said, I enjoyed it. Plus, I ran into Jere while I was there, so I had someone to discuss the play with.

Holy Cross Sucks - I really, really liked this. I thought it was funny and smart. It's a one man show, written and performed by Rob Nash. He plays a group of friends in high school in Houston in the '80s. And their teachers. And their parents. If you get a chance to see this one before it closes (on Oct. 1), you should.

A Little Bit Softer Now

Looks like Rita has fizzled a bit. I think Dad's going to have to deal with 5" of rain and about 11 hours of wind over 50 mph. Assuming there aren't any tornados, he should be okay. Well, except for the electricity. If that goes out, he's going to be miserable because it will be in the high 80's at 100% humidity.

Again, I'm glad he's not in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. Even with Rita as a Category 3, they're still looking at a lot of flooding over there. It will be interesting to see what gas prices are like on Monday.


As my mother says, I'm so mad I could spit. Now that my stepmom is safely out of the hurricane's path, my father has decided to ride out the storm. Even if the damn thing shifts further east, the winds will be well above 100 mph. Those are the sustained winds. The gusts will be higher. There will be tornados. The electricity will go out. There will be damage. And he is going to be in the middle of it with no emergency services out there to help him if things go badly.

I am so goddamn angry right now. It's bad enough to be stuck up here and worrying about my house, but at least I thought I wouldn't have to worry about my family.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I've been through one hurricane in my life. A Category 3. This was back when I was in high school. We got a little water in the house, lost a lot of branches, and lost power for ten days. Ten days without electricity. In August. In Houston.

Needless to say, it was miserable.

Around our neighborhood, trees were down, tornados had hit, the downtown was littered with shattered glass.

It looks like Rita is heading toward my old stomping ground (which also happen to be my folks' current stomping grounds). This one is currently a Category 5 but these things change. The forecast right now has this hitting about 120 miles away from my folks. With luck, this will hold and they will avoid the worst of it. But who knows how these things will go.

The worst part is being up here, trying to convince them to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice, knowing that they don't really have any intention of leaving unless it looks like a direct hit. Also knowing that by the time they determine just where landfall will be, there won't be time to outrun a direct hit.

Their house is full of windows and surrounded by huge trees. Not the best place to be when there are high winds. Luckily, the house doesn't flood.

I'm sure they'll be fine and the house will be fine. But I still worry.

UPDATE: I finally got through to my stepmom and they are indeed bugging out. They were in the middle of prepping the house and packing the car. According to the storm track, the hurricane is pretty much going to be a direct hit. I can't get in touch with my other friends down there, so I have no idea if they've evacuated. I can only imagine they have. This is pretty fucked up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Not much to report

I haven't been doing much because I've been sick. Still going to work, but miserable while I'm there . . . but then again, I'm usually miserable while I'm there.

Anyway, today's cool thing was a celebrity sighting. I saw Doug Wilson from TLC's Trading Spaces coming out of what I assume was his apartment building. I was on the way to the gym to meet Stuff.

I've got to say, I don't always care for his design work on the show (I'm sure he's amazing when he has a real budget and time), but I will say this, the man is very easy on the eyes.

Monday, September 12, 2005

One last swipe

Michael Brown unplugs Los Angeles as he leaves FEMA headquarters.

You know, given the most recent "we're going to get California" message from al Qaeda, this must have freaked a few people out. I'm just glad it's not New York again. My fat ass is not walking all the way to Queens.

The headline I'd love to see

Bush Denies Racial Component to Government's Efforts After Storm; Claims Critics Are Uppity and Shiftless

Well, the first part of that was an actual headline, but you could almost imagine the second part being said.

And did you see that Michael Brown just resigned? Let's see. Incompotent. Left in disgrace. Trail of death and destruction behind him.

Yep, he's a shoe-in for the next Presidential Medal of Freedom

Sunday in the Park with Crash

A few of us will be having a picnic in Central Park on Sunday, Sept. 18th. Those of you who will be in town are invited to join us. 'Us' at this point being me, Stuff and Charles.

The plan is to meet at the NE corner of the Great Lawn in Central Park (by the baseball fields) around noon. Bring food and drinks to share, sunscreen, a blanket to sit on . . . that sort of thing.

My plan is to roast a chicken and make hummus and caponata. As the best laid plans of mice and men oft gang aglee, I might wind up bringing a big bag of Doritos instead. Either way, it's the company that's important, not the food.

I'll also be bringing a rugby ball if anyone wants to join in an impromptu game.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

September 11, 2001

Four years.

Bush is still obfuscating. Bin Laden is still free. Justice has still not been served.

But if there is another terrorist attack, at least we know that FEMA director, Michael Brown, has our back.

God protect us.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ain't that a kick in the nuts

And today I found out that my play wasn't chosen for the contest I entered.

Well, fuck them then.

The Sevens Meme

I think Bob initially tagged me for this one, though a couple of others did, too. So here it goes:

7 things I plan to do before I die:
Fall in love with someone who loves me back
Visit every continent
Win an Obie and a Tony
Have a job I love
See the Northern Lights
Have a house with a huge garden
Get a tattoo

7 things I can do:
Curl my tongue
Cook well
Write plays
Play rugby

7 things I cannot do:
Stick to a workout program
Make it through 'Billy Elliot' or 'Love, Actually' without crying like a girl
Make people love me like I love them
Talk about 9/11 without choking up
Keep friends

7 things that attract me to the same sex:
Sense of humor
Nice abs
Cute, boyish face
Ruddy cheeks
Beautiful smile

7 things that I say most often:
You have the wrong number
No worries

7 celebrity crushes:
Brad Renfro
Daniel Cudmore
Stark Sands
Jonny Lang
Ben Cohen
Johnny Wilkinson
Lukas Ridgeston

7 people to pass this to:
Is there anyone left who hasn't done it?

Bringing in the memes

Okay, I've gotten tagged a few times in the last week or so . . . time to catch up.

From Palochi:

Ten Songs I'm Currently Digging
1) Breathe Me - Sia
2) Take Your Mama - Scissor Sisters
3) Living in the City - Desiree
4) Sleeping Satellite - Tasmin Archer
5) Reefer Madness - Reefer Madness the Musical Cast album
6) Pinch Me - Barenaked Ladies
7) John the Revelator - Blues Brothers 2000 Soundtrack
8) Let Me Go - 3 Doors Down
9) I Am A Rock - Simon & Garfunkel
10) Come On Come On - Mary Chapin Carpenter

I'll do the other meme tonight.

The Crush

One of the consequences of the reunion was finally seeing the Crush again after probably fifteen years or so.

This was the Big Crush. Not one of those non-sexual crushes that boys get when they're young; the "I want to be your best friend" crushes. But that first "I know I'm different because of the way I feel about him" crush that hits when you enter your teenage years. The Crush.

He became my physical ideal. Smooth white skin. Athletic and trim. Curly platinum blond hair. The Aryans would have loved him. When I see a good-looking guy on the street, I usually can find a trace of the Crush in his features.

Beautiful voice, smart, popular; he was what I wanted to be. And, of course, what I wanted to have.

Over the next several years, we were pretty close. Sleepovers. Movies. Parties. All the usual stuff. Everything was cool. Until the girl.

The girlfriend set a boundry I knew I couldn't cross. Sure, we'd come pretty close to fooling around a number of times . . . but the girl made it clear that he considered that to be kid's stuff. And he was ready for the grown up stuff. Which was her.

They broke up after a couple of years. It was high school, after all. But our friendship never really came back to the level of intimacy it once had. Different schools, different friends, different desires. It drove a bit of a wedge between us. That and the fact that he was the golden boy of our choir. All the roles or solos I wanted, the friends I wanted, everything I wanted, just seemed to be handed to him on a silver platter.

Looking back, I know that wasn't the case. But I was jealous, so I thought what I thought.

I saw him a few times on breaks from college. One summer we even worked out at the same gym. Said hi a few times. That sort of thing. Then that was it. We lost touch.

I'd tried to track him down a few times once the fog of adolescence had finally lifted. I missed him and our friendship. But he has a very common name and tracking him down proved impossible.

Then I found out he'd be at the reunion. Part of me was thrilled, of course. I've wanted to know what happened to him. How he'd fared. If he'd married and had kids. If he still remembered and valued our friendship. If we'd ever be friends again.

But part of me was terrified. What if the feelings were still there? That white-hot mixture of desire and humiliation. What if I couldn't just be happy to reunite with a friend?

Then he was there. The curls were gone. Indeed, so was the platinum hair. He was another guy in this mid-thirties with a buzz cut, goatee and a bit of a spreading middle. And while I was thrilled to see him again, there wasn't that ache of desire/longing/loss/regret.

Until he introduced me to the man standing next to him. His partner of several years.

At that point, all of the 'might have beens' came crashing down on me. Visions of how my life might have been different if I'd known. Or if he'd known. How I might have been happy. Or at least less lonely.

I wallowed in it for a while, then put it aside. Life is what it is when it is and there is fuck all you can do about it after the fact.

So I moved on. We talked, got to know each other again. I talked with his partner; a really nice guy. They seem very happy.

I don't know if the friendship will come back. We're both completely different people than we were. But I hope so. Because I'd like to get to know the person he's become, even if it is at the expense of losing the Crush that he was.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I'm not getting older, I'm getting bitter

Okay, this weekend was a bit of a surprise. First off, this was not my high school reunion as some of you had assumed. That's next year. This was a reunion of a choir I was in. The choir is, sadly, no more, but it was in existence from 1970-1991. That means the people at this reunion ranged in age from early fifties to early thirties.

I did see many old friends and I hope I'll stay in touch with them. There were moments when we were eighteen again, but mostly there wasn't a need to recapture our youth as much as acknowledge it.

It was so strange to see people who, until this weekend, were forever frozen as teenagers in my mind, suddenly age twenty years or more. There were wrinkles. Paunches. Bald spots. Most of the men were much broader than they used to be. Several of the women had turned into their mothers. There were some deaths, but many, many more births. People I remember as kids were now doctors, ministers, college professors, new mothers and fathers, old mothers and fathers, stay at home parents, teachers, writers, lawyers . . . the gamut.

But in most ways, they were still the people I remembered.

In addition to the obligatory slide show and photo albums, one of the girls (whom I suppose I should call a woman since she's now free to be in her thirties in my mind, instead of being stuck at sixteen) brought a video of one of our performances. A musical that we took on tour my senior year.

I'm unused to seeing myself. I don't like being photographed or filmed, tend to avoid mirrors . . . too self-conscious. Yet for about an hour on Saturday, I found myself watching a seventeen-year-old version of myself. Speaking dialogue I can't remember having ever learned. Singing songs that I didn't recognize. Doing choreography that made the adult me wince with embarrassment (luckily, all of us watching were doing that).

I noticed a few things. I had a good voice. A high, clear tenor. And I was a decent looking kid. Not one of the really beautiful guys in our group, but not bad (with the exception of my John Denver hair and owl-like glasses). Why couldn't I have seen that then? All I saw then was the awkwardness, the not-quite-proportional body, the high-pitched voice . . . everything framed as a negative.

I wish I could have seen then what I see now.

But as Roseanne Rosannadanna said, "Ya know, Jane, it's always something . . ."

This weekend allowed me the opportunity to compare who I used to be with who I've become. And frankly, I'm not pleased. Somewhere along the line, I wandered seriously off course. I see the things I need to change, but I don't really know if I can. But hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And I just can't stay where I am any more.

Maybe I'll talk about some of this later, maybe not. Since the changes have to come from within, none of you may even notice. As long as I do, I suppose, that's all that matters.