Tag Archives: stage

Blue Christmas

Hey New York City jazz fans, a word of warning —

blue-noteIf you love Chris Botti and are hoping to catch one of his shows at the Blue Note during his annual holiday residency, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, don’t buy bar seatsThe club offers seats at tables and at the bar, and the marketing assures you that both choices offer a great view of the stage.

In reality, there are about 10 bar seats in total, and the Blue Note sells five times that many advance tickets.  So most bar seat ticket holders are essentially Standing Room Only.

Second, don’t assume you are in like Flynn if you buy table seats. At tonight’s Christmas Eve performance, many table patrons with advance tickets were turned away because the Blue Note oversold the show.

On Christmas Eve. Are you kidding me?!

Third, whatever ticket you purchase, be at the club as soon as the doors open. That’s the only way to get any kind of seat.

Actually, my best piece of advice is to go somewhere else. That’s what we ended up doing.

Total. Holiday. Fail.

Deja super vu

Second only to Pete Carroll’s really bad play call in the final seconds of last night’s Super Bowl is Left Shark.

He even has his own hashtag on Twitter.

Don’t know who #leftshark is? He was one of Katy Perry’s backup dancers. And his moves and killer costume earned him, in a matter of moments, his own Twitter account and social media stardom.

But just like his lesser lauded twin, Right Shark, I found Perry’s entire entourage a bit derivative.

There. I said it.

When I turned over to the half-time show, I thought I was watching a repeat of Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

pee wee

Ya gotta admit — the stage show borrowed his color palette.

And #leftshark? I’m pretty sure his ancestor showed up on Saturday Night Live some 35 years ago.

Landshark2So, don’t feel so bad, Pete.

You weren’t the only one who made a bad call last night.

Keep calm and don’t carry on

I’m watching the Tony Awards, hosted by the phenomenal Neil Patrick Harris, and as always I am blown away by his ability to do it all. Sing. Dance. Tell a joke. Perform magic. And, most importantly…

Have a sense of humor about it all.

But once the Tony winners start taking the stage, that goes right out the window.

judith lightTake the lovely Judith Light, who won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

She graciously thanked everyone in the American Theatre Wing, the voters, her cast and crew, the box office workers, her family, her manager and agent, etc, etc.

And then she started talking to the theatre community.  Got all hyper-earnest and intense.  You could see sweat start to glisten on her upper lip, and veins pop out on her forehead.

And I just wanted to say, “Judith, chill.  Let’s get some perspective here.”

I mean, I had a letter to Sports Illustrated published in the mailbag of the June 10th issue, and you don’t see me standing on a street corner making speeches about it.

(Maybe tomorrow.)

Funny, isn’t it?

Can any good come out of a dare?

Only friendships that last a lifetime.

A couple of decades ago (when I couldn’t have been more than five), a good friend and colleague at Hallmark Cards dared me to audition for an improv troupe in Kansas City called Lighten Up.

I accepted the challenge, was shocked to be chosen for their workshops, and soon found myself performing on the Lighten Up stage.

The next five years of my life were cast.  Every Friday and Saturday night I was on that stage.  And the players who I performed with soon became some of the best friends of my life.

They still are to this day.

That’s why I’m thrilled to rejoin the original members of the Lighten Up Improv Company tonight in a reunion performance.  Many of us haven’t done improv in years, so the show should be funny on many levels.

But hanging out with my best friends?

In the words of Trish Berrong, ‘that’s just stupid fun.’

The hardest job

With coverage of the upcoming  Oscars seemingly everywhere, it may appear that winning awards is the most difficult job in show biz.

But for anyone who has tried to work on stage, TV or movies, you know that auditioning is the real work.  It is the only thing the actor can control, and they must be performance-level, regardless of the room, audience or questions still rolling around in their head.   Of course, it is at the same time totally outside of their control because of all the unknown factors that go into the final casting decision.

I was reminded of this yesterday while watching the documentary “Every Little Step” on Starz OnDemand.  It tells the story of the casting of the 2006 revival of “A Chorus Line” on Broadway, while giving insights into the original cast, workshop and production some 30 years earlier.

You sweat right along side the dancers as they go through the initial cattle call and months of callbacks after callbacks.  Most nervewrecking is the final callback — where the roles are down to two people — and seeing that final cut made.

Maybe they should give an award for Best Audition.  Goodness knows a lot of good actors — and performances — never get past that claustrophic little room.