Monday, December 10, 2007

"Busker Alley" on the High Main

Nov. 30, 2007 - Jim Dale could make the phone book catchy. That said, he does a pretty good job of making "Busker Alley," a new musical fresh from its success in London slated for the 2008-2009 Broadway season, sound pretty good, too.

Last Friday, the new cast (Anne Rogers replacing Glenn Close) announced the show's Broadway intentions at the first ever cast record launch on board an ocean liner - Cunard's Queen Mary 2.
Hayley Mills, Juliet Mills, Maxwell Caulfield, Melissa Caulfield, Joan Copeland, Marilyn Sokol, and many others showed up to toast the cast's performance with champagne, followed by lunch in the ship's Britannia Room. Dick Sherman, Jim Dale, and Tony-, Emmy-, and Academy Award-winning director Tony Walton raised their glasses to the new show.

And I am, as ever, a fan of wine at lunch. Hours later, I was still humming my own version of one of the songs in an Irish pub in midtown.

Los Luchadores Take Manhattan

Nov. 2, 2007 - My new favorite sport is masked Mexican wrestling. Ever since the Young International Council's gala for El Museo del Barrio on the dia de los muertos, I've been hooked. Which is hard, considering it's very much a niche sport, if that. "Los luchadores" aren't exactly ubiquitous, even though their muscles are.

El Museo director Julian Zugazagoitia welcomed guests from inside the ring, and played ref for the two matches at the Angel Orensanz foundation; and afterwards, guests stormed the ring for dancing.

The sangrita was forthcoming, and the traditional altars were decked with sliced watermelons, marigolds, skeletons, and open bottles of tequila. 

Friday, December 07, 2007

Josh Ritter v. Pirates - The Atlantic's 150th

Nov. 8, 2007 - I hadn’t really heard of Josh Ritter until he played at a party I attended – it was The Atlantic’s 150th anniversary bash in NY (see Gawker’s snarkier-than-usual coverage: To me, he was apparently “some guy” that the kids at The Atlantic deeply worshipped, and he was “big in Ireland.” Also “the next Bob Dylan.” Apparently.

Not even Bob Dylan is the next Bob Dylan.

But Josh Ritter surprised me. He was actually a lot more fun than Robert De Niro, who showed up with his arm in a sling and a chip on his shoulder – riding the elevator with him was the most awkward experience of my past few months. Sadly, his shoulder wasn’t injured from what I hoped was a mob run-in, but rather it was a result of recent surgery. Funny, though, seeing him chase after a yellow cab in the street post-party – I didn’t think De Niro did anything that wasn’t hard-boiled.

And Moby was quite enjoyable. After riding in the elevator with him (we talked about his ironic/humorous t-shirt declaring “Republicans for Voldemort”) I finally understood why so many women have slept with the slight, bald musician.

But when Josh Ritter took the stage, the hype finally made sense. I know you can strap a guitar on a guy and he becomes at least 150% more attractive, but the Josh Ritter phenomenon ( goes above and beyond my usual guitar/attractiveness ratio expectations.

His performance was pretty damn good, and I liked it well more than the mustachioed Patti Smith and her out of tune guitar twangling that followed.

Between getting to tell Mr. Ritter to “knock ‘em dead” right before he went on, and the kiss on the cheek I got from him on the way out, I have a bit of a crush.

His music’s not bad, either.

PJ O’Rourke, former Governor William Weld, Arianna Huffington, and others spoke for a bit about “The American Idea.” But what is “The American Idea?” It sounds like the reason Uncle Sam is pointing at YOU so intensely. Despite the vagaries of American Ideas, Atlantic President Justin Smith nodded in agreement, etc., etc.

And if Josh Ritter wants my phone number, he can have it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Surely you must be kidding....

Sadly, no. It's time to get serious. I often consider myself a housewife. Without, of course, a house and a husband. I like to imagine myself taking ghost children to soccer practice, fussing over grass stains, and trying to tell them that Daddy left because they were terrible children.

But, apparently it's time to be serious about something.


I still don't know what that means, but I do know that I'm joining a writers' collective that seems pretty serious. Dominatrix-style rules about attendance and who brings snacks what week.

If anyone has a good recipe for merengue cookies come my week, the housewife impulse in me might take over. And, Daddy really did leave because you did sloppy hospital corners whenever you made your bed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Interstitial Manifesto

It’s no fair that all of the good literary movements are from the early half of the last century, and that the trend to support your literate leanings with a manifesto have fallen by the wayside. Good literary movements insofar as they’re “cool,” in the slangiest sense of the word. The Dadaists, Futurists, Surrealists, Modernists, Post-Modernists, Post-Colonialists, Post-ists, and Ist-ists made literature cool the same way the Marlboro Man made smoking cool.
Aside from a slightly abnormal obsession with the Marlboro Man, I have a no-shit policy on literature, effective as of now. I don’t have many beliefs, aside from the very firm belief that I did indeed leave my gloves on the couch in a coffee shop, and that they are indeed no longer there. But, I do also believe that I have the qualifications (said qualifications being a host of opinions that are loudly professed, though infrequently backed up with fact) to make subjective judgments on good and/or bad literature. Publishing houses, also licensed opinion factories, don't feel the same way I do about shit. Some imprints just love shit. Some people like buying and reading shit. This shit trend does not, however, include Harry Potter (which, in my opinion, is good fiction, though poorly executed writing...). It does include, well, shit.
It is entirely possible that I want to start a literary movement simply to have an excuse to say the word 'shit' as much as possible.
More than that, I'd rather like to put words in other people's mouths. According to Jean Baudrillard, Don DeLillo, and Other People, terrorists are the new artists. (I, personally, am of the opinion that it could be the other way around in a very Disney-fied sense of the word 'terrorist.') I also think that terrorists are the new terrorists, because it means I don't have to define any terms.

So, the Interstitialists, had they a manifesto, might ask why is there no ‘pre,’ only ‘post?’ What came before is as important as what comes next, leaving the interregnum unguarded by any well-meaning members of the literati.

All this, I'm afraid, is part of my elaborate plot to avoid having a 'job' at all costs. If I do well at avoiding this, at the end of six years I'll give myself tenure.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Captain's Log, Stardate 02.13.2006

I confess, I began this blog just so that I could spew invective against Murakami's Kafka on the Shore in a comment. Is that, perhaps, a bad way to begin, or the only honest way to do so?