Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Cavil Over Henry Cavill, and other thoughts on Man of Steel

Wayne Boring Superman

1. Happy to Be Here

I was delighted to sit in on this week’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, a Very Special Episode we — okay, I — have decided to call “The Cavil Over Henry Cavill.” The A-topic this week was the arrival of Man of Steel, the muscled-up, darkened-down reboot of Superman film franchise that is, we all agree, short on humor. Also short on height. Zing!

Any regular listener to the show will know that Glen Weldon, my pal-for-life and 25 percent of the show’s regular lineup (along with host Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson and Trey Graham), just spent the better part of two years researching and writing the marvelous Superman: The Unauthorized Biography. I recently ran a freezing cold 12-mile death race wearing a Superman T-shirt, so our credentials are roughly equivalent.

But they didn’t exactly need a second longtime Supes fan. I snuck in by making fun of Henry Cavill’s average-ish height. He is, for the record, exactly as tall as I am if you believe IMDB, an authority on which actor heights seem to be self-reported.

“I think he makes you feel short,” Linda tells me during the show. Continue reading

College Try: Theater J’s The Hampton Years, reviewed

Crashonda Edwards and Julian Elijah Martinez

Crashonda Edwards and Julian Elijah Martinez

This week’s City Paper theater column was supposed to include reviews of Theater J’s new The Hampton Years and American Century Theater’s revived Biography. The Sunday matinee of Biography I attended was cancelled due to a power failure 30 minutes into the show, and there wasn’t another performance scheduled before my Monday-evening deadline, regrettably.

So I ended up with a few more hundred words of real estate in which to unpack what I consider be the very earnest and honorable Hampton Years’ very earnest and honorable shortcomings. And also the rather less honorable shortcoming of my published review, wherein I reported that the artist Elizabeth Catlett, a character in The Hampton Years, is still alive. In fact, Ms. Catlett died last year. I apologize for my stupid, sloppy error.

Talk Back in Anger: Marc Maron, interviewed.

The ubiquitous Marc Maron. Photo by Max S. Gerber, courtesy IFC.

The ubiquitous Marc Maron. (Max S. Gerber/courtesy IFC)

You see? I managed to make even my interview with comedian and podcast host Marc Maron mostly about 60-year-old musicians. But we talked about some other stuff, too. That’s on Arts Desk today. Maron plays Sixth & I tonight, promoting his new essay collection, Attempting Normal.

Theater on the TV: Discussing Stupid Fucking Bird and The Hampton Years on WETA’s Around Town

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 3.42.30 PM

In the unlikely event you’ve nothing better to do on this rainy Friday afternoon than watch Robert Aubry Davis and Jane Horowitz offer insightful comments about a couple of current plays while I blink my eyes and wobble my head around and emit words, then by all means: Gawk away as we discuss Stupid Fuckinging Bird and The Hampton Years on PBS. Continue reading

It Takes a Lotta Gull: Stupid Fucking Bird, reviewed

Doyle and Emma and Mash and Sorn

Doyle and Emma and Mash and Sorn

Of the stage productions that’ve moved me most in the five years or so that I’ve been semi-professionally paying attention to theatre in DC, a suspiciously high percentage of those have been directed by Aaron Posner. (His 2009 version of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia at the Folger Theatre remains my favorite thing that I’ve ever seen in a playhouse.)

Posner is the playwright, not the director, of Stupid Fucking Bird, his-flippant-but-faithful rejiggering of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, which opened at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company this weekend. (Woolly Mammoth founder Howard Shalwitz is its director.) The result is pretty goddamn delightful, as I aver in today’s Washington City Paper, available wherever finer alt-weeklies are given away for free.

My Life as a Getty Image

I wish I'd taken my socks off before the photographer got there.

I wish I’d taken my socks off before the photographer got there.

Great Scott! I like attention as much as anybody but I do wish that one of the roughly 170 pieces I wrote for the Washington Post between 2006 and 2012 had generated a response like this photo did when it ran on the Post site yesterday. Here I am in uniform (though the cargo shots are not exactly regulation, as has been observed) as Neptune, Roman god of the sea, one-eighth of a clue in the 2013 Post Hunt.

Continue reading