1968: Humanity learns the location of the “Planet of the Apes.”
Last year, a brilliant new play premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company called Mr. Burns, a Post-Apocalyptic Play. Everyone who reviewed it told their readers far too much about it. Everyone but me… he said modestly.
The cycle repeated itself when Mr. Burns opened last month at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. So I wrote this for the Village Voice.
Posted in cinema, movies, theatre
Tagged Anne Washburn, Mr. Burns, podcasting, podcasts, spoilers, Village Voice, Voice Film Club, Woolly Mammoth, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Wait, wait, I'm still apologizing! Don't start the music yet!
Mike Daisey appeared for a one-hour public Q & A session last night at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, the place where his controversial monologue The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs
was born — or, to use his creepy syntax, “birthed.”
It was an interesting hour highlighted by a fascinating exchange near the end, which I reproduce in my Washington City Paper Arts Desk post about it.
Christian Conn and Erica Sullivan in VENUS IN FUR. (SCOTT SUCHMAN/Studio Theater)
What was the Number One Topic under consideration by DC theaters in 2011? Why, the theater, of course.
Michael Russotto and Joshua Morgan in A BRIGHT NEW BOISE
Woolly Mammoth opens their Apocalypse-themed 32nd season with Samuel D. Hunter‘s surprisingly empathetic comedy A Bright New Boise. My City Paper review is here. I also wrote about Active Cultures’s Halloween trio Hellspawn in this week’s issue, available wherever fine newsweeklies are given away free.
Jefferson A. Russell, Dawn Ursula, Kimberly Gilbert and Cody Nickell will all return in Woolly's summer reprise of the Pultizer-winning CLYBOURNE PARK
Way to go, Bruce Norris.
Woolly’s almost-world-premiere production of Bruce Norris’s now wildly successful race-and-gentrification play, which I fairly raved about at this time last year, is coming back this summer. I muse briefly on why this is a good and welcome thing in the City Paper’s Best of DC issue, on stands this week.
No time to blog, Dr. Jones; I gotta catch a bus up to New York to reconnect with my NEA theaterfolk.
But: Hey, remember that scene from 1992’s admittedly unmemorable Lethal Weapon 3, wherein Mel Gibson and Rene Russo’s two tough LAPD cops fore-play by comparing their battle scars? My review of Woolly’s Gruesome Playground Injuries, which develops that premise into a full-blown “unsentimental, nonlinear anti-romance” spanning 30 years, is right here.
And now I shall return to collaborating with G-Weld on the Broadway musical adaptation of Die Hard with a Vengeance. Happy Memorial Day, God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.
Sorry I’ve let things slide around here for the past couple of weeks, everybody. But What ho!, new writing at last: I reviewed what turned out to be an epic Wilco concert — three hours, 37 songs, last Red Line train home – for the Washington Post. The blog version features a setlist and copious photos by the great Kyle Gustafson, while the paper-paper version has only one.
I thought I’d have more to say about the show, which included a lot of excellent, seldom-performed songs I never thought I’d hear, like “Some Day Some Morning Sometime” from Mermaid Avenue Vol. II , for instance, but for once I managed to stick to my allotted space. Amy Argetsinger gave me a little shout in her Reliable Source item about White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel being at the show, which is why the Daily Swarm linked to the review. I haven’t loved Wilco’s most recent pair of records as much the ones they released between 1996 and 2004, but I’ve seen them play a bunch of times in the last 10 years, and I don’t think they’ve ever been a better live band than they are now.
Here’s Valerie’s fine DCist review breaking down the value-for-money equation, with some great photos by Jeff Martin.
On an unrelated note, I wrote about Bruce Norris’s superb new play Clybourne Park at Woolly Mammoth for the City Paper last week, but the Best of DC special issue didn’t contain an arts section, so the piece didn’t come out until today. Apologies, Woolly Mammoths.
Nonetheless, I’ve managed to overlook that shortcoming of Barack Stars and review it rather favorably for the Washington City Paper, in my debut as a regular contributor there.
Keywords: demagoguery, chucklebait, asphyxiated, Peter Capaldi.
Before you ask Mike Daisey’s opinion on a subject, make sure you’re sure you want to know! (I am, and I do.)
Remember when I wrote that Daisey, raconteurius nonpariculus, was “one of the most imaginative and entrancing talkers in America”? Dude, I was totally right. Daisey generously gave me an hour of his time, and he had way more interesting things to say than I could possibly use in my preview of The Last Cargo Cult, his latest solo show at Woolly Mammoth.
After the jump, luxuriate in the cogent and persuasive glow of a few more of those glorious “lucid, flowing paragraphs” I mentioned, which Daisey freestyled live and uncut into my iPod one week ago.
Enjoy. I’m seeing the show tonight. Can’t wait. Continue reading
Mike Daisey has a money problem.
It isn’t that he has too little, or, God knows, too much. To hear the 36-year-old raconteur tell it, his money problem is the same one that afflicts us all.
“Money — currency — is corrosive to human relationships,” he says flatly. “It corrodes the human connections that create communities, and replaces them with fiduciary connections.”
Strange talk from a man who once made his living as a business development executive for Amazon, an experience he chronicled in his 2002 monologue and memoir of the late-90s tech bubble, 21 Dog Years. But on a break from preparations at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, four days before his latest solo show opens here, Daisey has the confidence of certainty, however provocative his premise. Even in what is ostensibly an informal chat, he unspools his argument in lucid, flowing paragraphs, seldom restarting a sentence the way amateur conversationalists are prone to do. Continue reading
Michael Russotto, Sarah Marshall, Daniel Escobar, and Jessica Frances Dukes
When we say that Woolly Mammoth’s production of Charles L. Mee’s decade-old satirical farce Full Circle is a sprawling affair, we don’t mean merely that it’s forever threatening to collapse under its own allegorical girth.
As directed by Michael Rohd, the show is performed promenade-style, appropriating almost every public area of the building as a stage wherein a dance party might erupt or a trial be called to order. A fresh-faced chorus of student demonstrators double as traffic cops, shuffling us through the theater’s rehearsal rooms, lobby, and auditorium as the narrative — a chase, more or less, through Berlin in the chaotic days after the Wall came down, 20 years ago this month — progresses. Continue reading
“On Stage” piece from today’s Weekend section on Tom Kamm, an architect and set designer who has worked on a number of shows with Robert Wilson, among others. He designed the set for Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Boom, opening next week at Woolly Mammoth.
I feel a little silly saying this, but click on the picture to read the story.
My piece on Maria/Stuart, playwright Jason Grote’s new show at Woolly Mammoth, is in the Weekend section of today’s paper of record. Click on the poster above to read all about it.