Monday, August 31, 2015

Bali Low

There was a murder case a year ago in Bali, involving 3 vacationers from Chicago: a mom, a daughter, and the daughter's boyfriend. The two younger people have been convicted of killing the older person.

Their defense was that the homicide just happened, an argument gone wrong, a body stuffed in a trunk, and so on. But the prosecutors seemed to think the killing had been planned.

And now American authorities have released a Facebook message, from the daughter to her boyfriend, from month's before the actual killing:

“Can you not tell people i asked you to kill my mom.”

Beware of the naughty daughter
who don't do what she oughter
and rather than keeping calm
moves to murder her mom.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Small Pet Advisory

We've had some coyote sightings in the hood.

Authorities seem to be planning on letting them be.

The advisory letter from neighborhood association was probably intended to be reassuring, but included this tidbit:

"Coyotes may mistake small, unattended pets as prey..."

Mistake? Really? Is there an approved list of prey somewhere?

I'd have to say
that its proper prey
is whatever a coyote can defeat
and eat.


Doomsayers have their appeal,
but mostly their threats are not real.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Once More

We've got one more performance of our show in New York, tomorrow night. I'm flying out Friday morning, and returning Saturday morning. Then that's it for this run. I'm already feeling the sorrow.

Flying back and forth to New York has been strangely familiar for me. I lived there decades ago, and I fell into the sense of being a native readily enough, even though, really, I'm not.

Being a New Yorker is like
riding a bike.

It comes back to you
as deja vu.

More Reviews Are In

We had a nice long "Happy Face" review from Kristin Hardwick at Hi! Drama, which went into the actors' performances in some detail.

'Ms. Vitale's [Darlene] is ambitious in a charming way and Mr. Corbett's Alan perfectly complements [Darlene] with his warm smile and sincere attitude. The chemistry of Ms. Nehme and Mr. Mervin portraying the divorced couple works! Ms. Nehme's portrayal of the Irish "divorcee" is a nice balance of whimsy and sincerity and her constant "calling people out on the truth" adds to the depth of their stories in both a comical and genuine way.'

I also found a very negative review, which I will quote in its entirety:

"Almost as soon as the lights went up, I knew I wanted to walk out. About ten minutes later, I did. Dreams do come true."

I'm actually a bit puzzled by the snarky last line, because it sounds like a Disney reference, but my play doesn't have any Disney angle. I almost wonder if he was actually at a different play which runs in the same theater, which does have a Disney angle. Anyway, regardless of which show he glimpsed, I'm glad he got out after just ten minutes.

Life is short.
If you don't like a play,
escape and enjoy
the rest of your day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sweet Tweet from the Irish Consulate

Someone from the Irish Consulate of New York came to see our play the other night, and tweeted:

"Great production @FringeNYC 'O'Brien and O'Brian'! Loved the accents guys! "It's because we don't have beavers in Ireland?!" Gold! Go see it"

I'm inordinately pleased. I've got 2 characters from Ireland in the play. They may verge on the comically outlandish at times, but they were drawn with great affection. I have a sentimental attachment to the people of that land, mostly because my great grandfather, for whom I am named, and who I remember fondly, was an emigrant from that Emerald Isle.

Our director, Robert Belchere, going into this production, was particularly focused on making the accents authentic. Well, Rob, I guess that was a good call if we were able to get some appreciation from the Irish Consulate! And nice going, MacKenzie Nehme and Juliana Forsberg-Lary, with your lovely brogues!

They're actually doing 2 different Irish accents, because there are many, and because the 2 characters, although old friends, actually are from different backgrounds - they met in boarding school.

No accents can beguile
like those from the Emerald Isle.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hard Day's Night by Vickie Vodrie

Despite my busyness here in the City of Busy, I managed to see another of the FringeNYC shows, namely Hard Day's Night, by Vickie Vodrie of Kansas City.

Her show is playing in the same venue as my show, but never on the same day.

Beatles fans among you will recognize the title of her play as the title of a Beatles song, album, and movie. But this isn't a play about the Beatles, except incidentally. It's a coming-of-age story, about a girl in a truly kooky family, a girl who takes some big steps into womanhood.

How kooky is the family? Well, the set is their living room, and their living room is overflowing with Disney figurines and memorabilia. Kookier yet, the living room is also overflowing with loving labeled shoeboxes containing the cremated remains of their former cats and dogs, a.k.a., their "fur babies".

Our heroine, Kelly, seems to be plunging deeper into social isolation, as she decides to communicate with her family only by singing snippets of Beatles songs. I was beginning to worry that she would be forever lost from the world of the sane, moving herself into permanent Misfitville.

But a sensitive (albeit flawed) man reaches out to her. The experience gives her a real glimpse of what life can hold, and the play ends on a hopeful note.

The writing just zips along,
making humorous use of song.
See it! You can't go wrong.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The City Never Sleeps

The cars outside are honking like a flock of Canada geese, apparently with no fear of being fined by the police. 

Pic Marsha Took

Excuse me while I trouble you,
with a pic of the big G.W.:

NY Theater Now Review

We got a great review of our FringeNYC production of O'Brien & O'Brian from Nita Congress at NYTheater Now:

'Enright’s dialogue is breezy and crisp, filled with non sequitors and snappy comebacks (example: “You remember what Martha Stewart went to jail for? Lying to the government.” “And I felt so much safer when she was locked up.” And “Maybe you should specialize in divorce. I hear it’s steady business.” And “Don’t thrown your life away on a gender that won’t make you happy.”) The play and its characters are friendly and good-natured.'

The reviewer does suggest that our intermission is too long, or perhaps unnecessary - that it breaks up the fun. It's an interesting question. Without intermission, the play runs about 80 minutes. Most people can comfortably sit that long without needing to stretch their legs. So that argues against having an intermission. On the other hand, the play's 2 acts take place on 2 different days, and on the 2nd day the characters are returning from a court hearing, so one is naturally tempted to do a costume change to outfits that are dressier.

But I'm grateful for the great review,
so right now what I'm going to do
is offer my contrition
for that lengthy intermission!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Full Stop

In local news, in federal court:

"The former chief executive of a red-light camera company changed her plea to guilty on Thursday in a scheme that funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to secure $124 million in city of Chicago contracts."

She gave the green light
to behavior that wasn't right.

Wipe Out

If you have an email server,
and you need to wipe it clean,
don't take a dampened dishcloth
to the case of the machine.

I think a random splatter,
made up of zero and one,
written over and over,
is what will get the job done.

And then, just to be careful,
douse it in gasoline
and drop a match upon it
so your data's never seen.