Singer-songwriter Jonathan Mann
, best known as the Song a Day YouTube star
, has a cool new project that those of you in New York can enjoy.
"My Super Mario Rock Opera goes up at Joe's Pub this Saturday, August 17th," he says. "The one-line pitch: Mario becomes self aware. Would love to see some happy mutants there!"
I ran into him recently at our blogging pals Laughing Squid's barbecue in Brooklyn; he shared this news with me there, and I knew many of our readers would dig it.
As many of you may remember, Jonathan wrote me a song --all for me! it was amazing!--called "Kittens in Space," to cheer me up when I was going through treatment for breast cancer, and gagging on chemotherapy. The song worked. Watch it below.
Read the rest
Mark Marino and Rob Wittig say,
For the first 3 weeks of January, the verified Twitter account of reality TV star Spencer Pratt (of MTV's The Hills) became the site for a literary performance art project. The framing story held that Spencer had lost his phone while in England before a stint on Celebrity Big Brother, and the phone was found by an unknown British poet.
Over the next several weeks @tempspence, as he came to be known, played a variety of poetry games and recounted the story of his courtship of his dual love interests Una & Duessa, named for the characters from Book 1 of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene.
The project was designed and performed by collaborators Mark C. Marino and Rob Wittig. Mark and Rob have been developing netprov, a kind of catfish lit. Some of the exchanges and games have been archived here.
Reality: Being @spencerpratt (a netprov)
This is pretty cool: Berlin's C-base, home to the Chaos Communications Club, has spawned a theatre troupe called C-artre. They've produced a theatrical adaptation of my short story "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth" (from my collection Overclocked
) and they're staging it later this month
at Berlin's Transmediale festival.
The next issue of Theatre Bay Area will feature the full text
of Josh Costello's theatrical adaptation of my novel Little Brother
, which was incredibly well-received on stage in San Francisco last year.
Grand Guignol was a Parisian theater that between 1897 and 1962 staged macabre plays known for their cartoon horror and violence. LIFE shares with us vintage photos of this splatterpunk paradise. Above, "Burned by vitriol thrown at him by his girl who comes to seek forgiveness, her lover turns slowly to reveal his elaborately blighted face. Then he strangles her." "Shock Value: Inside Paris’ Grand Guignol Theater, 1947"
"The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade" is a play written by Peter Weiss, whose conceit is that a group of inmates in a post-revolutionary French insane asylum are talked into acting out a subversive denunciation of the revolution's betrayal by the Marquis de Sade, who is a co-inmate. And it's a musical.
My parents loved this one, and we sang the songs in the car. I've seen several productions, including the 1967 film of a live performance. It turns out that this whole film is online on YouTube, all two hours' worth. It's quite an amazing work, and the YouTube version is subtitled in English, Portuguese (Brazilian), French, Spanish and Turkish.
The Marquis de Sade is locked in the Charenton mental hospital and decides to put on a play. His overseers agree as long as he follows certain conditions. He writes and directs the other mental patients in a play based on the life of the Jean-Paul Marat. As the play progresses, the inmates become more and more possessed by the violence of the play and become extremely difficult to control. Finally, all chaos breaks loose.
Michael Ross Albert sends us "A Kickstarter campaign to help fund the first major New York revival of NIGHT OF THE AUK by Arch Oboler."
Originally produced by the legendary Kermit Bloomgarden in 1956, the first production of this space epic was directed by luminary Sidney Lumet, and starred Christopher Plummer, Claude Rains, and Dick York. This summer, Outside Inside, a new independent theatre company, will produce the first major revival of Oboler's interstellar adventure as part of the 16th Annual New York International Fringe Festival!
Hugely influential in the world of science-fiction, Arch Oboler's underrated and undervalued works have all but fallen into obscurity. Now, Outside Inside needs your help to resurrect a lost classic of the sci-fi genre.
Set aboard an ill-fated spacecraft returning to Earth after the first successful lunar expedition, NIGHT OF THE AUK is a nail-biting adventure, a cautionary fable, and the most fun you're likely to have in the theatre this summer!
Presented in a sleek new 75 minute adaptation and designed by a top-notch team of professional artists, NIGHT OF THE AUK promises to be an unforgettable FringeNYC experience.
Arch Oboler's NIGHT OF THE AUK
"Klimeck was re-enacting the scene in which Judas commits suicide in repentance for his betrayal of Jesus Christ. Police are investigating the apparatus that was meant to support Klimeck. It appears the knot may have been wrongly tied.
John Herman sez, "I am producing 'An Evening of Apocalyptic Theatre' in Portsmouth, NH. Nine plays, nine visions of the end -- including new works by Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author James Patrick Kelly and best selling author of The Great Typo Hunt, Jeff Deck. A couple argues in a bomb shelter over a dog puzzle. A man gets an unexpected visit from Intergalactic Salvage. CERN scientists experience the romance of multi-verses. PLUS: Not only is the money raised going to three local charities, but I will also shave my head halfway through the show’s run to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a group that funds childhood cancer research grants"
An Evening of Apocalyptic Theatre
Austin's Old Murder House Theater has mounted a rendition of Aliens -- on ice! It's more or less faithful to the original, and it's, well, stupendous:
Anyone who has seen Aliens can follow what transpires over the next 70 minutes or so. It's James Cameron's film on fastforward…and caffeine…and possibly cocaine. The show captures the little details and turns of phrases that fans will know by heart and cast makes creative use of the ice, never standing still when they have to. Ripley's confrontation with the board that accuses her of destroying the ship from the first film is transformed into humorously blunt exchange, with every party involved skating around each other in menacing circles. The colonial marines searching the seemingly abandoned colony of LV421 becomes a showcase for humorously clumsy figure skating. The subtle relationship between Ripley and Hicks becomes gloriously unsubtle when the two share a brief little spin together on the ice.
These guys may not be professional skaters, but they're not bad. Not bad at all. They're certainly not afraid of the ice and they're not afraid of taking risks. When they do stumble, they play it off beautifully and keep moving. They make the "on ice" part of the show look effortless until they make a mistake and then it becomes a newly improvised joke. Using expert skaters as the aliens is a truly inspired choice and seeing the aliens literally skate circles around the clumsy humans is a genuinely thrilling experience.
'Aliens on Ice': The Review (With Video!)
"Fun Home," Alison Bechdel's brilliant graphic novel memoir (review here) is being adapted for musical theater:
“My father and I grew up in the same small Pennsylvania town and he was gay and I was gay and he killed himself and I became a lesbian cartoonist,” Bechdel's character says in Fun Home.
Kron is a founding member of the theater company Five Lesbian Brothers and an Obie Award winning playwright for her autobiographical play 2.5 Minute Ride.
Tony nominated composer Tesori won the 1999 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a play with her compositions for Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center and she also picked up the Obie Award for the score for 1997’s off-Broadway show Violet as well as composing 11 new songs for a production of Thouroughly Modern Millie that transferred to Broadway in 2002.
Alison Bechdel's Graphic Novel 'Fun Home' to Become a Stage Musical
(via The Mary Sue)
Teller (of Penn & Teller fame) is working on a stage adaptation of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist. Teller's got an eclectic, less-well-known scholarly/serious bent, having contributed to peer-reviewed work on the neuroscience of magic as well as directing an acclaimed performance of Macbeth. From the early notes, it sounds like this adaptation will play off Teller's advocacy for atheism.
Unlike William Friedkin’s film of The Exorcist (which isn’t anywhere near the best film of all time, just for the record), this play will “focus on the psychological aspects and questions of faith.” At least, that’s according to Ken Novice, the MD of New York’s Geffen Playhouse, where the play will premiere in July 2012. I can see that the film is at least supposed to focus on those same things, and when it works, it’s because it does...
Re the above quotation, Chelsea writes, "I'm the communications coordinator at the Geffen Playhouse, and while I appreciate your recent post on our upcoming production of The Exorcist, there are a few factual errors. First, the Geffen Playhouse is in Los Angeles. Second, Teller is helping out with some of the special effects for the play, but he is not one of the producers nor is he 'bringing the play to the stage.' The Geffen Playhouse is producing the show, John Doyle is directing the show and John Pielmeier is writing the show."
(via The Mary Sue)