Monthly Archives: August 2006

the fall has already begun

Banana Bag & Bodice proudly introduces to the worthy city of San Francisco the legendary heroes of the no-wave post-sludge punk scene, The Rising Fallen. Six years ago they catastrophically unleashed their unrehearsed guitar steel and the drum-tense electro-dense vocals of their never before spoken lead singer. The concert hall ended in flames and all present suffered irreversable mental damage.
Oh God.”

I’m directing this one.

Please come, we have four shows, they will sell out

SF Fringe Festival
EXIT on Taylor
277 Taylor Street
(between Eddy & Ellis)

Wednesday Sept. 6 @ 8:30 PM
Thursday Sept. 7 @ 7:00 PM
Friday Sept. 8 @ 8:30 PM
Monday Sept. 11 @ 10:00 PM

A rare moment

I saw three great plays in 3 years of living in New York. No one believes less in the outdated myth that NY is the center of Great American Theater than me. But gosh, I wish I was there right now so I could see:

Meryl in Mother Courage (though I’m not as into the Papa Brecht era of his plays, and the production apparently has not much else to recommend it. SFJ says: “When she acts, it seems as if nobody else on stage has read the script.”)

Lance Reddick in a revival of August Wilson‘s Seven Guitars. Partly because it sounds like a beautiful production, and partly because, as a passionate fan of The Wire, I just want to be in the same room as Mr. Reddick.

Kiki and Herb. On Broadway. I mean, fucking duh.

some wow news

Bill Rauch named new Artistic Director at Ashland.

oh, p.s., why I care:
Bill was the founding Artistic Director and Director for Cornerstone Theater Company, a company that has changed the landscape of American theater in the past 20 years. I assisted for Bill as an Altvater Fellow and found him a director of near-saintly grace, able to take notes and ideas from everyone from the star to the UPS man and synthesize it, while also able to give notes to the most persnickety and sensitive of actors. I’m delighted for him and for the OSF.

entirely personal

Last weekend, I got engaged. I’m over the moon–but that isn’t surprising. What’s been astonishing is the outpouring of joy from friends and family. My friend Rachel, three weeks away from her own wedding, tells me that she feels an engagement or wedding gives your community both permission and a specific moment to express their delight and approval over your relationship.

I bring this up in reference to something else, something terrible. Israeli writer David Grossman’s son died in Lebanon on Saturday. Uri Grossman was 20, a tank commander, three months from finishing his service.

David Grossman is one of the most sensitive, acute thinkers, activists and writers in Israel and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In last week’s NY Times Magazine article, Bernard-Henri Lévy called him one of Israel’s moral consciences–this is true. That his son would be the 24th soldier to die is the rare irony that creates not wry distance but rather immediate devastation.

My own response, of course, is entirely personal–Vered and I had the privilege of co-translating two of his novels. My family is Israeli, and the past month I’ve been on edge, nervous, scared, angry. I’m confronted continuously with Bay Area liberals who, paradoxically, do not know how to demonstrate for peace without picking a side to root for (that being, whomever they consider the underdog). They call Israelis, not Hezbollah, terrorists. Both of my cousins who have been called for reserve duty are fathers of newborn children.

I now have a chance to mourn the tragedy of the past month. I can cry, can feel entirely as sad as I’ve been feeling. I would anything that it weren’t so.

*meep* out of nowhere

I’ve been purposely ignoring the blog while trying to organize and compartmentalize the projects that I hope to get done in some type of parallel processing.

But couldn’t resist this article in the NY Times about the actors at the American Girl store.

And also, to document that I am, for the first time, watching the Twin Peaks series. Yes, for the first time. Yes, it’s just shockingly good (especially the taut beauty and weirdness of Season 1), and I can’t believe it was on network TV. We’re hitting the point of Season 2 where apparently things go kind of bad for a little while, but are committed to pushing through to the end.

I want to take a moment (as I begin a writing project of my own) to note my particular fondness for the character of Bobby Briggs’ father, Major Garland Briggs (played by Don S. Davis).

Our expectations for this character get established immediately: he’s thorougly military in bearing, portly, white, middle-aged, with a classified job and a hunky high school son in the throes of obnoxious petulant rebellion.

Almost as instantly, our expectations are turned inside out: he turns out to be the most sensitive, enlightened, dare I say saintly, characters in Twin Peaks–articulate about expressing his feelings, speaking with highly literary precision and a depth of sincere empathy few of us will ever encounter.

It’s a particularly hilarious the set up and punch line establishing a character, and every time he comes on screen, I’m delighted.

It goes without saying that I’m planning to steal him, figuratively.