Monday morning, Ella Fitzgerald with a great Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart song.
More at Ella Fitzgerald
Monday morning, Ella Fitzgerald with a great Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart song.
More at Ella Fitzgerald
Imagine please: A working class uprising. The lower classes are starving. They demand the right to eat. They want access to the great stores of grain that have been won in the recent war, confiscated from the enemy, but withheld from the peasants. And so begins the most class-conscious play that Shakespeare ever wrote, called Coriolanus.
Click on the triangle above or mp3 link to hear our commentary on Coriolanus, as broadcast yesterday on the Arts Express radio program, heard on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation
I’ve been looking for this clip for a long time for three reasons!
One: It’s one of my favorite magic illusions. It just looks great to an audience.
Two: When I was in college, I played the role of Houdini in a musical about his life–and I got to perform this illusion.
Three: And finally, the woman in the clip above, performing with Doug Henning, is actress Didi Conn. I was in the play Carousel with her when I was in junior high school–she was a grade ahead of me–and I thought then that she was the best dancer I had ever seen. Later she became famous for her role in the film Grease as “Frenchie.”
This is a radio segment based on an article I wrote a few decades ago about the theatrical elements of hustles like three-card monte.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the piece as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
What does it take for a writer/actress to perform a play she’s written about prisons, at a prison? And in particular, at one of the most notorious prisons in the country, Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary, America’s largest prison-plantation. A new documentary about that performance and its aftermath, titled Angola Do You Hear Us?, has been shortlisted for the Oscar for Documentary Short Subject. I was happy to speak with the director of the film, Cinque Northern, and the playwright/performer, Liza Jessie Peterson.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the interview as broadcast on the Arts Express radio program today, aired on WBAI -FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
The film is streaming on Paramount +
Here in the US, January 6th has taken on a particular political meaning, but for most of the world, it’s the celebration of the twelfth night of Christmas, partridges in pear trees and all that. It’s a traditional time of partying and celebration, and Shakespeare titled what I believe is his best comedy, Twelfth Night. But it might be have been better called, Love Makes Idiots and Fools of Everyone!
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the rest of the story as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program, heard on WBAI-FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
The wild comedic imagination of Eleanor Morton takes the gender switching theme from the Robin Williams film, Mrs. Doubtfire, and transplants it into Robert Louis Stevenson’s horror story. A really brilliant turn by Ms. Morton.
More at Eleanor Morton
Richard Kiley in his greatest Broadway role, as Miguel Cervantes/Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, book by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh, and lyrics by Joe Darion.
Wikipedia tempts us with the information that the original lyricist was to be W. H. Auden, but his lyrics were considered too satirical and biting towards the bourgeois audience and so was replaced.
What I would give to see those discarded lyrics!
Thanks to YouTuber The Ed Sullivan Show
Welcome to our inaugural Arts Express episode of our “Shakespeare Without Tears” series, making Shakespeare accessible and relevant for the 21st century. We start off with an episode based on an a post I wrote here some time ago.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the episode as broadcast today on the Arts Express program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
And for our New York City listeners, we’re happy to tell you that we are now on at a new time, Wednesdays at 9PM.
Making shopping decisions can be tough, but this holiday we’ve come to the rescue! Take a listen to our latest Arts Express Playhouse sketch, written and produced by your correspondent, and featuring the brilliant talent and skill of Mary Murphy and Lucy McMichael.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the piece as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio show on WBAI-FM NY and Pacifica affiliates across the country
About 58 years ago, Malcolm X was murdered, but his legacy has only grown in the ensuing years. In 1986, Anthony Davis, composer, and Thulani Davis, the playwright and poet, wrote an opera about Malcolm X called X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. Although it did have a premiere at New York City Opera, it was never recorded commercially in full. Since then, the opera has been revised with a tighter libretto. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project has just released the world premiere of a new recording of the opera, starring Davone Tines as Malcolm X. With permission, here are excerpts from that opera.
Click on the triangle or MP3 link above to hear the opera selections as broadcast on the Arts Express program this morning on WBAI FM NY and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
** Actress Inger Tudor of Goliath speaks about Voodoo Macbeth and playing Rose McClendon, the legendary Depression-era African-American theater actress.
** A portfolio of photos from the actual historic 1936 Federal Theatre Project production of Macbeth
** 28 Children: Artist Mary McClusker’s moving tribute to children killed by guns
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Well time flies when you’re having fun, and here we are at the 8th iteration of the Shalblog Industries® (division of Axlotl International) daily blog anniversary. As is our wont on such occasions (and who wouldn’t want to wont on such an occasion?) herewith a list of some of our favorite radio work of the past year that you may have missed.
Lady Buds: Six Women Underground Cannabis Growers
“They’re Worse Than You Thought And More Evil Than You Thought”
How to Tell A Story In One Sentence
Advice For The Ethically Challenged
“A Spectre is Haunting Europe…”
“I Feel Drunk All The Time” : The Poems of Kenneth Patchen
Taken For Granted: Overcoming Underwriting
In our Arts Express Playhouse, a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Gilman is best known for her novella The Yellow Wallpaper, but she also wrote hundreds of other short stories. The one I’m reading above, “If I Were a Man,” was written in 1914, before women even had the right to vote in the US, but it seems a whole lot more modern.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the story as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio show, heard on WBAI-FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
One of the most iconic acts in the history of magic–Marvyn Roy and Carol’s light bulb act. Reportedly it took hours upon hours just to set up the complicated props for a single performance. That finale!
Thanks to YouTuber Bob Carroll
Wherein your correspondent talks of propaganda, faulty perception, the art of magic, Whit Haydn’s theory of conjuring, suspension of disbelief, deception, Buddhist philosophy, and the need to doubt.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the commentary as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program heard on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
I like Joe Pass because he always has such taste. You know that he could do whatever he wants to do on the guitar, but he holds himself back just a bit, restrains himself from showing off too much.
When I was a teenager I worked on a play as a stage manager with a very good professional older cast who I looked up to. I remember one actor, Gene, who came off stage into the wings where I was, after playing a very emotional scene. He was still crying from the scene, and I was impressed by the real tears. I congratulated him on how powerful the scene was. But he shook his head, and said to me, no, he didn’t get it right; he didn’t want to cry at that point in the play, it didn’t serve the playwright. I never forgot that.
One more lesson in obsequiousness from How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. The late Robert Morse rings every bit of humor from the song. The clever lyrics and music are by Frank Loesser.
Thanks to YouTuber Movieclips
It’s April 23rd, and for us it marks the anniversary of both the birthday of William Shakespeare and the day he died. In celebration of the date, we have produced a new radio version of one of the most intriguing of Shakespeare’s plays, Measure for Measure. I call it Shakespeare’s #Me Too play, and with its up to the minute Me Too themes of sexual harassment and hypocritical Puritanical seeming lying politicians, it couldn’t be more relevant to today. Of course, we couldn’t broadcast our entire play in our Arts Express time slot, but we are happy to present to you a key scene featuring two of our Arts Express stalwarts, Mary Murphy and KeShaun Luckie.
So let’s set the scene: We’re in 16th century Vienna and the newly appointed interim Mayor, Lord Angelo, has just declared a new Puritanical ban on out-of-marriage fornication, punishable by death. A young woman, Isabella, learns, just as she is about to take vows to become a nun, that her poor brother Claudio has run afoul of these laws and is about to be executed. She runs to Lord Angelo to beg him to spare her brother’s life, but Angelo insists that the law must be done. However, Angelo is secretly enamored by Isabella and he wants to see her again, so he tells her to come back the next day and maybe he will reconsider. And so, Isabella returns to Lord Angelo to plead again for her brother.
And now what happens next, from Measure For Measure.
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the segment as broadcast today on Arts Express radio, heard on WBAI FM and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.
And If you’d like to listen to our entire production of the play, you can hear it here:
“A classic of magic,” as they say, but given full entertainment value by the great Pop Haydn.
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Brava Theater cultural center
San Francisco, California
Have you ever had this experience, as I have had many times? I’m at a friend’s house and inevitably someone asks what’s new, and what have you been working on, and though I may have a project that I’ve been working on, I suddenly become all muckle-mouthed and it just becomes a trail of, “Well, it’s kinda hard to explain…”
To the rescue: a book that I thought I would hate, but turned out to be a really interesting and useful book…
Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the rest of the story as broadcast today on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica stations across the nation.
A conceptual juggler–what a concept!
I think I wouldn’t want to play billiards with him…
Thanks to YouTuber David Belenzon
Nurse: Which arm?
Shakespeare: As you like it
Nurse: Was that painful?
Shakespeare: Much ado about nothing.
Nurse: Did any of your family or friends have the virus?
Shakespeare: Oh, lots: Two noble kinsmen, Antony and Cleopatra, and Troilus and Cressida
Nurse: You will have to have a second jab.
Shakespeare: Measure for measure?
Nurse: So, how was the experience?
Shakespeare: A midsummer night’s dream!
Nurse: So what do you think of the govt handling of Covid?
Shakespeare: it’s a Comedy of errors.
Shakespeare: There’s been a recent surge in the virus?
Nurse: Alas, The winter’s tale
Shakespeare: When will my quarantine end?
Nurse: On the Twelfth night.
Shakespeare: Who will foot my quarantine bill?
Nurse: The Merchant of Venice.
Shakespeare: Where will I be put up for my quarantine?
Nurse: In a Hamlet.
Shakespeare: Thank you for helping me!
Nurse: All’s well that ends well.
Thanks to Pearl Shifer for sending me these (with a few of my own additions)
The great Sidney Poitier died this month.
Here he is in one of his most masterful performances as Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.
The play was originally directed on Broadway by Lloyd Richards, the first Black director on the Broadway stage. In their lean days as struggling actors, Richards and Poitier would pool their money to buy and split a hot dog. They promised each other that if one got an opportunity, they’d bring the other along. When Poitier got Hansberry’s script, he insisted that Lloyd direct the play. Lloyd worked intensely with Hansberry to shape the play and then cast and directed the play perfectly. The stage cast, many of whom were also in the film– and who you can see in this clip from the film–included Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Claudia McNeil, and John Fiedler.
Thanks to YouTuber The aesthetic of the Image: [world] cinema clips