Every Body is Everybody: Part One

Everybody has a body and Everybody is the name of a new book by art and social critic Olivia Laing, which takes off from the ideas of Wilhelm Reich. It’s a  book about bodies in peril and bodies as a force for change and what are the limits of pleasure and freedom.

I had a fascinating conversation with Olivia about her book. Click on the grey triangle or mp3 link above to hear Part One of our conversation, as broadcast today on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Part Two will be posted next week.

The Play That Goes WrOnG

And this is just the first ten minutes. A very funny farce concerning…well, a play where everything possible goes wrong. And keep a lookout at the end for the Buster Keaton house gag.

Click on the image to play.

Thanks to YouTuber MYSTiiC KiiNG

Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays?

This April is the 457th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth and I have to admit that everything I thought I knew about William Shakespeare’s life may well be wrong. My faith was recently shaken by both the film Last Will and Testament and the book North by Shakespeare. Both works posit that heresy of heresies that William Shakespeare of Stratford-Upon-Avon was not the fellow who wrote the 37 plays usually attributed to him.

For the skinny, click on the triangle or mp3 link above and listen to the story as broadcast today on the Arts Express program on WBAI FM radio and Pacifica stations across the country.

The Song In Every Musical That No One Likes

The very clever Sarah Smallwood Parsons sings a truth universally acknowledged, to hilarious effect.

Click on the image to play.

Thanks to YouTuber CharactersWelcome

“Our Revels Now Are Ended…”

David Threlfall’s stunning rendition of Prospero’s last speech from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

I had never heard of Threlfall before, but with this shorter than 90 second clip, I have become an instant fan.

Click on the image to play.

Thanks to YouTuber Guardian Culture

April Showers

 In this issue:

** Comedian/actress Margaret Cho talks with Prairie Miller about Anti-Asian racism and more

** Paul Robeson re-imagined in an excerpt from actor/playwright Tayo Aluko ‘s Paul Robeson’s Love Song

** Poet Paul Hostovsky with his humorous and trenchant poems.

** Photos from the larger-than-life Garden of Sculpture

And much more!

Click here to view online:

April 2021 Newsletter

Get your free email subscription by emailing us at Artsexpresslist@gmail.com and put the word “subscribe” in the subject line

AMORALMAN: A True Story And Other Lies

Derek DelGaudio, whose theater piece, In & Of Itself was an unlikely hit, has turned that audience-centric play into a film with the help of director Frank Oz. DelGaudio has just published a memoir of his life as a card mechanic, called AMORALMAN: A True Story and Other Lies and it continues with DelGaudio’s obsession with identity and reality.

Click the triangle or MP3 link above to hear my commentary on both the film In & Of Itself and AMORALMAN, as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI-FM NY and Pacifica affiliates across the country.

“Yer A Socialist”: Satirist Roy Zimmerman

Roy Zimmerman has been described as “Lenny Bruce meets Stephen Sondheim meets Phil Ochs in Brian Wilson’s living room.” He’s a master of satirical political songwriting, the lyrical heir to Tom Lehrer, as well as a damned fine musician. I’ve been listening and laughing at his sharp wit for years, and I was very happy to do an extended interview with him.

Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear Part One of my interview with Roy as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Part Two is here: https://jackshalom.net/2021/02/23/who-wants-their-mind-changed-roy-zimmerman-part-two/

More Roy at Roy Zimmerman

“A Crazy Carousel”

Ellie Stone’s version of this Jacques Brel song from the Off-Broadway play was mesmerizing, but here Geraldine Turner amps it up to the truly spooky and horrifying. And to think she recorded it *before* this week.

I wasn’t familiar with Geraldine Turner, but evidently she is a big musical theater star in Australia, kind of on a par with Angela Lansbury. She was the federal President of Actors Equity (MEAA) in Australia.

Thanks to YouTuber Brian Castles-Onion

Dancing Through Tap History: Rusty Frank

Our friend of the blog, Dennis Mayne, wrote me and said that since I like tap dancers so much I just had to read Rusty Frank’s book, TAP!: The Greatest Tap Dance Stars & Their Stories, where she interviewed all the tap dancing legends! Well, I got the book, and for the last month every morning with my coffee I have been delightedly reading these wonderful primary source interviews with Bunny Briggs, Jimmy Slyde, Hermes Pan, Shirley Temple, Ann Miller and so many more. Fortunately I was able to contact Rusty and we had a delightful interview about her book and she even gave me a little on-air tap dancing lesson!

Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear my interview with Rusty Frank as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Fascinatin’ Rhythm: Eleanor Powell

And let’s end the year with this amazing clip of Eleanor Powell tap dancing. What she does, just from a percussion point of view, is incredible. I recently interviewed tap dancer Rusty Frank, a tap dance historian and preservationist, and a tap dancer herself, who maintains that it was the tap dancers who moved popular music forward with their taps. The innovative percussive rhythm steps of the tap dancers were picked up by the drummers, pianists and guitar players of the bands who in turn shaped the new ideas in music. Watch and listen to what Eleanor Powell does with this George Gershwin song from Lady Be Good. It’s a long way from “Tea for Two.”

Thanks to YouTuber Ms2doggies

I Want To Be With You: Sammy Davis Jr.

Monday Morning, Mr. Wonderful, as Sammy Davis’s character in his first Broadway play was called.

If Sammy Davis were only a dancer he would be known as one of the greatest tap dancers of the 20th century.

If he were only a singer he would be known as one of the greatest male vocalists of the 20th century.

He was both.

Here he is with a song from his second musical, Golden Boy, from 1964, about an African-American boxer who falls in love with a white woman.

Paula Wayne who played Sammy’s lover, Lorna, in the show, said that when the time came during rehearsals for Sammy to kiss her, Sammy was very reluctant to do so. It was the first time an interracial kiss had happened on the Broadway stage; but Paula insisted that there would be no problem. She was soon to find out otherwise—the day after the show opened there were pickets in front of the theatre from white supremacists groups denouncing the show.

But the show ran for 500+ performances and had a great, under-appreciated score by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams—probably the best score they ever created.

Thanks to YouTuber varadero1839

Thanksgiving

Here’s a short play that I wrote for Thanksgiving, featuring Josh Miccio and myself that’s not quite your typical Thanksgiving tale…

Click on the triangle or link above to hear the play as broadcast today on the Arts Express program on WBAI FM and Pacifica stations across the country.

Uncle Moses: A 1930s Yiddish Anarchist Film

Here’s a remarkable 4 minute clip from a 1932 film, Uncle Moses, in Yiddish with English subtitles. The plot of the film is quite convoluted, but its depiction of class relations and militant immigrant workers is far more advanced than just about anything you’d see in a theatrical release today.

And is that Edward G. Robinson I thought I saw entering the room at about 3:23?

Halloween Tale: Revolt Of The Worms!

For Halloween, something special, an homage to the old-time 1940s suspense radio series Lights Out. I wrote and produced a modern update of the Lights Out episode called “Revolt of The Worms” for the Arts Express radio program, broadcast today over WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

“We caution you. This story is definitely not for the timid soul. So we tell you, calmly and very sincerely, if you frighten easily, turn off your radio now. And now if you haven’t already done so, turn off your… lights now… and listen to… Revolt of the Worms.”

Starring Mary Murphy, Josh Miccio and Reggie Johnson.

To listen, click on the triangle or image to play.

Hi-Jinx: Tommy Rall

Another of the great, but lesser known, film dance stars, Tommy Rall, who died this month. As a youngster, he was in a group of dancing teens called the “Jivin’ Jacks and Jills” at Universal Studios, which included Donald O’Connor. He was trained in ballet, and his amazing high jumps, pirouettes, and flips rival anything else seen on the screen. He appeared in movie musicals almost every year in the 50s, but somehow he never made it into super-stardom. O’Connor thought Rall was one of the greatest dancers living, a better dancer than either Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire.

Here he is with Ann Miller in “Why Can’t You Behave?” from Kiss Me Kate, where he mixes dance with some practical jokes in a fun character piece.

Click on the image to play.

Thanks to YouTuber JOHANNQUETEBEO

Quick Change!

This was fun. I count ten changes that Léa Kyle performs on her person, and a bunch more in isolation. As Penn says, quite unusual and accomplished for this kind of act.

Click on the image to play.

Thanks to YouTuber Best Magic and Magical Acts