Poetry, Found Text and Birthdays in America

I promised I would try to start getting to things before they close so that I could tell people about them.  I missed it this time, and I’m sad about that, but you can still check out Jenny Holzer’s Protect Protect, if virtually.  She has always wowed me with her truths and aphorisms, but now she is working with found text, heavily redacted, declassified documents she found at the National Security Archive.

I also saw the lovely Pious Poetic Pie from Fluid Motion last week and it was good to see poetry onstage again.  Beautifully directed by Denyse Owens and beautifully rendered  remake of Medea by poet Yubelky Rodriguez.  And, this guy’s post-show performance was also a revelation.  Makes me wanna write in verse again.  His band, the Mighty Third Rail, violinist, bassist and voice, was mighty fine.

And I hear some people are keeping their birthdays quiet.  Happy Birthday, Ed Lin.  Keep taking down the man.

Oh, and speaking of birthdays, you’ve got one more week to see American Hwangap, Lloyd Suh’s newest directed by Trip Cullman at the Wild Project.  A touching, heartbreaking, very funny play about what happens when a Korean American man comes home after deserting his family 15 years before.  And it’s his birthday.  But don’t trust me.  Variety, Theatermania, the NY Times, Time Out, they all friggin’ love it.

Desire Under the Elms and American Hwangap

I was very disappointed to hear that Desire Under the Elms is closing early.  I thought that the first 5 minutes, with two brothers doing hard farm work, hauling stones, gutting a pig, while stones were hung perilously all around them, was one of the more exciting, visceral theatrical experiences I’ve seen in awhile.  I got discount tickets to see it with my sister during previews.  If you can get cheap tickets, I say it’s worth the coin.

But, definitely don’t miss Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap, at the Wild Project right now.  Like, go right now.

I miss L.A.

Have you seen Dogtown and Z-boys?

I have lived in NYC since 1996 and there are a rare few things that make me miss Los Angeles.

This movie made me miss it.

It’s a vibe.  A wildness.  White hot sun and dirty streets.  It’s a particular kind of rebellion which birthed the Zephyr crew who took surf moves to concrete and brought skateboarding out of obscurity and party-trick-land onto the streets.  Out of a wasteland, these guys made art.  The youngest member of the crew, Jay Adams, was 13.  I was inspired, but I also wondered what it is that causes great rumblings, causes people to build something where no one else will.

Know what I mean?

Vote for the final season of 7-11

711top_logoI don’t usually ask people to vote for anything, but I have a play in contention for Desipina’s Best of 7-11–Seven 11 minute plays which take place in a convenience store.

I wrote this one about convenience store clerks in LA, NY and Honolulu who work the overnight shift and what they do in those quiet, strange hours.

You can vote here:  ttp://www.desipina.org/theatre/

Thanks, much.

Putting the Soul back in Samurai


Have you seen Soul Samurai yet?

If not, you should.

Qui Nguyen and Robert Ross Parker create a symphony of blaxploitation meets Kurosawa bloodbath in this epic tale of Dewdrop, running through the streets of a war-torn NY to lay vengence on the gang who slayed her true love.  I feel like we have forgotten the Aristotelian element of theater that is what makes it different from TV and everyday life: spectacle.  And they do it like no other in smart, funny, touching ways.  Maureen Sebastian is a stellar hero for the new millenium as Dewdrop, Paco Tolson gives heart and soul to Cert, her sideman and John Hoche, Bonnie Sherman and Sheldon Best wield steel and flesh out multiple characters with ease in this post-apocalyptic tale of love and loss.  And man, Nick Francone can build a world out so that we see subway tunnels, broke down store fronts and our beautiful boroughs on a single stage.

I loved it.  They’re open one more week and they’re selling fast.

After not being able to tell people about Telephone because I was an idiot and went on closing, I vowed to tell people to see things that are moving right now.  Because sometimes it feels like art is all we have right now.