3 items from 2016
In his last few months as Commander-in-Chief and, more pertinently here, commander of the National Medal of Arts selecting committee, President Barack Obama has once again demonstrated discerning taste in awarding the annual honors for excellence in the American arts. With the inimitable (and once again Emmy-nominated) Audra McDonald leading the list, you won’t hear any veto threats coming from this side of the aisle. Comedy legend Mel Brooks, actor/voiceover artist Morgan Freeman, and brilliant composer Philip Glass make up the other predominant names from the world of film and television, but mentions for Motown founder Berry Gordon and The Laramie Project playwright Moises Kaufman deserve a tip of the hat in their own rights.
It’s always fun to parse the recipients of the National Medal of Arts against the sitting president that awarded them; you can drive yourself crazy wondering how the Academy votes but this »
- Daniel Crooke
This year marks a quarter century of groundbreaking theater at Moisés Kaufman’s Tectonic Theater Project, and the celebrated theater-maker and friends are ringing it in with style at Tectonic at 25! The 25th anniversary benefit performance will hit Nyu Skirball in New York City on Nov. 7 with host Jane Fonda. The event, which Kaufman will direct, is scheduled to include reimagined excerpts from award-winning Tectonic Theater classics like “The Laramie Project,” “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde,” “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” “33 Variations,” “I Am My Own Wife,” and “Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical.” The roster of stage and film talent to take the spotlight and perform that evening has yet to be announced, but given Kaufman’s reputation and Fonda’s attachment, we expect theater legends and legends-in-the-making to participate. With a host committee that includes Sir Ian McKellen, Sally Field, David Hyde Pierce, Darren Criss, Jonathan Groff, and more, the Tectonic Theater Project has established itself as a leading company for politically and socially conscious theater. Tickets for the Nov. 7 event are »
A Lonely Way to Die: Anwandter Explores the Elements of a Hate Crime
The 2012 murder of openly gay Chilean Daniel Zamudio provides the basis for Alex Antwandter’s elegiac directorial debut, You’ll Never Be Alone. Recalling a legion of cinematic examinations concerned with the aftershocks of homophobic violence, similarities to the Matthew Shepard tragedy (turned into 2002 film The Laramie Project) or the skinheads responsible for the savage murder of Frenchman Francois Chenu (examined in the 2005 documentary Beyond Hatred) are irrefutable. Rather than focus on the motives of the malefactors or the societal prized machismo and misogyny which continues to allow these cycles of hatred to flourish in each new generation, the film’s focus is the creeping devastation to those directly and irreparably affected by such despicable barbarism. Sans answers or resolution, it’s merely an unassuming tale of loss, frustration, and combatting helplessness.
Eighteen year old Pablo (Andrew »
- Nicholas Bell
3 items from 2016
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