1) Patti Smith Could Get No Cooler
I really like how she’s a huge fan of Law & Order: SVU.
2) Blake Edwards Dies
Really, really sad. Husband of Julie Andrews, he directed her in one of my favorite films, Victor/Victoria. He also directed and wrote the original Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers, not the bad ones with Steve Martin (sorry Steve).
3) A viral video of all the black people ever on Friends hits the web
The list (though I think it might be incomplete, I won’t bore you with my endless knowledge of trivial Friends Facts, or what I consider Fun Facts).
Jorge Luis Abreu – The One with the Birth Mother – The Waiter
John Eric Bentley – The One with the Blind Dates – Waiter #2
Mongo Brownlee – The One with Unagi – The Instructor
Sean Corvelle – The One with the Holiday Armadillo – The Salesman
Monique Edwards – The One with Christmas in Tulsa/The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner – Claudia
Jonathan T. Floyd – The One with All the Candy – Gary
Jason Winston George – The One Where They’re Up All Night – Fireman
Ron Glass -The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance/The One Where Ross
Hugs Rachel – Russell
Joyce Guy – The One Where Rosita Dies – The Supervisor
Teck Holmes – The One with the Mugging – Jordan
Michelle Anne Johnson – The One with the Mugging – The Casting director
Cleo King – The One Where No One Proposes – Nurse Kitty
Phill Lewis – The One with the Lottery/The One with the Mugging/The One Where Rachel Goes Back to Work – Steve
Tembi Locke – The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel – Karin
Keith Pillow – The One with Rachel’s Dream – Customer #2
Ron Recasner – The One with Unagi – The Doctor
Dennis Singletary – The One with Joey’s Porsche – Guy #2
Tim Edward Rhoze – The One Where Joey Speaks French – Director
Michael D. Roberts – The One with Ross’ Library Book – The Head Librarian
Timothy Starks – The One with the Boob Job – The Handyman
Aisha Tyler – The One with the Soap Opera Party/The One with the Fertility Test/The One with the Donor/The One in Barbados: Part 2/The One in Barbados: Part 1/The One After Joey and Rachel Kiss/The One Where Ross Is Fine/The One Where Rachel’s Sister Babysits – Charlie Wheeler
Gabrielle Union – The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress – Kristen Lang
Janet Hubert-Whitten – The One Where Emma Cries – Ms. McKenna
Barry Wiggins – The One with the Holiday Armadillo – The Man
4) I went to see Mark Morris’ The Hard Nut at BAM Again
This ballet will probably always be my favorite. A modern adaptation of The Nutcracker, I first saw it at the age of four when our good family friend, Clarice Marshall, was the lead, Marie. I even dressed up as her for Halloween the following year. In the following video, which features clips of different performances of The Hard Nut, but a great deal of footage of Clarice in the original production, Morris explains how the holiday party scene at the beginning of the ballet is influenced largely by improvisation, which I feel largely explains why it is some of his best work.
His Company’s productions benefit hugely from the individual attention that all the dancers get; even those that are not leads have their moments, and he does amazing work with partnering. Something that has always set The Hard Nut apart from more traditional ballet is his use of both men and women in scenes that would historically feature only female dancers. While some might find it “gender bending”, Morris sees it differently: “The topic of the snowflakes and the flowers is an interesting one, because I guess because traditionally in most Nutcrackers, those are danced by women, because most women are more like flowers or snowflakes. And as far as I’m concerned, flowers have different genders, there’s a male and a female flower. Snowflakes I don’t believe have sexual characteristics of any kind, so what I wanted really, frankly, was a stage full of people, and my company is fifty percent men and fifty percent women, so if I want a big crowd of people, it can only be that big with everybody. And so that became a political, socio-political sort of thing, when in fact it’s just, bring on the snowflakes!”
5) Norman Rockwell, the Photographer?
I can’t wait to see this show at the Brooklyn Museum of all the behind-the-scenes pictures he used to paint his works. I love how he thought using photographs was cheating, but he did it anyway. When my dad was in art school, he never told anyone that Norman Rockwell was his favorite artist, for fear of being considered a sell-out. The point that “Rockwell must be rolling in his grave” at the thought of this show is definitely an apt one.
6) A few ways to experience Christmas
Not only has Wendall Jamieson written a very touching story about an important male role model, it really reminded me of my dad, right down to the details.
The Man Who Hated Christmas [NYT]
If you’re in the mood for something more upbeat, the Irish Repertory Theater in New York is putting on a reinvention of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas In Wales. The poem/story with very long sentences is a great way to be introduced to Thomas’ work in a more humorous manner. It also definitely helped me bridge the generation gap with my parents, as I was shocked to read that sometimes, people have relatives who get so drunk as to throw away presents in the fire as they try to burn up all the wrapping paper.
7) Kathleen Hanna Tells Us A Long Story About Kurt Cobain
And now we know how the most famous Nirvana song came about and what “us guys can do to help you feminists.” I also had no idea that there are strippers out there who dance to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, which sounds like a show to see. There’s so much goodness in this video, as well as being a really interesting cover; though I’ll always love this one.