Billy Porter, “The Last Midnight” from Into the Woods, At the Corner of Broadway and Soul (Live)
Last week I saw Billy Porter do King Lear as “Queen Lear”, reproducing (and exponentially expanding upon) a Reggie Jackson production from the early ’90s, setting Billy Shakes’ play in the drag balls of Paris Is Burning. It was, perhaps, the best theatrical event I’ve ever seen. At the very least, the best Shakespeare I’ve seen since my youthful days at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I mean, so good I don’t really have any words.
And then today, listening to the Sirius XM Broadway channel at work, I came across this. Seth Rudetsky (the host for a few hours in the afternoon) introduced the song by saying he asked Billy to sing something at a recent show, and Billy tried to defer, “But why? I’m an actress now.” And so he is! But oh sweet Jesus, what a voice!
Long story short: if Billy Porter in drag can be the best King Lear I’ve ever seen, I can’t even fathom how good he would be as the Witch in Into the Woods. I know it was just revived recently and all, but Broadway producers/Steve Sondheim: can’t we make this happen?!? He’s like Vanessa Williams, but with actual balls.
Actually—using The Witch as a reference point makes a lot of sense for Billy’s LEAR (which I also so and liked, though not as unequivocally or enthusiastically as Macartney). But, regardless, this song is FIERCE. I can honestly say I’ve never enjoyed listening to it until now.
Sophia:An anecdote—I won't take "no" for an answer! Picture this— ninety-year-old twins, Ralph and Nuncio, sitting on a park bench. Ralph says to Nuncio, "Hey, whatever happened to that streaking craze?" And Nuncio says, "What streaking craze?" and Ralph says, "You know, when everybody would take off their clothes and run down the street." So Nuncio says, "Hey... that sounds like fun! I think I'll do it right now." So, ninety years old, he gets naked and goes off down the street, right past these two old ladies— Carlotta and Maria. Maria turns to Carlotta and says, "What the hell was that?" and Carlotta says, "I don't know, but whatever it was, it sure needs ironing."
Dorothy:Ma, what's the point?
Sophia:With a story you get a point, with an anecdote, pure entertainment.
Experiencing a renaissance in a career that never really faded, Jeff Bridges is flexing his producing muscles to bring to the big screen a classic young adult novel.
Bridges, who won an Oscar in 2010 for his turn in “Crazy Heart” and was nominated for another lead gold statue for last year’s “True Grit,” has optioned for film the 1993 Lois Lowry novel, “The Giver,” a moralist sci-fi story that won the Newberry Medal, the top honor in young adult fiction.
Set in a seemingly perfect society, without crime, poverty, hatred, divorce or war, the novel is described thusly on Lowry’s official site:
December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man -the man called only the Giver -he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.
The Giver, it turns out, is the elderly man charged with keeping the institutional memory for the society, which actually stifles desire and subdues familial differences for the ordered good of society.
Bridges will take on the role of that wise elder, though he is his own second choice. “I originally thought of the role of the Giver as a vehicle for my father, the late Lloyd Bridges,” he told Variety, “however, at 61 years old I feel the time is right for me to do it.”
“We affirm God’s plan for marriage and sexual intimacy - two partners, for life. We believe that even our most sacred texts must be read in context. With renewed hearts and minds, we conclude that loving and committed homosexual relationships must have the right to acknowledgment in the eyes of God, as well as our own.”—
“Tony Award-nominated playwright and librettist Douglas Carter Beane (Sister Act, The Little Dog Laughed, Lysistrata Jones), whose partner is composer Lewis Flinn (Lysistrata Jones), said, “Lewis and I were having a somewhat passionate conversation about Lysistrata Jones moving [to Broadway] and my inability to put the children to bed on time (yeah, I’m that kind of dad). I got an email from David Hyde Pierce, saying only ‘Happy Marriage!’ Lewis and I got quiet. He put the TV on, I texted boy playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo (who has been working very hard on manning the phones getting this passed). I texted, ‘Is Gay Marriage happening soon?’ He texted back, ‘Ten minutes, tops.’ I responded, ‘How long a wait for bottoms?’ I’m sorry, I had to. Then Lewis and I sat on the sofa and smiled and sat closer and closer. And it happened, and Lewis looked at me and I didn’t feel like such a bad dad to our kids.”—Excelsior! Theatre Community Gives New York’s Same-Sex Marriage Law a Standing Ovation - Playbill.com
When I was in the sixth grade, I couldn’t get enough of Doonesbury the Musical. I played the cast album (on cassette) non-stop, read the script over and over again, even adapted one of the songs for a talent show at summer camp. (I was a strange little gay boy.)
Sleepy Man - Patti LuPone, The Robber Bridegroom (1975 Acting Company Production soundboard audio)
guys. GUYS. this is a big deal for me. I will be listening to it a lot. I mean, a lot. I’m obsessed with this song enough as is, and have long said if I could go in a time machine and see any show in history it would be Patti and Kevin Kline in THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM.