Tuesday, September 23, 2008

a great night

Doped my way over to the Haft Auditorium last night up on 27th Street for the fourth annual New York Innovative Theater Awards.

It's the only award show in the city dedicated to the pure Off-Off or Indie theater world and it's always a party.

Martin and Rochelle Denton, the tireless advocates at New York Theater Experience, were awarded the Stewardship Award and rarely have I seen something so right.

Boomerang Theater took home the Cafe Cino Fellowship, good on you, Tim.

And then I'm listening to Judith Malina and Edward Albee and Olympia Dukakis and Tina Howe all just overjoyed to "come back home", as I think they all said at least twice.

Very moving. It was fifty years ago that Joe Cino opened up his cafe, sixty-one years ago that the Living Theater formed.

And we're still here. Despite landlords, Reagan, AIDS, Guiliani, podcasts, karaoke, zoning laws, institutional indifference and our own foolishness and lack of common purpose, we're still here.

I'm so very grateful that a large part of my life has happened here, in the small theaters of New York, in the same spaces where Genet and Ionesco and Brecht and Shepard and Albee were first heard in this country, in the dressing rooms where Hoffman and Hackmen and Clayburgh and Freeman once shivered.

Off-Off is not a way station and it's not an audition for anything else. It's the thing itself. It's where you're going to see what's next. It's still the most vibrant and entertaining and surprising sector of New York theater.

And it's cheaper and a whole lot friendlier than uptown.

We have three correct answers to the MMMQ, a Museum record, I believe.

Ann is right because, as usual, she supplied the correct answer. "It says here the unions will never learn" sang Mr. Bragg.

Rose is right because she's Rose and that's the way it goes around here. No one ever said life is fair.

And my little sister Mern a la Mern is right, because I haven't thought of Dina Suggs in a long time and that memory deserves something.

Full day of doing what I do today. Trying to clear the decks so's I can go to L.A. on Thursday with nothing hanging over me and then when we get back we can drive out to the Poconos with nothing waiting back here for us but a fat, sleeping cat and clean laundry.

Congrats again to Martin and Rochelle and Tim and all the other winners last night and thanks to Shay, Nick and Jason for putting that thing together. It's a joy to watch.

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