Monday, August 31, 2009

endless summer

And it's finally coming to a close. Matt closed the NYC Event on Friday, Dave finishes his Edinburgh run in about twenty minutes, he's standing onstage over there as I type.

All in all, an eventful August.

Here's what's next, down in Philly. MMMQ at the end of the post.

You’ve seen Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, now get ready for the newest dance-competition-reality-show-craze Kill Me Now. Playing with the live ammunition of real audiences voting for fictional characters, Kill Me Now blurs the line between art and reality, exposing the performers to the casual cruelty of the crowd. Kill Me Now is a fast-paced, comic experience with a different outcome every show. With the audience pulling the strings, the show becomes a ruthless examination of the performers' desire for an ultimate prize and all they are willing to do to get it.

Even before the curtain rises, you become familiar with the contestants though the videotaped confessionals playing in the lobby—and by reading their profiles on Facebook. The dancers range from Dexter Allen Anderson giving his 125,000 percent to Tina Marina's floor-licking routine, while judges like Sarah Manning with her pointless pontificating and Nigel Bruce Hancock with his oversexed ego battle for attention. Yell out to your favorite dancers as they alternate between contestants and judges while trying to win your heart and your vote—all under the whip of an MC whom some might call a dominatrix.

Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre's past Festival works include Claire (Philly Fringe, 2007) and Babel (Live Arts Festival, 2004). The show Kill Me Now was devised by the entire company. Hosting duties are performed by Catherine Gillard, co-artistic director of benchtours. The text is written by OBIE Award winner John Clancy.

Direction & Choreography: Melanie Stewart Text: John Clancy Lighting Design: Clifford Greer Jr. Costume Design: Stephanie Nichols Sound Design: David Cimetta Videography: Les Rivera Performers: Bethany Formica, Cassie Eckerman, Catherine Gillard, Scott McPheeters, Janet Pilla, Megan Mazarick, Les Rivera, Karl Schappell

Going back to vault again for this morning's MMMQ. Checking your knowledge of paleo-funk, in the dawning days of hip-hop, Grandmaster Flash had his Furious Five.

Who was not one of them?

1. Melle Mel

2. Scorpio

3. Mean Gene

4. Kidd Creole

Losers cross those White Lines, winners get Rapper's Delight.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R.I.P Ted Kennedy

The lion sleeps tonight.

Just got wind of a Free Night deadline coming up, here are the details:

The 2009 TCG Free Night of Theater program is fast approaching. We are encouraging everyone who has a show in Independent/Off-Off community during the last three weeks of October to consider joining the program (October 8 - November 1). It is a great way to expose your work to a new audience and if you join this week (deadline Thursday) you will get your company or venue's name in all of the advance marketing.

In addition there will be a major all day event celebrating the start of Free Night in Union Square on October 15 that is open to the entire community. Companies and Artists from across New York City are being invited to gather in a great celebration with performance, music, presentations, and speeches. Individual booths are also available for companies and organizations interested in showcasing their work. The Mayor has been invited and we are hoping for a huge turnout in the square as he declares October 15th Theater Day.

If you are interested in participating in the Union Square kick off event please contact

Paul Bargetto at or
Jennifer Conley Darling at

We need volunteers too, so if you can help with the event let us know!

And the final performance of The Event here in NYC is Friday, August 28, 6 PM at the Players Theatre. See everyone there.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I've never claimed to be the smartest tack in that little cardboard thing... you know, that rectangular cardboard thing that you, um... keep thumbtacks in, but...

What's going on with our continued use of "rendition" only now with new and improved "oversight"?


Mr. President?

Just to be cold-blooded about this thing, isn't the whole point of rendition that there's no oversight? Why fly a guy to Syria to not torture him when we can just not torture him here? Save the airfare, right?

Isn't this like saying:

"I'm still going to slip you this date rape drug, but don't worry, we'll be chaperoned the entire time."?

And speaking of going the whole wide world (lousy segue, but I'm pressed for time), I pitched a big old can of corn over the plate for Ann yesterday and, true to form, she crushed it. Mr. Dury pounds the skins for Wreckless Eric and we all cheer and sing along.

Come out Friday and see The Event, 6 PM.

I'm going to be hawking this bastard every day until I hear we're sold out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

big thanks

to those who showed up for the 11 PM Sunday night performance of The Event last night.

Now that's hardcore.

Last chance to see it is this Friday, 6 PM.

Unless you're in Scotland, in which case you can see it everyday at 1:10 throughout the month.

Our MMMQ reaches back as it so often does to the glory days of punk and New Wave, the music of my youth, when the days flew by, the nights lasted forever and I knew so much more than I do now.

Wreckless Eric wrote and recorded one of the world's perfect songs with (I'd Go The) Whole Wide World. But who sat in the back and played the drums? Was it

1. Charlie Charles

2. Ian Dury

3. Eric Goulden


4. Rat Scabies?

Losers hang around in the rain, winners caress some warm brown skin.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Come on down to the Fringe Club, 54 Crosby Street and have a drink on LIT.

Starts at 11.

Big fun.

I'm off to Philly for the day, but I'll be back.

Great show last night at the Players Theater, thanks all for coming out.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

fringe frenzy

Calvitto continues to rock steady in Edinburgh, another 4 star review in Time Out London and a string of sold-out shows.

Early reviews on the New York production are very strong and Oberg is rocking the Players Theatre, come on down tomorrow night.

And Thursday night, join the LIT crew:

Join the League for some Fringe Festival Festivities this Thursday at 11:00pm at the Fringe Club! FREE admission with any FringeNYC badge or $5 for non badge-holders. FREE drinks for Fringe Artists.

Thursday August 20th
11pm - 1am
54 Crosby Street (between Spring and Broome)

Join us in a casual atmosphere after your show, at a party hosted by the League of Independent Theater as part of the Fringe CLUB series at the New York International Fringe Festival. Is your Fringe show stressing you out? Here's your chance to blow off some steam with fellow Fringe artists, have a few drinks and unwind.

This event is sponsored by Tanqueray and includes 2 FREE Tanqueray drinks for each guest.

Missed the MMMQ yesterday, traveling and whatnot. Extra obscure quiz next week.

Friday, August 14, 2009

fringe first for The Event

Good news from the auld country.

The Event was awarded a Scotsman Fringe First this morning, along with Edgar Oliver's East 10th Street, so Rat City was well-represented on the dias.

Congrats to Dave Calvitto, who soldiers along alone over there through the month of August.

Meanwhile, stateside, young Matt Oberg opens the show tomorrow, 1:30 PM at the Players Theater.

This is like the theatrical equivalent of Risk.

We shall conquer the world, one solo show at a time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Check out me and Trav S. D. havering away at:

Had a good tech today at the Players Theater down on MacDougal Street.

Show opens on Saturday.

See you all there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

more Lothian love

Four stars in the Herald today. Show just keeps on rocking.

For those stuck here in Rat City in the swelter and the sweat, no worries, you can see the state-side version with Matt Oberg, opening on Saturday. Tickets at

Rose got one of the answers right, to haver is to blather and believe me, I should know. So half a plate of haggis for Rosie, but no neeps and tatties.

Sorry, darling, have to be strict with the neeps.

Monday, August 10, 2009

rocking auld reekie

Back from Edinburgh last night after opening The Event on Friday.

Early reviews are in and strong, four stars in The Scotsman and The Guardian.

Check out the love here:

But no laurel resting or champagne toasting here at the Museum. While Calvitto toils away all month in Scotland, we open the show again, with the lovely and talented Matt Oberg, at the New York International Fringe Festival this Saturday.

No rest for the wicked, as my father used to say.

Got Scotland on my mind, so our MMMQ concerns Craig and Charlie Reid or The Proclaimers, the best songwriters out of Scotland since Robbie Burns himself.

In their big hit from back when, 500 Miles, they promise that

"If I haver, I'm going to be the one who's havering with you."

If you're havering, you're

1. Drinking

2. Blathering

3. Vomiting


4. Breaking and entering

Winners get a big plate of haggis, losers get the same.