Wednesday, March 31, 2010

R.I.P David Mills

Now that's a real loss. The man was 48 years old.

It's been awhile since I felt like I really understood or even recognized most of contemporary American culture, but The Wire sure made sense to me.

Not only could he write like a dream, he wrote about the Big Stuff.

There's a lot of talent out there, but it's all too rare that talent is matched with vision and moral clarity.

A real loss.

In other news, in a stunning turn of events, Ann and Rose win the MAMQ.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fatboy review down under

Sounds like Red Stitch Actors Theater is delivering the goods in Melbourne.

MAMQ at end of post.

Larger Than Life (Fatboy)

Kate Rose, Herald Sun 28/03/10

Fatboy (March 17 - April 17) by John Clancy. Directed by Marcelle Schmitz

A WORD of warning: if you are in any way offended by swearing, don't bother reading any more. This play is not for you.

For those who secretly delight in infantile idiocy and profound profanity, step up.

Fatboy is a brutal, vicious update on Albert Jarry's Ubu Roi, and proves the importance of mocking dictators and their sheep-like subjects is as great now as it was when Jarry's play was written more than 100 years ago.

The new king is Fatboy (Daniel Frederiksen) and in this sinister burlesque he has consumed, killed or enslaved almost everyone and everything. His sins culminate in a war crimes tribunal, but with weasel words, manipulation and a filthy singalong it's clear justice is probably more than blind, she's also bored, bawdy and bigoted.

The manic energy, dark humour and self-referential irony of Clancy's writing thunders off the stage from everyone involved in this scathingly cynical spectacle.

I don't remember writing a filthy singalong, but what the hell. It's a collaborative art.

It's Passover, my friends, so let's get Hebraic with our quiz.

Which Ramone was born Jeffry Ross Hyman in 1951 out in Queens and was a nice Jewish boy underneath that leather jacket?

1. Joey

2. Dee Dee

3. Johnny

4. Marky

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

midweek mumbling

Slow week here at the Museum. Sirens screaming outside, sun shining down, spring trying to sneak its way into the calendar.

Just heard that an old high school buddy of mine is the head of the St. Louis Tea Party chapter.

For Christ's sake, Bill. Really?

Rosie rides on the coat tails, 'cause no one reads Freud.

Monday, March 22, 2010

great god almighty

Hats off to Speaker Pelosi and President Obama.

We got health care reform, kids.

And it may not be a magic ride to Instant Happy Land, but it's a serious step in a good direction. It means my niece can get insurance when she's of age and that's a good thing right there.

The Event is extending out in L.A. All details at

Heavy Green Day rotation this weekend, so here's our MAMQ:

What is not an indication that the young lady in front of you is the last of the American girls?

1. She's riding her bike

2. She's on a hunger strike

3. She's paranoid

4. She's reading Sigmund Freud

Winners get health care reform, losers get it as well. It's a good Monday.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Two years ago today Nancy Walsh caught fire.

So I'm grateful today for the nurses and doctors and family and friends who all brought her back safely to me.

And I try to remember every day how lucky I am I have her.

Tell somebody you love them, it's always a good thing to hear.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

join LIT

All right, folks. We're kicking off our spring membership drive.

Join before April 15 and receive a recession discount. Applications are available online at:;

Join the party.

And Ann and Rose are going to the beach.

Monday, March 15, 2010

women glowing, men plundering, etc.

David Calvitto is officially the Best Actor on the Planet, South Australian Division. Last night he won the Adelaide Fringe Award for Best Theater Performer for The Event.

The Event was also up for Best Theater Production, but bettybooke won it for en route. I heard it was amazing, so congrats to the good people at bettybooke.

MMMQ has to keep to the Aussie beat, so who sang (I Come from the) Land Down Under?

1. Men in Hats

2. Men At Work

3. Boys II Men


4. Menudo

Winners go to Bondi Beach, losers fly to Alice Springs.

Friday, March 12, 2010

some good news

The Event got nominated for Best Play and Best Performer at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Way to go, Dave.

the problem

“Making contributions about culture at cocktail parties still has priceless value for a great many people.”

That's Joe Melillo, Executive Producer at BAM, quoted in the Times today.

Joe's a good guy and he's right, but when I read these things the old heart breaks a little bit.

It's just a terrible truth that we labor in the arts in America so that upper-class people have something to talk about. We do it for other reasons, of course, but think about it.

If rich people stopped caring about the arts tomorrow, how many theaters would close? How many orchestras would fold?

Dark thoughts on a gray day, sorry about that.

Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

L.A. love

Nice words from Steven Leigh Morris, writing in the L.A. Weekly:

Clancy's analysis expands into an allegory for the roles we are all playing in life, equated to the various frauds of the 21st century: the faked lines, spoken by rote, the stream of pleasantries en route to the grave, the drifting thoughts rolling around while the faked lines written by somebody else are being uttered. The physical costume that "the actor" doesn't even own. The anonymous lighting technician , who's calling the cues, in order to secure the fake effect for a fake "insular economy of friends going to the theater." So it's not just dot-coms, the mortgage and debt industries that have false economies. Playwright Clancy simply uses every conceivable aspect of the theater as an allegory for all the world being a stage. That he does it so simply turns his one-act into something like one of those luminous shafts of light that shoot up into the night from a truck outside some celebrity event or advertising event.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

talk to me, Oz

Under the loving wing of the Lampshade Queen, Rose wins legit.

Doit doit, indeed.

Now, let me tell you that I'm big down under.

This is Stephanie Johnson writing for

Profound. One word.

If a review could be written with just one word then this would be the one to describe The Event.

Take a moment to soak in the true meaning of the word “profound”. Let it resonate in the mind for a while. Meditate on the meaning of the word “profound”. Perhaps profound thoughts will follow. Maybe the truth of the universe will begin to echo in ensuing contemplation. For this is the effect of The Event.

It is a one-man show that starts simply enough with short, sharp, punchy lines.

Actor David Calvitto delivers his lines with charm, self-deprecating humour and
finesse, enchanting his audience and outlining truisms about the theatre. Theatre initially is “The Event”. Thus theatre in all of its forms is cleverly and humorously dissected leaving no stone unturned – actors, directors, technicians, audiences and reviewers all take a bow in Calvitto’s repertoire, directed and penned by John Clancy.

The humour is wry, the script witty and the delivery simple and effective. But it is deceptive. Herein lies the rub. This brilliantly, and cunningly crafted, play takes a twist. Before long it is apparent that the theatre of life has become “The Event” and then another twist as insightful and universal truths are revealed. Theatre and philosophy combine to produce a brilliant and thought provoking hour. The words and thoughts provoked linger long after the final bow in a refreshing manner.

Monday, March 08, 2010

reading tonight

Spitfire and I play an embattled husband and wife team in a reading tonight, details below. Been rehearsing these roles for about twenty years.

MMMQ at end of post.

terraNOVA COLLECTIVE presents
play readings from the 2009 Groundbreakers Playwrights Program

Performance Space 122
150 First Avenue at 9th Street
All readings begin at 7pm.

Monday, March 8, 7pm
By Susan Ferrara
Directed by Jessi D. Hill

Timely and terrifying, this tale is one woman's fight to get her head above water after the death of her husband, which left her drowning in debt. Faced with supporting two young sons on her own, Fran reaches out to her sister and brother-in-law for help, but this well-meaning duo doesn't know the first thing about how to fill the void. Desperate and out of options, Fran begins receiving phone calls from a mysterious man offering help. But, the voice on the other end of the line has a grander agenda, and Fran is only a small part of a dark movement to change government policy.

Now then.

Was listening to the old stuff over the weekend and Ms. Rickie Lee Jones went into heavy rotation. So what does the jukebox do downstairs in Danny's All-Star Joint?

Does it go

1. Wonk wonk

2. Schwink schwink

3. Juke juke


4. Doit doit

Winners get the Easy Money, losers take the Night Train.

Friday, March 05, 2010

light at the end of the tunnel

Spring hit Rat City this afternoon for about an hour.


Come on, you sunny bastard.

Need you.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


The Event opens tonight in L.A., details below.

Rose and Ann take a victory lap, Ann because she's right and Rose because she knows me all too well.

needtheater Presents
Two one-person shows

The Event, By John Clancy
Starring Paul Dillon

and the World Premiere of
The Interview
By Lawrence Bridges
Directed by Ian Forester
Produced by Sara Scott

March 2nd – March 25th

Four weeks only!
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
The Event performs at 8 pm.
The Interview performs at 9:30 pm.

At the Son of Semele Ensemble Theatre
3301 Beverly Blvd, @ Hoover
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Tickets available at the door or at
The Event- $15
The Interview- $10

Monday, March 01, 2010

six days

Almost a week since I've opened the Museum's doors, time flies when you're fighting robots. Quick recap:

Wednesday Jen Conley Darling and I drove up to Albany representing LIT for Arts Day. Very cool to sit in the Senators and Assemblymen's offices and make the case right to them. Some people didn't even know what NYSCA's budget was, reminding me how easy it is to get caught in the echo chamber/choir practice of the Off-Off world.

Thursday was the Summit and I, for one, was glued to the screen. Our president is a brilliant man. What a joy to be able to type that sentence. My gut is that they'll pass something this month and it won't be great but it will be a start, it will be something at least.

Friday was the Great Storm. Beautiful to watch.

And now Monday, first day of March, spring out there somewhere ahead.

This is also the day in 1970 when, no lie, Charles Manson released his debut album. Name that slice of vinyl bizarrity.

Was it

1. You Give Love a Bad Name

2. Lie

3. People Say I'm No Good


4. Helter Skelter?