In a sad case of life imitating art just as it ends the life of said art, the Times blog ArtsBeat breaks the news that 9 to 5 The Musical, the Broadway musical with songs written by Dolly Parton about three women (Stephanie J. Block, Allison Janney and Meghan Hilty, pictured) in the 80s exacting revenge upon the corporate sexism of their bosses, will be performed for the last time on September 6. The relatively lavish production at the Marriott Marquis Theater wasn't making enough money to satisfy its (presumably male) investors, and will likely be replaced by a musical about superheroes or wizards or something. Click here for more details on the announcement, or click here to get tickets.
(photo credit: Joan Marcus)
Abe Foxman, the
blowhard outspoken spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League, is for many people the Al Sharpton of the Jewish community, wading into identity politics at every turn, picking fights and generally making a lot of noise about perceived anti-Semitism. And of course, like Sharpton, he is frequently justified in his anger; also, like Sharpton, oftentimes he is not.
Whatever the case, he is rarely called upon as a voice of reason and moderation in the face of clearly delineated anti-Semitism. Until now.
The last, best hope for a "bipartisan" health bill in the Senate is the bill currently being negotiated by six people in the office of Senate Finance Committee chairman and apparent brain-hungry zombie Max Baucus (D-MT, pictured). What will a bill with "bipartisan" support look like?
Well, there will be no public option, because the relatively few Republican senators who would ever vote for healthcare reform would never vote for a public option. So, I'll repeat Jonathan Cohn's question: Why, exactly, are would-be healthcare reformers working so hard to appease people who don't actually want to reform healthcare? (Howard Dean has a similar question; Hendrik Hertzberg has an answer: it's because the Senate is an awful place.)
Oh, and speaking of wrongheaded opposition to a public option, Paul Krugman has a hi-larious anecdote about how "socialized medicine" is opposed most vehemently by people who already have it and don't know it.
And here's a look at the co-op system that might come out of the bill instead of a public option. It might not be awful! But that's not really the point, is it.
It's a tragic truism, but in New York it's often easier to buy bottled water from a deli than it is to find a tap from which to refill a water bottle. This is especially sad since New York has, like, the best tap water in the country. Well, that under-tapped resource is now much more accessible thanks to the online initiative TapIt Water, which has created a network of participating cafes throughout the city that will allow non-customers to come in and refill their water bottles (it's like free wireless for water!). Check out TapIt's helpful mapping application to find the most convenient watering holes along your daily route.
This hurts us more than it hurts you, guys, but dig: it is most emphatically not going to be nice out tonight. Tonight's edition of Summerscreen, our free outdoor film screening at McCarren Park, was to be David Lynch's kinky Wizard of Oz remake Wild at Heart has been rescheduled for Wednesday, August 19th. This isn't so bad, if you look at it a certain way: With Wild at Heart now closing the series, Summerscreen '09 will end with Nicholas Cage singing "Love Me Tender" to all of Williamsburg. We couldn't have planned it any better. (In fact we didn't.)
News come via Variety today that beloved environmental horror story The Lorax, originally published by American writer and cartoonist Dr. Seuss in 1971, will be arriving on the big screen as a 3D computer animated feature film from Universal on March 2, 2012 (mark your calendars!). Of course, the real story here is that rather than go the live-action route that How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Cat in the Hat took, Universal is doing like Horton Hears A Who! did last year and foregoing real actors. That seems like a huge cop-out, given how many actors would be great for the part of the Lorax, like Danny DeVito, rendered with Lorax 'stache at right. Click through the jump for a couple more of my live-action Lorax fantasies.
As if colorful posters with toucans weren't enough, actual men and women in white lab coats have figured out that Guinness is good for you — in fact, it's as effective as aspirin in preventing heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks. The study, at the University of Wisconsin, gave stout and lager to heartsick dogs, and the lager dogs showed few signs of improvement (though they were increasingly likely to tell you how they really felt and hit on other dogs), while the stout dogs showed reduced clotting (and an increased likelihood to cry about nothing in particular and start fights).
This research has finally given me the reason I was looking for to try my very first drink. This is very exciting news, I must say. Would anyone like to join me in my first ever alcoholic beverage today? It sounds like fun.
Bedsons for Beds, a chain of British mattress stores, just set the world record for mattress dominoes, and they brought along a video crew to turn the record-breaking chain reaction into a viral ad.
Staffers at the The L (at least one) are already planning a similar world record domino chain of alt weekly magazines.
(via Design You Trust)
Biking in New York City is slowly but surely becoming less of an insanely suicidal proposition, with new bike lanes going in and, today, the Post predicts that City Council will pass the city's first bike access bill. It's nothing too drastic — no bike-share programs, no provisions for the construction of public bike garages (like the one at right), no streets given over only to cyclists and pedestrians — but it does mean that commuting cyclists must be allowed to bring their bikes off the street and into commercial buildings, provided their employer agrees. As always, it's another step in the right direction, a small step, but a step nonetheless. Read a little more about the bill in this Post piece.
Jonah Weiner's got a new piece up at Slate today, called "Spinning in the Grave: The Three Biggest Reasons Music Magazines Are Dying." As far as this type of article goes, it's pretty well done, I guess. The three reasons (the death of the superstar, downloading, social networking) could be listed by a sleeping five-year-old, of course, but that's not Weiner's fault.
The real reason I mention the piece, though, is this part, from the section on record labels not giving writers the kind of access they once did, because getting press in a print publication doesn't help anyone sell records.
When I profiled Beyoncé for a 2006 Blender cover story, I was granted one hour to interview her and one hour to observe her at a video shoot. I stayed on the set for three hours, hoping to wring some lively detail from the mundane proceedings, until a bodyguard showed me the door. Beyoncé's mother, Tina, gave me a warm goodbye, then called a publicist to chew her out for letting me hang around so long and accused me of "going through Beyoncé's underwear." (I'd quizzed a seamstress about a pair of hot pants she was mending.) The writing that arises from situations like these invariably suffers, and readers notice.
Ugh, not cool at all, Beyonce's mom. They were hot pants, which are worn on the outside.
We just got word from the fine folks over at Living Liberally (you know, the dudes who organize Drinking Liberally) that venerable Hell's Kitchen dive Rudy's (you know, the one with the free hot dogs) is perilously close to shutting down because of a stop-work order from the dastardly mustache twirlers over at the DOB. It's something to do with a fire escape in the backyard garden, but the crux of the matter is Rudy's is losing tons of business because of the backyard shut down. This sucks. You should head here IMMEDIATELY and sign a petition to help prevent a local institution from closing and being replaced by a Duane Reade. Seriously. Do it or you are a jerk.
The gallery industry is reeling from the economic pressures of the recession, as you'll glean from the especially slim slate of summer exhibitions around town. The most vulnerable, not surprisingly, are galleries outside the traditional strongholds of the Upper East Side, Chelsea and Soho. Yesterday, ARTINFO reported that Williamsburg art space and framing store McCaig-Welles Gallery (129 Roebling St) would be closing when owner Melissa McCaig-Welles moves to San Francisco.
It's still unclear whether the closing takes effect immediately, after the closing of the current exhibition Little Creatures on August 2, or after the following show closes on September 6. Still, the loss of that friendly little gallery and its consistently fun mix of street and pop art represents another blow to the Williamsburg art scene, which also saw the shuttering of Art Moving Projects earlier in the Spring.
(photo credit: mutemuse/Flickr)
As we blogged about yesterday, dance and choreographer Merce Cunningham, one of the founding and most enduring forces in contemporary dance, died on Sunday. Though no longer an explosive scenester like, say, Dash Snow, Cunningham's influence on his art form and the larger creative community was incalculable. Like another recent loss in the dance community, Pina Bausch (who passed away last month), Cunningham's death at the age of 90 has ellicited some moving features and obituaries, such as the following.
Alastair Macauley's appropriately epic obit (4 web pages!) situates Cunningham's oeuvre simultaneously within the larger international context of post-war Modernism, the revolutionary evolutions of contemporary dance in the 60s and 70s, and the evolving New York art scene. Money quote: "Mr. Cunningham ranks among the foremost figures of artistic modernism and among the few who have transformed the nature and status of dance theater." (A typically stunning Times slideshow and video accompany the piece, and both are well worth your time.)
In my experience, inviting three fundamentally different people to come together to drink beer and have a frank conversation about race in America is a very, very bad idea.
And yet, and yet. For his sins — for daring to discuss race, and for publicly articulating a progressive worldview — President Obama has had his Real American-ness called into question (WHERE'S HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE HMM?). The fucking nerve of this guy, this "black" "president" of "America" or whatever the fuck, daring to suggest that African-Americans might have reason to distrust our noble and never arrogant or racially insensitive law enforcement system.
And so for his sins he shall quaff many disgusting Budweisers with a Masshole cop. (Also Skip Gates, who seems pretty cool.)
Budweiser, even. Budweiser! Clearly this is a victory for the Anheuser-Busch company's endlessly sanctimonious branding campaign; Pete Coors must be fuming.
Christ, Obama could cover himself in American flag lapel pins like Alec Baldwin in that New Yorker profile, and it would still never be enough for people. (There is some overlap between these people and the birthers, naturally; Rep. Collin Peterson is kind of a dick but his open contempt for his own constituents seems, in this context especially, quite heartening.)
GLAAD just published its annual Network Responsibility Index, which monitors "the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television." The test covers broadcast and cable networks, with each receiving a grade of Excellent, Good, Adequate or Failing. HBO was among the leaders, as usual, and A&E came in on the bottom, with a measly two out of 165.5 hours of original programming featuring LGBT-inclusive content.
Showtime received a rating of "Good," with 26% of their original programming including LGBT characters, most of which I assume came courtesy of The L Word. Only one episode, the pilot, of Nurse Jackie was included in the test, which is a shame—I was curious to see what they made of the show's two gay characters, who are about as complex as what you might expect to find on an episode Two and a Half Men.
Today, the jury behind the coveted British literary award the Man Booker Prize (glimpsed holding a secretive panel discussion at right) announced the longlist of 13 nominees for this year, with repeat noms J.M. Coetzee (for "Summertime"), A.S. Byatt ("The Children's Book"), William Trevor ("Love and Summer"), Colm Toibin ("Brooklyn") and Sarah Waters ("The Little Stranger") at the front of the pack.
The rest of the nominees, all first-timers, are Adam Foulds (“The Quickening Maze”); Sarah Hall (“How to Paint a Dead Man”); Samantha Harvey (“The Wilderness”); James Lever (“Me Cheeta”); Hilary Mantel (“Wolf Hall”); Simon Mawer (“The Glass Room”); Ed O’Loughlin (“Not Untrue & Not Unkind”) and James Scudamore (“Heliopolis”). Last year's big winner, you may recall, was Aravind Adiga who got the $82,500 for his novel The White Tiger. The winner will be announced on October 6, but in the meantime, let the Booker betting pools begin!
The internet is not, ultimately, an anonymous peanut gallery for your worst thoughts and feelings, so be careful about the shit you spew while hiding behind a stupid avatar. Case in point:
Nice guy/talented journo/friend of The L Allen McDuffee recently had some of his reasoned, thoughtful criticism of Israeli policy appropriated by a white supremacist, racist moron AND HE WAS NOT GOING TO STAND FOR IT.
In no way, shape or form will I allow him to attribute his agenda to my reporting and blogging. I fully condemn Kalki666's actions and everything that he, his blog and his community stand for. Yes, I am critical of Israeli policies. I am also critical of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
And man, did McDuffee ever follow through...
The streets of Asheville, North Carolina, a picturesque town in the state's mountainous western region, must have been crazy packed on Sunday morning, when local firefighter Charles Diez shot a cyclist in the head for biking with his family on a busy road. What's even more ridiculous than the act itself is that the victim, Alan Simons, who was riding with his wife and three year-old child, survived the accident because the bullet got lodged in his helmet. Helmets save lives people! Local news crews missed the actual shooting, but I imagine it went something like this (minus, you know, all the dying):
Well, will you look at this... the folks behind Mad Men's marketing efforts actually had a good idea, for once. As I'm sure you saw yesterday, they released this Mad Men Yourself web application, and it's probably the best thing ever. Unsurprisingly, a handful of our staffers spent much of the day trying to (sorta) faithfully recreate themselves. Then the art department photoshopped the results into a bar. And now you're going to try guess who's who.
Pictured, you've got, in no order:
Lauren Beck — Editorial Asssistant
Benjamin Sutton — Contributing Editor
Cecilia Ziko — Art Director
Mike Conklin — Music Editor
Lauren Savit -- Assistant
to the Publisher
Mark Asch — Film Editor
Henry Stewart — Editorial Assistant
Jonny Diamond — Editor-in-Chief
Your job is to match each name with the corresponding letter from above, in the comments, of course.
Originally released in 1965 and based on a story by Robert Sheckley, Elio Petri's The 10th Victim (just out on DVD from Blue Underground) is a mod ménage of La Dolce Vita, James Bond and The Most Dangerous Game. The film is set in the then-futuristic 21st century; we've lived to see some (but thankfully not all) of Petri's amorally corrupt worldview come to fruition. Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress are players in the world's most popular game: a real-life manhunt in which two participants are randomly chosen by a computer, one to be a hunter, the other to be the hunted. After ten successful rounds, you win a million dollars and the elite status as a "decathlete." The world is their battlefield (except for churches, bars, barbershops and a couple of other off-limits locales) — and other than parking violations not being tolerated, there are no rules.
Theon's penis was visible in one episode, I think.
Reading and deciphering this takes longer than actually watching the show. It's a recap, not…
What exactly is the point of this? Such bad writing....And if we want to know…