Archive for the ‘Threat Quality’ Category

Here I have got some opinions on Curio Theater Company’s production of Waiting for Godot, you are permitted to read them.

GODOT at Curio

Good grief.

Here’s a show at the Wilma Theater, it got pretty strong reviews, a rave from a colleague of mine over at the Broad Street Review, the fellow who wrote it — Nick Payne — won some kind of British award for it. And this is very mysterious to me, because I think this play is quite terrible, and really transparently terrible, and, maybe worse, prosaically terrible, in the sense that its not bad in some unexpected or extraordinary way, but is instead bad in exactly the most boring sorts of ways that the worst and dullest plays are.

(guys I have so many thoughts about this play, you can read the rest of them here)

I am, as we all well know, a person of no particular credentials, of no particular reach, of no particular importance, and so it’s fairly reasonable for me to spend my lunch hour just messing around with words on the internet. I’ve got no obligation to address the news of the day, or to make sure my opinions are good and worthwhile! I’m not even getting paid for this! It’s a nice, relaxing way to think of my own writing — the stakes are very low, because of course none of this particularly matters.

Sometimes I imagine though, what if I was a real columnist? A columnist at something like the Philadelphia Daily News? What if I had a plum role in an industry that was slowly dying, and what if I was widely read and my thoughts were immediately considered by relevant people in my city? How would I, in a world so devoid of interesting news, find something to write about every week?

If you just asked yourself that hypothetical question about what you’d write this week, of all fucking weeks, and then decided soundly that the answer is, “a subliterate regurgitation of a book that came out two years ago by a TV pundit from Alaska that no one has ever heard of about how liberals are mean to conservatives on Facebook,” then you’re probably Philly Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky.

I’m so sorry, I really am, but please know that at least one person has apparently lived a long and fulfilling life as Stu Bykofsky, he has a job and everything.

You’ve really got to read this thing, it’s extraordinary on a couple different levels.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE ON MY MEDIUM PAGE

(I know I said this was only theater reviews now, but whatever, I need to do something with my life guys, I need to feel like it has meaning.)

I want to write briefly about this “Yale Psychologist Says Pizzagate Gunman Has Too Much Empathy” and I need a little more room than a Twitter MANTHREAD so I guess it’s going to be here, at Medium, the Place for Long Tweets.

It’s hard to put my finger on what exactly I find so reproachable about this guy, Yale psychologist Paul Bloom, so I am just going to go through his interview and see if I can work it out.

(This interview was probably highly-edited, so if the problems that I’m having come from the fact that Paul Bloom was edited to incoherence, then I’m sorry Paul Bloom! But I don’t think that’s the problem.)

Let’s start at the beginning:

In times of strife, sometimes we find illumination in complexity and melancholy. To that end, director Dan Hodge at the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective serves up All’s Well that Ends Well, a rarely-performed Shakespearean “problem play”: A beast neither comedy, nor tragedy, nor history.

Read More at the Broad Street Review

The prevailing feeling of war, maybe more than fear or dread, is exhaustion.  More than a decade into the longest and most wearying armed conflicts in U.S. history, M. Craig Getting directs a heart-breaking adaptation of the western world’s very oldest war story: An Iliad, at the Lantern Theater.

(more…)

There’s seven weeks left in an annus horribilis for the record books, a relentless, daily reminder that the world is not okay, has maybe never been okay, is maybe never going to be okay. The world is not good, but there are still good things in it, and it’s vital that we find them and experience them while we can.

Read the rest at Broad Street Review

How I Mean to Cast My Vote

Posted: November 7, 2016 in Threat Quality

(I know I said this is a theater review website now, and it is, this is a momentary diversion that I’ve been meaning to write for a while, I’ll get back to the real good stuff after the election.)

Got to vote tomorrow, got to make some decisions.  I am going to lay out my position.  I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, or saying a person is good or bad for agreeing with me or disagreeing with me — I think it’s good to vote, because participation in democracy is essential to the existence of democracy, but beyond that I’m not going to say who you should vote for.  You’ve got to do what you think is right, and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to do that.

I’m going to say what I think is the best thing to do for me, and maybe it’ll convince you, maybe it’ll convince you to do the opposite, life is mysterious, but at least we’ll all know where we stand.

(more…)

Theater Review: Breathe Smoke

Posted: November 1, 2016 in Threat Quality

(Broad Street Review does this thing where they’ll publish your review if it’s different enough from another review they ran, but they won’t tell you if they’re going to pay for it until after you’ve written it.  I am not *real* happy with this practice, but what else am I going to do, who knows.  Anyway, my review was second, but I wrote it, might as well run it somewhere.)

According to its description, Breathe Smoke, the fourth play from the Orbiter 3 producing playwrights collective, is about a controversial performance artist planning his final show, one that will “merge the boundaries between his art and his mortality.”  In 2016, the idea evokes David Bowie, whose Blackstar, was planned and recorded while the artist knew he was dying and released two days before his death, or Gord Downie, whose farewell tour with the Tragically Hip was planned when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

(more…)

Review: Breaking the Waves

Posted: November 1, 2016 in Threat Quality

(I got about seven months of time left, and without a project my brain is going to start to cannibalize itself, the other day I was so bored at work I started to get high.  I mean, like, really high, like it felt like my consciousness was floating outside my body and drifting away?  Terrible.

Anyway, Threat Quality Press is a theater review blog now.  This is a review I did at Broad Street Review a couple weeks back.)

Opera Philadelphia’s world premiere Breaking the Waves, based on the 1996 Lars von Trier film, opened to some acclaim, with at least one critic declaring it among the best 21st-century operas yet produced. It’s the brainchild of librettist Royce Vavrek and composer Missy Mazzoli, and it certainly was produced in the 21st century. It’s a production, led by conductor Stephen Osgood, of fine performances in service of what might charitably be described as a questionable goal.

Read More