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Tuesday Morning Round-Up


by Jerome Weeks 17 Mar 2009

The Good Negro opens in New York. The play had premiered at the Dallas Theater Center last year. The current Public Theater production (in association with the DTC) gets a good-to-mixed review from Charles Isherwood in the New York Times: “The play will bring no fresh revelations or powerful insights for those well versed in […]

CTA TBD

  • The Good Negro opens in New York. The play had premiered at the Dallas Theater Center last year. The current Public Theater production (in association with the DTC) gets a good-to-mixed review from Charles Isherwood in the New York Times:
  • “The play will bring no fresh revelations or powerful insights for those well versed in this period … But if “The Good Negro” suffers from the flaws endemic in straight-up documentary theater, they are mostly disguised by vibrant performances and a crisply paced production directed by Liesl Tommy. And the internecine squabbles within the movement will engross those with no deep grounding in the history, illuminating how numerous were the forces working against success, both from within and without.”

    UPDATE: The Daily News review. The Associated Press review. John Simon’s review for Bloomberg.

    Interesting sidenote: The photos accompanying the reviews and the reviews themselves suggest changes have been made to the script since the Dallas production. (The photo in the Times, for instance, looks as though the two main ministers are handcuffed — if so, it’s a scene that, as far as I can recall, never occurred in Dallas.) I’d be curious to learn what changes, if any, were made. ANSWER: Jacob Cigainero of the DTC just reminded me that in the scene during which the two ministers are put in a police car, they are handcuffed — a detail I’d forgotten. Thanks. But he did say that author Tracey Scott Wilson has made some cuts to the play.

  • And speaking of theater reviews, with daily newspapers ailing, will arts journalism survive — and in what form? From the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Policy:
  • “Arts administrators …  are just now coming to grips with the impending cutoff of one of their strongest lines of communication with the community. After complaining for years of unfair or insensitive reviews, they have come to the realization that the only thing worse than getting criticized is being ignored.”

    The article examines several prospects for the future — non-profit websites, for-profit websites, collective websites like artsjournal.com, even efforts by arts organizations themselves.

  • Musicians brains are different — and it comes from practice. New Scientist reports on a Harvard Medical School study on six-year-olds. They out-performed their peers in manual dexterity and sound discrimination, but only after music training.
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  • Musicians brains are smarter? Being a musician I agree. BUT
    There’s a catch twenty two:

    No one can imagine someone smarter than they are.

  • Musicians aren’t smarter. The young music students out-performed their peers in only two areas, areas that one might expect after some training: manual dexterity (which has very little to do with smarts) and sound discrimination.