Monday, December 5, 2016

Don't Call Hamilton Curtain Speech Bullying

Brandon Victor Dixon of Hamilton addresses Mike Pence
The tempest in a teapot over the speech delivered by Hamilton cast member Brandon Victor Dixon to audience member and Vice-President-elect Mike Pence appears to have finally died down. It has elicited a firestorm of comments on both sides of the political aisle. The hashtag #BoycottHamilton trended on Twitter, but it appears the box office has not been significantly affected. A pro-Trump audience member get rowdy at a Chicago performance, but there have not other reports of a major backlash. On a public bus I was standing right next to a group of young people talking about Broadway in general and how difficult it is to get tickets to the hip-hop Tony winning show. "But it may be easier now because some people are calling for a boycott because of the lecture they delivered," said the young man.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Let's Fake a Deal!

Monty Hall from the old Let's Make a Deal show.
Trump is copying the format.
The news has been depressing me so much lately that I have foresworn cable channels like CNN, MSNBC and Fox. Never mind that I don't have cable anymore, I could have gotten access through YouTube. So now my default viewing when there is nothing worth watching on broadcast channels and I'm too lazy to surf through all the choices of Netflix and Amazon is Buzzr, a game-show haven where I can watch visions of the past including What's My Line, To Tell the Truth, and I've Got a Secret. An hour-long block of Let's Make a Deal is on at 8, but even that comfortable echo from my childhood makes me think of our hellish new political landscape.

Announcer (Paul Ryan): These suckers...I mean people, dressed as they are have come from the four corners of the world to the marketplace of America on LET'S... FAKE...A DEAL...and now here's TV's big dealer...Monty Trump!

(Orchestra plays theme music: Let a Winner Lead the Way. Monty Trump enters. Audience cheers)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Post-Election Thoughts IV: The Selling of the Presidency

(Right) First Daughter and Jewelry Hawker in Chief
We are now in a shit storm of Trump coverage, every single thing he and his Kardashian-like relatives do will be the source of a thousand Tweets and Facebook posts. After the 60 Minutes interview, Ivanka Trump was hawking the $10,000 bracelet she wore on the broadcast (as seen as TV!) She has since apologized and blamed it on a subordinate's mistake. To be perfectly fair, Trump did say he would not be taking a salary as president (UGH! just writing Trump and president in the same sentence makes my flesh crawl.) That has not been reported or commented on in my liberal elitist circles too much, so I will give him credit for that. Look, I'm giving him a chance! But we'll see if he follows through. There is also a report that he tried to use his influence to get the value of his Trump Hotel in Washington, DC knocked down several million dollars so he won't have to pay as much tax on it. And BTW, where are his tax returns?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Post-Election Thoughts III: Cabinet of Horrors

Trump's closest advisors
My emotions are in turmoil about the election. We are being asked to "normalize" Trump. Now if it were Kasich, Jeb Bush or even Rubio, I wouldn't be in such despair, but Trump goes beyond that. I do accept that he's won, but if I support him and wish him well, it would be like supporting all the racist, crude, disgusting things he said and did during the campaign (and everything before that). It would be saying, "It's okay to be racist and to discriminate against Muslims and make fun of disabled people." It's okay for a MALE, buffoonish, sexist crude oaf with questionable business practices and violent tendencies to be my president instead of a highly qualified FEMALE who may have made a mistake with her email (a mistake which many of her predecessors as Secretary of State evidently also made). BTW, ain't it ironic Pence is trying to keep his emails secret?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Post-Election Thoughts II: Obama Is the Better Man

Regardless of your politics, you have to admit Obama is just a better person than Trump. Quick example: Before the election, a pro-Trump protestor heckled the current president at a Clinton rally. Obama chided the crowd for yelling at the protestor and told them to respect their elders and this man's service to his country since he seemed to be a vet. He said "Don't boo.. vote." The epitome of graciousness. This is all on video. A day later, Trump distorts the President's remarks at his own rally saying Obama screamed at the protestor and carried on like a crazy person. WHAT? The difference between a dignified adult (Obama) and a lying child who twists the truth for his own purposes (Trump).

But never mind that. The Wall Street Journal reports that in their first meeting after the election, Trump hinted he didn't realize the scope of the job. Evidently, he thought he could just phone it in and play golf on the weekends. He implied Obama will be helping him, meeting with him more than most exiting chief executives do with their successors ("We'll be seeing each other many, many times"). Translation: Trump is begging Obama to hold his hand since he has no freaking clue what he is doing. For the good of the country Obama will do it. He is going to help the man who called him the "founder of ISIS" and cast doubt on his administration by demanding to see his birth certificate and accusing him of being born outside the US. Remember all that crap about Trump promising their were "experts" in Hawaii who were going to prove it? And nothing ever happened. Now Obama is going to help this creep be a better president because it will help our country. Can you imagine Trump ever doing anything like that? The man who said the most important thing in business is to screw your enemies ten times worse than they tried to screw you.

Obama is a hero for helping Trump and the Trump supporters will never admit it.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Post-Election Thoughts

Here's the thing. I accept that Trump won the election. It's done.The electoral college is not going to vote Hillary in. It's not going to happen. I have to live with this horrible man as the leader of my country and I am deeply ashamed to be an American right now. It does seem a bit early for impeachment, but we'll see what happens. Having said that, I support everyone's right to protest against the positions he took during the campaign and the positions he's taking now: destroying climate change work, possibly getting rid of Social Security and Medicare (Ryan says he wants to do this), legalizing discrimination against gays (yes he said gay marriage is OK on 60 Minutes, but what about this religious exception bullshit Mike Pence wants?) Also the racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti-Muslim things Trump's said. Deny it all you like Kellyanne Conway, he said racist things. Are you going to sue me?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Critical Shrinking; Broadway Update

Elysa Gardner, no longer with USA Today,
now freelances
The NYC community of theater critics continues to shrink. We're like some rare endangered species in a seldom-visited jungle and nobody seems to care as our numbers diminish. (We don't even get a late-night commercial with sad music pleading for funds to save us.) It was barely noticed that Elysa Gardner left USA Today where she was the theater and rock critic since 2000. There has been no announcement as to whether she was let go or departed voluntarily. She briefly tweeted the information that she was no longer with the nationwide publication on Aug. 1. Worse, there was no mention of it in any of the chat boards or on any of the theater-related websites (Not that I could find anyway.) USA Today has apparently dropped theater coverage altogether. They did not assign anyone to review the first two Broadway openings of the fall--The Encounter and Holiday Inn