NEW YEARS/NEW THINGS: Puppies, Posts, (Solo) Performances, Oh My!

FinnthepuppyI’m back! My holiday, which was delightful – well, how couldn’t it be since I spent most of it in Colorado with much-mentioned-beloved nephews AND a brand, new puppy (hence the picture that heralds this post) – is over. So that means I must have a tiny bit more time to devote to writing, right? Not exactly since I also have to worry about the four different course preparations I have to keep up with now that I am teaching again. I just finished the first full week of classes, and discovered, much to my dismay, that, in fact, I haven’t forgotten how to teach. However, I have also discovered that creating syllabi and assignments and class preparations means that I have almost no time to even think about a blog.

BUT I simply cannot let the entire month of January go by without trying to post at least a few words. I made myself come to terms with the fact that while it is true that I am not going to be able to maintain a 750-1,000-word post minimum, that doesn’t mean that I can let myself off the hook and not post anything at all. I have decided that what should be more important than the number of words is the frequency of words. So, I have made myself literally throw caution to the wind and to start writing. How can I not talk about the NEW YEAR’S theater, especially since 2018 is shaping up to be another tremendous year for solo performance?.

On Broadway, John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons AND Bruce Springsteen on Broadway are still going strong, while John Lithgow’s Stories From the Heart is just beginning its run. Off-Broadway, even more is happening as far as the solo performance goes. There’s Penny Arcade performing The Girl Who Knew Too Much starting in late February on Tuesday nights at Joe’s Pub (and Joe’s Pub is featuring quite a few solo performances in early 2018 since Bridget Everett as well as Daniel Alexander Jones a.k.a. Jomama Jones will also be performing solo shows there). In addition, and I am incredibly excited about this, Robbie McCauley will be reprising Sugar at New York Live Arts which I will see in early February. Also, Eve Ensler is currently performing her In the Body of the World at Manhattan Theatre Club/City Center (which I saw last weekend, on the very day of the Women’s March, in between participating in the march, and which solo performance rocked my world, and which I hope to say more about very, very soon). There’s also Dael Orlandersmith’s new solo show, Until the Flood at Rattlesticks Theatre which examines the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and which I get to see this weekend, and, since Rattlestick Theater is featuring solo performances in its 2017-2018 season, I will also get to see Mashuq Mushtaq Deen’s Draw the Circle in February. But that’s not all, because Daniel Beaty is performing his one-man show, Emergency at Long Island University in Brooklyn in February (which show I saw several years ago at The Public), and there’s also a festival of solo performances at LaMama in February. Plus, if everything goes well Mike Daisey is performing a new solo show in Minnesota in March. That’s twelve solo performances (not including the Lamama festival) in just the first three months of the year. So many performances and so little time! Stay tuned for more details about the solo performances I get to see. Eve Ensler, Robbie McCauley, Eve Ensler, Jomama Jones, and Mashuq Mushtaq Deen are definites. I may not get to say everything that they deserve to have said about them, but I will say something!

But what I really want to know is, isn’t the puppy adorable??!! I am convinced that someone needs to create a solo performance around him! I know a few nephews who could do it, but the question is, will they do it???

6 thoughts on “NEW YEARS/NEW THINGS: Puppies, Posts, (Solo) Performances, Oh My!

    1. So funny that you noticed the similarity in hair color because the middle nephew pointed out that now I can blame Finn the puppy for all of the white hair strands that magically appear everywhere in their house.

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  1. Puppies and politics–this blog has it all! Seriously, though, it’s encouraging to know that there are so many creative, talented people commenting on the world through the solo performance. And, as your next post makes clear, Mary, there are strong connections between what’s happening on stage and the “necessary trouble” happening in the streets–e.g., the second annual women’s march, the Black Lives Matter protests and the struggle to defend DACA recipients. Thanks, Mary, for bringing these currents vividly together.

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  2. I have never felt the connection between the stage and the real world in which I live so furiously and passionately as I have this past year. From the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park deciding to do Julius Caesar as if set during the Trump presidency (with Julius Caesar sporting a decidedly Trump-signature hairstyle) last summer to the number of solo performances giving voice to the voiceless and telling the untold stories, theater feels more necessary than ever.

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