Thursday, August 20, 2009

Health Care Scare

Hopefully you’ve been following the saga of Health Care Reform lately and the cavalcade of LIES being distributed by the Right: rumors of “death panels” for the elderly (thanks Sarah fucking Palin), health care for illegal immigrants, federal money for abortions, reform = a government “take-over” of health care, Obama is a Nazi, etc, etc.

What is truly amazing to me is the amount of morons who live in this country.

Unbelievably, according to a recent poll, over 50% of voters believe in these untrue, FOX TV-type lies, being fed to them by sleazy politicians (ie, Republicans) who are basically shills under the employ of the insurance companies who want to keep their monopoly. These same insurance companies make 35 cents for every dollar spent on health care.

Not even a CASINO makes that much money (because it's ILLEGAL).

And the people I see being organized to protest this reform are, ironically, the same people who would benefit the most from it. In a way, I almost hope they get what they deserve. I’m talking about brain dead, gullible, racist IDIOTS carrying assault weapons to town hall meetings and screaming at the top of their lungs about “socialized medicine”, and not understanding that both Social Security and Medicare ARE those things. On woman in a Dartmouth town hall meeting recently proclaimed, with a straight face, that the Obama Health plan was a "Nazi" plan, causing Barney Frank to seriously ask her: "What planet do you send most of your time on?"

All this on the heels of the incredibly insulting and wildly false “birther” movement, which proclaimed that Obama wasn’t born in this country, and is therefore not really the President.

It’s absolutely amazing and disgusting to me.

It is actually hard for me to believe that there are people out there who actually BELIEVE that these fantastical lies are TRUE, that there is such a person as “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelberger or Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh or Michelle Malkin or Bill O’Reilly.

It actually makes my head spin.

What is really frustrating to me is not knowing what to do, and not knowing how to be heard, or how to lend support and how to fight back against these loud-mouthed bullies.

The New York Times recently reported that those in support of Reform and the public option are not as out there and letting their voices be heard as much as these howling, nut-case, gun-toting buffoons.

It is really REALLY important for those who believe in health care and the public option to speak up and let our elected officials know that we care and are listening and understand and are involved in the reform bill and that we SUPPORT the President’s plan.
I will try my best to find out how to do that and leave that info here, but one helpful thing I DO know how to do is to visit and read up on how to fight back against these lies being spread about health care and our President.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Daze

I think the people that I admire most in theatre are trying their best to make something beautiful and provocative and powerful (though not necessarily all at once). But I'm not a critic, in the sense that I'm biased, even if I don't think I am, or mean to be. I can't help it. Even critics are biased, btw, but the difference is they don't work in the theatre, they comment on what theatre people create. I can't really do that here, nor would I ever want to. It's so subjective anyway. All I would want to do is describe productions that Tommy and I went to, and let other people know about them too. So I guess I'm a Boston theatre booster, of sorts. I just like going to plays. They are, usually, WAY better than a movie (especially now a days: what a bunch of CRAP coming out of Hollywood right now!) And I think a great city needs great theatre, that it MAKES a city great. So I'm more interested in new plays, by Boston writers. By experimental productions that are created here. I'm not so much interested in warmed-over Off-Broadway hits from last year in NYC, though I understand why people would want to see those plays. I guess I want Boston to be Boston, and NYC to be NYC. I never liked the monopoly that NYC seems to have over theatre. If the only stories being told on the stage are from NYC, then where is our voice, where are OUR stories?

I also don't like the idea that only "real" actors live in NYC. It's an old idea. The NYC myth needs to be dismantled, I think. Audiences don't care if an actor comes from NYC anymore. Actually, I think they care more about whether the actor lives with them, in their neighborhood, and is telling a story that they share together. That there is a CONNECTION between this actor and the audience. It's called a COMPANY for a reason, and I am saddened more and more when I feel that this concept is being erased from our theatres. In this era of Twitter, and FaceBook and the internet and blogs (like this one), I think people really yearn and search for something stable and solid. I find it difficult to support a theatre that ignores the talent at its own doorstep, year after year, yet claims to be a part of our community.

I like to support theatres that recognize and hire and nurture local artists and actors and directors and designers. It's the only way Boston will make itself a theatre destination. Otherwise, we are just a repository for New York's sloppy seconds.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding on the Eiffel Tower

Tommy and I finally had a chance to go see something at the Apollinaire Theatre Company in Chelsea last week: a really great trio of absurdist plays, culminating in Jean Cocteaus' "Wedding on the Eiffel Tower", which I have always wanted to see staged. It really was a fun evening, outside, under the Tobin Bridge. The cast was really great, with my old friend Margaret Anne Brady in the company. This is the last week to catch it, so go check it out, it's really terrific, and it's FREE! Here's all the info below:

Last week to catch Apollinaire's FREE bilingual theater in the park.
"Eiffel Tower is hilarious. It underscores what Apollinaire does best: airy ensemble pieces performed with energy and commitment."-Boston HeraldPerformances run through this Saturday July 25 at 7:30English on Wed. Thurs. & Sat.Spanish on Fri.
Mary O'Malley Park is located on the waterfront in Chelsea just past the Tobin Bridge. Click here for directions. In case of rain, call: (617) 887-2336. Information and directions at

Sunday, July 19, 2009

the critic speaks

So, I have to admit, I forgot about my blog. I just got busy lately: visiting my sis in North Carolina, teaching, writing, RE-writing, auditioning, going to Six Flags, writing, driving around Western Mass, eating fried clams, going to out door theatre. You know, summer stuff.
But I was reminded of Hambone recently when I received a response on FaceBook from Lance Norris, the critic/actor/figure from my South Shore past who reviewed our production of Much Ado (and basically tore it to shreds) on the website about a month or two ago. Apparently he stumbled on my humble little blog and mistook my post "Much Ado Two" (see back in June) as a call to retract his critical opinion (it wasn't, by the way).

Here is what he wrote to me:

""zaftig local character"? how dismissive. Although it was edited with ham hands, I stand by most of that review. I enjoyed the show but found all most all the doubled characters lacking and yes, your theatre is in a bad part of town. Although you claim to be bringing culture to the natives, I didn't see a whole lot of locals in the house the night I went.

Be well."

When I went to respond on FB, I found I had been "de-friended". Ouch. Oh well. But his message really forced me to articulate what I was trying to express in that earlier post, and I wanted to share it. Here it is:

"Hey Lance
I received your message via FB. I’m so sorry if you felt dismissed, that really wasn’t my intention. My blog is written for the few people that might have an interest in me and the work I’m doing, so I really didn’t think you would ever read it. I certainly wasn’t looking for a response or a retraction from you, as you seem to imply in your note: you have every right to your opinion. If I had been looking for such a thing, I would have written to you or the website directly. Why I wrote about it on my blog revolved around the interesting (to me, anyway) fact that I had known you growing up and also as another actor. I really didn’t mean “zaftig local character” to be an insult. If I had wanted to insult you I would have chosen different words. I consider myself a “local” actor, I’ve lived here all my life. It’s not a pejorative for me. “Zaftig” I always felt to be a rather endearing term for someone who is large – which I always felt you knew about yourself and informed who you are and was an acknowledged part of you. And as for “character”: well, that’s truly how I remember you, Lance. You were someone I knew from Cohasset and grew up with, and that I associate with that town. You knew me, you knew my sister, you probably had my father as a teacher in high school. You are someone who I would sooner expect to see at my father’s wake in Cohasset than on a web page, lacerating the company I helped to found. So what I was writing about, partially, on my blog was the interesting idea that an entire history (albeit a brief one – we were certainly never close friends) could be obliterated completely and a rather mean-spirited review would suddenly take its place. I find that to be a reflection and unfortunate symptom of our rather throw-away, shallow American culture, where relationships and histories and connections are rendered utterly meaningless. As if to prove my point, I notice that you “friended” me on FaceBook, and now, after my “dismissive” blog entry, have “de-friended” me with the click of your mouse and a rather chilly, impersonal note (which, again, is all good: we clearly were never close friends in the first place). It’s ironic that one of the things ASP tries to do, in our imperfect way, is to build and strengthen communities and neighborhoods, and meanwhile this other small personal connection just disintegrates indirectly thru ASP.

But anyway, that’s mostly why I was writing about it in my blog. I also, clearly, disagree with what I took to be a rather obsessive negativity concerning the neighborhood where we were performing (your title and first FOUR paragraphs talk of nothing else but danger, gunfire and certain death to anyone who might venture to Hiberian Hall, which, I suppose, isn’t surprising for someone who is used to living in a privileged, wealthy, safe town like Cohasset), and I was hoping to direct anyone reading my blog to other reviews/opinions and to encourage them to make the trek out to Roxbury. And yes, in response to your note: we did have trouble getting local residents to come. It’s our first time in that space, and it is always a problem we look to solve. But it is a worthy endeavor, I feel, and one that I’m committed to. The residents that DID manage to come enjoyed it (we ran for five weeks, so there were other performances for them to attend, besides yours). But all that is moot now, as the play is closed.

Be well, too. "

This notion of throw away relationships and erasing histories has got my brain twirling lately. So I'm quite grateful for that. Even if it cost me a FB "friend".

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Superheroine Monologues Return!!!!!

Just got the word today that the show I wrote with my friend Rick Park, The Superheroine Monologues, will be produced again in September at the Boston Center for the Arts, in the Plaza Theatre. Very excited to have another run! The show is a sort of riff on The Vagina Monologues, only with superheroines (and a couple villains...and a mortal, even!). It's a lot of fun. We had a run this Spring at the Boston Playwrights Theatre (where The Salt Girl will be performed) and the audiences really seemed to enjoy it. The director, Greg Maraio, also designed all the costumes, which are brilliant and the cast is gorgeous, sassy and kick ass!!!! I'll try to keep you posted!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Salt Girl

I had a reading of my new solo show at the Boston Playwrights Theatre last week, and now I'm busy with re-writes. I'm very excited about the play: it's the first solo show I've written in 10 years (!) It's called "The Salt Girl", and it's about this man who postpones his suicide so he can visit his estranged, unconscious father on his death bed.

And it's a comedy.

Sort of.


I swear.

David Gammons, who I worked with on the amazing "Titus Andronicus" (perhaps one of the best theatre experiences in my life), is the director and designer, with Jeff Adelberg on lights and Adam Stone doing sound/original music. Kate Snodgrass is producing. It's just a wonderful group of people, and a really great vibe. I feel very lucky.

We open November 5th, which seems a millions years away right now. I'll try to keep notes on how it's all progressing.


Saw "Romance" by David Mamet at the ART in Harvard Square last night. It was very VERY funny, a lovely, precise, hilarious cast (with T. as the prosecutor!). Will LeBow in particular was fantastic as the addled judge! God, he is funny in this play!
I was in a reading of Romance about a year ago, so I knew the play already. What was really entertaining (for me) was seeing all the comic flourishes this great group of actors added to the play: those hilarious, unscripted, funny moments.

Check it out if you have a chance. It closes next week. Here's the website:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Much Ado Two

Much Ado has been getting better and better, the audiences have been great!
The reviews have also, for the most part, been very kind.
I'm in this strange new place concerning reviews lately.

I try not to read them, and I didn't for quite awhile. But then I discovered that I didn't like not knowing what was being said: my imagination was always much worse than the actual review. Uncertainty is a terrible, gnawing thing.

So now I read them and try to forget them as best I can. I think the trick is to read them very quickly, ONCE, and then never look or think about it again. So I'm trying that for a while.

Reviews can be incredibly powerful, especially to a small theatre company: they can really help get the word out and fill seats. More people will read our Globe review of "Much Ado" than actually see the show.

There was a bit of a flurry recently over the review of "Pirates!" at the Huntington. Louise Kennedy's review was pretty negative. So the managing director, Michael Maso, got on the Huntington blog and told everyone to write into the Globe and complain about it. And a lot of people did. I've never seen such a thing. It was pretty entertaining.

I had a "flame war" recently with a reviewer for "The Super Heroine Monologues", who didn't like our writing at all (Rick Park and me, that is!). The review itself was sloppy, misspelled, poorly written and ANONYMOUS and this guy had the nerve to be critiquing MY writing? That's sort of where I draw the line: you have to put your name on what you write and stand behind it, I think. And pressing "spell check" doesn't hurt, either.

Then, today, I saw this review online at by this guy named Lance Norris, who totally ripped us all to shreds. The funny thing is: I know Lance Norris: he's this guy from my home town of Cohasset, where he was kind of a zaftig local character. He also played a small part in a film I was in many years ago called "Anathema", so I knew him as a film actor. But I guess he's a critic now. Of sorts.
It's just weird when someone you know from a totally different part of your life suddenly appears out of no where as a critic and pans you.
His review basically tells people that if you come to our show, you will probably be murdered, if not by our bad acting, then by the drug dealers outside with guns who are stealing your car. He goes on and on about how unsafe the neighborhood is where we are performing.

Uh, thanks Lance.

Just to be clear: one of our missions at Actors Shakespeare Project is to bring our plays to neighborhoods and communities that don't usually get to experience live professional theatre. Or Shakespeare. It's a worthy enterprise. And Dudley Square isn't exactly the war zone that Norris makes it out to be. And Hiberian Hall is a lovely space, very close to Mass Ave, and not too far a drive from the BCA and its nice row of restaurants. But it IS a little rough around the edges, so perhaps a little extra caution wouldn't hurt when locking your car/walking to the theatre. So hopefully people will come and make up there own minds. The audience seems to be enjoying the story. And there's something quite lovely about watching Paula and Richard fall in love.

Only three more weeks left! Hope you can make it! Here's the info below:

Much Ado About Nothing
By William ShakespeareDirected by Benjamin EvettMay 14 – June 14Roxbury Center for Arts at Hibernian Hall
182 -186 Dudley Street, Roxbury
(Easy to get to, located just off I-93, one block from Dudley T stop, lots of parking within walking distance of the venue)
SALE - $10 OFF Memorial Day Weekend Performances!
Directions to Hibernian Hall
or call 866-811-4111

THE REVIEWS - "'Much Ado' is much more than a love story"

The Boston Globe“Love, both in the first bright spark of attraction and in the slowly building glow of old flames, provides both heat and light for [ASPs] fine, fizzy production… we have the pure delight of watching Paula Plum and Richard Snee create an intricate, intelligent, and intoxicating dance between these two prickly lovers.” –Louise KennedyFULL REVIEW
The Boston Phoenix“…the swank-on-a-shoestring ASP affair, managing to wed Noël Coward–esque sparring to the slapstick…[Plum] conveys almost from the beginning the vulnerability of prickly, brainy Beatrice. And Snee manages to seem both debonair and silly — often at once.” –Carolyn ClayFULL REVIEW
EDGE Boston
“The cast do a heart-stopping job… Snee and Plum sizzle, serving volleys of wit and electricity at one another… this is "Much Ado" done right.” –Killian MelloyFULL REVIEW
The Patriot Ledger
“To watch a show presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project is to marvel at the agility of a small band of actors covering all the roles. Director Ben Evett has chosen this company from the “A list” of Boston’s theatrical community.” –Iris FangerFULL REVIEW
The Boston Herald“…this is a production of small flourishes and light joys. Evett’s production functions on a shoestring, and uses it to hilarious metatheatrical effect… it’s a lot of fun. And on a warm summer evening, what more do you need?” –Jenna SchererFULL REVIEW
or call 866-811-4111
2009/2010 Subscriptions Now Available
Early Bird Pricing!
$10 Off All Packages!
Download Subscription FormOr call Joanna at 617-776-2200 ext. 225
Actors' Shakespeare Project
Arts At The Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville MA, 02143.
(617) 776-2200
2009 Best Theater Company - The Boston Phoenix, " of the most relevant and provocative companies in the Greater Boston area."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

crack head

I just auditioned for the role of "crack head" (is that hyphenated?) in the upcoming film "The Fighter". One scene, two lines.
The irony is, if I get the part, those two lines will probably pay more than the entire run and rehearsal of "Much Ado About Nothing".
So I'm keeping my fingers crossed and my head cracked.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I don't understand... other people may read this blog, or even find it if they were looking for it. I tried doing a Google search for it, and nothing came up, which surprised me. I wonder why that is...
Perhaps it's for the best.

Much Ado

We are deep into rehearsals for "Much Ado About Nothing" with the Actors Shakespeare Project, a company I helped to found with a group of other Boston actors.
I have never been in the play before, tho I've seen it quite a number of times. Being in it is a very different experience: it's an impossibly lighthearted play. I don't mean that in a frivolous way, but in a rather profound way: it captures this innate sense of fun and joy and mischief that humans just contain in there core, somewhere. Even the dark aspects seem light (hence, I suppose, the title!)

We are doing the play in Roxbury, on the corner of Harrison and Dudley, at a space called Hiberian Hall, which is a renovated arts center building from the 50s (perhaps earlier). The space has been quite a challenge: the room tends to suck up your voice something AWFUL. The neighborhood is also a little off the beaten track and a bit rough around the edges, so there is concern about getting people to come in to see the show.

We are doing the play in the round, which has been quite a challenge.

Paula Plum and Richard Snee are playing Beatrice and Benedick. I'm playing Don Pedro, the Prince. I thought I would just have a couple of lines, but the guy actually never shuts up. Who knew?
Most of us are double cast, so we morph into different characters: Doug Lockwood plays Don John and Dogberry, which I think is a really interesting combination.

We open next week. I'll try to keep you posted on how it goes. Truthfully, I forgot that I had this blog until recently, when I was writing on another blog, and i "signed in", and up popped this "indentity". Kind of cool.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I just went to the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the ICA. Truly excellent show! See it, if you can. Obey!


I'm not sure how to use this blog yet. I had to write a few blog entries as a guest a few times, and I liked it all right. I like the idea of keeping a journal.
Not sure how personal I can get, or want to get. I don't know.

A little about me: i'm an actor, living in Boston. I teach and I write plays.
I act quite a bit around the city. It's a small city and I've been here all my life so I've managed to carve out a little place for myself.
My partner is an actor too. He's a really great actor.
People sometimes wonder if that's hard, being with another actor, but it's actually fine.
He understands my schedule in a way that a non-actor would never get. He teaches too.
We don't talk a lot about theatre when we're home. We talk about pottery.
We collect pottery. Our house is full of it. Our house is really crazy. There's no space at all. It's fun, but the first thing people ask is: "How do you dust?"

Anyway, I thought this might be a good little forum to chat outloud about things. I'm not really looking for responses (though I guess you can respond, if you want). I'm not even sure that anyone would even want to read this. But it's nice to know that it exists, and that I can go here.

Well, I guess that's my first official post. I'll be more entertaining, I swear. But in a way, I'm sick of being entertaining, which is what this might be all about, so maybe I'll just be dull. Which would be a relief. It's tiring, being entertaining all the time. And there's something phony about it. so maybe this is what this is about. or not. I'm not sure yet.
But I'm excited to have a blog.
It's kind of like having a dog, that doesn't need to be fed or walked.
I would LOVE to have a dog. But we have too much pottery.

Nighty night for now,