Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy


JULIAN PO at NYMF

Congratulations to Andrew Barrett, one of my TALFs (Theatre Artists I Love to Follow) and his writing partner, the composer Ira Antelis, whose musical JULIAN PO has been chosen for the New York Musical Theatre Festival’s 2013 Next Link Project. This project is NYMF’s primary writer service program. Titles will be seen at the tenth annual New York Musical Theatre Festival, which will run July 8-28 in New York City.

The Next Link Project, according to NYMF, “empowers emerging musical theatre writing teams as both artists and entrepreneurs by providing the training and relationships needed to help them move their musicals from readings to fully-realized productions and to advance their careers by maximizing the exposure they receive in the Festival. Ten of the Festival’s full production slots are reserved for participants in The Next Link Project.”

Participants attend a special weekend-long symposium, featuring seminars on fundraising, marketing, industry outreach and self-producing, led by industry professionals. The writing teams are introduced to potential collaborators, supporters and producers, and receive dramaturgical support from professional literary managers and dramaturgs. Finally, each Next Link show receives financial support in the form of a $5,000 subsidy toward its production in the Festival.

Julian Po
Book and Lyrics by Andrew Barrett
Music by Ira Antelis
Based on the book “La mort de monsieur Golouja” by Branimir Šćepanović
and the screenplay “Julian Po” by Alan Wade
“Julian Po is determined to end his life at sea, but he finds himself stuck in the smallest, strangest town in Middle America. While waiting for a connecting train, Julian makes friendships that start to sway him from his mission, with repercussions no one anticipated. This darkly comic tale is led by four modern-day muses and set to the quintessentially American sounds of pop, rock and bluegrass.”



Andrew Barrett Still Loves SMASH

Thanks again to Andrew Barrett (my TALF) for weighing in on SMASH. Check out his blog at: http://barrettny.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/five-new-reasons-why-i-love-nbcs-smash/

Five New Reasons Why I Love NBC’s “Smash”

Ratings are up, story lines continue to intrigue and hopes are high.  So without further adieu, five new reasons why I love NBC’s “Smash.”

1.  Art vs. Commerce. Not since David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow” has the debate between the dream of the artist vs. the dream of the producer been so honestly depicted.  Many haters have blogged and posted and tweeted how inauthentic “Smash” is (i.e. Season One featured Ivy running through Times Square in her “Heaven on Earth” costume).  The rules and regulations of costume wearing off-stage are not the thing of great drama.  A serious conflict between art and money is great drama.  Based on my own experiences sitting in more than one producer meeting, I was thrilled by the accuracy of the arguments, tensions, and solutions centered on this dramatic conceit.  And it made for great drama Tuesday night.

2.  Urban Cowboy.  Veanne Cox delivers one of the best inside joke one-liners I have ever heard…ever!  And because it’s Veanne Cox, it’s delivered perfectly.  If you haven’t seen this week’s episode of “Smash,” I won’t spoil it.  But for theater folks in the know, I am 100% sure there was a collective gasp followed by a well-deserved guffaw.

3.  Jerry Rand.  To be honest, I don’t know where this storyline is going.  Case in point, if he is in it to ruin “Bombshell,” he’s doing a terrible job since his fight to make it “commercial” is making at least one of the creators happy.  (And by episodes conclusion it would appear both writers are happy).   Still, Michael Cristofer makes for a potentially great villain.  I’m waiting for the J.R. Ewing or Alexis Carrington or even Angela Channing moment of pure evil, and I hope it is as enjoyable as Hagman, Collins and Wyman made their moments.

Come on “Smash.”  You can do it!  You almost had it when Jerry threatened Karen, but here’s hoping that evil will be unleashed on Eileen instead.  With her, you can be guaranteed a martini in the face!

4.  Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boehme” on Broadway. If you’re gonna go fringe, find symbolism from the guy who was totally fringe but succeeded commercially…Baz Luhrmann.  In a nod to his artistically stunning Broadway version of “La Boehme,” “Hit List” borrowed their basement theater set design (see the back wall) from the noir-romantic design from the 2002 Broadway production.

5.  Saturday nights.  Guess what everyone…the show is starting to improve in the ratings.  It’s true.  Here is a encouraging quote from their press release (Go Bob Greenblatt!): “”Smash” is currently building on this week’s lead-in by 29% or 0.2 of a point.  Note that “Smash” continues to add an exceptional amount of viewership via time-shifting…”  So rather than cancel the show outright, NBC is wisely placing the show on Saturday nights.  This will capitalize on the larger number of time-shift viewing they know they are getting.  This is a very smart move inspired by the commercial realities of TV.

And there ya have it.  My five new reasons for loving “Smash.”  What are your reasons for loving the show?  (Besides the too infrequent cameos of Ann Harada!)



Edward Albee at 85

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Happy Birthday to Edward Albee!

Here are some great quotes from his plays and interviews.

“If you have no wounds, how can you know if you’re alive?” — The Play About the Baby

“Sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.” — The Zoo Story

“A play is fiction — and fiction is fact distilled into truth.” — In The New York Times, September 18, 1966

“I survive almost any onslaught with a shrug, which must appear as arrogance, but really isn’t because I’m not an arrogant person. When you write a play, you make a set of assumptions — that you have something to say, that you know how to say it, that it’s worth saying, and that maybe someone will come along for the ride. That’s all. And then you go about your business, assuming you’d be the first to know if your talent has collapsed.” — As quoted in Conversations with Edward Albee, 1988 by Philip C. Kolin

“I have been both overpraised and underpraised. I assume by the time I finish writing — and I plan to go on writing until I’m 90 or gaga — it will all equal itself out… You can’t involve yourself with the vicissitudes of fashion or critical response. I’m fairly confident that my work is going to be around for a while. I am pleased and reassured by the fact that a lot of younger playwrights seem to pay me some attention and gain some nourishment from what I do.” — As quoted in Conversations with Edward Albee by Philip C. Kolin, 1988

“The gods too are fond of a joke.” — Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

“What I mean by an educated taste is someone who has the same tastes that I have.”

“Try to get into your own mind a little bit. Figure out what it is you want to do with your life, what you really want to do, who you really are. Don’t waste your life doing something that you’re going to end up being bored with, or feel was futile or a waste of time. It’s your life, live it as fully and as usefully as you possibly can. “Useful” being the most important thing there. Life must be lived usefully, not selfishly. And a usefully lived life is probably going to be, ultimately, more satisfying.” — In an interview with the Academy of Achievement, 2005

Read more quotes at http://flavorwire.com/376889/30-of-edward-albees-greatest-lines