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Showing posts from September, 2006

Four Busy, Exciting Days

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Oh, man. I've been so busy over the past few days, I've only now had the chance to slow down and see if I can do a recap. As I mentioned earlier, we were in New York City for three days for both business meetings and for trying to catch up with old friends. The business meetings were very productive. As soon as any news (about any of our works) is official, you will read about it first here.

After a long Monday, we went to the Birdland to catch Jim Caruso's Cast Party, which is always a great place to hear a combination of up and coming talent, as well as established artists. He runs the best open mic in NY.

We were staying down in Chelsea on a couch supplied by Linda and Rob. It was actually quite comfy cuz Jim and I got to snuggle a lot. Early morning, Linda and I went running along the river, along some new jogging paths being built on the westside. It was beautiful -- and, of course, I forgot to grab my camera since I was focused on getting my required exercise. (Doctor…

Zero Hour Receives 3 Ovation Nominations

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We are currently in New York City for a few days having business meetings. Yesterday, we were in our agent's office and, since it was the day that the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards were out, we were on pins and needles to see if "Zero Hour" would get nominated.

Jim borrowed their computer and called up the website and saw a link to the 2006 nominations. He clicked on the link, which brought up a pdf file. Then he looked over at me and said, "I can't look! You have to do it. I'm too nervous!"

So he got up from the chair and I went over and began scrolling down. First up: Best World Premiere Play. I didn't see it, so I kept scrolling. And there it was! His first nomination! And then it hit me. They list them in alphabetical order. So, Zero Hour is going to be last, no matter what.

Next up: Best Play, Intimate Theatre. Now, since he had already been nominated for Best World Premiere Play, we weren't expecting it to be there. But, wrong! There it w…

Zero Hour in Norwich

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Above is the set for "Zero Hour" in Norwich. The theatre is built into an old firehouse, so there is this fantastic brick wall already there, which is exactly right for Zero's studio. Also, if you look closely, you can see the fire pole the fire fighters used to slide down. Brett did a great job of dressing the set.

I shot this moody pic of Jim as he was rehearsing:



They had a nice little spread of food laid out for the people who came. Jim did this as a special benefit fundraiser for the theatre. I'm standing with our lighting designer, the brilliant Glen.


Offstage, I took a few shots of Jim performing:


His final pose, "I'm gonna live FOREVER!!":


During his bows, he introduced one of the people he references in "Zero Hour," the great Madeline Lee, wife of actor Jack Gilford. Madeline was blacklisted during the 50s, named by Jerry Robbins to the committee.


Two old friends from Houston were there. They have moved into the area. Gary and Gary who too…

Some Random Photos from Norwich

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By the end of the second week of our run here in Norwich, we were selling out the house. It's really funny, but this past Thursday was GLBT night. We had a large group of high school kids from a local Gay Straight Alliance, so the crowd was on the young side. They were also kind of quiet in terms of audience response. So, since Jim and I use a lot of celebrity references of people from back before most of them were even alive, we thought the show was going right over their heads. But not so. Meeting them afterwards, they absolutely LOVED Big Voice. It was just one of those nights where people were taking our message very seriously.

This next Friday we're going to make a few personal appearances around. On Friday, we are going to visit this school. They said that at their last GSA meeting, they had upwards of 70 kids! GSA's are a mixture of straight, gay and lesbian kids who meet to give support to one another. It's a great program and I look forward to making a present…

Jay Johnson & Lamb Chop

Now that Jay Johnson's show "The Two & Only" is opening on Broadway soon, I thought I'd repost this hilarious story I caught from him last year when he was in Los Angeles. It involves McLean Stephenson from MASH and Shari Lewis' puppet Lamb Chop.



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Mohegan Sun

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One of the little outings we took with Brett, the artistic director here at the Spirit of Broadway Theatre, was to the Mohegan Sun Casino right near Norwich. I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful, a more stunning casino in my life. And I've seen quite a few, having worked in them at one point in my life. The entire building is a work of art, beginning with the hotel itself as seen from a distance.


And no, that's not an optical illusion that the top of the hotel bends outward. In person, it almost looks like an animated backdrop set against the horizon. There are two massive sections of the casino itself. Casino of the Earth and Casino of the Sun. It boasts the world's largest planetarium, which arches over this brilliantly lit glass cliff. (It was too dark at the time we were there for my camera, unfortunately). In fact, the entire section of the Casino of the Earth was a bit dark for picture-taking. However, in person, it's stunning.


As we walked to the …
Dr. Paul Cameron, who is frequently quoted by conservative religious groups, is a "researcher" who cites amazingly stupid things about gay people. Still, even though he has been completely discredited by every professional organization and even a lot of the so-called "exgay" groups, he still manages to get quoted because he says exactly what the gayhaters want to hear.

So, this past week, when he was featured in a spot on The Daily Show, it provided a brilliant insight into how these homophobes not only hurt legitimate Christian ministries, but their ideas make the world more dangerous since they are the ones behind the recent expulsion of gay Arabic translators from the military.

Watch this. It is hysterically funny, but it's also sad. This is the state of American conservative Christianity today.

Steve & Jim Go To Mystic & New York

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On our days off, we tooled around the area taking a few pictures. First we went to Mystic Connecticut just down the road. We weren't quite sure where to go, but we did have a map.

Here's the downtown area:


Mystic Pizza!


Mystic Connecticut. A small pier overlooking the river.


Sailboats at Mystic seaport:


On Tuesday, we drove into New York.

Inside the Actor's Temple, a Jewish synagogue near Times Square:




Outside the stage door of the Imperial Theatre where Zero Mostel once played.


On the street, we ran right into our original stage manager from L.A., Jeramy Peay. How adorable is he? He's even cuter now than he was when we met three years ago. Somebody hire this boy! He's a really good actor!!


That afternoon, we went to what they call a "gypsy runthrough" of Jay Johnson's "The Two & Only." Jay was terrific. That night he was on David Letterman.


Here's another view of the marquee.


Later, we had dinner with friends at Sardi's. While we were sitt…

God Did Make Adam & Steve.

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Adam Berger & Stephen Frank

I was just breezing through the NY Times this morning and saw a picture of a couple of guys in suits listed under the "weddings" caption on the front page. Curious, I clicked on the link and read one of the loveliest love stories I've seen in a long time. I think what set it off was how sweetly undramatic it was. These two guys were suitemates in college who dated girls (as boys are supposedly supposed to do), but became best friends and were so close, their friends began calling them an "old married couple." Still, they hadn't really acknowledged their true feelings for each other.

Then, life happened, they separated for awhile, but maintained contact. Then they found themselves back in NYC together again in 1996. The story continues...
One day in August 1996, Mr. Berger asked Mr. Frank to meet him for lunch. Mr. Frank had taken one bite of a burrito when Mr. Berger blurted out the news that he was gay. Mr. Frank said he was co…

Gala Night in Norwich

When we got to the theatre Saturday night, we had the camera all ready to go. So I picked it up to bring it out to the lobby where the volunteers had prepared this gorgeous and elegant buffet dinner for the black tie gala opening, turned on the camera and read, "NO MEMORY CARD."

Since our hotel is 20 minutes away, it was too late to drive there and back, so I feel awful that I don't have pictures of the beautiful opening night crowd. Brett looked so dashing in his white tie and tails. The women were dressed in gowns and sparklies. It was truly a "do," as they say. And the buffet was all southern food. Chicken gumbo with shrimp, some kind of pork dish, sweet potatoes, rice, etc. Beautiful. Delicious.

Backstage, they had set out a special table for Jimmy and me with Champagne, assorted teas, shrimp, etc. We don't drink or eat before a show, so all we did was sample tiny tastes, but still, these folks are really thoughtful.

Before the show, Mark the Board Chair g…

Time For India To Grow Up

It's hard enough to lead a life of integrity when you're a gay person in a homophobic society where you don't know who's going to turn on you or cast you out. But when it's also illegal to be gay, it's almost impossible. Every moment of your life is spent in hiding or in fear that you'll either end up in jail or threatened or blackmailed. Time for civilized societies to grow up.

From the NY Times this morning:

Notables Urge India to End 145-Year Ban on Gay Sex
By SOMINI SENGUPTA

NEW DELHI, Sept. 15 — A British-era relic is facing a new challenge in India, as a growing citizens’ movement rallies against a 145-year-old law still embedded in the Indian penal code that bans gay sex.

On Saturday an open letter to the government will be officially unveiled, calling for the repeal of what is known by its official moniker, Section 377, which makes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with man, woman or animal” punishable by 10 years in prison.

The letter is si…

Beautiful Spirit of Broadway

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It was about three years ago when we performed Big Voice at the elegant Spirit of Broadway Theatre in Norwich, Connecticut. That night, in the words of Brett, the artistic director, was an exciting triumphant night. Not only was it packed, but the response from the crowd was explosive and thrilling. So, when he asked us back for a three-week run, we were very excited.

The Spirit of Broadway is a gorgeous little jewelbox located in the historic downtown area of Norwich. It's right across from the city hall, which is stunningly beautiful. It looks like something Disney might try to copy as the perfect small-town city hall. It gleams gold from its spire where there's a shining clock.

My online time is somewhat limited here, so these entries will be a bit brief, but I thought for this first entry, I would just show you a few pictures so you can see where we are.

Karen.

My favorite thing of all is an old piano they have in the entrance to the lobby. Karen, who is a volunteer -- who we …