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Showing posts from February, 2010

Jim's Podcast on the Joey Reynold's Show.

Last night, Jim was Joey Reynold's guest again. Here is a link to a podcast of the show. The other guest is Victor Navaski, who wrote "Naming Names." The discussion revolves around the Blacklist.

Temple Grandin: On Calming Down Animals.

Jason sent me this link to a talk at Cornell by Temple Grandin.


Prof. Temple Grandin is the subject of an HBO film, an accomplished scientist, a renowned animal welfare advocate and a prominent autistic professor. But last night, in her last lecture as Cornell’s Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor, she focused on the causes and solutions to animal behavioral problems.

Staying calm: Prof. Temple Grandin gives her final lecture as Cornell’s Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor, titled “Animal Behavior and Welfare,” at Call Auditorium in Kennedy Hall yesterday. - By: Jaser FaruqOne of the best ways to alleviate behavior problems — which account for half of all cases where animals are given up or abandoned — is to keep animals calm, Grandin said.

“A calm animal is easier to handle, and when they get uncalm, it’s usually because they’re getting scared,” she said. “If you get an animal scared, it’s going to take half an hour to get it to calm down.”My brother, Scott, tells me that in…

I'm Singing Saturday Night in North Hollywood for Animal Night..

This coming Saturday night, I will be playing for Animal Night at Kulak's Woodshed. The evening begins at 8pm. No cover, but a donation is requested at the door.

Daryl Roth Theaters

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Below are some photos I took yesterday of the bank that is now a theater. Click to embiggen, as JMG would say.





I love it. Just as we are moving in to the Daryl Roth DR2 Theater, there appears this great profile about her online at Woman About Town. I particularly liked this:
Daryl says she’s attracted to stories that show people overcoming odds or who are in a position of not being believed in by others.Sounds like William's Song, to me.

Musical Healing, Ctd.: Singing Rewires Damaged Brains.

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This is from an article in the BBC News.
Singing 'rewires' damaged brain By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News, San Diego
Singing words made it easier for stroke patients to communicate Teaching stroke patients to sing "rewires" their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.By singing, patients use a different area of the brain from the area involved in speech. If a person's "speech centre" is damaged by a stroke, they can learn to use their "singing centre" instead. Researchers presented these findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego. Hey, Mel Tillis, a most famous stutterer, was a terrific singer. So, how do you do it?During the therapy sessions, patients are taught to put their words to simple melodies.Professor Schlaug said that after a single session,…

Reuniting The Family.

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Today, we were off to the new theater.

We walked one block south to 42nd street, caught the crosstown bus to Fifth Avenue and then the M2 down to Union Square.
It was so great seeing Don and Jeramy again. I took a little video, but left the camera behind when we walked around the square for the first time, which was jam-packed with people enjoying what looked like a county fair.

Painters. Craftspersons. Musicians. A farmer's market. And right there, across from all this, on the east side, are the rising pillars of a huge, majestic bank building.




We ran into Jane Klain, from the Paley Center, who told us about a woman who rescues kittens and then adopts them out. She had a booth over on the Square.
We love Jane. Then we saw the kittens. They were so tiny, all wrapped in each other's arms. And they wouldn't allow a one-cat adoption. They had to be adopted in pairs. "So they won't get lonely," said the bright-faced girl we spoke to.
Kittens.
Like crack.
We ate at a …

Danny's Memorial Toast.

Last night, Jim and took the bus and the subway down to The Monster, a big gay club with a loud bar, a piano and a disco right at the Christopher Street subway. It's been a favorite of ours anytime we've been in New York, plus, I used to work in clubs down here.

Dylan told us to be there about 7:30. We found him right near the front of the long bar, which extends way into the room. A bunch of guys were crowded among a bunch of other crowded guys, and every had a Cosmo.

That's when Jim ran into Kevin Chamberlin, who was next to us, crowded into that corner under the big hi def TV, which was showing the Olympics downhill skiing. I kept wincing, wondering if anyone has ever sailed so far out that there was no more downhill slope.

So, they talked about Surflight Summer Theater. We have this great video of Kevin as a kid doing a song and dance number at the ice cream store next to the theater. "Better money!"

They reminisced about Joe Hayes. Kevin is enjoying great career…

I Love New York.

Last night at the open mic called "Big Night Out," the girl at the door kept calling me Mr. Schalchlin. And, where normally I always tell people to just call me Steve, I thought, oh why rob her of the thrill of meeting someone famous and important. After I finished my number "Edison Diner" the hostess took me back to meet her boyfriend, dressed in black leather, who told me he loved the way I played because of the bass line on the song. He said he's a bass player and he tours with Queen.

I'm having a lovely time in New York.

"Everyone Is Talking About You!"

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That's what the great character actor, Fyvish Finkel, said to Jim when we saw him at a Barnes & Noble event where his son, our friend Ian Finkel ("the world's greatest xylophonist") was promoting his new book, "You're Not Supposed To Be Here."

And It All Starts Again.

We are so very excited. Today is the day we start the load-in on the new stage. The challenge, of course, will be to fit the old set onto the more narrow new set. But what we're really looking forward to seeing is Jim's big face right in Union Square. Pics to come!

Defending Torture.

Why does it seem like Andrew Sullivan is the only major reporter who is focusing on the criminals in our government and media who are defending torture?
I just hope he continues and never lets up.

Geek Stuff: Interacting with your environment.

I have to post this. Being a total geek who is completely useless at math, I envy anyone with the ability to create scientifically advanced ideas. Check this out. It's a work in progress device which allows you to interact with your environment in all kinds of ways.

J.D. Doyle Nominated for Lifetime Achievement Award

I am thrilled beyond measure that my friend, J.D. Doyle, a historian who has almost single-handedly, through the years, tracked and broadcasted GLBT music, has been nominated for a lifetime achievement award by Pride in the Arts.
So, I'm asking all my readers to vote for J.D. He deserves it.

Recommendation: HBO film "Temple Grandin."

Last night, we caught a movie that I can't possibly praise highly enough. It's called "Temple Grandin" and it's the compelling story of the woman (Temple Grandin) who not only learned how to overcome the difficulties of living with autism, but who has become the world's foremost expert at humane animal handling for food production. Here's the trailer for the film:


Or, in the words of a BBC documentary, "the woman who thinks like a cow."


She was even cited by PETA for her work, despite the fact that Temple helps design slaughterhouses -- and the amazing part of her work is that she not only figured out how to more humanely treat animals, but demonstrated that by using these techniques, the ranchers can cut costs.
Back when she was young, doctors thought autism was the result of "cold mother syndrome." But Temple's mother rejected this diagnosis and helped her daughter learn, go to school and eventually become a Ph.D. in animal husbandr…

Sean Chapin's Report of the SFGMC Freedom Tour

Fantastic reading at Daily Kos about my friend, Sean Chapin's report about the California Freedom Tour.
He goes out of his way to mention "William's Song." Thanks Sean.
The Steve Schalchlin penned "William's Song", a true story about a mother who stood up for her gay son at his school in Arkansas, got the crowd responding in a triumphant roar. As the song goes, "William was a boy in Arkansas [who was] a little bit different," and this resulted in him being harassed by school bullies. His mother, Carolyn Wagner, wasn’t going to let this happen without a fight, so she promptly confronted the school. When the man in charge accused William of "walking so funny, she said ‘that’s gonna cost you money’", the chorus sang to the delight of the crowd. She sued the board and won, putting the school to shame. Indeed, "tell me why does it take five great big guys to beat up one little queer," and Schalchlin was on the money with an a…

Posting Intermittent.

For those of you following this diary, we are in the process of moving to new digs.
It's also snowing outside. Very. Lots of.
So, I won't be posting as much.
If you didn't read it before, put June 23, Wednesday, on your calendar.

Jim Does Shaw Again.

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Jim will be once again appearing in Project Shaw on February 15. The play is The Philanderer. It's part of a series where they do a staged reading of a different Shaw play a month at The Players.

Monday, February 15
7pm @THE PLAYERS

THE PHILANDERER
A topical comedy in four acts of the early Eighteen-Nineties
Written by George Bernard Shaw in 1893
ACT I: Mr. Joseph Cuthbertson’s Flat in Ashley Gardens.

ACTS II & III: The Library of the Ibsen Club in Cork Street.

ACT IV: Dr. Paramore’s Rooms in Savile Row.

Period: During the first vogue of Ibsen in London, after 1889.

THE PHILANDERER CAST:
Leonard Charteris - Mr. Chad Kimball
Mrs. Grace Tranfield – Ms. Julia Murney
Julia Craven – Ms. Cassie Beck
Colonel Daniel Craven, V.C. - Mr. Paxton Whitehead
Joseph Cuthbertson – Mr. Jim Brochu
Sylvia Craven – Ms. Emily Young
Dr. Paramore – Mr. Robert Stanton
Narrator – Mr. David Rooney

@THE PLAYERS
16 Gramercy Park South
(20th Street east of Park Av)
Produced and directed by David Staller.

The "Don't Ask" Hypocrisy Exposed.

From Frank Rich's column on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":

The arguments for preserving “don’t ask” have long been blatantly groundless. McCain — who said in 2006 that he would favor repealing the law if military leaders ever did — didn’t even bother to offer a logical explanation for his mortifying flip-flop last week. He instead huffed that the 1993 “don’t ask” law should remain unchanged as long as any war is going on (which would be in perpetuity, given Afghanistan). Colin Powell strafed him just hours later, when he announced that changed “attitudes and circumstances” over the past 17 years have led him to agree with Mullen. McCain is even out of step with his own family’s values. Both his wife, Cindy, and his daughter Meghan have posed for the current California ad campaign explicitly labeling opposition to same-sex marriage as hate.

McCain aside, the most common last-ditch argument for preserving “don’t ask” heard last week, largely from Southern senators, is to p…

Jim interviewed in his dressing room for Broadway After Dark.

William's Song and The End of a Book.

I am preparing a blog entry about Sunday, the last day of Zero Hour at St. Clement's, but so much happened on that day, I haven't quite grasped it all. I don't know where to start the story. But I'm working on it.
We're also taking a big fat rest. I haven't let him out of the bed for two days unless absolutely necessary.
Zero Hour starts back up again in late February. He has a couple of weeks to just lie there with his cat and his laptop and his game shows, and not go up and down steps. God bless St. Clement's, but there are a lot of steps there. And there are a lot of steps going down into subways, apartments, etc.
Speaking of St. Clement's, I feel connected to the place, and to the people there. Zero Hour might be moving to a different venue, but Dan and Kevin will remain connected to the show, which means St. Clement's. And, in case you want to know, the Sunday morning concert of New World Waking as a "musical sermon" was terrific. We a…

Show Business Weekly mentions Zero Hour transfer.

Link.
INSIDE INKBy John Rowell
‘ZERO’ IS A TENIt’s nice, in these uncertain economic times, to report on a surprise hit. The acclaimed new play Zero Hour, about the life of theater legend Zero Mostel, has been successful enough to rate a transfer to the off-Broadway house DR2, with performances beginning Feb. 24. The great stage and screen star of “Forum,” “Fiddler,” “Rhinoceros” and “The Producers” is brought to life in all his complicated and volcanic glory by actor Jim Brochu, under the direction of three-time Oscar nominee Piper Laurie. If you missed it the first go round, here’s your chance. Check out www.ZeroHourShow.com.

Gay Chorus Brings Message to Conservative Cities.

Wonderful article about the Freedom Tour being organized and performed by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.
Looking for answersRednecks in those towns can sneer - singers said they experienced a few catcalls - but the 90 unapologetic gay men, many sporting wedding rings, came to town asking tough questions. They performed "William's Song," the true story of a high school boy who was beat up because of his sexuality. And when they sing the chorus - "Why does it take five great big guys to beat up one little queer?" - they expect some answers. This weekend, they proved harder to ignore than the local cowboys may have expected. There were several conservative Christians in the audience. They said they were there supporting a friend or family member, but I defy them to say they weren't moved. "William's Song" is, of course, the song I wrote about Carolyn Wagner and her son, Bill. For readers of this blog, Carolyn is very ill right now. So, pr…