Showing posts from November, 2012

So, I was just walking down the street...

And saw a video camera set up with a sign in front that said, "Tell Us A Story." So, I told my story. Turns out it was for a film class project. I think they liked my story.

TELL US A STORY from carolina cimenti on Vimeo.

Shining Eyes.

This video from the TED Talks brought tears to my eyes. The simplicity of how this great musician and conductor, Benjamin Zander, reminded me why I write and play and sing. I want you to watch it.

I found it on a blog of a music teacher named James L. Smith, which I found because I was searching for Beethoven's string quartet, Opus 132, third movement, which I was searching for on recommendation from my musical mentor and friend, Mark Janus -- which came from because he had just critiqued the "Agnus Dei" I have composed for my Mass.

He said, "Beethoven wrote this after a long illness and it was his celebration of being alive." And the reason we know this is because Beethoven wrote this fact into the title of this piece. Mark continued, "It's like the music you wrote for The Last Session. It just came directly from his heart. And it's written in Lydian mode."

Beethoven was also completely deaf when he wrote it. As I researched it, just looking …

The Big Voice: God or Merman?

What? You didn't get to see The Big Voice when it was running in New York? Now you can. Here it is.

Shubert Alley Nov. 15, 2012

And then you come to Guy Fieri's restaurant, which just received the all-time worst review in the history of the NY Times.

And a new Jekyll & Hyde Restaurant opening soon.

Times Square Photo Series: A Hidden Treasure Mysteriously Appears.

Look! Jim shaved his beard. And he's lost a lot of weight, which he very proudly shows off to everyone.

So, we were standing in Times Square, looking around, when we suddenly spied this stripped down building, which normally has been covered with huge billboards:

Jim said, "Look at those statues. Have I ever seen those before? I don't remember them." I crossed the street to examine it more closely. Clearly, someone, in renovating this building, has revealed a facade that's been hidden away for a very long time. My first thought was that the statues were generic statues of the type you might find in someone's back yard by the fountain.

But then I saw the inscription chiseled across the top. The show folks shoe shop? Really?

Then I zoomed in on the first statue.

Barrymore as Ophelia. Ethel Barrymore?

Mary Pickford as Little Lord Fauntleroy?? How old is this building?

And... who?

Rosa Ponselle? Even I don't remember that name. (She was an opera singer.) I q…

Times Square Photo Series: Peace and Quiet

Today, after doing soup at the Polish Tea Room, we were walking through Times Square. Now that it they've widened it into a plaza, there is more room to do public exhibitions. For instance, the other night, Microsoft filled the entire place with computer work stations for Windows 8.

Today, I spied this little hut.

Edwin Booth's 179th Birthday Celebration at The Players

Edwin Booth was the most famous, respected and celebrated actor of the 19th century. The Players Club was his mansion on Gramercy Park, which he donated as long as he could live on the upper floor. His apartment is still there, exactly as he left it. There's even a skull someone donated to him for his performances of Hamlet, which was his most famous portrayal.

The Master of Ceremonies was David Staller, who produces the fantastic Shaw Project there at the Players. Jim and I were sitting with Keith Merrill, who produces a wonderful Noel Coward themed series of play readings. There were several speakers who told the story of Booth. Particularly, the shame he felt after his brother, John Wilkes, did that thing that he did at Ford's Theater.

Tom Vinciguerra read a story about how Edwin Booth had, unknowingly a few years earlier, saved the life of Abe's son, Tom, when he almost fell off a train. "A Booth Saves A Lincoln." Then, John Martello read Edwin's Letter …

The Kidney Stone Mystery Solved?


After many tests, some of which are too gross to get into, we have results.

My kidney stones seem to be coming from an accumulation of uric acid. In some people, this can become gout. In me, it apparently creates kidney stones.

At least, that's our presumption.

In plain talk, it means that my diabetic diet, the meat proteins I'm eating -- chicken, fish, meat -- are creating a great deal of uric acid. So, the prescription is to cut down on "meats" to one meal a day, in smaller portions, and up the plant protein quotient, and add in some whole wheat carbs to make up for the lost calories.

(I can just hear my vegetarian friends and readers wagging their fingers and saying, "I told you so.")

So... good plant proteins. I need some new recipes.

Clips from Jim Brochu's Character Man

Post Sandy: 3 am gas line 10th Ave Manhattan.

Facing south. Running right to left is 42nd street. Up and down is 10th avenue. The Yotel is on the left with all the purple. World Trade Center, up center. The line is to the Hess station on 45th. Yesterday, they announced gas was now being rationed.

Giving Thanks: The Untold Story of 'Shades of Blue'.

My brothers and various family members have been posting 30 Days of Thanks. I don’t think I want to do that, necessarily. Not that I can’t think of 30 things to give thanks for. I just hate the pressure. And, if I mention people, will other people feel left out?

So, what I would like to do is say I’m thankful for my crazy family. They are long-suffering. Also, my friends, both IRL and cyberly, and to the Bonus Round readers.

But my first thanks has to go to Jimmy for keeping me alive. And how he accomplished this task can really be tracked back to before The Last Session. There were a number of months -- I don’t know how many -- that led to the moment I wrote “Connected,” which set it all off.


I had been sick/bed-ridden for a year or two. But then, I had started to play music again. I could finally sit up at the piano, after what seemed like forever, lying in bed or on the couch, too weak to do anything but stare into space or be onl…

I think things like this.


New York in the Aftermath of Sandy.

Down below us, there is a gas line -- mostly taxis trying to get fuel -- that has been there for a week. The line goes from 45th street down 10th avenue to below 14th. It feels like this is the only open gas station in Manhattan. But they wait. Patiently, until someone tries to cut in line, either inadvertently or accidentally. And even then, it doesn't take long for the interloper to be thown back 30 blocks to the end of the line.

Mark has been in the dark for a week. I kept leaving messages and he finally called, once he found a place with wireless. Andy's lights got turned on yesterday.

I can't go to church this morning because there's no easy public transportation -- if there's much as at all -- from Brooklyn back into Manhattan because those subway lines aren't working and it looks like the lines for the buses are long, long, long.

Mostly, Jim and I -- thankful that we have power -- have stayed close to home. There's a collection box in our lobby for …

Pre-Mix of Two Songs from The Last Session.

JAY Records has released this monitor mix of "Going It Alone" from London's The Last Session. AJ Dean with Darren Day. Thomas Turner on piano.

And also "When You Care" with Darren Day, AJ Dean, Simone Craddock and Lucy Vandi (with a touch of Ron Emslie at the end).

These are just pre-mixes so that you can get an idea of how great these singers are. The final mixes will be ready in the Spring.

Vote to nominate The Last Session...

...for Best Off-West End production. Follow this link and then, on the drop down menu, The Last Session is not in alphabetical order, but toward the bottom of the list.

Scenes Post-Sandy: New Yorkers are Nice.

“Everyone is being so nice,” she said as she looked at the prices on the salad bar. “These aren’t bad at all!”

“No,” I agreed. “This is where we come for chicken salad.” Instead of the bodega across the street.

She told me she had heard there was an open grocery store on 57th street and she had been taking the now-working M11 up until someone told her about this store on 42nd.

She was from below 34th street on the West Side. Probably Chelsea. Her neighborhood has no power, so all the shops are closed.

Many of the shelves here were bare of certain staples. Fewer meats. And there were no chicken breasts at the little meat market across the street. Only legs and wings.

She said, “I’ll get stuff here and then take the M11 back.”

I told her she could get that on the 9th avenue corner.

Like the others, I got a few things and then stood in the long line. No one was griping. No one was hoarding.

The car horns are honking constantly. The traffic on 10th avenue is a nightmare.