Monday, May 31, 2010

R.I.P. Larry French.

Our friend, Larry French, has died.

The truth is that I didn't know Larry French, personally, all that well because we didn't see each other all that often. But he was family because his wife, Jeanne, and Jimmy have been friends for 40 years. So, when we greeted each other, it was always with open affection and howyabeens.

Both Jeanne and Larry are singer/actors, and have worked, professionally, for years, both with Broadway credits. We were with them just last week, sharing a cab ride home from the theater. And only a couple of weeks before that, we were sharing the stage of the Minskoff Theater singing "The Bonnet" for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Larry and Jeanne had also agreed to perform in New World Waking.

So, Jim comes home Friday night. I'm asleep on the couch. He wakes me up to go to the bedroom. By then, I'm awake again, so he says, "I didn't want to tell you this. I was going to wait until in the morning, but Larry French just died."

Died in his sleep, we discovered later, when Jeanne posted a notice on his Facebook page.

Larry was really one of the nicest human beings you'd ever want to meet. He wasn't even 60. I think someone said 58.

For a couple of days, we weren't sure what to do. Finally, I wrote Jeanne and asked if I could dedicate this New York debut of "New World Waking!" in his memory, and I was so grateful when she enthusiastically said yes. So, June 20th is for you, dear Larry.

The heartbreaking news also made me realize that, God forbid, if something happened to one of us, even though we've actually been through the whole deathbed scene a few times, I don't know what I'd do. I think I'd just want everything and everyone to just stop.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

ZERO HOUR moves to Actor's Temple.

Well, the news is out. On the heels of winning the Drama Desk Award, and concluding the run at the DR2 Theater in Union Square, Zero Hour is now moving to the Actor's Temple on 47th street, which is where we performed The Big Voice. So, it kinda feels like coming home because we opened that theater.

It's exciting that Zero is still running here in New York. This past week, Terence McNally, Tom Kirdahy and Andrea Marcovicci were visitors.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Oh, and yes it's our 25th Anniversary.

You know, Jim and I don't take anniversaries and birthdays very seriously in terms of celebrations or parties or anything. This past week, we were so excited about his Drama Desk and having our little party for Charlotte, who has survived a recent cancer scare, that when Jim mentioned, in his thank yous for the award that it was our 25th anniversary, it kind of just slipped by.

The truth is that we value every single day, and though it's nice to have a marker to remind us how many years we've survived each other -- er, I mean -- survived together, an anniversary is no more exciting than any other day.

We have a joyous and happy life. We've been through hell and back. But we survive. And we absolutely enjoy each other every single day.

And that's the best kind of celebration of all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Party For Charlotte.

Charlotte Rae has been a friend of ours for a long time, now. But she's also one of Jimmy's biggest fans, having fallen in love with Zero Hour. So, when we heard she'd be in town near her birthday, we invited her to come over, invite a few friends and family, and we'd just have an informal little birthday party.

I think at least 50 people circulated through the tiny one-bedroom before the night was out. I was running around getting ice, heating up food, and trying to keep everyone well fed and happy. I don't think I met half the people who came, but oh, my. These are my two favorite photos of the night.

The first one was before everyone else arrived. Jeramiah and Dick Bell made it early. So, we posed for a "if this was a night club act" shot.

Then, at one point in the evening, I took a break from the kitchen and wandered to the little balcony to get some fresh air. There was this cute, skinny guy standing there. So, we started talking about stuff. Then Jim leaned over, from where he was talking to Bobby Steggert, who has taken New York by storm this year with twin award-nomination in Broadway's RAGTIME and Off-Broadway's (soon to be Broadway's) YANK!, about gay soldiers in World War 2, and said, "Hey, your show debuted in New York at the same that our show, "The Last Session," debuted.

That's when I realized I was talking to John Cameron Mitchell of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." I have ALWAYS wanted to meet him!! And there I was just shooting the breeze. Of course, knowing who he was, I started stumbling all over myself. Anyway, as they were leaving, we took this one last photo. I'll cherish it always.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Review from Theater News Online.

From Jessica Branch:

Brochu’s depiction of Mostel is truly remarkable, and the passion evident in both his writing and his performance are compelling – and funny – enough to be a fitting tribute to the larger-than-life Zero.

Monday, May 24, 2010

What Jim Said about Mitzi Gaynor...

When Jim won the award, he said something very naughty concerning Mitzi Gaynor. Watch SNL's Ana Gasteyer double over laughing. Jim's joke brought down the house.

Jim Wins NY Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Solo Performance.

Photos by Joel Markowitz.

More later.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Gorilla Reunion Video

Jim told me about this, but I wasn't prepared for how emotional I got watching it. He raised this gorilla when it was a baby, then released it into the wild. 10 years later, he goes calling for it, and the instant recognition, along with the gorilla holding him, not wanting him to go away, just killed me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Music Uploaded.

I know I haven't been blogging much, but that's because I've been concentrating on writing out the new score and script for the New York debut of New World Waking, set for June 20.

Today I finished "War By Default." I also created and uploaded an mp3 of the sheet music so that anyone who wants to learn the song can sing along to it.

Download page.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Singing at MCCNY Sunday Morning 11am

I just got a last minute booking to sing at MCC-NY on W. 36th St. at the 11am service. See you there today!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Great Leaders Inspire: It's the Why, not the What.

NWW Update: Gabi's Song.

There will be a big announcement this week regarding a theater and performance festival here in New York and we're going to throw together what I'm calling an "open source" performance of New World Waking.

To that end, I've been collecting and revising all the sheet music, uploading it to Google Docs, making it public, and then sharing it with whoever, that means you, reader, wants to join us that night.

The reason I've been revising them is that most of them are in male chorus arrangements, which makes sense since the first time I scored most of them was in tandem with Kathleen McGuire for the SF Gay Men's Chorus.

However, I've now started making newer, more stripped down arrangements. I finished the first one last night for Gabi's Song. You can get it here. I've included the sketch of an arrangement on the melody line, but with the lyrics on top. I also corrected the piano. It's not exactly how I play it, but it's close.

I've also updated the NWW website, including the graphics and "The Making Of" page.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Flyering in New York.

Yesterday, after the really bad week we had with the disaster of TDF deleting us from their computers, I decided to take matters into my own hands and hand out half-price flyers among the thousands of people in Union Square.

There's a big farmer's market, and artists showing their paintings and sculptures, and people reading and sitting on benches. It's really a remarkable place.

So, for an hour, I went around like a carnival barker, "Zero Mostel in Union Square! Half price tickets!"

Within 15 minutes, a girl in a very official looking t-shirt approached me and said I couldn't do this in the farmer's market area, but that I could go across the street to the sidewalk. She was very nice, but it put me out of the mainstream of most of the people.

So, I crossed to the other side of the park, just across the street from our building, and tried there.


This is hard work. For the next 45 minutes I stood there trying to cajole tourists and New Yorkers to take flyers and it was an almost impossible task. Let's face it. They're used to avoiding strangers with flyers.

Finally, my back hurting like hell, with the clock running down to the opening hour, I stopped, got some food from a vendor and went in and fell asleep in the dressing room.

Jim wasn't feeling so hot, so I got him some hot soup and a sandwich, and then made my way back to Times Square.

I tried again to hand out flyers, but this time, I was competing with people dressed in crazy uniforms, sandwich boards, groups of religious nuts trying to convince everyone they were going to hell if they didn't change the sabbath back to Saturday, people wrapped from head to toe in tape (!), a bachelor party where the groom had a "Kick me" sign on his back, and... well, nobody wanted my flyers there, either.

The wind was blowing so hard, it kept throwing dust and gravel into my eyes. So, finally, after about 45 minutes, I gave up, got some groceries and went back the apartment, laid down on the couch and fell promptly asleep.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

May 8 is the anniversary of Bill Clayton's death.

Bill Clayton's tragic death led to his mother becoming an advocate for safe schools and advocacy for families who are victims of violence. And it led to the creation of New World Waking when her story caught the eye of George Michael.

Mystery Solved!

Now we know why Zero Hour's box office suddenly took a dive this past week. Through a communications screw-up we had been listed as "closed" by TDF -- or, rather, we were taken off their computers because they didn't get the message that we were still open.

Small shows like ours, with tiny budgets in a huge city, where a simple listing in the NY Timespaid listings costs $500 a day, depend on free media, and on groups like TDF, to remind theatergoers that we are still open.

It boggles my mind that this show, which is nominated by the NY Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel Award, etc. still cannot get a free listing amongst the other shows in the Village Voice Off-Broadway listings, or the NY Times free theater listings.

What do we have to do? Sacrifice sheep in Times Square?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Help Keep Zero Hour Open.

Even with all these award nominations, our producers do not have the money to market the show. And I see we're not listed in the Village Voice or the NY Times free listings.

How can people find us if they think we've already closed?

We need everyone to spread the word that we'll offer half price discounts, and do anything to keep Zero Hour running.

Nomination for Outstanding Solo Show - ITBA

The Independent Theater Bloggers Award

Outstanding Solo Show (All Venues)

A Boy And His Soul

Zero Hour

Monday, May 03, 2010

Drama Desk Nomination. Outstanding Solo Performance.

Outstanding Solo Performance:

Theodore Bikel, Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears
Jim Brochu, Zero Hour
Colman Domingo, A Boy and his Soul
Carrie Fisher,
Wishful Drinking
Judith Ivey, The Lady With All the Answers
Anna Deavere Smith, Let Me Down Easy