It isn’t quite March but I’m already thinking about May. Not because it will undoubtedly be warmer, but because things will be heating up at Hollywood’s Theatre of Note. “Hot Cat,” Theatre Movement Bazaar’s new adaptation of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” opens there for a four-week run on May 3. And if it’s half as good as TMB’s brilliantly conceived and executed “Track 3” (reprised at Studio SCR last week), it should be one hell of a show.
I don’t toss superlatives like “brilliant” around lightly, but it comes unhesitantly to mind when reaching for words to describe “Track 3,” the troupe’s ragtime-infused take-off on “Three Sisters.” Tina Kronis’ deliciously inventive direction and choreography, Richard Alger’s inspired script and a wildly energetic ensemble of performers made it a show that will linger in memory. My only complaint was that at 80 minutes it was far too short; I didn’t want it to end. Thus May can’t come too soon. For info: www.theatreofnote.com/.
Meanwhile, REDCAT will present the first TEDxCalArts conference at their space within the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Mar. 9. This all-day presentation, created and curated with TED's "Ideas Worth Spreading" mission in mind, is a program of local, self-organized events centered on investigations in contemporary performance.
Planners envision a TED-like experience, gathering thinkers and doers from across the performance landscape “to discuss big ideas in the live arts that are… radically changing the experience of art, architecture, technology, design, culture, politics and beyond.” Best of all, the event is open to anyone interested in or curious about “the expanding field of contemporary performance practices and influence.” To learn more: http://www.redcat.org/event/tedxcalarts.
I hope TEDxCalArts is half as invigorating as the Dramatists Guild SoCal Symposium held in LA Feb. 16. Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck (“Seminar”) was wonderfully down-to-earth talking about her writing process; actor-playwright Charlayne Woodard (“The Night Watcher”) and actor-director Kevin Chamberlin (“Addams Family”) were no less candid discussing the development of new works, with collaborators like Athol Fugard and Suzan-Lori Parks.
Gary Garrison, DG's Executive Director of Creative Affairs, gave what to me was a master class in writing the 10-minute play. Exhorting playwrights to create characters an audience could care about, he maintained that above all, “You have to care about something; the piece has to be fueled by your passion. If I write a 10-minute play it may not work, but you’ll know how I feel.”
Opportunities to network were plentiful. I got a chance to hang out with the charming Charlayne, who wrote the foreword for my new book on one-person shows, “Acting Solo,” and talk shop with the energetic Gary, who acknowledged it was tough to make a living as a playwright but told me with sincerity, “For me it’s about sharing the stories.” If it’s all in the telling, the DG event all told was a compelling one.
Hot tip: Theatre West’s new Sunday Night Solo Series presents Kres Mersky in “Isadora Duncan: A Unique Recital,” a portrait of the controversial creator of modern dance. NoHo, Mar. 3; one night only. Info: www.theatrewest.org.
More from Jordan:
Shaffer’s ‘Amadeus’ at Maverick, TMB’s riff on Chekhov at SCR http://www.examiner.com/article/shaffer-s-amadeus-at-maverick-tmb-s-riff-on-chekhov-at-scr
Academy Award Losers, 1912-1939: Great Performances in the Oscar Hall of Shame, Vol. 1 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ARTJGOA
Myrna Loy, Adah Menken bios recall superstars of another era http://shar.es/bgIyd
How Laurel and Hardy inspired Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ http://shar.es/pmI2Z
Bill Bryson, RSC explore Shakespeare; Monty Python doc on DVD
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