Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: The Play is the Thing

I skipped basketball to see this?

"Theater companies find fault sometimes is in their stars; Marquee names are a draw at the box office but can be a drain on the stage" by Don Aucoin Globe Staff  November 28, 2015

As both noun and verb, there is probably no more important word in show business than “star.’’

But the reality is that when it comes to the stage, glittering names on the marquee can be a decidedly mixed blessing. Theater companies and producers who try to tap into star power are often faced with a trade-off between the potential of boffo box office (especially advance sales) and the peril of artistic letdown (which alienates the very audiences who bought those advance tickets). The biggest name onstage can also be the weakest link.

Because they’re squeezing in theater appearances between movie or TV commitments, some big-name stars appear out of synch and out of place. Watching them flounder, you wonder how much work they did to unearth the essence of their characters, how little thought they’ve given to the unique dynamics of live performance (for instance, projecting to the last row, since there are no close-ups in theater), and even, sometimes, how certain of their lines they are.

Look no further than the stage adaptation of Stephen King’s “Misery’’ to see a vivid example of the way a big star, trying to range beyond the arenas where he made his name, can damage a production....

I wonder who they could mean.


I'm wondering how lies can damage a production.


"Standing amid the Colonial Theatre’s gilt-edged opulence, you feel connected to a storied past. But the recent news that the Colonial will close for at least a year raises questions about the venue’s future — and highlights major changes that have swept through Boston’s theatrical landscape over the past dozen years."

Also see: Colonial Theatre to close at least a year, but future uncertain

"Emerson College may turn Colonial into student center" by Malcolm Gay Globe Staff  October 08, 2015

Emerson College is considering radically transforming the Colonial Theatre, converting the fabled playhouse into a flexible college dining hall/performance space as part of what’s being referred to as the Colonial Student Center, according to documents recently obtained by the Globe.

The plans would position the Colonial Building and adjacent Walker Building as the front porch of Emerson’s campus, housing an Emerson College cafe and visitors’ center, accessible from the street.

In an interview on Wednesday, Emerson College president Lee Pelton emphasized that the plan detailed in the documents is but one of several options the college is considering and that no final decision has been reached.

News of the potential plan brought mixed reactions from figures in the theater community, which for weeks has been speculating about the Colonial’s future.

“It would be a shame not to have the Colonial. It’s a gem,” said Rich Jaffe, president of Broadway in Boston, which has presented touring Broadway shows at the Colonial for years. But, he added, “there are other venues, so there would still be touring shows in Boston without the Colonial.”

But Jon Platt, a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer who ran the Colonial for years, was more harsh, lamenting what he saw as a plan that would “deliberately defile and destroy the greatest theatrical landmark in North America.” That, he said, “is entirely opposite of the school’s mission statement.”



Emerson plan for Colonial Theatre panned by faculty
Emerson College task force to consider Colonial’s future
Colonial Theatre shuts its doors, for now

Which is what I will be doing with any further coverage after this post. For now.

"Emerson College to offer an entrepreneurship major to arts students" by James Sullivan Globe Correspondent  November 16, 2015

In a rapidly changing workplace where careers are fluid and workers must be adept at self-marketing and social media, Yuri Cataldo says that it’s critical for students of the arts and humanities to develop some sense of how to leverage their expertise into paying jobs.

Looks like a dead-end degree to me.

“The ultimate goal is to turn out students who are flexible and creative problem-solvers,” says Cataldo, 35.

So they can join the army.

As he designs the curriculum with the help of faculty from various departments, Cataldo is thinking creatively. Courses will define the creative economy and teach community-building, freelance survival skills, even mindfulness techniques — how to stay in the moment and cope with failure.

“The thing about art is it’s subjective,” he says. “There is no right answer.”

Helena Fruscio, director of the state’s Creative Industries initiative, has already met with Cataldo. “Colleges are one of the key parts of our economic ecosystem,” she says.

Emerson students who graduate from the new major will be better prepared to enter the job market, she says.

“It’s what we’re hearing from employers as well. They need creative, self-motivated, entrepreneurial employees, not just, ‘I know how to do this one task.’ ”

So how much student debt will be accumulated for the pie-in-the-sky spot?


I'm sorry, readers, but this is no longer fun.

Rapid-fire shifts have Boston’s theater community rattled
Boston’s theaters need to stage a revival
Boston needs to be in the spotlight amid arts upheaval
Huntington Theatre faces uncertainty as BU plans sale of building
Boston Lyric Opera to leave Citi Shubert Theatre 

All shows have been cancelled, and it's a good thing, too.

The artistic side of Harvard’s endowment chief

Here is that paying job you were looking for:

"City names candidates for artist-in-residence program" by Malcolm Gay Globe Staff  October 23, 2015

Inspiration comes in curious forms, and these days Mayor Martin J. Walsh is hoping that a cohort of artists will find it at City Hall, working alongside the departments of public works, property and construction management, and police, to name a few.

Partnering with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Walsh administration is forming the city of Boston’s new artist-in-residence program, or Boston AIR, in which an initial group of 11 local artists will collaborate with city representatives to develop a variety of proposed projects.

The 11 artists — in genres ranging from painting to photography, dance, music, and film — will each receive a $1,000 stipend as they work with City Hall counterparts.

Will that last you the whole year? 

Seems a little low given what they are $helling out for the library.


The artists were selected by a jury of arts professionals and representatives from MassArt and the city. While the artist-in-residence program may be new for Boston, it’s an idea several cities have implemented over the years. The program is funded in part through the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant program, which since its 2011 creation has awarded 325 grants totaling nearly $26 million.... 

I have nothing against the arts (even if they are the playgrounds of the elites), but that is more money the federal government doesn't have.

Of course, if they stopped the wars based on lies the arts could have all the money they wanted from me.



"The Boston Foundation has named 10 local artists as 2015 Brother Thomas Fellows, providing each with $15,000 in recognition of their work. This year’s round of the biennial fellowships, which are funded through the Brother Thomas Fund, brings the total number of Brother Thomas Fellows to 30."

That might last you the year.

Also see‘Inside Out’ art project puts murals of residents’ faces onto public buildings 

It will be like looking into a mirror.