Monday, January 23, 2017

CNN or CBN?

                             


It's bad enough that on the weekends MSNBC switches from news coverage to shows about life in prisons. It's equally annoying to find cooking travelogues on CNN in the evening hours of the weekend. But now, once again, CNN is promoting and will air a "documentary" series about the life of Jesus.

I know that these days the networks are just ratings whores with little or no commitment to hewing to their journalistic mission statements. With the bulk of their evening shows crammed with "editorial" shows instead of actual reportage and sober analysis, there really is no way to glean news from cable news channels.

The rationale of a twenty-four hour news cycle is just an excuse to allow for the slipshod job of reporting news these channels provide. How can there ever be any excuse for a twenty-four hour news channel not to have enough time to cover the news?

And another thing. Why are there movies and documentaries on The Weather Channel now? Where can I get a forecast, on the Home Shopping Network?  

The Best Medicine

                       

Until such time as sanity is restored in Washington D.C., and that is far from a sure thing, one of the most effective weapons available against our new President and his promised policies, will be humor. And the humor will be best administered with a heavy dose of mocking.

Whether it's Alec Baldwin's incisive impersonation or the sassy signs on display in the massive Women's Demonstration, you can be sure that it will be effective as a distraction to the pathetically thin-skinned Trump.

His damaged disposition and childish view of the world, along with his desperate need for self-validation can not allow him to function in the face of this sort of public humiliation. And the less he is on point, the less damage he may do.

Broadway Numerology

                                                    

Oh Hello On Broadway finished out its successful run last week with a bang. Here are a few of the startling numbers:

For the week ending 1/22, the Gross was $804,513.00. 100.1% Capacity. 106.7% Potential Gross. (In the tiny Lyceum!!!)

That gross total was higher than Cats, Chicago, Kinky Boots, On Your Feet!, Phantom of the Opera, and Waitress, among others. These are musicals in much larger theaters, for goodness sake! Yes, it was a quiet January week, but there are some iconic perennials on this list. It wasn't quiet on 45th St, east of Broadway last week, I can tell you!

These numbers are really just so much Inside Baseball, but for the industry, I think many will sit up and take note of what was accomplished at the Lyceum.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Slow to Boil

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Today's Women's March was quite a sight to behold. Crowds that dwarfed the Trump inauguration and replicated in cities around the world, it seemed that the marchers meant business. It was a real feel-good moment for free expression and offers many the hope for redress from the coming onslaught against our civil rights from the new administration. Maybe there's a glimmer of hope?

I wouldn't bet on it, not yet anyway. The fact is, for the past thirty-five, years, women's rights (and civil rights) have been under constant attack from several Conservative Republican administrations and progressive actions have been continually thwarted by a Radical Conservative Supreme Court.

That it has taken the election of the buffoon Trump to finally, at long last, galvanize the populace to rise up with an impressive, but still only one-day, demonstration against the prospect of the coming Trump program, doesn't prove in the least that this protest has legs.

The election was just ten weeks ago, and this country couldn't find the political will to reject Trump? Today's marches were wonderful symbols of resistance, but still, only symbols. Where were women and minorities, Democrats and union members in the key states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan when the chips were down and the future of American Democracy was at stake?

Where was the massive outrage during the misbegotten days of the Bush administration? Asleep at the wheel on 9/11, George Bush was voted in a second time. Unending wars against the wrong assailants? A fiscal policy that nearly destroyed the financial system was what it took to vote against the Republicans McCain and Palin?

We all know that the flyover country, Trump's base in Middle America doesn't often attract the attention of the cosmopolitans on the coasts. Why middle America constantly votes against their own self-interest is vexing and fatal.

It all began with Reagan, and continued through two Bushes and now Trump. It's not like nobody knew what their plans were, or what sort of a man Trump is. Ignorance and apathy are as American as apple pie.  The election was November 8, 2016. The mega protest of January 21, 2017 seems like it's just a wee bit too late.

I have to say, the hats were cute, and the signs were very clever. Voting the right way last November would have been much easier.



Charmed, I'm Sure

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Sunday marks the end of Oh Hello On Broadway at the Lyceum. It's been a heck of a ride, this little show with the big laughs that smashed all house records and expectations. This engagement is one that will stick with all at the Lyceum for a long time.

And as if that weren't enough, we had the pleasure of meeting with those Upper West Side scalawags alter egos, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, two nicer guys you couldn't find anywhere.

I expect these fellows are headed for even greater success in their careers, but I very much hope to see them again on Broadway. Their audience is exactly the demographic that has stumped Broadway for so long, and their brand of comedy is really a tonic for the times.

Thanks, Nick and John! I'll have that root beer now. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Joining the Pantheon

                                 

The list is impressive in it's un-impressiveness. The names, some forgotten, others reviled, are enshrined in our history to remind us of the mediocrity this country can attain if and when we really try to.

George W. Bush, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S, Grant, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, William Henry Harrison, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, Warren G. Harding and James Buchanan, a list of U.S. Presidents acknowledged as the ten worst, according to Worldatlas.com.  Corruption, ineptitude, all manner of malfeasance are the hallmarks of this undistinguished list of failures.

Today, however, the modern era once again makes a play to enshrine a new name to this list. With the inauguration of Donald Trump today as President, I have no doubt that the Worldatlas.com list is due for a very quick reappraisal.

She Called It

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With Congress hell bent on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and having no replacement plan in place as of yet, it's become clear that was once thought impossible, may turn out to be true.

By eliminating coverage of pre-existing conditions and causing over eighteen million Americans to lose their health coverage, Congress will fulfill that ultimate prophecy of Sarah Palin and become an actual death panel.

I am, humbled. Sorry, Sarah! 

Gross Miscarriage




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Funky quirk in the Broadway Grosses. It seems that standing room locations are not counted as part of the capacity. So, if you sell out and then sell standing room, you are "over 100%" capacity.

Yet, if you have any wheelchair kills, that counts against your capacity. In other words, if you accommodate a person in a wheelchair and remove a seat in the process, you can't attain 100% capacity, even if all available seats are sold out.

Not fair! Sad! #Rigged!!!


It's starting.....HELP!!!!!

The Politics of Wrong

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We have had many unworthy Presidents. That's not new. I think what is different about the prospect of a President Trump, what has discouraged and demoralized so many people, is that in the case of Trump, it's clear now, and has always been clear, what an unfit and unworthy specimen he is.

This philandering narcissistic racist misogynist blowhard didn't stumble into his victory. He roared to it on the wings of fervent public support in the Republican primaries. The Republican party electorate found this Reality TV demogogue preferable to the standard issue candidates that, while poor choices to lead the country, were at least of a mind to govern. They didn't boast of molesting women. They didn't go bankrupt multiple times. They didn't cozy up to foreign tyrants. Yet, Trump, guilty of all these indiscretions and more, was their choice
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When John Edwards was running in the Democratic primaries a few cycles ago, he made clear inroads in his quest for the Democratic Presidential nomination. His progressive program appealed to many Democrats, and he had a real chance at getting the nomination.

When his sex scandal broke, his political career was over. A hidden child, adultery, and lying about the affair sealed his fate. Whatever good ideas he had for governance were lost. Once the measure of the man became public, the Democratic party properly turned their back on him.

In the case of Trump, no such result. All of his foibles, and the lying about it only endeared him to his base. With a straight face and Tweets in all caps, Trump proclaims that unfair and evil media are out to get him
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What does it say about Democrats that cast off the unfit John Edwards? That it matters that the words a man speaks comport with his actions, and nothing less will do.

What does it say about Republicans that raise up Trump in the face of behavior unfit for a civil man?

The answer is painfully clear.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ode to January 20th

          



No, Petula Clark will NOT be performing at the inauguration.




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