Okay, so it's been a very long time since my last post. Sound much like a confession to my local priest. Anyway--I've been very, very busy plucking away at some new plays. Have a new one called Mexican Night--seems like I've been rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. But that is the process, and that's what we writers like, right? Process. Wouldn't it be nice to complete your first draft, hold it up (the lights from heaven shine down with angelic voices singing) and it's perfect. There dare not be one rewrite.
Back to reality. This new play feels good--it's a break from my usual absurd stuff. Had a reading of it a month ago at the Theater Project in Cranford. Overall, the response was very positive. At least I feel I'm going in the right direction. Of course, seeing that I sometimes lack a sense of direction, it may be the wrong direction.
The Tony Awardshad some hits and misses last night. The misses were mainly the producers of the Tony Awards. The sound quality of the event was horrible--absolutely no balance, extra noises on and off stage. On top of that, the "In Memoriam" segment was poorly edited with the camera drifting in and out--I found myself squinting to read the names of those theatre greats who passed away...that really shouldn't happen in television. I highly doubt that the Tony Awards show will be nominated for any Emmys.
On a better note, there were some unique moments as the three actors who rotate to play Billy Elliot won--their acceptance speech was honest and innocent--however, I was waiting for them to say how they have waited all their life to win this award.
What was bigger, Liza winning an award or presenting an award? By the way, her hips must be bionic.
Which was more odd? Bret Michaels singing at the Tonys or Stockard Channing's song following Bret Michaels?
How about Neil Patrick Harris' job as the host. He was quick, smooth--and we probably could have used a little more of his humor throughout--by the way, the last number Harris sung was worth the whole night.
Hair. If that didn't energized the audience...wow.
From Angela Lansbury to Karen Olivo--both honest and grateful speeches. Two women at the opposite ends of their career. That being said, Ms. Lansbury could probably do another 20 years of theatre.
Hurray for Herman. Jerry Herman received a lifetime achievement award. Well-deserved. He's a perfect example of inspiration, passion, and why we continue to do theatre.
Congrats to Yasmina Reza--she continues to write simple, straight-forward plays that work. Period.
Yes, the economy has now hit the stage. Even Broadway's darling, Disney, is practically giving away tickets to their shows in order to fill the house. Do we feel bad for Broadway and their producers? In a discussion with a friend of mine this evening, who will remain unnamed to protect his innocence, suggested that the producers haven't changed with the times. No longer is the most expensive item on the menu supposedly the best. To the contrary, the most expensive item is the thing that no one wants right now. Is there anyone out there who wants to pay over a hundred dollars to see a show? Is that take home value? Is that bragging rights?
We can look for blame; all of the unions that have to be paid, whether their services are used or not--or maybe it's the television and film stars that are being paid to appear in a production. These among many reasons have contributed to the downfall of sales. Sad is the day when plays and musicals even having a hard time finding producers to back them (commercially viable or not).
Let's face it, Broadway has been shaped over the last thirty years to cater to the tourist from the Midwest. But as we are witnessing, while the tourist may continue to visit New York City to sneak a crowded glance at the Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree, they refuses to pay an ungodly amount to see a musical--even if it is based on a successful animated movie about a half naked woman with fins under the sea.
So, what will it take to get people in the seats of the theatre? How about a musical version of Backdraft Corkey? No...that would cost too much money. What if Broadway built itself from the ground up again. Maybe if they (producers) really focused their efforts to cater to the local New York theatre audiences. It's time to stop making the productions so big, and including so many names on the bill. It's time to adjust the theatre--slow down on the commercialization of theatre. Make New York theatre a place of envy rather than a place of parody.
What does the heading of my post mean? No time to contemplate that now. I have many things to think about, none of which I will write at this moment--mainly because, if I spend all my time contemplating, I will have no time to write, and what would be the sense of having a blog without anything to write?
I think that's a good place to start today. Tomorrow I will have more.
As a playwright, S.W. Senek's END OF THE WORLD BUTTON was the winner of the 2006 New Jersey Playwrights Competition at William Paterson University; it premiered at Theatre Conspiracy in Ft. Meyers, Florida. FOOL CIRCLE was the 2005 winner of the Oglebay Institute Towngate Theatre National Playwriting Competition. 9 MONTHS: INSIDE OUT was the 2004 winner of the New Jersey Playwrights Competition; it is published by Original Works Publishing. 12 ROUNDS was nominated for the 2005 NY IT awards for Best Original Short Script. It's published by Third Coast Literary Journal (Western Michigan University) and United Stages. AN ONGOING EXAMINATION OF THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE, OUTCOME and DOG LOVERS, and FALLOUT has been published by Smith and Kraus. A compilation of three short plays titled Simply Simpatico is published by Original Works Publishing. He has a B.F.A. in theatre from Youngstown State University and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.