Archive for October, 2010

From the Editor’s Perch

October 17, 2010

QUANTUM EVOLUTION:

Life in the Multiverse

by Johnjoe McFadden

My Dog Noodle is Reading This Book with Me

After all this gossipy chit-chat, you might be wondering ‘how in the world did life evolve?’  Maybe, even ‘Why?’
Well, luckily for us all there is this wonderful new book I happened onto while reading a paperback bestseller ‘thriller’ by James Rollins called, “Black Order”.  Rollins, who is apparently also a PhD certified Verterinarian, finds inspiration for his creations in current scientific thought.  And so, he includes a bibliography in the back of his books.  This is how I found Johnjoe McFadden; searched him out on Google; and purchased the book through Amazon.com
On first look at the book, I worried I’d been had.  The cover is ugly, and the interior is over 300 pages of some pretty small print.  And I thought, ‘Oh, dear.  This is going to be as dry as a sacramental cracker.’  But, not to fear! Dear Reader.  This is not the case.
This book is an extremely well-written, interesting walk through the history of contemporary evolutionary theory.  It examines a couple glaring problems with the ‘natural selection’ based engine of Darwinian thought: that is, that 1) evolution appears via the fossilized record to occur in “jumps”, rather than as a smooth transition, and 2)that whereas we can fairly credibly explain the creation of a complex organ such as the human eye via steps found in the lower animals – no credible example of this has been found to account for the creation of fundamental biochemical pathways.  Also, he points out that it appears that when the conditions of life are approximated – that it appears that it is far more probable for life to appear than it is not.  These are all startling statements to make.  And makes me think that this book-review is not that far an associational reach from the Seattle Celebrity News! controversy just reported.  Whereas scientific experimentation seems certainly an excellent way of determining what is true and what is not – scientists are just as jealous of their pet theories and personal appearance as any of the rest of us.  So we must always keep an ear out for what is not being said, what is not being reported, etc.
Anyway, I’m only to page 136.  And like anythink worth doing, I’ve gotten to the point in the book where is it taking a bit of intellectual elbow-grease to continue.  But I’m finding it worth the effort, and I think you would too.  What better endorsement, but from someone who can’t keep from talking about this book, before he’s even finished?  Stay-tuned. 
And if you purchase the book, I hope you find it as interesting a read as I am.

Photo by Carl Nelson

Seattle Celebrity News!

October 15, 2010

More Ka-Ka!

Memory erase!  The Playwright and Artistic Director would rather you not know what they look like, and asked that their photos be removed. 

Frankly, at this point the Editor would rather erase them.  But we can only do what we can.  So be it. 

Meanwhile Carl Nelson and Scot Bastian hold the line.  Stay tuned.

Photo absence by Carl Nelson

Seattle Celebrity News!

October 15, 2010

Poo-Poo (Kaa-kaa) Hits Fan!

Headquarters of the Seattle Celebrity News! Yesterday

Since our last posting hit the digital Universe, our e mail account has been lighting up.  For those of you who have been following this, yesterday’s account of the flap during a recent ‘dry tech’ rehearsal of the upcoming Play to Stage Short Play Festival has been altered to protect some of those who would rather not be drifting about  in this particular current of theatrical history.  But otherwise, we’ve left the post stand.  Even as fawning an institution as the Seattle Celebrity News! is required to have some backbone at times – if not for ourselves, then for our Dear Readers. 

Our favorite comment, so far, has come from the playwright herself, who responded: “AWK!” 

We certainly would wish that all of our readers do not take whatever we have said as disparaging of the upcoming event itself.  In fact, we ENCOURAGE you to attend this, and any other, theatrical event – and see what you think!  Our fervent hope is that you will flood the theater!  (Not that the theater will flood.  🙂  )  To find all the times and costs of performance, please visit:  http://www.seattleplaywrightscollective.org/Festival%20Information.html

Photo by Carl Nelson

From the Editor’s Perch

October 15, 2010

God of Carnage

by Yasmina Reza

Note:  Jorj can’t review this latest offering by the Seattle Rep because of contractual arrangements.  So this leaves your dear Editor the task.  Which is fine with me, because Yasmina Reza is my favorite playwright.

Ruth Yenter Plays a Character with Issues

Most of the reviews I have currently read about this production have been pretty much in the ballpark of what my friend Dan Green had to say at his blog (http://dangblog.wordpress.com/),  “Pretty funny, pretty lightweight.”   

To which I would reply: “Very funny, but lightweight?  Only deceptively so…”

The problems of human relationships which Yasmina mines with such theatrical success establish her as a leading interpreter of our modern world.  Recently, at an ACT Theater lecture series, Mindscapes, the local historian Mott Greene, detailed some of what we have learned about how our brains make sense of things.   When the external world rewards an idea we have,  by virtue of an arrangement of neuronal networking, these networks become established (myelinated).   What is interesting is that these ideas come from both stimuli entering from outside and from autonomous neural activity from within our own brains.  Carl Jung, the psychoanalyst, had much to say about this.  He described “complexes” which arise from within the brain.  When these complexes are able to define themselves through healthy encounters with the external world, they can become very positive and productive.  However, when they are unable to attach to an external verification, they often erupt as negative manifestations.    So, for example, he found that those patients with some of the most intractable “mother complexes” were actually orphans; people with no experience of mothering.

What I’m getting at is this:  As our culture becomes more and more socially isolating, what with children only raised by one parent, isolated play activities, decreased experience of either parent, tv and computer  use, and decreased traditional experiences – we risk never having the experiences necessary to ‘civilize’ these neuronal activities which continually arise.   And perhaps, we become a society that becomes harder and harder to ‘civilize’, as each issue becomes more and more of a ‘hot button’ and we ‘foresee’ the worst in each other.   In Yasmina’s plays, it’s the issue at hand which is hardly explored – and it’s the hysteria induced by just a slighting familiarity with the issue which produces the play.  In this current production at the Rep, the children have a relatively normal altercation – but the parents make rubble of each others’ entire lives while attempting to discuss it.  What could be more crucial to our complex modern existence but the ability to dispassionately discuss and resolve issues?    This playwright’s success indicates to me that we aren’t doing very well, and that huge numbers of well- educated people recognize this.

Extrapolating, I wonder if we haven’t reached the point often nowadays, where the person you are discussing an issue with simply hasn’t the neural network in place to understand what you are saying.  That is, your “two plus two equals four “ does not ring any bells for them – or if it does, they’re alarms!   And I wonder if this is the next turn Yasmina’s new plays might take.  Whatever, I’ll be there to watch and learn… and oddly, to laugh and enjoy myself.  For awhile.

Photo by Carl Nelson

Seattle Celebrity News!

October 14, 2010

BREAKING NEWS!

Playwright Pulls Play – Dumps Seattle Actors!

 

🙂

 
 
 
 

 

Playwright Miryam Gordon pulled her play, Kiss the Girls Goodbye, Monday night from the upcoming line-up of short plays featured in The Seattle Playwrights’ Collective Page to Stage/Short Play Festival which opens this Friday evening at TPS4 in the Seattle Centerhouse.  After several weeks of rehearsal, Miryam together with Artistic Director Daniel Tarker decided to pull the plug after seeing its most recent performance at a ‘dry tech rehearsal’ Monday evening.  Miryam was reportedly upset because the actors had fumbled their lines, getting lost or repeating themselves at times.  Artistic Director Daniel Tarker characterized the performance as “lumpy”.    

😦 !

 
 
 

 

Director Bill Selig summarized with this comment made by e mail:   “No comment.” 

 Reached at his summer home in Carnation, actor Carl Nelson said, “When they dump a play, it’s always for reasons of production levels… quality of production.  It’s blamed on bungled lines, or the fact that we went over a couple pages of the script a couple times.  Big deal!  It only clarified what was basically a pretty ugly stew of unsatisfied sexual desire.  I don’t mind being kissed on stage, but I’ve got to say, it  felt pretty alone out there.  It was pretty quiet.  But, …if the audience had applauded loudly, trust me, our production readiness would have been found to be – if not, just fine – at least adequate.  And the theater would have accepted this play with open arms.”

Carl Nelson (KILLER) Is Firing Back at Scot Bastian (SARGE) in this 'dry-run' and only run of the play "Kiss the Girls Goodbye"

Finally, the Seattle Celebrity News will have to paraphrase what Scot Bastian had to say, as I’ve lost my notes.  But basically Scot had to say:

Look!  I played him as an angry guy, because that’s basically as he is written.  So did I yell and scream a lot?  Well, sure!  Maybe it’s not a comedy.  Maybe there’s nothing here to laugh about.  Anyway, I’ve still got my cat.

Photos by Carl Nelson (except the one of Carl Nelson/Scot Bastian which is by Ellen Covey)

 

Seattle Celebrity News!

October 12, 2010

Editor’s note:  WARNING:  This post is rated R for graphic violence!

HOME INVASION!

A home invasion was halted in one of the palatial homes in the celebrity enclaves in the foothills of the Washington Cascades Monday, October 11th.  Crime Scene Investigators now place the time as “sometime in the morning hours”.  The perpetrator apparently entered the home by insinuating themselves between the water pipe and the wall flange of the upstairs master bath.  Investigators have preliminarily classified the altercation as “self-defense”.  When questioned further by our reporters – in light of the massive amount of blood found at the scene – the local playwright/director/actor would only say:  “I was defending my home!  I was merely defending my home!” 

The body has been removed to the Woodinville Sanitation Station for further examination, and disposal.  In light of the fact that the body was found in such close proximity to the upstairs bedroom, and that the woman of the home was apparently “out of town” at the time, authorities  would not comment further in light of the ongoing investigation and discouraged further speculation.

Initially, the family dog was first on the Scene.

  Photo by Carl Nelson

From the Editor’s Perch

October 10, 2010

Molly Blades and Will Phillips star in Len Goodisman’s short play, Lunch in the Afterworld, due to open soon in theater TPS4 in the Seattle Center House as part of an evening of Halloween-seasoned shorts, presented by WARP and billed as: Revenge of the Fun Forest.   http://www.warptheater.org/   Directed by yours truly (Carl Nelson), Molly Blades sings this haunting Jazz standard as the play opener.

Molly plays the Spirit of Therese, recently departed.

Photo by Carl Nelson

Plays and Such with Jorj Savage

October 5, 2010

Editor’s note:  Jorj and I have agreed to disagree.  The Editor feels that if you are REALLY immature, you will like this play, a LOT.  (Because you will identify with its characters… that is, because YOU are immature.)  But let’s hear what Jorj has to say.

Jorj and the Editor Face Off

“Arts West does a season of plays and the current offering, REASONS TO BE PRETTY, by Neil LaBute, an established playwright and screen writer grabbed me tonight (9/22/10).  It was well cast and directed by Katjana Vadeboncoueur.  I’ve been writing a two characer play and REASONS TO BE PRETTY is sort of two two character plays that intertwine.  There are two couples but not a love triangle.  One couple, Greg and Steph, break up after a 4 year relationship.  They have a lot going for them but just can’t quite commit.  Meanwhile, Greg’s old friend Kent is married but begins fooling around. We see that relationship will end even though she’s pregnant.

I sat next to two women who looked to be in their twenies and they were really into it.  The play seem to speak to their generation and had some of the language down pretty well.

There’s a lot of swearing and yet it seems in character.  I didn’t want the play to end.  I’d grown to like and care about these people.  –  Jorj”

Photo (taken out of  context) by Carl Nelson

Work, work, work… with Rita Andreeva

October 5, 2010

Editor’s note:  Rita is currently suffering from an explosive atavistic eruption of her interpersonal Id.   Triggered by, what else, a patron!  But like the professional she is, filed her column nonetheless.  

Rita Writes Here Frequently for the Unvarnished Artistic Id: Follow her life as she tries to live her bliss within the confines of an increasingly hostile society.

“Well, one lady sent me a message wanting a website, and I made a few layouts for her to look at, and she said that she loved one of them, which would seem to indicate she’d want me to make it for her, but now she acting all strange and not returning my emails. I just don’t understand people! Why do they say they like (or love) something and then avoid you. Is that some new fad? And this lady is a counselor! Imagine that! Aren’t counselors supposed to be good communicators. I have gotten no sense out of her emails, except brief one-two word statements like “I love #5” or “will email you back tomorrow, promise” Wouldn’t it be easier to just say what you’ve got to say! Ok, good, so… well… hello… What is wrong with people these days! Things used to be a lot simpler years back, people would haggle like you’re supposed to. Now they play some strange avoidance game that I don’t understand; there should be classes taught in this! People are so twisted and fickle these days, and have no respect for anyone. I am losing what’s left in the human race fast.”  – Rita

Photo by Carl Nelson


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