From 1968 to 2000, first on WBCN and then for the last five years with WZLX, Charles Laquidara was one of the most beloved, outspoken, and controversial DJ’s during a golden era of counter culture in Boston. At his prime he was one of America's most influential, top rated DJ's. We dicussed his unique career during two lengthy calls to his home in Maui.
During the busy summer season in the Berkshires we eat and run. Winter is for more elaborate, experimental meals. On every level it means putting more spice in your life. Since Labor Day we have been having fun experimenting in the kitchen.
Nathan Irving “Nat’ Hentoff (June 10, 1925 – January 7, 2017) passed at 91 some time ago. Why then, in the waning moments of 2018, write a review of a book written some 32 years ago? Reading a memoir by a legendary radical journalist and jazz critic resonated with my own memories of growing up as a Boston Boy.
In Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery, Gladys is the center of the story as her grandson, her daughter and son-in-law and a young artist she has befriended deal with this decline over a two year period. Elaine May is making a rare stage appearance.
In a New York Times interview, the playwright, Jaclyn Backhaus, admits that the work is essentially an expanded autobiography. As it opens, an almost-30-year-old, single Punjabi-American woman is talking to herself while she’s digging into fistfuls of dirt in the backyard.
In order to survive and remain vital American Theatre Critics Association must become younger and more diverse. Intersectionality and inclusion is an ever greater driving force for producers, theatre companies and their critics. The dynamics of that synergy were explored through panels and programming of what has evolved as an annual New York conference.
In town for the ATCA NY Theatre Conference our Chicago correspondent covered two compelling dramas. Both plays are in long runs. The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth continues through February 17 and Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery runs until January 27
If you’re a Kurt Vonnegut reader, Happy Birthday, Wanda June will sound familiar. If you’re in New York, or can get there by November 29, you have the chance to see this wacky dark satire of American culture and America’s propensity for war and death, filtered through Vonnegut’s mad genius lens
Chicago Critic Springs for Springsteen on Broadway
By: Nancy Bishop - Oct 18th, 2018
Chicago critic, Nancy Bishop, a die hard rock fan dug deep for Bruce. Paying through the nose she scored a ticket for his sold out Broadway show. Springing for a Springsteen binge she added a couple of other compelling plays. She will be back in Manhattan later this month for the annual American Theatre Critics Association conference So this is a teaser with more golden apples to follow.
Opening night at the New York Philharmonic is a yearly tradition an occasion for fat cat donors to dine on the Promenade of Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall, and for ordinary critics (like your humble scribe) to put on suits and hobnob with each other before the performance. This year's ceremonies, held Thursday night, were also notable as it marked the long-awaited official debut of Jaap van Zweden, the orchestra's new music director.
Whitney Center for the Arts presents the Berkshire Premiere of The Fabulous Lipitones by John Markus and Mark St. Germain, a fully staged Musical, directed by Monica Bliss and Musical Director Jeff Hunt with Choreographer Ruslan Sprague, August 10-19th.
Now 89, legendary Boston jazz impresario , Fred Taylor, is busy booking one nighters for the Cabot Theatre in Beverly, Mass. Asked if it is time to retire he replied with the title of his memoir "What and Quit Show Biz." It's a work in progress with Dick Vacca. They hope to publish the book in spring, 2019. With typical wit and insight it recaps a career booking clubs like Jazz Workshop/ Paul's Mall, and Sculler's. He founded the Tanglewood Jazz Festival and produced concerts at Symphony Hall and other venues.
NY Times Review Spikes Barrington Stage Production
By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 06th, 2018
The Barrington Stage world premiere of the musical Royal Family of Broadway has earned mostly positive reviews. It has been treated as a work in progress potentially bound for Broadway. The team assembled for this production have been there before. Because of a devastating review by Jesse Green in the New York Times that may not happen. While Green is an established, and well qualified critic, is it the role of the Times to nip in the bud regional productions being developed for a run in New York?
Presided Over Once Formidable Phoenix Media Empire
By: Charles Giuliano - May 25th, 2018
While he lacked stature, Stephen Mindich, who died this week at 74, cast a giant shadow. As a hip capitalist at the height of his power he was an ersatz Citizen Kane of Boston's counter culture industry of print and broadcasting media. In 2013, his Phoenix empire exhinguished never again to take flight from the embers of fame and fortune.
The critical success of "Astral Weeks" by Ryan Walsh has brought national media attention to Boston's counter culture in 1968. Following a prior interview with former Cambridge Phoenix editor, Harper Barnes, we pick up on the other side of the Charles River with former Boston After Dark Editor, Arnie Reisman. This continues our coverage of arts and media during a golden age from 1969 to the demise of The Real Paper in 1981.
Beloved Member of American Theatre Critics Association
By: William Hirschman - Apr 17th, 2018
Glenn Loney’s massive resume in 2006 listed more than 1,000 magazine and journal articles, 530 reviews, 7 books, 6 unpublished plays, 2 detailed show program notes, editing or contributions to 22 books, and 39 in-depth interviews for Cue magazine. Among the books is a two-volume "20th Century Theatre," a day-by-day chronology of American, British, and Canadian Theatre activity from 1900 to 1980. He is rembered by William Hirschman, president of American Theatre Critics Association.
New Journalism in Boston/ Cambridge in the Early 1970s
By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 14th, 2018
The recently published book Astral Weeks, by Ryan Walsh, has brought national attention to the counter culture of Boston/ Cambridge in 1968. This extensive interview with Harper Barnes, former editor of the Cambridge Phoenix and columnist for The Real Paper, covers developments in the early 1970s. It was a fertile era that launched careers of numerous arts critics and political commentators. After a stint in Boston, eventually, he returned to the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch and the city where he continues to reside.
From March 23 to 25 Milwaukee Repertorty Theatre hosted a conference Intersections Summit. It was convened to address equity, identity and inclusion through diversity and community outreach. In a letter to ATCA president, Bill Hirschman, managing director, Chad Bauman, who hosted us said in part "All in all, nearly 200 theater professionals from 80+ organizations from 30+ states attended including ATCA, TCG, funders such as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and journalists from media outlets such as The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune. More than 50 engagement leaders presented sessions and several of which were live streamed via our Facebook page as well as Howlround."
The 2018 season of Barrington Stage Company which will feature three world premieres, including a major new musical from Tony Awards winners William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin, a new play from Off Broadway Alliance Award winner Lloyd Suh, and the first major production from playwright, Rachel Lynett. The season starts with Typhpid Mary by Mark St. Germain in the theatre named for him.
On January 2nd, Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) officially launched its 29th Annual Film Festival and Gala. More than 2400 guests, attended, along with stars, celebrities, industry professionals, screenwriters, producers, directors, and actors to rub elbows at the Palm Springs Convention Center, as they accepted their Awards for their artistic accomplishments during 2017.
If there were one word to characterize this year’s selection of possible documentary Oscar nominees, it would have to be nihilism. In its preliminary round of voting, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected 15 films of the 170 submissions for Best Documentary Academy Award, many produced by Amazon Studios, Netflix, HBO, et al.
MASS MoCA heads into the winter/spring season with new works in the spotlight, on stage, and in the galleries. The season kicks off on January 20 with the museum’s annual Free Day, when MASS MoCA opens its galleries, free of charge, and activates its art with family-focused activities and performances throughout the day.
International companies will travel to Becket, Massachusetts, from Denmark, Israel, Belgium, Australia, France, Spain, and Scotland. Notably, representation from across the United States ranges from New York City, Minneapolis, and Houston to Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago, among others.