After the first minute, I knew this would not be an LA – guns – and – car – crash film.
There was artistry, care and attention to detail, but most of all an homage to intelligence – allowing the audience to think for themselves. Cali dares us to sit and watch or else, just – turn on a re – run of, say… “Columbo”. I kept writing as I watched in response, not out of criticism, but, tracking, as a witness. As in any art form – that refuses to be told – I let go and it took me back to where all art should take us: to love, to oneself and forgiveness for the natural sin of guilt.
The dreamy woman, almost asleep on the stern of the boat is not just the character, she IS the film maker, her subconscious streaming, inviting us into the pre – sleep dream that we all understand, like T. S. Elliot’s “Love Song Of J. Alfred Proofrock”:
“Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky,
Like a patient etherized upon a table…”
The woman dreaming on the boat is our abraxas or the horizon line before the sun drops to the darkness of another day or, the light that explains, prepares us for the events and responsibilities of the agenda’s we all set for ourselves, during the waking hours. She could be a surfer girl or the beauty who zips by on blades along the promenade in Venice, leaving those in her wake, cranking necks to watch her disappear into the anonymous crowd.
But, Cali never allows us to look away. At times she gazed straight into the camera, definitely, stating, without fear or apology – that she knew we were there. We all knew why she was there. Her personal strength and as the character’s – evolves: committed, palpable, specific and alive placing us, on the other side of the proscenium yet – in her thrall. It is a comfort to the viewer – we do not have to worry.
Wings was beautiful. So simple and true; thoughtful, at times, funny but slightly repentant as the handsome old man next to the clock with no hands. I never thought I could feel sympathy for a deity but he made me realize that even God recognized that there was a new sheriff in town and – it wasn’t John Wayn.
Something happens to us. We have to dare to accept the intricacies, the subtle nuance of the literate dialogue, scenes that would rival Brecht, Pirandello or a French Film Auteur’s like Jean – Luc Godard, invoked from the 1950’s. It was no “he – said, she – listens”, conventional scenes out of a Syd Fields plot – point script designed to “sell” to the “suits”. It demanded that “attention must be paid”, with distinct references to literature, history, art, dance and music. At times the film makes fun of the Greecian conventions of “Beginning, Middle and End”. Cali knew you were keeping score, thinking you were a step ahead. No, she knew. Poof! “Doc” makes mention of the structure of the film, alluding to story development – or lack thereof. Just sit back and accept it, on its own structure. (Cali’s music, her singing, her lyrics with Wings playing the instruments underneath, throughout, seemed to mix naturally into the feast like herbs directly plucked from the garden).
But horror and fear, a subtle reference to a Snub Nose 38, all co – mingled with the proud, personal denial of one’s own racism and the ever – present fear of one’s own sexuality, a topic that pinches us into squeamishness and denial for those of us brought up in the “goodness” of the puritanical Judeo/Christian tradition. No! Throw all that out! You’re on your own…
I rarely think about films after I’ve seen them once. I’ve watched “La Strada” a hundred times and will watch again – any time it’s offered. And I know I will cry at the end. I know it. I access something about myself every time I find out “she passed away”. The same applies to “Cool Hand Luke” when Newman plays a banjo – badly – to his mother’s death. “Waiting for Godot” never allows me to “think clearly” but I will rush to get a ticket to see it again.
If I am honest and willing to have the courage to see into my own fears, “Eve N God” helped explain the inexorable pull to sexual jealousy, possessive impulses of the women I’ve known and loved. I recognize, with regret, any rights I might have imposed on their thoughts and feelings, that I could invoke on their desires, on nature or on humanity itself – especially when it comes to love. No one has the right to climb into the hypothalamus of someone else’s brain and tell that 3 pound organ that those pleasure impulses, those electrical charges of desire are within the purview of another, not in spite of marital commitment, but – in the nurturing of the those lucky enough to wake up in the morning and say, “ I love you – but I don’t own you”. In a strange way, the experience “liberated” me from the fear of sexual possession. The universe knows what it wants from us all and, sometimes – we simply must – just, get out of the way.
This film would be in demand, played on a loop in NYC art houses, women’s movements, LGTB coommunity and anyone who thinks they are better than the ones they stand next to, in line, at the DMV. Men who think they are “MEN”! – Oh, really?
It takes astonishing courage to step out of the confines of linear expectations, walk alone into the woods with just a True North compass; to launch a small, single – woman sailboat into the Pacific, living out of the sea. Or – to make a film, in LA, with a beggars budget and, yet, have it all become so intellectually gratifying and allowing us to think on it long after.
Gary Swanson’s show business career began in the circus as a Steel Pier High Diver in Atlantic City. He moved to NYC and became a contract player on Day Time TV show “Somerset” leading to a life – long career as film, TV and theater actor. He’s written for numerous magazines, taught masters programs. He still acts, directs, writes and produces. His political barnburner, If You Can Keep It, is in development. He lives by the Atlantic in Montauk, NY.
Avengers Tower Sets Meet And Greet With Signing
C. B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, and The LEGO Group Senior Graphic Designer Mark Tranter will be at the Fifth Ave LEGO Store this Friday, December 1st from 5pm-6pm signing the Avengers Tower set—the most iconic building in the Avengers Universe, with 5,201 pieces and an all-star cast of 31 figures.
The Avengers Tower, formerly known as Stark Tower, was a high-rise building complex located in Manhattan. Constructed by Tony Stark, the tower was powered by an Arc Reactor that made it capable of running itself for over a year. The top ten floors housed the research and development initiatives.
Following the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stark Tower became the main headquarters of the Avengers. However, after the Ultron Offensive, Stark refurbished a Stark Industries warehouse upstate into the Avengers Compound to use as their primary base while Avengers Tower was repurposed for Stark Industries’ use. In the aftermath of the Avengers Civil War, Stark sold the tower and moved all of its equipment to the Avengers Compound.
By 2024, the tower, under its new ownership, had gone through extensive construction and renovation.
God Comes Back To Times Square
On Monday, November 27, the 2023 global Light the World Giving Machines campaign showed Christ’s light and love. Three machines were unwrapped in Times Square.
The theme for these machines is “Let Your Light Shine,” words the Savior of the world spoke to His followers. Giving Machines provide a unique path to spread His light — in your community or in a faraway country. Instead of buying something for yourself, your purchase is a donation for someone in need.
As we start the process of hoping there will be greater light in the world, we invite all to light the world,” said Elder David Buckner, an Area Seventy. “Today we start that as a process of hope and promise and joy that the world so desperately needs.”
Giving Machines, now in their seventh year, offer a unique way to serve and care for others. Instead of buying something for yourself, your purchase is a donation for someone in need. Across machines in all locations are a combined 1,200 different items requested by carefully screened and reputable local, national and international nonprofit organizations. These include meals, groceries, shelter, clothing, healthcare, education, bedding, hygiene kits, job and career training, crops and livestock (such as chickens, goats, pigs, ducks, sheep and beehives). Patrons can type in 777 to purchase one of everything in a machine.
The Giving Machines are open for business and have move to their permanent Manhattan holiday location: The Church of Our Savior at 59 Park Ave. (at 38th Street). They will be available through January 1, 2024. In total, Giving Machines are available in 60 additional locations in seven countries.
Besides the machines, 15 digital displays will be in Times Square featuring Christmas messages from the Church of Jesus Christ. These messages will include the birth of Jesus Christ and gratitude for local interfaith leaders and charities who are working with the Church to help those in need.
The nine participating national and global nonprofits are:
- African Girls Hope Foundation
- American Red Cross
- Church World Service
- iDE (International Development Enterprise)
- Lifting Hands International
- Mentors International
The Church and UNICEF have collaborated on various projects to help children and mothers around the world. The American Red Cross of Greater New York, mission is to alleviate human suffering during times of disasters and emergencies. They provides 40% of the blood supply in the U.S. CARE has projects in over 111 countries and reaches more than 170 million people annually. The Church World Service, said her organization is focus on immigration legal fees, offer menstrual health products to help women and more.
In total, more than 250 local, national and global nonprofits are participating this year — more than all previous years combined.
It is time to bring light to what is admittedly a very dark world.
The Broadway Green Alliance Is Turning 15
This fall, the Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) celebrates its 15th year as an industry-wide initiative that educates, motivates, and inspires the entire theatre community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices on Broadway and beyond. To mark this milestone, the BGA will host a free celebratory “bike-powered” concert and birthday bash on Monday, October 23rd in the New Amsterdam Room at the New Amsterdam Theatre (214 W 42nd Street) which will be streamed live on Stars in the House.
The in-person event begins at 5:00pm ET with limited tickets available, and the live-stream concert begins at 6:30pm ET on the Stars in the House YouTube channel at youtube.com/starsinthehouse.
Broadway performers and hosts joining the event include Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley (Stars in the House), Tony Award Nominee Kerry Butler (Beetlejuice), Tony Award Nominee Anika Larsen (Almost Famous), Tony Award Nominee Kenita R. Miller (For Colored Girls…), Tony Award Nominee Adam Pascal (Rent), Mara Davi (A Chorus Line), Jenn Gambatese (Mrs. Doubtfire), Jackie Hoffman (Xanadu), James T. Lane (Chicago), Patti Murin (Frozen), Rachel Webb (& Juliet), and more to be announced.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Gutenberg! The Musical! Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells
On October 12th, Gutenberg! The Musical! opened on Broadway. Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells the original stars of The Book of Mormon are back together again, in a new musical from the guys who wrote Beetlejuice and the guy who directed Beetlejuice and Moulin Rouge. It’s the story of two best pals named Bud and Doug who put on a show together because they just love each other so damn much. It’s art imitating life imitating art!
Theatre News: Gutenberg! The Musical!, Spamalot, Madwomen Of The West and Hadestown
Last night, three-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane made a surprise cameo in the role of ‘The Producer’ opposite Tony Award nominees Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells at the star-studded Broadway opening night of Gutenberg! The Musical! at the James Earl Jones Theatre (138 West 48th Street).
Lane, wearing the show’s signature mustard yellow trucker cap emblazoned with the word ‘Producer,’ took the stage and said, “I’m a famous Broadway producer. Perhaps you’ve heard of me. The name is Bialystock…. Max Bialystock,” a nod to Lane’s Tony winning role in the Mel Brooks’ musical The Producers. Lane also exclaimed, “This show is fantastic. I had the same feeling when I saw Cats!”
Lane is the latest star to join Gutenberg! in the role of ‘The Producer.’ During previews Gad and Rannells have also been joined by Cynthia Erivo, Jonathan Groff, JJ Abrams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nikki M. James, F. Murray Abraham, Annaleigh Ashford, and Leslie Odom Jr.
Gutenberg! The Musical! is playing a strictly limited engagement at the Jones Theatre through Sunday, January 28, 2024 only.
Pictures were released for the first look at Spamalot. As previously announced, Spamalot features
Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald (Waitress) as Patsy
Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton) as King Arthur
Taran Killam (“Saturday Night Live”) as Lancelot
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (Beetlejuice) as The Lady of the Lake,
Tony Award nominee Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical) as The Historian/Prince Herbert
Jimmy Smagula (Billy Elliot) as Sir Bedevere
Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie (“Shrinking,” Torch Song) as Sir Robin
and Nik Walker (Hamilton) as Sir Galahad with David Josefsberg, Graham Stevens, Daniel Beeman, Maria Briggs, Gabriella Enriquez, Michael Fatica, Denis Lambert, Shina Ann Morris, Kaylee Olson, Kristin Piro, Drew Redington, Tyler Roberts, Anju Cloud, Darrell T. Joe, Lily Kaufmann, and Charlie Sutton. Iglehart, Kritzer, Smagula, Urie and Walker will be reprising their roles from the record-breaking sold-out run at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Brooke Adams will join Caroline Aaron, Marilu Henner, and Melanie Mayron, under the direction of Thomas Caruso. Ms Adams replaces the previously announced JoBeth Williams who had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict. Performances will begin Saturday November 11th at Actors Temple Theatre (339 West 47th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues). Opening Night is set for Monday December 11th. This limited Off-Broadway engagement will continue through Monday January 1st.
Performances will be Saturday at 2pm & 7pm, Sunday at 2pm, and Monday at 7pm. Actors Temple Theatre, located at 339 West 47th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues), is housed in the historical Actors Temple Synagogue in the heart of New York’s Times Square Theatre District. This theatre has been the home of the long-running production of Black Angels Over Tuskegee, which played for almost ten years year Off-Broadway, as well as Cowboy, Sistas, Soul Doctor, Zero Hour, Rain Pryor’s Fried Chicken and Latkes, It’s Just Sex, The Big Voice: God or Merman?, Goldstein, The J.A.P. Show: Jewish-American Princesses of Comedy and Paul Mecurio’s Permission To Speak. Telecharge.com, by phone at 212/239-6200, or visit the Actors Temple Theater box office (open one hour prior to showtime). Service fees will apply for online or phone ordersTickets, which are now on sale, range from $39.50 to $119 and are available for purchase online at
Jordan Fisher will join the cast of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown as ‘Orpheus’ on Monday, November 20, 2023. Best known for his roles in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Teen Beach Movie franchises as well as his Broadway turns in Sweeney Todd, Dear Evan Hansen, and Hamilton, Fisher succeeds original cast member Reeve Carney. Carney will play his final performance as ‘Orpheus’ on Sunday, November 19. Carney began playing ‘Orpheus’ in 2017 at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre before transferring with the production to London’s West End and Broadway in 2018 and 2019.
“Reeve helped define both stories at the center of this show — the cosmic love story of a young man who changes the laws of the space time continuum to save his lover, and the political story of a ‘poor boy’ who gets angry enough to question ‘the king,’” said director Rachel Chavkin. “His extraordinary musicianship as guitarist and singer was an endless source of inspiration to both Anaïs and I in the creation of the show, and his elegant leadership as an actor and company member, both onstage and off, will be deeply missed.”
“My gratitude goes out to Anäis Mitchell and all who have touched this show with their divine intention,” said Reeve Carney. “To my fellow cast mates, who have been with me in the trenches, giving of themselves freely and unceasingly, on and off the stage. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And to our incredible audiences here at The Walter Kerr Theater… It has been an honor bringing this story to life for you all night after night over these many years.”
Hadestown currently stars Tony Award winner Lillias White as Hermes, Solea Pfeiffer as Eurydice, Betty Who as Persephone, and Phillip Boykin as Hades. They are joined by Amelia Cormack, Lindsey Hailes, and Brit West as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Chibueze Ihumoa, Alex Puette and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Brandon Cameron, Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Alex Lugo, and Tanner Ray Wilson.
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