Friday, May 13, 2011

Random Thoughts from A Random Mind--and a few updates.

As to updates.  Let's start with that.  SUNDAY SIMCHA this Sunday features an interview with Leila Levinson and we speak of her book---Gated Grief.  It is brief but meaningful so I do hope you will not miss that.  Check for time and also for the archiving.  TRADITIONS  has some real surprises this Sunday---new material, voices from a while back---and some thematic material you will want to hear---and we start with a great piece about John Prine---which he may not be happy about but is factual..

The random mind does have some random thoughts since what else should a random mind be doing.  Trying now to stay on focus let us start with Broadway, money, and the world having changed. 

When I was a lad (and I am not going to sing from Pinafore now) I still recall the first show I ever saw.  An aunt took me to see the D'oyle Carte Company doing The Gondoliers.  To this day I have not forgotten it and also how it whetted my appetite for theater and cultural events.   While I realize there is a different price scale today for such an awakening it is not in an economic equivalent to reality.   Yes, tickets then may have been in the $20 range(high for the time) but now to introduce someone to a Broadway experience (unless you can garner something on TDF) will set you back some $125.00 plus all kinds of unexplainable charges.   I have always wanted to help restore theaters---now that is a charge,  delivery---a charge because they held them. and so it goes.  Then there are on-line sites where people sell their tickets and hope for a vast profit.

Then what is the Broadway experience?   When it comes to musicals we are speaking here of what are in fact "Tourist Trapping Moments" (you know---I saw it on Bway) .  Then there are the wonderful dramas and plays.  Their runs are never very long.   That is unfortunate since that is what theater is all about.   Theater is also all about dramatic musicals---not special effects. Or Juke Box Musicals---Abba, Jersey Boys. Faux Beatles.  Think instead Carousel, West Side Story, In The Heights and the like.

Times do change, admittedly.  Sometimes they are really not for the better.   Standards are lowered,  prices are raised, and hype makes people believe they are on to something really special.  They are.  They are getting ripped off.  Think of some of the local venues you might attend that offer great moments of entertainment for a fraction of Broadway prices.  Of course there is the parking and transportation.  No problem locally, I should think.   Of course you do miss the "drama" of  "The Big Apple"===but that lil ole worm has finally bored his way in to that.  I do believe I know the specific day it happened.

When all is said and done I do believe that I could introduce a youngster to theater and he would fall in love with it and I would not have to suffer the Mortgage Costs.of Broadway.

All the above said I do have to admit that there are good reasons why I am not a booker, an investor, or a promoter.   Today I was in conversation with a wide spectrum of people of various ethnic make-up and I found, to my surprise, that they had all seen Lion King and were raving about it.   My grandson just saw it and raved about it and I appreciate that my daughter introduced him that Broadway experience.  One does have to say that the experience of today is quite different to what I might think of as impressive---say, South Pacific, Gilbert & Sullivan (my first experience with D'oyly Carte-already noted)) or any of the others mentioned above.  One can only hope that "special effects" do not overtake a true musical drama with memorable music---again, think of the previously mentioned.  In addition one has to pray that real drama still has a place on the "Great White Way" when the runs for those seem rather short lived.   That Championship Season is closing.   I saw Thurgood a while back---brilliant and closed. 

So, final thought on Bway experience---stick to TDF or TKTS and don't support these over the top prices.  Prices that equal one evening's entertainment for the entire budget of some family's for sustenance.  By the way---Al Pacino in a one man show (I do not know what he plans to do in it) is on Stub Hub for ---hold your breath----$1100.   Any takers?

The random thoughts were plural so it is only proper that I add a few more..  I have already mentioned the programs (TRADITIONS & SUNDAY SIMCHA) and  do have tell you all how delighted I am with the increasing popularity of SUNDAY SIMCHA.  The listeners keep recommending others and so the Ponzi Scheme here goes on.  We are just like Social Security, I suppose.  The best legal Ponzi scheme I know of.

Which leads me to the last random thought about a conundrum.  How is it possible to know someone for years and not know that person is capable of violence?  How is it possible that this person has always been thought annoying and irritating by many and yet some slight (of his own making) can set this person off to violent behavior?  Stay tuned for News At 11---they always find those folks.

Well, since we talked of a Broadway experience and also Gilbert & Sullivan---and how that one does not necessarily have to be on Bway to have an experience---well---whey not---

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