Rock Theater

Lenny Bruce’s Rock Song Legacy

On Oct. 13, had he lived, Lenny Bruce would have turned 86 years old. You could joke about the very idea of him ever living that long, but the fact remains that there was nothing at all funny about him dying at age 40 in 1966. Lenny Bruce’s preferred music was jazz, though in the … Continue reading »

Categories: Rock Theater, Stand-Up Comedy, Uncategorized | 13 Comments

When It Raines, It Palmers

Ran into Chad Raines a few weeks ago. Good thing, because I going into withdrawal from not writing about him since he graduated from Yale last spring. Even before he got into the Yale School of Drama sound design program, Chad distinguished himself in New Haven as the video overload of the public-access community television … Continue reading »

Categories: Rock Theater, Uncategorized, Yale Cabaret, Yale School of Drama | 2 Comments

Satire is What Closes on Saturday Night Live

What does “Live from New York” mean to you? It means that Saturday Night Live can be the most theater-conscious mainstream comedy show on TV. You can imagine the SNL writers staring out their Rockefeller Center windows waiting for inspiration to strike, glimpsing Times Square, then rushing to the typewriters. The list is extensive. Highlights: … Continue reading »

Categories: Rock Theater, Stand-Up Comedy, Television, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Ukulele Faustus: Chris Arnott plays tonight

I have a ukulele gig tonight (Thursday, Sept. 22) at the New Haven club Café Nine. I mention it because, as part of what I laughingly call my “act,” I perform a ukulele variation on the incantation speech from Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. Just the one scene so far, but I’m working on more. My father … Continue reading »

Categories: Previews, Rock Theater, Uncategorized, Vaudeville | Leave a comment

Replacement Cast

I did a big review/feature on Gorman Bechard’s Replacements documentary Color Me Obsessed over at my other writing place. Got me thinking about the theater crossover potential of that hallowed sloppy-yet-savvy rock band. Lead guitarist Bob Stinson often wore a tutu onstage. When particularly soused, the band would cover showtunes such as “Hello Dolly.” Would … Continue reading »

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A Man’s a Starman

David Bowie—Starman By Paul Trynka (Little, Brown/Hachette, 2011) This is the first Bowie bio I’ve found that gives serious attention to the erstwhile David Jones’ stage- and film-acting projects alongside his musical ones. The book devotes over six pages just to the BBC’s 1981 TV adaptation of Brecht’s Baal, in which Bowie starred. It’s revealed … Continue reading »

Categories: European Theater, Politics, Rock Theater, Television | Leave a comment

The Alternative Music Man

Considering how The Beatles pointed a lot of people towards this particular show, I’ve always been surprised at how few pop-music acts have exploited The Music Man. The relatively few contemporary acts who’ve dipped into The Music Man’s score have done so far too timidly. This is a show that mocks parents’ consternation at the … Continue reading »

Categories: Lists, Rock Theater | 2 Comments

Leiber & Stoller & Brecht & Weill

Jerry Leiber (who died yesterday) and Mike Stoller deserve more respect from the theater world than just as the songwriters behind one of the better jukebox musicals. Man, even the Leiber obit in Playbill Online sells the guy short, concentrating mainly on Smokey Joe’s Cafe while mentioning in passing that Stoller co-wrote the score for … Continue reading »

Categories: Obituaries, Rock Theater | 1 Comment

The Wine Peep Through Their Scars

Two theater references in this short London Times editorial regarding AC/DC’s full-band endorsement of a line of Warburton Estate wines. Vintages include Highway to Hell Cabernet Sauvignon. AC/DC are merely following a path trodden by other one-time hellraisers. A journey from consuming substances so toxic they make lab rats go blind to marketing your own … Continue reading »

Categories: Rock Theater, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Rock & Roll Acting School

I liked a stage show and to me The Ramones were very theatrical because they didn’t move. You had all these guys doing theatrical stuff that was so excessive, yet The Ramones were getting more out of Joey moving his leg. They would just stand still. Joey would move his leg. Johnny would jump once … Continue reading »

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