Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Here's Hopin' For The Open: Rafa in Round One

(Look who's happy now?)

Congrats to my main man, Rafael Nadal, for a strong and convincing win in his 1st round match at the US Open. It was a tough match thanks to great play by his opponent, Teymuraz Gabashvili from Russia. Sill Rafa won in straight sets - 7-6, 7-6, 6-3.

At this year's Open, Rafa is bidding to become only the seventh player in history to complete the career Grand Slam. If he does so, he'd be the youngest man in tennis history to achieve such an incredible task. He'd also have a 9th Grand Slam title, and have won three of four slams for the year which is pretty amazing. It's not gonna be easy, but it's obvious Rafa really wants it. He's in the best physical health he's ever been this late in the season. He's had a so-so American hardcourt run this summer, but seeing him play tonight, I gotta like his chances to at least make the semis again this year.

Rafa's also outfitted this year in black and florescent yellow. His shirt looks a little armor-plated. His fashion sense is always a little out there, but this one seems more normal than other looks he's had in the past. I have tickets to the Open on Monday, and I really hope Rafa is playing in the night session. That would be AMAZING. Vamos, Rafa!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

2010 Emmys: We're All A Bunch of Bucky Gunts Here

(Ricky is thrilled with how the awards are going on Sunday night, and i can't say I disagree, even if I picked almost none of them. Not even Bucky Gunts.)

It always seems a little silly to comment on an awards show days after it happened. At this point in time everyone has forgotten about it, except the people who won (and, I guess, the people who lost) . This year's show, however, turned out to be especially amusing, because of my early predictions. Before the show started, I jotted down who/what I thought would win in the major categories and it looked a little something like this:

Outstanding Drama Series - Mad Men
Outstanding Comedy Series - Glee
Outstanding Lead Actor, Drama - John Hamm, Mad Men
Outstanding Lead Actor, Comedy - Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Outstanding Lead Actress, Drama - Juliana Marguilles, The Good Wife
Outstanding Lead Actress. Comedy - Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama - Terry O'Quinn, LOST
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy - Chris Colfer, Glee
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama - Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy - Jane Lynch, Glee
Outstanding Reality Competition - Amazing Race

Of these 11 categories, I was correct only 3 times. I predicted Mad Men, Edie Falco and Jane Lynch. I was wrong about everything else. Damn, Emmys. Usually you are so predictable! This year there were so many first time winners. You really spread the love around. Well played.

I must say well played to Jimmy Fallon too. It's not like everything he did worked. The internet inspired intros were a bust and he relied on his guitar too often, but the Glee-inspired opening sequence was so awesome he built himself enough good will to carry him through the rest of the show. Plus it ended on time! So good work, Fallon. I was impressed.

And before we move on from this forever, I must mention the fun appearance by Ricky Gervais who delighted so much in the name "Bucky Gunts" as a nominee, that he pretty much jumped out of his skin when Bucky actually won. I hope Gervais brings that enthusiasm and humor to his return gig at the Golden Globes. That would be delightful!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Timing is Everything! With Donnie & Angela - The Owen Panettieri Interview!

(Angela isn't flipping me off here. She's just moving her hand really fast. She's very excited to talk to me.)

Yes, it's me! I sat down with Donnie & Angela and they raked me across the coals for not being able to talk about my play in simple sound bytes. It's awesome. I'm so glad I got to spend time with them. Enjoy!

Timing is Everything! With Donnie & Angela - The Justin Anselmi Interview

(Donnie and Angela ask Justin all the right questions in all the wrong ways.)

Donnie & Angela are at it again. This time interviewing Justin who plays Matty in the The Timing of A Day. I love Justin. He brings exactly what I was hoping for with his portrayal of Matty. In this wide ranging interview the trio discuss what it's like not being a lead, the potential pitfalls of playing a spoiler agent and the salacious art of fanfic. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Timing is Everything! with Donnie & Angela: The Nik Kourtis Interview!

On this Opening Night Eve, we have a special treat for you: Donnie & Angela's interview with Nik Kourtis! Nik plays Doug in The Timing Of A Day. Both Donnie and Angela are very taken with him and they have a hard time remembering to ask him questions about the show instead of just grilling him for personal information. Stay on task, you two!

The Timing of a Day opens Wednesday 8/18/10 at 2pm, at the 4th Street Theatre - 83 East 4th St @2nd Ave in NYC! Tickets for the opening performance are still available for purchase at the the theatre 15 minutes before showtime! See you there!!

Timing Is Everything with Donnie & Angela: The R. Elizabeth Woodard Interview!

(Where does the interview end and the jealous sniping begin? Tune in to find out!)

Hey guys! Donnie & Angela are at it again, bringing you the next in their series of cast interviews from The Timing of A Day. This time they are talking to R. Elizabeth Woodard who plays Paige, the one girl in the show. Donnie is rather smitten, but Angela's opinion of Beth is... well let's just say their exchanges become "contentious." Enjoy! The Timing of a Day opens TOMORROW 8/18/10 at 2pm, at the 4th Street Theatre - 83 East 4th St @2nd Ave in NYC! Tickets for the opening performance are still available for purchase at the the theatre 15 minutes before showtime! See you there!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

SYTYCD 7 - It's the Finale, Pippin! The Finale!

(YOU LOOK MALEVOS. Lauren proves she had the right amount of Showmentum to overtake fan favorite Kent and take the title of America's Favorite Dancer #7. Congrats, Lauren!)

So yes, this finale might have happened like... two weeks ago? But the lateness of the recap is not my fault, see? Ok, it is, but there's good reason. My play opened! And it got very nice reviews here and here. So I've been busy. But I finally got to finishing the recap. In the interim between the finale and right now, the Creative Arts Emmys were given out and SYTYCD won two. Congratulations to Soyon An, Costume Designer and Grainne O’Sullivan, Wardrobe Supervisor for their win in "Outstanding Costumes For A Variety, Music Program or a Special (JURIED AWARD)" as well as MIA MICHAELS “Outstanding Choreography” as choreographer of "Gravity/Addiction," "Koop Island Blues" and "One." Nice job, Show.

Okay, on to the task at hand. It's the Finale, y'all. We've got 2 contempos, and 1 jazz hands left! How far they've come. Remember when the entire season happened? Cat will narrate as they play you a montage of top moments. Each dancer will be dancing roughly 300 times tonight to fill two hours. No need to worry about injuries now! Welcome... to So You THINK You Can Dance!

No guest judge this week. Let's get to the dancing!

Kent - with All-Star Lauren in a Bollywood number by Nakul. It's a fun routine. In truth, I think this is Lauren at her sexiest, and I can't take my eyes off of her. I can see that Kent has his mega-watt smile next to her, but I notice it just barely. There are no mess ups though. I'm sure he's doing well beside her. The judges all love Kent in the routine and think it's a great start to the show. There's a bizarre moment during the judging when All-Star Lauren runs off stage and maybe smacks into a post? They all comment on it, but you can't see what happened. I'm curious how she can dance so well and then not be able avoid a post on her way into the giant wings of the stage.

Lauren (contestant version) - hip hop with Twitch and NappyTabs supplying the choreo. It's election themed and it's a little bit if Obama was running against Tracy Flick. Lauren does a couple of athletic back flips at one point and it strikes me how versatile she really is. She's great at hip hop, she's great at ballroom, she's great with gymnastics, great with contempo and, of course, Jazz. The judges all love Lauren. They just dump as much praise on her as possible. She's earned it though.

Robert - dancing with Mark in a Tyce jazz routine. They gave Robert Tyce choreo?? NO!!!! Unfair! The dance to "Whip It" by Devo. They look very similar, Robert and Mark, especially in their matchy matchy suits. It's a better routine than what Tyce has been giving us in Broadway lately. One thing that bugs me is that for most of the dance Mark is positioned one step downstage of Robert and since Mark is so damn good, i feel like it pulls focus from Robert. Nigel congratulates Robert and admits he doesn't really care who wins tomorrow, he loves all three of them so much. Mia loves Robert too, and Adam notes Robert finally jumps up and not down which was an issue for him earlier in the season. That has been his JOURNEY.

Next Cat interviews Kent in a pre-recorded segment. I always like these at the end of the season because you really do feel like Cat went on this journey with them and they are reflecting on shared experiences. He talks about making faces a lot and Cat laughs at him/with him. Then back live, Kent does a solo. I think the solos have been much better this season. I actually think a lot has been much better this season.

Robert and Contestant Lauren - dancing contempo with Dee Caspary choreo. There's a pillow involved, and props can get tricky, but this dance really rocks, and the pillow is used well including this one part where Lauren throws the pillow to Robert and then jumps after it and Robert catches both the pillow and her so cleanly. The judges all hate it. I kid! The judges all love it. They are kinda going out of their minds with love and praise tonight. We're not even halfway done with the show yet!

Kent and Lauren - jazz with choreo by Mandy Moore. They are dancing to "Hip to be Square", and they are dancing nerds. It's cute but I feel like Mandy could've brought us something a little better for the finale. When they finish, Cat makes it known that Lauren gave Kent a black eye during rehearsal. Heeheehee! Accidents! The judges don't love the choreo either (they actually kinda sorta hate it), but still love Kent and Lauren. Mandy Moore is all "oh really, judges? F U." Sorry Mandy Moore, this underwhelmed. Quite adorably, Kent and Lauren come to Mandy's defense.

Cat sits down to chat with Robert. His favorite routine was the "broken mom dance" by Travis Wall with Allison. He never expected to make it this dar. If he wins, he's buying something for mom. Then he dances a lovely solo! Go Go Roberto!

Kent- partnered with Allison dancing contempo by Stacey Tookey. It's about a troubled couple. I think it's very lovely and emotional. Kent gets very emotionally affected by it. During critique, Mia gets Kent to admit he said "get off of me" to Allison toward the end of the routine. Mia loved the commitment. Adam asks Kent what's going on for him, and Kent starts to say he was so invested that the steps didn't even matter, but Adam freaks the eff out, scaring the shit out of Kent in the process. "Kent, you just became an artist!" Kent couldn't care less at the moment about what Adam is ranting about, even if Adam means well. Kent and Allison share a tender moment where Allison clearly shared the emotion that is washing over Kent, but she's older and more mature and knows how to process it internally. It's a very sweet reassurance on her part. Why did Adam have to freak out on Kent like that? Was he really not paying attention to Kent at all?

Lauren's time for an interview. She liked her prom dance with Kent the best. Then she does her solo. It's very good, as her solos are always home runs.

Robert - partnering with Kathryn to Broadway by Spencer Liff. Kathryn is a sexy interrogator and Robert is the suspect in custody. They're dancing to "Cool" from West Side Story. It's so good! Maybe my favorite of the night so far. Kathryn and Robert are super-sexy together. The dance is so sharp and the music of course is amazing. Robert's pants rip a big hole in the butt halfway through. Nigel tries to talk about how the song is in the movie but not the play, and Adam bitch-hisses that he's wrong. Adam's done this play a million times! What is Nigel talking about??? Mia amazingly pushes back on her chair and rolls out of their direct line of fire wanting no part of it. Nigel and Adam argue about it for a minute, as Nigel tries to find a way to backtrack since he's clearly wrong. He turns his attention to Robert and compliments his great work in the routine. Both Adam and Mia were not sure about this routine before it started because they are Jerome Robbins purists, but the fresh take won them over and they loved the actual dancing. Really "Cool" is one of the best dance songs ever on Broadway.

Lauren - Back with Pasha AGAIN for a Tony and Melanie choreo'ed Cha-Cha. She's really fantastic. She looks like a ballroom dancer. Pasha is the a super-amazing partner, but she looks damn near flawless in this routine. Lauren has really shown herself to be the most adaptable dancer this season. Good for her. The judges love her and Mia actually tells her that if she was still dancing she'd want to dance like Lauren. Damn. Is there higher praise? Adam can't top that and babbles on about something or other.

Robert and Kent doing a Malevos fight routine. The choreo is by Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo (who now?) and they tell us "malevos" means "gangster." So it's like two dudes training for the tango or something. I don't like it. It's a weak dance to end the evening and the season on. The boys just don't have the technique to make this work. They give it their damnedest though. The judges all breeze over the technique and don't care about slamming anyone at this point. They loved it, they lie. Well at least they love Kent and Robert and at the end of this long evening of dancing for both guys, they're gonna give them a pass.

I think this is a very even horse race, but I'd say it's between Kent and Lauren going into tomorrow. I'm only voting for Robert, my season-long favorite, but I think making it to top 3 was his biggest victory and it will end there. He had a great night though. Here's my order of preference for tonight's dances:

Robert & Kathryn Broadway
Robert & Lauren Pillow Contempo
Lauren & Pasha Cha-Cha
Robert & Mark Jazz
Kent & Allison Contempo
Lauren & Twitch Hip Hop
Kent & Lauren Geek Jazz
Kent & All-Star Lauren Bollywood
Kent & Robert Malevos

FINALE RESULTS!! It's two hours of TV but we are gonna slam through this thing right now.

The previous winners go Nick, Benji, Sabra, Joshua, Jeanine, Russell and soon somebody else. The opening number is not the original Garden party awesomeness from the start of the season, but a new number that's all over an Inception motif. I'm down with it. Alex Wong is pushed out on stage in a chair and he gets huge applause, and does some cool choreo with just his arms and hands. The whole routine is great and I love the army or All-Stars and Top 11 dancers tearing it up together. At the end it's just the three finalists standing on stage among the bodies of the fallen and those three look MEGA-INTENSE. Seriously, adrenaline is pumping, y'all.

The judges' table is filled to the brim. We've got Nigel, Mia and Adam per usual, and then Tyce, Stacey Tookey, Kenny Ortega (back again??), and last but NOT LEAST, Mary Murphy. Say what you will about the screaming, the show sorta missed her ballroom knowledge and her hot tamale train energy this season. I hope's back in a more regular capacity next season.

We go through all of last night's performances, which i thought really rocked, especially considering how many of them they had to do. Now it's time for the judges to select the season encores! Kenny Ortega is up first, and he chooses the Kent and Neil Broadway routine from Damn Yankees. Very good energy in this routine. Kent and Neil really complimented each other so well this season.

Nigel's choice is the Billy and Ade "Mad World" routine. Certainly one of my favorites this season. Billy seems to have some trouble getting the hat on right this time. he lets his eyes show more than when we saw it first. Still it's beautiful.

Then Quest Crew comes out, featuring SYTYCD alums Ryan (Season 1, I don't know him) and Hok (Season 3 - awesome!). They're grrrreat!

Mia's first pick is from NappyTabs (why are they not at the Judges' Table tonight?) with AdeChike and Comfort. It's not my favorite AdeChike dance, but Comfort deserves to be highlighted in this Finale for her excellent work all Season, and this is where she gets her due.

The next routine is Kent and Anya Teacher-Student love affair routine, to that annoyingly catchy song by those folks who can't really sing. This is another one that I don't think is a real classic, nor is it Kent's best work, but Anya was effing ANYA! this season, and again deserved to be highlighted somewhere in the finale.

Tyce's encore choice Robert and Dom's clown hip hop. This one I might have liked even better the second time through.

Nigel said for several weeks that he'd dance in the finale, but now that we're here, he's poking fun at the Season 7 curse with a phony injury, and gets a little boy to tap in his place. The kid's good! Then two other people tap. Then we're done with that.

Upon return, we get Nigel's pick. He goes with Lauren and Pasha's Argentine tango, which I again think is better than the already awesome original performance. If Lauren wins, she should thank Pasha for all the awesome routines he partnered her in, showcasing her versatility.

Adam's choice - Robert and Allison in Travis's Fix You Dance. This, along with Alex's "Outta Your Minds" routine really was the routine of the season. It's a very emotional dance, even if this encore feels juuuust a smidge off the original.

Then Russell comes out with Lil' C and they krump like nobody's business. I love Russell!! It's so awesome. He's basically there to remind people why he's on tour this year, but I for one had not forgotten.

Mary Murphy picks Jose and Dom's Excalibur routine for her encore choice. I thought she'd go ballroom. Hmph. This is not one of my favorite routines but it's probably Jose's best routine and this could not be a finale without judge favorite Jose! He's a sweet guy. He does good in the encore.

Charlie Bruce is a girl, despite her manly name. She is also the winner of SYTYCD - UK, and Nigel had her brought over to dance with Neil in a Mandy Moore routine. Charlie is amazing and Neil is so fucking good too. He's really grown so much since his season. It's so impressive.

Now it's time for Final 3 to become Final Two. it's Robert who's out first and I'm at peace with it. I'm glad he made it to the final. Robert thanks everybody who voted for him and loves his SYTYCD dancer family. You rock, Robert! Good job!

Adam gets another pick, and it's Lauren first hip-hop routine with Twitch that was cowboy-themed. I still can't get over Lauren's reverse tumbleweed somersault.

Then Cat gets a pick, or maybe just none of the judges want to pick a video. So Cat picks Alex and Allison in the Sonya routine from top 11 week that was SOOO good. It's great to see it again, but I still wish those stupid girls weren't screaming his name throughout the routine.

Stacey Tookey picks Bollywood with Billy and Robert, but her delivery is so slow, Cat cuts her off and throws it to the dance which is hilarious. The boys are super cute again doing this number. Bollywood was represented a lot this season. This one was my fav.

Mia next chooses Neil and Kent's "we are in a relationship but let's pretend we're just friends as we break up" routine. Neil throws Kent SO HIGH. I really dug this one. Good emotion from both of these guys. Rock solid.

Then we get another season-long montage on the screen while the audience in the theater gets a live performance of "Shine" by Black Gold, the group that's been serenading us all season to the exit packages of the top 11. The lead singer is kinda odd looking. Not like you'd picture from just hearing his voice. But I have really come to dig this song and his live performance continues to grow on me until I actually like it by the time we get to the end.

Then Ellen DeGeneres comes out to reenact The Alex&Twitch hop hop we love so much. I get what they were trying to do with this, but seriously, as I've said before, if it wasn't Baryshnikov showing up to do this dance, they should just have shown the video because nothing else would live up to it. Ellen does her best, but it's still weird for me.

Time to announce a winner. Cat gets both of their journeys out of the way, because this show always ends without talking to the winner at all, just because there's no time and everyone goes crazy. Finally Cat rips open the envelope, and tells us that America's Favorite Dancer 2010 is LAUREN! OOOOOH!!!!!

Then instantly a ton of awesome shit happens which makes this the best ending ever. Lauren's head almost explodes, confetti actually explodes (scaring everybody). Kent is given a ton of flowers and is led away and it's such a WTF moment. I mean the flowers are HUGE. Russell appears and he's super cool as he presents Lauren with a giant Gatorade bottle that says DANCE! Cat tries to get Lauren to say anything - ANYTHING about her win - after all, Cat worked damn hard to get the show in on time so she'd be able to say something right at the end. Lauren comes up with nothing and then her chance breezes by as the other dancers engulf her. In a wide shot, we see that Robert decided to aim for Kent first instead of Lauren and wraps him up and swings him around and around and your heart leaps at the sight of it. Then as everyone jumps around, Lauren continues to lose her mind with happiness, dumping the Gatorade over her head with wild abandon. Then she and Rob find each other and embrace and laugh with delight as if they're the only two people in the world, let alone on stage, and then Twitch and Dom join the party and hoist her up on their shoulders. And everyone is so so happy. It's amazing! It's the best thing ever! Lauren is radiant in her victory! Cat Deely lovingly bids us adieu for another summer. See you next year, my beloved!

In conclusion, I thought All-Stars was a great change this season. It was a good way to shake up the format, I really liked seeing all the former contestants coming back and totally rocking it week after week, and i thought it resulted in a much higher level of dance routines overall. Some people missed the relationships that developed in seasons past from contestants staying together until Top 10, and I get where they are coming from, but I like it this way too. I would not object if they did it again next year. I also liked that it didn't matter if all the girls got eliminated first if they got the lowest overall votes. I don't really blame the show for those three weeks of injuries. It did make voting basically unnecessary for almost a month, but it was just some bad luck that led us down that path. I hope Alex and Ashley recover quickly and completely. I hope everyone has a great time on tour. I will see this show, the panel of "jidges" and the eternally delightful Cat Deely back here next May. It's been a pleasure. Thanks for reading the recaps!

Timing is Everything! with Donnie & Angela: The Adam Shorsten Interview!

(It's Donnie & Angela! Superfans to the MAX!)

Allow me to introduce you to Donnie and Angela - two "superfans" of my play, The Timing of a Day. They fell in love with it at an early public reading and are now obsessed with getting all the info possible on the show - of which there is decidedly little. So in an effort to control their enthusiasm, the production has allowed them to interview the cast and production team for web videos so they can help share their love of the show with the masses. Hopefully, these superfans can keep their love for us under control as they spread the message that "Timing is EVERYTHING!"

The Timing of A Day opens on Wed. 8.18.10 at NYTW's 4th Street Theatre as part of FringeNYC. You can purchase tickets here. Come out and see us!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Plane Crazy!

By now you've heard of folk legend Steven Slater, the man who left his flight attendant job in epic fashion by cursing out obnoxious passengers, grabbing himself a beer off the beverage cart and taking a ride down the emergency slide to the tarmac below. I predict he will become a fabled character of Americana the likes of Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan. Who can say "Take This Job and Shove It" in a grander fashion than Steven Slater?

There's no actual video footage of this happening, which seems odd to me in this age of camera phones, but i guess people really did keep their handheld devices in the off position while they were in the cabin. There is this lovely simulation created by The Taiwanese firm Next Media Animation to give us a general idea of what might have happened.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video.

But the story gets better. Not only did he run down the tarmac with his two carry-ons and beers in hand, he made it to the AirTran and went home because it took JetBlue a whopping 25 minutes to even report the incident to the Port Authority! Way to be on top of security, JetBlue! Some of the passengers from the plane were even on the AirTran with him. Eventually the cops came to arrest Slater at his home where he was having sex with his boyfriend. He's since been released on bail. Do they not consider him a flight risk?

Now charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, I think he'll obviously have to pay a fine and serve some kind of anger management/probation sentence, but should he serve jail time? I think not. It's not like he really hurt anybody. He didn't start shooting people on the plane. Slater didn't assault the antagonizing passenger who set him off by clocking him in the head with his luggage and cursing him out. And the public reaction to his stunt is really fascinating. Most people acknowledge what he did was wrong but can't set aside their feelings that it's awesome someone lived out such a grand exit from their job. Especially being in a service position where you deal with ungrateful assholes all the time, it has to be incredibly liberating to tell the world to go eff itself and take a ride down an inflatable slide to freedom. Even passengers on the actual flight thought it was kind of awesome despite any inconvenience it caused them. As I said before, this is legendary.

As a one time event, I think this is amusing, but I wouldn't want to see many other flight attendants turn to vigilantism. There are better ways to deal with in flight stress. Look how this lady flight attendant deals with a tough situation on Lufthansa. She starts a pillow fight and everyone ends up happy.

Not everybody needs to live like a legend.

A Field Trip to FringeCENTRAL!!

Yesterday after we were done with Venue Prep, the incomparable Ariana Paganetti and I took a trip over to FringeCENTRAL to scope out the scene and replenish our post card supply.

(Streetside view! Such wonders await you inside!)

FringeCENTRAL was so lovely. A very fun and spacious place to get info on all the shows in the festival. Sit and rest a while, get a snack, read reviews and most importantly - but $15 tickets to shows without the online surcharge. Seriously, if you can make your way down to 1 East 8th St at 5th Ave, you should take advantage of this opportunity.

(FringeCENTRAL rocks!)

(A fun place for kids to draw and play.)

(A wall of postcards. So many great choices! But see The Timing of A Day FIRST!)

Everyone there was very nice and the vibe was very chill. I had a fun time scoping out the different areas and taking some well deserved rest time on the couches with Ari.

Ari and I had a nice talk with one of the guys behind the ticket counter. We told him we were with The Timing of a Day. He responds "Oh, I remember reading about that one. That's the one where someone dies, yes?" And I'm simultaneously like "OH! HE remembers us!" and "Does my fringe description really say someone dies?" It does. I had just forgotten that some people thought that was too much of a spoiler, and I had stopped saying that. But months ago, that was the quickest way for me to describe the show! Anyway, we assured him the play was not majorly sad and that it had a lot of humor and he he said he planned on seeing it, and we told him how much we hoped he would. But people know about the show! Exciting!

(Come get tickets! Everyone here is super-friendly and helpful!)

FringeCENTRAL is open daily from 12pm-8pm. Congrats to everyone at Fringe for setting up such a great place!

Venue Prep for Success!!

(Ariana is showing that she is the muscle behind the show and the muscle behind Venue Prep Day. Woohoo!)

Tuesday was our venue prep in NYTW's 4th Street Theatre. As I predicted, our sexy design team did a great job of showing up, dazzling everyone with their good looks and technical savvy and did so much work. I showed up at the end after work, where there was not much left to do, but I did haul some extra cabling and lights out to the front lobby. The lady of the hour/day/entire project is Ariana Paganetti, who is an amazing Project Manager/ACR/Friend/Hot Woman who was there the whole time. I would like to thank NYTW for the use of their space, FringeNYC and our amazing venue director, Krystal, for doing a fantastic job keeping things organized, and my incredible design team for their time and their talent of which i am incredibly appreciative. I know the cast is salivating to get into the space and I can happily report to them that I think they will be very comfortable there and it will be a great space to have the run for the next two weeks. it's so exciting to finally be in the theater! I didn't take pictures inside, because people were working on lights and taking pictures seemed like an unwelcome thing to do. But we took pictures outside! Woohoo!

(Home Sweet Home at the 4th Street Theatre!!)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

run and tell that!

This video has gone viral, so chances are you've seen it already. If you haven't, you need to check it out now. It's a regular news story about an attempted rape, which of course would not be funny at all if not for the AMAZING reactions of the potential victim and her brother. Please see for yourself:

Amazing no? Well, what'e even more amazing and even more hilarious is that the clip has been auto-tuned. The genius interpretation is below.

We gon find you. We gon find you.

Thanks to Suki for alerting me to the existence of this hilarity. TOO GOOD!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

SYTYCD 7 - Free To Be You And Me In The Final Three!

(FOUR NO MORE - The judges achieve their summer-long goal of eliminating AdeChike from the competition and all they needed to do was rely on the popular vote of the Viewing Public. Who would've thought? Still, group hugs are in order.)

It's the Final Four this week and usually that means we're at the Grand Finale (except for last season when they decided they were done whittling down the competition at Top 6...), but we continue to switch it up this season and we're cutting it to a Top 3. Of the four who remain, we've got 3 contempos, and 1 jazz hands left to shake their money makers! Woohoo! Welcome... to So You THINK You Can Dance!

Intros and everyone's healthy two weeks in a row, thank goodness. The final four's final pose downstage center is totally uninspiring. Two of them stand back to back and two of them crouch on the ground. I could do better than that. C'mon people. I'm sure we'll all tired, but dig deep! Tyce is on the judging panel this week along with the regulars. I'll take a guess right now and say his commentary will add nothing for me. There is a Top 4 group number this week that Tyce choreographed to The Crapshooters Dance from Guys and Dolls. It opens the show and it's the dumbest routine I've seen in a long time. It's totally boring and showcases no one's skills. They might as well have done jazz squares for the length of the music and it would've been cooler. My high school production of Guys & Dolls had choreo to blow this out of the water. I don't know why I'm spending so many words on such a weak routine. I liked Tyce's group routine from the Results Show a couple weeks ago, but this one is just a bunch of nothing. Tyce does take a moment afterward to compliment Kent, Robert and Lauren, but says he wants to see more fight in AdeChike which I take as a harbinger for more criticisms against AdeChike still to come tonight. These judges have agendas! The contestants won't be dancing together at all this week. They'll be dancing two routines with different All-Stars. I want to see an effing waltz finally and also maybe a Robert hip hop routine. Will the show continue to deny me??

Lauren - Argentine Tango with Pasha. The dance is very very passionate. Pasha clearly knows what he's doing and Lauren just lets go into him. The routine has a voyeuristic quality given how intense they are with each other in their own little world. I just wish it had more kicking, because i do like between-the-legs kicking in my tangos. When it's time for the panel to way in, even the usually "No-Homo Nigel" admits that he wants to dance with Pasha, that's how intense it was. Tyce and Mia really liked Lauren's maturity in the dance and Adam literally sings his praise to her, and also gets Nigel to agree to marry him now that Prop 8 was overturned in Cali (woohoo!).

AdeChike - Afro-Jazz with all-star Lauren as choreo'ed by Sean Cheesman. The dance is fun but not even midway through, I notice how tight AdeChike's shoulders look, and I know the judges will pounce on him. They do, especially Mia who never misses a chance to dis an AdeChike performance. In truth, there's wasn't enough joyful abandon from AdeChicke in this routine. The judges have been trying to get him in the bottom 3 for FOREVER. This is their last chance to get him off the show and they're going for it!

Robert - partnered with Anya and dancing a Viennese waltz! A waltz! What I've been waiting for all season! Thank you, producers. This one will be choreo'ed by Jonathan Roberts. As soon as I see the rehearsal footage, I start to think this may be a case of After You Get What You Want You Don't Want It. Robert's actually done several ballroom routines this season, and in almost all of them I feel like I can see him concentrating too hard on the steps. I can see him thinking about it. He's got a decent connection with Anya though, who of course dances it beautifully. The judges, for their part, showed up wearing their "Go Go Roberto!" T-Shirts tonight and all profess their love for the routine. Superlatives all around, which makes me happy because I want Robert to make it to the final round next week. As Cat is wrapping things up with Robert you can see he's gripping her very tightly, mostly out of adrenaline and probably a little because it's Cat and how could you not if she was already that close to you? Cat doesn't seem to mind it at all.

Kent - gets himself Courtney and Disco by Doriana Sanchez. Hmm. Disco hasn't been too succesful this season. It's like hip hop was for the last two seasons. I'm glad hip hop is on the rise again for this show. The dancing is fun - if not a little cutesy - as Kent continues not to be able to clamp down his face. BTW, Courtney's hair is twelve miles high. It's insane. They do this one airplane spin that's so fast it looks like it might go completely out of control, but they maintain it. The judges are not wow'ed - even Nigel, who has a soft spot for disco routines. Mia calls it Kent's worst all season. The discussion gets so bad that Nigel breaks off his engagement with a nay-saying Adam. Dance is tearing love apart.

Second Round!

Lauren - partnered with Ade doing Sean Cheesman jazz. This is a reunion from Top 11 week, when the judges didn't like Lauren's performance so much, nor her lack of connection to the amazing Ade. Let's see how things go this time! Lauren is a black widow spider spinning her web of sexiness around Ade. It's a very sharp, athletic and energetic piece. i was really into this one. Two stand out moments - an insane lift where Ade grabs Lauren's arms, and then flips her upside down with her feet on his shoulders, and then pulls her up above his head. It sounds confusing and painful, but it was awesome. The other cool moment was an extremely quick hand movement sequence which Lauren and Ade nail. Really really good. Nigel loved it, but some of the others wanted more sexy ferociouness. Seriously, judges? You try to do that routine better.

AdeChike - Kathryn and contemporary with choreo by Dwight Rohden and Desmond Richardson! AdeChike's dance hero! That's awesome. It's all about showcasing AdeChike to his fullest, but again I find this lacking. Maybe it's that the dude just looks spent. I have a hard time focusing on the routine. Clearly the judges sense this the legitimate window they've been waiting for to criticize AdeChike fairly and then bounce him from the show. Nigel notes his falling energy throughout the routine. Mia says she still wants more. The kid ain't perfection and we want perfection! The others don't do much to defend him. AdeChicke gives a tearful speech of thanks and farewell. Dude always handled himself well when the judges went after him. Gotta respect that.

Robert - paired with Dominic for a hip-hop routine! Choreo by NappyTabs. This is what I asked for as well! Producers, tonight you are spoiling me. Robert and Dom are sad clowns. Dom looks like the Joker from Dark Knight and Robert's got static hair like he rubbed his head on one of the many balloons populating the stage. This is a very fun routine. Robert and Dom have good chemistry and Robert keeps up with all the moves. The judges dig it and again do their best to keep Robert around for Top 3. Adam says Rob outdanced Dom, and I wish they would stop saying bullshit like this. None of the All-Stars have been outdanced this season. They are not supposed to be pulling focus from the contestants. They are trying to make the contestants look better, so don't diminish them for it in the critique. It's annoying. Mia thought the routine was "dope" and I'm happy that Robert has two champions in Nigel and Mia.

Kent - closing the show with Neil doing Travis Wall contempo. The theme here is the breakup of "a friendship," Neil literally punches Kent in the back at out point as if a knife is going in. Neil is wearing a black tank top so you know he's the baddie. This is a very good routine. There is a lot of emotional weight to it that compliments the very athletic dancing of Neil and Kent. Those two make very good dance partners. I don't see why they have to be "friends" instead of lovers which is really what the implication is here anyway. Maybe if Prop 8 had fallen a couple days earlier it would have been more explicit. :) Travis is very broken up about the routine afterward because it's based on his life, and Mia and Adam also cry for the 900th time this season. This was a very good recovery for Kent after his not-so-great Disco earlier tonight.

My preference for tonight's dances goes a little something like this:
Kent and Neil's contemporary
Lauren and Ade's jazz
Lauren and Pasha's tango
Robert and Dominic's hip-hop
Robert and Anya's waltz
Kent and Courtney's disco
AdeChike and Lauren's African jazz
AdeChike and Kathryn's contemporary

Tomorrow: the final cut! Voting America will make its first real impact all season. Hopefully Robert did enough to stay alive. I sure voted for him!

Results Show: We open with a weird sorta dance that I enjoy, but it takes me a long time to realize part of my unease is that i can't identify any of the people on stage as contestants. That would be because there are none. It's all all-stars. I guess that's a result of the Top 4 wasting their time on that Tyce number that opened Tuesday's show. Dee Kaspary did the choreo for this and it was a nice job indeed. i

National Dance Day happened but I don't feel like writing about it.

Nigel talks a bit about the finale. He slyly mentions NASA is involved, so who the hell knows what crazy ass thing they have planned there. He'll also be getting his tappa tappa tappa on for our viewing pleasure. And for some reason instead of just showing us the Alex/Twitch "Outta Your Mind" routine on video they are performing it with a surprise guest replacement. Who could it be - Baryshnikov? An "Only Mostly Dead" Michael Jackson? Otherwise, just play the tape of Alex doing it, please.

Before results, there is already filler in the form of Janelle MonĂ¡e, singing a song about a tightrope. It's actually kinda cool and interesting, but seriously just tell me who is going home, Show.

Everyone does a solo tonight. All of the solos are fine.

There's an extended commercial for Gatorade within the show. Please, can we have some results?

Finally, the dancers are out on stage. Lauren is safe first and then Kent. There's more to it than that but I'm cutting to the chase.

Desmond Richardson is on hand to dance awesome for the masses. It's fantastic, but will I never get to see my Transformers routine with All-Stars Pasha and Lauren, Show? You gave me a waltz and Robert's hip hop, now give me my Transformers!

The Final Four went to see Step Up 3D. I did not. Flo Rida is on hand to perform a song from the film. Several All-Stars dance around him. Cat assures us Flo Rida smells great. Please just let me know if Robert made it to next week's show already!

AdeChike is out and Robert is in! Hooray! The montage for AdeChike is very nice. He did have some good moments throughout the season! The three dancers who didn't just lose, run back on stage to hug AdeChike.

On Tuesday, The Top 3 dance for all the marbles and then Wednesday we award Kent (or maybe someone else!) the title of America's Favorite Dancer! I can hardly wait!