Daily Rehearsal: Ben Brantley gives you your 15 minutes

December 22, 2011

1. Lynn House is a mixologist, but she's also an actress, and a part of the Reader's People issue -- which is all about people, if you hadn't guessed. Other news isn't, you see. She's performed all over town, and has some lovely insights into drinking too.

2. Lookingglass Theatre Ensemble Member and director J. Nicole Brooks was on The Morning AMp today talking about their new show Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting. As the title implies, it's about Branch Rickey, General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who asked Jackie Robinson to play in the Major League as their first black ballplayer. The show opens first thing in January.

3. La Cage has finally hit. But Kris Vire is right, the plot does sound familiar, and it's because you've seen The Birdcage on TV everytime you go home to your mom's house and she has every channel but of course the only movie playing is, inexplicably, The Birdcage. But I digress. Vire is not wowed by this production, but does say that it's "worth a look for the defiantly sassy troupe of Cagelles, executing Lynne Page's muscular chorus-girl-boy choreography with élan, and for the superlative Sieber, who's indeed his own special creation." Siber plays the lead, a cross-dresser in relative domestic bliss with his nightclub owning boss.

4. Brian Babylon shows his serious side this week. This rare moment is captured by professor and sociologist Celeste Watkins-Hayes for Chicago Magazine, where he candidly discusses his attempts to bridge the North and South Sides of Chicago through his work in comedy and for Vocalo. 

5. New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley gets his fair share of hate mail (or hate phonecalls, before the days of caller ID). But he says more than a few of them have been from people who felt they were left out of his reviews, whether for praise or blame. So here, for the holidays, is a once in a lifetime opportunity: "This being the end of a year," Brantley writes, "– a time to make amends and blow a few horns – I am throwing open the door for those who feel they have been unsung in Times theater reviews. This is a one-time opportunity only. Sing away!" To the comments!

So far, they include those that are entirely off-topic, those that sing the praises of Stage Managers, and those that say "Good for you, Ben! You are a prince among critics."

 

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.