Archive for the ‘Plays’ Category

Shirtlessness and more: Bouguereau and Sargent

March 12, 2018

(This posting has reproductions of art works in which penises and female breasts are exposed. My belief is that these works — now on public display in mainstream art museums — fall under the Fine Art Exemption to the ban on such images on WordPress, Facebook, Google+, and elsewhere.)

A follow-up to yesterday’s posting “Annals of shirtlessness: French neo-Classicism”, whose centerpiece was Bouguereau’s Dante and Virgil, featuring two shirtless, in fact naked, men in combat. The painter was heaviy focused on the female form, so his treatment of the male nude is of some interest. On Facebook, Corry Wyngaarden then supplied another Bouguereau example:

(#1) Bouguereau, The Remorse of Orestes (1862)

(with drapery cunningly concealing the man’s genitals, making the painting acceptable for exhibition at the Paris Salon; in intent, this is not a cock tease, but a modest cover-up). The Bouguereau Orestes led me immediately to John Singer Sargent’s Orestes Pursued by the Furies (1921). And from there to Sargent‘s treatment of male nudes, in a set of drawings and paintings kept secret during the painter’s lifetime — sexually explicit, homoerotic works.

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Woolly Mammoth flips us the bird

June 16, 2017

A few days ago, Michael Palmer posted this logo, commenting “I was unaware that Arnold Zwicky was in the theatah”. It’s the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, with its logo in rainbow for Pride Month, and the woolly mammoth is my totem animal. Oh yes, and I’m gay, so it all fits.

(#1)

Then I recalled having written about the theatre company and one of its productions, with fuck in the title, so that it presented an issue for publicity and for publications reviewing the production — notably, the ostentatiously modest (no fuck for us, please, we’re a family newspaper) New York Times.

But apparently I never actually wrote the story up; memory is a fickle, fickle thing. In any case, the play is Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird, which had its world premiere at the Woolly Mammoth in 2013, and I’ll write about it now. Even better, the Times‘s handling of the situation when the show came to NYC last year is truly wonderful.

Now: some bits on the Woolly Mammoth, on experimental theatre companies, and on Posner’s play. Then on the play in the media, with the the NYT as the capper.

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Lili Darvas

May 31, 2016

(on actors, writers, and artists, with not much on language)

… and Billy Mumy and Ferenc Molnár and Edith Barakovich. It starts with some tv I watched yesterday: “Long Distance Call”, episode 58 of the American tv series The Twilight Zone (originally aired on 3/31/61), notably featuring Lili Darvas and Billy Mumy:

(#1)

The set-up, from Wikipedia:

A boy named Billy communicates with his father’s mother using a toy telephone that she gave him on his birthday before she died. His parents become concerned when Billy spends all his time having “pretend” phone conversations with his deceased grandmother. He says that she tells him she is lonely and misses him.

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Morning names: Alan Ayckbourn, Teddy Ruxpin

February 20, 2015

Yesterday, Alan Ayckbourn (the playwright). Today, Teddy Ruxpin (the toy).

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