Monday, August 31, 2009

the emmy photos: blake ginther

this is blake ginther and somebody's emmy award.

blake sent this photo a few months back, over a crappy phone. i felt bad when i got it, because i thought, "gee, it's a cute photo and all. and he is holding an emmy award, there's no doubt. but the quality of the photo is so bad..."

today i thought, "oh hell, who cares."

so here is blake ginther holding someone's emmy. i don't even know whose emmy it is, maybe blake will write in and tell us. it certainly isn't blake's emmy, i know that much.

blake has an extremely sensitive bowel system. which is concerning, because right now blake is off somewhere, singing on a boat. for a very long time. but in reality, i guess you can have sensitive bowels and be on a boat for a long time and do okay. not sure what i was thinking there. maybe the singing part threw me off. he has a very pretty wife who is off somewhere singing on a boat too. they used to live in new york, but for right now they live on a boat. when they get off the boat, they'll go to north carolina or some shit.

blake has won many awards for playing card games like hearts and spades, and for counting cards and stealing the deal, and although he is good at card games, he sucks at pillow fights.

(click here to send in your (high-quality) photo of you with an emmy.)

come on-a my house, a-my house...

who could pass up a free variety show hosted by skylight ringmaster colin cabot? maybe he'll pull ray jivoff out of a hat, while you help make the company's debt disappear.

tuesday afternoon, september 1st, beginning at 5 pm the skylight opera theatre is throwing open it's doors for a huge celebration and the entire milwaukee community is invited. the whole event is free, and they're gonna put on one heck of a show. er...shows.

anyway, here's the official rundown:

Come one, come all for a FREE celebration of the Skylight Opera Theatre's rich 50-year history!

Whether you've been a Skylight patron since 1959 or if you've never even seen a show, this open house and concert will welcome you into the Skylight community – illustrating just how special this theatrical gem really is.

The event will include an intimate glimpse behind the scenes of the Skylight with backstage tours and costume, set and prop displays; a concert in Catalano Square with Skylight favorites singing big Broadway musical numbers, torchy jazz hits, arias - a taste of the variety of music theatre we perform on the Skylight mainstage; and a special performance featuring the magic of David Seebach and our own Colin Cabot and Norman Moses.
5-7:00 pm – Open house with backstage tours, exclusive access to Skylight memorbilia, and displays of props, costumes, and scenery

6:30-9 pm – Benefit concert in Catalano Square (corner of Menomonee and Broadway) with contributed performances by Skylight artists including a 50th Anniversary Season Preview

9-10:30 pm – Variety show hosted by Skylight favorite Colin Cabot
can't make it to the shindig tomorrow? you can still help the performers raise dough by contributing here.

the critic and the actor should be friends

a month ago i wrote what amounted to an ode to milwaukee theatre critic damien jaques, ending with this:
jaques couldn't do it. he couldn't bring himself to write that scathing, awful review.

because he cared too much about those actors.

and you know what i thought?
i thought, "i like this guy."
today, there's this from the guardian's theatre blog:
A question that comes up time and again in the theatre world is how critics and practitioners should relate to one another. The rise of theatre blogging has done a great deal to blur the lines between these two camps, due to the fact that more directors, actors and designers are taking to their keyboards to air their opinions, and that the internet allows artists and reviewers to talk more directly than ever before.
and it gets more, well...complicated.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

barry's link fixed

the most recent episode of my friend barry's emmy has been re-loaded, re-worked, and now has restored sound. enjoy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

quote of the day

"Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence and whereto."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

that's one down

i know what my dad's getting for christmas.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"a stirring tribute song to my good friend"

orrin hatch writes a song for ted kennedy. ('s not the first time.)

and while we're on the subject...

...of hunting barack obama, there's this from talking points memo:
Chris Broughton, the man who brought an assault rifle and a handgun to the Obama event in Arizona last week, attended a fiery anti-Obama sermon the day before the event, in which Pastor Steven Anderson said he was going to "pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell," Anderson confirmed to TPMmuckraker today.
keep in mind, should something horrible happen, none of these folks will be responsible.

idaho republican: "i would never
support him being assasinated"

idaho republican gubernatorial candidate rex rammell says he was just joking when he suggested hunting president barack obama.

from the twin falls, idaho times-news:
An Idaho Republican gubernatorial hopeful insists he was joking when he said he'd buy a license to hunt President Barack Obama.

[Rex] Rammell, slated to run against incumbent C.L. "Butch" Otter in the May 2010 GOP primary, made the comment at a Republican rally Tuesday in Twin Falls where talk turned to the state's planned wolf hunt, for which hunters must purchase an $11.50 wolf tag.

When an audience member shouted about "Obama tags," Rammell responded, "The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those."

Rammell told the Times-News newspaper he disagrees with Obama's politics but was only joking. Rammell says, "I was just being sarcastic. I would never support him being assassinated."
support it? don't be silly. but joke about it with friends? who doesn't!?

all these things i don't believe in

"I no longer believe in myth, and Beatles is another myth.

I don't believe in it. The dream is over. I'm not just talking about the Beatles, I'm talking about the generation thing. It's over, and we gotta — I have to personally — get down to so-called reality."
the new issue of rolling stone magazine re-examines the breakup of the beatles, including complete audio of jann wenner's historic 1970 interview with john lennon.

quote of the day

"Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope. I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington."
lynn jenkins
republican congresswoman from topeka, kanasas

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

a kennedy in green & gold

edward m. kennedy, the senate's "liberal lion" and "the last surviving brother of a generation of kennedys that dominated american politics in the 1960s," died late tuesday night at his home in hyannis port. he was 77 years old.

during his eight full terms in the senate, kennedy was a staunch advocate for national health care and spent much of his career fighting for civil rights issues.

kennedy's official senate bio also contains this tidbit:

On November 20, 1955, in a 21-7 defeat to Yale, Harvard's lone score came on a low five-yard pass that was snared by #88, the Senior Right End Ted Kennedy.

Just one month earlier, Kennedy's promise on the football field had caught the notice of Green Bay Packer Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn. "You have been very highly recommended to us by a number of coaches in your area and also by our talent scouts as a possible Pro Prospect," Blackbourn wrote to the young Right End.

Kennedy declined the offer, saying he was flattered, but that he had plans to attend law school and to 'go into another contact sport, politics'.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

chapter four: where'd that emmy go?

the summer reruns of my friend barry's emmy continue with this (cough-cough) classic. (have i mentioned the entire series is now in re-mastered, high-quality video?)

if you've missed anything – (and you still haven't seen chapter 2 have you?) – check out the barry's emmy widget in the dark green sidebar on the right, where you can watch 'em all.

my friend barry's emmy
chapter 4,
episode 8

"all it's lacking is a spark"

in a must-read sunday new york times column frank rich calls out, among others, oklahoma senator tom coburn for what basically amounts to tacit support for extremism in the u.s. or as rich calls it, "the simmering undertone of violence in our politics."

what's most disturbing is this frightening nugget:
This month the Southern Poverty Law Center, the same organization that warned of the alarming rise in extremist groups before the Oklahoma City bombing, issued its own report. A federal law enforcement agent told the center that he hadn’t seen growth this steep among such groups in 10 to 12 years. “All it’s lacking is a spark,” he said.

hands off the fur, bitch.

elmo is pissed.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

get golden, get happy

i know, it sounds like a million other songs. but man...this makes me happy. play it loud, sing along (you'll know it by the second chorus) and dance like a fool around the living room.

moses wants your moola (for the skylight)

"This is Norman Moses and I’m writing to ask for money.
How’s that for to the point?"
so begins a letter being sent out by milwaukee actor norman moses, in a plea to help the struggling skylight opera company.

the artists that protested so intently over the last several weeks are now coming back to do what they can to bolster the company's finances.

moses is making the plea on behalf of the performer action committee of the skylight opera theatre.

here is the rest of moses' plea as sent to patrons, subscribers, donors, and artists in the milwaukee community and beyond:
If you have not been following the national arts news in the past month or so, you may have missed the turmoil that has been going on in Milwaukee at the Skylight Opera Theater since June 16th. Dan Wakin of the New York Times came out with this article about it on August 4th.

Then, on August 5th, a day after the Times article came out, this bombshell landed.

The following article came out on Sunday, August 9th in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

We are now in amazingly good hands.

Such is the power of peaceful protest. As a result of this upheaval, the Skylight artists and patrons have come together in an effort support the Skylight as it navigates through this difficult financial time.

The Skylight owns the Broadway Theater Center, which is the building that houses the offices and performing spaces for the Skylight, the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, and the Bel Canto Chorus and Present Music. Those arts groups depend upon the Skylight to remain financially stable.

In 1594 there were Queens and Kings who were the corporate sponsors for Shakespeare and his plays. We don’t have Kings and Queens any more. But we do have you. All of the Skylight artists are determined to continue to offer you the high quality music theater we have offered you for the past 50 years. With your help now, we will be able to offer it for another 50 years.

You can start now by helping us raise $50,000. Pledge 50 for 50. $50 for the Skylight’s 50th Anniversary season. Be one of the 1000 people to pledge $50 each by September 18th, the opening of the season. If you only have $10, ask four of your friends to chip in the same. Easy, right? You can spend $50, and then some, going out to dinner these days. So go out one evening less this month, and give that $50 to the Skylight. Pledge of multiples of $50 like $100, $250, $500, $1000…you get the point…are highly encouraged. There must be a few of you Kings and Queens out there yet.

If you are already a donor, thank you for your generous support. More than ever, we need you to continue your regular donations. Would you consider an additional pledge of $50 this year for the Skylight’s 50th anniversary season?

The Skylight artists have wonderful things in store for you this season, starting off with a free concert in Catalano Square (located just south of the Broadway Theater Center, 158 North Broadway) on September 1st, from 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, during the Skylight Open House, which is 5:00 – 7:00. Many other great events are being planned for the entire season. It’s going to be an amazing anniversary.

Whether you can make a donation or not, please forward this e-mail to siblings, parents or friends who still may have a connection with, and love of Milwaukee, and who believe that the arts must flourish in our city. We are hoping all can chip in at least a little.

You can donate online here.

Donations can also be sent directly to the Skylight. This link will send you to a donation form.

You will receive a letter verifying your donation for tax purposes.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and please give as much as you can. Milwaukee has grown into an amazing city, and arts groups, like the Skylight, have contributed so much towards making it a wonderful place to live.

Yours truly,

Norman Moses

Friday, August 21, 2009


photographs 5-8

see photographs 1-4 here.

quote of the day

"There was absolutely no support for that position within our department. None. I wondered, is this about security or politics? Post election analysis demonstrated a significant increase in the president's approval rating in the days after the raising of the threat level.

I considered the episode to be not only a dramatic moment in Washington's recent history, but another illustration of the intersection of politics, fear, credibility and security.

After that episode, I knew I had to follow through with my plans to leave the federal government."

tom ridge
secretary of homeland security under george w. bush
the "position" and "episode" ridge is talking about: on october 29, 2004, four days before the presidential election, attorney general john ashcroft strongly urged ridge to raise the nation's terror threat level, with strong support coming from secretary of defense donald rumsfeld.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

dale gutzman returning to the skylight

milwaukee's dale gutzman is returning to the skylight opera theatre to write and direct an evening with gilbert and sullivan for the company's 50th anniversary season.

skylight's interim artistic director colin cabot says gutzman "has some great ideas for the script which he's developing based on the original songlist from the skylight's first production in '59. they involve a chance meeting between gilbert & sullivan in an english gentlemen's club in heaven -- big leather chairs and alots of dry ice."

the skylight press release:
MILWAUKEE (August 20, 2009)... Dale Gutzman, founder and artistic director of Off The Wall Theatre, will return to Skylight Opera Theatre for the 50th Anniversary Season to write and direct An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan.

Gutzman is no stranger to the Skylight having directed twenty-three shows in the 1970s and 80s including the American premiere of Italian Straw Hat and productions of The Fantasticks, Mikado, Little Me, and more. Gutzman has also written nearly a dozen original shows for the Skylight and has acted in over twenty Skylight shows.

"I have always loved the Skylight and my memories of (Skylight founder) Clair (Richardson) and working there are among the most precious in my life. To be able to return and do Gilbert and Sullivan and to be able to write once again for the Skylight is a dream come true," said Gutzman.

Gutzman plans for an eclectic show filled with the unexpected. It will present Gilbert and Sullivan looking down at the original theatre on Jefferson leading into the new Cabot Theatre and commenting on the journey through song and nonsense to recall the "old" days with an eye on the future.

Gutzman reminisces, "We are all siblings in the arts in this town, and I feel a closeness that has filled a long vacant hole. Thank you, Skylight."

In addition to being the founder and artistic director for Off The Wall Theatre, Gutzman is an associate director of the Odessa Russian Drama Theatre in the Ukraine. As Resident Playwright at the Performing Arts Center in Thailand, he is one of the few Midwest artists to have had an audience with the Royal Family of Thailand. He was named one of the most gifted directors of Stephen Sondheim shows by the Sondheim Review, and is the only director to be twice honored as Director of the Year by Theatre Week Magazine.

An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan will be performed in the Broadway Theatre Center Studio Theatre from May 28 through June 20, 2010. Tickets are on sale now.

sheep. stupid, mindless sheep.

like the iraq war (wmd's, wmd's, wmd's) what we a segment of the population hears over and over and over again we they eventually believe, even if (wmd's, wmd's, wmd's) it's not true. last may, gop pollster and word wrangler frank luntz told the republicans how they should talk about health care reform. didn't matter what the proposals were, here's how you should talk about it, 'cause we don't want it.

guess what. it's working.

according to a new indiana university poll, broken down nicely by the plum line's greg sargent, folks some people are believing exactly what luntz and the republicans have been telling them to believe. even if (wmd's, wmd's, wmd's) it's not true. (notice in sargent's breakdown who's believing it.)

luntz tag-line for republicans, in may:
“If you have to wait weeks for tests and months for treatment, that’s a healthcare crisis.”
sargent's poll analysis:
• 67 percent of Americans believe that wait times for health care services (such as surgery) will increase (91 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Independents).
luntz in may:
“The gov’t will decide what treatment I can or can’t have. It will be gov’t run, bureaucratic-controlled and special interest driven”
sargent, today:
• 5 out 10 believe the federal government will become directly involved in making personal health care decisions (80 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of Independents)
more from sargent here.


photographs 1-4

quote of the day

"When I was a kid there was only one person in my hometown that played the guitar, and that was me. It was all piano in the old days. The guitar was rare.

What we did was take an acoustical instrument – which was a very apologetic, wonderful, meek instrument – and turned it into a pit bull."
– les paul
les paul, inventor of the electric guitar and multitrack recording, grew up in waukesha, wisconsin. he died last week thursday due to complications from pneumonia.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

leaving tevye in the dust

who said 13 was not a lucky number?

now that's funny! no, no...really!

rush limbaugh made today what is probably the funniest, freshest gay joke i've ever heard. seriously...ever heard. hold your horses, here it is:
Tuesday, [Barney] Frank asked a protester who had compared President Obama to Hitler, "On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

On his show Wednesday (via Mediaite), Limbaugh responded, mocking Frank and asking, "Isn't it an established fact that Barney Frank himself spends most of his time living around Uranus?"
oh my god right!? you're laughing now aren't you?! i mean...c'mon! i'm seriously spitting kool-aid out my...that' hmm.

why i twitter #5: more favre jokes

who would have guessed we'd wake up to even more coverage of brett favre un-retiring and signing with the minnesota vikings? today's witty twitters about brett are fewer and favre between (sorry) but some are worth culling none-the-less:
"That's it, Brett Favre. We are officially in a fight."

"Favre = Fail."

"I couldn't envision myself playing with another team. I would probably just retire - brett favre after signing $100M contract 3/2/02"

"isn't BRETT FAVRE signing on with the Vikings like a 12th season of ACCORDING TO JIM?"

"Brett Favre is the Cher of the NFL."

"Hey Brett Favre if them dummies want to keep paying you! keep comming back - $$$$"

"I haven't seen a Brett Favre story today. Alert the proper authorities."

"Opnd door 2 take the dog 4 a walk & Brett Favre was thr, offering 2 play fetch. Told him 2 go home. He shrugged."

"Brett Favre is playing football again this season? Next we'll get word that MJ wants to give it another try."

"Everyone, everyone stop what you're doing. Brett Favre needs attention. Now!"

"Brett Favre is only 39? He looks like he is 60!"

"I lost a couple of really good followers yesterday. I am wondering if it was my 40+ tweets making fun of Brett Favre."

"Brett Favre looks like he should be chopping wood somewhere or making his own maple syrup in the wilderness."

"I'd like to trade in my Brett Favre for $4,500 toward a new quarterback please."


tuesday's big stories – robert novak and brett favre. at least we know novak isn't coming back.

barney frank, nazis, and health care reform

there's a puzzle for carnac the magnificent.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

jaques jumps to new online home

damien jaques, long-time theater critic for the milwaukee journal/sentinel, has found a new home at jacques' will write a weekly theatre column for the site beginning in september, continuing his 29 years covering the milwaukee and wisconsin theatre scene.

(a rather odd but heartfelt july 30th post about jaques and his commitment to milwaukee theatre appeared here on tuesdaysblog.)

three of the journal/sentinels former arts writers have now moved to online only media: tom strini, former music and dance critic for the paper, shifted almost immediately to third coast digest, and tim cuprisin, former j/s television writer, moves to as of october 1.

ollie variations in columbus circle

"There was a skatepark in Hollywood, Florida back in 1978 that was built so crappy that a lot of the stuff was over vertical and uneven.

When you'd zoom down this run, you'd fly out and it would pitch the board back to your legs and you'd bend your knees back in and the board would come back to you.

It was all by accident, really."

– alan "ollie" gelfand
gelfand invented the ollie, the most basic trick in skateboarding, typically learned first, with numerous other tricks based on it.

the skylight public relations battle

tim frautschi, a member of the skylight opera theatre's board of advocates, tells milwaukee magazine how the internet played a part in convincing the boa to get involved:
“I could follow it through all the blogs,” Frautschi notes. “It was a public relations battle and the artists used the Internet extremely effectively. Everybody (in the Board of Advocates) was talking about it,” Frautschi recalls.

There were some board members and Skylight observers who clearly felt the theater had to take a stand against insubordination by the artists – a “don’t let the lunatics run the asylum” sort of attitude. On the contrary, says Frautschi: “The artists performed a terrific service in raising such a stink. It’s really heartwarming that they cared so much about this.”

why i twitter #4: the jokes about favre

here's the news:
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― A high-level source with the Minnesota Vikings tells WCCO-TV's Mark Rosen that quarterback Brett Favre is expected to sign with the team Tuesday.

Favre is on currently on his way to Minneapolis and is expected to sign with the team this afternoon, the source said.

WCCO-TV spoke with an official at the Hattiesburg, Miss., airport, who saw an airplane with the Vikings logo leave the airport Tuesday morning. The flight number for that plane has been blocked from tracking systems.
and here's twitter:
"Damn you Brett Favre, the NFL was not a big stupid joke until you came along!!!"

"New nickname for Brett Favre: VD. We can't get rid of him."

"Brett Favre is back. Yep, what a douche."

"Even while tossing around the idea of staying retired, Brett Favre was intercepted 13 times."

"I'd rather buy a HARDCOPY of a Soulja Boy album and play it on repeat than hear about/watch brett favre."

"Brett Favre would change his nationality if there were more money in it"

"I should pick up Favre and Vick for my fantasy league!"

why i twitter #3: audition feedback

probably the most important reason to twitter is to find out how you did at your big broadway new york tryout.

until quite recently, if you were auditioning for casting director daryl eisenberg you could run out into the hall and check twitter to see how you did, 'cause eisenberg was actually tweeting her often snarky opinions about the actors auditioning for her. prior to a friday meeting with a not-very-happy actors’ equity association, the union of professional actors and stage managers, eisenberg had responded to criticism about her tweets like this:
“There is NO rule/guideline against Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/Friendster. Freedom of speech. Ever heard of it?”
after that friday meeting with aea, eisenberg responded like this:
"I apologize to the actors and professionals who put themselves on the line every time they audition and will continually strive to make the audition room an inspiring, nurturing place for creativity and talent. I look forward to working with AEA and its members on future projects, and hope to see you all in the audition room soon."

how did others react?

composer marc shaiman (hairspray):
"When I read about it...I Googled her to get her number, called and left a message. She returned the call and I told her what I HOPE anyone else with a show to cast would, which was that I was appalled and that I would never employ a casting agency that allowed that behavior...To undercut the confidence of actors at this most vulnerable moment is not just mean, but for a casting director, rather insane. A casting director should nurture and build confidence."
casting director geoffrey soffer (ugly betty):
"I was appalled to read yesterday that a casting director has been twittering about actors' auditions with no plans to end this practice. The audition is a private meeting between an actor and a casting director, producer, writer or director. Similar to that of a therapist listening to a patient, or a lawyer counseling a client, what happens in the room should stay in the room. The behavior exhibited by this casting director does not help our profession progress..."
if you auditioned for eisenberg over the last couple of months, maybe one of these tweets was about you:
a) If we wanted to hear it a different way, don’t worry, we’ll ask

b) If you are going to sing about getting on your knees, might as well do it and crawl towards us ... right?

c) That's OK. You don't have to look at me. I'm only the Casting Director.

d) Train wreck.

e) That looooong pause was a choice?! Not just you forgetting your lines?? Poor choice, actor, poor choice.

f) Why would you do your monologue facing anywhere but the table?

g) A 20 year old singing MR CELLOPHANE.....okaaay.....

h) Chances are -- we've heard your song before. No need to set it up for us. But thanks for playing!


j) Seeing #70 right now. I’m tired. My ears are bleeding

k) Holding your foot above your head IN YOUR HEADSHOT is a BAD IDEA!

l) Your skirt makes me think you’re Wiccan…

m) Who is that person in your headshot? it is def not the person standing in front of me.

and in case you were questioning who writes all the DECasting tweets:

n) Lately, there has been some questioning on who writes all the DECasting's me! Daryl!

Monday, August 17, 2009

hani's in the hood

hani shihada lives in port jervis, new york, is fluent in english, spanish, arabic, and italian, studied art in rome, and is the only remaining sidewalk artist in new york city where he he has been using chalk, photographs, and his imagination to create public art for over 25 years. hani recently returned to my neighborhood to create this masterpiece in less than 24 hours.

see more of hani's work at

why i twitter #2: to learn my subtext

seriously, the next time i'm in a play, i hope i can learn what my character's subtext is by reading twitter, just like the actors in broadway's next to normal:
In early May, six weeks after opening, the production began what is by all accounts a Broadway first: over Twitter, the social networking site, an adapted version of the show began to be published in the form of short text messages, or tweets — just a line from a character at a time.
you too can read exactly what alice ripley's diana, robert spencer's dan and the rest of the n2n gang are really thinking when they're offstage, as the twitter version of next to normal was written by the play's bookwriter brian yorkey and composer tom kitt:
In the performance, Mr. Yorkey said, “we didn’t know what Dan the father was thinking when (Alice Ripley as Diana) was on the floor making sandwiches. But this is what they would say if they were tweeting, so it’s telling the story of the show but telling it from a lot of different perspectives. It was the show — but a new multiangle way of thinking of it.”
actually, i thought i knew exactly what dan the father was thinking at that moment and it honestly wasn't: “do all wives end up sprawled on the floor making sandwiches for no one?”

so, who's right?

well, the playwright, clearly. if shakespeare had twittered what hamlet is thinking during his downtime, i guess i'd probably buy it. but isn't that the white space, aren't those the gaps we're left to fill in on our own? aren't those moments best left to an audience's imagination? or an actor's?

do you want to be told what's going on at all times?

did you know about this?

fly anywhere you want, as many times as you want, from september 8 to october 8, for $600. no kidding.

wal-mart reportedly dumps glen beck

advertisers on glen beck's fox news program are dropping like flies.

OAKLAND, Calif.—Eight more Glenn Beck advertisers, including Wal-Mart – the world’s largest retailer – have confirmed to that they pulled their ads from the controversial Fox News Channel broadcaster’s eponymous show. Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadview Security, CVS, Re-Bath, Travelocity and Wal-Mart join the dozen other companies who previously distanced themselves from Beck.

Twenty companies have pulled their ads from Beck’s show in just the last two weeks. The moves come after the Fox News host called President Obama a “racist” who “has a deep-seated hatred for white people” during an appearance on Fox & Friends. Previous companies who pulled their ads include ConAgra, GEICO,, Men’s Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, and State Farm Insurance.

man carries semi-automatic assault rifle
at obama speech: "because i can do it"

barack obama
is in phoenix, arizona today addressing the veterans of foreign wars gathered for their annual national convention. this photo was taken outside the phoenix convention center where obama is speaking.

from the arizona republic:

One sight was perhaps a little un-nerving to those in charge of making sure everybody remains on their best behavior.

A man, who decided not to give his name, was walking around the pro-health care reform rally at 3rd and Washington streets, with a pistol on his hip, and an AR-15 (a semi-automatic assault rifle) on a strap over his shoulder.

"Because I can do it," he said when asked why he was armed. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms."

Two police officers were staying very close to the man.

"What he is doing is perfectly legal," Detective J. Oliver, of the Phoenix police department said. "We are here to keep the peace. If we need to intervene, we will intervene at that time."

why i twitter #1: you twitter

on yesterday's this week with george stephanopolis, guest host jake tapper (abc's senior white house correspondent) began his questioning of secretary of health and human services kathleen sebelius with this:
"Critics say they're uneasy about end of life care measures being discussed within the context of cost-cutting. Can you understand that discomfort?"
tapper framed the question that way, very specifically, twice.

the issue being debated in health care reform relates to reimbursing doctors for consultations about hospice care, living wills, and more, should a patient and a patient's family want to discuss those things. this would actually involve spending, not cost-cutting.

i was watching on dvr, so i hit pause and asked tapper about it.
tony: why keep referring to "end of life issue within the context of cost-cutting"? it involves spending, no? (paying docs to do it?)

jake: that's the argument from critics.

tony: i know, you framed it that way, but it's not true. so why repeat it twice? you asked it as though it were fact.

jake: (the president) and other (democrats) have raised the issue of end of life care in the context of cost cutting.

(tapper then referred me to this new york times article.)

tony: to me, the nyt article is a wider discussion. you were asking (health secretary) sebelious about (end of life) issues in relation to specific health care reform.

jake: yes, but look at part about end of life in that nyt story. (the president) raises (the issue) in context of cost cutting. that's NOT to say he's right or wrong, just that the notion makes some people uncomfortable, (and) not just republicans.

tony: i see that, yes. but to me, jake, it seems "leading" for you to frame the question in that way.

jake: not leading - asking her to address criticisms (and) tough (questions.)
to my mind, tapper's wording the question the way did implied something that is not true: end of life + cost cutting = the whole "we're going to get rid of granny if she's not a productive member of society," sarah palin death panel fantasy.

still, in the show's opening and later the round table segment, tapper called the death panel rumors "false claims," and "not factually correct," and pressed republican ed gillespie to repudiate them (something gillespie had a fair amount of trouble doing, instead saying "we have to be thoughtful in our language.")

but i digress. my point here is this: tapper and i had this brief discussion over twitter.

people often ask, their faces twisted into worried grimaces, "you don't twitter you?"

when i say yes, i'm sure they think, "oh, it's all about seeing aston kutcher have his chest waxed." and while that's, of course, vitally important, so is the ability to have a conversation with the guy who just walked off the set of a national news program. and to his credit, he responded and engaged in discussion (something he does quite often.)

now, i'm not comparing the two, but what if you could have had a little conversation like that with walter cronkite? or david brinkley?

what might you have asked?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

chapter three: where'd that emmy go?

what could be better than a good summer rerun of my friend barry's emmy? especially since chapter 3 includes tons of celebrity guest stars: dustin hoffman, mindy cohn, kristy mcnichol, maureen mccormick, richard thomas, hope lange, dustin hoffman (again), and our own bill theisen.

if you're a glutton for punishment (or if you've missed anything – and i know you missed chapter 2 since something else was happening right around that time) the exciting barry's emmy widget is back by popular demand, over there in that dark green sidebar, somewhere under buy me coffee, and not quite to the ad for that new kindle you were going to buy. (right?)

my friend barry's emmy
chapter 3,
episodes 7 (i want an emmy)

Friday, August 14, 2009

crazy he calls me...sure, i'm crazy

has the cheese slid off alice ripley's cracker? you tell me.

reports from catalano square

this morning's milwaukee arts advocacy breakfast, a weekly meeting which began in catalano square and has since moved to the skylight bar, included skylight opera theatre board members laura emory, jude werra, and susan godfrey. vince shiely and howard miller couldn't attend, but sent snacks for the crowd – bagels and cream cheese from shiely; muffins from miller. jonathan west (artsyschmartsy) brought donuts for "the youth of america," and colin cabot gave a guided tour of the broadway theatre center after the meeting.

this is progress.

UPDATE 10:20 p.m. – commenter alissa adds this:
Also in attendance today: board member Tessa Bartels (V.P. of Artist Relations) and past board member Lili Friedman (with whom many Tuesdays commenters have engaged in dialogue).

Tessa bent over backwards to adjust her work schedule and join us these past couple weeks. Board member Byron Foster, though currently on vacation, also joined us thrice in the park.

Some real communication is transpiring. Authentic dialogue and good will all around.

end of life fabulousness issues obama death panel made up of the gang from queer eye.

why tuesdays comments are moderated

a little less than a week ago, as the editor of this blog, i removed two comments written by an anonymous tuesdays commenter; comments i felt contained information that was not only inaccurate, but offensive.

the commenter disagreed, was unhappy with my decision, and we had a bit of a back and forth about it all.

hence, the recent appearance of these annoying seven words:
Your comment will be visible after approval.
comments on tuesdays are now moderated. that means, from here on out, when you post a comment on this blog it will be seen and approved by me before it gets published.

this process usually happens fairly quickly, from my cell phone. but there will be times when someone on the west coast comments after i've gone to bed. or someone comments while i'm at a movie, or seeing a play. those comments may still be posted, but their appearance on the blog may not be immediate.

i sincerely hope this won't deter you from commenting (it hasn't so far) and if you have any problems with this decision, glance over to the right: that picture is me. the name above it is mine. and not far below it are the words this is a blog of personal opinion.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

s.o.t. subscribers: "artists should be proud"

several skylight opera theatre artists have volunteered to make the annual phone calls to subscribers, asking them to renew their season tickets, and they're getting some interesting responses. from becky spice:

aiden from whitefish bay:
"I have closely followed the recent events and was very happy with the outcome. I may now make a donation."
emma from oconomowoc:
"I waited to see if things would get settled before I bought my tickets."
straight talker muriel from milwaukee:
"You artists should be so proud of yourself for standing up when you didn't know where your next paycheck would come from. I was laughing about the situation with a friend who also buys tickets...It shows people can make a difference. I'll be back this year."

quote of the day

"Whenever a community or a government attempts to dictate to the artist what he is to do, art either entirely vanishes or becomes stereotyped, or degenerates into a low or ignoble form of craft.

The form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all."

oscar wilde

the threat to marriage

hotelier and developer doug manchester, who donated $125,000 to the pro-prop 8 campaign early in the fight – money that was "crucial to getting the initiative—which ultimately passed—on the ballot," said this about his involvement in july of 2008:
“This really is a free-speech, First Amendment issue. While I respect everyone’s choice of partner, my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church leads me to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.”
apparently, the same goes for ugly, messy, long-drawn-out divorce.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

quote of the day

"Except for Jolly Ranchers, nothing you spend five minutes sucking on should get smaller."
– rob gries, on the concept of smoking
(from the tuesdays comments)

Monday, August 10, 2009

make a donation to the skylight

damien jaques wraps up the skylight saga, looks at the rocky road ahead, and includes this:
[Interim Artistic Director Colin] Cabot has hit the ground running. He is raising funds within the company's board of advocates, a committee of former board members and longtime Skylight friends and patrons, with the goal of immediately collecting $200,000. That money is needed to ensure that the Skylight has adequate working capital for the rapidly approaching season.

The company is $475,000 in debt, according to [Skylight Board President Terry] Kurtenbach.
the skylight accepts charitable donations online, via the network for good, a nonprofit, donor advised fund, which will distribute your donation to the skylight.

click here to make a donation to the skylight opera theatre, and please add the designation PAC to the online donation form, to signify performer action committee.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
a letter to the smokers of the world

dear anyone who smokes,

hi. it’s tony.

i know you, 'cause i used to be one of you.
hi! welcome!

okay, i’ll be honest. there have only been a few times in my life when i could really be considered "a smoker” – when i'd actually carry a pack of cigarettes around with me wherever i went. when i'd smoke freely in bars, restaurants, coffeeshops, walking down the street, driving in my car, talking on the phone, immediately after dinner, sometimes during dinner, with my morning coffee, right after sex, just before sex, in the middle of sex, when i was nervous, when i was relaxed, when i was happy, when i was tired, when i was anxious, and when i was trying to quit smoking.

my smoking history

my legitimate smoking history mainly involves smoking unfiltered cigarettes because they made me high as a kite on may day. camels were good. if i didn’t have any unfiltered camels, i’d rip the filter off a regular camel and smoke that. easy peasy. i'd usually smoke at the end of the day. at home. at night. in my room. in secret. with the door locked. two or at the most, sometimes three. a day.

i haven't had a cigarette in about eight years. at times, it's been difficult to not take up again. i’d stub my toe and think “damnit, i wish i had a cigarette.” (i often think the same thing about crack.) but for the most part, once i decided to quit, i quit. same with caffeine, booze, marijuana, cocaine, and…mm-hmm…crack. those were harder. especially the crack. and the booze. and the cocaine.

what was not hard was quitting heroin. i never did heroin. and i lied about the caffeine. are you kidding? i tried to quit caffeine once and ended up huddled in a corner, clutching a mrs. beasley doll, sweating and shivering and mumbling something about magilla gorilla. then I had a sip of diet coke and suddenly all was right with the world. it's a true story.

but hey. this isn't about me, it's about you. you smokers. hi.

the tubey thing

a few things. first: what do you think happens to that little tube of synthetic material stuff – “the filter” - that so many of you toss out into the street when you're done smoking? i know, it's soooo small. not a big deal. i feel silly for even bringing it up. i mean, once it's flicked out into the street, or out your car window, you can hardly see it.

thing is, those cute little tubey things never die. they do not dissolve away into the earth like the nasty chicken bones on the sidewalk in new york, or like starving children in africa. they don’t get eaten by birds, or by squirrels or other woodland animals, like those plastic bags from the grocery store. they last forever, those tubies. forever and ever, amen.

tubies last longer than even you. think of that the next time you launch that little thingy onto the sidewalk: it’s gonna still be there long after your lungs turn black and crusty and you collapse from heart failure or have a debilitating stroke. or emphasima, that’s a good one.

the japanese put their little tubies in a smart pouch they carry with them everywhere they go. and then, i guess, they must empty out that pouch in some alley somewhere. i don’t know where that alley in japan is, ‘cause i rarely see any tubies anywhere, even though it is a law in japan that every japanese citizen smoke. even little japanese babies must smoke. but they all carry little baby tubey pouches. those japanese smokers sure are smart. didn’t they invent the transistor radio too?

you are not an iconic movie star

now. let’s talk about how cool you look when you smoke. here’s a clue: you don’t. you look like an stupid person. okay, i know that’s harsh, and I’m sorry, but it’s true. studies have shown that very few people in the world have ever actually looked cool smoking. james dean, holy crap yes. bette davis, uh, yeah. i mean, her cigarette smoke was a supporting character. i think it was even nominated one year. it was often more interesting than anyone else in the scene.

so unless you’re james dean or bette davis – and you’re not – chances are you look pretty stupid smoking. even to other smokers.

think about it. you suck on a skinny little white stick (um…a long, skinny, white penis, okay?) and you contort your mouth into the oddest and ugliest shapes to blow smoke out one side of your face or the other. seriously, have you watched yourself blow smoke out the side of your face? do it sometime. watch yourself smoke in a mirror. see the faces you make? these are faces made by gouls, not humans.

i'd love to kiss ya...

and you know what else? i know you know this - not a lot of non-smokers will want to kiss you. really. and that’s a whole lot of people. if you’re single and looking to date, you’ve just narrowed down your field of possibilities tremendously. think of all those people who don’t smoke who might ordinarily think you’re hotty mchotterson, but then see you light up and suck on one of those long skinny white penis things and suddenly a loud buzzer goes off and a big, red x shows up across your face. oh well. maybe that smoker girl in the corner will go home out me.

let’s talk about how you can cover up that smoker smell with cologne or perfume. another clue: you can’t. no matter how much stinky stuff you slather on, the stench of cigarette is still the most prevelant smell. that, and you’re wearing way too much cologne. do we have to talk about how sexy that is? the mix of stale cigarette and enough cologne to gag an alpaca? so hot.

but i have to say, what’s most impressive is how you can make your breath smell so minty fresh with only a tiny piece of dentine ice, or just a spritz of peppermint breath spray. clue: you can’t. you could chew ten packs of gum, down an entire bottle of listerine, and chew on bunches of parsley until your teeth are green (which might be better than dirt brown) and you’d never cover up your bad breath. you’re eating smoke, dunderhead! it’s going down into your lungs. into the deepest, darkest crevices of your body. your bad breath is coming from the creases in your bowels and it’s not gonna go away with a stick of wrigley's, babe. i’ve never purposefully smelled a smokers poop, but i bet your poop smells like stale, dirty smoke too. and cologne.

you will quit...someday

look smokers. i love you. i do. and i don’t judge. okay i do judge, i'm sorry. and i can’t really say i love all of you. you have every right to smoke, of course, except where people want to actually breath. and you know, there’s hope: you could quit. i know it's really tough. but one way or another, you will quit someday. and hey, if you’re a hundred and two years old and you have ten minutes to live, i say smoke ‘em up!

until then, you’re tossing your tubey into the street for someone else to clean up (or not, ever) your teeth are a lovely burnt sienna, your breath smells like grandma’s septic, you’re not james dean or bette davis, and you’re wearing an entire bottle of old spice that mixes beautifully with the stench of stale smoke and bowel crease.

you are pretty damn hot, smoker.

Friday, August 7, 2009

you bought me coffee.

i am thanking you.

an important note: if you bought me coffee after 1:00 a.m. on friday, august 7, 2009, you are not included in this thank you. i'm sorry. i'll get to thanking you later. now watch this:

keep moving on: tuesdays with colin

the skylight: random thoughts on where we go from here

tuesdays commenters have raised more than a few important questions about the future of the skylight opera theatre, and one commenter alone asked three of the questions that seem most on the minds of skylight watchers. interim artistic director colin cabot agreed to address those concerns:

colin cabot: Here are my answers to your [reader's] questions. These answers haven't been vetted by Joan [Lounsbery] or Bill [Theisen] nor have I run them past anyone on the staff or on the board. I've been back at the Skylight for 23 hours and haven't had time to process them through conventional channels. So please remember these are my personal responses and do not represent any kind of official statement on behalf of the Skylight.

question: If the Skylight doesn't honor the contracts of the replacement artists, they are just as guilty as the man they have ousted. The Skylight Family claims to be about the artform and the artists...what about the artists that are now out of a job because you have decided that it is okay to return?

colin cabot: I spoke with the three artists (and their agents) who had signed contracts for The Barber of Seville. Each of them has what's known as a "pay or play" clause in their contracts which we mutually agreed will be honored in full.

I had hoped to send out payments this week to these three artists, but it turns out that it isn't practical to expect that [interim board president] Terry Kurtenbach and I will be able complete new signature cards on the Skylight's accounts until Monday. So the payments will go out next week.

I don't feel it's appropriate to talk about the amounts in the contracts. Suffice it to say that they were not huge sums of money by any stretch of the imagination. Having been away from the numbers for twelve years, I am sorry to report that the artists continue to be underpaid for their efforts and their talents. I talked with all three of the artists about working at the Skylight in the future and they all expressed interest in doing so. I have memorialized my conversations in a file that will be available to the next person whose jobs is to staff and cast the Skylight's productions. (To be honest, I haven't yet asked if there were contracts issued for shows later in the season; one day at a time...)

question: Since the creation of the Cabot Theater the vision has been decidedly different than what was being produced in the old space on Cathedral Square, understandably so, because of the financial obligations that came along with the new theater. There was no more baroque opera, or very little, and many more musicals, and a completely different managing team. But what exactly was the artistic vision before Eric?

colin cabot: In my opinion the artistic vision of the company didn't change when it moved from the tire recapping garage on Jefferson Street to the new theatre on Broadway, but the repertory selection did. Joan Lounsbery will a much better answer to this question because she was in charge at the time. But I remember serious discussions between board members and staff about the need to have several "blockbuster" seasons to make sure that the seats were filled in the first few years at the BTC.

This meant that shows like My Fair Lady and King and I replaced the more obscure musicals (the ones no one else would touch) that had been the Skylight's niche before the demise of Melody Top. I was concerned that the staples of American musical theatre could be pulled from availability by New York and national touring productions. And I was concerned that comparisons might be odious. I haven't seen the recent Skylight productions because I have been working on the farm in New Hampshire, so I won't express an opinion on their artistic merit.

As far as operas are concerned, it was clear that too much Handel produced by Chas Rader-Schieber was hurting season ticket sales. I was asked by Joan to write a Gilbert & Sullivan review to replace a proposed Handel opera that had been scheduled during a season that wasn't selling well. It was called Over the Moon With Gilbert & Sullivan and it went over like, well, a Handel opera. And it immediately preceded the tenure of Artistic Director Richard Carsey.

I think it is important to note that the repertory selection is driven, and appropriately so, by the person most responsible for choosing the repertory. Someone once said about my years at the Skylight that the repertory was as eclectic as I was. Better than being called quirky I suppose. I once proposed a season that included Shostakovich's The Nose, Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland, and Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream, and Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea. In retrospect I'm relieved we never attempted anything so difficult or risky.

question: I want to know--what is the new artistic vision now? I don't care who is in charge, either way, I want an answer to that question. I want to know what the artistic goal is and how it will be implemented. If Eric should have been expected to give a clear answer to that question--and I believe he should have been, so should the returning artists and Eric's successors.

colin cabot: I have, therefore, no vested interest in defining an artistic vision for the theatre going forward. I left the job years ago because I had had my crack at it and felt it was time for a fresh face to shape the theatre's direction. And I think that's true now, too. There's an opportunity for someone to come forward with a currently compelling vision who can convince the board and the staff and the patrons, and the donors (!) and the whole community to make the journey towards life-changing art together. Blessings on that person, and may they never suffer the slings and arrows of a social networking uprising!

I realize that asking for support without being able to articulate a current artistic vision is like sailing without a rudder. But I came back to try to right the Skylight's ship because of the tremendous outpouring of support for the Skylight legacy among its constituencies during the recent crisis. I feel that my job is to be the oil that calms the waters so that the ship's carpenters can rebuild the rudder so that when the wind picks up again the crew will be able to steer it in whatever direction they think it should go.

Somehow I'm confident that support for new and interesting artistic endeavors will be drawn to the theatre as it has been in the past by the force of someone's aspirations.

keep moving on: the skylight board

the skylight: random thoughts on where we go from here.

taking a cue from eric dillner

it's been suggested that the first protest outside the broadway theatre center when 70-80 or so people were milling around with donuts, coffee and bagels...if eric dillner had invited folks into the cabot theater to talk about what had happened, angry as they were, scary and uncomfortable as it might have been, it might have changed the tenor (no pun intended) of the whole debate. much of the initial anger might have dissipated, and the community might have been more willing to give dillner a chance. maybe not. if nothing else, it would have started a dialogue.

what happened that day instead? eric dillner, feeling incredibly uncomfortable and threatened, rushed by those folks standing outside the theater and said, "talk to the board."

good advice, i'd say. let's talk to the board.

talking to the board

hello board.

how are you?

who are you?

we've heard from some of you, but there are others who have chosen to remain fairly silent throughout most of this. publicly, at least. and for varying reasons, i'm sure.

to her immense credit, board member tessa bartels has taken on the task of artist outreach with a fervor -- bringing artists and skylight board members together in forums to discuss not only what happened, but the way forward. the response has been incredibly encouraging. i think those board members who have attended would say the same.

we've talked about a few of the things the artists are doing to move forward. forgive me, but i am going to be so bold as to offer a few suggestions for the skylight board of directors. these are not fundraising ideas, nor are they thoughts on the company model in the future. they're ideas about how to get to know the artists, the art, and the skylight, a little better. something i think could have helped in the past.

"what should the skylight board do now?"

here's what i would challenge every skylight opera theatre board member to do:

1) attend one or more of tessa bartels' artist forums. engage in discussion with the folks there. believe me, they wanna talk to you. thanks, by the way, to byron foster, susan godfrey, john flanagan, diane weaver, storm elser and john shannon (board of advocates) all of whom have attended. where's matt flynn? where's vince shiely? where's howard miller? those artists wanna talk with you fellas too.

2) arrange to sit in on a couple of rehearsals of a future skylight show. barber of seville starts rehearsal in less than three weeks. give bill theisen a call and schedule a visit. how many of you have ever been in a rehearsal hall to see what goes on there?

3) visit the skylight shops. the scene shop, the prop shop, the costume shop. talk to barry link, lisa schlenker, and rob wagner about their jobs, what they do, and why it's unique. i know them all, and i bet they'd be happy to show you around.

4) last, but not least, read this: the 30 years war? a brief and subjective history of the skylight. it was written by a man i was surprised, no shocked to hear some of you didn't know before this whole saga began: colin cabot.

my dramatic, overblown reaction to that news was delivered via skype to a roomful of people and was, i'm sure, garbled and confusing as i foolishly ranted and raved about anyone who makes major decisions for the skylight actually saying "who is this colin cabot, anyway?"

i mean, outside of the fact that his name is on the theater, he used to scrub the toilets when he was in charge, and he knows more about the company on whose board you sit than all of us put together, why would you know who he is? i don't mean that to be snippy, it's just true. for instance, ask the box office folks who mildred lindsay was and they'll tell you, 'cause colin told them (the btc box office is named for her. it's a great story.)

besides all that, colin's about to write the first chapter on the company's next 30 50 years.

now would be a great time to get to know him.

chapter two: where'd that emmy go?

if you haven't seen chapter one, go back.

if you have, here is chapter two, episodes 5 - 6 of the first ten episodes of my friend barry's emmy, in a single viewable event. (and a very special preview of episode 7.)

my friend barry's emmy
chapter 2,
episodes 5-6 (plus special preview)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

keep moving on: the skylight artists

the skylight: random thoughts on where we go from here.

are you tired of me being a bratty actor? i sure am.

only a moment to look backward, because we're all about looking to the future now. but in all the back and forth on the skylight situation, on this blog and elsewhere (and there's been some amazing stuff today, here and here) it's good to keep in mind that throughout this whole saga, the folks who gathered in protest were not just "the hired help" as has been suggested.

the crowds at catalano square, the protests outside skylight board meetings, and the gatherings in neighborhood backyards and at local coffeeshops were not populated by artists alone, but also by the local arts journalists, other milwaukee non-actor/non-skylight theater professionals, major donors, corporate sponsors, grant adjudicators, season subscribers, skylight staff members, skylight board members, board of advocate members, audience members, visual artists, musicians and more.

a vast majority of those folks don't qualify for the "hired help" moniker.

"what will the artists do now?"

there was a lovely quote about this, on today. and truthfully, how can "the artists" help the company financially? how can they help heal the rift that's developed?

here are a couple of things they're doing: first, they're coming back. in droves. the performers and designers who had withdrawn their contracts for the 50th season are signing up again. subscibers are gonna get the season they paid for.

artists are already busy arranging benefit concerts, recitals, and cabarets. they're donating their time, talents and energy in any way they're called upon, and i would continue to challenge every skylight artist, past, present and future, to do the same.

i'm personally working on a two separate projects, one for early 2010 that i'd like every milwaukee singer i know to be involved in, and one in new york involving new york based skylight alumni. more details on both events another time.

wanna be part of a skylight benefit? sign this petition.

tomorrow – keep moving on: the skylight board

ny times returns to minnesota milwaukee

the new york times' dan wakin briefly revisits the land of figaro and fargo, and provides this bit of clarity on the skylight saga (my emphasis):
After Mr. Dillner’s efforts to deal with severe financial setbacks, about two dozen performers and other creative collaborators like directors and designers resigned in protest. Mr. Cabot said that many of the artists who withdrew would be returning to casts of the productions for next season, the Skylight’s 50th. The productions include “The Marriage of Figaro” and the “Barber of Seville.” Mr. Theisen has also agreed to come back to direct four of the shows he had been scheduled to do.

In the wake of the withdrawals, Mr. Dillner recast some of the roles. Mr. Cabot said several of those new singers would have to be paid even if they were now being replaced by the original performers.

“The mess that the Skylight got itself into is going to have costs associated with it, and this is just some of them,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

sign up for a skylight benefit

a petition has been started for actors, artists, singers, designers, musicians, and performers of all kinds to sign up and volunteer their talents and time for the skylight opera theatre:
This petition site is being used to generate a sign-up list of artists willing to donate their time and talent in concerts, recitals, and cabarets to benefit the Skylight Opera Theatre.

A committee to organize benefits has been formed by Colin Cabot and will be spearheaded by Pam Kriger and Norman Moses. Work will begin immediately to plan multiple events. If you are interested in participating, please sign up here and include your email address. You will be contacted with more information soon.

This has been a tumultuous time for the company. Right now, the Skylight needs our help more than ever.