Sunday, May 3, 2009

s'Newz occasional series of stories which recently caught my eye...

You can find someone doing something stupid anywhere, anytime, but this is one of the best in recent memory. I'm sure everybody recalls this idiotic woman, who cheerfully climbed into the bear pit at the Berlin zoo to play with the fully grown polar bears during feeding time. She was astonished, I suppose, when her projected playmate, Knut, mauled her. Was this woman drunk? Intellectually impaired? Just looking for attention? The only real problem I have with this story was its conclusion; zoo caretakers hauled the stupid cow out of the pit and saved her life.
I'm with the bear on this one.

Here's another, sadder story which causes the head to itch. Last week, George Zinkhan, a mild-mannered professor of Business and Marketing at the University of Georgia, drove his two children, aged 8 and 10, to a party being attended by his wife. He left the kids in the car while he opened fire on his spouse, killing her and two others, before returning to the car and driving off with his kids. He went to a neighbor's house and asked if the children could be left there for a while, then disappeared. He's still at large, though his jeep was found in a ditch. This kind of violence is nothing new these days, but what caught my eye was this: the party was being given by the volunteers of the local community theatre, where the wife was the president and leading actress. (The other two fatalities were the guys who handled most of the tech for the group.) As I've written previously, I spent a good bit of time working in community theatre in Los Angeles, and without a doubt, I can imagine someone wanting to kill the president of that group, but I still feel for this troop. How are these poor schnooks at the Town and Gown Players in Athens, GA, going to put on their plays without tech?

The Washington Post yesterday mentioned a sign of the current times. At a State Department reception Thursday night, before Hillary Clinton began shaking hands along the receiving line, everyone present was offered hand sanitizer.

Finally, it looks like the infamous Glory Days may be getting some respect. I wrote about the show during its premiere at Signature Theatre a year ago, where it was successful enough for some foolish producers to transfer the piece, with no retooling, to Broadway. It played 17 preview performances to lackluster houses, then closed after its Opening Night, an extremely rare occurrence for a musical these days. It was ruled ineligible for Tony Award consideration due to its short life. But a year later, the show is being resurrected in Tokyo, and will star Japanese recording group Attack All Around. Though this production will be in Japanese, it could jumpstart interest in the show here. Though I disliked it (or rather, didn't quite get it), it has a few pluses. The show requires only four teen-age actors, one set, and a small rock band. I can see it having an afterlife in high schools and college drama programs. The only problem here: the show's cast consists of four BOYS; everybody knows drama departments in schools are overrun with teen aged GIRLS.

"Hello, Copy? Get me rewrite!"

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