Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Dance Party: Peter Pan's My Mother

The 1960s sitcom landscape was littered with the supernatural. On the top of the heap sat Samantha, the gorgeous witch, but we also had occultish families such as the Addams and the Munsters, as well as a Martian Uncle Martin and a Ghost romancing Mrs Muir. For a short while, we had a beautiful robot, a Living Doll if you will, learning to be human, and even a Mother reincarnated as a Car. The most provocative of them all was the studly astronaut who discovered a nubile genie on a deserted island, and took her home to call him "Master." We lost Major Nelson this week.
Once again, this week's Dance Party is inspired by the Grim Reaper, who must have felt cheated years ago when our hero's life was saved by a liver transplant.  Death exacted his payment this week.
Larry Hagman
One of the most recognizable television celebrities of his generation, Hagman will forever be remembered for his portrayal of silkily smooth good ol' boy villain J.R. Ewing. 
Those battling Ewings, JR and Sue Ellen,
were the poster couple for corrupt

Beginning in 1977, heading a large cast of good-looking ne'er-do-wells, Hagman's central performance propelled Dallas to the top of the ratings, and ushered in the first renaissance of soap opera in prime time since Peyton Place left the airways in the late 1960s.
Dallas's success ignited more than a decade of its type of prime time soap, in which an extended family of wealthy schemers grasped for love, sex, and more wealth.
Falcon Crest, Dynasty, Dynasty's spinoff The Colbys, and Dallas's own spinoff Knots Landing (which rivalled Dallas in longevity) all followed a formula which included a character with similar characteristics as J.R., but Hagman's portrayal was preeminent. 

This year's Dallas reboot had some success and there are plans to continue. The "dreaming"tagline satirizes Season 7 of the original series, which was labeled a dream when Patrick Duffy, who had left the show, wished to return.
When, after three seasons, our hero entered tough contract negotiations, the "Who Shot J.R?" episodes were concocted, as a way to write out the show's most colorful character.  Larry won all his contractual demands, and remained with the show; he was the only actor to appear in all 357 episodes.
Dallas sometimes had more drama off-screen than on-.  The illness of Barbara Bel Geddes forced a recast. Hagman attempted to enlist his mother to play the Ewing matriarch, but the role went to Donna Reed.  When Bel Geddes unexpectedly returned the following season, Reed sued, and was awarded a million dollars to walk away from the show.
Censors watched I Dream of Jeannie
closely. A sexy, unmarried couple living
together (with one in a bikini top) belied
the show's cleancut image.

I was not a fan of the lavish prime time soaps, so I best remember Hagman as the baffled astronaut from his earlier TV hit, I Dream of Jeannie.  His comic reactions were responsible for most of the laughs in the series (Dick York held the same position on Bewitched), and Larry proved himself to be a nimble physical comedian. 

Considering his parentage, Larry spent only a bit of his career on the stage, notably appearing in the chorus of South Pacific when his mother, Mary Martin, took the hit to London.  This week's clip does not, I hope, illustrate his true musical talent, because he's lousy in it. 
Hagman had no business playing the male lead in a major
musical, but he was a big TV star, so he took the role
created by Len Cariou on the stage.

I own a bootleg copy of another of Hagman's appearances in a musical, the TV adaptation of Applause, and he's pretty lousy in that one, too. (Go here for the Dance Party which features Lauren Bacall's visit to a gay bar in that production.)  It's lucky, then, that Larry found episodic television, which was the source of his biggest success.
The 1973 TV version of Applause preserves the Broadway performances of Lauren Bacall and Penny Fuller. Larry Hagman was added to the cast to provide some TV star power.
Larry appears in only the first few moments of this week's Dance Party;  the rest of the clip is taken by his mother. 
Hagman's famous 1980 Malibu party for the Dallas cast
included his mother, as well as actress Linda Gray,
who was at Larry's side this week when he died.

Mary Martin is probably my least favorite of the old Broadway Grande Dames, and this clip does not change my mind.  She's clearly in her "legendary" mode, as the voice (which I always found wobbly) is weak, and she relied heavily on the perkiness factor.  But it's kind of fun to see Martin and her son together, so in honor of Larry Hagman's death this week, enjoy:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Dance Party: I Don't Count Sheep

I don't see those fabulous Ficcas nearly enough, but they have woven themselves into the fabric of my life.
This morning I had pecan pie for breakfast, which happens only once a year;  obviously, it's the day after Thanksgiving. 
Please pronounce my annual breakfast treat correctly.
The accent is on the second syllable: "pe-KAHN."
"PEE-can" is where you urinate when you
can't find a bathroom.

The pie was the surviving remnant of yesterday's feast, more about that in a mo'.  Thanksgiving is not a big holiday in my family, our traditional feasting on that day passed out of fashion decades ago when my mother died.  There was always a significant distance factor to our family's attempts to gather, and Christmas has become the big family holiday for us.  Even though my father and all his kids now live on the east coast, we are still far enough away from each other to make it difficult to get together for Christmas and a month earlier as well, so Turkey Day faded from our familial consciousness.
This family Thanksgiving included my grandmother, and occurred years before we left Atlanta for Los Angeles. Note my mother's stylish bouffant.
For years, then, Thanksgiving for me was simply a quiet day which happened to have a parade and a lot of football interrupting daytime television. 
Last year, Nan and Ray moved our dinner to the bar. We'll
never go back to table service again.

About 6 or 7 years ago, though, my buddy Ray called out of the blue and wondered if I had plans to celebrate Thanksgiving, and if not, would I be pleased to join him and his wife and a few of their strays for dinner at a local eatery.  We had a blast, and a tradition was born.  I look forward to these dinners with Nan and Ray, which some years are quiet affairs with just ourselves, others are bigger gatherings of their friends.  In recent years, we've refined the tradition quite satisfactorily.  We meet at their favorite watering hole and spend 6 hours or so seated at the bar, enjoying drinks and the meal. 
Yesterday's Thanksgiving, where I was the only one without
a team shirt or jacket. I've been promised a Redskins earring.

Yesterday, football was added to the mix, as my hosts are avid (one might even say rabid) Redskins fans, and the team was playing.  Everyone who knows me will be astonished to discover that I actually watched and enjoyed the game.  Perhaps the 6 hours of cocktailing had something to do with that.

So, Thanksgiving really is a party day for me.  Usually, I overlook its real meaning.  This week, though, I've been thinking about the things for which I ought to be thankful.  The family is relatively healthy, including my father who turned 85 this year and is still going strong. 
My family's Thanksgiving celebrations have splintered. Christmas is our big day.
I myself have had some health concerns which, thankfully, are now under control.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about my good fortune regarding my living arrangements, which include comfortable residences in two of the most interesting cities on the planet. 
Whether she's a "blessing" or just a stroke of good luck, I am very thankful for my Claudia.
I'm lucky to be maintaining that life, though it comes with a cost.  I am going to have to face my own fiscal cliff very soon, but just as our legislators are likely to do, I'll probably kick the financial can down the road a bit, and deal with it in the new year. 

I was reminded several times this week of more of my "blessings," which I put in quotes because, though that's what everyone else seems to call these bits of good luck, I hesitate to label them so. 
Another blessing.

The word "blessings" seems to imply that some specific person or entity is responsible for granting them to me, and I'm more likely to believe I have had simple, but profound, good fortune.  Specifically, I'm talking about my friends.  I had lunch early this week with one of my oldest and dearest, who has been at my side, supporting me and accepting me, since my grad school days.  I have a few such intimate friends, and in addition, I am continually reminded that I am surrounded by dozens and dozens of others who wish me well. 
At an audition this week, I ran into Carl and several others who
wonderfully wander through my life.

These are folks who wander in and out of my daily life; I often don't see them for long periods, but then I bump into them and remember why I consider them friends.  Perhaps we are not all that involved in each others' daily lives, but when I see them, I am reminded of their acceptance and support.

This week's Dance Party does a good job of illustrating my feelings this week.  The song was written by Irving Berlin for his film White Christmas, and both Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney had success with it, having introduced the song in the film.  Instead of visiting that clip, though, here is songbird Diana Krall with a slightly more heartfelt rendition.  It is the perfect way to sum up my feelings this Thanksgiving. 

It comforts me to imagine that my blessings, or bits of good luck, are somehow connected to my mother's spirit. Frankly, that's easier for me to believe than that a specific deity might have decreed I deserve certain "blessings." But whatever these are, these blessings or bits of good fortune or cosmically designed shards of karma, I am grateful to have them. Thanksgiving is a fine time to express that gratitude. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Dance Party: 4th Anniversary

Maybe I need a new hobby.
I can't believe it myself, but the Friday Dance Party turns four years old this week. 
Blame Larry. He's the one in the middle.

Don't blame me.  Blame my old Wayside Theatre buddy Larry Dalke, who created the event on his blog, but almost immediately abandoned it.  I, however, have too much time on my hands, so I stole the idea and gave it a home here.

Tommy Tune's tribute.

How do I pick the clips which appear here every Friday, you may ask?  OK, you're probably NOT asking, but I'll tell you anyway.  Often, I'm inspired by something happening in the news of the week;  for example, our recent visit by Frankenstorm Sandy inspired two weeks' worth of entries, including a medley from the original, aging cast of Grease (Sandy? Grease? Get it?), and the other being a clip from Urinetown, which was reminding me of Staten Island after the waves hit. 
The song from this film popped up during
discussion of Same Sex Marriage.

The recent election inspired several entries as well, including last week's advice regarding gay marriage, and this parody song from Pirates of Penzance.  The flap over Chik-Fil-A's antigay contributions invited a visit from The Muppets, and the Supreme Court's confirmation of the legality of Obamacare reminded me of the Scrubs musical episode.  We had a Blue Moon (that really wasn't one) over the summer, so Harpo Marx handled that controversy, and the use of pink ribbons for breast cancer advocacy inspired us all to Think Pink!

I've never understood the popularity of Shark Week, but that didn't stop me from celebrating MY favorite sharks, and when the DC region's two Baseball teams were in the running to advance to the World Series, we watched Jason play baseball.
My own life inspired a couple of clips from Kiss Me Kate.  I was playing Gremio in Taming of the Shrew at the time, so this clip seemed appropriate, as did this one reminding us to Brush Up Your Shakespeare.
A Facebook meme which traced the number one song on the date of one's birth led to this clip from the film version of Damn Yankees (and questions about the word "erp"), and when the Natalie Wood case was reopened, we enjoyed Christopher Walken's dance moves (Walken was onboard the night Natalie toppled into the bay).   Christmas inspired a visit to Judy Garland's TV show, where Liza danced with "her beau," and Father's Day reminded me of this clip from Working.  (That was not the only visit to Garland's lamented variety show: when her longtime musical director Mort Lindsey died, we had her lovely rendition of "Just In Time.")

A couple of deaths in the past year triggered memories from my own life. When Donna Summer danced her Last Dance, and when Whitney Huston wondered "How Will I Know?", I was immediately transported back in time, to the era when their music served as the soundtrack to my life. 

Nobody remembers Doe Avedon, an actress who
was famous only for being famous. But her life
inspired the Hepburn/Astaire classic Funny Face.

But of course, those were not the only corpses to inspire Dance Parties.  Several composers who passed away this year deserved attention.  Richard Adler's "Shoeless Joe" made an appearance, and when Hal David died, Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth vowed never to fall in love again. When Marvin Hamlisch died, we played his song.  Lee Pockriss was not a household name, but he provided this humorous clip from the Perry Como show.
I still don't know if Robert Sherman wrote music or lyrics, but it really doesn't matter.  His death broke up the Sherman Brothers, who provided Disney with decades worth of terrific music, such as this jazzy showstopper from The Jungle Book.
Several show biz impresarios left us this year, inspiring clips devoted to Dick Clark, Don Cornelius, and Robert Dozier. When director Ken Russell died, I resisted the temptation to use the infamous scene from Tommy in which Ann-Margaret rolled around in a room filled with baked beans, and used this one instead.  But when character actor Bill McKinney died, I could not resist those dueling banjos from his most famous film, Deliverance
I made the blanket claim that Davy Jones was
the first Teen Idol, and backed it up too.

William Duell's death allowed me to visit one of my favorite musicals, 1776, and Celeste Holm's death reminded me that I saw her onstage, twice.  From the world of television, we had the odd conglomeration of Cass Elliot, Ray Charles, and Elton John on Andy Williams's show, and a sweetly melodic entry from Don Knotts and Andy Griffith, when the latter finally stopped whistling. 
Neil Patrick Harris's birthday is never overlooked at the Dance Party. This pic was taken during his opening number at this year's Tonys, but his Dance Party, also featuring Patti Lupone, came from his concert appearance in Sweeney Todd.
Perhaps the oddest corporeal contribution to the Dance Party this year was by Edna Milton Chadwell, whose name is completely forgotten, but whose life as a hooker formed the basis for one of my favorite guilty secrets, Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.
They had a lousy summer. Kristin Chenoweth suffered major injury on the set of The Good Wife, and Kathy Bates underwent radical mastectomies, plus her show was canceled. The Dance Party cheered them both up by sending them to "Easy Street."
You didn't have to die to get onto the Dance Party, there were plenty of birthdays celebrated as well.  Dorothy Loudon gave 100% on her rendition of 50%, and Meryl Streep did the best she could with the yuckiest song of the year. 
Gene Kelly stopped traffic on roller skates, and
here, Madeline Kahn stopped the Sondheim
tribute when she refused to Get Married Today.

When Streisand turned 70, we got an early medley from Funny Girl, and when Mary Tyler Moore turned 75, we enjoyed a dance number in capri pants from her first TV show.  Doris Day was not known for her dancing, but she did a pretty good job here;  I wish I could say the same for Debbie Reynolds, who turned 80 this year (and should have known better than to tackle this hilarity).  Two other performers of note turned 80 this year as well:  we watched a very young, very impish Joel Grey mug his way through his very first TV appearance, on the Eddie Cantor show, and we suffered greatly because of Peter O'Toole's retirement announcement, and because of his disastrous Don Quixote too.
Another important birthday graced the Dance Party this year, my mother's. A clip from  my mother's lookalike Rita Hayworth celebrated it.
And there you have it, 52 musical clips comprising the fourth year of the Friday Dance Party.  If you are seriously disturbed, you may want to access all of them in reverse chronological order, beginning with last week's, here (in fact, you can find all <gulp> 210 clips, from the beginning of the segment, there as well).  But we need one more clip, to begin the 5th year of this pompous segment.  As in past anniversaries, this week's clip features young amateur dancers.  I rarely feature amateurs on the Dance Party, but for the first, second, and third anniversary, I did.  So to kick off the next year of overwritten essays and obscure tributes, enjoy this week's Dance Party:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Dance Party: The Misery Of Matrimony

I am having a very hard time wrapping my brain around the passage of marriage equality measures this week.  As everybody has already noted, any time gay marriage has been placed before a popular vote, it has lost. 

Minority rights should never be placed in the hands of the majority, as the majority will invariably deny them, a fact which, regarding gay marriage, has been proven over 30 times in state-wide elections.  If the abolition of slavery had been voted upon by the general population of, say, South Carolina, Charleston would still be hosting slave auctions.

The reversal of this trend leaves me happily astonished.  Perhaps there is hope for mankind after all.

I bet it pleases Robert Klein, too. 

He's appeared once before on the Dance Party, go here to see his lively duet with Lucie Arnaz.  This week, he welcomes homosexuals to that institution previously reserved only for the straight.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My New York Branch: Year One, Assembly Required

My Garden-In-A-Glass martini takes on added flourish in NY
With the massively destructive Sandy roaring through the New York region last week, Halloween was a bit overlooked, which is fine by me, since I am not a fan of dressing up in costumes for free.  What was also overlooked, though, was the fact that Halloween marked my one year anniversary in New York City.
The corridor outside my apartment has a large picture window facing the river, where the big cruise ships dock. I enjoy looking out this window as I wait for the elevator.
That anniversary is only technical, as far as I'm concerned.  I do not consider that I have been in NY one solid year.  Yes, it's true that, one year ago on Halloween, I had my final walkthrough of the apartment awarded to me in Manhattan Plaza, and I accepted the keys. 
The lobby of Manhattan Plaza is always decorated.  I failed to snap a shot of the spectacular Christmas decor, but here's the lobby during Easter.
I have been paying rent here for a year, but I still don't believe I've actually lived here a year. 
I am incompetent with my hands, but I assembled each
piece of furniture, like this desk, as it arrived.
It was agonizing work for me.

That first night, I had dashed up from DC to take possession of the apartment, which would have been passed on to the next person on the waiting list if I had not done so, but as I was finishing up a show in DC, I only stayed overnight. 
It took many months before my apt. had enough furniture
to be considered a home. This is a picture of my
newly delivered couch. It stayed in that box two weeks.

Then the holidays arrived, which included lots of traveling for me, then business in DC kept me there well into the New Year.  I really don't feel like I landed in NY until around March.

But on paper at least, I have been in NY a full year.  That first night, Halloween last year, I had only a blowup mattress, a high director's chair, and a martini glass to prove that I was "home." 
Here's that couch, out of the box.

A trick-or-treater unexpectedly knocked on my door; I invited her in, to prove that I had, indeed, just moved in, and had nothing to contribute to her bag of candy. 
An inflatable mattress is great for guests, but when you sleep on it night after night, you start to feel like you're perpetually camping. As soon as the holidays were over, I bought a bed.
It took a long while for the anxiety of being in New York to subside.  I never had the strong desire to live in Manhattan (and I think you really need that to be successful here), but when the apt dropped into my lap, it could not be refused.

But there was only one reason to give the city a try: my career.  So once I settled in to the New York branch for more than a night or two at a time, I began attending general auditions (more on that in a mo'). 
My first piece of furniture was
waiting for me when I arrived.
Though I had to assemble it.
Which was the theme of my NY
life this year.

It must have been around February or March when I snagged my first New York gig, The Taming of the Shrew.  I wrote about that experience here, but in a nutshell, I had a great part and an artistically satisfying time. 
Gremio in Taming of the Shrew, my NYC debut.
I alerted the media. They didn't really care.

The show was performed in Queens, which I was assured would qualify as my New York City Debut (though one witty friend advised that it would be my NY Debut until I snagged a show in Manhattan, at which time that would become my NY Debut).

It wasn't too long after winning the role of Gremio in Shrew that I did, in fact, snag my first Manhattan gig, playing the Mayor in Richard III.  I was very pleased to be asked to play the Duke of Clarence as well, when the original actor bowed out or was fired or something.  The production, about which I wrote here, was performed outside.  In August. 
The murder of Clarence in Richard III is, so far, my
favorite New York Moment.

Again, the experience was a great one for me, artistically.  Playing two very different roles in the same production is always a challenge, and I hope I accomplished it.  I would have to say, though, that with rehearsals happening in the dead of summer, outside, the process was the clammiest of any I've had.

As I write these words, I am in the midst of rehearsal for the third of the shows I've done this year. 
Next up.

A Midsummer Night's Dream will be another first for me:  it will be my Manhattan Debut INDOORS.  We'll be performing on the fourth floor of a building in downtown Manhattan, assuming that the chaos from Hurricane Sandy has subsided by then.

I'm not sure how to gauge my past year in New York professionally.  Everyone is told that actors are likely to snag only one job out of every 100 auditions.  Since February, when I started attending general cattle call auditions in earnest, I've had a whopping 64 New York auditions.  I have booked three of those jobs, and artistically speaking, those three were all gems.  But all three paid only subway fare.  So I've worked a lot in New York in the past year, and earned nothing.  Conversely, I've had only three stage auditions in DC since January, and all were general calls which I attended on my own (that is, without invitation).  I actually snagged one of those gigs, but had to turn it down when the producer refused to provide health insurance.  Other than a couple of film auditions which also came my way, that was the extent of my DC career this year.  I think word may be spreading that I am in New York these days, so my name does not spring to the minds of DC's theatrical casters.  I really need to address that problem, as I remain a bi-urban actor, able to work "locally" in both NY and DC.

As for my personal life, again, I'm not sure how to gauge the year.  I was pleased to reconnect with several old friends from various eras of my life, who have settled in New York (though I have not spent as much time with them as I would like).  And I've largely lost touch with my DC buddies, who are always unsure when I will be in the District. It is another aspect of living in two cities which I need to address and correct. 


The past year has been spent in assembly mode. It wasn't just that desk, I assembled every single item in the apartment except the mattress and the rug.  A rolling desk chair, the couch, the floor lamp, a coffee table, two end tables, a shelving unit, and even an electric fireplace were put together by my highly uncoordinated hands.  But assembling a New York life required more than hours and hours of fumbling around with tools in my hands.  I'm comfortable but still a bit isolated in this second branch of my life; I need to expand a social network here, and of course, get my professional life improving at a nicer pace.

Manhattan Plaza

Through a fluke in the system at Manhattan Plaza, my lease will be running to July of 2013.  So, in June, I'll need to evaluate all these aspects of my life, and decide if maintaining this dual city life is worth the energy.  For now, though, I am glad I took the plunge to open a second branch, and look forward to what happens next.  Stay tuned, and so will I.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Dance Party: A Tale Of Two Cities

As I write these words, powerlines are sputtering back to life in Lower Manhattan.  For almost five days, I've been living in a city split in two. 
Manhattan's skyline for most of the week.
I was in the New York Branch of my life when Sandy came a'calling, and I sat out the storm quite comfortably (and a little guiltily) by watching events unfold from my windows on the 29th floor.  Lots of wind, a bit of rain, and absolutely no flooding in the midtown area of Manhattan. 
We're told the crane dangling over 57th St. has now been
secured. Another crane must be constructed to remove it.
The process will take weeks.

On TV, I watched the local ABC affiliate (the only station I receive clearly on my swanky flatscreen TV, don't get me started...) as it covered the storm non-stop.  All their intrepid reporters were knee-deep in water from around the New York region.  Online, I watched the swaying of the broken crane dangling precariously above 57th Street, and I watched the huge substation at 14th Street explode.

It was that explosion, more than any flooding, which plunged the lower half of the island of Manhattan into darkness.  It was eerie, and the next morning, I discovered that I was only five or so blocks from the blackout.  The rest of this week, Manhattan has been split into the Haves and the Havenots.  Life proceeded with relish in my neighborhood, with Broadway losing only a day or so of performances, and the area's nightlife returning with flamboyant flourish.  Meanwhile, below 34th street, circumstances became more and more desperate, as temperatures dropped and rescue services were hard to find. 
This is not a dollhouse.  The facade to this building in Chelsea collapsed. Can you imagine cooking dinner in your underwear when suddenly the side of your house opens up?
Mayor Bloomberg, who should sometimes be reminded that he is mayor of all five boroughs of New York City, is first and foremost a businessman. 
Mayor Bloomberg both helped and
hurt recovery efforts.

As such, he recognizes that the business of New York is centered squarely in Manhattan, so his priorities all week have been to restore power to the island.  He is also aware of the power of public relations, so all week, he insisted that the internationally known New York Marathon would take place on Sunday.  The fact that much of the route traced through some of the worst hit neighborhoods of the city didn't seem to register with him.  The televised sight of fit runners jogging past people whose lives were ruined was a PR nightmare waiting to happen, so finally, that marathon was cancelled (but not before thousands of runners from all over the world had arrived, causing more chaos.  If Bloomberg had taken the advice of EVERYBODY ELSE, he would have cancelled the marathon Tuesday morning. Yet another headache he created himself.)

Bloomie also "fixed" the traffic problem which he helped create.  From the first days of the crisis, the mayor insisted that city employees be at work.  Well, city employees, though they work in Manhattan, can't afford to live there, and all the underground tunnels and, for a time, all the above river bridges, were closed, so it's unclear to me how he thought all those employees should get to their Manhattan posts from their homes in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and New Jersey. 
Sandy created a star, and it wasn't
the Christie/Obama bromance.
Bloomie's ASL interpreter stole
every press conference with her
style. Look for a parody on SNL.

Of course, they drove, creating the most chaotic traffic disaster in New York's history.  To solve THIS problem (which was largely of his own making), Bloomie imposed draconian carpool measures to reduce the number of cars streaming into the city.  Unfortunately, the exact details of those measures were not communicated to the cops on the ground, and massive confusion (and more traffic nightmares) were created.
With bridges and tunnels closed, city workers, required by Bloomberg to return to work, did so by car, causing unbelievable gridlock.
In none of these instances has Mayor Bloomberg admitted that he made any mistakes;  instead, the city government was simply dealing with problems which had to be "tweaked."

Meanwhile, my lone TV station continued to show tragic images of the devastation done by Sandy, and the lack of progress in providing assistance to the storm's victims.  The images being shown looked like a post-apocalyptic world, which, at long last, leads to this week's Dance Party.

You wanna pee? You gotta pay.
Mayor Bloomberg reminds me of Caldwell B. Cladwell.  Don't recognize the name?  He's the antagonist, villain, and showiest role in the most unfortunately titled musical ever to hit Broadway, Urinetown
John Cullum as corporate tycoon and political manipulator Caldwell Cladwell.
That title was so problematic that nowadays, when the show is produced in high schools and community theatres, it is sometimes called You're In Town.  But the title is appropriate for this cynical satire, which concerns a post apocalyptic society where water is scarce, and in order to conserve it, drastic measures are taken. 
Little Sally and Officer Lockstock
provide Brechtian commentary.

The show is an unusual mix of snark and heart, distastefully placed outside a public urinal, where all must pay to pee.  The romantic couple in the story both die, this is not your typical Broadway musical.  The piece moved from the New York Musical Fringe Festival to Off-Broadway to Broadway over the course of a few years, but was never a blockbuster.  The subject matter and the characters were just too unlikeable.
Hunter Foster leads a revolt among the inhabitants.  It does not end well.
The milieu of Urinetown reminds me of the electrically deprived sections of New York City in Sandy's aftermath.  This clip comes from the Tony Awards, and features Urinetown's hero, played by Hunter Foster. 
Don't fall in love with our romantic
leads.  They don't make it.

The number itself is a little bland for a rabble-rouser, but I guess it must have been the most commercially accessible of the songs.  It certainly would not have inspired me to dash out to buy a ticket to the show, in fact, I've never seen a full production. (But you have to love a musical number which includes a tied-up hostage.)  If life were a musical, this might be the song which the inhabitants of the under-served victims of Sandy might use as their anthem.
I've heard that the creators of Urinetown are working on a prequel, explaining how society degenerated. Perhaps it will be ready for next year's hurricane.