Thursday, February 20, 2014

In the Press

A few interesting items from newspapers:

On a personal note, I am chuffed to discover that Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Uptown Players is a hit.  According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram:

 "It’s the best production of a play that Uptown Players has ever done, and it doesn’t hurt that the script is one that, like the great writer from which it takes its inspiration, is destined for classic status."  

Wohoo!  Read the rest of the review HERE.  I really do admire this script and cast.  Earlier post on the show HERE.

Les Demoiselles de Avignon, Pablo Picasso - public domain at Wikipedia

On a non-personal but still theatrical note...

There's an interesting op-ed in the New York Times written by actor James Franco about the recent plagiarism scandal around another actor's, Shia LeBeouf's, creative? endeavours...  It's an thoughtful and maybe even a plausible take on behavior that, in anyone not a famous actor, would be considered mere cheating and brattiness.  Read it HERE.  

I think Franco may have a point (I've seen a few actors let much less fame that LaBeouf's go straight to their egos), but it seems... inconsistent... for anyone to act out because they're treated "special" while counting on that "special"ness to shield them from the consequences.

More and more I come to think that we have to separate the work from the man (or woman).  

Picasso was a kinda nasty person who painted well.  Charles Dickens was more flawed than his own Scrooge. More recently, Woody Allen... sigh.  I deeply love many of Allen's movies, but I have no idea where the truth lies in the ugly 20 year old accusations against him that have resurfaced.   I can only be glad that I need never decide whether to let him babysit my kid and can, instead, just rewatch Manhattan.  Whatever Allen is or did I choose not to devalue his work, just as I'll always love the story of Scrooge's redemption and Picasso's blue guitarist.  

I think it's often true that the artist puts the best part of themselves into their work (leaving the worst for us to cope with in daily life), while The Work seems to go on to develop a  life independent of its creator.  

In which case... maybe LaBeouf's biggest sin isn't so much plagiarizing others as that, by casting doubt, by NOT putting his best self out there, he betrays his own body of work, past and future.


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