Since 1980, performance troupe Split Britches has been gifting the world with its unique brand of feminist political theater. Today, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver—original co-founder Deb Margolin is no longer with the group—are still devoted to their queer-eyed vision: a mix of vaudeville comedy, music, poetry, and pop-culture appropriations that draws incessantly from their personal lives and politics. Their latest work, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO), plays through January 20 at La Mama’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, ahead of a forthcoming tour to England, Ireland, and Wales. I recently sat down with Shaw and Weaver to discuss the production and why it remains so important for them to keep the spirit of the Split Britches alive.
Donald Trump (#1–10 of 9)
1. ”Angels in America: The Complete Oral History.” How Tony Kushner’s play became the defining work of American art of the past 25 years.
“Twenty-five years ago this summer, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America premiered in the tiny Eureka Theatre in San Francisco’s Mission District. Within two years it had won the Pulitzer Prize and begun a New York run that would dominate the Tony Awards two years in a row, revitalize the nonmusical play on Broadway, and change the way gay lives were represented in pop culture. Both parts of Angels, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, put gay men at the center of American politics, history, and mythology at a time when they were marginalized by the culture at large and dying in waves. It launched the careers of remarkable actors and directors, not to mention the fiercely ambitious firebrand from Louisiana who wrote it—and rewrote it, and rewrote it, and rewrote it again. Its 2003 HBO adaptation was itself a masterpiece that won more Emmys than Roots. But the play also financially wiped out the theater that premiered it; it endured casting and production tumult at every stage of development, from Los Angeles to London to Broadway; its ambitious, sprawling two-part structure tested the endurance of players, technicians, and audiences. Slate talked to more than 50 actors, directors, playwrights, and critics to tell the story of Angels’ turbulent ascension into the pantheon of great American storytelling—and to discuss the legacy of a play that feels, in an era in which gay Americans have the right to marry but still in many ways live under siege, as crucial as ever.”
1. “Ciao, Bella: Post-Twilight, Kristen Stewart Continues to Astound.” For The Village Voice, critic Melissa Anderson offers an appreciation of the under-appreciated actress.
“The Twilight franchise’s advancement of a conservative agenda of one (undead) man, one woman might have been boosted by the fact that Stewart and Pattinson were dating for much of the series’s 2008–12 run. But throughout these years, the actress, refusing to be pigeonholed, signed up for projects that complicated the swoony, boy-crazy, high-femme virgin character that was bringing in box office billions. As Joan Jett in The Runaways (2010), Floria Sigismondi’s lush recounting of the rise and fall of the jailbait Seventies rock group, Stewart no longer slinks—she swaggers, strutting not for guys but for girls. She plays the teenage guitarist like a heat-seeking missile, one aimed at Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), the bandmate she’s besotted with. Bathed in cherry-bomb-red light, these two share a sultry kiss, the lip-lock initiated by Jett. Stewart’s brilliant baby-dyke bravado in The Runaways, her unabashed lustfulness, reveals an appetite that Twilight tamped down (if not outright forbade). Since that franchise concluded, her characters’ desires, sometimes unconventional, have often been expressed in more oblique, though no less stirring, ways.”
1. “Paradise Lost and Found.” Interview’s Colleen Kelsey chats with Mia Hansen-Løve.
“I’m obsessed with Patrick Modiano’s last book. Modiano is a very famous, great French writer that for some reason I feel very connected to. He’s always writing about memory. He used to write about memory and then it became about difficulty, the memory that’s disappearing. The more it goes, the more it seems to be about recovering memories, the loss of memories, the fog. His books become more and more abstract. In the one I just read, I think in the front of the book, there is a quote from Stendhal saying, ’There is no reality, there is just memory of reality.’ I have this obsession with the relationship to reality. What is real? What is not real? Reality doesn’t exist. It’s just the way we reconstruct it and the dialogue between the past and the present; how to be present in the world, how to connect with yourself and the past. I guess that’s why all my films are connected [and] have to do with passing of time. It’s always about constructing a past or a life, so that at some point in the film you have the present of the film and you have the memory. The film has its own memory.”
Declining a Russian film festival invite, Wentworth Miller comes out as gay.
Meanwhile, HRC is imploring Donald Trump to pull 2013’s Miss Universe pageant from Moscow.
After receiving a 35-year sentence, Chelsea Manning, née Bradley, announces “I am female.”
Read Manning’s full statement here.
Dr. Phil’s tweet about sex with drunk girls didn’t go over well.
Aaron Sorkin thinks The Huffington Post sucks.
Gimme the Loot and Beware of Mr. Baker win top prizes at SXSW.
Historic verdict condemns Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
Richard Brody gives some time to Claude Lanzmann.
Tanner Colby defends Mad Men’s handling of race.
Bilge Ebiri has an earworm.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is the proud father of a newborn nine year old.
Seth MacFarlane will be spearheading a new reboot of The Flintstones.
Stephen Hawking calls the idea of heaven a “fairy story.”
NBA executive Rick Welts announces he’s gay.
Anderson Cooper Don Lemon also announces he’s gay.
Donald Trump stops pretending he’s running for President in 2012.
Lady Gaga previewed “Marry the Night,” the first of three more songs from her upcoming album on FarmVille today, but not before revealing her messy “Hair” yesterday:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.
Matt Zoller Seitz says farewell to Steve Carell’s Michael Scott.
A queer endeavor by Nathan Lee.
She Monkeys and Bombay Beach top Tribeca Film Festival jury awards.
Peter Bogdanovich reviews A Star Is Born.
- a star is born
- adrian utley
- bombay beach
- david bordwell
- Donald Trump
- imogen smith
- john paul ii
- kevin b. lee
- Martin Scorsese
- Matt Zoller Seitz
- nantucket film festival
- nathan lee
- observations on film art
- oxhide ii
- peter bogdanovich
- seattle international film festival
- she monkeys
- steve carell
- taxi driver
- Tribeca Film Festival
Each Thursday, NBC declares, “Next week on The Apprentice, the Donald will do/say/think/gesture/insinuate something that he’s never done/said/thought/gestured/insinuated before!” And each week we’re disappointed. (The producers at UPN, however, apparently don’t cry wolf, as last week’s coming attractions for America’s Next Top Model showed Tyra “Humble Pie” Banks screaming, “Shut the fuck up you insolent, piece of shit coat hanger!”—okay, well that’s not an exact quote, but, as Alynda Wheat points out in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, “Tyra neglects to use her ’inside voice’ when one of the Barbies acts a fool.”) The one thing this season of The Apprentice does have is Tana Goertz, a 37-year-old mother of two from Des Moines, IA. With Erin and Angie out of the running (and the 26-year-old Kendra a non-threat), Tana could be Trump’s next Carolyn—who, by the way, deserves her own show. Tana has yet to find herself on the chopping block and the bottom-line-oriented Trump isn’t stupid: Choosing three white men in a row is unlikely to help his sagging ratings. Here are some reasons we love Tana: