Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Drama Drop -

* Planning a party can be difficult, but... When you’re running the busiest opera house in the nation, if not the world, a logistical nightmare you could do without is a one-night-only potpourri involving hand-picked stars in arias and ensembles from approximately two dozen repertory titles. But economics dictate fund-raisers regularly, so here is Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, one hell of a party for the company’s 125th-anniversary gala, which is set for March 15. Read more about it in the New York Times. Also read more about 125 years of the Metropolitan Opera at the Met's Minisite.

* A scene you're not likely to see at a Met gala is one from John Waters 'Pink Flamingos' - the Opera... It's not easy to live down a nickname like "The Pope of Trash". For the last 40 years, John Waters has been gleefully producing some of the weirdest, gutter-dredging films in American cinema, such as "Mondo Trasho," "Pink Flamingos," "Female Trouble" and "Desperate Living," peopled by drag queens and margin-dwellers and marked by outlandish plots and fantastic musical numbers. But his love of campy sex and tabloid mayhem is married with an intense appreciation for literature, history and high art. It makes perfect sense that he's currently trying to turn "Pink Flamingos" into an opera. "It would be a good opera," he says. "It's extremes of competition to see who can be the filthiest person in the world. It stars a fat lady. And, I've said it before, not only does she sing at the end, she does something else. If you think about it, it would work."

* Foreclosures abound... The Senator Theatre's bank has notified the city and the owner of the historic movie house that it intends to foreclose on the property. The Baltimore Sun reports that the North Baltimore landmark could stop showing films as early as next week and be sold at auction next month. Owner Tom Kiefaber had been in talks with the city to turn the long-struggling theater into a nonprofit community center that would offer a range of activities beyond movies. But a letter from 1st Mariner Bank informed Kiefaber of its intent to foreclose, potentially derailing the nonprofit plan. That's really too bad. This country could use a few more non-profit community theaters.

* Even though he's president... Barack Obama still has a few things to learn. Like - never stand in front of the prima donna, not even during a singing of Happy Birthday. This birthday bash, for Ted Kennedy, took place at (Where else?) the Kennedy Center. Singing "Happy Birthday" were mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano Frederica Von Stade, folk singer James Taylor and down center stage was America's newest baritone, President Barack Obama. See for yourself:

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