Mamet: Why “Night Of The Iguana” Is Not A Good Play

“Playwriting is a young man’s – and, of late, a young woman’s – game. It requires the courage of youth still inspired by rejection and as yet unperverted by success. Most playwrights’ best work is probably their earliest. Those prejudices of anger, outrage and heartbreak the writer brings to his early work will be fuelled by a passionate sense of injustice. In the later work, this will in the main have been transformed by the desire for retribution.” That said, writes David Mamet, “The Night of the Iguana is not a very good play.”

Italy – Where Opera Rules? (Maybe)

“I’m not saying that a visit to the opera in Italy is a visit to a world of lost content in which opera is woven into the whole fabric of Italian vernacular life. It isn’t. I love the true story of Verdi and a visitor driving a horse and carriage along a lane near Busseto one afternoon and encountering a party of farm workers who doff their caps and spontaneously break into a chorus from I Lombardi. But it’s not like that now. Modern Italy, like Bertolucci’s Novecento, starts with the death of Verdi. We must stop ourselves sentimentalising about it. And yet you can’t be in Milan for long on the opening day of the Scala season without realising something peculiar to Italy is occurring.”

BBC At Home (Live And In Person)

The BBC is organizing musicians to come into people’s houses an play music for them. “Musicians from the BBC’s five orchestras, as well as others including Northern Sinfonia and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, will be setting up in front rooms. Radio 3 listeners were invited to nominate friends or family members for their own personalised performance, given by anything from a solo performer to a quartet.”

How MySpace Is Transforming The Arts Marketing Experience

“MySpace pulls it all together. It’s where, for free, you can make your own Web page and direct people to it. Start your own blog. There’s instant messaging and music downloads. It’s spam-free for the moment, packed with music and comedy, growing by 4 million people a month and easy to use. It’s that huge audience, primarily teens and young adults, that’s pushing the latest revolution in the music industry. More than 550,000 musicians have MySpace pages, with the ability to get heard, play gigs and make a living without radio, TV or even having a CD in stores. Previously unknown bands, comedians and other entertainers now take their case directly to fans.”

The Children’s Theatre Boom

One sign of the growing ambitions and importance of children’s theatre in America are the elaborate new theatres being built to house them. The Kennedy Center is opening a new $9 million Family Theater that is “the first self-contained new theater to be christened at the center in 26 years. Built with federal funds in a space that formerly housed the AFI Theater, the playhouse is a significant facet of the center’s five-year, $125 million effort to upgrade arts education.”

The Metropolitan Museum’s Problem Antiquities Donor

“The Levy-White collection could prove a complicating factor in discussions between the Met and the Italian Culture Ministry, which says it has evidence that more than 20 objects that the Met already owns were illegally removed from Italy. As the case has unfolded, the Italians have issued subpoenas to the Met through the United States Justice Department.”