A massive winter storm is coming together as two low pressure systems are merging over the U.S. East Coast. A satellite image from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite on Feb. 8 shows a western frontal system approaching the coastal low pressure area.
The satellite image, captured at 9:01 a.m. EST, shows clouds associated with the western frontal system stretching from Canada through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, into the Gulf of Mexico. The comma-shaped low pressure system located over the Atlantic, east of Virginia, is forecast to merge with the front and create a powerful nor'easter. The National Weather Service expects the merged storm to move northeast and drop between two to three feet of snow in parts of New England.
What's happening in your neck of the woods?
BY NAVEEN KUMAR
Realism bites—and so does reality, for that matter. Before Ethan and Winona, there was Bertolt Brecht, the anti-naturalist whose 1923 play Baal, about the self-propelled downward spiral of a poet-cum-anti-hero, serves as inspiration for Jonathan Marc Sherman’s Clive, which opened Off Broadway last night in a New Group production at the Acorn Theatre.
Appropriately enough, Sherman sets his retelling—directed by and starring frequent New Group collaborator Ethan Hawke—squarely in the Gen-X hunk’s heyday: that angsty, flannel-clad era when grungy rock stars burnt up quickly with unironic rage, the 1990s. It’s a far cry from Brecht’s pre WWII Germany, but the portrait of an artist-as-hedonistic-narcissist is a tale as old as time.
Sherman refashions Brecht’s drunken German poet into a drunken New York City musician named Clive, played by Hawke. Following the basic framework of Brecht’s plot, the play presents a series of disjointed, episodic scenes rather than a clear, conventional storyline. Though increasingly bizarre in style as the play progresses, scenes chronicle the sort of typical bad behavior you might expect from a rocker who looks like Ethan Hawke living in 1990s New York City—plenty of booze, pills, and of course, much womanizing with consequences of varying severity.
You shouldn’t need to know much about a play’s source material to greet it on its own terms (although the New Group does provide a written insert), but a few minimally nuanced tidbits from Brecht’s Wiki might be helpful here for anyone who didn’t go to drama school.
Though Brecht wrote Baal when he was twenty, before fully developing his signature theory and practice of ‘epic theatre’ (and becoming a staunch Marxist), nascent elements of it are on display here. Brecht and his peers were foremost insistent that the audience never get swept up by the action of a play and forget that they’re sitting in a theatre. Actors speak their actions (“I wept, openly!”) often in place of performing them, and frequently address the audience directly, breaking the so-called fourth wall.
Alienation, though not an accepted translation of Brecht's desired effect, can feel pretty accurate in Sherman and Hawke's borrowed aesthetic.
Hawke’s ensemble cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), indie darling Zoe Kazan (Angels in America), comic chameleon Brooks Ashmanskas (Promises, Promises), and the playwright himself, each juggling a variety of characters, most of whom are mistreated by Clive or worse on his way to rock-bottom.
The production’s integration of musical effects is both inventive and seamless, thanks in no small part to Derek McLane’s imaginative set design with uncommon instruments built into its doors. Though with both playwright and director busy on stage, Hawke’s staging seems to lack the benefit of an outsider perspective.
Brecht and the distinct style of theatre he pioneered are definitely not for everyone—i.e. if you prefer your theatre served straight-up, complete with empathetic characters and storylines and a slice-of-life for dessert, you'll likely want to fill up elsewhere. Otherwise you might ask your neighbor to nudge you awake three quarters in, so at least you can say you saw Ethan Hawke topless in a 199 seat theatre.
Clive continues performances Off Broadway at the Acron Theatre through March 9th.
Recent theatre features...
Martin Moran's 'All The Rage' Opens Off Broadway: REVIEW
Ben Rimalower Is Working Through His 'Patti Issues' At The Duplex: INTERVIEW
'Picnic' Starring Sebastian Stan Opens on Broadway: REVIEW
'The Other Place' Starring Laurie Metcalf Opens On Broadway: REVIEW
Rob Ashford Takes on 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof' on Broadway: INTERVIEW
Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar.
Students taking seventh grade health classes in the Prince George's County Public Schools system were shown a video espousing "ex-gay" therapy as a viable option for students who are LGBT and bullied, Washington City Paper reports:
Betsy Gallun worked as the supervisor for health education in Prince George's County Public Schools until she retired last year, and she thinks information about gay-to-straight therapy should be available to Prince George's County students. "I feel very badly that it's coming under scrutiny, to be honest with you," says Gallun...
...Six health classes have shown "Acception" since last fall, according to PGCPS spokesman Briant K. Coleman—and more were expected to use it this year, says Doyle.
State education regulators also approved the video, according to Coleman. But on Wednesday, PGCPS pulled the video pending further review, only to terminate the program permanently later that day.
Gallun was introduced to the 21-minute anti-bullying video (stills from it above, and right) "Acception" by "ex-gay" quack Richard Cohen:
[The video] at first appears to promote the acceptance of gay children. In the video, four students are assigned a project on homophobic bullying, with the group splitting up to study the issues of bullying and the origins of homosexuality. Two of the students encounter a cavemen parable about the origins of bullying, but the teens researching same-sex attraction soon find themselves in a different kind of scientifically dicey territory. While the video initially explores gay teenagers being bullied and a young man coming out to his parents, it soon features a student talking about how his once-lesbian cousin used therapy to become attracted to men. Then, the students in the video "watch" an interview with a gay-to-straight therapist.
"If someone wants to live a gay life, I respect that, and if someone wants to change from gay to straight and choose a different path, I respect that too," says the character, played by an actress. The success of "reparative therapy" is touted elsewhere in the video: In a portion of the video you can watch on YouTube, a woman who once felt attracted to other women says that growing closer to her mother and female friends—a trope of sexual orientation-switching theory—helped her become attracted to men. Discussion questions provided to teachers using "Acception" feature scenarios in which sexual orientation is changed through therapy.
Watch a trailer for the video (which does not show the part where it veers into ex-gay therapy) and a clip from it, AFTER THE JUMP...
(via anthoony catalino)
A satirical, slur-laden, foul-mouthed anthem of deep denial.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Ellen Sounds Off on the Boy Scouts Gay Ban, Reveals Adorable Photo of Herself as a Girl Scout: VIDEO
Ellen urged the Boy Scouts to drop their ban on gays yesterday, noting that she herself was once a Girl Scout (who are much more equality-minded than their male counterparts) for "about a day", and there are much scarier things to worry about while camping than gay people.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Hey, this is what late night TV is for, right? Grocery store games and male objectification.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
And here's the ad, if you missed it.