July 27, 2016

You know what I'm talking about. That gravelly, creaky-speak that so many young women employ (yeah, and some young men - although it seems less noticeable with men because of their vocal pitch). It's everywhere now, on the radio, television, on the street. Even ON NPR!

I'm not easily annoyed, normally, by very much. I'm fairly patient with other drivers, with waiting in line, with being put on hold, even with sluggish Internet. I understand. Stuff happens.

But vocal fry is slowly driving me crazy. I wonder why these (mostly) women can't hear themselves. And if they can–if they're aware of how they sound–do they honestly think that vocal frying makes them seem attractive? Smart? Professional?

I love the way a well spoken, fully engaged woman voice sounds: remember Bette Davis? Rosalind Russell?...

July 20, 2016

We all know that a motion picture takes years to produce, and that its release date is determined months, if not years, in advance. Still, it feels strangely percipient that "Florence Foster Jenkins," the new Meryl Streep movie about this most hilarious and weirdly lovable of characters, is opening just now. Just now--as America is in the throes of its most painful racial divisiveness in decades, in this most disturbing political climate, this horrifying era of terrorism. Just when we need a tiny break.

I can't wait to see this movie. On "Rotten Tomatoes" the international reviews (U.S. release is August 12th) are ecstatic: "ridiculously watchable" (Time Out), "an audience picture first and foremost" (Variety), "masterful simplicity" (The Wrap) and on and on. 

I've always loved Streep's silly side...

July 13, 2016

Recently I looked around the LA theatre scene and realized there was just too much I wanted to see. (It’s a little like television these days: the choices and variety are staggering.) Anybody familiar with “small” (ha!) theatre here in Los Angeles knows what I mean. Right now, Rogue Machine has one more weekend of their three—count ‘em—runaway hit shows onstage, all adored by both critics and audiences, and there’s also one more weekend of the fabulously reviewed and realized “Hedda Gabler” at Antaeus. Pacific Resident Theatre has a stunning (Critic’s Choice) production of Williams’s “Eccentricities of a Nightingale.” The Odyssey has a brilliant version of O’Neill’s “The Hairy Ape.” And the Skylight has the powerful world premiere of “Church and State” by Jason Odell Williams. All with great act...

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