Archive for the ‘2010’ Tag

2010 SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards

The SFBATCC nominations were announced today. I’m thrilled to share that the composer/music director and lyricist of my current show were included, as well as many deserving theatre friends and colleagues. Many congrats to all of them, and way to go Ray of Light Theatre on a whopping 11 noms! Below are my highlights:

[UPDATE: Complete list of winnersand see asterisks below!]

Thrillpeddlers: Pearls Over Shanghai
Original Music & Music Direction: Scrumbly Koldewyn
Original Lyrics: Link Martin

Scrumbly (as Gertrude Stein) & Me (as Hung Lo) — Photo by Daniel Nicoletta

Ray of Light Theatre: The Who’s Tommy
Entire Production
Principal Performance: Zachary Franczak* (He was a star!)
Supporting Performance: Cameron Weston
Director: Shane Ray
Music Director: Ben Prince*
Set Design: Angelo Benedetto*
Lighting Design: Dustin Snyder*
Costume Design: Mark Koss*
Choreographer: Ellyn Marie Marsh*

Ray of Light Theatre: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Ensemble
Music Director:
David Dobrusky

New Conservatory Theatre Center: Dames at Sea
Entire Production*
Supporting Performance:
Leanne Borghesi* (So well deserved, dear friend!)
…and more

Broadway By the Bay: Crazy For You
Director: Brooke Knight
Musical Director: Attilio Tribuzi*
Choreographer: Robin Tribuzi*…and more

Shotgun Players: The Threepenny Opera
Entire Production
Ensemble
…and more

Boxcar Theatre: Rent Boy Ave.: A “Fairy’s” Tale
Musical Director: Michael Mohammed…and more

Michael Phillis: Dolls — NCTC
Solo Performance: Drama

J. Conrad Frank: Katya’s Holiday Spectacular! — NCTC
Solo Performance: Musical*

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The Best of Spokane: Buttercups, Fizzles & Knives

There’s SO much to say about the past two weekends of US Nationals: triumphs, let-downs, new faces, and the like. Here’s a saucy snapshot of less obvious highlights that I’ll take away from Spokane, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Lutz is to Flutz as Twizzles are to…


jcm’s newly coined term: “fizzles” = botched twizzles.

What a crime that the U.S. Olympic Ice Dance Team selection essentially came down to this element, and that it trumped what the discipline should really be about…connection, interpretation, and expression! Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre’s fourth place finish (likely thanks to fizzles) was heartbreaking. I fear that this over-valued element will be a deal breaker in Vancouver too.

Skaters, Skaters, Skaters


Tiger Beat Award: Mark Ladwig. Pushing aside Bommentre…he’s my new skating crush du jour. Evora & Ladwig’s unexpected win and emotional reaction also raised his temperature on my hawtness meter.

Most promise: Christine Gao: I agree, “Gao” = “Wow”; Armin Mahbanoozadeh: grace, style, and still memorable despite a nagging hip injury; Yankowskas & Couglin: star quality, great expression and performance TO the audience.

Most Blades of Glory: Ben Agosto’s FD costume. Whew!? What are they thinking? Trying WAY too hard to be a Ruskie!

Sentimental favorites prooved they were just that (this time): Bradley, Navarro & Bommentre, Cohen, and Inoue & Baldwin ALL just missed the podium or Olympic Team selection.

Interesting program discovery: Bebe Liang’s LP, made up of Dvorak, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff selections. It was refreshing, as I hadn’t seen it all season. It was also perfectly suited to her: high energy, driven, and rhythmic. Although she gave a good performance, too bad she didn’t nail it. Will she have her moment?

Skating Great who went largely unnoticed: Lisa-Marie Allen, four-time Nationals’ medalist was the Technical Specialist.

Off-ice couples:
Out: Tanith & Evan
In: Amanda Evora & Jeremy Barrett (both earned a ticket to Vancouver!)
(Rumored) In: Tanith & Charlie (of Marlie), Nastia Liukin & Evan

From the Boards: Coaches


Most welcome new presence: Yuka Sato & Jason Dungjen. They both have a very calm and grounding presence for Jeremy, and the TV audience. I love her, and Jason has never looked better.

In: Jim Peterson. His visible emotion from the boards was deeply moving. His commitment to the sport and his teams is so evident in these reactions, AND in the result, as both U.S. Olympic pairs teams are his (and Lyndon Johnston’s)!

Out: Dalilah Sappenfield. In 2008 she had the first place novice, junior, and senior pairs. I’m sure she’ll reign again, but had a much lower profile this year.

Not so Gaga


Biggest missed opportunity (aside from Navarro & Bommentre’s already mentioned woes): Johnny could have come out as Top in his rivalry with Evan, and wrestled away the silver. Evan opened the door, and Johnny closed it. No, he likely couldn’t have beaten Jeremy here, but this time Evan was not unbeatable.

Most hootchie: Trina Pratt & Chris Obzansky. Their country OD, which oooozed Texan sexy (and bust!), made me both swoon AND gag just a little. They are Shpilband protégés, and show real promise.

It sucks to be them: Castile & Okolski. Their LP, although carried over from last season, was very beautiful and satisfying. It’s so sad their success has been sidelined by her injuries. I hope they make a comeback, if they stick with competitive skating at least another season.

Most underrated achievement: Inoue & Baldwin garnering a bronze medal, at ages 33 and 36, and with a throw triple axel! Like ’em or not, that’s astounding and worthy of note. Even though I’m not a fan, and cringed at John’s Plushy-esque gloat after Rena landed the 3ATh, I thought they were robbed of the silver.

Commentating & Public Opinion


Best quotes: “I keep saying, the sunshine that pours out of her…I wanna call her the buttercup of all time.” — Dick Button (about Mirai); “Such a precarious relationship between skater and ice...you’ve got knives on your feet…and (try to) make something impossible look easy.” — Scott Hamilton (during Sasha’s warm-up)

Village Idiot Award: Dick Button. Whew…he’s totally lost me. As a friend said, “he’s becoming a caricature of himself”. And, I used to really hang on his words.

Damned by faint praise: Emily Hughes (AGAIN!). In the old days Dick Button would repeatedly talk about “her great smile” (instead of any actual skating attributes.) Well, here are some new doozies used to describe her: “The victory is in being here.”, “She really worked towards a challenge, and you have to give that credit.”, “(She’s) the photo-negative (of Czisny.)”, “They (Hugheses) all skate for the right reasons, just because they love it.” WTF? You know she wants to win just as much as the other gurlz.

Most overlooked: Jeremy Barrett. The commentator’s focus was almost solely on Caydee Denney. YES, she is a sensational competitor and great for this sport, but he matched her element by element, skill by skill, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Blatant commentator favoritism: Nagasu, Davis & White, Navarro & Bommentre, and Bradley were given the benefit of the doubt, while Flatt, Weir, and Inoue & Baldwin’s achievements were downplayed. It was pretty shameless. Flatt’s win felt like a let down, because of the way it was portrayed, following Nagasu.

Most tired opinion in the blogosphere: (to paraphrase) “I should have known to expect this from Sasha.” Sure, some may consider what she did brave, others foolish, but either way, as Sandra Bezic put it, you can’t expect a fairy tale comeback at Nationals without some competitive preparation beforehand. Even Super-Evgeni had Rostelcom Cup before Russian Nationals. What she did in the SP was amazing, and she should be lauded for doing as well as she did.

My Nationals’ podium predictions: I was 6 for 12 (exact placements), and 10 for 12 (correct skaters on podium). Meh! But, not too bad. The Cohen/Nagasu wildcards, and McBru meltdowns were impossible to foresee. ALL my wish list items were met, except the last one. Ah well…you can’t have everything!

Next up…Vancouver!!!

jcm’s ‘10 Olympics’ Podium Predictions Contest

It’s nearly one month til the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics! In celebration and anticipation, I invite you to take part in my contest, the second of its kind on jcm, since my 09 Worlds’ Contest. You contribute nothing but figure skating placement predictions, I make no profit, and it’s not linked to any organization or business…it’s just for fun!

TO PLAY

Post your predictions for the top 4 medal placements (including the fourth place “pewter” medal), in any or all 4 figure skating disciplines in the “Comments” for this post. If your username is not linked to your email address, be sure to include your email address as well, or email it to me, so I can contact you should you win. Refer to the early submissions for the basic format, and you may use your initials only, if you wish. Predictions or resubmissions must be posted before midnight, February 12th. I will announce any skater withdrawals in the “Comments” for this post.

SCORING

  • 15 points for correct top 3 placements (gold, silver, & bronze) for 1 discipline (if achieved, the next 3 scoring items are not added)
  • 6 points for 1 correct gold medal placement
  • 5 points for 1 correct silver medal placement
  • 4 points for 1 correct bronze medal placement
  • 2 points for 1 correct medalist in any top 3 placement (ie: you post “Jane Doe – silver medal”, but Jane wins bronze)
  • 1 point for 1 correct fourth place “pewter” medal placement
  • 1 bonus point for 4 correct top 4, in any top placement (ie: you post correct top 4, BUT some or all are in wrong placement)

PRIZES

The winner for each discipline will be awarded a $20 online amazon.com gift certificate, the week following the Olympics. (A total of $80.00 in prizes are at stake!)


ATHLETES

You can review the Vancouver Athletes, in all 4 figure skating disciplines here. (Once an official competitor list is published, I’ll provide the link.) Check out the season’s best total scores for men, ladies, pairs, ice dance.

And, keep an eye on the official Olympic Schedule and Results here.

The small print:

If there are any withdrawals before Feb. 12, you may resubmit your predictions, but I discourage you from doing so for unaffected disciplines, as you will risk losing a tie-breaker because of resubmitting later. If a withdrawal in any discipline effects your prediction, your 4th place prediction will be counted as your bronze medal prediction (this is why the 4th place prediction is essential.) If there are 2 withdrawals in any discipline that effect your prediction, the remaining skaters in that discipline will be counted as your top 2 prediction. If there are no withdrawals in a discipline, the fourth place prediction serves as a top 3 tie-breaker. In the case of a top 4 tie, the earlier post prevails (including any resubmissions).

I have revised the scoring, since my ’09 Worlds’ Predictions Contest, to increase fairness, and account for more possible scenarios. Have fun y’all!

Vancouver Olympic Schwag: Can You Resist?

One of my most curious and amusing memories of attending the Salt Lake Games with friends was the fast emerging and potent addiction to Olympic schwag, particularly collectible pins! I remember running from shop to shop, table to table, in Park City, seeking the most stylish, most beautiful, most perfect pin(s).

I liken it to going to an auction, or taking part in a raffle. Somehow you get roped up into thinking you MUST have the targeted item, and that your very happiness depends on it. Thankfully, I’ve enjoyed wearing the pins I purchased then to later skating events, and around big competition time, so they proved themselves worthy purchases.

I thought I’d share a little taste of this addictive smack with you! I have no association with the Vancouver 2010 Store, and am only sharing these images and links for your enjoyment. Just think of me as your schwag enabler.

Figure Skating Pins


These two are available here and here. Other figure skating pins include: hanging skates, glitter skatesladies’ spiral against Canadian maple leaflayback spin, Mukmuk mascot on Zamboni (hilarious!)Quatchi & Miga mascotspairs’ silhouette (garish), dimensional skating figure (tacky!). And, if you just MUST have an Olympic “Happy Easter” skating pin, it is available here.

jcm’s Favorite Vancouver 2010 Pins


This left pin features an Aboriginal salmon illustration. This is part of a beautiful, larger series. To be honest, I had no idea there was Aboriginal culture or history in Canada. I only knew of it in Australia. Whodathunkit? These pins ALSO educate!

The right pin has a cut-out of the Paralympic logo in silver. I actually prefer the Paralympic logo and pins to the Vancouver Olympic logo and pins. I also like the looks of this simple pin quite a bit, and for other sports, this Canadian maple leaf ski pin is the coolest!

More Figure Skating Schwag


Other figures skating schwag that is not yet out of stock including this hot pink luggage tag, a rather drab looking magnet, and poster.

Even though Christmas is past, I’ll be placing my order for the top left skating pin, and likely the Aboriginal salmon pin today! You see any favs on the store site?