Don’t Rain On Our Parade

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: New mega balloons get set to soar [Daily News]
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We’re taking a break from watching the Parade on NBC.

Question: Does Broadway produce anything other than revivals of musicals from 40-50 years ago and musicals made from movies anymore?

Shrek: The Musical? Is this for real?

And as much as I enjoy the music from Hair, hasn’t anyone come up with something more… contemporary?

@Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches:

I just keep thinking about all the supernaturally talented composers we’ve never heard of, feverishly working to perfect their masterpieces–I know they’re out there–and then they shop it around to producers who’re all, “nah, we’re going with Miami Vice: The Musical.

Kinda like all the geniuses who should have their work all over teevee, but instead the airwaves and tubes are flooded with indolent-idiot-filled reality shows and CSI: Peoria.

Managed to get to Fairway and get chicken and thanksgiving basics … I think I am awake enough to make dinner. Otherwise it’s takeout Indian.

Will I go to hell for repeatedly urging Mr. SFL to use some of the pot butter in preparing the turkey and stuffing we’re taking to his folks’ house?

@SanFranLefty: Yes. I once had some cake made with pot butter. Was high as a fucking kite all night.

@SanFranLefty:
pot butter? how do you make it? i’m heading to the kitchen shortly, and i want to make that!
and hell is gonna be a blast. all my favorite people are going! oh yes, use the pot butter.

@blogenfreude:
welcome home bloggie! was it great?

@SanFranLefty: I thought the best Gawker Thanksgiving story was the one where the hostess spiked dinner with pot. Go for it.

@baked: You take some weed and sort of simmer it in butter for a while. Then you strain the liquid butter through a strainer thingy. You can tell from the lack of precision in these directions that I had been sampling the product. What results is some cannabis-laden butter you can cook with, spread it on toast or whatever. The dosage is impossible to estimate, so be careful.

@baked: Dodger is right, you have to be very careful with the dosage. A dab of it goes a long way. If you have a little cheesecloth or a tea strainer, pop the pot in that. Put the butter on a low simmer, and cook the pot in it. The longer you cook it, the more it’s infused. Then remove the cheesecloth and pour through a strainer to get any errant stems out. Pour it into a little saucer or bowl, and chill in the fridge. Make sure to label it, and use it sparingly until you get an idea of how much dosage is in there.

@Mistress Cynica: That’s what inspired my thought. I need to go see which story won. There were some contenders.

Seek pot brownie recipes on the web, and ye shall find.

@SanFranLefty: Amen to this: “Make sure to label it.”

@nojo: Ah, magic brownies. Good before ballgames or trips to Disneyland, consumed in the parking lot ahead of time.

@SanFranLefty: Hey SFL and other LSJU alums, good luck vs. Notre Dame this Saturday. I guess the Pope can’t prevent the LSJU Band from playing at halftime, eh? “A Tribute To Pederasty.”

“Hi, Mom. Yeah, I’m having a good Thanksgiving. We’re talking about balloon fucking and doped turkeys on the site.”

Just woke up from my nap in the daddy chair in front of the fire. Passed out due to turkey and nice warm room. My folks came, Mrs RML’s mom was here as well as a stray vegematarian photographer from Venezuela who went away happy. Must have been the Mythbusters marathon.

I told Mrs RML that we don’t need a special holiday to say thanks cuz we do that every day.

Best wishes to you all, not just today, but everyday.

@Dodgerblue: When I did weed things I always preferred to eat it. My fave was to cook it in kasha.

@Original Andrew: Shrek is closing. At, I should think, a colossal loss. But we have the $40m Spiderman coming. I’m told that In the Heights is a well-written show. Haven’t seen it. But there are blazingly talented people writing who can’t get anything produced. The book musical could well be moving to Europe and Asia where there is a literate theatre-going public that hasn’t been priced out of town. I’m working with a very gifted composer who has recently been in China introducing the American musical to Chinese audiences and universities. A large part of the problem here is that there are no producers. There are trustafarian backers looking for a hobby but no one is left like Merrick. And also, to go out and try to raise $15m for such a risky investment is pretty heavy lifting. But if you hit you can make more money faster than almost any other legal investment. Wicked is perhaps the biggest hit in Broadway history grossing close to $1.5m a week and Stephen Schwartz writes good tunes. Haven’t seen it – not really interested. Musicals have always been about money. Part of the pleasure of a classic musical is seeing money being spent extravagantly.

I’m not really from that world. They’re extremely difficult write but a huge blast to work on. Revivals and shows based on known films have built-in marquee value – or so it’s imagined. A way to soften the risk. The terrible thing is the way the business eats its own.

In New York, Man has three basic urges: food; drink; and fixing other people’s musicals. This is true.

@Benedick: I remember when the big news about Star Wars was that it cost more than ten meelion dollars.

But $40 million? That’s a mid-budget film these days — measured against hundreds or thousands of screens domestically, international revenues, cable, DVDs… Even a dud can recoup its investment. How do you take that kind of risk on a one-house show for even a “sure thing” like Spiderman?

@Dodgerblue: I am surprised that the LSJUMB is allowed to cross into South Bend, or that there isn’t a posse waiting for them.

Given their prior performance with the pregnant nun leading the band with a crucifix, I’m sure there will be simulated cock-sucking of priests by the youngest looking freshmen in the band.

God bless them. That band is the epitome of Revenge of the Nerds.

@nojo: @Benedick:

What we need is a National Theatre, like every other industrialized country in the western world. Subsidize a musical heavily, allow PBS-style corporate sponsorships, and we free artists up to create a great piece without worrying so much about profit.

However, teh socializms! Teh marxisimz! Once again, the right-wing would have a temper-tantrum.

@nojo: I have no idea. Unless they have screen rights and reckon it can run 15 years and send out multiple companies. I can’t help but wonder what’s the point. It’s already reported as the ‘troubled musical’. Not the first to confound its critics but still. Why? And we also have The Addams Family musical. And there are no writers being developed. No composers. There are no independent voices.

@Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches: Yes except that’s not such a good model for musicals because they have such specialized casting needs: voices, types of voice, kind of dancing, etc. To have a company on hand that can fill those needs would require the Maryinski. Of course there should be a national theatre but where? NYC? DC? The very size of the country provincializes theatre by splitting the focus between three or four likely candidates.

I’ve always thought that what is not taken into account with the American musical theatre – and it is one of the forms devised here, like jazz, that has gone round the world – is how it was paid for. Where did the money come from. How did it recoup. Who provided the capital and why. It has always been extravagantly expensive. In that sense, Spiderman fits right in.

@Benedick:

That is actually a startiling and brilliant analysis, no snark here at all. That is the kind of thesis on which you could write a book.

As for the national theatre, annouce that you will be setting it up, and let the regionals vie for it. Whoever presents the strongest financial and artistic case wins the top spot.

I’m not sure that that is the best way to do it, but you’d have to admit it would be fun to watch.

@Benedick: How are Broadway plays and musicals paid for? I have a fair idea of how movies get financed, but none about the theater.

@Benedick, Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches, Dodgerblue: If Michael Lewis won’t write it, I want to write the fascinating book about how musicals are financed. Seriously.

I have several book ideas floating around my head, but this one is quite intriguing. The trick will be trying to pull this off while still pretending to do my day job.

ADD: This UT-A&M game is stressing me out. Why is it only 10 points lead for UT?

@Dodgerblue: How are Broadway plays and musicals paid for?

Seduce the investors and overbook the shares. Or so I’ve been told.

@nojo: Everything I know about Broadway, I learned from Mel Brooks.

@Benedick:

I’ve not seen Wicked either, but they covered Defying Gravity on Glee two weeks ago, and it’s absolutely heavenly.

First, about the financing, it is extremely tightly controlled. If you budget at $7m (about the cost of Hair) and you’ve raised $5m then you’ve got nothing. You can’t begin production till you’ve raised it all and it’s all in the bank. I’ve been cast in a couple of shows that lost a big chunk of money shortly before proposed start date that were never able to put a deal back together and so were never done. Then there’s front money – used for pre-production, which gets re-paid at a higher rate because it’s riskier. And the production money itself. It used to be that one producer would have a circle of investors he or she could call on for a project that sounded interesting. They either would or wouldn’t write a cheque and Bob’s your uncle. Now with the huge budget bloat the total needed to be raised is split between sub-producers (they don’t call themselves that) who will guarantee a chunk of the budget and go out to raise that. So it’s easy to acquire 15 producers without even trying.

The thing to remember is that a show like Wicked can easily cost $700k a week just to keep the doors open. Recoupment is split between the producer and investors; the writers and director get royalties although these days it’s unusual to get a straight royalty unless you’re dealing with a monster hit. Royalties are pooled and then paid in a formula that is negotiated ahead of time. The definition of a hit is a show that has recouped its investment. Then all the payments change and you can make a lot of money very fast. This is the incentive to invest. That and the parties. And of course, it’s always been a way to legitimize suspect money although that’s not so true these days. The number one producer makes money by charging management fees all along.

I’ve always found it interesting that the most American form should be so entirely undemocratic. You have two or three parts (think Gypsy; mama, gypsy, june, herbie) do everything; the rest of the company spends it’s evening supporting them. Singing about them, dancing around them, telling us how grand they are. (think Mame. There was a number proposed but never written for Chorus Line where they all showed off the knee Channing sat on or the hand Debbie Reynolds held or the lift that made Bacall look good). This is not true of American plays written during the Golden Age.* There were star vehicles, of course, but most of them were performed by a company of equals – think Glass Menagerie – though some might be more equal than others. This is made even more clear when you see the backstage life of a big musical – which I have always found fascinating. You have a complete microcosm of the nation and all its class – and now – racial strata. And all of this prodigious labor happens so that an audience can walk on air for ten minutes or so as they leave the theatre and a few people make a ton of money. When Chorus Line was in its heyday Michael Bennet was making $90k a week. In the mid-70s.

*This is less true now with the rise of the company musical that followed Chorus Line. But it still seems built in to the structure. Actors on Broadway even have two contracts: Principal and Chorus. You are on a chorus contract if you play more than two parts. Which nowadays is crazy. In Les Miz I think all but two actors were on chorus contracts. The people who won’t let it go are the actors.

@Mistress Cynica: @SanFranLefty:

i would love to read that. could someone linquey?
gawker has a restraining order on me….

how was every one’s turkeys? enough about the family, was dinner great? my dinner came out fantastic, due in part to the infused butter i lathered everything with! of course i was serving stoners, but i fully intend to dose my relatives at the next opportunity.
i once urged my grandmother to take a hit of my joint. she took it from me, brought it to her lips, stopped and asked me, “are you sure this won’t lead to harder drugs?” we laughed for a week. and she took a monster hit!
i am going to hell for that alone.

@baked: After last night, I needed a hit. I dealt with a birther, a tenther and a deather (that whole verse in Psalms 109:8) along with Palin worship. Thank the FSM Mr. Cub and I are going to his folks in Florida at Christmas, and are only dealing with my mother’s side (2 libs, 2 sane conservatives, and the rest really don’t care) near that time.

@rptrcub: Holy crap – where were you? In the belly of the beast?

@baked: I can’t believe you had never heard of pot butter, baked. I’m so glad I could bring some happiness to your meal.

Gawker horror stories here

@rptrcub: And I think you have your own submission. Next time bring something made with infused butter.

@SanFranLefty: Must agree. I don’t even smoke and yet I know butter is the way it is done. I can only assume that baked is at such an advanced state she can just eat it like a salad.

@homofascist: Actually, you can infuse any oil – olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc. – with cannabis.

@SanFranLefty:
@homofascist:

There is an excellent brew pub in Toronto that makes a very good “Hemp” Ale (yes, I’ve had it a few times.)

http://www.cestwhat.com/beer.asp

@SanFranLefty:
i can’t believe i never heard of it! i learn so much here…
thank you!

@homofascist:
actually i’m a cheap date. any old weed is fine. it’s just a matter of whether you take one hit or 10. i’m not a connoisseur, these pot snobs are way worse than wine snobs. and i don’t stumble around wasted, just a whiff to blur the sharp edges a little. though it’s ratbastards explanation for why i walk into rooms and forget why i’m there en route. he says, that’s why they call it dope. whatever.

@rptrcub:
where the hell did you go? the last supper? they absolutely need to be dosed next time… the recipe nojo found for brownies looks excellent.

@Benedick: This seems crazy: “Actors on Broadway even have two contracts: Principal and Chorus. You are on a chorus contract if you play more than two parts.” The Chorus actors must have the same bargaining power as the Latino guys who line up outside the hardware store near my house.

@Dodgerblue: Exactly. What’s worse is that if you are playing a part and throwing a hood over your head to cross the stage Equity will demand that you sign a chorus contract. It makes no sense. Comes from when the chorus had its own union and they will not give it up. They also can’t be fired.

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