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Post, Damnit!

Okay people, this blog has been up for 24 hours, and so far Jim is the only other one besides myself who's posted to it (thank you Jim), and only then under duress. Frankly, I expected it was going to be pulling teeth to get many of you blogophobes to post, but I was expecting that some of you blog-weenies would be a bit more enthused about this (Carlson, Copeland, Welch, Emmanuelle, Drew Bacsi, the pseudonymous Harry...). I didn't expect to be so lucky as to get Mr. Blogger himself (Denton) to post anytime soon (after all, I could never get him to submit his stories to Budapest Week; but God knows if he did deign to sprinkly any of his blog-PR magic fairy dust on this humble site we'd be getting thousands of hits a day overnight), but I'll be sorely disappointed if after sinking many hours into this, it becomes the Rick Bruner Show and just another sad example of my lack of ego perspective.

Honestly, I'll cry and cry if I fail in my primary objective for this site: to get Dork Zygotian publishing regularly again. (DorkZygotian.com is unregistered, btw. Just imagine, the mother of all blogs...)

I see several (alright, a few) of you have already registered with TypePad. So what the heck are you waiting for? Hit those keyboards. Don't make me start blogging about what I know of your respective lives myself (which I'm sure Messrs Loewenberg, Woodard and Maass would be particularly thrilled about).

Introductions please. What have you all been up to? Where the hell are you? Sobered up yet?

Speaking of sober, I'm headed the wrong direction tonight, on my way to a party at Rachel Elson's house later this evening. Then tomorrow, I'm baking holiday break with Caren Chesler. Still hanging with my Bp peeps!

Happy Chanukah!

Rick E. Bruner | Gen Expat Life Updates | Dec 19, 2003 | Comments (7)


I am in Bahrain at the moment. Just thought I would say "Hi"

Samantha | Apr 20, 2004

anyone remeber this theater group?

December's winter of discontent
by Julie ChibbaroE˛

E˛The heart of December (of All Things) is as cold and bitter and lacking warmth as a snowy day. Its extremities are hot with song, whiskey and strife. But can its limbs heat its heart? In his new play for Misery Loves Company, Prague-based playwright Sean Fuller ironically tears apart our conceptions of love as he examines the post-expat lives of three young Americans.E˛Anna Bean, the young escapee from the prison of a Jim Beam trust fund, begins the play in darkness, belting a song about leaving town. The lights go up, and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Anna takes us through a funny, caustic monologue about having arrived back in America. Behind her, an asymmetrical backdrop of abstract canvases echoes the cacophony of voices in her head: her parents, her memories of being away from home, her complicated feelings about the place she has run to and the man she is running from.E˛Two men enter. William, wearing a suit, and Francis, a long-haired dark spirit. Subtext becomes text in a humorous jazz riff of words as the three talk about one another. Christopher Clarke gleefully plays Francis, Anna's bad-hearted lover during their four years in Prague. David Nykl infuses William, the bookish third wheel and stalwart friend to them both, with a sensitive insecurity. The action starts when the three scatter and become lost in the wilderness of America, all with different reasons for having returned. Anna is fleeing Francis, Francis is hunting her, and William just wants someone to take him seriously.E˛In the America of the play, the absurdist reality outside the triangle continuously steps in, and throughout is juxtaposed with the hyperreality of the three main characters. Oddly, the meat of the play occurs in comedic peripheral scenes anchored by minor characters. Following this structure, Anna seeks refuge with Hattie Joe Charbonneau (Laura Zam and Cary Hegdahl alternate in the role), a megalomaniacal witch and owner of a chutney and tortilla factory in the twin hamlets of Normality and Tow Head, New Mexico. It is not long before Francis, who has stolen Anna's phone book as well as her ATM and credit cards, tracks her down there. Hattie, who has hired a den of thieves to work for her so that she can transform them, warns Anna that Francis is a thug, and assures her friend that she will take care of him. She sends Anna off in the direction of William, the "sunny, sweet man waiting in the wings."E˛William, meanwhile, has begun his own transformation, and is trying to get back to his roots as a writer. He finally lands a job interview at a Pittsburgh paper. The interviewers request that he remove his clothes and "relax." William starts to find his strength in a hilarious and surprising dance interlude heightened by live music (Vera Oracova on piano and Noel Le Bon on bass). Through this absurdity, he explains himself in the same straight language used by Francis, who, a scene later, arrives in New Mexico. Francis, ever the charmer, has a heated confrontation with Brian, a dorky car-rental agent, in which their pent-up frustrations explode. Choices in life are the bone of contention between them: "Surrender. Capitulation ..." Francis spits, berating Brian for his boring job, while extolling the constant scramble that follows the decision to lead an unstable life.E˛It is a measure of stability in this unstable life that the three protagonists search for throughout the rest of the play. In the fractious chase of love that ensues, Anna gravitates toward William, who has always loved her, while Francis, through sheer will and determination, tries to recapture Anna's heart.E˛Using a powerful supporting cast of 10, playwright Fuller weaves together song, fight scenes (choreographed excellently by the actors, who are trained in stage battle), dance, sound effects and music to achieve the surreal alienation his main characters experience in going back home. He has reached his goal of creating a piece of theater designed to "entertain audiences," as he puts it. Successfully, he leads us through all the confusion with comedic and vaudevillian elements gleaned from his "peer mentor" Richard Toth, the founder of this repertory company.E˛Occasionally, bits of warmth make their way to the cold heart of this wintry play, suffusing it with blood. Equally occasionally, these pulses of warmth take the audience beyond the entertainment factor and make us feel something for the trio.E˛E˛

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