Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Michael Riedel in N.Y. Post: 'Tony' producers "want to make pots of money sending out harmless musicals to hick audiences around the country"

Today's episode of the creative culture vs. corporate entertainment wars brings us to to New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel's column, wherein he quite accurately takes the measure of the Broadway establishment and gives us his variation of the classic Stix Nix Hix Pix, where Broadway Inc. brings the corn-pone to the Corn Belt via their votes for the Tony Awards.
Yes, say hello again to our old friend, "Coals to Newcastle."

I watched 99% of the Tony awards last night and having read so many stories and reviews of the shows involved, as well as similar criticisms that even for cynical critics, a new nadir was being reached, I tend to give Michael Riedel the benefit of the doubt on this issue, especially when you read his column and discover exactly who has been specifically prevented from voting this year. To him, the "fix" was in.

And be sure to notice while looking at his column the new New York Post article layout, sponsored by search engine Bing,
with articles superimposed over a great color photo of Central Park.
Very Cool!


For the Miami Herald to be as cool down here by incorporating some geographical representation of the area into their current articles, they'd probably have to go
old-school and dig up some of those photos of Cristo and Jeanne Claude's Surrounded islands, the iconic project from the early '80's which my Mom helped out with as one of the dozens of volunteers, while I was away at IU in Bloomington.
If I'd been here. I'd have lent a hand, too.


See http://www.christojeanneclaude.net/si.shtml and NY Times article at bottom.


-----
New York Post
More Tony baloney
Lame 'Memphis' beats fab 'Fela!'
Last Updated: 1:55 PM, June 14, 2010
Posted: 1:42 AM, June 14, 2010
By Michael Riedel
http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/more_tony_baloney_2gIuPLUHE9FLH820o0WMHN

Riedel's prediction column

New York Post
Blood on the red carpet

Last Updated: 10:12 AM, June 11, 2010,

Posted: 12:24 AM, June 11, 2010,

By Michael Riedel

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/blood_on_the_red_carpet_vw0QeIw48ggfh6NIUEdF6J


New York Post
And the winners aren't ...
Hailing actors Tony won't love

Last Updated: 2:11 PM, June 9, 2010

Posted: 1:58 AM, June 9, 2010

By Michael Riedel

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/and_the_winners_aren_3TZgMxnGnZoPMylafy33iP

Katie Finneran’s Acceptance Speech - Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Promises, Promises


Glee's Lea Michele & Matthew Morrison performing at the 2010 Tony Awards

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlPZjWLLcYQ



It seemed to me that the Orchestra definitely played a little too fast at the beginning, but Lea Michelle was spectacular -as usual!


See more photos and video from last night's Tony telecast on CBS at http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/index.html and http://www.cbs.com/specials/tony_awards/video/

The
New York Times' complete coverage of last night's Tony Awards, including Patrick Healy's take on the Broadway juggernauts that never were this season, is at: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/theater/theaterspecial/index.html

Before I leave today, I want to share with you an idea that's been percolating in my head for a while about a Broadway show that -with the right music and cast, of course- would be a money-making hit while it skewered contemporary American pop culture, the loathed MSM and the East Coast professional political class. (Sure!)

Drum roll... a show about John & Elizabeth Edwards, Rielle Hunter, hypocrisy, the plucky National Enquirer, Oprah as confessor and the sad-sack MSM who were so desperately in love with the idea of the Edwards Family, that they could not bear to see or report on what was right in front of them: galling hypocrisy of the worst sort by someone who aspired for the highest office in this country.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/arts/television/30oprah.html

But Slate's Mickey Kaus saw him for what he was, just like me.
That's just one of the reasons why I've been reading kausfiles for so very long.
See http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/default.aspx

Maybe Martin Amis will take up the idea and take pen to paper.
And win a Tony.

-----

New York Times

Christo Drapes Miami Isles in Pink
May 5, 1983

MIAMI, May 4 - The color of dawn, breaking over Biscayne Bay this morning, found its match in masses of shiny pink fabric as hundreds of workers began to release the first of the voluminous skirts that will surround 11 tiny islands in a two-week, $3.1 million extravaganza by the artist Christo.

Dashing from island to island in a speedboat, followed by a swarm of boats and helicopters filled with newsmen and photographers from this country and abroad, the artist shouted orders to his hired hands through a bullhorn. He paused to tell his wife and project partner, Jeanne-Claude Christo, who hovered in a nearby boat, that things were going well, even though a forecast of wind and rain suspended the proceedings this morning for several hours. The project is scheduled to be completed Thursday, with the skirts contouring each island and extending 200 feet out.

"Surrounded Islands," as the Miami spectacular is called, is the fifth of Christo's major exercises in ephemerality. Others include the 1972 suspension of a fabric curtain between a pair of Colorado mountain peaks and the construction, in 1976, of a 24-mile nylon "running fence" in northern California. By the artist's design, the works are dismantled after being recorded on film. And so, after two weeks, will the "Surrounded Islands" project, whose 6.5 million square miles of fabric are intended as a surface that will "translate the rich colors of the sky and the bay and the physical movement of the water."

Skirts Float in the Bay

The spoil islands, as they are called, are man-made. They were formed in the 1920's when an intercoastal waterway was built. Uninhabited and until now garbage-strewn - the garbage has been removed by Christo's crews - they run north to south more than five miles in Biscayne Bay, the shallow, sparkling body of water that separates Miami from Miami Beach.

The skirts, of pink, woven polypropylene fabric - likened to the color of frangipani by some writers, to that of bubble gum by others - cover the beaches of each island and float out 200 feet into the water, attached at the end to Styrofoam booms that are anchored to the bay's bottom.

The Bulgarian-born artist has had the notion of the Miami project in his head since 1974, when he did a small version of it, what he calls a "sketch," for a sculpture festival in Newport, R.I. After stretching fabric on the water and beach of a cove, he decided to undertake a larger project showing the relationship between land and water.

"I had visited Miami earlier, and was very influenced by the flatness and horizontality of the landscape; also the way earth and water mix gently here," he said. "And then there's the relationship of people to it. They use Biscayne Bay as a water, rather than a grass, park." Refers to Monet

The horizontality of the fabric float gives the project the aspect of a painting, Christo noted, smiling as he added, "If some people want to say the islands resemble Monet's 'Water Lilies,' that's O.K." He chose pink for a number of reasons. It's a "Latin" color, he said, and he admires what he called the "Latinity" of Miami. Pink is also a man-made color, he said, different from natural earth and water tones, and an "extremely sensitive" color for reflections.

"Surrounded Islands" was originally scheduled for completion in 1982 as the visual arts centerpiece for Miami's financially disastrous New World Festival for the Arts. It was delayed by Christo's own testing procedures, the need for 10 permits from government agencies, seven public hearings and the protests environmentalists, who were concerned about nesting ospreys and the bay's manatees, large plant-eating aquatic mammals. This morning, by court permission, an environmental group known as the National Wildlife Rescue Team, headed by Jack Kassewitz, an opponent of the project, was out patrolling the islands in a speedboat.

For Christo, the complications are all part of his art process. "Listen, for two and a half years hundreds of thousands of people in South Florida have been discussing the project," he said. "They've been thinking and fantasying about it.

"Imagine, in one of our court hearings, a Federal judge, usually occupied with grimmer matters, spent four days discussing birds and flowers." Artist Provides Financing

As has been the case with all of his projects, Christo is financing "Surrounded Islands" himself, with money from the sale of artworks related to this and other projects. He has also borrowed $700,000 from Citibank, possibly the first instance of a bank's lending money to an artist who has used his own work as collateral.

Today, a number of art followers -mainly from New York - and hundreds of news people, including those from televison networks in this country and abroad, converged on the Pelican Harbor Yacht Club, headquarters for the project.

As helicopters buzzed overhead, speedboats raced through the water and bullhorns blared, the scene had more the aspect of a full-scale media event than an esthetic experience. Yet from above, as seen by many observers from the tall office and residential buildings that overlook the bay, the first tentative blooming of the fabric played stunningly against the shifting blue-greens of the bay, giving the impression of a trail of giant flowers on the water's surface.

"Thanks to Christo, people will now see those once-grubby islands as jewels," said Jan van der Marck, director of Miami's new Center for the Fine Arts, who as co-sponsor of the New World Festival invited the artist here to do the project.

"Aside from the painterly beauty he's given the islands," he said, "50 years worth of garbage have been removed from them. Those people who've complained about the environmental impact should do as much to enhance it as he has."

Noting that Dade County tourism officials had estimated that 20,000 visitors would come to Miami solely to see the islands, Mr. van der Mark added, "Besides, he's filling hotels and restaurants and putting local people to work."

Christo had been offered $200,000 of financing from the Festival, Mr. van der Marck added, but the artist refused it on the ground that he wanted to support his projects himself. The estimated $3.1 million cost to the artist includes $50,000 for the rental of a staging area from the state, a $13,000 per month rental for the islands, pay of $28 a day for the more than 400 workers and substantial gifts of artworks to state and local governments.

Today, the artist, who is still working on proposals to wrap the Reichstag in Berlin, build a giant mastaba of oil drums in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, and plant 27 miles of walkway in New York's Central Park with banners attached to steel gates, smiled mischievously as he spoke of himself as a corporate entrepreneur.

"With the $3 million cost of this project," he said, "my company, C.V.G. (for his full name, Christo Vladirov Javacheff) comes third after Exxon and Philip Morris in spending money on the visual arts."

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