Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a great 2010! Pronounce it twenty-ten please.

Some good end of decade reading.

  • Paul Krugman on The Big Zeros.

  • Matt Sigl's great countdown of the top 100 ideas of the decade.

  • Looking into the future, check out Wikipedia's article on the 2010s.

    This picture of me was taken at the Times Square Visitors Center, in front of the 2010 NYC New Years Eve Ball.
  • Saturday, December 19, 2009

    CitizeNYC Podcast #3

    Recording this week's CitizeNYC podcast Two Beers In, we weren't having any beer because it was Saturday morning instead of Friday night. Greg & I soberly cover the storm of the century, homelessness, suing the Catholic Church, and more. You can listen here, or subscribe free on iTunes.

    If you're concerned about youth homelessness, consider contributing to NYC's Ali Forney Center.

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    On Joe Lieberman

    I chimed in on The Hill's Big Question today.

    How will Lieberman's stance on healthcare affect him politically?

    Impact Joe Lieberman politically? This is a guy who hasn't behaved responsibly politically in years. Remember his incredibly sad, ill-manged 2004 Presidential campaign? Where, after the New Hampshire primary, he said one of my favorite quotes of that race, "We are in a three-way split decision for third place!" Remember when he bucked his party and ran for Senate as an independent after being defeated in the Democratic Senate primary? Or, that time he supported Republican John McCain for President over Barack Obama. That didn't make any sense politically either, but he did it. Now, Joe decides to completely reverse his views on the Medicare expansion, just to be a jerk. Lieberman constantly surprises me with his ability to avoid any and all consequences for his actions. Why should this move be any different.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009

    NY Times Smacks Bloomberg for Private Jet to Copenhagen

    The NY Times notes the unsubtle irony of Mayor Bloomberg's environmental record. On the public front, he's a "visionary." But, in private he is one of the "worst individual polluters ever to hold public office."

    He owns two private jets, the least efficient form of transportation on earth. I take the L train everywhere, Mayor Bloomberg takes a jet or, if he's feeling cheap, a personal helicopter.

    Just how bad is it to take your private jet to a climate change summit overseas? Someone did the math: "By taking his Falcon 900 to Denmark, Mr. Bloomberg will be responsible for the release of 37 times the carbon dioxide than if he and his entourage flew on a scheduled commercial flight." Way to be a jerk Mr. Mayor.

    Originally posted on CitizeNYC.

    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    CitizeNYC Podcast #2 & Party Reminder

    The second episode of Two Beers In, CitizeNYC's weekly podcast that I'm co-hosting with Greg Palmer, is now live. This week, we discuss Joe Bruno, naked teachers, and Mayor Mike's big trip to Copenhagen. Listen here (or below) and please subscribe for free on iTunes.

    Don't forget: If you're in New York City, come to our holiday launch party on Wednesday, December 16th from 6PM-11PM at Tom & Jerry's on 288 Elizabeth Street. See the Facebook event page for all the details.

    Video thumbnail. Click to play
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    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Really? - Bushwick Gay Party - On Friday Night!

    On Friday night, starting at 11PM, Bushwick's monthly gay party Really? returns to Tandem with a special Xmas bash. It should be a fun night, with guest DJs & hipster go-go boys.

    Tandem is located off the Jefferson Avenue L train stop at 236 Troutman Street. Come out and support gay Brooklyn.

    See the Facebook Event here.

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    CitizeNYC Podcast & Party

    We're growing at CitizeNYC! Greg & I have launched the first episode of our new podcast Two Beers In, which you can listen to below or click here for the MP3. This week, we discuss the NY State Senate gay marriage vote and the Atlantic Yards decision. New episodes go online each Friday and we'll be available on iTunes soon.

    If you're in New York City, come to our holiday launch party on Wednesday, December 16th from 6PM-11PM at Tom & Jerry's on 288 Elizabeth Street. See the Facebook event page for all the details.

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Twitter Roundup, Tuesday 11/17

    Lots of tweets since Sunday's update.

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Twitter Roundup, Sunday 11/15

    On Friday Kevin performed a song on Theater Talk, which airs over the November 20th weekend on NYC's Channel Thirteen. He sounded great, I'll post the details soon. It will also be available on YouTube.

    The Twitter Roundup

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Twitter Roundup, Thursday 11/12

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Twitter Roundup, Wednesday 11/11

    Becoming a Twitter user has clearly made me a lazier blogger. So, in a small attempt to rectify that, I've decided to post a near-daily roundup of my tweets. Hopefully this will lead to more real writing. We'll see.

    Monday, November 9, 2009

    The Lower East SideShow - Nov 22nd

    As some of you know, I'm on the Board of Directors of The Deconstructive Theatre Project, a company dedicated to producing new work founded by my friend/roommate Adam J. Thompson. Last year our fall fundraiser was a reading of Lilies (we co-directed) and this year - we're putting on a Lower East Sideshow on November 22nd.

    We're at The Delancey, with some cool performers like Passing Strange's Colman Domingo (who starred in Lilies last year), Eric Svejcar (Composer of the musical Caligula), and my boyfriend Kevin Curtis.

    It should be a fun night, it's a really cool venue and they have 2-4-1 drink specials. Just $10 to get in, full details at the newly redesigned DTP website or on Facebook.

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    The Crazy Bushwick Council Race

    Tomorrow's rematch in Bushwick, Brooklyn between Democratic Councilwoman Diana Reyna (right) and Maritza Davila (left), is one of the closest in the City. Davila lost the Democratic Primary to the incumbent councilwoman by a hair, so Boss Vito Lopez got her on the Working Families Party line.

    Vito really wants to kick Reyna out because she won't fall in line with him on every single vote.

    Why the WFP is so buddy-buddy with Vito is beyond me. I'm voting for Diana.

    Aaron Short has been covering the race up close on BushwickBK.com.

    Originally posted on CitizeNYC.

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Creativity In 100 Words

    My friend actor/blogger Blaine Hogan asked me to write 100 words on the idea of "creating a new work." He is collecting 100 words on many topics and posting them on his website.

    Here I am:
    Creating Something New

    Creating a new work is about more than just a great idea. People have ideas all the time, but few follow-up on them and allow them to grow. Even fewer actually complete them. No matter what you’re creating (a musical, film, book, etc.) you’re going to need support. Even the most individual arts require feedback. In my experience, creating theatre is a total ensemble activity. You don’t know what you’ve got until actors and designers have provided their interpretations and visions. Successful creators never get too caught up in themselves or lose focus on the ones who’ve contributed to “their” creation.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    Gore Vidal Has Lost His Mind

    Last week when Gore Vidal said a bunch of stupid things about Barack Obama, I left him alone. He's old and prone to saying anything that will get his name in print. Remember, he was completely inconsistent during the primaries, flip-flopping between Obama and Clinton. He said things that many people observed were racist. Everyone left him alone.

    Today in The Atlantic, Vidal said he never should have supported Obama and "experience mattered." He then went on to suggest that the 13-year-old girl Roman Polanski had sex with was a "young hooker" and that Roman was only persecuted out of anti-Semitism.

    Why does this guy still get interviewed? Can't someone stop him from embarrassing himself? Doesn't someone have power of attorney? Isn't there anyone concerned with this guy's vanishing legacy?

    What's even worse is that since Sept. 11, 2001, Vidal has been a leading "intellectual" of the 9/11 Truth movement, giving countless interviews to lunatic fringe correspondents like Alex Jones. He'll tell anyone who will listen about how George Bush personally planned 9/11. Seriously, Google has 140,000 pages on Vidal's paranoia.

    So please, legit reporters -- stop asking this demented man questions. It's over.

    Originally posted on The Hill.

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Live-Blogging Tonight's NYC Mayoral Debate

    Starting at 6:45pm tonight, I'm live-blogging the final NYC Mayoral Debate between Mike Bloomberg and Democrat Bill Thompson on CitizeNYC.

    CitizeNYC is a new site, founded by my friend Greg Palmer, that is dedicated to people-powered New York news and I'm excited to be involved at this early stage.

    Visit CitizeNYC starting at 6:45 for the live story.

    Update: Live-Blog was very fun. Read the entire transcript here.

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Gillibrand For New York


    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) filled up a large room with gay activists at New York’s LGBT Community Center yesterday for a 45-minute town hall meeting that touched on many issues important to the community. Questions ranged from gay persecution in Iraq to repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Although she has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights since her January appointment, this was the first time she faced an entirely gay audience for open questions. She did quite well.

    An early question focused on her positive change of heart on gay marriage, but Gillibrand argued that she has always been “100 percent in favor of gay rights” and her gay congressional voting record is spotless. HRC actually gave her an 80 percent rating, but her current commitment seems passionate and real.

    Gillibrand was very optimistic about what could be accomplished legislatively over the next year. She hopes to include gay couples in comprehensive immigration reform, which she believes could be voted on by March. She spoke of a “clear strategy” to end “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and pass an inclusive Employee Non-Discrimination Act. All great things, none very easy.

    Over the last several months I’ve worried that Gillibrand was using gay issues primarily to excite the left and ward off a primary challenge. But that primary isn’t a concern anymore. New York Democrats’ main concern is recent polls showing Gillibrand trailing Republicans Giuliani and Pataki in general-election match-ups.

    It’s time for New Yorkers to rally around their new senator, regardless of their feelings on lame-duck Paterson. Gillibrand seems ready to provide us with progressive leadership. She has quickly engaged herself in important issues in the Senate, and the last thing we need is some regressive like Pataki taking the seat because voters didn’t feel confident in Kirsten.

    Originally posted on The Hill. Photo taken on my iPhone.

    Monday, October 5, 2009

    LGBT for Mike Bloomberg

    On Thursday we joined hundreds of other LGBT New Yorkers at City Winery to show our support for Mayor Bloomberg's reelection camapign. See the video below for some highlights from the event and join LGBT for Bloomberg now.

    Thursday, October 1, 2009

    Street Lights Podcasts!


    Joe & I recently sat down for interviews on two theater podcast to discuss our upcoming production of Street Lights at NYMF.

    Photo by Cassie Corrigan.

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    NYC Dems Vote Tuesday - Support Liu & De Blasio

    Tomorrow, New York City Democrats should go to the polls to vote in two contested elections: Comptroller & Public Advocate.

    In the race for Comptroller, I’m voting for Councilman John Liu. He's progressive and damn smart. He majored in Mathematical Physics and spent years working in finance at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He knows how to handle the city's money. Liu has been a real leader in the City Council, constantly standing up for what's right regardless of political consequences. He has also lived the classic New York immigrant experience and if elected would be the first Asian American to hold a citywide office.

    Check out his short YouTube documentary on John.

    In the race for Public Advocate, the clear choice is Bill de Blasio. Bill has run a strong, impressive campaign. Taking down the former front-runner Mark Green, who ran a campaign based exclusively on name recognition. He didn't bother to show up to debate, after debate. Green's campaign is largely funded by real estate and his interest in Public Advocate stems from his never-ending desire to be elected Mayor. Bill is forward looking and seeks to take the office in a new direction. I'm happy to support him in this race.

    Check out Bill's runoff ad here to see the wide range of endorsements he's received.

    Find your polling location here.

    Both Liu & De Blasio have also been endorsed by Brooklyn's Lambda Independent Democrats, where I currently sit on the Executive Board.


    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Street Lights @ NYMF Press Conference

    On Tuesday NYMF had its annual press conference at New World Stages and Street Lights was there. Kevin Curtis performed the song Georgetown and got some buzz going.

    Time Out NY critic Adam Feldman raved: "Thumbs Up - 'Georgetown' from Street Lights: A solid song about an aspiring young lawyer-to-be from the projects, with several smart, surprising rhymes ("impartial/Thurgood Marshall”) and a knockout delivery by star-to-be Kevin Curtis."
    We don't have any video from the actual press conference yet, although NY1 & Broadway.TV both filmed it. But, you can see Kevin perform Georgetown at an earlier concert version of Street Lights.

    Get your tickets for the NYC production here.

    Photo by Michael Portantiere for Broadway Stars.

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    The Street Lights Set

    We're performing Street Lights at the American Theatre of Actors (ATA) on 54th Street, a unique space where Urinetown and Bare premiered Off-Broadway. The stage has a U-shaped catwalk surrounding it, that's totally perfect for our urban setting.

    Hilary Noxon's design smartly incorporates all the elements in the space. I love the focus on the windows. Above is the concept sketch from earlier in the process and below is the brand new 1/2" model. Our lighting designer, Brian Tovar, is putting these little lights in a handful of windows so they'll really pop. It should look awesome.

    Tickets are on-sale and selling well, and you can get yours at our official website.


    Friday, September 11, 2009

    ACLU Settles With O.C. School District

    This spring I blogged extensively on Corona del Mar High School's censorship of the musical RENT. As it turned out, it wasn't just musicals they were censoring - there was an atmosphere of hate and fear throughout the school.

    The ACLU went after the district for failing to protect a young girl from violent threats. They finally put the school district on the defensive. From yesterday's LA Times:
    An Orange County school district where varsity athletes threatened to rape and kill the lead actress in a student production of the musical "Rent" has agreed to provide harassment and discrimination prevention training to Corona del Mar High School students, teachers and administrators and other district officials, according to a legal settlement announced Wednesday. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District will also apologize to the former student.
    I wish they'd have been able to fire their Principal, Fal Asrani, who seemed completely uninterested in protecting her students. Fal herself is one of the bigots that needs discrimination prevention training.

    Update: Fal Asrani has been replaced as principal.

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Please Support My New Show, Street Lights

    I've been hard at work developing Street Lights, a new musical that I'm directing & co-producing at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival. It's a pretty big deal and I'm really excited about it. But, I won't be able to do it without your help.

    Street Lights centers on a group of young people who come together to make their community better. It's themes were inspired by Barack Obama's historic Presidential Campaign. (Seriously, read about it on The Huffington Post.) In that spirit, we'd like to raise our production budget like Obama, small donations from many people.

    This is a fully not-for-profit production, and we cannot bring it to life without the support of our friends & family. You can be a part of Street Light's history by making a tax deductible contribution today. No amount is too small (or too big!), $10 or $20 brings us that much closer to raising the curtain.

    To donate with credit card (truly tax deducible), visit:
    https://www.nymf.org/donatetostreetlights

    Wanna send a check? E-mail me.

    Tickets are now on-sale and we open on October 13th in New York. For more information, visit the Street Lights website.

    In these difficult times, we need art that inspires and brings hope. A contribution from you can go a long way to making that happen. Thank you so much for all your support.

    Photo by Cassie Corrigan, from Street Lights For Obama benefit at The Zipper Theater.

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    Where I Stand on Health Insurance Reform

    There is a lot of anger from the left about what's being seen as Obama capitulating to the Republicans on Health Insurance Reform. During the campaign Obama favored a Public Option. Now, the Public Option appears in danger and many liberals don't think "real" reform is possible without it.

    In a perfect world, I'm for the most progressive health reform possible. But, our world is far from perfect and politics is the art of the possible. There are 47 million people in America without health insurance and they don't care if it's a public or private option that provides it. They just want access to quality health care.

    A few days ago Matthew Yglesias wrote where he stood on health care and I found myself agreeing with him.

    — In terms of the present-day political debate, I think mandate-regulate-subsidize plus a public option would be a major improvement over the status quo.

    — But even though mandate-regulate-subsidize without a public option wouldn’t be as good, I still think it would be an improvement over the status quo.

    — I don’t think reform advocates should “drop” the public option; I think they should fight for it and try to bring practical pressure to bear on members of the Senate to vote for one.

    But if in the final standoff we get a choice between mandate-regulate-subsidize and the status quo, I would prefer to take mandate-regulate-subsidize.

    In summer 2003, I moved to Burlington, Vermont to join Howard Dean's Presidential Campaign. One of Dean's main draws for me, besides his brave stance on the Iraq War, was his success at providing near-universal health insurance to Vermont's residents. He did this without a Public Option.

    In fact, Ezra Klein recently pointed out that Dean, considered one of the most liberal candidates in the '04 primary, didn't have a Public Option or co-ops in his national '04 platform.
    Dean's plan would have insured millions fewer people than the bills being considered in the House or the bill that we think we'll see out of the Senate.
    ...
    For all that, it was a good and well-meaning plan. But it was a lot worse than what we're considering now. It was a lot worse even than the compromises we're considering now.
    I admire the liberals in the House who say they won't vote for a bill that doesn't contain a Public Option, but I hope in the end they put a reform bill on Obama's desk to sign. As Paul Starr says in the current issue of American Prospect, "if any of them actually do vote against the final bill and prevent it from passing because it fails to offer a public option, they will help to ruin the best chance in years to put health care on a path toward reform."

    Crossposted on The Huffington Post

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    The Hill: Big Question

    I'm now part of The Hill's Big Question section, where they ask their pundits for opinions on topics throughout the week.

    Friday's Big Question was: "What should President Obama be more concerned about: Passing healthcare reform, or improving the economy?"

    My response:

    It’s disingenuous to suggest that Obama can seriously improve the economy without real health care reform. Heath Care spending represents 17% of America’s GDP and that number is forecasted to grow to 20% by 2017. Too much of this money comes out of the pockets of individuals and small businesses. Anyone serious about trying to fix the economy in a long-term way has to look to serious health care reform as a major part of the solution.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Street Lights - Casting At NYMF


    We're casting Street Lights at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival! All of the details below, hope to see some of you at the auditions.

    STREET LIGHTS: A NEW HIP-HOP MUSICAL Auditions
    New York Musical Theatre Festival 2009, AEA/non-AEA
    NEW YORK, NY

    Director: Ryan J. Davis
    Music & Lyrics: Joe Drymala
    Book: Joe Drymala & Akin Salawu
    Musical Director: Sonny Paladino
    Choreographer: Todd Underwood

    Casting: Daryl Eisenberg, CSA
    Auditions (by appt): Aug 18-19
    Rehearses: Sept 13-Oct 13

    Performs: 10/13 @ 8pm, 10/14 @ 8pm,
    10/16 @ 7pm, 10/17 at 1&5pm,
    10/18 @ 1pm

    EPA: Tuesday Aug 18 - Sign In at 9 am - Ripley Grier – 520 8th Ave – Studio 10A. Please prepare 32 bars of R&B or Gospel music. Bring sheet music. An accompanist will be provided.

    EMAIL: streetlights@decasting.com
    (Subject: STREET LIGHTS Casting)

    MAIL PIC/RES TO:
    DARYL EISENBERG CASTING
    180 WEST END AVE, SUITE 17G
    NEW YORK, NY 10023
    ATTN: STREET LIGHTS CASTING

    SYNOPSIS: Monique is going to be the next Alicia Keys. Her brother is on track to be
    bigger than Thurgood Marshall. But none of this matters when their world is filled with
    violence, apathy, and broken promises. Can they keep faith when there’s no reason for
    hope? From writer/composer Joe Drymala and director Ryan J. Davis, the creators of the
    Broadway-bound 2006 NYMF hit White Noise, comes Street Lights, mixing pop, R&B
    and hip-hop to crank up the volume on the voice of a new generation saying yes, we can.

    SEEKING:

    [ MONIQUE WILLIS ] 17 y.o. female, African American, high school senior, singer
    and piano player.

    [ ROCKY WILLIS ] 18 y.o. male, high school senior, African American. Monique’s
    bookish brother. Tenor. CAST.

    [ DAMON CRUZ ] Early 20s male, Puerto Rican. Handsome & Confident. A little bit
    dangerous. Tenor/Reggaeton singer.

    [ TANK ] Late 20s-early 30s male. Long time dealer, DAMON’s right hand man.
    Intimidating African-American or Latino.

    [ X.RAY (RAYMOND) HOBBES ] 18 y.o. male, high school senior African American.
    Raps, sings backup. Charismatic. A dynamic and political DJ and performance artist.
    Rocky’s best friend. Must be comfortable with rap/spoken word performance.

    [ REGINA CRUZ ] 15 y.o. female, high school freshman, Puerto Rican. Raps, sings
    alto. Damon’s younger sister.

    [ MRS. WILLIS ] Late 50s female, African American. Alto. Old school soul singer
    sound. Grandmother to Monique and Rocky, and a pillar of the community.

    [ CAROL ARMSTRONG ] Elderly woman, African American. MONIQUE’s long-
    time piano teacher.

    [ENSEMBLE] 20s-40s African American or Latino male and female. Must have a
    background in hip hop, pop, and contemporary dance styles. Strong singers. PLEASE
    SUBMIT NON-EQUITY.

    For more information, visit
    www.streetlightsmusical.com

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    The Disgraceful Mr. Dobbs

    Pressure is building for CNN to do something about their resident conspiracy-theorist-in-chief Lou Dobbs. His nightly "reporting" on Obama's birth certificate drew fire today from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which called on CNN to take Dobbs off the air for "fanning the flames of racism." None of this should be surprising; for years, Dobbs has used his program to spread misinformation and paranoia.

    In 2006, Dobbs ran several segments on the Amero, an imaginary currency that he believes will be shared by North America and replace the U.S. dollar. That same year he called for a new Sept. 11 investigation, vaguely citing the many "9/11 lies" told to Americans. Another favorite myth Dobbs reported on in 2008 is the NAFTA Superhighway, which (according to Lou's reporting) would extend from Mexico to Canada. None of these stories had a factual basis, and CNN repeatedly failed to exercise any editorial judgment.

    Lou Dobbs has even appeared as a guest on leading Sept. 11 Truther and "Birther" Alex Jones's radio program and was sympathetic to Alex's rants. Knowing Lou, he probably believes the pressure to fire him is coming from the Illuminati and the New World Order. CNN needs to move quickly and remove Dobbs from their lineup to prevent further embarrassment. It's been a long time coming.

    Originally posted on The Hill's Pundit Blog. Crossposted on The Huffington Post.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    OnStage - Ruined, The Temperamentals, and Jeffery & Cole: Make It Bigger


    The New York City stage is packed this summer and the three Off-Broadway productions I'm recommending, Ruined, The Temperamentals, and Jeffery & Cole: Make It Bigger, all represent the wonderful diversity of offerings currently available to theatergoers.

    Ruined, which won the Pulitzer Prize this year, is the story of Mama Nadi, a women who owns a brothel in the middle of a civil war in the Congo. Loosely inspired by Brecht's Mother Courage, Ruined offers us a glimpse into the lives of these women as they struggle to survive. It's one powerful story.

    The script feels authentic and was carefully researched and developed by interviewing women who live in the region under these deplorable conditions. The production has been running for months at Manhattan Theatre Club, but is still fresh, vital, and beautifully performed.

    I'd be shocked if Ruined doesn't get a shot at Broadway soon.

    Playing until August 23rd, The Temperamentals is the true story of the creation of American's first gay rights group. Staged both simply & beautifully in the intimate Barrow Group Theater, you feel as if you're a part of their early organizing - both victories & defeats. The entire cast is fabulous; lead with strength by Thomas Jay Ryan and Ugly Betty's Michael Urie.

    Harry Hay, the founder of The Temperamentals, wasn't as known to me as Stonewall or Harvey Milk, but he's courageous and intelligent. Anyone currently involved in the fight for gay equality (and who believe it has to do with way more than marriage) will find lots to like in Hay's philosophies. He's no fan of total gay assimilation, and would question the value in the current pursuit of a strictly heteronormative agenda.

    In fact, shortly before his death (at the age of 90) in 2002 Hay said, "The assimilationist movement is running us into the ground." Amen brother.

    For big laughs, with zero assimilation, head downtown to Earl Dax's Hot! Festival. Queer performers have taken over the uber-trendy Dixon Place. Two of those performers are my good friends Jeffery Self and Cole Escola, extremely funny guys who have scored quite a hit with their current Logo TV show Jeffery & Cole Casserole.

    Jeffery & Cole's Hot! Festival offering, 'Make It Bigger,' is loosely based on their story, from YouTube to the boob tube. Wonderfully raunchy and politically incorrect their rise to fame story has lots of familiar elements and big laughs. You can see their final performance on Thursday night.

    --
    Ryan is a freelance theater director, who is currently directing Vote! at FringeNYC and Street Lights at NYMF. His musical White Noise recently premiered regionally in New Orleans. Read his blog here.


    Published on The Huffington Post.

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    Summer of Theatre '09

    July has been a very busy month for me! I've been lax on blogging, but I'm always updating my Twitter feed.

    Over the weekend of July 17th, I had a great run at the 10th Annual Midtown International Theater Festival with my friend writer/actor Michael Hirstreet's short-solo play My Broken Brain. He got a great audience response and is looking into other venues to continue developing the script.

    The show I created in 2006, White Noise, received it's first regional production in New Orleans this month. It was a huge production, with a $2.2 million dollar budget, and was well-received by the local critics. Their main paper, The Times-Picayune, called it "Powerful." The production closed yesterday and they'd still like to open it on Broadway.

    Most of the drama in New Orleans was off-stage. As reported by Michael Riedel in the New York Post, White Noise's "co-director" and producer has issues.
    Mitchell Maxwell, another flop king, is causing such strife that he's been banned from his own show, the Broadway-bound musical "White Noise." The volatile producer verbally abused his creative team, frightened his actors and threw such a temper tantrum in the lobby of the Omni Hotel that terrified guests called the police, several production sources told The Post. "I have never experienced anything this crazy in my life," one member of the creative team says. "He is not a stable man."
    Don't miss any of the details, it's crazy. The stuff they couldn't print will probably make it into a screenplay of mine someday.

    I've been in rehearsals for the musical comedy Vote! at FringeNYC. It's going REALLY well. As I've mentioned before, we have an incredible cast.

    I took this picture yesterday on my iPhone at a music brush-up.

    Tickets just went on-sale. They are just $15. That's the best deal in New York. Buy yours now, we open on August 14th and they are selling fast.

    We're in pre-production for Street Lights, which was invited to the New York Musical Theatre Festival this year. White Noise got it's start at NYMF and we're excited to return to the festival. We open on October 14th, more details soon.

    I'll try to keep up with the blog more. Hope to see you all at Vote!

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    First Vote! FringeNYC Casting Announced

    I spent some of last week at Ripley Grier Studios casting the FringeNYC production of Vote! It was a fun process and our casting director Daryl Eisenberg did a first-rate job. The first two days we saw over 200 people. The third day were callbacks and a dance call lead by Rachelle Rak, our choreographer.

    The creative team got together on Monday night and we made decisions. I'm excited about the cast, a bunch of crazy talented people.

    We're going to announce the full cast next week, but Broadway World has the preliminaries.
    VOTE! The new ‘cartoon' musical about high school election espionage premiers as part of the 13th annual New York International Fringe Festival- FringeNYC - starring Deidre Goodwin and Morgan Karr.
    ...
    Vote! will play the historic Minetta Lane Theatre, a 400 seat Off-Broadway house. This will be the first production in New York City. A workshop production of Vote! was recently staged with students from the University of Indiana in Bloomington.

    Ryann Ferguson and Steven Jamail's award winning partnership began 8 years ago at Rice University. Together, they have collaborated on numerous projects including 2005 Fringe Festival show, Byzantium and the Harper's Guild Award winning aria, "Lotus Song." The two have joined forces again with their long-time director, Ryan J. Davis (Street Lights - NYMF '09 & White Noise), a noted political pundit with The Hill and The Huffington Post.

    Joining the team for FringeNYC is choreographer, Rachelle Rak, a veteran Broadway performer and recently of Every Little Step film fame. Other new additions are lighting designer Brian Tovar (Perez Hilton Saves the Universe) and Hilary Noxon (In The Heights) as set designer.

    Previous cast members, Krystal Joy Brown (RENT National Tour), Landon Beard (Altar Boyz), and Tracy Weiler, continue on with the project. The full twenty-person cast will be announced soon.
    Not officially announced, but on the website: Kevin Michael Murphy (Craig Stevens!) and Nina Sturtz (The Battery's Down). Check out the full article. Also, visit Vote's new website. I'm excited to start rehearsal, stay tuned for the full cast.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009

    We're surrounded by GDINOs!

    An e-mail circulating among NYC gay politicos of a poorly photoshopped wanted poster, attacks the many gay New Yorkers who recently endorsed the reelection of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    The image contains some familiar faces including Corey Johnson, Brian Ellner, Andrea Batista Schlesinger, Co-founders of Friends of the Highline: Robert Hammond and Josh David, Kelli Conlin, former Clinton aide Richard Socarides, and me. We're all GDINOs, Gay Democrats In Name Only, and wanted for treason against the LGBT Community for supporting Michael "Leviticus" Bloomberg.

    We're lucky that the anonymous author, obviously ashamed of their design skills, is only going after gay Democrats. I'd hate to have both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama wanted for treason, after having said favorable things about Bloomberg in public. New York's openly-gay City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has, so far, refused to endorse a Democratic Candidate for Mayor. However, she did appear on stage with Bloomberg at last week's Gracie Mansion Gay Pride Celebration, a wonderfully fun and well attended BBQ. There sure are a lot of GDINOs.

    A recent poll, showing the Mayor up 22% against the presumptive Democratic opponent, also had him leading with Democrats by 9%. Bloomberg is just 2 points shy of being the choice of a majority of New York City Democrats. Only 40%, the loyal Democrats, are voting for the party's choice.

    It will be interesting to see in November just how many real, loyal, non-treasonous, Democrats will show up to vote for whoever that guy is running against Bloomberg.

    Crossposted on The Huffington Post.

    Sunday, June 28, 2009

    My Broken Brain @ MITF

    For the last few weeks I've been working with my friend Michael Hirstreet on his new solo show My Broken Brain, which performs July 17th-19th at the 10th Annual Midtown International Theatre Festival. The play chronicles Micheal's childhood in New Jersey, growing up with his "jesus-loving" Mother and dealing with five brain hemorrhages. But, it's a comedy. More info on Broadway World or visit the MITF Official Site.

    Friday, June 19, 2009

    Bushwick Goes Gay

    Gay pride is coming to Bushwick, Brooklyn.

    The Annual Bushwick Pride March is on Saturday, June 20th at noon. Meet at Make The Road NY's Bushwick offices, 301 Grove Street. Barbecue at the Children's Grove Park after the march. Should be a fun day!

    Directions at:
    http://www.maketheroad.org/participate_directions.php.

    Also, a special gay pride edition of Really?, the only queer night in Bushwick. NEW LOCATION - Tandem is just 2 1/2 blocks from Northeast Kingdom and the Jefferson stop on the L train. This gorgeous new space will provide more room for dancing and mayhem. With Go-go dancers, pinatas, ukelele sing-a-long, drink specials and the hottest dance traxx and gay anthems by DJ Paleboy.

    Details at:
    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=90858383686

    Visit the new Really? blog at:
    http://reallyqueer.blogspot.com/

    Thanks and hope to see everyone at these events!

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Announcing VOTE! @ Fringe NYC. We're Casting!

    VOTE!, a musical I've been working on with the wonderful writers Ryann Ferguson & Steven Jamail, will perform in August at FringeNYC! I spent parts of February & March in Bloomington, Indiana working with students from Indiana University on a workshop production and we're ready for New York City.

    We're casting. Details below:
    VOTE! The Musical
    FringeNYC 2009
    AEA New York International Fringe Festival Code
    AEA/non-AEA (Pending Equity Approval)
    Stipend

    Director: Ryan J. Davis
    Book & Lyrics: Ryann Ferguson
    Music: Steven Jamail
    Choreographer: Rachelle Rak
    Casting: Daryl Eisenberg Casting
    Auditions (by appointment): June 29-30
    Rehearses: Mid-July/Aug 2009, flexible schedule
    Performances: Festival is Aug 14-30 2009, show times pending

    More Info At: www.votethemusical.com

    SUBMIT VIA E-MAIL ASAP

    SYNOPSIS: At GVHS, it hardly matters who will lead student council. But try telling that to candidates running and people who love them (or hate them). For them, the rest of their lives hinge on who can get the most votes.

    NOTE: VOTE! The Musical, a cartoon masquerading as live action show, offers a sharp, campy look at elections and the moral dilemmas they produce. The bright, energetic score drives fast from the onset of the campaign to the voting booth. It is HAIRSPRAY meets YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN meets ELECTION. Substance disguised as cuteness. All heart disguised as satire. All students should actually be 18-25 years old.

    SEEKING:
    [MUFFIN PASQUINELLI] 17 y.o. Caucasian female. Stunningly beautiful. The valedictorian of GVHS, Muffin has a secret she has finally admitted to herself: she’s really just not that smart. She's only running for president because her mom wants her to attend law school, but secretly – in her heart of hearts – all Muffin wants to do is be a flight attendant! LEAD. HIGH F - BELT/STRONG MIX

    [MARK] 17 y.o. Caucasian male. An evil nerd who has been pushed out of everything he feels he deserves by Muffin. He's very ambitious. He loves power and is distracted by very little else. Now, he decides to exact revenge when MUFFIN goes after the one thing he really wants - Student Council President! LEAD. MUST HAVE STRONG FALSETTO.

    [NIKKI] 17 y.o. African American female. A super politically-correct African-American Role Model. But she is not an advertisement for her ethnicity. She struggles with how much she wants her race to define her. LEAD. BELT/MIX.

    [TRISH] 17 y.o. female. MUFFIN's yes man, always in the shadow. All that changes when she discovers that while she’s good at being a side kick, she’s even better at being a villainous side kick. LEAD. CHARACTER BELT

    [MS VENORA FOWLER] Late 20s-40s African American female. GVHS’s sassy, whimsical, government teacher. With a soft spot in her heart for Denzel Washington, David Justice and Tyson Beckford, she also has a talent for creating mnemonic devices and telling it like it is. LEAD. BELT/STRONG MIX

    [MIKE] 20s male. Slick, buff snowboarder, boy band type. CAST: LANDON BEARD.

    [BRODY] 18 y.o. male. The dumbest, hottest jock there is and current student council president. SUPPORTING

    [ANGELICA] 17 y.o. female. The dumbest, hottest blonde cheerleader there is and Muffin's follower through and through. CAST: TRACY WEILER

    [NATHAN] 17 y.o. male. A serious minion to MARK. Puts up with all of Mark’s schemes, echoes his agenda. Overly invested in everything Mark does. Secretly pines for MUFFIN. Lots of physical comedy. SUPPORTING. STRONG TENOR.

    [ENSEMBLE] 17 y.o. males and females. Jocks, nerds, and the precious ones in between. Several featured roles. Must be able to dance. Please submit Non-Eqs as well!

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Free Performance Gage, Part One Tonight @ 7!

    For the last week, I've been in rehearsals for a reading of the new pop/rock musical Gage, Part One. It's a cool show, with a great cast. We perform tonight at the Lion Theatre in Theatre Row, 410 W 42nd Street between 9th & 10th Ave. Email GagePartOne@gmail.com for complimentary tickets.

    Details from Broadway World:
    The new rock musical Gage, Part One receives its first reading on Wednesday, June 10th. Featuring a rock score by Ryan Mercy, lyrics by Christopher Barnes, and a book by Cameron Cole, Gage buzzes with a youthful energy and features an equally electric cast. Performers include Logan Lipton (Wicked, Cupid and Psyche), Kevin Greene (Grease: You‘re the One that I Want, A Tale of Two Cities), Auri Marcus, Kevin T. Curtis, Heath Calvert (Good Vibrations), Desiree Rodriguez, and Jessica Waxman.

    The performance is directed by Ryan J. Davis (White Noise, Broadway Beauty Pageant).

    Gage, Part One takes the genre of the superhero origin story and turns it completely on its head.

    Ben is obsessed with comic books, so obsessed that he has been writing them since he was a teenager with his best friend and artist Noel. It is no surprise then that when Noel saves a stranger's life on the subway by pushing her out of the way of an oncoming train, Ben begins to believe that Noel is a true superhero. Thus begins the origin of Gage, a vigilante who can stop time by use of a special watch. Once a mere fictional creation of Ben, Gage is now brought to life by the real-life good-doings of Noel. Gage faces plenty of evil and danger but is finally forced to confront his greatest nemesis, Ben, when it becomes clear that all is not as it seems.

    Gage, Part One is presented Wednesday, June 10th at 7:00 PM at the Lion Theatre in Theatre Row, 410 W 42nd Street between 9th & 10th Aves. Email GagePartOne@gmail.com for complimentary tickets.

    Also, a nice article on Playbill. Hope to see some of you tonight!

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Gay Marriage: Stunning -- Though Not Shocking -- Setbacks

    Yesterday's decision by the California Supreme Court to uphold Proposition 8's ban on gay marriage is a sad, though expected, decision.

    Now gay Californians have no way legally to protect themselves; they have zero legal recognition. All these couples have are California state domestic partnerships, which provide every single legal protection that marriage provides. The difference being the use of that dreaded (antiquated) "M" word.

    The gay movement, seeing the Prop 8 decision as the end of the world, had rallies all around the country. These are the same type of reactionary rallies that have been staged by gay activists in the New York area over the last several months. I've expressed my view that these rallies were counterproductive and wouldn't change any hearts or minds. New polling in New York shows that I was right.

    Over the last month, gay marriage support in New York has fallen 14 percent. This is a fairly stunning turnaround, with drops among independent voters, New York City voters, young voters, women and African-Americans.

    Not that any of this is shocking, exactly. New York Gov. David Paterson's (D) job approval is a pathetic 18 percent. It's not helping gay marriage that Paterson has made it one of his major issues — it's actively hurting our chances at marriage equality in New York.

    The gay movement needs proper focus and fresh ideas, not more rallies, if we want to keep our forward momentum.

    Originally Posted on The Hill & The Huffington Post.

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Casting: GAGE Part One - A New Musical

    I'm directing a reading of the new musical GAGE Part One at Theatre Row Studios in June and we're casting. Details below, please submit or forward to friends who may be interested!

    GAGE Part One, A New Rock Musical
    Venue: Theatre Row Studios on 42nd Street
    AEA Approved 29HR Reading (guidelines pending)
    AEA/non-AEA
    $100 Travel Stipend

    Director: Ryan J. Davis
    Book: Cameron Cole
    Music: Ryan Mercy
    Lyrics: Christopher Barnes
    Casting: Daryl Eisenberg, CSA
    Auditions (by appointment): Thursday, 5/28 from 3pm-6pm
    Rehearsals: 6/06/09-6/09/09
    Performances: Wednesday, June 10th

    To make an Appointment:
    SUBMIT BY E-Mail At: ryannewyork@gmail.com

    [Ben] Tenor - Mid to late 20s, A precarious introvert who has closed himself off to reality. He is a very pained individual who goes to great length to keep people from seeing how much life has beaten him down. His only escapes come in the form of comics or his best friend/brother Noel. He is an intelligent person and a good writer who is not living up to his potential.

    [Kevin] Tenor- Early to late 20s, Kevin is a very genuine person who wears his heart on his sleeve, but a lack of confidence and his shyness keep him from being an assertive person. He is sensitive, kind and giving to a fault. The actor playing Kevin also plays Noel's father.

    [Zach] Baritone- Mid to late 20s, An aggressive, loud and boisterous example of classic masculinity. Noel's other friend is everything that Ben is not. The actor playing Zach also plays Ben's Dad, the 30's style Newsman, and the Bouncer with similar aplomb

    [Tina] Mezzo/Alto- Mid to late 20s, Tina is a no nonsense type of person who will call you out on your shit without ever being a bitch. Assertive, confident, and smart. The actress also plays Noel's Mom with similar frankness, as well as one of the Muggers.

    [Lauren] Mezzo- Early to late 20s, Lauren is a lofty and idealistic girl lost in a world of cynics. The actress also plays Ben's Mom, one of the Muggers, and Mrs. Hurdicure, who is an 30's style Upper West Side woman.

    Street Lights Reading Pictures

    The Street Lights reading last weekend was a huge success! We had a great turnout on both days and got lots of great, positive feedback. We'll go into the rewrite process soon learning lots from this reading.

    Cassie Corrigan took some great pictures that are available in two albums, from rehearsals and performance, on Facebook. Broadway World also posted a few of their favorites.

    Thanks to the wonderful cast & creative staff who helped make the reading such a success! We'll looking forward to a full production of the show in the fall, keep watching the site for more details.

    Oh, and become a fan of Street Lights on Facebook! Hear the music at MySpace.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Ireland Home to Extraordinary Abuse by Catholic Church

    What's amazing about this story is the extraordinary scope of abuse against children the Catholic Church has been directly responsible for.
    Tens of thousands of Irish children were regularly sexually and physically abused by nuns, priests and others over a period of decades in hundreds of residential institutions that housed the poor, the vulnerable and the unwanted, according to a report released in Dublin on Wednesday.

    “A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys,” the report said, adding that sexual abuse was “endemic” in boys’ institutions.

    The 2600 page report accuses over 800 priest & nuns (anonymously) of abuse between the 1930s and 1990s. The report was delayed because the "Christian" Brothers, the order many of the accused belonged to, successful sued to keep the priest and nuns (to clarify: who raped and terrorized kids) names private.

    The church has paid out more money to cover-up child abuse than Michael Jackson.

    In 2002, the Catholic Church in Ireland agreed to pay $175 million to compensate victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. A separate group has paid out some $1.5 billion so far to more than 10,000 people who have claimed they were abused in state and church-run institutions.

    Wikipedia lists other bribes payed by the church:

  • January 15, 2007 Diocese of Charleston Bishop Robert J. Baker agreed to pay $12 million to settle numerous cases concerning abuse by priests.

  • In December 2006 the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (its archbishop was Roger Cardinal Mahony) agreed to a payout of $60 million to settle 45 of the over 500 pending cases concerning abuse by priests.[75] In July 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay a $660 million settlement to hundreds of people who claimed to have been abused by clergy.

  • In September 2003 the Archdiocese of Boston agreed to pay out $85 million to 552 victims.

  • In 1997 the Diocese of Dallas negotiated a $31 million settlement with victims.

  • In June 2003 the Archdiocese of Louisville made a $25.7 million settlement involving 240 victims of sexual abuse.

  • On January 3, 2005 Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange apologized to 87 alleged victims of sexual abuse and announced a settlement of $100 million following two years of mediation.

  • In December 2006 the Diocese of Phoenix agreed to pay $100,000 to William Cesolini, who claimed he was sexually assaulted as a teenager by a priest.

  • In Canada the Christian Brothers have paid out approximately $35 million (Canadian) in compensation.

  • In May 1994 the Diocese of Lincoln (Nebraska) agreed to pay Rob Butler, FKA Adam Butler, $40,000 after he claimed he was abused weekly for two years.
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    Brooklyn L.I.D. Endorsements

    Monday night Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, the largest gay political group in the borough, held an endorsement meeting for the upcoming NYC primaries. I'm new to the group's Board and wasn't sure what to expect-- but was pleasantly surprised. They had a great turnout and all the major candidates showed up.

    Endorsements included: Bill Thompson for Mayor, Bill De Blasio for Public Advocate, Charles Hynes for District Attorney, Marty Markowitz for Borough President, and Diana Reyna for City Council District 34.

    In the race for Comptroller, John Liu and David Yassky tied. There will be a runoff vote between those two on June 4th. Other races that will be considered on June 4th include: City Council Districts 33, 35, 38, 39, 46, and Civil Court judgeships.
    I voted "No Endorsement" for NYC Mayor, because I'm unimpressed with the Democratic Candidates. I also support Norman Siegel over Bill De Blasio for Public Advocate.

    Other thoughts:
    • David Yassky is a generally impressive guy who couldn't give an answer that made any sense what-so-ever on his support repealing term limits. John Liu is my choice.

    • I got the biggest laugh of the night for asking Mark Green how long it would take for him to begin his mayoral campaign after the Public Advocates race.

    • The group voted to endorse Diana Reyna, City Councilmember in Bushwick, even though she doesn't support gay marriage because she's Catholic. How that's relevant to city business remains unclear.
    Primary elections in New York City are on September 15th. For more information or to register to vote, visit the NYC Board of Elections.

    Friday, May 15, 2009

    Street Lights Rehearsals & Party!


    Chad & Kevin

    This has been a busy week, putting together the industry Street Lights reading, that performs today and tomorrow. Here are some pictures from our run-through yesterday at Chelsea Studios.

    If you'd like to support the show and are free on Saturday night, we're hosting a fundraiser for our fall production at Hurley's Restaurant & Bar at 282 West 48th Street in Manhattan. It starts at 6PM and there is a $10.00 admission, with cheap drink specials and ticket raffles all night. More details on Facebook. Hope to see some of you there!



    Krystal, Kevin, Chad, & Joy



    The Company



    Krystal Brown



    Our Music Director Sonny


    Photos by Cassie Corrigan

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    Craig Stevens At Mr. Broadway

    Craig and his "girlfriend" Janine came to The Broadway Beauty Pageant again this year and put together this very funny video with the contestants, Jeffery Self, Tovah Feldshuh, and near the end a special guest appearance by yours truly.


    Craig & Janine have a live performance coming up on May 31st at The Laurie Beechman Theater. Details here.

    Friday, May 8, 2009

    Be Good to Mama!

    Sunday is Mother's Day and if you have as great a mom as I do, and I have a pretty great mom, you have to do something special for her!



    My friend Martin Giannini, who is also one half of the Street Lights producing team, is presenting a Mother's Day concert that benefits the LGBT Center. Lots of great performers, including Jenn Colella and Malcolm Gets. Details below, from the Playbill article. I'll be there!


    Kerry Butler, Malcolm Gets, Jenn Colella and Alan Campbell will perform as part of When You're Good to Mama at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on May 10.

    Glen Roven created the 7:30 PM concert, which will honor the special bonds between LGBT individuals and their mothers. Adam Kensinger directs the fundraiser evening that is produced by Martin Giannini.

    Currently announced to perform are Kerry Butler (Xanadu), Alan Campbell (Sunset Boulevard), Allison Case (Hair), Jenn Colella (High Fidelity), Malcolm Gets (A New Brain), Greg Jbara (Billy Elliot), Mark Kudish (9 to 5), Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Paige Davis ("Trading Spaces"), Mathew Schecter (Waiting For Godot), Glenn Seven Allen (The Light in the Piazza), Taylor Sternberg (Jersey Boys), Rachel Cobb (La Boheme), Ansel Elgort, Noah Galvin, Matthew Garrett, Benjamin Perry and the male ensemble of South Pacific.

    For tickets, priced $25, visit GayCenter. The Center is located at 208 West 13th Street in Manhattan.

    Thursday, May 7, 2009

    National Day To Ask God For Favors


    Today is The National Day of Prayer, a day that celebrates the power of asking god to do favors for you and your friends and family.

    In reality, prayer doesn't do anything.
    Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

    And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested.

    In the study, the researchers monitored 1,802 patients at six hospitals who received coronary bypass surgery, in which doctors reroute circulation around a clogged vein or artery.

    The patients were broken into three groups. Two were prayed for; the third was not. Half the patients who received the prayers were told that they were being prayed for; half were told that they might or might not receive prayers.

    Analyzing complications in the 30 days after the operations, the researchers found no differences between those patients who were prayed for and those who were not.

    In another of the study's findings, a significantly higher number of the patients who knew that they were being prayed for — 59 percent — suffered complications, compared with 51 percent of those who were uncertain.

    The study also found that more patients in the uninformed prayer group — 18 percent — suffered major complications, like heart attack or stroke, compared with 13 percent in the group that did not receive prayers.

    At least one earlier study found lower complication rates in patients who received intercessory prayers; others found no difference. A 1997 study at the University of New Mexico, involving 40 alcoholics in rehabilitation, found that the men and women who knew they were being prayed for actually fared worse.

    The most amusing finding is that people who were prayed for tended to do worse than people not prayed for at all.

    Read the whole article at the The New York Times.

    Upcoming Street Lights Reading!

    From Broadway World:

    Street Lights, a new hip-hop/R&B musical by Joe Drymala, will receive an industry-only reading on May 15th at 6PM and May 16th at 12PM, at Manhattan Theatre Club Studios. Ryan J. Davis directs and Martin Giannini & Brett Levenson produce. More info on the reading, please e-mail streetlightsmusical@gmail.com.

    Street Lights is a story about inner city teenagers who dare to fight City Hall. With their high school music program hanging in the balance, they fight social injustice, bureaucratic apathy and the scourge of drugs and violence in their neighborhood. A new generation finds it's voice, learning how powerful they can be when coming together in common purpose. With a truly contemporary pop and hip-hop score, Street Lights is a new kind of musical about hope, ambition, anger, injustice, love, and the promise of a new generation.

    The cast includes Broadway vets Wilson Mendieta (Bombay Dreams, Man of La Mancha), Heath Calvert (Good Vibrations), Todd Pettiford (RENT, The Lion King), Joy Lynn Matthews (The Music Man), who join Lacretta Ross, James Alexander, Desiree Rodriquez, Chad Carstarphen, Kevin Curtis, and Krystal Brown.

    The public is invited to Street Light's launch party on Saturday, May 16th, 6PM at Hurley's Restaurant (232 W. 48th St). Live entertainment and a raffle that includes tickets to The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The York Theater's Musicals in Mufti Series, and more to be announced at the event.

    Street Lights is the second major collaboration for Davis & Drymala. Their first, White Noise, was recently announced by Sibling Entertainment to open on Broadway in Fall 2009. White Noise, which Davis conceived & directed and Drymala wrote, premiered three years ago in a sold-out run at The New York Musical Theatre Festival, received strong reviews and was featured on Good Morning America & ABC Primetime Live.

    Creative credits: Book, Music, & Lyrics by Joe Drymala, Directed by Ryan J. Davis, Produced by Martin Giannini and Brett Levenson, Music Director Sonny Paladino, & Casting by Daryl Eisenberg.