Time to empty the arts notebook with thoughts on topics near and far.
--It was great to see so many IBJ readers at the Penrod Arts Fair this weekend. And it was great to be situated just a booth away from a group that new how to do Penrod right.
Now, I can't vouch for the quality of the work of the unfortunately named MistahQue Artistry company. I haven't seen it yet. But I will say that this energetic gang knew how to make the most of their Penrod time. Throughout the morning, while many other arts companies seemed to take an "If we stage it, they will come to our booth" attitude, MistahQue converted patron after patron.
How? By demonstrated a passion for their product--an October musical called "Cabaret Poe," which will be presented at the Irvington Lodge.
More established arts organizations could have learned a lot by watching how this new company seemed to be genuinely excited by the work it would be doing. It was contagious, making a show that was barely on my radar now a must-see.
--Much has been made about Kanye West's behavior at the VMA Awards. My question: Why does anyone care about the VMA Awards? And doesn't the fact that he's actually appearing at the VMA Awards make West significantly less cool than he thinks he is?
Now, I've got nothing against awards. But, for me, heavy metal artists, rappers, punk rockers and anyone else who is presenting as being too cool for most rooms, shouldn't even want to be in the room.
--Speaking of awards, the Encore Award nominations have been announced. The Encores celebrate the work being done at participating community theaters. It's tough to take seriously, though, when ten women have been nominated for Best Actress in a Musical and fourteen guys for Best Male Singer. The cliche is that it's an honor just to be nominated. Here, it seems, it's a dishonor not to be nominated. Still, congrats to all.
--Thanks to all for your patience as we work out some kinks in the new IBJ.com system. Please drop me an e-mail if you have any problem posting on the blog or finding what you are looking.
--Has anyone found anything to be excited about on the Fall TV lineup? "Community" has promise but, for me, Chevy Chase long ago lost his charm. As for Jay Leno's new show, opening night had moments, but do we really need to hear Leno ask Kanye West what his late mother would think of his recent actions? I admire Leno as a stand-up--I saw him year's ago in Atlantic City and he seemed completely committed to his performance. But I've never warmed up to him as a talk show host and the West moment showed clearly that he shouldn't stray too far from his comfort zone. Still, I suppose his show will be the "there's nothing else on" spot to turn to at 10 p.m. weekdays.
--Look for an announcement here shortly about the next IBJ Night at the Movies. Hint: It's A&E related.