Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Things I'll Miss About New York Theatre


Things I'll miss about the New York theatre scene - as I knew it.

1. The Public Theatre Lobby
Is there a better place to hob-nob, people watch, hang-out or wait for a show to start in New York?

2. Clubbed Thumb
Always interesting. Even the things that didn't work were cool. And the audience was always full of people I wanted to work with. If I ever have a theatre company that creates an atmosphere half as cool, I'll be very very fortunate.

3. SPF - The Summer Play Festival
$10 for a show written by people who are interesting and excited. Then you see everyone who's anyone in that weird bar area on the second floor of Theatre Row. It was/is like an all you can eat buffet open for a month. Even when you hated a show, you'd be like, whatever, what's next?

4. The West Way Diner
All night chatter over greasy fries, cokes and cherry pie. I've spent hours here talking about what's wrong and right, tipping waitresses too much, watching cops drink gallons of joe and finally, wondering what the hell the cooks put in the gravy.

5. Meeting the Literary Departments
Sending a play to someone is great. Meeting them after they've read it is better. The help I got from people like Lisa Timmel, Eric Nightengale, Michael Kenyon, the Soho Think Tank's Robert Lyons, David Myers and others has been unbelievably great and generous and, well, you get the idea.

6. Knowing other writers are living nearby
Writing a play has a lonely part. It's nice to know that there are many other people - with talent - suffering nearby with the same problem. Maybe even in the apartment next door.

7. The theatre people in the Starbucks on 98th and B'way
It's like a ghetto up there. Really. You should go up there and see for yourself.

8. Occasionally a "star" will do a reading for you
For all the nattering about how celebrity culture is ruining everything, it's still something to have a bona-fide star sit down and read your play in front of people for you. They don't have to do it. But some still do. Thank you Billy Crudup and Estelle Parsons.

9. The most talented designers and tech people
Yep. The most talented.

10. Directors who love you
My favorites know who they are. And nowhere is it easier to meet more of them than in New York.

7 comments:

Adam said...

yes, all this. you didn't mention broadway. would you like I give my regards?

Casselman said...

The left coast is where it's at, man. NYC is for people who can't let go. On your video (which again reminds me of how much I really want to do that kind of editing stuff, which - because I'm thinking about things I wish I knew how to do - in turn reminds me of how much I wish I could play the guitar, which reminds that somehow, cruel fate will deny me the chance to be a rock star - anyway, back to my comment), recently my 19 year old sister (wise beyond her years) visited me in NYC and I shot a quick clip of her walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on a brilliantly sunny and totally not humid day. As we played it back she said, "this is the kind of stuff you would play, like, if I died and you had a memorial service." It's the grainy quality that gives the substance of memory, I think. Anyway, glad you're alive and kicking, even if hurting.
XO,
CJC

Malachy Walsh said...

Adam... Yes. Do. That'd be grand.

Carrie... You should give up law and be a rock star. Give Ken a heart attack.

D said...

I don't know you, but I've connected to your site through the blogiverse.

And I think we have a fuckload of people in common. And I met your briefly after a reading of Fire Baby at the Magic just after Chris Smith took over as AD.

I've enjoyed your reflections on NY and California.

I'm in LA for the weekend and will be here again later this year. It definitely has its charms.

Malachy Walsh said...

Good to meet you - again.

As you can imagine, that reading was a little bit of a blur, but a great experience. I do love the Magic.

Are you still in SF? At the Magic?

I'm really looking forward to LA. I've visited frequently on Business and for my wife and I it's a new start - together.

m

D said...

I'm in SF working with foolsFURY, a fabulous ensemble-based company of which I am a member, on Big Love. I play Thyona and we go up in September.

foolsFURY just got a grant to continue development of a piece we began last year so I'll stick around for another week to workshop it when Big Love ends and then it's on to LA for a month and back to NY.

We should have a drink/etc in LA when I return. I remember having a great conversation with your wife after the reading. I can't remember what it was about - Columbia maybe? - but I remember enjoying it!

Malachy Walsh said...

Big Love. Great play.

And I remember foolsFury. Saw their very first show and The Illusion. Great company.

I shoot you an email when I'm closer to SF.

Thanks for the good words...

m