August | December
August 6, 2012 — A Long Overdue Update
Hello, world! I am pleased to finally send an update. I’ve had a really bad year so far, but as I’m slowly coming out of it, I thought I should send this update…
One thing that has come out of this year is my long overdue 8th cabaret, If Adele Can Do It, So Can I: an evening of mostly misery. I am planning on premiering the show in March 2013.
The show features almost a dozen new dark, sad songs and almost a dozen sorrow-filled poems that I set which were written by friends and some famous folk like Shakespeare. The music is more arty than my usual theatre stuff and while darkly intense, is some of my best work.
DEDICATED TO THE ONES I LOVE
Early July, a horrific tragedy occurred my maternal grandmother passed away. As if the universe hadnt given me enough heartache this year, almost 3 weeks later, my paternal grandfather also succumbed. Neither were completely unexpected and both lived till 92. However, while I dont know anyone else my age who still has all 4 grandparents, it is emotionally jarring to be down to 2 in such a short time.
Both were major, major supporters in my life and in my chosen career path. They believed in me with tremendous, unconditional, unwavering love and support.
Grandma Blanche was a spitfire of energy. She was an obsessive cleaner a gene I did not receive. I remember her always vigorously cleaning my glasses (in the days before I got Lasik and made eyewear superfluous). What she did pass down to me was a love of dark chocolate and card games though, unlike her I do not have a habit of cheating. (She would always giggle mischievously.) I was really ecstatic 2 years ago when she came to see Stanleys Party. She raved about the show and was so proud of me. I remember that she taught me how to play piano by ear (my maternal grandfather taught me how to read music, so I got both skill sets from them). Also, her favorite song was Send in the Clowns, which started me on my obsession and dedication to Sondheim. I remember a few Thanksgivings ago she watched some of my songs on the youtube, and remarked that I could use some promotional help the next week I met a woman who would become a good friend who actually helped me with promotions. My grandmother was always very perspicacious. I also remember how excited she was that I was moving into my new apartment, and she volunteered my aunts piano before anyone else had thought of it.
Grandpa Dave was very usually in high spirits whimsical, joking every Passover, we would haggle over the price of the Afikoman my sister and I would ask for a million dollars to return it, and he would just laugh and say hed just make a new one before we bartered down to a more reasonable fee. He was a fantastic carpenter, and in addition to building everything in his own house, he made me a bed with 2 massive drawers underneath for all my toys. I slept on that bed for a few decades. A few years ago, he finally revealed his Holocaust experience. With his brother, he helped save 120 Jewish orphans and led them on a trek throughout Europe ahead of the Nazis until they made it to Israel. It was a heroic journey of which he was too humble to speak of for decades. A guy from their temple recorded an interview with him about this, and we would love to turn this epic adventure into a movie but neither of us has any major film connections. If anyone out there has interest or connections to say someone like Spielberg, please let me know. I think this story deserves to be told and could easily be the next Schlinders List.
I am extraordinarily lucky to have had my grandparents for so much of my life. I am eternally grateful to and for them, and my life has been enriched by their incessant love. Heres a song I wrote about them a few years ago:
Speaking of family, my sister graduated with her PhD from Temple University this spring! So, we finally have a doctor in the immediate family. Plus, she’s getting married this fall, and moving to Nashville for her Post Doc. So congratulations to her. My sister is absolutely incredible, and I am so proud of all the success she has had in life. I cannot believe how fast time has flown. I still remember teaching her how to write and how to multiply… Sunrise, sunset…
MEOW WITH ME
In the midst of all this upheaval, we still managed an incredible, artistically stunning concert a few weeks ago. This was our 4th Annual Broadway Meows raising money for the Humane Society. We had a fantastic cast featuring a dozen Broadway credited folks. Videos are available on sethbh.com/broadwaymeows.
I am happy to announce we will be doing the 4th Annual Broadway Can! Concert collecting cans for City Harvest and raising funs for Citymeals-on-Wheels on Sunday, November 11th!
Other than that, I pulled off 4 concerts of my songs for the 200th Showcase Spectacular this June featuring over 50 showcase performers. Tomorrow is already my 208th I will hit 210 by the summers end, and then its time to start thinking about the fall To date, I have had over 700 performers grace my stage. Not too shabby.
A lot of people (ie like 4 or 5) have been inquiring where Season 3 of Every Day a Little Seth is I have been mulling over ideas, but Season 2 is so phenomenal that I dont want to create Season 3 unless I can top it but while youre waiting, please make sure youve seen every episode of the first 2 seasons and have forwarded them to your friends!
THE CATS MEOW
Smee is doing well. He loves the spaciousness of my new apartment well not that new because Ive been living here about a year already! I broke down and joined the gym and lounge area, mostly because they cracked down on people sneaking in and I got caught too many times I had been biking fairly often, but the summer is just filled with so much free NYC things to do that I have been getting home to late and Ive been a little lazy in the atrocious heat excuses, excuses
This section was supposed to be about Smee, but his life is pretty consistent. He eats, and he naps, and he meows a lot He’s meowing now, in fact.
I BOOKED IT!
I am almost done with book 4 of the Game of Thrones series, which is actually entitled A Song of Ice and Fire its quite a long commitment, but I am going to be on the 5th book soon, and then I will join the throngs of people as we wait for the next installment to be written
TELEVISION TELLS LE VISION (that was lame)
This summer has been light on tv to watch. Of course, there was Game of Thrones and now True Blood the BEST show that is back, is hands down BREAKING BAD. It is so consistently wonderful. Other than that, there have been a plethora of great shows on the ScyFy channel sadly, one of my favorites, Eureka, was canceled, but theres still Lost Girl, Warehouse 13 and Alphas
And theres still HBO and Showtimes other shows Aaron Sorkins The Newsroom, Weeds (which is past its prime, so Im kind of relieved this is the last season), and Episodes (very amusing show)
For guilty pleasures, I have been enjoying Bunheads or as I call it Gilmore Girls II and the trashy The L.A. Complex
I also have saved Political Animals, which Ive heard mixed things about, and this British show, The Misfits, which they just started airing on the LOGO network that is supposed to be pretty good. And speaking of British shows, I am almost done with season 3 of Doctor Who catching up very slowly!
The movies has been a really nice escape, so Ive seen quite a few this year:
The Hunger Games midnight showing of this awesome, awesome movie!
Kid with a Bike French movie about this poor kid whos father abandons him
Footnote Israeli movie which was really great
Damsels in Distress indie movie that couldve been better than it was
The Dictator I actually enjoyed this one a lot, though its no Borat
American Reunion definitely an amusing end to the series
Cabin in the Woods fantastic, fantastic, fantastic movie transcending the horror genre
Pirates! Band of Misfits cute stop-animation film
The Five Year Engagement what youd expect from this kind of movie
The Avengers I didnt love this as much as others, but it was still enjoyable
Dark Shadows good for like 20 minutes
Moonrise Kingdom another fantastic, fantastic movie ! Go see it!
Brave a disappointment from Pixar
To Rome with Love not my favorite Woody movie, either had some cute moments though
Ice Age: Continental Drift about what youd expect
Beasts of the Southern Wind another depressing indie movie!
Ted I wanted this to be better than it was, also, but I did laugh a few times
Dark Knight Rises – I mean this was good all, but a little long and definitely not as good as the last one…
To recap: go see Cabin in the Woods and Moonrise Kingdom for my top choices so far this year!
ALL THE WORLDS A STAGE
Oy, well I have still been seeing theatre this year, so heres everything since January:
Road to Mecca play about a woman living alone.
Wit Cynthia Nixon was brilliant as a cancer patient.
Nightlife Awards 2012 always a great show at Town Hall.
How I Learned to Drive fantastic, chilling play.
Merrily We Roll Along (Encores) I could see a Sondheim show every day.
Scottsboro Boys (Philly) got to see this again in Philly = such a wonderful show.
Carrie really enjoyed the revival of the flopped Carrie musical.
Shatners World I admit to enjoying seeing William on Broadway.
Other Desert Cities fantastic play starring Stockard Channing.
Porgy and Bess Audra McDonald is just impeccable.
Once Best musical this year for a reason!
The Best Man Star studded revival of this still poignant political drama.
Broadway By the Year 1950 Another fantastic evening at Town hall.
Pipe Dream (Encores) There is a reason this Rodgers & Hammerstein show is never done.
Dont Dress for Dinner Funny farce with a brilliant performane by Spencer Kayden.
Lonely, Im Not Topher Grace starred in this amusing comedy at Second Stage.
The Columnist John Lithgow is just a marvel to watch on stage.
Obama in Naples Brian Childers starred in this show.
Now. Here. This. Such a poignant show from the writers of [title of show]. Very touching.
Leap of Faith This was not as bad as the critics said.
Something for the Boys Obscure Cole Porter musical = right up my alley.
Cock A play with an obscene title.
Broadway by the Year 1975 Yet another evening at Town Hall
Medieval Play Saw this at the new Signature Theatre complex in my building.
Silence the Musical Hilarious parody of Silence of the Lambs which I shouldve watched again before seeing.
Potted Potter 2 person show where they get through all 7 Potter books in 70 minutes = loads of fun.
Comedy of Errors with Puppets Theatre2020 uses puppets and people = innovative.
Harvey Saw Jim Parsons and my friend, Tracee Chimo in this fun revival.
Broadway By the Year 1987 Final one of the season.
Heart of the Matter Benefit performance of new Neil LaBute one-acts starring the fabulous Krysten Ritter.
Tryassic Park Musical parody of Jurassic Park playing Off-Broadway.
Peter and the Starcatcher Saw Christian Borle in this fantastic play that is a prequel to Peter Pan.
The Lyons Linda Lavin was hilarious in this marvelous play about a dysfunctional family.
As You Like It Finally won the virtual lottery for Shakespeare in the Park on the final performance.
Closer than Ever BRILLIANT revival of this revue I met Maltby & Shire who are 2 of my favorite living musical theatre writers.
Into the Woods (Central Park) Donna Murphy is stunning. Amy Adams holds her own. I hope to see it again, but tickets are hard to come by.
Chess Benefit Concert Ah, memories of doing Chess in college flooded back watching this benefit concert of it
Last Smoker in America The cast of this new Off-Broadway musical is phenomenal.
I would be remiss if I did not thank those of you who have been there for me during this rocky year… you know who you are and THANK YOU.
Seriously, I have the best friends and family anyone could ever ask for, and you are all so appreciated. If any of you ever need unconditional love and support, I am here for you. If anything else, this year has taught me the importance of humility, patience and serenity. And I am available for anyone who needs anything, as I would like to (as one of my friends put it) pay it forward. The morals are – “it gets better,” “this too shall pass” and “time it one day (or hour) at a time.”
December 6, 2012 — 2013: A Year of Renewal
As this year comes to its end, I thought it would be remiss of me to not send another update on my life. There have been years with a dozen or more updates, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart that this is only the 2nd one this year, but I promise to make it a good one.
YEAR IN REVIEW
The last few years I have done top ten lists of things I’ve accomplished in the year. This year, especially, I think it would be a nice thing to remind myself of. As always, I highly recommend you doing your own list, and please feel free to send me a copy:
1. I produced, emceed and accompanied 45 showcases (#179-223) featuring over 200 performers! (I believe this a new annual record, the previous one being 44!)
2. I did FOUR concerts of my work to celebrate the 200th Showcase featuring 56 performers!
3. We did the 4th Annual Broadway Meows this July and raised a few hundred $$ for the Humane Society with some new Broadway stars to my work, and premiered a few new songs!
4. We did the 4th Annual Broadway Can! this November and raised $450 and 100 pounds of cans for Citymeals-on-Wheels and City Harvest again with some new stars and a some new songs!
5. I made my CARNEGIE HALL debut! (More on that below.)
6. I wrote 16 new songs and set 7 poems (in addition to the 2 songs and 2 poems I wrote in 2012) for my new cabaret, IF ADELE CAN DO IT, SO CAN I! (Again, see below.)
7. I made a lot of really great new friends this year! (Hello, new friends!)
8. I have started to go the gym in my building fairly regularly! (Well, a few times a week…)
9. I was a groomsman at my sister’s wedding.
10. Speaking of, at my sister’s suggestion, I have grown my goatee back, and it is getting rave reviews so far!
NEW VIDEOS TO WATCH
New videos from Broadway Can! are available at sethbh.com/broadwaycan. As always, a direct link to all of the videos is here: http://www.youtube.com/sethbh42 and if you have YET to watch all 12 episodes of my web series, or would like to REwatch them, you can click here: http://www.youtube.com/EveryDayaLittleSeth !
2013: THE MAYANS WERE WRONG
Looking ahead, I am hopeful that 2013 I will be a fantastic year. I am done writing all the songs for my new cabaret, If Adele Can Do It, So Can I: an evening of mostly sorrow… and I’m happy to report there are 3-4 comedy songs! Woohoo! I have to put another 10 songs in the computer, and then figure out how the show is going to work, and then cast it, and then rehearse it, and then put it up. I am planning to put it up in March.
I also am very, very hopeful that we will be doing at least another reading of Love Quirks in an attempt to get back to the task of getting it Off-Broadway… hopefully sometime in 2013!!!! (I just listened to the CD, and it is really good. I think we’re going to have to put that out at some point in 2013 regardless, but I hope to time that with another presentation of the show… I, again, promise to be in touch when I figure it out.)
And I PROMISE, promise, PROMISE I have started to write Season 3 of Every Day a Little Seth. I am pretty confident I know what 5/6 of the episodes are going to be, and I have at least started 50% of the stories for them… (actually if you don’t include the bits of questioning planted fake strangers on the street and plans for Rori to return, I have started 60%!)
Oh, plus it looks like my neighbor and I might be writing something, but I will wait till that’s written to announce it… and I am definitely going to force another collaborator of mine (SHE KNOWS WHO SHE IS) to have weekly meetings to start writing the show I believe will be my first Broadway musical… probably sometime in 2018. or 2020? By 2023 definitely.
CARNEGIE HALL DEBUT
I really should talk about the fact that I sang at Carnegie Hall because that was one of the best nights of my life. I decided this fall I wanted to join a choir, and I got recommended to the Essential Voices USA (http://www.essentialvoicesusa.com). It was SO MUCH fun singing with a choir again. We did a concert of Rodgers & Hammerstein songs with the NY Pops and Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, Paulo Szot and Aaron Lazar. And I must say it was absolutely unreal to sing at Carnegie Hall to a sold out crowd who gave us a standing ovation afterwards! Simply incredible. I really don’t have words to express the joy and utter awe I felt. I keep trying to find a sentence that will contain even a scintilla of the sensation, and after hours of perspiration, I have decided to just leave it at that…
But I am quite happy to report I will be singing with the choir again for a Stephen Schwartz concert with Norm Lewis, Julia Murney and Jennifer Laura Thompson on Friday, April 13th!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SMEE!
Smee is turning SIX on the 18th! I cannot believe he’s getting so old!! He doesn’t look a day over 4. He’s doing well; he loves the new apartment still. He has all these new nook and crannies, and I got him a new box the other day taken from a party my friend threw in one of my party rooms. Right now he just turned and meowed. Now, it’s possible he wants food, but I am going to take his meow as a sign that he knows I am writing an email to update everyone, and he wants to say “HI EVERYONE!” (Though, he probably really just wants food, and his special diet gets more and more expensive each time I have to pick it up from the animal hospital, so I hope he appreciates it!)
VACATING THE CITY
I actually left the Northeast for a week this August. I went to Chattanooga, TN to visit my aunt and uncle, and it was so relaxing down there! They have the most amazing water bed in their basement guest room, and I would love to get one, but I suspect they don’t allow those in my apartment building… We went to a lot of nature things and mountains and Civil War places… um and caverns… and I did a jigsaw puzzle!
Oh, and we also went to visit my sister and brother-in-law (though he was only fianceed (my spell check thinks that’s supposed to be financed – it doesn’t understand that I make up words sometimes) at the time) in Nashville, which is more of a suburb than a city. We went to eat at Noshville, which is their attempt to have a Jewish deli… and tried some NY style pizza… Um, yeah I think we have better NY style pizza in NYC… 😉
Other than that, I left the city for their wedding in September, which was really well planned and quite creative, as you’d expect. Since they’re both neuro-scientists, all the tables were brain themed. I was at the Motor Cortex, and there was a card that said something like “use your motor cortex to dance up a storm” or something… oh, oh, oh, I was also the first person to enter since I was the least important groomsman (standing furthest away), and so I was given specific orders to come in on the 5th measure of the Rocky theme… other than that, I posted a picture of my sister and me from her wedding, and got a lot of “congrats on getting married” posts even though I clearly look EXACTLY like my sister, and also captioned it “my sister is married.” Again, I blame people using smart phones instead of computers for their inability of paying attention to details.
Side note: you will not see me getting a smart time any time soon. (And I earn $5 from a bet I made with Samidh if I make it to 2015!)
Other than that, I went to MD for my cousin’s bar mitzvah (actually my first cousin once removed, which is confusing b/c that could mean either one of my parent’s first cousin or my first cousin’s kids, but I think you can figure out which one I mean in this context…) in November, home for Thanksgiving, and then I’m going to my grandmothers on Saturday to make latkas before our Hanukah dinner…
In 2013, I hope to take some vacations – I will be going up to MIT for my 15th Mystery Hunt in January… and I will hopefully visit my friend, Niki, who just moved to Atlanta… and I’m considering Austin to see Charise? Maybe? And, of course, for sure Tango in Copenhagen!!! Although, that means I need to renew my passport one of these days… but yes, I do hope to visit Europe, as I haven’t left the country since I went to Shanghai in Feb 2011… sunrise, sunset… quickly go the daaaays…….
TV FOR YOU AND ME
Oh gosh, I haven’t done a TV review section since this season began. Well, I’ll start with the new shows I watch this year that have stuck in order of how I like them:
Nashville – I just love this show. It might be trashy, but I can’t help it. I even tried to write a country song to submit to the show, but alas, I have trouble writing songs that don’t rhyme properly and use only a few chords…
Arrow – This is a Smallville replacement show, and I really enjoy watching it.
666 Park Ave – I was really starting to get into this show, but it’s already been canceled… just as it’s getting good! They put it Sundays at 10pm and expect people to watch it live?! Wha? Apparently the ratings almost double if you add DVR views into it, but networks want to make $$ on ads or something…?
Revolution – This show is trying to be Lost, and has its moments. The dialogue and acting are not fantastic, but it is slowly getting better.
I tried a lot of the new comedies this season, and none of them made me laugh at all. Very sad, indeed. The one that came closest is the Mindy Project, but I haven’t gotten back to seeing if it gets funnier or not…
So, yeah that’s only a net gain of 3 new (uncanceled) shows, but here’s everything else I’m still watching this season in order of time and day they air:
Sunday: The Simpsons, Once Upon a Time, Dexter, Homeland, Treme, The Walking Dead
Monday: How I Met Your Mother, Castle
Tuesday: Raising Hope, Don’t Trust the B(@#* in Apartment 23, Parenthood
Wednesday: The Middle, Modern Family, Hot in Cleveland, American Horror Story: Asylum
Thursday: The Big Bang Theory, 30 Rock, The Office, Parks & Recreation
I feel like I don’t watch that much tv anymore… but I guess that’s still a decent amount of shows, and I will admit that I left out a few I won’t admit to still watching, but in my defense I don’t give those shows my full attention and at least one of them is finally ending soon… And you can add Daily Show and Conan 4 nights a week, again while I’m doing things, though… Other than that, whenever I’m out of the city, I have now made it 2/3 of the way through Doctor Who Season 4 on netflix (before that I finished Torchwood Season 2 – I am watching them in order of when they aired.) There are a lot of specials between Season 4 and 5, but eventually I will catch up!, and when I do I think I will tackle Revenge.
READING AS A NOVEL CONCEPT
I am still reading Game of Thrones. It’s been a long time commitment. I am in Book 5, which is the last one that has been published. I have 485 pages left, and then I will probably read Life of Pi.
Other than that, I did take a Thrones break to finally finish Sondheim’s second book of lyrics, Look I Made a Hat… and during the hurricane I read Jerry Herman’s autobiography, Showtune, which I found to be absolutely deloverly and inspirational.
(Speaking of hurricane, I am obviously fine – I didn’t lose power or anything, but I did have a lot of friends from downtown over to shower and charge their phones, which was really fun! And we played Muppets Monopoly, and I won! My grandmother ended up not having power for 10 days (my parents 7, my grandfather only 4), which is insane, but she had a battery powered radio to entertain her, at least… she had to listen to election returns on the radio, like in the 1800s! (Just kidding, I realize there were no radios in the 1800s. (Sorry for my endless use of parentheses today. It reminds me of coding in Scheme.)))
I really have seen a lot of movies this year. Here’s what I’ve seen since the last ledger:
The Perks of a Wallflower – I LOVED this movie. Seriously. It’s great, and Emma Watson pulls off a decent American accent.
Hotel Transylvania – Really cute movie, too!
Pitch Perfect – I have not laughed this hard in a movie in ages. SO FUNNY.
Sleepwalk with Me – This was a pretty funny movie, too, and a true story to boot!
Wreck it Ralph – This was so cute! I really enjoyed this one a lot.
Argo – Another good movie!? Yeah, none of these have been bad… so far.
Lincoln – Okay, I found this one boring. I will admit to it.
Skyfall – Much less soporific than Lincoln… enjoyable but not earth shattering.
Les Miserables – Besides Russell Crowe, this is a fantastic adaptation of the musical. I was lucky enough to attend an advanced screening, and am happy to report it is REALLY GOOD.
Coming up, I’m planning go see the Hobbit at Midnight next week, and since I already had 6 people lined up to see Les Mis with on Annual Movie Hopping Day (on the 25th) I will go see it again, and then we’ll probably see The Guilt Trip and probably another 2 or 3 movies…
ON and OFF BROOOOOADWAY
As always, I have been seeing a good amount of theatre. Here is what I’ve seen since the last update:
Clybourne Park – I honestly think Other Desert Cities should’ve won the tony over this.
Chaplin – There was a lot to like in this new musical, including the performances!
Heartless – Off-Bway play that was … um, interesting?
If There Is, I Haven’t Found It Yet – More off-bway plays… this one starred Jake Gyllenhaal…
Newsies – Such amazing dancing. Definitely worth seeing!
Enemy of the People – Play starring Boyd Gaines… by Ibsen…
War Horse – Finally saw this before it closes in a few weeks – the puppetry was INCREDIBLE.
Broadway Originals 2012 – Another year of original Broadway stars singing their original songs at Town Hall.
Bedbugs the Musical – Saw some of my friends starring in this fun new musical off-Bway
Best of Broadway by the Year 2012 – Really nice concert reliving the best of the past dozen years of BBTY…
Don’t Go Gentle – This is an off-Bway play I enjoyed a lot actually at the Lortel down in the village… (I saw this right before the Hurricane and walking home was pretty windy.)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood – SO MUCH FUN – I LOVE this show, and the production is FLAWLESS – some of you will remember me doing it in college (very few of you, I’d imagine), but this production was better than that one. (Hey, I have seen Broadway revivals that have been worse than say my high school productions… but I won’t name names!)
Encores 20th Anniversary Concert – Really fantastic concert at City Center celebrating Encores turning 20.
The Performers – This was SUCH a funny play! I think I laughed more at this play than at any other this year. So sad it closed so fast!
Giant – Epic 3 hour musical by genius Michael John LaChuisa off-Bway… highly recommended!
My Name is Asher Lev – off-Bway play based on the book of the same name about an Orthodox Jew who becomes a painter and gets ostracized b/c of it.
Falling – off-Bway play about a family dealing with an autistic child.
Broadway Unplugged 2012 – The only annual concert where the singers sing without amplification!
And after writing and revising this off and on for 3.5 hours, I am finally ready to hit send! I wish you all the most happiest of Hanukahs this year, and I feel very accomplished knowing that this is going out with plenty of time to spare before 2013! Woo!
Please do send me a note if I haven’t talked to you in awhile, and I wish you nothing but the best in 2013!!!!