Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Little Night Music

I met Jonathan Mitzenmacher when he played Frederick in the Miami Acting Company’s 2015 production of “The Pirates of Penzance.”  It also happened that at the time New Theatre was casting roles for the first reading of “All Together Now,” and he created the role of Fox.  He lived up to way beyond our expectations, and when we did it for the South Florida Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest two weeks ago, he did the role again.  Next week he heads off to his freshman year at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he’s planning to major in mechanical engineering.

This summer he participated in the Songbook Academy program in Carmel, Indiana, where this was recorded.  See for yourself what his friends and admirers already know: the kid has talent.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Thursday, October 20, 2016

…Down to the River

It’s been a long time since I made an addition to the blogroll, but I’m all too happy to share this new one: …Down to the River.

It is written by a friend I’ve known for over thirty years through my work at camp in Colorado and a shared love of teaching, good blues, and baseball.  I hope you’ll get acquainted with his world, enjoy it, and share it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

September 1971

PMW IDForty-five years ago this week, this long-haired skinny kid from Perrysburg, Ohio, landed at the University of Miami and walked into the Ring Theatre determined to become an Actor. He was sure he would be the next star of stage and screen and people would be lining up around the block to watch him perform everything from Shakespeare to Neil Simon. So he signed up for acting classes with the legendary Buckets Lowery, took dramatic lit from Dr. Delmar Solem and Dr. Charles Philhour, directing from Dr. Hank Diers, costuming from Dr. Roberta Baker, and learned all about scenery design, stagecraft, and history from the original Great One — and the last man standing — the Old Professor. He met his fellow classmates who were also setting out on this great adventure who became more than just classmates; they became lifelong friends. For three incredible years he was in shows (usually small parts whose first name was “The”) or back stage running the shows, or building sets, and afterwards hanging out for many a night in student housing as a charter member of the MNT Society.

No, he didn’t become a great actor because when he wasn’t on stage or in class or building scenery (and becoming a skilled carpenter), he was writing plays or stories … and it didn’t help that he had a face for radio. But if it wasn’t for the foundation of his friends, mentors, teachers, and partners that he built at the Ring, he wouldn’t have had the skills or courage to go on for a masters and doctorate in playwriting, which he’s still to this day trying to master.

So today, this not-so-long-haired, not-so-skinny guy who started classes at the Ring on his 19th birthday looks back from the verge of his 64th and says a humble and grateful thank you for these forty-five years of friendship. I couldn’t have done it without you. And maybe I’ll put you in one of my plays. Maybe you already are.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hello, His Name Is Edmund

I met Edmund Lupinski in September 1971 when we were both cast in the University of Miami Ring Theatre’s production of George Farquahar’s The Beaux’ Stratagem, directed by the Old Professor.  (He had a lead as one of the beaux, I did two character parts.)  We did a number of shows together, everything from musicals such as Guys and Dolls to the 18th century comedy The School for Scandal, and I’ve always considered him to be a good friend.  He’s also a terrific actor, as you’ll see in this demo reel that he’s put together, including his most recent role on screen in Hello, My Name is Doris with Sally Field.  I thought I’d share this quick look at some of his work.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Oldest Friend

I’m taking off today to spend it with my oldest friend.  We met in June 1957.  My family had just moved into our new home in Perrysburg and he and his sister knocked on our front door and asked if there were any kids his age the he could play with.

We grew up together, going to school together, going through good times and tragedies, and nine years later, after he had moved to Florida, I was invited to come down to visit over spring break.  It was my first time in Florida, and as his mom said, once you get sand in your shoes, you have to come back.

How right she was.  In 1971 I moved to Miami to go to college.  But my friend had gone off to join the Navy, and we lost touch.  It would be another fifteen years or so before we met up again, and then only briefly.  It would be 2003 before we connected and arranged to meet as I changed planes in Chicago on my way to Toledo.

As it always is with old friends, it was like no time had passed at all as we shared a sandwich in the food court at Midway.  When I left, we promised to keep in touch, and we have, thanks to social media and the bond that was formed more than fifty years ago.

We got together two years ago (see below) at his place up the coast and we’ll do it again tomorrow down here.  And I hope when he knocks on the door in the morning, he’ll ask if there are any kids his age to play with.

photo 4

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friends, Family, and Cars

This is the beginning of a fun weekend.  My brother arrives this afternoon, then we’ll be spending the weekend deep in car talk.  We’re judging at the 9th annual Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, but before that we’ll be visiting with some friends, one of whom has an amazing collection of cars, many of which have graced these pages.

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Stutz radiator cap

I get to judge the Mustangs, of course, and there will be some very rare ones there, including Carroll Shelby’s personal car.

I will have pictures from the show on Sunday, but between now and then things will be a little light around here as we warm up — it’s expected to be back up to the 80’s for the show — and enjoy the cars.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tribute

As a contributor to Shakesville, I got to know some of my fellow contributors only through the blog and the backstage e-mails we exchanged.  That may seem like a remote way to make friends, but often the bonds that grow are as strong and meaningful as meeting in person.

I got to know Phil Barron as a warm and friendly person and a great writer — two qualities I aspire to.  So I was stunned and saddened to hear that he came down with a sudden illness earlier this week and then passed away yesterday.

I hold him, his wife, his family, and our community that loved him in the Light.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014