Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Return of the Blog

by Steven Turner Hart

A great deal has befallen me since I last posted here that is not worth your time. For fifty years I worked in the theatre and film as well as teaching various subjects related to all that and served in assorted capacities from critic to actor.

I have recently moved back to New York and find the city much transformed by Bloomberg and Co.  who destroyed most of the small production venues in Manhattan in favor of dwellings for the wealthy.  There is a lot of theatre now but of the institutional sort that is tried and tested out of town in places like Chicago.  The productions here, like those in Paris, are more polished but they are yesterday's news especially on Broadway.  

In fact the only thing older than the shows is the audience, those who have a background that interested them in live theatre, and the money/time to go.  They are the last of the unplugged, and thus used to real public discourse rather than vacant tweets in place of ideas.

Well it is what it is and it may end the theatre as we currently think of it, but that has been said for several thousand years.  It pops up again in some new and cheaper form because performance seems to be part of human nature.  But what Bloomberg left in his wake has nothing natural about it such as bike lanes on Bergen Street and an island dedicated to rich people.  His model I guess was London where no Englishman can now afford to live.  Instead, sheiks and Gazprom gangsters occupy Mayfair.  I guess the Duke of Bedford still gets the payments that started in 1066, but the rest of the sceptered aisle has a housing shortage as NYC does now.  The arts?  Who cares?  All they ever do is puncture our self-satisfaction.  That's not good for our self-esteem.

Then again, who's going to want to live here when there's nothing to interest them but looking at rich people who are looking at rich people?

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