Friday, October 6, 2017

People Suck Everywhere: What's Your Price?

This particular story hits very close to home. In case you aren't familiar with it, he's one of these big shot Hollywood guys lots of indie people would give their eye teeth to meet. My own company apparently had talks with people who were trying to see about us getting meetings with them. I even met someone with a project who had a family member of his who'd offered to produce that project.

Now, stories about men harassing women in Hollywood are sadly old hat in my knowledge. I've heard about and known plenty to avoid, even within my own circle. I've even had guys ask me out who work in this industry in such capacities, to which I respond that they must have mistaken me for a star fucker or think I'm some skank who has to come across to get clients. I get very hostile and nasty about it to where I even added on a dating profile that you won't be dating me if you work in the same industry since I live by the saying "Don't shit where you eat."

As I've heard about more and more of this stuff and if you are hearing about this & thinking of working in this industry, you should ask yourself "At what price am I going to pay to get in this industry? Am I content with never moving into those upper echleons if I have morals and integrity for myself & refuse to play that shit? Can I be satisfied with where I am regardless?" In my case, after much thought my answer is "I'll make my way on my terms and in my way or I don't want it at all." I figure I'd probably end up biting that guy's dick off, hitting in some sensitive area (I've slapped a man for getting fresh before), ruining him big time. I'll bet some of these sleazebags would figure I'm way too mean and angry to let that shit stand or ever go away quietly. Also, as an attorney you have ethical duties not to cosign on societal BS or let other women get harmed; where I have opportunity to be the change and fuck over cretins, bet your butt I'll do it for someone who's got proof, credibility and so forth. You have to wield those swords carefully & know which one to pull out when and how far to swing them. Sometimes you just inform the people who are close or planning to work with that person; other times, you have to use public disclosure and the proper authorities.

This is a guy who was a "liberal hero" donating to queen Hillary and participating in that Women's March months back. So if you thought only conservatives and the ultra-right has cretins, you are dead wrong. I think it has to do with money and entitlement complexes as to why some guy does it. You can find plenty of beastly women as well such as queen Hillary and her anti-feminist, anti-women behavior towards her husband's victims as well as voters who didn't hand her the crown via their votes. It's like "Do I need more reasons to dislike rich people as a group? Must we further The Angry Redheaded Lawyer's classism concerns and assertions of moral superiority because she didn't have things handed to her in life & doesn't believe she can buy people?"

Hell, do I need more proof that rich guys are assholes I want zero to do with and if one ever did actually get love struck over me he'd have to fight against not just my own family's class prejudices but mine as well? I also feel the same way about MDs; they seem to think this lawyer is going to drop her drawers or respond to commands from them on dating sites. God help the MD or rich guy who isn't an asshole who tries getting my attention/interest. Most people's fairy tale mate would be discarded by me since I'd assume that person was arrogant or believed they could buy me.

Political labels mean shit since there are kind conservatives and asshole liberals. See above.

I think I have discovered the meaning of life despite not being screamingly old: it's happiness. You can't buy that, you can't teach yourself to do it or make yourself do it & it's something that if you haven't got, you'll be living in a prison regardless of what you do, what you have or where you come from. There are miserable rich people and happy poor people.

What I look at in these situations is the rule breakers and how they got places in spite of shit like this. I like to think not everyone who's rich or in Hollywood is a sexual predator or an entitled scumbag who thinks people can be bought & sold or moved around like pieces on a chess board. I think of people like Lucille Ball who had her own production company at a time when no woman was doing that & her husband was no white guy. She had to fight to get him on "I Love Lucy," in fact. Not a real redhead but that's the type of thing I look at in planning my life and career; since I know my path is different and the rules really don't apply to my reality, I simply plan my actions with that in mind. I read a post on LinkedIn about how these companies in Corporate America discriminate to this day against minority applicants based on looking at photographs & zip codes in the address on the resume. My brain went to "how do we fuck their system over & shame them?" Also, let's give them the finger then set up better businesses to compete and kill them by doing right what they royally screw up & fail at (and plenty of big companies fail at various things the right business owner could exploit).

My thought process is similar in doing my entertainment career. Give these pricks the finger, become known as a force who does it better & shames them horribly then make sure you don't do the same crap they do. Hold yourself to standards and give hand ups to the deserving and talented in the next generation. Teach others how to fight this shit & don't be a whining victim. I can rest easy with things I've done already and will keep doing though I feel I've not reached my apex yet. Never compromise your self-worth or your integrity or view yourself as "less than" because you didn't eat the old, moldy doughnut offered by these established companies.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Yelp is Apparently Run by SJWs & Here's Why the Current SJW Idea is Bullshit

So it seems Yelp censors people's true life racial bigotry incidents. I had this review of a true experience that happened at a Mandee location at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn removed for some mysterious reason from Yelp. This was 2 years after the incident in question, by the way:

First off, it's way too tiny. Second, the employees allow ghetto trash to touch & threaten people. Had this piece of ghetto trash show a wonderful example to her child (who she claims was there) by trying to start a fight with me b/c she couldn't be bothered to have her kid or maybe herself not get in the way of someone with a bunch of bags on their shoulders trying to shop there. No employee interference, no security guard, no one interrupts this woman's screaming scene where she proceeds to tap my forehead. Had she done more or wasn't some inconsequential piece of ghetto trash sure to win Mother of the Year, maybe it'd have been worth my time to engage this lowlife but I opted out. Furthermore, they have no clothes for super thin people AND it seems they let this bitch serve as sheriff of this place. I'll be making a call to the corporate headquarters & alerting the franchise owner of this; I also wonder if this piece of ghetto trash would have done this to a black or Latino woman.

Free tip: if you want this area of Brooklyn to not be seen as a ghetto piece of trash that respectable people don't want to go to, maybe you shouldn't be having store management & personnel allowing garbage like this to harass people and attempt to engage in fights. Real class there.

Then I was recently contacted to be informed that another true incident of racism that happened to me at a store I usually shop in that was an update of my previous review was deleted for the same "violating content guidelines" nonsense. I was less concerned about that since the manager had read the review I posted on their Facebook page and has since made things right with me so I've not had to encounter that ghetto bitch again or wait in the long ass line to get service when my time is valuable & matters.

I asked Yelp HQ about the above review being censored & they claimed that I can't call "ghetto trash" what it is. I consider anyone trying to start fights with random strangers to be ghetto trash. Rational, sane people do not act that way. They act like human beings & don't start altercations or fights over petty ante bullshit. It's not limited to race; it's a poverty mentality type thing. I've known plenty of people who aren't black who fit into "ghetto trash" territory. I've also known plenty of black people who would find that behavior disgusting and uncivilized.

Now I also wrote a detailed letter to the corporate headquarters of Mandee on this incident back when it happened 2 years ago. Do you think anyone EVER responded? No, so that tells you volumes about their value on the customer service or dollars from customers. Had this chick laid a hand on me, it would have been on. I don't start fights with ghetto garbage who clearly have nothing in life to lose since they want to get arrested and put in jail or shot for starting conflict where none need exist. Save that for someone raping you or beating your kid or trying to abduct you. Why the fuck do these assholes even live in NYC? Why don't they move to the suburbs where there's lots of space and oxygen? I mean, do they ride the subway at rush hour and start fights there because someone knocked into them due to the movement of the train? I think people like this aren't qualified to be "people" since they're actually sub-human garbage. Most grade school kids know better than to do shit like that & I didn't see any mental health guardians around them so they presumably don't have a medical diagnosis of low IQ or mental development problems.

Do these morons think I'm some victim? That they have some kind of grounding over the freaking attorney?!?!? I'd press charges in a second on these pieces of trash if they took action and they wouldn't want to mess with me because I can and would fuck someone up in a second if I had to, not just physically either. You can tell they are stupid since a smart person would never mess with a quiet, smart, small type with looks. Especially a fucking NATURAL REDHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!! We are known for our tempers & being cunning. Plus, there is the reality that I have a lot of rage from my childhood and my ex-husband. I'm not in jail, never been there and my shitty ex is still walking the streets without injury caused by me along with his bitchy mother. That person should ask themselves "Is it smart to go tempting someone with that history who's lived that stuff to hurt me?"

I figured out exactly why I despise SJWs and why you should to, especially if you grew up in the South or without money like I did. Here's a deconstruction of that movement.

As I stated before, SJWs are demanding special rights not equal rights. I encountered another person trying that in the industry group I mentioned in my prior post on the subject. She stated racial/gender make up in her crew and said in her job ad she was trying to get a certain percentage of a certain race/gender. What I did say was smart thinking was seeking a DP "who is experienced with lighting darker skin." You could promote "diversity hiring" with a qualification like that since it's based on a skill set, not giving a handout to someone who didn't deserve it.

Anyone using "I'm a woman" or "I'm (insert racial minority group or sexual orientation)" is telling the world "I have no real talent or competence to speak of nor am I skilled enough to do this so just hand me the job because of my status as (whatever they are claiming." I feel quite strongly about handouts.

When I commented there, this moron had the nerve to try apply "privilege" to me & said I should "work with more people of color." I knew immediately this was not someone I'd consider worthy of my time and stated that poor people of any race do not have "privilege," she didn't know a thing about my life history, my work history, my friendship circle or my networking circle and that she ought to do her research on who she's talking to before making such comments. I stated that I'd probably been around more minorities far longer than she had (likely true since that's never been a novelty in our household & we hold people to standards based on their behavior, not their skin tone or who they sleep with or their genitalia).

You should NOT be asking for or wanting handouts if you're a capable, intelligent human being. I would never treat my friends as charity cases who need my sympathy, patronage or handouts. That's demeaning and insulting & says you don't find them capable or intelligent or able to do anything on their own by their own merits. Nope, people I know who are members of minority groups or anyone really are smart, capable individuals who don't need my pity or charity. A handup (giving someone a good word where you can or referring them for things they are ideal for) isn't the same as a handout (giving someone a job or opportunity they aren't necessarily qualified for because of their race, gender, or some other factor in the same of "diversity" or "equality"); you get handups by showing your capabilities and skill set and talent to the world. That requires going out and networking with people, creating your business brand and (gasp!) hard work!!!

Nobody is handed anything in life (not of worth, anyway) so get the fuck over it if you think you shouldn't have to work hard either. Even the trust fund kid has to deal with parents trying to control his/her life & career.

My friends would be offended if I were giving them handouts. That stance is "Poor person of color/woman/non-straight person. (S)he can't get anything on their own talent or merits so we have to give them things even if they aren't qualified to have them since they are too sad, helpless, pathetic and inept to do anything on their own." This is what the SJW philosophy is; it's really bigoted & patronizing when you get down to it so if you're siding with these clowns, you're a bigot as well. You are looking down on minorities & trying to disguise that as "helping" them. I look down on people for being stupid or committing personal sins against me, not being minorities.

I even told that moron who made the uninformed statements that she needed to think better of herself than to ask for or demand somebody else to give them charity instead of proving themselves and making contacts like anybody else. I know I think better of myself than to make those demands & sure don't need anybody's charity or pity; some people are probably terrified of my actual mental strength and endurance.

So ask yourself if you think you are helpless, pathetic and incapable of doing anything on your own merits. If you'd say you aren't, then don't ask for handouts or encourage others to ask for or offer them to the "unfortunates." Because, guess what? You are only an "unfortunate" if you think you are.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "Checks and Balances" or Bottoms Up! -- a play by Crystal Field at Theater for The New City

"We can see your partisan bias showing!!!" That was the main thought in my head as I saw this show (I mean, the Trump head with swirly ice cream hair and all the evil taking place makes it obvious along with some of the songs) but I do have to admit it was damn funny & definitely had the ring of truth to it.

FYI: this show is literally being held outdoors.

When I came to the performance at Theater for the New City, I was trying to figure out which theater it was in & asked the staff, who directed me to go around the corner to 10th Street. If you're a pale butt who burns after 5 seconds in the sun like me you'll want to arm yourself with good sunblock during the show in case Mr. Sun peeps out. Despite an initially cloudy day, Mr. Sun did decide to peek out during parts so I applied some sunblock I had on me. Lots of passerby also stopped to watch this play as it was taking place.

Our story starts with the premise of the government being for sale and the election of Trump as the starting point for all the really bad stuff taking place (though maybe it was bad beforehand in the story? I'm not sure).

"The Suits" take over immigration policy. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Glory (Briana Bartenieff), a young girl in NYC who attends school with her friends and has an idealist “do gooder” history teacher in Mr. Keene (Michael David Gordon), starts her journey on a subway ride from hell to get to a performance of “Hamilton” that her class has been able to get tickets for.

Briana Bartenieff and Trump Puppet. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

As many a NYC resident who has used the subway, especially this summer, knows what is supposed to be a simple subway ride leads to diversions and increasing frustration for everyone on board. The subway conductor (Justin Rodriguez) gets an earful from the passengers for the constant changes in service and is clearly stressed as well as overworked. The accuracy of subway travel could not have been depicted better.

Justin Rodriguez as subway conductor, under Trump Puppet. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Glory ends up separating from Mr. Keene in pursuit of truth, which devastates him.

Michael David Gordon as School Teacher. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

She ends up in a homeless camp and chats with a few homeless people to learn that she's speaking with a Buddist monk (Mark Marcante), Mother Earth (Cheryl Gadson) and the Blue Fairy (Terry Lee King) who are hiding out as “New York is on the road to truth.” They show Glory a visual exercise of the concept of activism where if you see something, you DO something vs. just saying something & guide her along her journey to truth.

Homeless enclave: (l-r) Matthew Angel, Breana Bartenieff, Cheryl Gadson, Mark Marcante, (hidden) Natasha Velez, Danielle Hauser. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

To avoid spoiling the ending and events, at first it seems that things aren't going well as the Blue Fairy ends up getting captured in DC while trying to spread “love dust” and “glittering truth” at an exclusive venue where a reporter (Alexander Bartenieff) is shunned. However, things ultimately work out in the end and the aforementioned Trump head is “killed” with the love dust and glittering truth as it spreads among the city dwellers.

"Suits" (Juan Villages, T. Scott Lilly, Lei Chin, Matt Angel) bury the Blue Fairy as reporter (Alexander Bartenieff) looks on. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

In a twist I didn't see coming, the cast spreads the magic among those audience members sitting in the very front.

Mark Marcante and Terry Lee King dance with audience members in finale. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

The beginning and ending of this show was definitely the most interesting I've seen since both were extremely impromptu. The opening dance number starts out very slowly then gets a faster freestyle groove to eventually morph into a hip hop routine. The closing number was literally the audience being welcomed to get up and dance as Lady Liberty (Crystal Field, once she is restored to her prior glory with the presence of love dust and glittering truth) invites us to do.

Statue of Liberty (Crystal Field) emerges to lead ensemble in "Forward March." Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

The songs are great. I especially loved “Fake News” with the costuming and the lyrics. There's also “Sanctuary City” and “Fusion” with the men in suits (who reminded me of the many lawyers I see in my day job) dismantling Lady Liberty which are standouts to me.

"Fake News" chorus line. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

"Santuary City" -- L-R: Terry Lee King, Cheryl Gadson, Matt Angel, Mark Marcante, Natasha Velez. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

I applaud the presence of live music, a diverse cast and dancers who felt accessible, like any one of us could get on stage and boogie even if we had two left feet. It didn't feel like an atmosphere where you were going to be judged for bad dancing though I personally did not get up and boogie, opting to maintain journalistic integrity.

If you're a liberal or more idealist than most, you'll definitely like this show. If you have a sense of humor, you will like this show regardless of which “team” you voted for.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: “The Cost” by Aquaila Shene Barnes Presented by The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. in association with And So It Is Theatrical Productions at La Mama

This show appealed to me for three reasons: 1. I know a lot of people with some involvement in the political world either holding local office, having run for local public office, working in a government agency, lobbying/trying to lobby or helping particular candidates get elected in other ways, 2. I have personally reached out to my local political officials as maybe a professional hellraiser/squeaky wheel (note: many attorneys are professional hellraisers/squeaky wheels; my being one since elementary school has led many people to remark that I was a lawyer long before ever attending law school) and 3. People have suggested I run for public office but I feel I'm too moral for it, much like our protagonist Thomas Foster, Jr. (Junior, as he's known; portrayed by Charles Browning) turns out to be.

"The Cost" by Aquaila Shené Barnes, directed by Barbara Montgomery, presented by The Negro Ensemble, Inc. in Summer Shares at La MaMa. Justine J. Hall and Charles Browning. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Junior has been groomed by his father, Thomas Foster, Sr. (Senior; portrayed by Ivan Moore) to become the first African American governor in the state of Ohio. Senior tried to become governor but as Ralph Snyder (Robert Ierardi) says it was simply bad timing with the mix of racial prejudice. That nasty scandal with one Tanika Johnson, a paramour Senior took on as his late wife was dying of cancer (much like John Edwards did when his wife Elizabeth was also dying of cancer) likely didn't help matters either.

Toni Ann DeNoble and Robert Ierardi. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Nicole Foster (Nikki; portrayed by Toni Ann DeNoble), the dutiful daughter of Senior and younger sister of Junior takes on the role of campaign manager and brands Junior as the candidate of change (and hope circa Barack Obama in 2008) against Donald Baker, the Republican incumbent. Nicole is a natural superstar at this and Senior has grand plans for her as well though she has her own humanitarian work in Guatemala and a secret love affair with Grace Tandy (Alyssa Simon), a woman from a wealthy, conservative family who's in a loveless marriage with an absentee spouse. Nicole has everything under control, from prospective First Lady Cynthia Foster (Thia; portrayed by Justine J. Hall) and her outbursts to the business of handling press and running a clean campaign.

Toni Ann DeNoble and Charles Broning. Photo by Wai Wing Lau

She's even figured out how to deal with the thorny business of the AMPO Pipeline project and campaign contributions. However, relentless reporter Sheryl Kelly (Richarda Abrams) knows quite a few of Nikki's secrets & threatens to expose them. We learn later that Sheryl has her own secrets.

Richarda Abrams as Sheryl Kelly, a political journalist. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Sampson Riley (Andre Dell), a law school classmate and former fiance of Nikki, stops by to seek “a seat at the table” in exchange for campaign help. Senior is happy to oblige while Nikki feels otherwise, especially once Senior tries to get her to resume her prior coziness with him. Sampson was not a faithful fiance to Nikki.

Toni Ann DeNoble and Andre Dell. Photo by Wai Wing Lau

Nikki does in the end what I would love to see happen in real life: she exposes Senior and the dirty underbelly of politics and graft, freeing herself and Junior from the tyranny of living up to the Foster legacy. Junior gets his wish of going back to spend time with his kids, Nikki gets to keep her relationship with Grace (presumably going public with it) and both getting their own lives back vs. being under the control of Senior and his wish to live out his dreams through his children.

Toni Ann DeNoble as Nicole Foster. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

I also really like how Grace Tandy was portrayed. She was not portrayed as someone who was ashamed of or secretive about Nicole nor feeling family pressure to toe a line like Nicole and Junior did. Grace actually tells Nicole her circle would be okay with her so long as Nicole was willing to sign a prenup. You get the sense that Grace is content to live her life in her own way regardless of the consequences and is not a slave to her family's name or having to go on the life path her parents choose for her.

Toni Ann DeNoble and Alyssa Simon. Photo by Wai Wing Lau

Typically with a character like Grace, you expect her to be someone under immense family pressure not to date outside of gender or race especially when her family is said to be Republican and typically supportive of Junior's opponent. Republicans are almost always portrayed as homophobic, racist, fearful of parental & community disapproval and looking down their noses at progressive liberal types like Nicole regardless of her family upbringing or education level.

Alyssa Simon as Grace Tandy. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

I don't know where the writer got her inspiration for Grace or her portrayal of the Foster family but it felt very genuine, honest and authentic based on my own experiences and interactions with friends of mine from wealthy families where they felt pressured to do things they didn't really want to (such as entering particular career paths) because of parents and “the family name.” The world of the family portrayed was also quite truthful to what I have seen and heard about in my own experiences with people I know in the political world.

Toni Ann DeNoble and Ivan Moore. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

This may be the first show I saw that qualifies as “urban theater” so perhaps there is more of a soap opera feel to such shows? I can't say but the twist with Sheryl Kelly did start to make the show turn into more of a soap opera though I love the scene where Sheryl (who is actually Tanika Johnson) has a confrontation with Senior where Senior offers her money in light of her having his baby as well as a fully disgraced reputation because of him. She slaps him and this woman in the audience behind me yells “Asshole!”

The interactive nature of this show was awesome. You were indeed part of a collective experience, which is what theater ought to be. I also thought Thia was great in her honesty since I would probably be just as brazen if I became a public figure and her marriage to Junior was definitely accurate to many loveless political marriages.

Justine J. Hall as Cynthia Foster. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

A word about the musical transitions, which were wonderful for the scene changes. One of them was Xscape's “My Little Secret,” which was extremely fitting for the scene it was playing after. Playing a song that reminds me of my youth in NC is always a winner.

Speaking of reminders of my youth, this show was directed by Barbara Montgomery. I was curious if this was the same Barbara Montgomery who played Casietta Hetebrink on “Amen,” a show my family watched religiously (pun intended) back in the day. Yes, my sister & I (2 natural redheads with a red haired religious conservative mother) watched this show! Unlike many other shows of the day, our mother had no objections to this one. After all, we WERE Baptists in NC (but not Southern Baptists; both my mother and sister would still claim that religious affiliation).

My sister is a lot like Thelma Frye since she did chase and eventually get her first husband much like Thelma did in getting Reuben Gregory (though my sister didn't join the army when her guy broke their first engagement). She also lives with my mother alongside her family much like Thelma did with her father and later with her father + her husband. It was indeed the same actress and I thought it was cool that she was there in person to get her well deserved accolades at the end.

This show was a very hot ticket. It was an overflowing house with one guy in front of me being told he'd have to join the waiting list to get tickets for this show the night I saw it. They even had to redo scenes to accommodate this turnout! Should you get the opportunity to see it, you should regardless of your race or political affiliation. There's something for everyone here.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Bumble Hive, Mr. Big Stuff and The Power of Getting What You Want

Last Friday, I decided to check out the Bumble Hive in Soho. The Bumble Hive is, in short, "Bumble in person." Part of these events was networking/mixers at their pop up location in Soho. Having had some slow down in my dating life recently along with possessing a spirit of sheer curiosity mixed with boredom, I make the trip to go see it.

It's smaller than it looks and I had to wait in line to go in but once you did, you were able to get free desserts!! Check out my pics.

That was the line to get drinks. I'm not really a drinker and decided I was not waiting in that long ass line to use my 3 drink tickets so I ventured off and checked out more of the layout.

Yeah, I was NOT going to wait in yet another line. Would you?

The Bumble Hive even had what I call "the beauty room." I saw a girl in there curling her hair with a curling iron. It apparently was in a drawer in this room.

Yes, I took one of those sunscreen bottles. I am a natural redhead & need it more than any of you fucks!! Almost no place I go has many natural redheads in the vicinity and I'm lucky if a small handful are present. Furthermore, if you didn't want me to take it don't leave it out everywhere. I also took one of the coasters since I needed one in my room and they were plentiful. If you've ever seen the movie House of Games, you're familiar with Mike's line about always taking something from where he's at in order to have a memory of the place. I don't know if that's why I'll take freebies but I do think it's a psychological thing.

What weirded me out about going here was that it seems in the whole pro-woman atmosphere, you couldn't get guys to approach you to save your life as a girl. I'd wondered if the place was rife with beta males & had about just concluded it was a night of a few freebies but no men to speak of until a cute guy approached me. We had a nice chat but not sure if that one is going to keep up with me since I wrote him a few days ago and no response. I've also grown more weary of 20 something guys in light of what happened to me earlier this week. We'll get to that.

Later that evening, happy I'd met a guy that seemed interesting I continue with my night plans to stop by a venue that was on the same train line. I catch up with some friends, talk to this guy in my industry who keeps pursuing me (this is a pet peeve since I live by "don't shit where you eat" & my breakups are notoriously awful) and got invited to an event the next evening by an industry contact I know who works in the fashion industry. I had a fashion show in Brooklyn that night but opted out since I figured it would be a good idea to do some business networking and expose myself to different people in an attempt to elevate my network. It was a black tie event so I prettied up, put on makeup and we go to the event.

My plan in this was to see about networking, talk to the sister of the CEO of the film company I was previously involved with (she was apparently one of the organizers/event folks involved & I thought that was an interesting coincidence), basically do business. I was not there to meet guys or do personal stuff but that did end up happening.

A few things to know about me if you were some guy trying to approach me:

1. I don't like beta males. If I'm stronger than you, that's a bad thing. I REALLY fear rejection, live in a state of "when's the other shoe going to drop?" & I'm from NC so you MUST approach the woman, man. I'm also a natural redhead and look as I do so if you thought I wasn't good enough to approach, I'm not going to disturb you and be at fault because I interrupted you with my mere presence.

Plus, do you see luxury retailers begging people off the street to buy their wares? No, you don't. Nobody lowers the price of Gucci or Godiva chocolate or any other luxury brand for the unwashed masses; you have to come to THEM, not the other way around (my having a majestic view notwithstanding).

2. For at least a few months, I thought back to the days when I met guys and we spent hours making out. No sex, just simple making out with some touching and movement (but nothing on the bottom half of either person). I was thinking "What happened to just going out with a guy and making out? What happened to hickies?" I figured in NYC, the land of hookup culture and being my age and divorced that was something I wasn't going to find again. Every single guy I've met since my divorce just wants instant sex and the making out didn't happen nearly as long as I wanted. No hickies since my ex, maybe even my wedding day. I did have a hickey on my neck on my wedding day but fortunately my dress had a scarf with it (which I used to cover that hickey; I just did with style).

Call me sentimental or girly or traditional but I LIKE that stuff. I think if you asked other women about that, they'd tell you the same thing.

3. You're not going to impress me with looks, money or titles. You'll have to use personality. I actually matched up with this Jewish doctor on Bumble who seemed to think commanding me to give out my number when he'd not given me his first was acceptable. I tell him about the nature of my business being such that I do not give my number without getting the asker's first. He goes "Don't be stubborn." I retort that I'm a natural redhead and a lawyer; you don't speak to me like I'm some piece of gutter trash who's going to drop her panties because you have MD next to your name. I have Esq. next to mine & I'm of a smaller minority than you. Plus, either of those things are associated with the person who has them being stubborn by nature. I don't know what he wrote in response but he apparently wrote something then deleted me.

I figured he had no personality. Oh, well.

4. I'm a PDA junkie. I have definitely been guilty of grossing out strangers with my PDA with guys & have no shame about it. A guy who does this willingly and without me having to ask is awesome in my book (at least, if I WANT him to do that with me).

There were a lot of cute guys at this event but plenty were with other women (one of the biggest turnoffs for me is a taken man) and I'm too freaking terrified to approach any guy + don't think I should have to do that.

My friend and I go into this room of the venue where there's a sketch book and drawing materials. She draws a really great sketch and is talking to one of her friends. This really cute guy approaches me and I tell him that my friend drew something in the book. It seems this is something where you're supposed to draw a set of lips and for $10, the group helping this charitable organization will be sending your picture to the kids in Haiti they're doing the event to help. I explained that drawing is not my forte & explained what mine was along with my connection to the event. We get to talking and end up having significant common ground. He tells me he's a scientist and knows nothing of fashion + says he finds many of the people there superficial and in general, finds that you never get to know the real person. I'm thinking "Oh, my God he's saying what I've said and thought!" He said this before I said anything about it. I'm also thinking "He's cute and he's smart so he can understand me." I almost never meet guys who manage to be on my level in looks and education. I got to talk about having majored in Pre-Pharmacy in college and wanting to be a pharmacist before I pursued going to law school and becoming a lawyer. I spoke of my unique career path/vision for all this. We had a lot of common ground, something else I rarely find.

After we spend a lot of time talking at this event (ditching our respective friends we came with), we end up going to the quietest room we can and he moves my head down in a position where I'm not feeling really comfy. The next thing I know, I'm sitting in his lap. We talk some more then he kisses me. After my friend has left and many others have left since this is near the end of the event, we start making out. Since I'm a PDA junkie, I'm thinking "I REALLY like this guy."

He'd driven there so he was kind enough to get me to my friend's place so I could get my comfy shoes and my umbrella. I was forced to wear my shorter nice dress instead of one of my many long gowns due to the rain forecast for that evening (though I never had to be out in it). I was getting hungry by this point because I didn't formally have dinner and ate a little food at the event but not tons of stuff by any stretch. I knew of one place that was open 24 hours but it was closer to where we had been. He actually did drive there. We park then make out some more as neither of us had a curfew to meet or any early morning plans. I was wanting to avoid the significance of Father's Day since gee, my father is dead. His wasn't but he said he didn't have to do family stuff until later.

We go into the restaurant (an empanada place I knew of in the area that's really good) and I was surprised at how crowded it was at 4:30 in the morning. I told him this since every other time I went in there before, it was never that crowded. I was wondering if there were that many people in NYC who didn't have fathers or family obligations the next day. He did like my choice of venue; while we were in there the sun came up.

When we leave, it's 7 in the morning. I'm thinking "I really don't want to have to take the subway home" but I figure he might want me to do that. Instead, he offers to drive me home. I accept and he does this; since he doesn't have any pressing obligations, I invite him up then change my clothes and take off my makeup so I'll be more comfortable. I do my hospitable self and we make out for about 3 more hours. I'm downright giddy at this point and we're both actually awake even though neither of us do these all nighters on a regular basis.

That was not how I expected the night to turn out at all. He didn't even try pressing me for sex or pestering me over it. He seemed to appreciate and enjoy the art of making out like I did. I also got my first hickey in years, I'm pretty sure since Comic Book Boy. I think to myself "Man, I'd like to get to know him since it feels like this guy could be good for me but what if he tells me later on he's dating some other bitch?"

That's precisely what happened to me on Tuesday with Mr. Big Stuff except he didn't bother telling me that: Facebook did. I saw that Mr. Big Stuff was "in a relationship" with some commoner who didn't hold a candle to me in looks & wasn't even a natural redhead. I tell him he'd better not think he was staying at MY house if he's coming to NYC & I knew going to events with him that he'd previously mentioned was out since this lady surely wouldn't approve. He had history with me.

Truth be told, I was kind of dreading having to deal with that in light of the past weekend. I had more fun with that guy in one night than I did dating Mr. Big Stuff for months. I certainly didn't want to get to know this other guy and have Mr. Big Stuff's presence interfering in the new. However, Mr. Big Stuff infuriated me by acting like a public declaration of a bitch was no big deal, told me we'd never been "boyfriend/girlfriend" (funny but HE was the one who asked for exclusivity and was all affectionate to me when he visited in months prior) and said he "didn't gaf (give a fuck) who I met." I took that as my cue to block him everywhere and declare him dead to me; so much for his remembering people who helped him in his life and were there at his lowest. He got "Mr. Big Stuff" because of his attitude matching the song and other personal factors. It just feels fitting, despite the fact that it's a song title and not the most original nickname ever.

Told the guy I'd just met about this because it made me feel depressed and unhappy; he said he was sorry since it sounded like I was close to him at one time but that I didn't need to let this jerk occupy real estate in my head. I told a friend about this and she said "he's exactly right." When I read his response to this early in the morning before I was going on a last minute work assignment, it made me cry with the sweetness conveyed. I told him that red eyes were not a good look for my court appearance though I liked what he said.

After that, I really couldn't help but wonder if this happened for a specific reason. Particularly, that his legend and future potential being gone could clear the way for this guy I just met who'd told me things that aren't what you typically hear from guys in this area (like he rarely goes out & doesn't do online dating but thinks you get a personal connection meeting in person). I'd thought I'd never find a guy who'd just make out with me for hours or give me hickeys; it feels like that sort of thing is considered passe in NYC where you've got instant sex happening left and right & definitely unheard of in the post-divorce world. However, a big part of me is terrified of the other shoe dropping, getting no real consideration and having his story also turn out to be a lie or learning he viewed me as some spontaneous mistake.

I'm trying to keep some faith and focus on my stuff as he focuses on things he told me about that I'd like him to deal with as needed. Plus I can't do instant exclusivity with anyone & said I don't mind gradually getting to know one another though I won't consider exclusivity without seeing one another in-person where possible.

But it's really weird that this whole night happened and it changed me more back to myself. I was definitely more numb and hardened before that. Now I know it's actually possible to get that stuff where I thought it was impossible or a total pipe dream; there's a power in realizing you can do better than you thought you could. I bet my being able to get hot guys post-divorce probably led me to dating Mr. Big Stuff though I hope this will actually go someplace vs. being a mere stepping stone to finding that where I never talk to that guy again. When you realize you CAN do something, you also realize it's possible to get that again.

The only thing I really don't feel that way about is love, maybe because I feel like I never actually had it but simply was the victim of a long con game. The question in my brain is "Do I dare hope?"

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "Maps For a War Tourist" by Sister Sylvester at Dixon Place

“Maps For a War Tourist” by Sister Sylvester marks my first viewing of a performance art piece. It is definitely a unique piece revealing the story of a young woman in Turkey named Deniz Karacagil who finds herself facing a lifelong prison conviction (90 years) but manages to escape that fate and become a militant fighter with the PKK or the Kurdish Workers Party, a group both the United States and her native Turkey consider a terrorist organization. We see an interview with her mother (a life-long activist who favors peaceful means), various maps from Deniz's cohorts of routes they'd taken or took and of course, the tortoises!!

Yes, there were actual tortoises as part of this show in a glass pen. The “aww, cute animals!” part of my psyche was delighted to see them & hoping that they were getting treated well. Yes, I'm a weirdo who wanted to have a turtle as a pet at one point in my childhood though I was surrounded by cats; I even thought this huge sea turtle at an aquarium in Long Island my ex took me to was cute though that turtle startled me when we were at that exhibit and my ex made fun of me for being startled.

I also thought their inclusion was a daring move on the part of the production since animals as a rule are unpredictable and could end up someplace you didn't plan on them being or relieving themselves at some time + location you didn't expect, creating a very unpleasant environment for your audience. This would definitely happen with cats. These tortoises seemed at ease and comfy enough.

Dixon Place is a very interesting venue. You walk into a bar with a tiny stage in the front left along with a mishmash of various styles of chairs for the audience as well as a piano to the left of the stage. It feels like a small coffee shop with a bar though I would fear running into members of the crazy liberal set. Before going in, I swear I heard some political discussion going on to my side that was of an anti-Trump nature. I didn't interject since I was present to observe and review; I also didn't hear utter hypocrisy being brandished so I felt no compulsion to speak up.

The stage is down a small, dark hallway and we arrived in a room with a large amount of paper covering with chairs lined up in a gap setting among 3 huge stair steps. The chair setup was awesome since you didn't have to worry about anyone's head blocking your view. I arrived to see someone sitting next to the tortoises along with 3 people at a long table to the right. I thought “so they're tech and this woman's the tortoise handler” and that we should expect someone to come out and start the show. Instead this show started sort of unexpectedly with lights going down, a pause and then a woman on the side where I figured they were the tech people started reading the script. In fact, it felt like we were just waiting for the show to start and getting background on Ms. Karacagil & her journey vs. watching the show. Audio visuals were involved and there was the description of seeing the world as a bird or as a tortoise and how your view of the world is different if you see it as a bird vs. as a tortoise. Our tortoises make significant appearances on film & our tortoise wrangler does far more than that in the show: she handles spreading out the maps drawn, steps into the tortoise pen at one point where we see her socks on the screen in front of us.

Perhaps I'm not the best audience for this show as I'm not a geopolitical expert by a long stretch and am definitely no performance art expert. I'm also not sure if I felt the story was as relatable as it could have been for myself or others who did not come from that culture or those circumstances or follow the geopolitical details. I would have liked more details and development of some of the people that are discussed in the script and how they made an impact on Ms. Karacagil; I liked seeing the interview with her mother, who seemed worried about her daughter & was unhappy about not getting to see her later on but supported what she was doing and felt her cause was justified. She stated that it was “an eye for an eye” though she decided to align with a political party called the HDP, the People's Democracy Party, that was supporting the same ideals her daughter was fighting for without the violence. At one point, a performer crawls underneath the paper covering the stage in order to create what appears to be a live map right in our floor space. Our tortoises are placed in that area towards the end as well and I'm thinking “I hope they are okay.”

I didn't feel like this was a piece where the audience was being pushed to feel positively or negatively about Ms. Karacagil but to simply give her a voice as a human being in the world faced with circumstances that we have to ask ourselves what we would have done if we were in her shoes. The cast was Kelsea Martin (our tortoise wrangler), Cyrus Moshrefi, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste and Kathryn Hamilton (who also conceived and directed this piece). It definitely qualifies as one of those performances where if you attend, you will feel you are seeing the true NYC and the egalitarian feel that this city prides itself on. I wouldn't bring the kids but your politically minded, global citizen type friends might be a good choice for this one.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: Ahmani Croom Productions bird Fashion Show

So, here I am again reviewing another fashion show. I was happy to get this one since this happened to fall on the 4th year anniversary of my father's death (see this from 2013 if you're that curious). I thought my friend who did the photography for the last show was going to join me on this one but he bailed on me and until telling me the reason DAYS later, I was pissed at him. You know, friends aren't supposed to be making your bad days even worse or leaving you to handle multiple complex tasks at once. He's someone I love like an irritating little brother who will be a great man once (if?) he grows up mentally.

So left to my own devices, I did the best I could on pictures (since a professional always carries on) but there were professional photographers in attendance who certainly got better shots than I did as a reviewer. Let me tell you, trying to watch a show with a critical review's eye AND take photos can not be done simultaneously. You've got to do one or the other & that's just all there is to it.

Going through what I got, I did my best to crop/retouch the best shots and show you enough of what was presented to give you context.

This show took place at the Skyroom. Skyroom is a venue I know very well; the doorman even knows who I am, I've been there that much. I have been to Skyroom as a model, as a spectator, even as a fashion show judge. Thursday nights at Skyroom is probably akin to my “Cheers”; I've made industry connections, gotten picked up by guys, made new model friends, gotten cheered at by name when walking down the “runway” on the rooftop floor where the shows are held, once witnessed a fight backstage that security had to break up (fortunately, not anyone connected to the designer or producer I was working with), and even got recognized in the elevator by other attorneys who saw me in my day job. Some Thursdays I've gone there thinking “I could get any guy in this place” but I'm never going to make the first move since I'm old school and way too terrified of rejection.

Using the Skyroom facilities for a fashion show is something of an art at times; you will want to bring things to put over your designs if you don't have a separate changing area for your models since there is no bathroom to use that will not put you out in the middle of the venue where others can see the clothes. The lighting is not ideal for hair and makeup once the sun goes down; anyone who has done a show there in these capacities can tell you stories but fortunately the staff is pretty nice from my own experience. Outlets can be a precious commodity as well. Be resourceful and plan accordingly if you are doing hair or makeup.

I arrived at 7:30 to get a good seat and wait on my friend, who was supposed to show but didn't. The rooftop floor is really nice in daylight; there was a random event going on and I wondered “How long will I be sitting here before some random guy approaches me?” 17 minutes but the good news was he was polite and not a jerk towards me though he wasn't my interest. One night I actually did meet a guy who was my interest and this ditching friend announces his presence by swiping my cell phone out of my hand while I'm trying to show this guy a specific modeling pic I'm trying to find on my Facebook page. My friend's then girlfriend, who got into some shows at Skyroom based on my introduction to one show producer I was working with at the time & was also present that evening, was much more polite.

See why he's the irritating little brother I didn't ask for, don't have & kind of got stuck with?

The show began in a swoop and a flourish, as they always seem to at Skyroom. When you are modeling, it's usually “get out there, show your outfit and keep it moving.” It's even harder to make your brain pause here since the music is usually fast, it's dark and there's a fair amount of people you sense may get impatient if you hang around too long. I did my best to get shots but those ladies moved FAST. I appreciate the ones who paused some, which is why you can see some of these good sideways shots.

I loved this blue dress; it was my favorite piece in the show though I definitely felt this was a great collection overall.

The design for the dresses and certainly for the accessories is very unique, as I said in my previous review of the bird brand it reminded me of Betsey Johnson in its aesthetic. I'm not sure I could pull of all of these looks but I definitely like the blend of classic and modern that comes in, the sexy blended with the classy that would make these dresses appropriate for venues outside a typical nightclub where short skirts and miles of cleavage reign supreme. I definitely felt the blend of a floral print with the striped skirt was innovative and a risk I wouldn't have considered attempting myself.

Accessories were by Joy Vay, which you can see some of in these pics (hopefully). A seamless pairing; I'm not sure who came up with that but it works very well. The black spiny bag reminds me of something you'd see in a Mario game.

Random fact: I played a LOT of Nintendo in my childhood and my mother would tell you I make a lot of games look easy. I've beaten many a Mario game on various Nintendo systems (though I've opted out of anything post Wii). Getting a Wii from my family after my evil ex absconded with the one I had played on was me regaining a piece of myself that had been lost since now I can play video games on that Wii.

Clearly, Leigh Grahill is a versatile designer who some professional women should talk to if they were looking for something unique and different to wear to a business function. She definitely could be the go-to designer for dressing female entertainment lawyers since we are supposed to be cooler than all the other lawyers & blend into the creative scene; at least I personally strive for that since nobody ever thinks I'm an entertainment lawyer unless they speak to me and I consider myself a person with a fashion sense.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

SJWs and Third Wave Feminists Have No Place in Entertainment: Get The Fuck OUT of the Industry!!!

Now I'm no fan of SJWs (social justice warriors for the unenlightened) and third wave feminists on general principle. How come? The short answer is both groups are hypocritical, obsessed with being politically correct and never listen to the opposing viewpoint but instead resort to shrillness both in tone and shutting down the other side (such as calling people who disagree "racist"). They are certainly as big of bullies as any of them would deem Donald Trump to be. I swear the man could eradicate cancer, give every US citizen a million dollars tax free, murder every domestic abuser & gang banger in the country and people would still hate his guts.

Take the Kathy Griffin incident. She does a photo where she's holding a bloody, severed head of Donald Trump, gets all kinds of public backlash, including from the Trump family THEN turns around a files a lawsuit against the Trump family for harassment. What kind of logic is that? Who is honestly seeing viability in this case?

If I were on that jury, I would think she brought any harassment she claims to have suffered on herself. How would she like it if someone did that holding HER severed head? Wouldn't her kids and her family have a right to be upset? Maybe nobody loves her and she has no children or family members who give a damn if she lives or dies. As she may not even be a natural redhead (I don't know), I should point out that not all natural redheads are uneducated liberal mouthpieces. Some of us actually have fully functioning brain cells and use our critical thinking skills. Yet it seems some brainwashed SJWs and third wave feminists are on her side and seem to think having a vagina makes you God. No, it doesn't.

This is perhaps one reason SJWs and third wave feminists have no business being in the industry but I can identify much closer to home reasons why they need to get the fuck out: they preach for superiority not equal opportunity & support censorship of dissenting viewpoints. They are more than happy to ignore the reality that freedom of speech and employment laws apply to straight white men just like anybody else. I'm actually a member of a social media group that deals with entertainment and some members post job ads.

One such ad sought a "female director" with no details on this project indicating that a female director was essential to doing the job and that a male couldn't do it at all. When one man pointed this out, a significant number of females and minorities chimed in on "why not" and didn't seem to get that "promoting diversity" is not an exception to federal labor laws. I, as an attorney, pointed out that this person just handed someone who could allege employment discrimination Exhibit A for their case to win against the offender trying to do this. Unless you can provide a "bona fide business reason" to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, and so forth, you don't get to do that. That's why you can't post a job ad saying "no blacks/Jews/Mexicans/Muslims/women/Irish/whatever" unless it's for an acting or modeling job where you're casting for a particular role or the designer has a particular demographic or body type for his/her collection. Abercrombie isn't required to hire full figured models for their ads anymore than a director is required to cast a woman to play Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet." Implicit discrimination is the same thing as explicit discrimination per legal precedence.

Some of these ignoramuses had the gall to think this was okay because of their dislike for straight white guys and their having lots of jobs in entertainment. Wow, what does that make you when you're telling some white guy "too bad" about this? Are you really any better than the white people who said that to black people who complained about segregation and employment discrimination?

Newsflash: there should be more diversity in Hollywood and the indie film world. But if you want that diversity, you need to be privately contacting female directors or gay filmmakers or whatever "diverse" category of choice person you wish to work with. Go find those people and network with them. Go seek out their works. Go ask those people who they know who might get overlooked generally but who is great at their craft. Get off your duff and start finding these people. Pay them what they are worth.

Most importantly, find the people who are good at this stuff regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Plenty of people are good on their own merits that they don't need some handout based on affirmative action. What they need is to get into the doors and for the gatekeepers to get to know them on their own merits. We need gatekeepers to have interactions with other groups where people in those groups are professional, humble and just as competent as anybody else without thinking they're God or entitled to anything because of some "minority" designation. We also need the people with talent to show they have it, not spend their time waiting around on a handout or demanding a handout. Almost nobody is handed a career in entertainment so people will heavily resent the whole "I'm a minority" card. If everyone else has to hustle, guess what entitled SJW/third wave feminist? YOU have to hustle too.

Any competent producer of worth hires based on the person, not their race/gender/nationality/orientation.

Maybe the biggest reason SJWs should not be in this field is that art is about telling a good story that everyone finds relatable in some fashion regardless of their race, gender, orientation. If you can tell me a story that might be about a culture or people who have nothing in common with me on the surface but as we go along, you show me there is commonality and a reason for me to empathize with these characters/this culture you're doing it right. If you sit down and say "I'm going to write a story that will appeal to women/gay men/Muslims/whoever," you're doing it wrong.

Art is not a segregated medium and should never be treated in that way. Being a good storyteller has nothing to do with your gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, political party and so forth. Your goal there is to show me how you see the world and why I should care about your world/perspective. A good writer is sharing a truth & I personally feel something that is great is something that makes me look at a situation differently, changes my perspective, shocks me, isn't predictable but ultimately shows me that we're really not so different from one another. Others may define their good in different ways but ultimately you're supposed to be telling a story that lots of people can relate to.

I think as an indie film person since I've heard all sorts of really nasty things about Hollywood and don't feel it's a world I could relate to. I'm the type who insists on doing things on her terms or not at all; I'm not about selling my soul or degrading myself to get someplace. I'd rather die with my morals than live as a puppet or a shill or a slave. There may be other "minorities" who feel like I do and there may be some willing to sell their souls. That's a personal decision and also has zero to do with race/gender/orientation/etc. Regardless, anyone should get the opportunity to do what they will.

Getting opportunity has nothing to do with special privileges you demanded from others, which never works in life. People hate feeling policed or like they MUST consider such things in hiring decisions. I've made my own stance on who I am clear in prior entries, even talking about why I wouldn't join a "women's group" and how I don't want to be known for being a "woman" this or that since I'm not some inferior who's just good at it "for a woman" or even "for a natural redhead."

Finally, to address the third wave feminists they don't belong in entertainment because getting offended at old white men calling you "sweetheart" or some other term of endearment that comes from their being from a different generation and time or even geographic region (these types would explode if they had to live in the South where such greetings from strangers are commonplace) is going to be a problem for all concerned. It creates drama as well as trite offense and nobody wants to deal with that. That rage needs to be saved for real sexual harassment situations like groping and being propositioned or told you have to come across to keep your job or get a role. Why not address that stuff instead of whining because someone said "good morning" to you? People who do that diminish real situations and actual victims of sexual harassment; they make things a hundred times harder on them.

Third wave feminist types embody the eggshell skull types we hear about in law school; actually so do SJWs. Those people bother me personally on many different levels and I'm always relieved and gratified to find others who feel the exact same way. Those others have tended to cross racial, gender, socioeconomic and sexual orientation lines. It gives me hope for the world.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "Antigone" by Jean Anouilh Presented by Fusion Theatre

This was actually my first time going to an opera of any type. Most of my exposure to culture came from going to a local theater in my town as a child for school field trips and some field trips to cultural centers in my hometown. Perhaps my first significant exposure to opera was meeting lawyers at one of the bar associations I belonged to who can actually sing it and did quite well at it. So in short, I am not a lady with Italian language competency or any real qualification to evaluate opera in a traditional sense as someone with knowledge would be able to do.

Fusion Theatre, whose mission is to strengthen classic plays with the great art of opera, will present Anouilh's "Antigone," enhanced by sung selections from five classic operas, May 17 to 28 at The Studio Theatre in Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, directed by Eilin O'Dea. Antigone Cast

I came to “Antigone” with some familiarity of the classic story but never having actually read the play, either the Greek play or Jean Anouilh's adaptation. I also wanted to go to an opera and figured a show combining opera and theater would be an ideal format for me.

Eilin O'Dea as Antigone. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Antigone (Eilin O'Dea) is a young woman of royalty who lives in the palace with her sister, Ismene (Allison Threadgold). Both are the daughters of Oedipus, the former king who was slain in battle. His brother, their uncle Creon (Paul Goodwin Groen) is the new king. His son Haemon (David Grant) is set to marry Antigone (this is the royal family in Greek times so that sort of marriage is the normal course of business in this place and time).

Eilin O'Dea as Antigone, David Grant as Haemon. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

It seems Antigone's life is all planned out but there is the pesky business of her older brothers being slain in battle in the face of turmoil in the kingdom. The brothers were to share the throne but the first one placed by Oedipus refused to give up his throne when it was time for the second brother to reign. Creon, for the sake of practicality and getting things back in order, decided to honor one brother while leaving the other one to rot and be picked apart by the birds vs. getting a proper burial and funeral rites. Furthermore, Creon has declared that if anyone attempts to bury the disgraced brother, that person will be sentenced to death.

Byron Singleton as First Guard, Paul Goodwin Groen as Creon, Igby Rigney as Page. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

This does not sit well with Antigone since she feels her brother deserves a proper burial regardless of the law and the need to restore order to the kingdom. With full cognizance of the consequences and the urging of Ismene not to do it, Antigone reveals that she has already attempted to bury her brother.

Foreground: Eilin O'Dea as Antigone, holding dirt from the burial of her brother. Behind (L-R): Allison Threadgold as Ismene, Igby Rigney as Page, Sue-Ellen Mandell as Nurse. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Creon, being caught between his own law and love for his niece/future daughter in law, tries to hide her involvement in the crime despite her being seized by the guards watching over the body to avoid illegal burials.

Paul Goodwin Groen as Creon. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Antigone refuses to comply. She insists that the burial must happen and if she can not accomplish this and receive her proper punishment for doing this, it is not worth continuing in her life. She stands by her principles regardless of the price and later revealing her fear and uncertainty to the first guard who discovered her (Byron Singleto).

Byron Singleton as First Guard, Adam Shiri as Second Guard. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Haemon, the man she is betrothed to who loves her dearly, insists that if Creon kills her Haemon will die as well and we learn later that he's joined her in her tomb and killed himself when Creon discovered him.

Many positive things can be said about this show and its performance: there was a diverse cast, which worked very well since the story itself is universal and the casting did not feel forced or coerced but seemed natural. I also like the sparse staging and limited props used to tell the story since the show wasn't overblown or fancy like some performances might be. This had to have put pressure on the performers to be top notch. Fortunately, they were. When Creon is doing his piece after Antigone has refused to let him cover for her, you can see him crying. The first guard, Antigone and the messenger (Paulina Yeung) also have songs and all were great at conveying their respective character's feelings, emotions and/or the story through their work even if you didn't know the Italian words.

Paulina Yeung as Messenger. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

This performance was held at the Studio Theater on Theater Row, which is a great place to see a show in the summer since there is air conditioning, a precious commodity in New York City. The theater was also small enough to be personal and the seating was set up in a way where everyone could see the show regardless of what row they sat in.