May 28, 2009...
Loneliness and loss are common themes in contemporary theatre. For writer Terrance McNally, they are sub-text in the lives of two ordinary, middle-aged people who go out on a date, wind up in bed and then spend the next two hours pealing away each others layers of artifice and insecurity until they get down to the truth, whatever that is. There's nudity, explicit language, some very funny dialogue and two professional actors, Tyler Layton and Jonathan Fuller who are Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune. You may remember Tyler Layton as Detective Holly Rawlins in the Silk Stockings television series. Jonathan Fuller teaches acting at the Alabama School of Fine Art and is a founder of City Equity Theatre. He says there are challenges to staging adult drama in Birmingham.
Tyler Layton and Jonathan Fuller perform the lead rolls in City Equity Theatre's production of Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune. It runs June 3rd through the 12th at the Martha Moore Sykes Studio of the Virginia Samford Theatre
So, maybe romance isn't enough. Sometimes you need to get away, make a new start in a new place. The man you're about to meet in this next story did just that. His name is Phil. He's a native of Liverpool. But he's found happiness on the other side of the world-in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Phil spends his days on the city's bus system, guitar in hand, playing the music of Liverpool's best known sons-The Beatles. You can find Phil most days in Montevideo, Uruguay. Jake Warga produced his story.
Remember buying albums? When your favorite rock group released their latest album, you'd bring it home, tear off the plastic, carefully place the record on the turntable and gingerly move the needle to the edge of the album. And, as you held the cover in your hands, you listened to that body of work from start to finish, without interruption. Well, that's the kind of experience seasoned Birmingham musicians, J. Willoughby and Damon Johnson, hope to recreate. They've joined forces in an effort called Black Jacket Symphony to present programs that pay homage to those classic albums. Their first concert - earlier this week - recreated the Beatles Abbey Road. Les Lovoy spoke to Willoughby and Johnson about performing an entire classic album, why Abby Road, and where do they go from here.
J. Wilhoughby and Damon Johnson have already started mulling over the next classic album they plan to bring to the WorkPlay stage.
Also this weekend at WorkPlay, Alabama's gay and lesbian film festival - Birmingham SHOUT. It's the fourth year for the festival-the only one of its kind in Alabama. This year, SHOUT features films on topics ranging from the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, to a fragmented look at teenage life in Memphis.
At its height, the Birmingham-based blog My Tiny Kingdom averaged 4,000 hits a day. Pretty respectable for something that started as a way for Ashley Umbaugh to document family life with a husband and three young sons. Umbaugh - who adopted the online name Anne Glamore - wrote about issues that struck a chord with readers - both men and women...locally and internationally.
Her blog was picked up by bigger online publishers and eventually she was hired as one of the first paid bloggers for iVillage.com, which she describes as "Cosmo on the web". But last month, Umbaugh decided to leave while she was at the top. She said her online goodbyes and closed down her blog, much to the dismay of many readers. Umbaugh talked with WBHM's Tanya Ott about what she wanted from her blog and why she decided to quit.
Former blogger Ashley Umbaugh talking with WBHM's Tanya Ott. Umbaugh blogged about everything from trying to talk to her kids about sex -- "no, babies don't come out of your bellybutton" - to her son's pen pal relationship with President George W. Bush. She closed down the blog last month, but there are hundreds archived entries.
Tapestry is produced by Bradley George and Michael Krall, with help this week from Les Lovoy, Tanya Ott, and Jake Warga. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.
If you've got a story idea for Tapestry, drop us an e-mail.