Sunday, October 19, 2014

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

‘Ten Commandments’ Sphinx Unearthed

Variety: Archaeologists have rediscovered a 15-foot-tall, 91-year-old giant sphinx used as a prop in “The Ten Commandments” hidden in the sand dunes of Guadalupe, Calif., Live Science reports.

The plaster sphinx was one of 21 featured prominently in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 epic. The legendary director remade the silent film in 1956, starring Charlton Heston as Moses.
 

‘Midnight Rider’ Insurer Cites Negligence in Refusal to Pay Claim

Variety: The insurer of the “Midnight Rider” production says that it doesn’t have to pay a claim, in part because of negligence on the part of the film’s producers.

New York Marine on Friday responded to the producers’ lawsuit seeking to recover losses after the film shut down following a Feb. 20 train accident that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones and injured eight others. The movie was to have depicted the life of singer Gregg Allman.

The Subscription Model: Is Agency the New Individuality?

The Clyde Fitch Report: The argument that the subscription model for theatre is dead and the counter argument that it is not dead, and, in fact, healthy and solvent, are well established. Nowhere was this better explored than in a 2012 article in American Theatre by Jonathan Mandell. The faults inherent in the subscription model and some surprising success stories and artful adaptations of it were catalogued and placed into context by Mandell with clarity and an even hand.
 

architects could become like "game designers or filmmakers"

www.dezeen.com: architecture education is failing to understand how technology is changing our cities says Keiichi Matsuda, who foresees the profession “splitting into two parts” thanks to digital advances (+ movie).

The ubiquity of laptops and smartphones means the old architectural maxim that form follows function “doesn’t exist any more,” Matsuda adds, since building users now carry functionality with them as they move around the city.

The Great Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery

The 412 - October 2014: In a bit of strange local news, hundreds of protractors have been hidden throughout the city, superglued to signposts, curbs, utility boxes and other public spaces. Yet nobody appears to know from where they came or why they’re there in the first place. The protractors come in a variety of colors; each is numbered, presumably starting at one and going up to 456 — though some protractors in between have yet to be found. There’s even still debate as to whether or not these unmarked tools are protractors or just pieces of plastic shaped like protractors resembling the arc of our iconic yellow bridges.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Voting closes Friday noonish

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Home: Not Just a Place, But Also a Responsibility":

This article, although not exactly applicable to me, describes part of my life very well. I have been around more Indian/South Asian people growing up and been to Pakistan plenty of times, but at the same time, I totally relate to the author, like how he probably thought he was white as often as he realized he wasn't. Growing up and going to a tiny school, of what used to be mostly caucasian kids definitely is the primary cause. Additionally the concept of home and of family being very intertwined makes a lot of sense to me, but I guess that's how I was raised. I never feel like a guest at any of my relatives houses, they are home. Which makes me think of my grandmother on my moms side, she always wants to do something and be helpful, and when someone tells her she is a guest and shouldn't work, her response is "What are you saying, I'm at my son/daughter's house, I am not a guest". And I guess anytime I feel like somewhere is "home", I definitely treat it that way, my high school (PreK - 12), especially our Performing Arts Center was home, my dorm I'm in is home, my actual house is home, and I am heavily invested in all of them and how they are doing. I want them operating at their best, to not have issues, etc... It definitely is a responsibility.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Phil Hettema: The basics of storytelling remain th...":
It's really great to hear someone from the themed entertainment industry talk about story before technology. I could see where it would be tempting for a sector more focused on entertainment and enjoyment to tend towards spectacle first. The story vs spectacle, function vs form balance is a big one in any narrative medium. As technology becomes more complex, it is tempting to want to use something new. I would say it is much harder and much more prone to failure to take a cool piece of technology or visual element and create a story that really flows from it than to have a story and then pick something that supports it. When you start with the technology in mind, it will always be your priority.

One issue with contemporary media design is that so many people have and do use media for spectacle or because it's new and cool. This sets up the notion that media is always a frill or decoration and it creates a perceived expectation that media should be flashy and gadget driven. It's certainly a hard balance to achieve when using the latest thing is tempting, but it curtails the respect of the discipline and the success of the storytelling.
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "I’ll Disband My Roving Gang of Thirty Asian Playwr...":
It's interesting trying to rationalize why cultural plays are generally produced in smaller cultural theaters. Growing up in San Antonio I saw tons of "Latino" productions and never actually stopped to think about different cultural plays until I got here. I too would like to see cultural plays in larger theaters and would like to see color blind casting more, but I think a major obstacle in moving forward is that there are already tons of classic and popular plays that call for an all black cast or an all white cast that color-blind casting would change the whole story. Furthermore, I can understand why larger theaters with probably a predominately white audience would not put on a play like Seven Guitars which focuses on minority and racial issues with an all black cast. It isn't relatable for them. 
I'm not sure how to integrate theatre productions more, but I understand why it can be so difficult to move forward in this art.
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Are young workers brats or brilliant?":
It's not about conforming to us, it's about meeting us halfway and on agreeable terms. We will not work they way you worked when you were our age. As millennials, we are very well aware that we are entering a workplaces that have a wheel that no matter how much we want to reinvent it in 3 seconds, it won't happen. We come in with a sense that the older generation's mentality is "It's our world, and you're just living in it." Of course we want a company that can accommodate flexible hours, because we know we're entering a job market where job opportunities are a level of magnitude more scarce than when older generations started working. I also think that we've grown as a generation to be quick learners since nowadays we have to be adequate or better at a wider range of skills in order to make ourselves more marketable to whatever job opportunities we can find. Yes, the work ethic we have is a little different, and I know that that's sometimes hard to trust as someone who's very dead set in their ways or because you can't always go to the next office over and physically see that they're there working. Ultimately, we need the job that brings a cash flow so we can survive, we know we have to work hard and to our best to feel fulfilled in what we're doing, so we're going to do our best to keep that job. It may not show in our punch cards, but it does show in our contributions to the company.
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "17 Pieces of Advice from ‘Inside the Actors Studio...":
It is so encouraging and warming to see so many great and well known actors talking to students about these timeless and inspirational ways of thinking about what they do. In many ways acting is such a difficult and tiring job to take on because actors have to find comfort-ability in discomfort. They have to transform into somethings sometimes completely opposite of who they are or what they believe in. Not to mention the countless blows against your opinion, ideas, and ultimately who you are as a person that come with countless rejections at countless auditions, as George Clooney so greatly puts. As you can imagine, it is very easy to lose hope that your talent will ever be recognized at all. It is also very easy to lose your passion for what you thought you loved. I know I have, more than once.

There is something that strikes a chord in me though, in the way that Meryl Streep puts why she acts. I always thought I'd act for myself, I'd get myself in the moment and live there truthfully and if anyone wanted to watch, great. When she says she does it to give a voice to those characters that don't have one, it makes me wonder how greatly an actor can influence a culture, a generation, or even a single misunderstood kid. It inspires me to know and understand all types of situations and unheard stories in the world, and let my flesh and blood be a vessel for those stories, clawing and screaming to be heard. To be all that there is in the world and give that knowledge of experience and feeling to an audience.

Maybe I agree, or maybe its hard not to be desperate to cling onto the quotes of great idols as I search for a love of acting. As Dustin Hoffman says, playing it safe is the greatest sin there is, and I couldn't agree more. Why limit yourself when it could be so much more freeing to strip yourself of everyday life superficial behavior and tell someone how you really feel. The stage is so great because that is exactly what you get to do. You get to behave completely and utterly natural with absolutely no judgment and no worry of judging another, because it's all a "play." It's real and in the moment, and that's the best part about it. You get to experience "unacceptable" things, things you'd never feel comfortable doing outside of theatre and broaden who you are as a person so you can be the best, most original, intelligent, most awesome version of you.

Well, I think this comment has helped me find out why I like to act!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Worth a Look

Here are a few articles from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Phil Hettema: The basics of storytelling remain the same (as technology evolves)

InPark Magazine: Does storytelling need to evolve for a new generation of audience, or is storytelling a constant around which other elements revolve? As technology causes cultural shifts, the formats that we use for telling stories (such as pacing, length, visual complexity) evolve and respond to the way audiences absorb experiences. While the format may evolve and the tools we use continue to evolve both through specific technologies, and the immersive worlds we’re thereby able to create, the basic aspects of storytelling and communication remain the same.

Artistic inspiration or piracy?

Marketplace.org: Jeff Koons’ retrospective show at the Whitney Museum of Art is a grand testimonial to his work over the decades. It is also “a time capsule for copyright law,” says Andrew Gilden, teaching fellow at Stanford University Law School.

Standing in front of a sculpture of an elderly couple holding eight blue, adorable puppies entitled “String of Puppies,” Gilden points out that Koons was sued in 1992 over this very sculpture. The artist had re-created a photograph taken by photographer Art Rogers and, juxtaposing it with other sculptures in his series, was trying to comment on the banality of the images we are bombarded with in daily life. Rogers sued, alleging that Koons’ sculpture amounted to stealing.

Koons lost.

Protecting Racism in Theatre

Bitter Gertrude: Yes, I am still talking about this, despite some truly delightful comments and emails requesting that I stop draining all the fun out of life. (One woman, who said, and I quote, that she would like to punch me in the face, was relieved that I didn’t cast her local production of The King and I, as I would have unfairly deprived her of her favorite role, Lady Thiang, due to my ridiculous stance against yellowface.) The title of Mike Lew’s brilliant HowlRound article, “I’ll Disband My Roving Gang of Thirty Asian Playwrights When You Stop Doing Asian Plays in Yellow Face,” says it all. Privilege goes down hard, and it goes down swinging, and it goes down all the while claiming the right to do, ahem, whatever the fuck it wants.
 

All You Can Smile For Just $25!

Butts In the Seats: When the entertainment tax in Spain skyrocketed, attendance at shows fell precipitously. To lure people back, one comedy theater company instituted a program where people would only pay if they laughed. According to an article on Springwise, the seats were outfitted with cameras and facial recognition software.

Every time you laughed, the account associated with your seat is charged 30 euro cents. So that people wouldn’t intentionally restrain themselves as the show progressed, the charge was capped at 80 laughs or 24 Euros.

Award Lauds College ‘Green Theatre’ Efforts

sightlines.usitt.org: The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) has created a new award: the BGA College Green Captain Award for Achievement in Greener Theatre.

The BGA College Green Captain program is modeled on the successful BGA Broadway Green Captain program, in which a cast or crew member of every Broadway production volunteers to serve as a BGA liaison member of the production for all things green or environmentally friendlier.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Voting ends Friday lunchtime...

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing":

AMEN! This might just be the best article I have ever read on the green page. Recently, I've been breaking out of working with just my age bracket. I've been in situations where I'm working with people who are much older, much younger, and everywhere in between. The funniest, most comforting, most depressing realization that I have come to is that everybody is faking it. No matter how long you have done your job, or how long you have practiced something, you don't feel like an expert. I've seen people do amazing things, but when they come back from it, they'll always say they feel like they were winging it, or that they don't think it was that good. This is in some ways distressing, but it's also the greatest human bond. Nobody knows why we're here, and we won't ever know, so we're all just trying to do our best with it.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "The Source of Bad Writing":
How many times in class have I raised my hand to contribute some banal tidbit to class discussion and tried to dress it up in words that only obfuscate the meaning, rendering the instructor and my classmates incapable of doing anything else other than smiling and nodding? Case in point. 

The Curse of Knowledge is a double-edged sword, to be sure. I can make what feels like a very valid and important point completely inaccessible to other purely through my word choice, thus frustrating me and alienating others. As a former biology major, reading the abstracts of various studies and experiments excited me at first. The technical language, and aloof adjective-ridden phrases reminded me of how I spoke and wrote. But then when I actually tried to read the abstracts, I found my mind sliding over the words, unable to find purchase in context I could not even begin to comprehend. I was reading brilliant papers, but they did me no good because I could not gain anything from them. 

I try to make myself aware of the words I use. Finding the balance between using the exact right word, and using a word that will be understood by many is hard. But why try and share knowledge in a way that makes it impossible to receive and interact with?
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Joseph Haj Makes the Case for Co-Directing":
I completely disagree with Haj I find his solution of co-direction to be an incorrect antidote for his struggle of growth. First off, Directing isn't an isolated craft. Sure you're the one driving the boat, but how many people do you have onboard to assist? It's not like the director is coming up with all the ideas, in terms of design and with the actors. And if the perception is that the director is the sole creator of these things, is an inability to engage with other artistic minds. I agree with Rachel about the use of a dramaturg. That was actually the first thing I thought of when he mentioned looking for someone who "continually interrogating the work all the way through, and it is a thrill to be able to work in the same room and share ideas, offer alternative ideas, propose alternative approaches, reflect to one another in real time what is and is not working." But there's also the assistant director? Instead of using them as a glorified notes taker and Starbucks monkey, why don't you take advantage of their young and unjaded mind? Also why don't you invite colleagues and collaborators BEFORE the show opens? What about the Artistic Director? There are so many ways you can find people to engage and further your work, looking to someone else is really just a copout.
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Can Theater Speak to a Modern Audience Without Sho...":
The video at the end of the article was really interesting- I never could figure out why I didn't mind the text message displays in "Sherlock" but I hated the text messages in "The Fault in Our Stars." I now realize it was the bubbles around the words in "The Fault in Our Stars"- they made the movie look dated even when it first came out. Sherlock is the only show I've seen that I didn't mind how they displayed texts with floating words- otherwise I much prefer showing the cellphone screen (or just avoiding it entirely). 

This doesn't help much for theatre, though- it's not like you can magically float words next to actors, and using some kind of media or supertitles to get a similar effect seems like generally a terrible idea, unless the show is specifically centered around that as a concept. Maybe it's because we do so many shows set in the past, but I feel like I never see phones or computers in any play or musical- the only show I can immediately think of where a cellphone is used is "Dead Man's Cellphone"- and in that show the phone is more of a plot point than a practical prop. Regardless, as more and more shows are written set in the present, this is going to catch up with us and we're going to have to find a way to depict phones, texts, and computers on-stage without being distracting.
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "An Empire Where the Curtain Would Not Fall":
There were two quotes from Mr. Panter that really jumped out at me in this article. 

And also, the Lyric is wonderful. It’s a world-class stage, and most stages on Broadway arguably are not world class — rather shallow, no real depth.

This is something I'm constantly reminded of when looking at Broadway theatres. The houses and the backstage areas are extremely tiny. It makes shows very difficult to do and that I think is one of the reasons behind shows being so expensive. In order to have all the fancy stage things happen in these theatres you must find creative (and often expensive) solutions to make it fit in backstage footprints that are designed for a much smaller size show. So you should be prudent in what you are spending, but know the limitations of your space and if you have to exceed these limitations then you have to be prepared to spend the money. 

You can’t be the biggest,” he said, “and not have people throwing things at you. 

This was the other quote from Mr. Panter that I think people need to be reminded of. This is an industry which makes broad generalizations and opinions on people's work that vary all over the place. You can't please everyone so you have to make sure that you are happy with the product that you are putting out there. I think lots of people tend to take criticism to hard and it doesn't do them a lot of good. Take the criticism and learn from it is what is important. But realize that if you are going to move forward and up in your career it will be hard to avoid having things thrown at you. So be prepared and have a thick skin.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time:

Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing

99U: By nature, human beings are comparers: our happiness depends, at least partly, on feeling better off than others. Studies have shown that many of us would rather earn more than our co-workers, even if that meant earning less money overall. And we judge our creative output similarly: we deem it a success if it’s as good or better than other people’s.
 


Artists as Change Agents

The Clyde Fitch Report: I’ve had the privilege of attending five of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond’s Undoing Racism/Community Organizing workshops. I’ve attended it when it was all women of color, when it was for social workers and educators, and when it was for religious organizations. Each workshop is a unique experience, but the one that will always stick out in my mind is the one for artists and arts administrators I attended in January 2013.

 

Could Exoskeleton Suits Make an Appearance on the Jobsite?

Remodeling: In August, Lockheed Martin received a contract through the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences for the U.S. Navy to evaluate and test two of its industrial exoskeletons.

The exoskeleton, called the Fortis, is a lightweight, unpowered suit that increases the wearer’s strength and endurance by transferring the weight of heavy loads from the operator to the frame of the device.
 







 

Joseph Haj Makes the Case for Co-Directing

AMERICAN THEATRE: Directing is a lonely business. There was the time, long ago, when an actor-manager, also working as a member of the acting company, would take on the role of director. In recent history, and certainly in our current moment, the director is the auteur, an artist trained and expected to have a “vision,” a “concept,” an “approach” to a production. This vision, ideally, springs fully formed from the isolated brain many months before the show is cast.


Theatres are not catering for the working class majority

Culture professionals network | Guardian Professional: After many years working in theatre, including five as artistic director of the Broadway in Barking, I’ve attended my fair share of conferences about ways to encourage diversity in audiences for the arts. Race, youth and disability are always discussed but class remains the unnamed elephant in the room, often dismissed in a cursory mention of lower ticket prices. In my experience, class is the biggest barrier to accessing the arts, cutting across all the other marginalised groups.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Voting ends Friday, noonish.

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Actors of Color Gain Ground":

As a woman and as a person of color who potentially wants to be in the entertainment industry, I understand why television wants to see more representation. I too wouldn't mind seeing more hispanics, women, or other people of color on television but I feel like a lot of times articles like "Actors of Color Gain Ground" forget that women and people of color do have ground. Modern Family and Scandal aren't the only TV shows airing strong women and people of color and the roles they portrayed have been portrayed for years. The Cosby Show was on television in the mid-eighties showing the life of a successful and loving African American Family. I Love Lucy, about a strong smart, successful, American woman, started airing in the 50s and was produced by cuban, Desi Arnaz, who also was a lead actor for it. Women and people of color have been on TV for a long time. Although all shows on television don't portray actors of color or strong women, America isn't completely made up of people of color or strong women, there are caucasian families and women who aren't part of major leading jobs, con tries, or corporations in America too. We aren't really breaking ground, nor do I think it is completely necessary at act as if we are. I appreciate the commotion about people of color and women being more present in entertainment, but I wish it wasn't at the expense of losing recognition of how much ground we have already earned.
Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Play ‘Dry Land’ Confronts Abort...":
"The extreme also make an impression," is what comes to my mind in reading what this playwright is trying to do. The topic of abortion is a very touchy subject for a lot of people of both genders. Some see it as a form of taking a future great life while others see it as giving the mother/ parents the choice to take care of their own life. While one approach always seems highly selfish on the surface I get the sense that the playwright digs deeper into this issue. The other approach pushed forward the believe in destiny and fate and that our lives are predetermined and that free will is nothing more than a misconception which while is a big theme seen in a lot of plays, it looks to be not the route the playwright is taking. Theater is meant to mimic real life and get the audience thinking while sometimes also entertain but more at it's core inspire everyone to change and look at the world around them with more openness. I applaud the playwright for what they are trying to accomplish.
Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "What a piece of work is a (wo)man: the perils of g...":
This reminds me very much of how everyone that saw the senior thesis show Oleanna two years ago was still talking about it even a month after the show closed. That production promoted a huge amount of discussion about how gender roles effect questionable situations, and how people's reactions would have differed if the casting was the traditional male teacher and female student, or vice versa, or if both characters were male. 
I wouldn't go so far to say that equal opportunity "should never be applied to theatrical casting", because it can most certainly be applied, but there's only so much changing you can do to a script before it A) becomes a different show, or B) stays the same but loses the integrity of its message because it was not cast the way it was written to be cast. Shakespeare is especially difficult because not only do you have to consider how characters played by the opposite gender have to justify how their characters would think, feel, and act, but you also have to make accommodations in the writing to keep the iambic pentameter. How much rewriting can you do until you're creating a knock-off version of your original show in order to prove your point? Or, as another example, how would a director go about changing the script when he or she decides to produce an all-white production of The Color Purple? For some plays, yes, gender-crossing is extremely doable and can be done so to prove a point, like Oleanna. But for other shows, it would almost be an injustice to the playwright to simply do away with how they wrote their characters.
Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Play ‘Dry Land’ Confronts Abort...":
Theater is about making a point, or conveying a message, or starting a movement. People want to see risks being taken and life being explored; thats what makes theater so interesting. Rather than finding this conversation of abortion, shocking, I find it brave and admirable. If theater is too afraid to confront controversial topics, than it's not really fulfilling its purpose. I'm strongly supporting the idea that theater is not about playing things safe, but rather exploring boundaries, and testing limits. I also find it interesting that the playwright is barely 21. But I think this gives us insight into the new up and coming generation. Our future is starting to be more involved and further engaged in social awareness. I also saw "Obvious Child", the indie film that also touched the topic of abortion, which I think further emphasizes this shift in entertainment that is accompanying the shift in generation. I'm so excited to watch this unfold as I think this strengthening connection between art and social awareness is vital.
Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "What a piece of work is a (wo)man: the perils of g...":
While I agree it's important to be wary about changing the rules of the world when cross-dressing/casting any roles, Lawson's argument gets into some problematic territory. Because we live in a world of more fluid sexualities and gender expression on a spectrum rather than a binary, we ought to reconsider how we present our largely hetero-normative theatrical cannon. Yes, a production that does not decide to change the pronouns for all women playing men's roles might be confusing at first...but then again, shouldn't individuals have the right to choose their own pronouns? (Then again, I would have to make a case for such a production being modernized. This acceptance of non-binary gender expression would not be as welcome in Shakespeare's time, or even as recently as the early 20th century, and therefore the production ought to reflect the time and place in which such gender expressions could be welcome and normalized in the world.) As for changing the psychologies of the characters by changing the casting, doesn't the gender-spectrum model also defy this view, given that a biological woman can think like a man? I didn't miss the Freudian implications in Propera's and Miranda's relationship in Taymor's Tempest (and in fact such implications make me a little uncomfortable reading the original text), but instead I see how a father's fear of letting go of their child is the same as a mother's fear. 

Lawson drives his point home later by claiming that such gender changes would be met with much more apprehension in more contemporary texts. It may be more obvious for us to see how contemporary playwrights write with gender-specific psychologies in mind, since we are more familiar with their modern expressions of gender. But isn't the fact that gender identity is constantly changing and being reconstructed by society even more a testament to the fact that we should challenge these standards in casting? 

This all comes together for me thinking about the BFA Thesis production of Oleanna two years ago, which cast two women and made the conflict between the teacher and student over race and altered the conflict based in gender. Some people took issue with the fact that the teacher had a husband offstage (originally, the male teacher has a wife), so that the teacher's sexuality did not become a threat to a female student, who files a harassment charge. Though the evidence may not have been explicit, how do we know that the female teacher was not a bisexual or lesbian woman still in the closet? And did her sexuality even matter in that situation, if rape and harassment are more about power than about sexual desire? 

I think these are the very questions theater ought to be exploring as we redefine gender and sexuality as a society.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Worth a Look

Here are a few posts from last week's Greenpage that might be worth your time...

Theatre’s Economic Reality

Opening the Curtain — KCRW: If LA theater were a pyramid it would have a really wide base with really, really steep sides. At the bottom of that pyramid, in terms of numbers of seats not quality, would be the under 99-seat theaters - there's a ton of them. At the top of the pyramid would be our resident theaters - Center Theater Group, The Geffen - there are only a couple of them. In between those two levels there isn't a lot of middle ground or midsize theaters.

Actors of Color Gain Ground

Backstage: This fall could mark a watershed moment for actors of color on American television.

ABC will debut a line up featuring an African-American family in “Black-ish,” a gay couple with an adopted Asian daughter in “Modern Family,” and Kerry Washington staring as a political fixer on “Scandal.”

On Thursday night Viola Davis will join that schedule when her series “How to Get Away with Murder” premieres. Meanwhile, the CW is launching “Jane the Virgin,” starring Gina Rodriguez, and Fox is set to debut “Empire,” which stars Terrance Howard, early next year.

Cosmopolitan says it never wanted ‘Nocturne’ show

Las Vegas Review-Journal: They never wanted a separate show in the first place.

That’s perhaps the most surprising revelation in The Cosmopolitan’s response to a lawsuit filed by the producer of “Vegas Nocturne,” the now-closed show component of the interactive “supper club” Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

The hotel’s response, filed Friday in Clark County District Court, alleges “Nocturne” spun out of an integrated concept where “no one component would overshadow any other” and ended up costing $60,000 per show and losing $1 million per month for its six months of operation.
 

Premiere: The Making of The Boxtrolls' Awesome Steampunk Contraption

WIRED: One of the coolest things about Laika’s upcoming flick The Boxtrolls is the Mecha-Drill. It’s hard to explain why it’s so amazing without spoiling part of the movie, but the short version is it’s a huge steampunk contraption piloted by the film’s Big Bad, Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley). It also was, as Laika president Travis Knight told WIRED, “the biggest puppet we’ve ever made.”

Let it rip! When fart jokes were comedy’s last taboo

Salon.com: Like movies, jokes exist at different levels of naughtiness, and till recently those levels were surprisingly distinct and well defined—something I realized in researching this guide, as I noticed that certain funny things never appear at all in certain media. Farting is a good example: an innocuous phenomenon with no obvious reason for being tabooed (unlike masturbation, anal sex, or suicide, whose suppression was more comprehensible) but one that for most of the last century was conspicuously absent from mainstream American humor.