Living not in Vain

Our second Springtime since the pandemic began is in full bloom…

I once knew someone who kept a stack of poetry books in the bathroom – a busy man, when nature called, he would use the time to nourish his soul with the Magical Gift of Poetry, succinct, easily digestible, and sometimes in a moment, Life-altering. It always impressed me how poets – all writers really — could rearrange those same 26 letters of the alphabet over and over and over again to make us feel such a range of emotions.

A little over a year ago, we were all buzzing about.

We’d probably begun to hear about some virus, and at least in New York, we had survived SARS and MERS, and perhaps we’d seen some Folks from Asian countries on airplanes wearing surgical masks and thought something might be going on that affected people far, far away…

Most of us had no idea what was about to happen, or the scope of the journey upon which we had already embarked.

The Great World Shift had begun – we just hadn’t reacted to it yet or taken it seriously.

And here we are now over a year in, still wondering what we can do.

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Start Something

Sept2020

A Meme from the Internet

Start Something!
Start Something with Courage, Confidence and Compassion!

BRENT CARVER, one of our Community’s most Gifted Actors, once defined, the three basic requirements for good acting: Courage, Confidence and Compassion.

BRENT died a few weeks ago, marking a profound and tragic loss to the Theater, both as an art form and an industry! His unique Talent was somewhat unmatchable…

Are you sad and angry and confused right now?
I am!
How can anyone not be!
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HAL

HAL PRINCE
January 30, 1928 – July 31, 2019

HAL PRINCE and me at the Opening of CANDIDE

I was HAL PRINCE’s Casting Director for the better part of a decade.
We worked together on his revival of SHOW BOAT from its inception throughout its many productions all around the world. Our production of SHOW BOAT premiered at the North York Performing Arts Center in Toronto 26 years ago. I also worked with HAL on the most recent Broadway Revival of CANDIDE, as well as KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and PARADE.

This year alone, we have found ourselves saying goodbye to countless theater luminaries, including DIAHNN CARROLL, CAROL CHANNING, ANDREW ZERMAN, KAYE BALLARD, PHYLLIS NEWMAN, VALERIE HARPER, BILL ESPER, DORIS DAY, E. KATHERINE KERR, KATHERINE HELMOND, MARTIN CHARNIN, MAX WRIGHT, ALAN WASSER, ALVIN EPSTEIN, ERIC LAJUAN SUMMERS, TONI MORRISON, RIP TORN, GLORIA VANDERBILT, ANN CRUMB, TIM CONWAY, GEORGIA ENGEL, LUKE PERRY, ARTIE GAFFIN, MARION MCCLINTON, KYLE RENICK, RON LEIBMAN, RENE AUBERJONOIS, and So Many Others… But even among so many shattering losses to our Community this year, this one stands out.

HAL PRINCE died on July 31st at the age of 91. There will be a Celebration of his Life at the Majestic Theater next Monday December 16th.
I have never known a professional life without him in it, and the loss to the theater community is perhaps the most profound imaginable.

You see, (more…)

He Would Have Loved It! [A Narrative Essay]

The Bob Fosse Postage Stamp

He Would Have Loved It!
By Arnold J. Mungioli

Arnold J. Mungioli is the Casting Director of Broadway’s Tony-Award-Winning Best Musical, Fosse, among a variety of other projects over the last two decades. He is still working as a Casting Director, Speaker, Writer, Teacher, and LifeCoach today.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the show’s opening on Broadway.

[n.b.: Pictures included throughout are mostly of the Dancers, from the hallways after the first Toronto Workshop and the party following the second. Needless to say Actors Equity does not allow us to take photos during the performance.]

On Sunday August 9th, 1998, the Musical, FOSSE opened for its first commercial run in Toronto. Dancing like this had not been seen on stage for at least a decade, and it was magnificent — the very best of show business! A Gala Party followed.
On Monday morning, August 10th, I arrived at my office as usual, only to be greeted by RCMP Officers in the lobby, guns drawn. (more…)