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TBD ArtsBook: Ari Roth does not want to quibble

November 3, 2011 - 10:00 AM
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Ari Roth takes to Facebook, to share but not, you should understand, to quibble. "Not to quibble with a great review," Theater J's artistic director writes above a link to Nelson Pressley's piece on the theater's new "After the Fall," "but it's 2 hours and 25 minutes with a 15 minute intermission (which comes to, using my fingers, 2:40). Not 'almost three hours!' And it's TOTALLY compulsively watchable. And now we quibble no more."

>>The not-quibbling thing lasted an hour, until Roth posted another link to Gwendolyn Purdum's review in Washingtonian. "Not to quibble with ANOTHER terrific review," he writes, "but it's a 1 hour and 19 minute first act - not 'a two-hour Act I.' Do they really hold starting your opening night curtain 15 minutes late against you that much? (answer: I guess so!) Still, 'the action is believable, honest, and thought-provoking. And in a performance tackling the elusive concepts of truth and identity, that’s really what counts.'"

>>Expect to see even less quibbling on the Theater J blog as the production goes on.

Chris Richards audits Georgetown course SOCI-124-021 "Sociology of Hip-Hop -- Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z," taught by Michael Eric Dyson. (This follows a Celebritology post about the class last month.) ArtsBook, as a public service, looks up "theodicy" for you: "defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil," says Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition. Richards' service, however, is much deeper and includes not blanching when Dyson gives him the most unintentionally icky quote ArtsBook has read in his hometown paper in some time. "I see my tongue as a bridge over which ideas can travel back and forth,” the prof says. 

>>Jay-Z himself has not committed to visiting the class, even though Dyson texts him poetry and he's playing in town tonight.

>>There is also a video!

• Washington City Paper's cover story this week is Andrew Noz's long critical essay on Wale. Why, Noz asks, can the D.C. rapper not seem to break out of the middle of the pack? The easy answer is that, as opposed to his mixtapes, Wale's two albums both seem to be birthed by focus groups rather than any real artistic imperative, but part of Dr. Noz's diagnosis is Wale's "easily combustible" Internet persona.

>>"It’s entirely possible that Olubowale Folarain, the man who plays Wale on the Internet and in rap videos, is a kind and thoughtful gentleman. That was my take when I interviewed him a few years back. But the personality on offer through the @wale Twitter feed doesn’t come across that way.

>>"On Twitter, Wale frequently indulges a violent persecution complex, bemoaning haters and 'broke niggas' and publicly hounding whoever speaks ill of him. Recently, when one follower complained aggressively about not getting a retweet, Wale eventually conceded and added, '*bloooockkk* corny and thirsty ..sad really.' He meets other negative tweets with similarly cold and cryptic snaps, like 'Imma jus let everygirl who follows me make fun of u..,' and 'Is that u Meg Griffin ?' He seems to be angling for playful with these exchanges, but given their frequency, it’s difficult to read them as anything other than sour grapes."

>>Not surprisingly, the commenters are already starting to accuse Noz of sour grapes, too.

• DCRTV had it first: Mac McGarry is retiring from hosting "It's Academic." Mike Schaffer remembers trying out and not making the show; Monica Hesse gets an amazing McGarry quote about Pat Collins: "Hey Mac, whaddya know?" he recalls the reporter saying to him one morning. "I'm the quizmaster. I know everything," McGarry says he replied.

• Are you an artist? Do you make less than $43,500 but more than $25,866? If so you may qualify for an apartment at Artspace in Brookland, Jon Fischer reports. SOMEWHAT RELATED: Let Lockhart Steele pay your rent for a month!

Brandon Wetherbee asks local comedians to make Occupy D.C. jokes. The results, well...uh: "If the protesters really cared about revolution they’d join the Crunchwrap Supreme Revolution at Taco Bell. It’s a flavor revolution" japes Adam Friedland. That's one of the better ones.

• Here is Politics & Prose's machine that spits out paperback books.

• Ska-da-DEET-DOT-doodly-doodly-tat-tat-tat: Sriram Gopal's jazz picks. Angela Kleis' viz-art picks. Sophie Gilbert also looks at viz-art in November, makes some choices.

Ty Unglebower came into town to see "Les Miz": "I have no superpowers, but my particular personality combined with over a decade of theatre experience has provided me with a fairly decent instinct about the cohesiveness of a cast I am observing."

• Here is a website that takes pictures of homes of D.C. writers. (H/t: Curbed DC.)

• HUFFPO SCOOPS CITY PAPER: Arin Greenwood reports on occasional CP columnist Head Roc's new video, which urges D.C. to exile Steve Lambert. My mistake, sorry, he doesn't want Wal-Marts here.

REVIEWS: Rebecca J. Ritzel on "The Crucible" at Keeg. Chris Klimek on "We Fight We Die" at Flashpoint: "The goofy premise [local playwright Timothy J.] Guillot has cooked up...might’ve worked as a comedy." Alas it is not! Tricia Olszewski on "Like Crazy" and on "Janie Jones": "You’ll get in touch with your softer side and want to punch it," she writes about the latter. Ryan Little on Tone's "Priorities": "a veteran distillation of post-rock’s grandiose possibilities." Charles T. Downey went to see Orion String Quartet at KenCen. Celia Wren on "The How and the Why" at 1st Stage. Steven McKnight McGot there McToo. Nelson Pressley on "Barrymore" at Rep Stage. Erica Bruce on St. Vincent at 9:30 Club. Mark Jenkins got there too. Hey, so did Francis Chung! (Plenty of room on the list that night, apparently!) Bob Ashby on "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" at Silver Spring Stage. Laura and Mike Clark on "Schoolhouse Rock Live!" at Studio 3 and on "The Gingerbread Lady" at Chevy Chase Players! Kelly Kettering on Battles at 9:30 CLUB. Toni Tileva went to that venue to see Little Dragon. Jen Bress on the Monument fest at DC9. Jayne Blanchard on "Cabaret Macabre" at Happenstance.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Adrienne Day.

THINGS TO DO, COMPILED BY KIM CHI HA

Pop: The Glands w/ Romania and The Jaabs at Black Cat. Astronautalis w/ Educated Consumers at DC9. Voxhaul Broadcast at Jammin’ Java. The Steel Wheels at Iota. An Evening w/ Willie Nelson and Family at 9:30 CLUB (SOLD OUT). Jay-Z & Kanye West “Watch the Throne Tour” at Verizon Center. Girlyman w/ Coyote Grace at Wolf Trap. Crash Empire at Velvet Lounge. The Features at Red Palace.

Classical, jazz: Saw Showcase ft. Darien at Blues Alley. Charles Ives: A Life in Music ft. Post-Classical Ensemble at Strathmore. NSO: Oliver Knussen & Peter Serkin play Messiaen and Benjamin + The Last Romantics: Jewish Composers of Interwar Europe at KenCen. Elin at Artisphere.

Theater: “Anne and Emmett” opens at Atlas. “Puerto Rico: Coraje II” opens at Gunston Arts Center. “My Mistorical Hystery of Henry (I)V” opens at Artisphere. “Wilder Sins” opens at Undercroft.

What-have-you: Tom Brokaw discusses his book “The Time of Our Lives” at Politics & Prose. AFI European Union Film Showcase opens at AFI Silver Theatre. Oud & Percussion Performance by Grammer Winner, Rahim Al-Haj at Busboys and Poets/14th&K. Will Durst at Riot Act Comedy Theater. Refinery29’s DC Launch Party at Madewell. Night School: A Casual Symposium at The Dunes. Phillips After 5 at Phillips. “If You Could Make Almost Anything, What Would It Be?” at Carnegie Institute.

Cheap tix! TICKETPLACE has "The Crucible" at Keegan, "Arms and the Man" at Constellation, more. Goldstar's got "After the Fall" at Theater J, "Othello" at Synetic, more.

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