Inside D.C. entertainment

TBD ArtsBook: McKenna, Dower leave; Capitol Steps stick around

December 29, 2011 - 10:00 AM
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emerson college cutler majestic theatre
Emerson College's Cutler Majestic Theatre (Photo by Bryan 'B Rosen' Rosengrant/Flickr)

• "Arena Stage announced Wednesday that major components of its 2 1/2-year-old American Voices New Play Institute are relocating to Emerson College in Boston," writes Peter Marks.

>>David Dower, who helped build the program, is going to Emerson, as is Polly Carl. They're taking a few parts of the program with them:

>>"What will leave with Dower and Carl are the institute’s online projects, run for the industry as a whole: the New Play Map, the live-streamed New Play TV and HowlRound, a journal of provocative essays on American theater edited by Carl that has become a lively and popular digital forum."

>>The theater's playwright-in-residence program will remain in Washington.

>>Patrick Healy writes: "Some other theater companies and artists had questioned and criticized the institute’s independence from Arena in the past, Mr. Dower said, creating “a perception problem” that Arena executives were using the institute to promote their artistic viewpoints and interests, such as hoarding new work at Arena."

>>In the Boston Globe (under the yowchy headline "Emerson to launch theater center with program snagged from Arena Stage"), Geoff Edgers notes that the college's coup is even more complete: "What’s more, Emerson gets Dower and Carl without picking up the bill. Their work is already funded, through 2014, by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."

• SIREN: DAVE MCKENNA LEAVES CITY PAPER. The alt-weekly's sports columnist gives notice at the end of one last blistering column about Dan Snyder.

>>"This will be the last Cheap Seats column. In our 25 years and 51 weeks together, City Paper and I have gotten everything out of each other we’re going to get. I’m grateful for all the people who told me their stories, and anybody who ever read my attempts to retell those tales in this space, and, well, anybody who didn’t read but sued me anyway. Be well... "

>>In an email to staffers, Editor Mike Schaffer wrote: "In a way, it's a shame that the last year has been so defined by Dave's bravery in the face of legal threats from a billionaire celebrity, because so much of the real magic in his column was his ability to discover and champion the powerless and the forgotten."

>>"It was going to be difficult to continue to just do his column," CP Managing Editor Mike Madden told Ryan Kearney. "We’re all doing a lot more than people used to. Everyone's got to be blogging and tweeting and writing more.” ("Are you on Twitter?" McKenna asked ArtsBook at a Christmas party earlier this month, and I don't think I'll ever forget the look of disappointment and wonder he gave me when I answered in the affirmative.) (Follow me! @abeaujon!)

 • Don't make fun of D.C. fashion to the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce's Christine Brooks-Cropper. Jenny Rogers reports on the group's fashion-incubator program and skewers, in a sideways fashion, the lede with which every story about D.C. fashion must begin, choosing one from Elle.com: “D.C. has long been in a style recession." 

>>"Modeled after programs in Chicago and Toronto, the incubator will provide space, equipment, some materials, technical and business training, and guidance to a handful of local fashion designers. For a modest, below-market-rate fee ($250 a month, which will go mostly toward equipment upkeep and providing a stipend to class instructors), designers will have round-the-clock access to the space at 760 N St. NW, a cheerful white room lined with sewing machines and shelves of fabric. Next door is an office space that the incubator residents can use for business meetings. Brooks-Cropper is angling to get a space around the corner to use as a pop-up boutique, and she dreams of a 5,000-square-foot plant for manufacturing and retail in Southeast D.C."

Ken Dodelin, an Arlington resident, has helped develop a mobile app that alerts you to historical places in the region, reports ArlNow. It Happened Here will point you to such points of interest as the following bullet-pointed list:

>>"* The strip mall parking lot where the founder of the American Nazi Party was assassinated in 1967
* The parking garage in which Washington Post reporters met in secret with 'Deep Throat' in 1972
* The high school where Sandra Bullock became a cheerleader"

>>The app was released some time ago (maybe in April?), but it has recently been updated.

• MORE ARLINGTON CREATIVITY NEWS: Mike Kravinsky's Web series, "The Nextnik," will debut on Jan. 1, the tireless ArlNow also reports. The show "follows the trials and tribulations of Larry Zimmerman, a 55-year-old upper-middle management type who is abruptly fired and has a year to find a new vocation before his severance money runs out." It debuts at a good time to attract press attention. Take note!

• RON CHARLES ON TV! Until the Post brings his Web videos back, PBS will have to do.

Jazz picks for this week from Sriram Gopal.

• There will be a Moombahton New Year's party. Empanadas will be served.

REVIEWS: Mark Jenkins on Thursday at 9:30 Club. Valerie Paschall on the local records she wishes she'd had time to review.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Charles Steck. James Hamilton.

THINGS TO DO, COMPILED BY KIM CHI HA

Pop: Drive-By Truckers w/ Lucero at 9:30. (Stop Worrying And) Love the Bomb w/ The Electricutions and Highway Cross at Black Cat. The Chariots w/ Sovereign Sound System at DC9. West Goes East CD Release at Jammin’ Java. The Roots at Fillmore (Friday encore!). The Whiskey Darlings w/ The Crooked Angels and others at Iota. The Wailers plus OUternational at State Theatre. Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes at Birchmere. Andy Poxon at Hill Country. Sam Cooper & the Sleepwalkers at Velvet Lounge. Krafty Kuts w/ Fort Knox Five, Proxxy & Lantern at U Hall. Halestorm at Rams Head.

Classical, jazz: Holiday Vaudeville at Millennium Stage.

Theater: “Hot and Sweaty,” “Press Play” and “Bloodlust” at Source.

What-have-you: Cool Cow Comedy Showcase at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. Big Al Goodwin at Riot Act Comedy Theater. “An American in Paris” at Phillips. Mixer and Mini-Show at Black Fox Lounge.

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