The internet is for porn!

Avenue Q is the lively send-up of Sesame Street that includes doppelgangers of familiar characters. There’s an internet/porn-addicted Cookie Monster, a closeted Republican Bert, a slacker layabout Ernie and two adorable Bad Idea Bears who encourage you to drink to excess, have drunken, unprotected sex and sleep late enough to miss important meetings at work. By all means, go, but do NOT bring the kiddies.

The internet is for porn.
The internet is for porn.
Why you think the net was born?
Porn! Porn! Porn!

I, along with a gaggle of other bloggers, was invited to see the Tony Award winning musical. Ask anyone who has see it here in New York, in Las Vegas, or any of the touring companies, it’s two solid hours of fun.

The internet is for porn.
The internet is for porn.
All these guys unzip their flies
for Porn! Porn! Porn!

Initially I was concerned that the show might have gotten a little long in the tooth. It won the Tony for Best Musical way back in 2004. That’s a long time ago and sometimes, productions are allowed to go on a lot longer than they should. I remember seeing Cats well beyond its freshness date and it was tired, tired, tired.

The internet is for porn.
The internet is for porn.
Me up all night honking me horn to
Porn! Porn! Porn!

I am relieved to report that the current production, which was relocated to Off-Broadway in 2009, still smells fresh as a flower. And that’s not just because they plied me with free drink coupons. I took CB with me. He hadn’t seen it before (I don’t know how he avoided it all these years) and he loved it.


The cast is enthusiastic and more than capable. The material is so strong that I think it’d be hard to drive this boat onto the rocks. After the show, the house lights went up and we were treated to a actor/puppet meet-and-greet. There was a lively and informative Q and A that I wish had gone on a lot longer than it did, but after two hours of simultaneously singing, delivering dialog, and playing multiple characters, all while hoisting puppets, the cast was, understandably, exhausted.


I did have time to meet with Rod who, despite claiming to have a girlfriend in Canada, likes to relax by reading his favorite book, Broadway Musicals of 1940.


I also met with one of the Bad Idea Bears. Don’t let the pink bow fool you. This show has my all-time favorite character name; a bossy, matronly kindergarten teacher named Mrs. Fizzletwat.


If you’re in town or live here and haven’t seen it yet, you should treat yourself. It’s a sure thing. If you order tickets at the box office or at and use the code AQBLOG12, you can get discounted tickets as low as $55. (Valid through 5/26/11)


Brother, can you spare $398,000 for a book?

shakespeare-folio-Bauman Rare Books is one of the premier rare book dealers in the U.S. I’ve always thought of them as the the dealer of choice for wealthy, lazy collectors. Granted, Bauman’s stock is top-shelf, but the prices they charge are so far above the market median that I can only think their clientele is people for whom money is no object. A little homework would turn up a comparable copy at a more reasonable price. But sometimes, they get a truly one-of-a-kind book and can charge whatever the hell they feel like. There IS no comparable!

Bauman occasionally buys a full-page ad in the New York Times Book Review. They’ll feature a dozen or so books. Most of them are show-off pieces. The type of posturing and preening you see at rare book fairs.

Currently, they have for sale, a Second Folio of Shakespeare plays (1632). It’s no exaggeration to say this book is a cornerstone of Western literature. There are fewer than 200 known copies and most of them are incomplete or somehow defective. This is a complete copy and is reported to be in excellent condition. Most of of the surviving copies are housed in institutions; there are very few in private hands.

So I would like this book. I’d like to keep it in my little hamlet in New Jersey. (Ha. See what I did there?) The asking price is $398K. That’s not so bad when you consider a First Folio would easily run in the millions. True, you can buy a house for $398K, but I’d really like this book.

Can you help me out, brothers and sisters?

My skin cancer odyssey: A photo essay. [Not for the squeamish.]

This morning I had a spot of basal cell carcinoma removed from my forehead. It cost me a day of work and since I’m just a consultant, it will leave a hole in this month’s budget (not unlike the one in my head, as you will soon see). The doctor, who was a nice guy and had a good sense of humor, allowed me to take a few cell phone snapshots during the procedure. I am posting these as a cautionary tale. It should serve as a warning that there are consequences to be paid if you, like me, disdain sunscreen while walking on the beach. Sadly, my days as a bronzed God seem to be over. Will I ever turn a head again?

First, the numbing agent. It was a rather nasty looking needle and you bet your ass I felt it going in. After the initial injection (there were two) I had to sit for :10 minutes until it kicked in. The front quadrant of my entire head went numb. It still is.

He cut out a section of my forehead that was slightly larger than the affected area…skin-2…and then bandaged me
The procedure is to take the extracted skin to a lab in the back room and examine it under a microscope to insure that all of the cancer cells were captured and none remain. The results took about :45 minutes. Well, guess what? He didn’t get it all! The doctor numbed my head again and extracted an even larger piece. I decided not to post a pic of that because it’s really horrifying.

The absolute worst part was getting stitched-up tight. My head was still numb but I could feel the thread running through my skin and the two open pieces of my forehead being pulled together. The doctor had to do some tugging to get it all to meet in the middle. I almost got sick. I felt him knotting the thread and heard it being clipped.

He got it all the second time around, thank God. I wasn’t about to let him hack any more of my head away. My friend D told me I should tape two bolts to my neck and chase children in the subway.


Choosing my favorite Bukowski poem. (An almost impossible task.)

It’s not easy but this one knocks me on my ass every time I stumble across it (as I did tonight). Upon first reading, you might think it’s dark and defeatist. But it’s not. To me, it’s a poem of perseverance and fortitude.

* * *

a consistent sort

at the track
the other day
during the
stretch run
the announcer screamed:

I had a bet on
Pain and
he finished
one half-length

he didn’t win
that time
but he will
win soon
and you can
bet on that
again and
again and

get down

It’s obscure for a good reason

main_img2The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore is the clunky-titled Tennessee Williams obscurity that’s in previews at the Roundabout. I think the Roundabout was looking to strike gold twice with old Tennessee. Last year, they mounted a landmark production of The Glass Menagerie with Judith Ivey that was, as far as I’m concerned, as good a night of theater as you can ever hope to get. Blue roses!~~~

Milk Train premiered in 1962 to generally poor reviews, which is probably why you don’t hear it mentioned in the same breath as Glass Menagerie, Streetcar and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. A Broadway revival in 1964 starring Tallulah Bankhead and Tab Hunter (!?!?!?!) also tanked.

I admire the Roundabout’s spirit and sense of daring but, I’m sorry, this train is off the tracks. (Ha. I said it first. I guarantee that some legitimate critic will steal that from me.)

I went with CB who liked it a lot, especially the first act. It’s all so subjective! We saw the exact same performance and the things that didn’t work for me (dialogue, some of the cast, the ludicrous plot) weren’t a problem for CB at all! CB has a masters degree from Columbia and has written full-blown plays, so it’s probably safer if you take his word for it. Don’t listen to me. I like Rush.

Olympia Dukakis plays Flora Goforth, the fatally ill, supremely wealthy matron who’s just looking for love, love, love, baby, in between morphine injections. All the Tennessee Williams women have the same desperate nature. She does a fine job but I don’t think the script does her any favors. Her hysterical geisha dance is almost worth the cost of the ticket alone.

Flora’s secretary, Francis “Blackie” Black (rolls his eyes), is her eventual rival for the hot young stud who climbs up the side of a mountain to meet them. (But not before being attacked and bloodied by the security dogs. Not kidding.) The actress playing Blackie seemed uncomfortable in the her character’s shoes.

Isn’t that a great poster, though?