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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don Simon at Timothy Yarger Fine Art

I was so excited to be in Los Angeles on Sunday and Monday to visit one of my favorite people on earth - Elizabeth Yochim. Unfortunately, I only got to spend one night, which meant missing Don Simon's opening tonight. He's an artist that Elizabeth turned me on to and she is always right! If you're in LA, you should totally check it out. Get info on the gallery here. His work juxtaposes the environmental with the industrial. My favorite is called The Canopy 1. See the pic above. You can check him out at his website here. Or you can use these Google Searches to find out all sorts of cool stuff about him:

"Don Simon" "Unnaturalism"
"Don Simon" "Grist"
"Don Simon" "Treehugger"
"Don Simon" "Nature 2.0"

The best part is that the exhibit is a fundraiser for Million Trees LA, which is working to plant a million trees across the city where they need them most. You can hate LA all you want. But you gotta love it too!

Would love to hear what you think, especially if you get to see the exhibit.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Check me out on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC

I was on NPR this morning! It was a really good discussion, I think. You can listen to it here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Rat Pack Live at the Sands

Finally, a reason to wear wing tips and a fedora again.

There once was a time when Vegas was stylin' and looking sharp was required. Now there's a chance to relive that Golden Era, at least for one night anyway...

The show spent four years on London's West End and invites audiences into an enchanted evening at the ever-famous Sands Hotel with the most famous crooners of our time - Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin. A live fifteen piece band and three back-up singers and dancers (Joanne Dalladay, Lucie Florenine, and Nikki Stokes) also perform on-stage in this recreation of old Vegas at its best.

Audiences will be treated to favorites like: "I’ve Got You Under My Skin," "That’s Amore," "Mr. Bojangles," and "The Lady Is A Tramp." The show 's director and choreographer is Mitch Sebastian and the show originated in London's legendary West End before it began touring Europe and then the US. Starring in the show are Stephen Triffett as Frank; Phil Barley as Dean; and David Hayes as Sammy Davis, Jr. The last of whom I had the chance to catch up with last week by phone.

A Portland Oregon native, David Hayes has been preparing for this role for nearly his entire adult life. Though not consciously at first, Hayes followed a career and life path that could hardly have landed him anywhere else - acting, singing, performing stand-up comedy, and studying the masters. David Hayes is Sammy Davis Jr. Okay, not it real life, of course, but instead on-stage in the current touring production of "The Rat Pack."

He's been touring with the show on and off for six years now, and he couldn't be happier. Hayes is a variety performer of the exact same ilk as the three performers in the show. He sings and dances as well as charms and amuses.

Edge: When you think about Sammy Davis, Jr., what comes to mind?

Hayes: I thought Sammy was a dynamic entertainer. He could do anything and he did everything great. He was my entertainment hero. My heroes in life are my parents.

Edge: How do you approach playing a legend like this?

Hayes: When you start out doing anything like this you look at the people, at the past. In this case, it all came out of vaudeville. These were natural actors. They didn't have classes back then. They learned on-stage.

Edge: Did you find the prospect daunting?

Hayes: It's like someone who plays baseball and they get to play for the team that Willie Mays played for.

Edge: Can you even believe this is what you get to do for a living?

Hayes: It's amazing how it's come to this, working with two fabulous performers. And I never thought I'd play the West End of London. I didn't even know what the West End of London was.

Edge: How did you come to get the part?

Hayes: I was looking for a monologue to do and I found this show. We exchanged emails and that kind of thing and I ended up auditioning.

Edge: What were you doing at the time?

Hayes: I had a lot of jobs. Three at the time. I was working at Safeway during the day, teaching acting for five hours after that, and then doing comedy at night. You gotta do what you have to do when you have a wife and kids and a mortgage.

Edge: Is the show scripted?

Hayes: It's scripted to some degree. But there's room for improvisation. We know where we're going. But how we get there, well, we could take a left turn or a right turn. There's lots of leeway for spontaneity. It's all about trust and the love of the two other performers. Someone may sneeze or say something and we work with that.

Edge: What's it like playing Sammy Davis, Jr.?

Hayes: It's really exciting to be able to play a man of his magnitude. I'm honored and humbled.

Edge: What's the trick to making it all work?

Hayes: It's all about the transformation when the hair is right and the clothes and make-up. Being committed to that and to the integrity required. What really makes the magic is the chemistry of the guys. You have to do it with love and trust and respect. And I say that with all humility. It's all about the people and the music and the history.

Edge: What can audiences expect when they come to the show?

Hayes: It's a history piece. If they did it, then we do it. Like having the musicians on-stage. They did it. So we do it. It's a re-enactment of Vegas. It's a feel-good show. You'll be transported back to the sixties when it was safe to drink and smoke and eat red meat. It's a politically incorrect show. It was 1960 not 2000.

The Rat Pack Live at the Sands

Majestic Theater

1925 Elm Street

March 4 -8 at 8:00pm with matinees at 2:00pm on the 5th, the 7th, and the 8th.

Tickets start at $12.00 and are available at,, or by calling 214-631-2787

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Paperback is Officially Out!

You have to see this very cool postcard that my friend Lorraine Bryda at designed for the release of my paperback.

Check out my postcard and "join me" in my travels on the virtual highway!

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Big Happy Family Redux

Uh, yeah. So, I just realized I never even told you about "One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory, Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love." It's this fabulous new collection of essays edited by Rebecca Walker  (yes, she is Alice Walker's daughter), which opens up with a piece I wrote called "And Then We Were Poly." The book is receiving rave reviews. Publishers Weekly loved it and so did Kirkus, which gave it a starred review. 

It's a book about what it means to be a family. And let's just say that more than one of the essays made me cry and all of them made me proud to be a part of such a ground-breaking work. 

One Big Happy Family

The reviews are rolling in and they are looking good! Here is one from the Dallas Morning News that gave me a very nice shout-out. And here is a mention I received in the Dallas Voice. (You have to scroll down past the very handsome Tyson Beckford. I know, it was hard for me too!)