Meanwhile the Grauniad is running a daily series on cities, and there's an entry on New York City. Specifically, Jane Jacobs vs. Robert Moses. Hee hee! (Check out the other entries!)
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Well, I just purchased tickets for our Fringe Extravaganza in June1, and so I’d like to add some observations. This was triggered by the show we saw last night, Lunatics and Actors2…. well, actually, it was triggered by the program for the show. In the program, Ben Hill, director of the Fringe, is quoted as saying “Our mission, however, is to create more theatrical producers.” This is clear from their workshops and all the efforts they make — it is geared towards the individual producer and artists, making it easy for them to present their shows, find a venue, and promote.
They’ve forgotten someone.
To be specific, they’ve forgotten the someone who makes the Fringe successful, who provides a good chunk of the funds that keep these shows going.
They’ve forgotten the audience.
Whereas the Fringe may be artists friendly, it is less audience friendly. Here are some specific suggestions on how to improve the Fringe experience for the audience:
The Fringe Festival is more than the actors, producers, and directors in the shows. It is the audience, and this audience consists of not only the aforementioned actors, producers, and artists (and their friends and families), it consists of theatre lovers throughout Southern California. Fringe provides these people with a taste of shows they might not normally see, and can introduce them to the world of intimate theatre — the theatre beyond the Pantages and the Ahmanson. It can draw these folks in as financial backers for shows and artists. Listed above are my simple suggestions on how to make the Fringe experience better for the audience members.
There’s still time for Fringe leadership to introduce these suggestions this year. Fringe doesn’t start Fringing until the first weekend in June. Let’s make Fringe a success for audience, actor, and producer alike.
1: Ouch! Tickets for 15 shows add up, even at Fringe prices and with a button discount.
2: Writeup this afternoon
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Sure I am a little in wonderment that, was there a servant in the household that was about stealing jewellery, they would take Mrs K-‘s, for altho’ a fine enough piece, 'tis by no means as valuable as my diamonds or my rubies, or indeed, the other ladies also have exceeding fine jewels.
The gentleman come quite tumbling in to the drawing-room, having been convey’d the news of this theft. Mr D- K- commences upon ranting about thieving servants and in particular the number of blacks in this establishment, that he dares say have been about training that little imp of theirs (by which I understand him to mean Julius) to climb in to places that would be quite secure from any of larger growth.
Mrs K- addresses herself very vehement to Milord about inviting guests to a house where such things happen. I confide that she bears him some resentment for not succumbing to her charms and finds this an excuse for berating him, that is at root about the jewel he has shown no inclination to take (which sure is pinchbeck and paste).
Sure I find myself a complete sceptick in this matter.
I look across to where Sandy is also looking entire unimpresst by the to-do. We exchange meaningfull glances, and I take out with much fumbling my smelling-bottle, crying that o, I feel quite faint, o, it might have been my fine rubies -
Comes up Sandy very expeditious and says, Lady B-, let me conduct you out of this throng to somewhere where you may sit quietly and recover yourself.
I notice some expressions of annoyance on certain of the gentlemen that they have been forestall’d in this matter.
He takes me into the small parlour and closes the door. Should we be sending for Matt Johnson? he asks.
O, I do not think we need to trouble Mr Johnson, says I, 'twixt the two of us we may surely sound this mystery without calling upon Bow Street.
Sandy looks at me and raises his eyebrows. I am in some suspicion, he says, that it does not require even the two of us to sound this out, and that a certain silly creature has a fair notion of what the business is.
Why, says I, I daresay you would not have notic’d, 'tis entirely what a frivolous creature that thinks only of vain adornment would think of, but yestere’en Mrs K- was not wearing the fine necklace in question at dinner, but a pretty thing of amber, which, tho’ most becoming to one of her colouring, is by no means so precious a thing, and given that she is most exceeding prone to flaunt her finery, this seem’d not entirely in character.
'Tis no secret, I continue, that the pair of them are most eager for any enterprize that will bring them in remuneration, for they live well above their means.
That is sure true, says Sandy. One notes that while Lady Z- will make up to any fellow she likes the look of, Mrs K- will only set her sights upon a gentleman that will prove a profitable proposition -
Yes, says I, 'tis entire obvious that Scottish secretaries are quite beneath her notice –
There is a brief dour Calvinistickal glare and then Sandy says, the b---h quite lays siege to poor G-, to his great embarrassment.
That necklace, says I, though very fine, is by no means in the most modern fashionable style, for 'tis given out an heirloom in Mr D- K-'s family: I am sure that given her own taste in the matter Mrs K- would choose something somewhat different. However, if 'tis a family treasure, 'tis something that they could not openly sell to repair their fortunes.
Oho, says Sandy, I see entirely where you are leading.
Indeed, says I, I confide she has conceal’d the item in one of the hot-houses – one might go ask Roberts where he saw her, as I have been told he did, and whether he notices any place that has been disturb’d – will retrieve it at leisure and they will go sell it covertly. I would not be at all surpriz’d do they not also demand of Milord some recompense for inviting them to so badly manag’d a household that a lady’s jewels may be stolen. I hazard that they are at present demanding that all the servants’ boxes be examin’d.
We look at one another and Sandy says he will go at once talk to Roberts, and will certainly mention the insinuations about blacks and in particular the slander upon Julius.
That would be exceeding prudent, says I, you may leave me here to collect myself a while.
He goes. A few moments later comes in Eliza and says I do not appear to be in the vapours, indeed she did not expect to discover me thus, but about some means to spike the K-s' guns.
'Tis entirely so, says I, I have dispatcht Mr MacD- about the business. For I recollect you telling me that you heard that Roberts had spy’d Mrs K- in the hot-houses behaving somewhat suspicious.
So I did, says Eliza. Seraphine confides that he thought it was a case where those that are particular ardent gardeners will go about to steal cuttings of some particular fine specimen, but I do not, on thinking of the matter, suppose Mrs K- to be one that cares for flowers except they adorn herself.
Indeed not, says I.
Comes in Josiah and says that His Lordship takes up the defence of his servants, and indeed none of the visitors is entirely taken with the notion of their own servants having their boxes searcht, and Her Grace has been having words about the accusation against the blacks.
My dear, says I, could you with all expedition go to the hot-houses and tell Roberts and Mr MacD- by no means to disturb the thing do they find it? but leave it where 'tis.
He looks at me, nods, and goes at once.
Comes in Susannah and says 'tis not at all like the C- she knows to be taken in hystericks and she doubts not I feign’d the matter to avoid just such a brangle as is happening in the drawing-room at this precise moment.
Exactly so, says I, sure I am like to suppose that do I defend the honour of those that have been of my own household against these foul imputations, that coarse creature Mrs K- will begin animadversions upon myself, which cannot be profitable.
Indeed 'tis very like she would do so, she quite constant makes vulgar allusions to your former life.
So I have been inform’d.
She sits down, and so does Eliza, and we all sigh mightily.
Some while later return Sandy and Josiah, who say Lady B-'s word is their entire command, but they would like to know what I am about.
O, says I, did you just discover the necklace in some place of concealment she will be at saying that 'twas hid there by the thief to divert suspicion. But I think we may contrive better than that.
For I daresay, I go on, that the K-s will now be saying they will stay no longer in a house where this can happen, but 'tis quite entire too late for them to depart this e’en, quite aside from the very unpleasant weather, so they will be about leaving exceeding early the morn.
O, says Sandy, I see where you are leading. Tho’, indeed, I would think His Lordship might say that those who make such accusations are no longer welcome under his roof.
Whichever way about, says I, I confide they will be about leaving. Sure I should like to search their own boxes, but that would be in exceeding poor ton.
Susannah puts up her lorgnette and looks at me and gives a little laugh. O, they will regret disdaining you! she says.
Sure, says I, I can take people disdaining me for what I was with a placid mind, but I am most exceeding aggriev’d at the abuse of hospitality and the casting of suspicion upon servants and children.
Susannah remarks that even Sir B- W-, that is greatly inclin’d to be trusting, had considerable doubts as to Mr D- K-'s sincerity in making suit to our set, but suppos’d it entirely a pet at not receiving the advancement he would desire. But sure it seems a worse matter than one suppos’d.
There is a noise as of people leaving the drawing room still in a state of excitement, but going about to dress for dinner.
I must go apprize His Lordship of matters, says Sandy, that I can see has been longing to do that this great while.
I stand up and say I go dress for dinner, and perchance I will not mention this matter to Docket, for I fear 'twould make her so furious 'twould affect her heart.
Susannah sighs and says that she dares say 'tis all around the servants by now, sure these matters spread like a miasma
I fear she is right.