The best thing about Sunday mornings on holiday weekends is that they feel like Saturday mornings, but there's still The Sunday Times. In the case of this Memorial Day Weekend, we've got a lot more New York than just the Times here this weekend. There are scads of artists here performing in the two festivals who call Manhattan or one of its boroughs home - Paul Tayor Dance Company, Bill T. Jones, Aszure Barton, something like half the comedic lineup of of Theatre 99's 11-group Piccolo Fringe, and a goodly proportion of the individual musicians packing both Piccolo and Spoleto. Also on leave from the Apple is new Post and Courier Spoleto overview critic Joshua Rosenblum, who drops his first festival column today. I wrote about Rosenblum in this space a couple of weeks ago, when I first discovered that he'd be replacing Blair Tindall (now Mrs. Bill Nye the Science Guy) in the very large shoes of the late Robert T. Jones, who passed away in 2004 after having covered 28 consecutive Spoleto Festivals for the P&C.
Rosenblum seems to be a great fit for the role, with lots of symphonic, conducting, and writing cred to his name. The P&C also mentions in its bio that Rosenblum is the composer of the Off-Broadway "cult hit musical" Fermat's Last Tango, as well as Einstein's Dreams a musical adaptation of Alan Lightman's best-selling novel, which had its world premiere earlier this year in Lisbon. What they pointedly do not mention - and we over here at the City Paper are weak from giggling over this - is that right now, at this very moment, the Triad Theatre on W. 72nd St. is producing an Off-Broadway musical called Bush is Bad: the Musical Cure for the Blue State Blues, which Rosenblum is the chief creative mind behind, credited for the concept, the music and the lyrics. It's doing well, by all accounts, with an open run that The New York Times reviewed as recently as last October. You could even call it a "cult hit musical."
Why would The Post and Courier raise high the flag for Fermat's Last Tango and Einstein's Dreams, which closed long ago, and not even mention the current run of a hot-ticket anti-Bush Off-Broadway musical which Rosenblum created? Gosh, we're stumped.
In any event, I'm looking forward to meeting Mr. Rosenblum. He sounds like a nice guy, and he was a good sport when I spoke to him on the phone a couple of weeks ago, when I was confirming the Bush is Bad info. In fairness, he did say he'd "played down" the production in his talks with the conservative paper, which I took to mean he'd never mentioned it. Maybe I should send them a copy of the live cast recording, just out of thoughtfulness.