Monday, April 25, 2016

LIST OF WORKS INCLUDED


USTheater, Opera, and Performance

TABLE OF CONTENTS
(alphabetical by playwright)

John Adams and Peter Sellars (USA)

Aeschylus (Ancient Greece)

Ilse Aichinger (Austria)


Eleanor Antin (USA)
"On Credit" (on Before the Revolution) by Douglas Messerli

Julie Archer and Lee Breuer (USA)
"The Locked Windows" (on Archer's and Breuer's Peter and Wendy) by Douglas Messerli

John Arden (England/Ireland)
"Pulling Down the Roof" (on Serjeant Musgrave's Dance) by Douglas Messerli
Robert Ashley (USA)
"An American Original" (on the death of Ashley and a concert in 2015 at Redcat in Los Angeles)

Back to Back Theatre (Australia)
"Playing the Play" (on Ganesh Versus the Third Reich) by Douglas Messerli
Béla Balázs  see Béla Bartok
Joe Arias (USA)
"Strange Fruit" on Arias' Billie Holiday Centennial Concert) by Douglas Messerli

Joey Arias and Basil Twist (USA)
"This Is It" (on Arias with a Twist and Michael Jackson) by Douglas Messerli

Amiri Baraka (USA)
"Essential Dichotomies" (on Baraka's "The Toilet" and on his life and poetry) by Douglas Messerli 

Djuna Barnes (USA)
"Freeling Family" (on Djuna Barnes' Biography of Julie van Bartmann) by Douglas Messerli
Three from the Earth
"The Days on Jig Cook" (on George Cram Cook and the Provincetown Players)
"Djuna Barnes' Roots," (on the short plays of Djuna Barnes) by Douglas Messerli

"The Songs of Synge"
The Antiphon

J. M. Barrie (b. Scotland/England)
"The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" (printed play)
"The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" (radio play with the Barrymores)
"Bond of Age" (on Barrie's "Rosalind" and "The Old Lady Shows Her Medals") by Douglas Messerli
"The Locked Windows" (on Archer's and Breuer's Peter and Wendy, based on a novel by J. M. Barrie) by Douglas Messerli

Béla Bartok (Hungary)
"Locking Up Being" (on Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle) by Douglas Messerli
"What's Love Got To Do with It?" (on Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle) by Douglas Messerli
Tina Bausch (Germany)
"You Know What I Mean" (on Bausch's Ten Chi and Richard Foreman's Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland) by Douglas Messerli

Samuel Beckett (Ireland/France)
"Nell's Death" (on Beckett's Endgame) by Douglas Messerli
"Talking the Tears Away" (on Beckett's Happy Days) by Douglas Messerli
"Be Again" (on Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape)
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies) (on Beckett's Waiting for Godot) by Douglas Messerli (New York Production)
"Living in the Details" (on Beckett's Waiting for Godot) by Douglas Messerli (Los Angeles Production)
Interview with and performance of Krapp's Last Tape by Harold Pinter

Belarus Free Theatre (Belarus)
"Sunday, Bloody, Sunday (2)" (on the company's Being Harold Pinter) by Douglas Messerli

David Belasco (USA)
The Return of Peter Grimm

Hans Bellmer (Germany)
"Notes on the Ball Joint"

Shelley Berc (USA)
A Girl's Guide to the Divine Comedy
Alban Berg (Germany)
"Desire Severed from Award" (on Berg's Lulu as performed at the MET Opera) by Douglas Messerli

Hector Berlioz (France)
"Delusion and Dream" (on Berlioz' Les troyens) by Douglas Messerli

Leonard Bernstein (USA)
"Three Bernstein New Yorks" (on Bernstein's On the Town, Wonderful Town, and West Side Story) by Douglas Messerli
"Spiritual Uplift" (on Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti)

Susan Birkenhead (USA)
see Bob Martin
Georges Bizet (France)
"Love vs. Faith" (on Bizet's The Pearl Fishers) by Douglas Messerli

Jens Bjørneboe (Norway)
The Bird Lovers
 "Cataloging Evil" (on Bjørneboe's The Bird Lovers and Semmelweis) by Douglas Messerli


Lily Blau (USA)
"Differential Equations" (on Blau's The Missing Pages of Lewis Carroll) by Douglas Messerli

Jerry Bock (USA)
"On the Side of the Angels" (on the deaths of Bock, Joseph Stein, and Tom Bosley) by Douglas Messerli 
"Writing Tenderly" (on Jerry Bock's, Sheldon Harnick's and Joe Masteroff's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

Maxwell Bodenheim and Ben Hecht (USA)
The Master Poisoner

Tom Bosley (USA)
"On the Side of the Angels" (on the deaths of Bock, Joseph Stein, and Tom Bosley) by Douglas Messerli

Jane Bowles (USA)
"A Necessary Remedy" (on Bowles' In the Summer House) by Douglas Messerli

Bertolt Brecht (Germany)
"Moon of Alabama" from The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
Selected Audio Works

Stephan Brecht (b. Germany/USA)
"Stage and Street" (on the theater writings of Brecht) by Douglas Messerli

Lee Breuer (USA)
Porto Morco
"Barnyard Philosophers" (on Breuer's Summa Dramatica and Porco Morto) by Douglas Messerli 


Lee Breuer and Maude Mitchell (USA)
"You Great Big Beautiful Doll" (on Mabou Mines Dollhouse) by Douglas Messerli
Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe (USA)
"Everybody Leaves" (on Brickman's, Elice's, Gaudio's, and Crewe's Jersey Boys) by Douglas Messerli

Benjamin Britten (England)
"Celebrating Liberation" (on Eric Crozier's and Britten's Albert Herring) by Douglas Messerli
"The Darkness Understands and Suffer" (on E. M. Forster, Eric Crozier, and Britton's Billy Budd) by Douglas Messerli
"The Piper's Son" (on Myfanwy Piper's and Britten's The Turn of the Screw) by Douglas Messerli

Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, Willie Gilbert, and Frank Loesser (USA)
"The Company Way" (on How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying) by Douglas Messerli
see also Frank Loesser
 Jez Butterworth (England)
"Sunday, Blood Sunday" (on Butterworth's Jerusalem) by Douglas Messerli

John Cage (USA)
"Nothing on a Lecture (on Robert Wilson's performance of Cage's Lecture on Nothing) by Douglas Messerli

Karel Čapek (Czechoslavakia/now Czech Republic)
R. U. R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)

Al Carmines (based on Gertrude Stein) (USA)
In Circles
Promenade (with Maria Irene Fornes)

Aimé Césaire (Martinique)
"Trying to Be Everything" (on Césaire's Une Saison Au Congo) by Douglas Messerli

Anton Chekhov (Russia)
"The Dogs Howl" (on Chekhov's The Seagull) by Douglas Messerli
Moose Charlap (music) (with Irene Mecchi (teleplay, based on the play by J. M. Barrie), Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green (lyrics, with additional lyrics by Amanda Green) and Jule Styne (music) (USA)
"Walkin' the Plank (on Peter Pan Live! [TV production, 2014]) by Douglas Messrli

Marissa Chibas (with Erik Ehn and Travis Preston) (USA)
Listening (on Chibas', Ehns', and Preston's Brewsie and Willie) by Douglas Messerli

Lucinda Childs (USA)
"Unaltered Images of Movement" (on Childs', Adams', and Gehry's Available Light) by Douglas Messerli
Julia Cho (USA)
"Dead Languagaes" (on Cho's The Language Archive) by Douglas Messerli

Jean Cocteau (France)
Complete recordings of theater, performances and other works (link with UBUWeb)
Barbara Cook (USA)
"Getting to Know Her" (on Cook singing at the Wallis Annenberg Theatre) by Douglas Messerli

George Cram Cook (USA)
"The Days of Jig Cook" (on Cook and the Provincetown Players) by Djuna Barnes

George Cram Cook and Susan Glaspell (USA)
Suppressed Desires
"Celebration of Suppression" (on Cook's and Glaspell's Suppressed Desires) by Douglas Messerli

Noël Coward (England)
"Breaking Away" (on Coward's Blithe Spirit) by Douglas Messerli

Eric Crosier (England) see Benjamin Britten
Bob Crewe see Marshall Brickman

Tim Crouch (England)
"The Miracle of Art" (on Crouch's An Oak Tree) by Douglas Messerli
Stan Daniels (USA) see Joseph Stein
Claude Debussy (France)
"The Outsiders" (on Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande) by Douglas Messerli 

Shelagh Delaney (England)
"Thieves of Love" (on Delaney's A Taste of Honey) by Douglas Messerli

Gaetano Donizetti (Italy)
"Battling Divas" (on Giuseppe Bardari's and Gaetano Donizetti's Maria Stuarda) by Douglas Messerli
"Scarf and Ring" (on Donizetti's Roberto Dovereaux) by Douglas Messerli
Elevator Repair Service (USA)
"Problems with the Text" (on Elevator Repair Services' Arguendo) by Douglas Messerli

Rick Elice (USA)
"Wasted on Youth" (on Elice's Peter and the Starcatcher) by Douglas Messerli
see also Marshall Brickman
Everly Brothers (USA)
"Bye Bye Love" (on the Everly Brothers and Phil Everly's death) by Douglas Messerli

Cy Feuer (USA)
"The Brotherhood" (on Cy Feuer and his death) by Douglas Messerli

William Finn and James Lapine (USA)
"Something Bad Is Happening" (on Finn's and Lapine's Falsettos) by Douglas Messerli
Ronald Firbank (England)
"The Princess Zoubaroff"

Richard Foreman (USA)
Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland
"The Unfortunate Truth of My Situtation" (on Foremlan's Old-Fashioned Prostitutes) by Douglas
Messerli 
"You Know What I Mean" (on Foreman's Deep Trance Behavior in Potatoland and Tina Bausch's
Ten Chi) by Douglas Messerli

Maria Irene Fornes (b. Cuba/USA)
"The Power of Desperation" (on The Conduct of Life) by Douglas Messerli
"A Very Long Walk" (on Promenade) by Douglas Messerli
"Rain of Summons" (on Fefu on and Her Friends) by Douglas Messerli

Scott Frankel (USA) see Doug Wright

Max Frisch (Switzerland)
"The Conflagration" (on Frisch's The Arsonists) by Douglas Messerli

George Furth (USA) see Stephen Sondheim

Armand Gatti (Monaco/France)
Two Plays: The 7 Possibilities from Train 713 Departing from Auschwitz and
Public Song Before Two Electric Chairs


Susan Glaspell (USA)
Trifles
see also George Cook Cram

Betty Garrett (USA)
"I'm Still Here: Two Valentines" (on performances by Garrett and Eliane Stritch) by Douglas Messerli
Bob Gaudio see Marshall Brickman

Jack Gelber (USA)
"Eye to Eye" (on Gelber's Square in the Eye and Arnold Weinstein's Red Eye of Love) by Douglas Messerli

Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Lucinda Childs, and Christopher Knowles (USA)
"This One Is Being Very America" (on Glass, Wilson, and Child's Einstein on the Beach) by Douglas Messerli

James Goldman (USA)
"Slightly Sour" (on Goldman's and Sondheim's Follies) by Douglas Messerli
Philip Kan Gotanda (USA)
"Mixed Messages" (on Gotanda's Remember the I-Hotel) by Douglas Messerli

Allen Graubard (USA)
"Comment on Gellu Naum's The Taus Watch Repair Shop"

Alice Goodman, Peter Sellars, and John Adams (USA)
"Six Degrees of Insanity" (on Goodman's, Sellars', and Adams' Nixon in China) by Douglas Messerli

David Greenspan (USA)
Son of an Engineer

John Guare (USA)
"On Red Eye of Love"

Dan Guerrero (USA)
"Mariachi to Merman" (on ¡Gaytino! ) by Douglas Messerli

George Frideric Handel (England)
"Tears and Hope" (on Giulio Cesare) by Douglas Messerli

Lorraine Hansbery (USA)
"Survivors" (on A Raisin in the Sun) by Douglas Messerli

Sheldon Harnick (USA)
"Writing Tenderly" (on Harnick's, Bock's and Masteroff's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

John Hawkes (USA)
"The Empty Pool" (on Hawkes' The Innocent Party) by Douglas Messerli


Jake Heggie (USA)
"The Face of God" (On Heggie's and Terrence MacNally's Dead Man Walking) by Douglas Messerli
"Embracing the Cannibal" (on Heggie and Gene Scheer's Moby-Dick) by Douglas Messerli

Matthew S. Hinton (USA)
Drake Disappears
Lucas Hnath (USA)
"What Does It Mean to Believe?" (on Hnath's The Christians)
Billie Holliday (USA)
"Stormy Weather" sung by Billie Holliday (1952) [link]
Hotel Modern (and Arthur Sauer)
"Toy Soldiers" (on their production of The Great War) by Douglas Messerli

Henrik Ibsen (Norway)
"The Man Who Stands Alone" (on Ibsen's An Enemy of the People) by Douglas Messerli
When We Dead Awaken
"When We Dead Awaken" (on Ibsen's play) by C. H. A. Bjerregaard
Hedda Gabler 
"Burned Up" (on Ibsen's Hedda Gabler) by Douglas Messerli
"Ibsen's New Drama" by James Joyce

Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (Italy) see Giacomo Puccini

Eugène Ionesco (Romania/France)
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies" (on Ionesco's Exit the King, Waiting for Godot and West Side Story) by Douglas Messerli
"Growing Horns" (on Ionesco's Rhinoceros) by Douglas Messerli

Michael Jackson (USA)
"This Is It" (on Jackson's filmed rehearsals and Joey Arias and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist) by Douglas Messerli

Henry James (USA)
Summersolft

Alfred Jarry (France)
Early chansons, lectures about Jarry, and a film version of Ubu Roi (link to Ubuweb)
Ubu Roi (film version by Jean-Christophe Averty)
David Javerbaum (USA)
"Holy Lite" (on Javerbaum's An Act of God) by Douglas Messerli

Len Jenkin (USA)
"Heart of Darkness" (on Jenkin's Dark Ride) by Douglas Messerli
Dream Express (link with Jenkin's site)

Rajiv Joseph (USA)
"Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright" (on Joseph's Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo) by Douglas Messerli

James Joyce (Ireland)
"Ibsen's New Drama"

Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin (England)
"Loud and Quiet" (on Kelly's and Minchin's Matilda) by Douglas Messerli

Robert Kelly (USA)
"Monologues for Orpheus: A Dance Play"

Adrienne Kennedy (USA)
"Herselves: A Chamber Piece" (on Kennedy's Funnyhhouse of a Negro) by Douglas Messerli
B. B. King (USA)
"The Thrill" (on a performance and King's death) by Douglas Messerli

Oscar Kokoschka (Austria)
Murderer the Women's Hope

Bernard-Marie Koltès (France)
"Men in the Streets" (on the Zeromski Theatre's production of In the Solitude of Cotton Fields) by Douglas Messerli

Michael Korie (USA) see Doug Wright

Alfred Kreymborg (USA)
Jack's House (A Cubic-Play)
Lima Beans
"Food for Love" (on Kreymborg's Lima Beans) by Douglas Messerli


Tony Kushner (USA)
"Crashing Through the Ceiling of Despair" (on Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches) by Douglas Messerli

Tom La Farge (USA)
Talking While Shaving

Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek (USA)
"No One's Home" (on Lane's and Yazbek's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) by Douglas Messerli
James Lapine (USA)
"Out of the Woods" (on Lapine's and Sondheim's Into the Woods) by Douglas Messerli

Miklos Laszlo (Hungary/USA)
"Working Against Love" (on Laszlo's Parfumerie) by Douglas Messerli 

Arthur Laurents (USA)
"Three Bernstein New Yorks" (on West Side Story and two other Bernstein musicals) by Douglas Messerli
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragi-Comedies" (on West Side Story and plays by Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco) by Douglas Messerli
"The Coward's Hand" (on Laurents' Home of the Brave) by Douglas Messerli
"A Necessary Vacuum" (on Laurents' Gypsy) by Douglas Messerli

Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (USA)
"The Gang's Still Here" (on Lawrence's and Lee's The Gang's All Here) by Douglas Messerli
"My Broadway Hit" (on a celebration for Jerome Lawrence) by Douglas Messerli


Stacey Levine (USA)
"The Good House" (in Levine's Susan Moneymaker, Large and Small) by Douglas Messerli
Susan Moneymaker, Large and Small: A Ten Minute Play
Frank Loesser (USA)
"Chance and Chemistry" (on Loesser's, Swerling's and Burrows' Guys and Dolls) by Douglas Messerli

Kirk Lynn (USA)
"Approaching the Real" (on Lynn's The Method Gun) by Douglas Messerli

Tracy Letts (USA)
"Muddy Boots" (on Letts' August: Osage County) by Douglas Messerli

Joshua Logan (USA) see Oscar Hammerstein II

Terrence MacNally (USA) see Jake Heggie

Maurice Maeterlinck (Belgium)
The Intruder

Claudio Magris (Italy)
To Have Been
Voices: Three Plays

F. T. Marinetti (and others) (Italy)
"The Futurist Synthetic Theater"

Bob Martin (USA)
"Warm Up" (on Martin's, Charles Strouse's, and Susan Birkenhead's Minsky's) by Douglas Messerli
Jules Massenet (France)
"Between Duty and the Devil" (on Massenet's Werther) by Douglas Messerli

Joe Masteroff (USA)
'Writing Tenderly" (on Masteroff's, Harnick's and Bock's She Loves Me) by Douglas Messerli

Vladimir Mayakovsky (Russia)
Vladimir Mayakovsky: Tragedy in Two Acts with a Prologue and an Epilogue
The Bathtub (adapted by Paul Schmidt)
Missy Mazzoli (USA)
"Glimpses of a Vaster Landscape" (on Mazzoli's opera Song from the Uproar) by Douglas Messerli

Arthur Miller (USA)
"Whatever Happend to Willy Loman?" (on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman) by Douglas Messerli

Tim Miller (USA)
"Tokyo Tim"
Jelly Roll Morton (USA)
"An American Epic" (on Poor Dog Group's production of The Murder Ballad [1938]) by Douglas Messerli

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Germany)
Douglas Messerli Bad Day on the Seville Streets (on Lorenzo da Ponte's and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts's Don Giovanni)
Douglas Messerli Terrifying Twists (on Lorenzo da Ponte's and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro)
Douglas Messerli Emblems of Love (on Emanuel Schikaneder's and Mozart's The Magic Flute)

Gellu Naum (Romania)
The Taus Watch Repair Shop
Jacques Offenbach (Germany/France) (with Jules Barbier and Michael Carre. based on E.T.A.Hoffmann)
"Love and Tears" (on Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann) by Douglas Messerli

 John O'Keefe (USA)
Reapers
"What Have We Reaped?" (on O'Keefe's Reapers)


Eugene O'Neill (USA)
"The Awakened Emperor" (on O'Neill's The Emperor Jones) by Douglas Messerli
"Standing in the Moonlight" (on O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness!) by Douglas Messerli
The Hairy Ape
"In Control" (on O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night) by Douglas Messerli
"The Endless Voyage" (on O'Neill's Glencairn Plays) by Douglas Messerli
The Moon of the Caribees

The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners (USA)
"Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails and Hoots" (on Luigi Rusolo and The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners) by Douglas Messerli
Joe Orton (England)
"Identity in Dashes" (on Orton's What the Butler Saw) by Douglas Messerli

Eric Overmyer (USA)
"The Fire Within" (on Overmyer's Dark Rapture) by Douglas Messerli
"Past Present Future Tense" (on Overymer's On the Verge) by Douglas Messerli
Suzan-Lori Parks
"Leap of Faith" (on Parks' Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Douglas Messerli

Kier Peters (Douglas Messerli) (USA)
A Dog Tries to Kiss the Sky
The Rumble
The Confirmation
"Confirming Reality" (on Peters' The Confirmation) by Douglas Messerli
"Kier's Secret German Audience" (on Peters' The Confirmation) by Douglas Messerli
The Wonder

Francesco Mari Piave (Italy) see Giuseppe Verdi

Harold Pinter (England)
"Another Room" (on Pinter's The Room) by Douglas Messerli
"The Homecoming Gift" (on Pinter's The Homecoming) by Douglas Messerli
"Talk" (on Pinter's The Collection) by Douglas Messerli
"The Wasps" (on Pinter's A Slight Ache) by Douglas Messerli

"Service" (on Pinter's The Dumb Waiter) by Douglas Messerli
Interview with and performance of Krapp's Last Tape

Cole Porter (USA) [with P. G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, Russell Crouse, Timothy Crouse and John Weidman
"Pure Poetry" (on Porter's Anything Goes) by Douglas Messerli

Francis Poulenc (France)
"Fanatical Martyrs" (on Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites) by Douglas Messerli

Giacomo Puccini (music), Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (Italy)
"Facing the Cold" (on La Boheme) by Douglas Messerli
"The Blindfold" (on Madama Butterfly, MET production) by Douglas Messerli
"Fin de siecle" (on Madama Butterfly, LAOpera production) by Douglas Messerli
"A Kind of Turandot" (on Madama Butterfly, MET production, 2016) by Douglas Messerli
"The Barbarian Within" (on Turandot, MET production) by Douglas Messerli
Henry Purcell (England)
"Hello, I Must Be Going" (on Purcell and Nahum Tate's Dido and Aeneas) by Douglas Messerli
Philippe Quesne (France)
"Elemental Theater" (on Quesne's La Mélancolie des dragons) by Douglas Messerli 

Peter Quilter (England)
"An Incautious Overdose of Life" (on Quilter's End of the Rainbow) by Douglas Messerli

Nina Raines (England)
"Moonlight" (on Raines' Tribes) by Douglas Messerli

Maurice Ravel (composer) and Colette (libretto)
"Bad Manners" (on Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges (The Child and the Sorceries) by Douglas Messerli
Vicki Ray (USA)
"It's Elementary" (on Ray's piano concert at Redcat in Feburary 2016) by Douglas Messerli

Elmer Rice (USA)
The Adding Machine
"More Than Zero?" (on the musical version of Rice's The Adding Machine) by Douglas Messerli


Jack Richardson (USA)
"Locked Up" (on Richardson's Gallows Humor) by Douglas Messerli

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (USA)
"Confused by Paradise" (on Rodgers' and Hammerstein's South Pacific) by Douglas Messerli
Gioachino Rossini (Italy)
"Hidden in Plain Sight" (on Rossini's La donna del lago) by Douglas Messerli

Lugi Russolo (Italy)
The Art of Noises
"Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails and Hoots" (on Lugi Russolo and The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners) by Douglas Messerli
Sean San Jose (USA)
 "Mixed Messages" (on San Jose's Presenting....the Monstress!) by Douglas Messerli

Aram Saroyan (USA)
Gertrude and Lew: A Double Bill
Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik [USA] [see Frank Wedekind]
Gene Scheer (see Jake Heggie)
Janet Schlapkohl (USA)
"The Same but Different" (on Schlapkohl's My Sister) by Douglas Messerli

Roland Schimmelpfennig (Germany)
"Telling the Story As It Is Being Told" (on Schimmelpfennig's The Arabian Night and Woman from the Past)

Arthur Schnitzler (Austria)
Hands Around or La Ronde
"An Endless Dance" (on Schnitzler's La Ronde) by Douglas Messerli

Peter Sellars and John Adams (USA)
"A Body Transfixed by the Noonday Sun" (on Sellars' and Adams' The Gosepl According to the Other Mary) by Douglas Messerli
"Six Degrees of Insanity" (on Goodmans', Sellars' and Adams' Nixon in China) by Douglas Messerli
William Shakespeare (England)
"Even the Fool Is Hung" (on Shakespeare's King Lear) by Douglas Messerli

George Bernard Shaw (England)
Heartbreak House
"Keeping the Homefires Burning" (on Shaw's Heartbreak House) by Douglas Messerli

Wallace Shawn (USA)
"Even the Thought" (on Shawn's A Thought in Three Parts) by Douglas Messerli
Martin Sherman (USA)
"Talking Sex" (on Sherman's Bent) by Douglas Messerli

Dmitri Shostakovich (USSR)
"Shrill Charm" (on Shostakovich's Nos (The Nose) by Douglas Messerli

Stephen Sondheim (USA)
"Convincing the Soloist to Join the Band" (on Furth's and Sondheim's Company) by Douglas Messerli
"Into the Woods" (on Lapine's and Sondheim's Into the Woods) by Douglas Messerli
"Sweating It: Three Mid-Century Tragic-Comedies" (on West Side Story, Waiting for Godot and Exit the King) by Douglas Messerli
"A Necessary Vacuum" (on Laurents' and Sondheim's Gypsy) by Douglas Messerli
 "Slightly Sour" (on Goldman's and Sondheim's Follies) by Douglas Messerli

Sam Shepard (USA)
"Unburying the Dead" (on Shepard's Buried Child) by Douglas Messerli

James Strah (USA)
"Shadowing the Shadows" (on Strah's and the Wooster Group's North Atlantic) by Douglas Messerli

Gertrude Stein (USA)
Brewsie and Willie (see Marissa Chibis)
Do Let Us Go Away
a short documentary with original photographs of Stein's and Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts
In Circles (music by Al Carmines)
a recording from the Santa Fe Opera of Stein's and Virgil Thomson's opera The Mother of Us All
(UBUweb link)
What Happened: A Five Act Play
Mexico

Joseph Stein (USA)
"Moving on Down" (on Stein and Stan Rice's Enter Laughing) by Douglas Messerli
"On the Side of the Angels" (on Stein, Jerry Bock, and Tom Bosley and their deaths) by Douglas Messerli

John Steppling (USA)
Sea of Cortez
"The Verge of Possibility" (on Steppling's Sea of Cortez) by Douglas Messerli


Richard Strauss (Germany)
"A Dance of Death" (on Strauss' Salome)

August Strindberg (Sweden)
Creditors
"Adam and Snake" (on Stridberg's Creditors) by Douglas Messerli 
Miss Julie
"The Crazy Lady" (on Strindberg's Miss Julie) by Douglas Messerli 
"Strindberg As Absurdist" (on Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata) by Douglas Messerli 

Elaine Stritch (USA)
"I'm Still Here: Two Valentines" (on performances by Stritch and Betty Garrett) by Douglas Messerli

Charles Strouse (USA) see Bob Martin

Jule Styne (USA) see Arthur Laurents or Stephen Sondheim
Jule Styne (USA) see Moose Charlap and others
Jo Swerling (USA) see Frank Loesser

John Millington Synge (Ireland)
Riders to the Sea
"The Songs of Synge" (on Synge's plays) by Djuna Barnes

Bill Talen and Savitri D (USA)
"Tigers Got to Hunt" (on Talen's and Savitri D's Reverend Bill and the Life After Shopping Gospel Choir: The Earth-a-Llujah Earth-a-Llujah Revival!) by Douglas Messerli

Booth Tarkington (USA)
Clarence
Nahum Tate  see Henry Purcell

Ronald Tavel (USA)
Andy Warhol's Horse
Lives and Loves of Hedy Lamar
Modest Tchaikovsky (see Peter Tchaikovsky)
Peter Tchaikovsky
"What's Love Got To Do with It?" (on Tchaikovsky's Iolanta) by Douglas Messerli

Fiona Templeton (b. Scotland/USA)
"The Poet's Theater of Fiona Templeton: An Enviornmental View" (on Templeton's You, the City) by James Sherry 

David Thompson, John Kander and Fred Ebb (USA)
"On the Cusp" (on Thompson's, Kander, and Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys) by Douglas Messerli

Virgil Thomson (USA) see Gertrude Stein

Aristides Vargas (Argentina)
"The Traveling Table" (on Vargas' La Razón Blindada (Armored Reason) by Douglas Messerli
Royce Vavrek (Canada) [see Missy Mazzoli]

Giuseppe Verdi (Italy)
"Buried Alive" (on AntonioGhislanzoni's and Giuseppe Verdi's Aida) by Douglas Messerli
"Hold My Hand" (on Joseph Méry's, Camille du Locle's and Verdi's Don Carlo)  by Douglas Meserli
"Count Down" (on Piave's and Verdi's La Traviata, based on Alexandre Dumas' La Dame aux  
   Camelias) by Douglas Messerli
"Everybody's Fooled) (on Bioto's and Verdi's  Falstaff, based on Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of
    Windsor and King Henry IV) by Douglas Messerli
"Living in a Glass House without Being Able to See In or Out" (on Bioto's and Verdi's Otello,
    based on the play by Shakespeare) by Douglas Messerli

Gore Vidal (USA)
"The Compromise" (on Vidal's The Best Man) by Douglas Messerli

Richard Wagner (Germany)
"The Devil Meets His Angel" (on Wagner's The Flying Dutchman) by Douglas Messerli
"The Sacred and the Profane" (on Wagner's Parsifal) by Douglas Messerli
"Casting Out the Self" (on Wagner's Die Walküre) by Douglas Messerli

Enda Walsh (England)
"Keeping to the Script" (on Walsh's The Walworth Farce) by Douglas Messerli
"Pool of Survivors" (on Walsh's Penelope) by Douglas Messerli
Ethel Waters (USA)
"Stormy Weather" sung by Ethel Waters (1933) [link]
Frank Wedekind (Germany) [see also Steven Sater and Duncan Shiek (USA)]
"An Audience of the Deaf and Blind" (on Spring Awakening, the musical)
Kurt Weill (Germany/USA)
Recording of Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) Berlin, 1930 [link]

Arnold Weinstein (USA)
Red Eye of Love
"Eye to Eye" (on Weinstein's Red Eye of Love and Jack Gelber's Square in the Eye) by Douglas Messerli

Mac Wellman (USA)
Bad Penny
The Hidden Part of the US Constitution
The Offending Gesture
"Apropos of The Offending Gesture"
"Tails/Tales" (on Wellman's Bad Penny) by Douglas Messerli
"What American Abandons Abandons America" (on Wellman's Two September) by Douglas
Messerli
"Harm's Other Way: Some Notes on Mac Wellman's Theater" by Marjorie Perloff
"A Linguistic Fantasia" (on Wellman's A Murder of Crows) by Douglas Messerli
"Music from Another World" (on Wellman's The Hyacinth Macaw) by Douglas Messerli
"You Can't Go Home Again" (on Wellman's Second-Hand Smoke) by Douglas Messerli
"There Are No Such Things as Crows" (on Wellman's The Lesser Magoo) by Douglas Messerli
"Mac Wellman" (interview) by Linda Yablonsky [link]

Oscar Wilde (Ireland)
The Importance of Being Earnest
"Nothing But the Truth" (on Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest) by Douglas Messerli

Thornton Wilder (USA)
"Archetypal America" (on Thornton Wilder's Our Town) by Douglas Messerli

Tennessee Williams (USA)
"Dependent Independents" (on Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire) by Douglas Messerli
"Rise and Shine" (on Williams' The Glass Menagerie) by Douglas Messerli
"Bow Down and Be Dim" (on Williams' Vieux Carre) by Douglas Messerli
"End of the Road" (on Williams' Camino Real) by Douglas Messerli
"Medea's Last Dance" (on Williams' In Masks Outrageous and Austere) by Douglas Messerli
"The Making of Blanche DuBois (on Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale) by Douglas
Messerli

Robert Wilson (USA)
"Nothing on a Lecture (on Robert Wilson's performance of Cage's Lecture on Nothing) by Douglas Messerli

Ermano Wolf-Ferrari (composter) and Enrico Goslisciani (libretto) (Italy)
"Bad Manners" (on Wolf-Ferrari's Il segreto di susanna (Susanna's Secret) by Douglas Messerli

The Wooster Group (USA)

Elizabeth Wray (USA)

Doug Wright (USA)
"Winter in a Summer Town" (on Wright's, Scott Frankel's and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens) by Douglas Messerli 

Grzegorz Wróblewski (Poland/Denmark)
Turning Point
Miwa Yanagi (Japan)
"Can You Hear My Voice?" (on Miwa Yanagi's Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose's Last Tape) by Douglas Messerli

William Butler Yeats (Ireland)
Love and Death (manuscript version)

Stefan Zeromski Theatre (Poland)
"Men in the Streets" (on the Zeromski Theatre's production of In the Solitude of Cotton Fields) by Douglas Messerli








Douglas Meserli "Leap of Faith" (on Suzan-Lori Parks' Father Comes Home from the Wars, Part 1, 2 & 3)

leap of faith
by Douglas Messerli

Suzan-Lori Parks Father Comes Home from the Wars, Part I, 2 & 3 / Los Angeles, Mark Taper Forum / the performance I attended the matinee performance on Sunday, April 24, 2016

Suzan-Lori Parks’ most recent play, Father Comes Home from the Wars, Part 1, 2 & 3 begins with a huge Kierkegaardian leap of faith. Although slave Hero (Sterling K. Brown) has been previously betrayed by his owner, Colonel (Michael McKean)—he had been told that he would receive his freedom if he cut off the foot of runaway slave Homer (Larry Powell)—he takes a chance in believing that if he follows the Colonel into the Civil War on the Rebel side, he will finally be given his freedom when they return home.     
     Others are determined to attempt another escape, particularly given the fact that the Colonel is now leaving. Homer is of two minds, having been so painfully punished for his last attempt, and Penny (presumably a reference to the faithful Penelope) is determined to remain in the one-room shack until her lover, Hero returns from the war.
      So begins a play that in three acts explores the inter-dependency of blacks and whites in a sometimes quite brilliant mini-epic (the play runs for nearly 3 hours) that includes a musical score, also composed by Parks, performed by musician Steven Bargonetti. 
      If the first act serves mostly as a disquisition about faith and disbelief, the second act represents the terrors of war itself, where Colonel and his servant Hero, now lost, have caged up a Yankee captain, eager to take him back to the front line with them as protection against retaliation for their having wandered away from the troop. Colonel not only maltreats his new captive, but continue his degradation of Hero, demanding he shine up both their boots, run for wood, and cooks their dinner, among many other demands.
     Meanwhile, he taunts the captain, unable to comprehend how he could not want possibly to have his own slave—if only for a day. In a long interchange he insists that the Captain, in return for his freedom, precisely estimate the worth of Hero in dollars and cents. (He paid $800, although all agree that Hero’s worth has perhaps increased some over the years).
      The inability of this self-congratulatory narcissist to comprehend anything about others, reveals just how different is his world from the Yankee soldier’s world, and, perhaps more importantly, just how dependent he is upon Hero and his other six slaves, who have allowed him to rise into modest stature—vainly exaggerated by his placement, from time to time, of a huge white plume into his hat, absurdly reminding us of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”
      As the sounds of warfare come closer and Hero reports having seen a large massing of Northern troops along with a smaller grouping of Rebels, the Colonel goes off to check for himself the lay of the land. 
     Hero, temporarily releasing the Captain (Josh Wingate), asks him to explain why he wears two blue coats, the second belonging to a private, underneath his slightly larger Captain’s top coat. At first we might suspect that, a bit like in the book and film Brokeback Mountain, it may represent a sexual friendship with the now-dead private. But we soon discover that Smith himself is the private, who has stolen the dead Captain’s coat just to keep warm, and that, moreover, he is actually a black who is light-skinned enough to “pass.” Yet, the relationship between the black private and the white captain is maintained even in the image of the borrowed coat.
       The fact that the director (Jo Bonney) and the playwright employ a white man to perform this role further drives home one of the works major themes: that the differences between the two races is a thing of the mind rather than anything else. Indeed, Hero throughout shows himself as having more nobility and intelligence than the Colonel might ever achieve. Ordered to follow along after the Colonel with the neck of the new “slave” encircled with a rope, Homer releases Smith and tells him to run, while he stays on to serve, secretly placing the blue coat beneath his rebel one, wherein his connection with the now runaway Northern black man remains throughout the rest of the war.
      For all its racial (and sexual) commentary, however, Parks’ play is not only about race; and even the noble Hero, returning from the war without having ever been freed by the Colonel, but carrying with him presents for the others, including the Emancipation Proclamation, is ultimately himself a traitor. Although Penny has bedded with Homer through the years of the war, she has remained “true” in her heart to Hero, who has now renamed himself Ulysses. 
      The world Ulysses discovers upon his return, however, is now filled with runaway slaves, fearful of being given away even by those who lovingly put them up for the night. Well should they be, for although Penny has remained true and Hero has protected and loved her, Ulysses finally reveals he has married another woman—apparently in order to have offspring. He does not know that his Penny might herself have produced a child, and is now pregnant with what appears to be Homer’s offspring—which, symbolically of course, makes us have to question whether it is a real or imaginary child. 
      Throughout both Homer and Penny have stayed on mostly as testimony of their love and admiration for Hero/Ulysses, but given Ulysses’ new unsympathetic guise—he is intent on keeping both Penny and his new wife in the same confines of this one-room cabin—Penny finally turns on him, particularly when, out of jealousy he attempts to murder Homer, whose life she saves.  
     Beyond the metaphoric considerations of these relationships between the creator and created, we have the simple problematic of what, in that creation, the hero has finally become. Over all these years of living so intensely in his love-hate relationship with the Colonel, Ulysses has, in fact, become a man closer to the Colonel than to the others attempting to escape a world from which, with emancipation, they need no longer run from.
      In fact, Parks’ central concern is trying to discern what her men and women really mean by freedom. Ulysses, finally, cannot comprehend his worth without a price upon his head. The others can only imagine it as a somehow better place, even though we know that the hardships they will have face will be, in some cases as bad or even worse than those they have previously suffered in the South. The North to which they plan to run will be as uncomprehending, if not more, than the world from which they have run. If they escape to Chicago, for example, what conditions might generations after them endure?
      In the end—the last act is titled, “The Union of My Confederate Parts—Ulysses stays on in the South, more confederated with the soon to be Black Crow world than perhaps any of the remaining whites. By seeking his freedom through subservience, he has become a endless slave to the brutal past.
      Charles McNaulty, writing in the Los Angeles Times described Parks’ work as involving a great many postmodern riffs; but, in fact, her play—although easily moving between more formal and colloquial language, and containing a highly comic interlude in which Ulysses’ dog Odd-See describes her version of events (a little too cute for my taste)—is a far more old-fashioned modernist work of lost faith, misunderstanding, guilt, and remorse. 
     There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, particularly when you are an engaging writer like Parks. But it will be interesting where she takes this epic work in its later parts. Indeed, in these first three sections, there is strangely enough no father nor child as yet to come home to. Parks has described this play as being a testament to her professional military father’s involvement in wars and “rehearsals for war” as she was growing up as a child; perhaps in the later chapters we may see how these Civil War figures prefigured her more radically-conceived contemporary life.

Los Angeles, April 25, 2016