Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Traveling To Avenue Q



Saw Avenue Q tonight...Awesome, Awesome, Awesome... Think RENT but with puppets... and not the Team America type but the sesame Street/ Muppet kind! Its hard to explain the smile across my face, a broadway musical of muppets that both made me laugh and cry... Here are some excerpts from the Toronto Star...

Near the beginning of Avenue Q, the Tony Award-winning musical that Dancap Productions is bringing to the Elgin Theatre starting next Tuesday night, the cast of the show – humans and puppets alike – break into a song called "It Sucks to Be Me."

It's a neat way of letting us know several things at once:
1. The show is going to be about the feeling of disenfranchisement that many young people have today.
2. It's got a ribald sense of humour.
3. It's definitely not your grandpa's puppet show.

It's safe to issue a warning: if you don't like your puppets any racier than, say, Lamb Chop, you've stepped into the wrong theatre.

The creation of the songwriting team of Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, along with book writer Jeff Whitty, "the little musical that could" has been dazzling audiences for more than five years on Broadway, plus a still-hot run in London (and a disappointing one in Las Vegas). At last, Toronto gets a turn with a production touring North America. It all started because Lopez and Marx wished their friends liked musicals more. "We wanted to figure out why all the people we liked didn't like the same shows we did," says Marx from his New York home.

"We finally figured out that it was when characters started singing that they got turned off."

Since vocalization is a vital part of every musical, that would seem to be an insurmountable problem. Not to these guys.

"Animated cartoons and puppets have inherent permission to sing," explains Marx, "because you know they're fake. Once Miss Piggy starts singing, all rules cease to exist."

"The secret is the transference that the use of puppets allows. It's just like the masks in Greek theatre," he said on a rehearsal break in New York. "To anyone who understands the history of theatre, it's just like it was in ancient Greece, when – if you wanted to insult or satirize the people in power – you did it behind a mask so you could pretend to be innocent."

And so the puppets in Avenue Q can mock George W. Bush, get drunk and have one-night stands with inappropriate partners (like the succinctly named Lucy the Slut) or indulge in watching X-rated videos. In fact, one of the show's funniest numbers is called "The Internet is for Porn," with the unforgettable line, "Grab your dick and double-click."

Performed by puppets, the lyrics are at once more shocking and more acceptable – not to mention hilarious.

But there's a serious side to puppet transference as well, which Marx is anxious to point out. "My favourite part of the show," he says, "is Rod, the gay character, going through his journey of noticing that everyone around him has a partner and admitting to his therapist that he's lonely and wishes he was in a relationship.

"I love that the audience immediately roots for this gay puppet to live his life and wants him to be happy."

And although the second night of its Toronto run will also mark the start of its sixth year on Broadway, the show seems as relevant as ever.

"I'm really proud of this show," boasts producer McCollum, "because as the world gets crazier and crazier it still stays true."

How do you write a musical about racism, homophobia, sex, poverty and porn and also make it screamingly funny?
Create a cast of potty-mouthed puppets to do the dirty work for human writers and stars.

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Sunday Collaboration















Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

TKO Monroes Birthday... Had A Ball!


TKO Monroe's Birthday bash at Harlem Saturday night! Tons of entertainment as the mini ball started.... Happy Birthday Travoy!












Took hundreds of pics... couldn't possibly show them all here as much as I would like too, but I'll leave these pics for Travoy....
Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

African World Festival - Detroit 2008


The Renaissance Center dominates the skyline off of Hart Plaza where the African World Festival is hosted.
Some Panoramas of the festival!


The Masai stand quietly at the market

The Hart Plaza fountain brings relief to the sizzling hot weather... and some fun for these youngsters!


One of the new monuments..this one is dedicated to the point in the underground railroad where freed slaves would cross the Detroit River to Windsor and their freedom.

Drum class for 60!!! Believe me this was impressive...

The rest of Sunday I spent with my friends Lasaunji and Dewayne enjoying a meal and great conversation... a perfect end to a great trip to Detroit!!!

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Weekend Of Weddings & Reunions!


Another composite image made up of eight different images to capture that pinnacle moment in any wedding... Kissing the bride!

Major congrats go to my long time friend Karyn and her new husband Ernest... it was a long time coming but oh so worth the wait!

Looking fab with my Judy!!!!




Crashing the 1983 Cass Tech Class Reunion I meet up wit Lasaunji and my friend Curtis!
The kids were really partying.....

Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman.

Detroit Steel!


I have written in this blog many times, Detroit should never be considered down for the count. Detroit has a way, how ever slow to evolve and change to meet the challenges it is presented. This weekend I was able to participate in the 14th Woodward Dream Cruise. First a little about Woodward Avenue: When fire raced through Detroit in 1805, only one building was left standing in the tiny settlement. But rather than give up and leave, prominent Detroiters including the territorial governor, William Hull, and the territorial supreme court judge, Augustus Brevoort Woodward, went to Washington to seek funding to rebuild Detroit. Their new plans for the city included a snowflake pattern similar to the layout in Washington D.C. and in Paris designed by Charles L'Enfant. The Grand Circus Park area in the middle of the main street was originally called Court House Avenue after a planned court building. Parts of the street had also been called Pontiac Road, Saginaw turnpike and Witherell. However common usage sanctioned Woodward.

In 1908 the world's first mile of concrete was built on Woodward between Six mile and Seven mile, thus creating the first arena for today's continuous battle against potholes. A fitting event for the emerging automobile capitol of the world. The entire 27-mile length of Woodward was paved in 1916 and in 1919 the three-color traffic light appeared on the thoroughfare.









In August 1995, Nelson House and a group of volunteers looked to relive and recreate the nostalgic heydays of the 50s and 60s, when youth, music and Motor City steel roamed Woodward Avenue, America’s first highway. That year, 250,000 people participated—nearly ten times the number expected. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe—from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the former Soviet Union. North American cruisers from California, Georgia, Canada and all points in between caravan to Metro Detroit to participate in what has become, for many, an annual rite of summer.




Note: All images and text (not specified) is copyrighted by Christopher Cushman. This site does not specify or denote the sexual orientation of any model and as such please post your comments accordingly.