The first time I met Michele Carlo was at the Moth. We were in line at the Bitter End; I'd seen her perform and introduced myself as a newbie. "Storytellers are the best group of people," she told me. "Come out with us after the show." At that point, Michele had been telling stories in New York for more than a decade. She'd been a performer since college, where she was in with the Lower East Side's hip, arty crowd. She'd created a burlesque show around a character ... Read More
Best-selling author Wendy Shanker opens her latest memoir, Are You My Guru? How Medicine, Meditation and Madonna Saved My Life (Penguin, September 2010), with a comparison of sick bodies. Her own--as a person living with a rare autoimmune disorder--and Madonna's--as a person who "could crush your head between her thighs while she's prancing around singing 'Holiday.'" From the first page she lets us know that Madonna provides "an example of unrelenting strength." ... Read More
Ima gotta admit–I think the world was a better place before this series of books and movies came out. OK, maybe I should limit it to the movies since I haven't read the books, and obviously that means just the first two since the hornet one is yet to arrive on our shores, but I can't imagine how augmenting my knowledge of this trilogy would change my mind. I was going to hold off on passing judgment until the third one came out, but with the the ABC News ... Read More
In national news Bristol Palin is on the hot seat for receiving a $14,000 speaking fee from Lifehouse, a home for unwed mothers in Louisville, Kentucky. I'm thinking back home they're loving her. Well, most of them are anyway. Willow: "Where's mom?" Todd: "Would you pass the venison please, dear?" Piper: "Yeah, where's mom?" Bristol: "She's not coming." Track: "But you asked everyone to come. Even I'm here." Bristol rolls eyes. Sighs: "Whatever. Mom's going to ... Read More
 The Fringe Festival is on, bringing today's theater right to your doorstep for a pittance (most shows run from $15 to $18). I'm just back from seeing Faye Lane bring to life a small town in Texas in the '70s in her one-woman show, "Beauty Shop Stories." In an hour of story-telling and song, Faye paints a picture of her younger self as a lonely, overweight little girl ("in my Pretty Plus jeans") who dreams of a life beyond the beauty parlor. Rich as it is ... Read More