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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Mephistopheles of Pancakes' LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
9:37 pm
On Mastering a Fine Art
So, for anyone out there who is still reading this but didn't see what I posted on Facebook or Twitter, I've been accepted to NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program for this coming fall.


(11 Promises of the morning | Say something funny)

Saturday, December 31st, 2011
11:38 pm

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10:17 pm

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
11:10 pm

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Sunday, October 16th, 2011
1:04 am
NYMF Roundup: Day 6
GreenwoodCollapse )

TutCollapse )

Blood [By the Mummers]Collapse )

FINAL SCORE FOR THE FESTIVAL: 58 out of a possible 130.

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Friday, October 14th, 2011
12:18 am

(2 Promises of the morning | Say something funny)

Sunday, October 9th, 2011
2:06 am

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Saturday, October 8th, 2011
12:59 am
NYMF Roundup: Day 3
Outlaws: The Ballad of Billy the Kid
Book by Perry Liu, Joe Calarco, and Alastair William King
Music by Alastair William King and Perry Liu
Lyrics by Perry Liu

For lack of a better word, Outlaws is badass. Sure, you could write a musical about Billy the Kid and make it totally ordinary. It might even not suck. But it was ingenious of Liu, King, and Calarco to attack the story as rock and roll mythology; sticking only to the barest outline of the facts (there was a Billy the Kid, there was a Pat Garrett, they were criminals for a while, then Garrett turned legit and was involved in taking Billy down) and outfitting it with driving rock score, they have crafted something wholly itself and thoroughly engaging. It’s a rock musical without distancing irony—no magically appearing hand mics here.
The plot is fairly light, and the show could probably be compacted by about five minutes and the intermission deleted (as it is, Outlaws runs less than 1:45 including the break); although the first and last segments could use some clarification, it almost works to have Billy be a history-free, motivationless expression of pure teenage id. It doesn’t hurt that he’s played by the intensely charismatic Corey Boardman. David Murgittroyd is impressive as the hulking, conflicted Garrett; Isabel Santiago works wonders with a huge voice in the marginally underwritten role of a young mother who captures Billy’s heart (and other parts). They are ably assisted by the supporting cast of Antonio Addeo, Justin Gregory Lopez, and Travis McClung as well as a smoking five-piece band led by guitarist Chris Blisset. Jenn Rapp directs and choreographs with aplomb on a set designed by the estimable David Gallo, and Sky Switser's costumes carefully walk the line of contemporary and period.
And then there are the songs. Oh, the songs. I dare you to get "We Do Whatever We Want" out of your head. Hint: you won't be able to. (The main argument for keeping the intermission may be to hear nearly everybody on line for the restroom humming it, as was the case tonight.) It's hard to pick favorites out of the score, but the opening "That's What They Said" (which forms a leimotif throughout), the driving "Gun Song," and the haunting "Little Man" are standouts. I know that Outlaws has been floating around for a long time (it was originally announced to premiere at Signature in Virginia in 2001, but was canceled in the wake of September 11th), but I can't wait to see what comes next.
SCORE: 8 out of 10

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Friday, October 7th, 2011
1:26 am
NYMF Roundup, Day 2
Date of a Lifetime
Book and Lyrics by Carl Kissin
Music by Rob Baumgartner, Jr.

I fully support any musical with a 70-minute running time. Not that shows shouldn’t be longer, but having the commute that I do back to the suburbs, shorter is generally better. (I can think of only a handful of things I’ve seen in the past fifteen years that should have been longer.) And when a show uses 70 minutes as warmly, cleverly, and hilariously as Date of a Lifetime, well, that’s just icing on the cake. (Made more interesting by the fact that it started as a five-minute monologue by Kissin which then became a 15-minute musical before being expanded to its current length.)
The plot is simple enough—two lonely strangers meet at a speed-dating event and imagine entire lives with each other, lived out in fast forward. It’s not life-altering, to be sure, but it’s enormously warm and funny, and at times surprisingly deep. (Which is less than surprising, considering director Jeremy Dobrish is very good at this—he directed the tonally similar I See London, I See France several NYMFs ago.) And you really can’t ask for better performers for this kind of material than Jamie LaVerdiere and Farah Alvin, both of whom are expert comedians who just happen to have fabulous voices. (Although LaVerdiere might be just a tad too goyishe to pull off some of the Jewishness of the character.)
If there’s anything to quibble about, it’s that some parts of the score fall short of the high standards of the book—although the lyrics are almost invariably clever, the music too often lapses into undistinguished pop without quite evincing its own voice. Nevertheless, there’s a lot to love in the songs: the rollicking opener “It’ll Never Work Out,” the sweet “The Matter,” and the lovely “So Little” stand out.
SCORE: 7 out of 10.

(2 Promises of the morning | Say something funny)

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011
1:28 am

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Saturday, September 17th, 2011
11:40 pm
Getting Rid of Some More Books
Yours for shipping.

Before You Know Kindness, Chris Bohjalian
The Chymical Wedding, Lindsay Clarke
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
The Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester

People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
The Rain Before It Falls, Jonathan Coe
The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington, Brian Francis
The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show, Ariel Gore
The Oracle of Stamboul, Michael David Lukas
Whitechurch, Chris Lynch
The Wave, Walter Mosley
Back to Wando Passo, David Payne
Uke Rivers Delivers, R.T. Smith
The Night Climbers, Ivo Stourton

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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
10:10 pm
Game Boy Games
No clue if they work. Yours for shipping. You know where to find me.

The Amazing Spider-Man
Final Fantasy Adventure
Final Fantasy Legend III
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Maru's Mission
Skate or Die: Tour de Thrash
Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land

(4 Promises of the morning | Say something funny)

Monday, June 13th, 2011
2:37 am

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2:29 am

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Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
1:04 pm
Getting Rid of Some Books
Yours for shipping.

True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Carey
The Waterworks, E.L. Doctorow
From Time to Time, Jack Finney
Elvis Costello: God's Comic, David Gouldstone
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, Allan Gurganus
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
To Have and Have Not, Ernest Hemingway
The Saga of Erik the Viking, Terry Jones
An Albany Trio, William Kennedy
The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
Sula, Toni Morrison
In Our Strange Gardens, Michel Quint
Call It Sleep, Henry Roth
Sophie's Choice, William Styron
Me Times Three, Alex Witchel
Soul Mountain, Gao Xingjian

Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen
Interred With Their Bones, Jennifer Lee Carrell
Everyone Is Beautiful, Katherine Center
Prayers for Sale, Sandra Dallas
Black and White and Dead All Over, John Darnton
Belong to Me, Marisa de los Santos
A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick
The Case of the Missing Servant, Tarquin Hall
The Seance, John Harwood
Germania, Brendan McNally
Dog on It, Spencer Quinn
Stag, Tim Relf
The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold

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Friday, May 13th, 2011
12:12 pm
Public Service Announcement

(8 Promises of the morning | Say something funny)

Friday, January 21st, 2011
2:58 am
A Very Short Poem
I cannot play an instrument
and I cannot sing.
How unfortunate, for both of us, then,
that I have written you a song.

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Saturday, January 1st, 2011
3:09 am

(1 Promise of the morning | Say something funny)

Friday, December 31st, 2010
11:57 pm

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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
10:00 pm

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