Friday, June 22, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed

"Brotherly Love" has become something of a punch line to most Philadelphians, but like so many cities on the east coast, Philadelphia is a fascinating explosion of humanity, living in, on, and around each other. It's a beautiful city, my hometown, and I love walking the streets, my mind flooding with memories of the past on every corner. The giant buildings of granite and steel still crowd the middle of Center City, but many more shiny glass towers decorated with neon borders at the top climb higher and higher, obliterating the view of William Penn on City Hall, and creating a cityscape unrecognizable from the pre-dawn backdrop that Rocky shadow-boxed thirty years ago.

It's astounding that so many old buildings have been swallowed by retailers. The golden eagle above, symbol of freedom and our nations liberty, carved and gilt a century ago, now hovers above an entrance for a "Sharper Image" store. Yes, my fellow Americans. "Liberty!"... "Freedom!"... "Massage Chairs!"... "Air Purifiers!" Graceful marble staircases and polished brass railings lead up from the street and into a ..."Staples." Oh, such effort by craftsmen of so long ago to build stone buildings that would stand the test of time, only to have ink cartridge sale posters hanging from carved marble gargoyles.

I elegantly strode into Staples like a 19th century banker, and bought a dozen of those Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens. Yes!! I've been looking for those things everywhere!

Love from Wilson World,

Friday, June 8, 2007

My hometown

I'm on my way to Philadelphia, cradle of Liberty, and hometown of myself, Jack Klugman, and Sylvester Stallone. Need I say more? Don't mess with Philly. I'm performing at "Helium" and looking forward to many great shows, and many great soft pretzels from WaWa. I'll be doing lots of radio shows, where they'll ask me questions about Paris Hilton, waiting for me to trash her.

I think I'll just say "Well, as Saint John of the Cross put it - "It is great wisdom to learn how to live quietly and look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others." Those morning zoo guys love stuff like that. Whoo!

Love from Wilson World,

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

As it is in Irvine

I've just seen a magnificent play called "As It Is In Heaven," at the small black box theatre at U.C. Irvine. It's about a community of Shaker women, full of very well done music, tremendous performances, and a spartan, yet completely satisfying production. It's the best play I've seen in a very long time, and I see a lot of plays. Most of them stink...there, I said it. I've seen several thousand bad plays in my lifetime, and several thousand terrible performances that were much more a sitcom audition for casting people that might be sitting in the audience than a gutsy, connected performance of that specific role in that specific play. And since theatres are having a hard time selling tickets anymore, there are two major audience demographics left. These contrasting demographics either want to see "The King And I," starring Loretta Swit, or "Heather Has Three Daddies, the musical!"

Congratulations to the U.C. Irvine theatre department, and young people who are hungry to perform intelligent, gutsy theatre, not "edgy" pablum. "Edgy" is the new "boring."