02
Mar
2012

Shakey’s Pizza and My Moment of Brecht

So this past Saturday, the good people of Uranium Madhouse threw a fundraiser, gathering supporters for a few, spirited rounds of Balderdash. The first thing to note is that I won. I say this not only to shamelessly boast but also to assure all the other dramaturgs out there that our position as one of the nerdiest groups in all the land is secure thanks to my ability to come up with plausible-sounding definitions of obscure words.

The fundraiser was to support Uranium Madhouse’s upcoming, planned production of Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s A Man. Not only did the event raise needed funds for what I promise will be a memorable theatrical production, it also provided some insight into the play itself. Because let me tell you this: there is no place more Brechtian in all of Los Angeles than Shakey’s Pizza in Hollywood, the location of our Balderdash bonanza.

“Brechtian” is an adjective that gets thrown around rather cavalierly in theater circles. It’s sort of like the way people use the word, “ironic.” But for me, a play that’s Brechtian is one that actively seeks to separate the audience from the story told on stage. It’s that feeling of alienation that causes an audience member to really investigate the ideas that are being put forth. I think it’s safe to say I felt a little alienated at Shakey’s. I’m not sure if it was when I first entered and, like the gentleman that I am, held the door for a transvestite prostitute arguing with what I presume was her john. Or perhaps it was when Balderdash wrapped up and the PA system we were using was quickly taken over for Spanish language karaoke. There was something performative about it all; something bizarre and scary (the trannie) and alluring (the karaoke, which I definitely would have participated in if I wasn’t so damn white). It felt alien. It felt like a good Brecht play.

Anyway, we ate (really bad) pizza. We played video games (the version of “Deal or No Deal” is surprisingly addictive). I won 80 bucks. It was lots of fun. Most importantly, it set the stage for a great play to come.

02
Mar
2012

Uranium Madhouse video update

Here’s the latest on our production effort for A Man’s A Man.

29
Feb
2012

Patti Smith Lights Up Your Life on Kids Are People Too, 1979

28
Feb
2012

translation receives final approval from Brecht estate

Uranium Madhouse had entered into an agreement with the Brecht estate that allowed us to produce a new translation of the play, but that translation, per the agreement, was subject to approval by Brecht’s heirs. We submitted the translation to them a few weeks ago, and yesterday we received word that my new translation of the play has been approved. Another milestone irradiated!

27
Feb
2012

Balderdash Big Bang 2012 Pics




And the winner, Dylan Southard, receiving his winnings:

23
Feb
2012

Mark Hoppus channels Bertolt Brecht

Hoppus, 1/3 of Uranium Madhouse Muse Blink-182:

Questioned on what the aliens would think of their songs, he joked: “I think they’d be more distracted by the fact that our sexual reproduction organs are the same as the organs that eliminate waste from our body.

“I think they’d be more distracted by that hypocrisy to really care about music.”

Bertolt Brecht:

…The Lord God, who sufficiently declared his true nature once and for all in combining the sexual organ with the urinary tract”–Baal, Bertolt Brecht

21
Feb
2012

Why You Should Come Play Balderdash with Uranium Madhouse (Fake Elephant remix)

How to Convince Someone to Go to Balderdash
by: UraniumMadhouse

21
Feb
2012

moment of Brecht 2/20/2012

…The Lord God, who sufficiently declared his true nature once and for all in combining the sexual organ with the urinary tract”–Baal, Bertolt Brecht

21
Feb
2012

a greeting from the hosts of Balderdash

19
Feb
2012

Goethe Institut Los Angeles partners with Uranium Madhouse

I am thrilled to announce that the Los Angeles Goethe Institut will be partnering with Uranium Madhouse for our upcoming production of Brecht’s comedy A Man’s A Man, in a new translation by Artistic Director Andrew Utter (me). They will be providing in-kind support for the production, and our production of A Man’s A Man will be an official Goethe Institut event. We are very excited to be collaborating with the Goethe Institut on our project.

Please join the Goethe Institut in making A Man’s A Man a reality.