Friday, August 31, 2007

SNOW RESIGNS

Well, they're just dropping like flies these days. Back when Karl Rove resigned -- or was it Alberto Gonzales? -- we were given advance notice to look for the upcoming resignation of Tony Snow -- and here it is, effective September 14.

Snow's stated reason for leaving the White House is that he's not making enough money to support his family. Commenting on the resignation, George W. Bush was full of praise for his departing press secretary: "He's smart. He's capable. He's witty." Well, he's tall, anyway. He will be succeeded by deptuty press secretary Dana Perino.

Taken as a group, Bush's press secretaries are an interesting picture. Ari Fleischer, easily the most intelligent and articulate among them, will live forever; people will be stufying his press briefings long into the future, when they tell the stories of corruption, deception, incompetence, and negligence surrounding the 9/11 attacks and the start of the Iraq war. You wanted to like Ari Fleischer, but then you listened to him.

His successor, Scott McClellan, was in many respects the perfect press secretary for this administration. Neither particularly bright nor well-spoken, McClellan was a typical Bush White House staffer -- an old Texas crony rewarded for loyalty rather than ability. Some have defended Scott McClellan on the grounds that he had the worst job in the world -- stepping up to the podium just when America was starting to ask questions. That fact might shine badly on America; it does not shine well on Scott McClellan.

When Tony Snow -- formerly a Fox News commentator -- was named as McClellan's replacement, it seemed like the natural and inevitable result of the Bush regime's approach to the media from the beginning. In the old format of the Fleischer/McClellan years, the Bush administration would commit an atrocity, the press secretary would lie about it, and Fox News would report the lie as though it were true. So by hiring a press secretary directly out of the Fox News stable, the regime was acknowledging the obvious.

Snow's briefings were not as absurd, or as painful, as McClellan's, but they were absurd and painful in a different way. McClellan seemed to be putting all his effort into getting through the day; he made the press uncomfortable because he himself was so uncomfortable. Snow, the opposite extreme, oozed collegial charm, but it felt insincere, like a put-on, as though the press would go easy on the administration if Tony Snow were a nice enough guy.

When news broke of Rove's resignation, Josh Bolten was widely quoted as saying that anyone else who wanted to resign before the end of this term had better do it before Labor Day. Labor Day is Monday. Does this mean there won't be any more resignations?

Of course not. Sometimes, there's no choice.

Noah

Monday, August 27, 2007

GONZALES RESIGNS

When word spread that Karl Rove was resigning, White House chief of staff Josh Bolten was widely quoted as saying that any administration official still working on Labor Day was going to have to stay until the end of the term. One envisions a White House official making this argument as he's led away in leg irons.

Well, this morning comes word that Alberto Gonzales is resigning -- one week before Labor Day, and perhaps as many as two weeks before leg irons.

"A senior administration official" told the New York Times that Gonzales offered his resignation to Bush by telephone on Friday, after which "the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch." (Bush is in Crawford, valiantly inching up on Ronald Reagan's record as the U.S. president with the most vacation days.) The unnamed official also acknowledged Gonzales' woes ("including his role in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys late last year and whether he testified truthfully about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs"), and said, "The unfair treatment that he's been on the receiving end of has been a distraction" for the Justice Department.

Just yesterday, according to the Times, "Mr. Gonzales was denying through his press spokesman, Brian Roehrkasse, that he intended to leave." But didn't he offer his resignation to Bush on Friday? Could Alberto Gonzales have lied? CNN credits "Justice Department sources" with the claim that "Gonzales' aides at the highest level and other top level officials knew nothing about the announcement in advance." There should be statements from Bush and Gonzales this morning. Bush is expected to nominate Chertoff as Gonzales' successor.

Supposedly Bush and Harry Reid have a deal which means there won't be any more recess appointments. And the new Attorney General's biggest job is going to be investigating Alberto Gonzales.

And now, as a farewell tribute, one more time:

*That cute Attorney General, he really is a babe,
and romance is always in the air at Abu Ghraib.
He is so impassioned, and I am so old-fashioned,
when he is near I fear that I will faint.
Just like the Geneva Convention, I'm quaint.

Alberto Gonzales, there's nothing but you!
There's nothing I won't reveal.
Alberto Gonzales, oh what can I do,
feeling the way I feel?
I was your slave and I gave you my heart,
thinking that we could be,
and you stomped it into the dirt, oh,
Alberto Gonzales, you're torturing me!

You are the very model of a Bush Attorney General;
you have a way about you which is positively criminal.
And anyway I wouldn't say your motives are political,
imperial, material, or even hypocritical.
I feel as though I'm falling and you're calling out Geronimo;
I'll climb into your Hummer and we'll summer in Guantanamo.
I'll never say you're too into a new interrogation act --
I'll scamper while you tamper with the Freedom of Information Act.

Alberto Gonzales, you're always so sweet!
Tell me I'm your detainee.
Alberto Gonzales, I'm kissing your feet!
I'm jealous of you and Cheney.
I didn't mind the blindfold at all,
'cause who says you have to see?
But some of the sodomy hurt, oh, Alberto,
so pardon the blood on my shirt, oh, Alberto;
our love is on orange alert, oh,
Alberto Gonzales, you're torturing me!

* "Alberto Gonzales," from Burning Bush: A Faith-Based Musical, by Noah Diamond and Amanda Sisk

Noah

Thursday, August 23, 2007

October Surprise

My friends, tickets have just gone on sale for 400 Years in Manhattan, the next show from NERO FIDDLED Theatre. This one is a monologue and multimedia show based on the stories I told during my seven-year stint as a New York City tour guide. It is -- I'm just quoting from the press materials here -- "a comedic journey through the city's history." It runs October 1 - 9, and tickets are a mere $10.

400 Years in Manhattan isn't as overtly political as our past shows -- or our future shows -- but it does deal with politics, because it deals with history, and it will include some digs at the present administration, for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

Presented below are some thoughts about 400 Years in Manhattan, taken from the show's website. Next entry, this blog will return to current American politics. Between now and October, I'll also be posting information and preview material about the tour show. And in the near future, Sisk and I will unveil the 2007-2008 season of NERO FIDDLED Theatre -- because if we announce it, then we have to do it. Otherwise, we'll look like idiots.

For seven years, I worked as a New York City tour guide -- on buses, on boats, in limousines, on foot. I've worked for most of the major sightseeing outfits in the city, including Gray Line, New York Waterway, and the now-defunct, much-reviled New York Apple Tours in its heyday. I loved being a tour guide. It's the only job I've ever had, outside of my own creative pursuits, with which I've continued to identify beyond the time of my employment. Even if I'm not currently working as a tour guide, I still am a tour guide. It's part of my identity. I have a license and everything.

A tour guide's job is to write a solo show about a certain place, and perform it several times a day against the perfect backdrop. In the long and crazy days and nights of the double decker golden age, the sightseeing companies asserted no editorial authority. They never tried to streamline us into a atandardized product, because there was no such thing as repeat business. From Apple and Gray Line emerged a rogues gallery of self-styled urban narrators, with disparate and colorful takes on the New York story. Very few of them were content to stand atop the bus and blandly recite cold facts. New York City was a religion, and they were handing down the gospel. They were madmen, poets, comics, and rock stars, and I was one of them.

It was like being in a show that ran for seven years. It's a lifestyle. It does something to you, spending ten hours a day going in circles, continuously rhapsodizing into a live microphone as the city goes by again. It has a lasting effect on your relationship with the city, and if you do it a lot, it becomes a big part of the way you see the world.

My job was to talk about my favorite subject, to show people the beauty of this beautiful city, to interpret its past and present. To reach people, and make them laugh. Close to a million people have taken my tour; I am in photo albums all over the world. People said incredible things to me. It was great -- and that turned out to be the problem.

The Tour Guide Years of my life were many things, but they were not productive. I wrote a few plays, but produced nothing; I didn't even try. Since I was getting laughs and applause at work, I wasn't going home with the drive to write, to produce a play, to get something going. I was getting home emotionally wasted from ten hours of freestyle public speaking.

So I left the sightseeing business, and got back to the theatre. But as anyone who's been a New York tour guide will tell you, it doesn't go away. You continue to obsessively compile information about the city's history. You continue to mentally refine your riff on the Wall Street wall. A new building goes up, and you say, out loud, what you would be saying about it if you were still a tour guide. You wake up screaming, I'm not a tour guide! Then you do ten minutes on the General Slocum and go back to sleep.

But of course, the showman and the tour guide are not far apart, which is why I became a tour guide in the first place. I've always been trying to think of ways to adapt the tour to the stage; it seems like an obvious thing to do. But it presents a huge problem: No matter how good the material, it's impossible to replicate the experience of a tour without having the actual city around you. A tour is like a big-budget show where the most important element is the set. Transplanted to an auditorium, the tour would just be a lecture. Slides might help a little, but only a little.

Then, one night, I was looking for images of Lower Manhattan for another project. I looked at hundreds of island views -- paintings, etchings, drawings, photographs -- and I found several, from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, all from pretty much the same angle. I put them into a slideshow and had them fade into one another, so I could watch the city develop over history.

I used to tell tourists that the only way they could ever really see this city would be to see it over time, played back at a very fast speed, with buildings rising and falling, people coming and going -- a living island writhing with constant growing pains. So I thought if I could create a slideshow which conveyed this, then the play could show you the one thing the tour never could: the city's literal past.

I wrote 400 Years in Manhattan from the perspective of a tour guide unconstrained by time or place. We can visit places in New York which no longer exist, and we can visit them in chronological order; we can compare the past and the present side by side. Most of the stories I tell in the show come directly from my tours, but the view is different. Instead of starting on Eighth Avenue, we start in 1609.

This brand new show is actually the end of a very long run. I think it's a nice way to retire the material, to share it with friends who never got to see it, and to celebrate another anniversary in this complicated love affair with this overwhelming town. And to close the book by giving it something it's never quite had -- a New York audience.

I hope to see you there.

Noah

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rove vs. Doves

It's not just that without Karl Rove, George W. Bush would never have become president. Without Karl Rove, there is serious question as to whether George W. Bush could have dressed himself all these years. Rove, along with Dick Cheney, deserves some of the blame for everything Bush does. And yet, when he was asked if he had any regrets, he said, "I regret accepting that invitation from CNN and going to that stupid dinner and getting turned into MC Rove."

Now, granted, Rove looked like an idiot that night. But, as The Washington Post's Al Kamen asks, "Really? Worse than Iraq? Surely that 'Rappin' Rove' routine at the White House Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner in March wasn't that bad." But after revisiting the video, Kamen writes, "Well, he's got a point." Anyway, if you look at the video, Rove seems into it. It's a nauseating display.

Rove, who will be succeeded by longtime Bush henchman Ed Gillespie, plans to write a book about the Bush presidency. I'm sure it will be accurate and unbiased.

Appearing on Rush Limbaugh's radio show earlier this week, Rove blathered that Bush's critics are "sort of elite, effete snobs who can’t hold a candle to this guy. What they don't like about him is that he is common sense, that he is Middle America." Bush, Rove insisted, is "one of the best-read people I’ve ever met." I don't know about the other elite, effete snobs out there, but what I don't like about George W. Bush is that he stole two elections, permitted terrorists to murder three thousand New Yorkers, subverted American and international law, and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. As for Bush being "one of the best-read people," this must have been a joke.

Tony Snow has hinted that there will be more resignations to come, "probably a couple coming up in the next month or so." Snow himself apparently will resign soon. ("I've already made it clear I'm not going to be able to go the distance, but that’s primarily for financial reasons.")

As for Karl Rove, when he leaves the White House at the end of this month, his plan is to spend Labor Day weekend dove hunting. Yes, dove hunting. That's so perfect you couldn't make it up. What do you do if you're one of the most evil people in the world and you just quit your job? Kill doves.

"'Dear Mr. Rove,' began the letter from [PETA] President Ingrid E. Newkirk. 'From your frequent hunting trips to your bizarre little rap at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner ("I like to go home, get a drink, and tear the tops off of small animals"), it is clear that you lack the ability to empathize with other living beings. You consistently prove that you care less about animal welfare than Alberto Gonzales cares about habeas corpus.'

"Newkirk notes that the first thing Rove plans to do upon leaving the White House at the end of his month is 'go dove hunting, i.e., kill little birds who are the international symbol of peace. You will leave politics to spend more time with your family only to destroy the families of other species.'

"Her last line could well set off alarm bells at the Secret Service: 'I have just one suggestion: Please take Dick Cheney along on your hunting trips.'"

And perhaps the doves will peck their fucking eyes out.

Noah

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Text IMPEACH to 30644

"Karl Rove's resignation will not stop our inquiry into the firings of the U.S. attorneys. He has every bit as much of a legal obligation to reveal the truth once he steps down as he does today."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York)

"This is the end of the Bush presidency."

Wayne Slater, author of The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power

"I'll be on the road behind you here in a little bit."

George W. Bush to Karl Rove, yesterday

"The Justice Department is putting the final touches on regulations that could give Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales important new sway over death penalty cases in California and other states, including the power to shorten the time that death row inmates have to appeal convictions to federal courts. The rules implement a little-noticed provision in last year's reauthorization of the Patriot Act that gives the attorney general the power to decide whether individual states are providing adequate counsel for defendants in death penalty cases. The authority has been held by federal judges."

Los Angeles Times

"With large swaths of the Gulf Coast still in ruins from Hurricane Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos near the University of Alabama's football stadium."

Associated Press

"Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to discard the moderate and liberal positions of his past. The latest is civil unions for same-sex couples, which the Republican presidential candidate has been backing away from in recent months."

Boston Globe

"At 7:00 they will count the ballots. We will stuff the ballot box, I hope...I was a little dismayed because I saw Barack Obama -- he had a lot of corn in that Mason jar. But I was number one - so thanks for cheating!"

Mitt Romney, at the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa on Saturday

"US Airways Flight 3027 from Washington to South Carolina was cramped on Monday, carrying a full load of passengers that included summer travelers and Republican presidential candidate John McCain. This is what McCain's legendary 'Straight Talk Express' has become -- no huge bus and accompanying entourage -- just simply the Arizona senator, an aide carrying a briefcase, on a crowded commercial flight and a fairly anonymous arrival at Columbia's airport for two days of campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination."

Reuters

"CNN's Howard Kurtz reported Sunday on a new Pew research poll which shows not only that Democrats have a much more favorable opinion than Republicans of network tv news and national newspapers but also that, even among Republicans, those who watch Fox News are more likely to have an unfavorable view of other news sources."

Raw Story

"Sometimes it seems we have these beliefs but it turns out it's like a Hollywood set: It's a facade and there's no guts behind it. You listen to the language of what people say, particularly Obama, who seems to be using a lot of John's 2004 language, which is maybe not surprisingly since one of his speechwriters was one of our speechwriters, his media guy was our media guy. These people know John's mantra as well as anybody could know it. They've moved from 'hope is on the way' to the 'audacity of hope'. I'm constantly hearing things in a familiar tone."

Elizabeth Edwards

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far refused calls from some congressional Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. While Pelosi tours New Orleans Tuesday morning, a group of pro-impeachment activists is planning on trailing the top House Democrat with a flying banner urging her to reconsider impeachment.

"'PELOSI IMPEACH BUSH! text IMPEACH to 30644,' the banner to be towed by an airplane over the hurricane-ravaged city's Lower Ninth Ward will read."

Raw Story


Monday, August 13, 2007

ROVE RESIGNS

Karl Rove, the genius behind the imbecile, is resigning at the end of this month.

"I just think it's time," Rove told the Wall Street Journal. Word has it that Rove entertained thoughts of moving on last year, but didn't want to resign too soon after the Democratic Party gained control of the House and Senate. This landmark resignation, of course, has nothing to do with the CIA leak scandal (in which Scooter Libby took the fall for Rove and was then spared from prison by Bush), or the U.S. attorneys scandal (in which Rove cited executive privilege to excuse himself from testifying).

"There's always something that can keep you here," Rove said, "and as much as I'd like to be here, I've got to do this for the sake of my family."

Who gets the credit? We do.

If there's any one reason why Karl Rove is resigning at this particular moment, most analysts agree that the credit goes to the political theatre company NERO FIDDLED. Less than a week ago, the New York-based satirical troupe participated in a variety show called A Very Nice Evening, in which they presented some of their signature songs and sketches. Their material was highly critical of the Bush regime. Shortly before that performance, NERO co-writer and performer Noah Diamond declared that the show "would probably lead directly to the resignation of both Bush and Cheney." As it turned out, Diamond was mistaken.

"We'd been out of the picture so long," co-writer and performer Amanda Sisk explains, that Rove "thought he didn't have to worry about us anymore." Indeed, until last week's pereformance, the NERO troupe had not been seen on stage since last year's Moral Value Meal. Diamond and Sisk are said to be preparing their next three productions.

"If we knew it would have this effect," Diamond says, "we would have done a variety show much sooner."

As for George W. Bush, Rove says, "He will move back up in the polls." The Journal: "He says the real target is Mr. Bush, whom many Democrats have never accepted as a legitimate president and 'never will.'" "I'm a myth," Rove says. "There's the Mark of Rove. I read about some of the things I'm supposed to have done and I have to try not to laugh."

And the rest of us have to try not to cry.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Very Nice Photograph



A Very Nice Evening, 8/7/07: Noah Diamond, Mike Biskup, Steve Dans, Amanda Sisk, Boris Veysman, Drew Brady, Kim Moscaritolo.

Thanks to all who attended...it was VERY NICE of you. More soon from NERO theatre...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Family

Campaigning in the south yesterday, Mitt Romney suggested that the American people should support Bush's troop surge, and offer "a surge of support" to the troops themselves. He heaped praise on our armed forces. This moved a woman in the audience, Rachel Griffiths, to ask if there was any particular reason why none of Romney's five sons has served in the military.

"The good news," Romney said, "is that we have a volunteer Army, and that's the way we're going to keep it. My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected, because they think I'd be a great president." He added that one of his sons, Josh, was visiting every single one of Iowa's ninety-nine counties! He didn't specify how Ben, Craig, Matt, and Tagg were serving their country, but implied that it was equally impressive. "I respect that," Mitt concluded, "and respect all those, and the way they serve this great country."

Ms. Griffiths, an antiwar activist whose sister served in Iraq, was unsatisfied with the answer: "He told me the way his son shows support for our military and our nation is to buy a Winnebago and ride across Iowa and help him get elected."

I think Mitt Romney is a hot air hairdo, and it was disingenuous of him to cite his sons' work on the campaign in response to that particular question. But the question is getting tiresome. It is an atrocity that the politicians who send sons and daughters to war are so rarely sending their own. But don't blame the kids themselves. There are better points to make toward ending the war (and winning the White House) than baiting a pro-war candidate whose children don't happen to be in the military. And since there are so many reasons to criticize Mitt Romney, so many genuine hypocrisies which indict him and not his family, perhaps we can retire this one for a while.

The five Romney brothers have their own blog, Five Brothers, on Romney's official campaign website. It is fascinating. "I'm a little sad to be nearing the end of my tour of Iowa as I visited the 97th and 98th counties yesterday," Josh wrote on Tuesday, "although I must admit that I am excited both for the Iowa State Fair and the Ames Straw poll coming up. From what I hear you can get any sort of deep fried treat you'd like at the fair, I'm hoping for a Snickers. The life sized butter cow promises to be another highlight." So he seems nice.

Yesterday, Matt reported, "My dad has a new TV ad running in Iowa." He invited his readers to "check out the spot and tell me what you think." One "Emily Cannon" watched the Romney TV spot and replied, "Our country needs your dad as the next president. He seems so positive, proactive, and hardworking. He seems the man who will follow through and clean up the mess in Washington. Let's hope that voters will be able to see past all of the spins that the media takes on bringing his religion to the forefront. The fact is that a lot of people seem to have real misunderstandings about your church." She goes on to say, basically, that all religions are stupid, not just Mormonism. On the other hand, another reader, "Kim," thought the spot was "short and to the point, without attacking others. Keep on message and keep it positive."

That website is so Mitt Romney! You can't imagine Rudolph Giuliani's kids blogging together on Dad's campaign site. Early this week, his daughter Caroline, 17, was outed as an Obama supporter. ("That's very nice," was Obama's comment. "We think it's wonderful that we are attracting support from young people all across the country. I can't wait to meet her.") Here's Giuliani's response: "My daughter I love very much. I have great respect for her, and I'm really proud of her, and I don't comment on children, because I want to give them the maximum degree of privacy."

My daughter I love very much. I don't comment on children. Get out of my face. September eleventh.

The story: Lucy Morrow Caldwell, of Slate, happened upon Caroline Giuliani's profile on Facebook, where "she designates her political views as 'liberal' and -- until this morning [Monday, 8/6] -- proclaimed her membership in the Facebook group 'Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack).'" "According to her profile," Caldwell writes, "she withdrew from the Obama group at 6 a.m. Monday, after Slate sent her an inquiry about it."

A "spokeswoman for Caroline Giuliani" explained: "Before the presidential campaign got under way, Caroline added herself to a list on Facebook as an expression of interest in certain principles. It was not intended as an indication of support in a presidential campaign, and she has removed it." Oh, I'm sure that's it. I'm sure she joined One Million Strong for Barack years ago! And as everyone knows, when you join an Internet group dedicated to supporting a particular presidential candidate, you are expressing interest in certain principles, and are actually more likely to vote for your father.

Caroline's brother, Andrew Giuliani, 21, is also not a Romney, though he has said that he thinks his father was a great mayor and would be a great president. A few months ago, we all had a good time with Andrew's comment to the New York Times, "I will not be active in his campaign. I am too busy with golf." He has recently said that the Times article was "overdone," and that his relationship with his father is "nowhere near as bad as the story made it sound."

But I don't think this should be the story. Perhaps the Brothers Romney invite criticism by involving themselves directly with their father's campaign. Andrew and Caroline Giuliani have not done this, so it seems particularly unfair to pry into their Facebook profiles and family resentments just because their father is running for president. What I know from reading the news is that Andrew Giuliani was very upset at the divorce of his father and mother, Donna Hanover, and he has problems with his stepmother, Judith Nathan. After Rudy married her, he missed Andrew's graduation and Caroline's play. I read this in the New York Times.

But I also read this quote from Andrew Giuliani: "This is something families around the country go through every day. My friends go through this. But this is front-page news because of who we are." He's right. And his father is right, too, not to comment on these things. It's enough already. My son I love very much. September eleventh.

It's not as though there's a shortage of important things to discuss about the 2008 presidential election. I don't want the Giuliani family -- or the Clinton family -- or any family -- to have to live out its pain in public. But this is more a symptom of our celebrity culture than our political culture, and since we do seem to be on the subject, there is one more relevant story along these irrelevant lines, in today's Times. And the thing is, I do want the Bush family to have to live out its pain in public.

Ron Kaufman, a "longtime adviser" to George H.W. Bush, tells the Times that lots of people have come up to the elder Bush lately and said, "I love you, sir, but your son's way off base here." G.H.W.B. doesn't like to hear that. "It wears on his heart," Kaufman says, "and his soul."

The article says that "interviews with a broad range of people close to both presidents" suggest that the father is much more involved with his son's administration than we are led to believe. There is even the following quote from Andy Card: "It was relatively easy for me to read the sitting president's body language after he had talked to his mother or father. Sometimes he'd ask me a probing question. And I'd think, Hmm, I don't think that question came from him."

Wow, George W. Bush just asked a probing question. He must have been talking to his parents.

Noah

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

TONIGHT AT 8:30

Tonight at 8:30 pm - HERE Arts Center - 145 Sixth Avenue - please join us for



Music, comedy, and politics - featuring DEATHMASK - NERO FIDDLED - POW - A SERIOUS GAMEOF BUTTPLAY - DEBUTANTE - For more information, scroll down or click here.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tomorrow Night: A VERY NICE EVENING

I believe that Sisk and I -- NERO FIDDLED -- will continue to write and produce political theatre for the rest of our lives. We're just at the beginning of what I hope will be a long and distinguished career. But as we enter the final dark stretch of George W. Bush's nightmare presidency, we realize it's nearly time to retire the material we've performed thus far.

In the coming months, we'll be announcing NERO's 2007-2008 theatrical season: Shows which nail closed the coffin of the Bush/Cheney reign, and which finally, with the country, move on. But first, we hope you'll join us one last time as we revisit the highlights. Tomorrow night -- Tuesday, August 7 at 8:30 pm -- is going to be...

Click here to buy tickets

Sisk and I will be joined onstage by Kim Moscaritolo (whose talent has graced every NERO show), Mel Haley, Matt Tennie (of the rock/comedy duo Debutante, also on the bill), and Blair Lampe (of the improv troupe A Serious Game of Buttplay, also on the bill). We'll present a few choice songs and scenes from City Under Siege, Burning Bush, and Moral Value Meal -- some for the last time.

Also appearing on tomorrow night's VERY NICE bill is our favorite band, Deathmask. The Deathmask guys did the arrangements for Burning Bush, and played the show with us night after night. Tomorrow night they reprise a few of those great performances. But to appreciate the full power of the band, you must see Deathmask doing what they really do -- an increasingly brilliant repertoire of original rock songs, delivered by their singer and lyricist, the amazing Katy Cunningham.

But even that is not all you'll get when you join us for A Very Nice Evening. There's the aforementioned comedy, improv, and music from Debutante and Buttplay. And the dance troupe POW, in addition to performing two numbers on the Very Nice bill, will host one of their signature "Choreo-Kay" parties after the show -- live audience karaoke with the POW dancers backing you up.

Tickets are only $5, and you can get them in person, by phone (212-352-3101), or online. There will be refreshments for sale, including $2 beers. You'll go a long way to find a better deal. The show is at 8:30 tomorrow night at HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan.

We hope to see you there tomorrow night.

Click here to buy tickets

Noah

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ralph Piss Condemns Very Nice Evening

Claims it's Not Going to be Very Nice



Once again, right-wing commentator Ralph Piss has proven that he has nothing to say, and that what was once a mediocre-at-best political blog (Piss on America) has deteriorated into nothing more than a series of feeble attacks on me, of all people. Don't listen to Ralph Piss. It will be a very nice evening. And Ralph, since you talk so tough online, why won't you accept my challenge and show up to debate with me in person?

Noah

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Very Nice Evening

Click here to buy tickets online

One more act just confirmed: DEBUTANTE! ("Be sure to wear your socks," they promise, "because we're going to rock them off.") Don't miss this completely NICE evening of music, comedy, and dance -- including the men and women of NERO FIDDLED delivering a few of the old hits from Burning Bush and Moral Value Meal. Plus our favorite band (DEATHMASK), our favorite dance troupe (POW), and our favorite improv group with a disturbing name (SERIOUS GAME OF BUTTPLAY). Tickets are only $5, by phone (212-352-3101), online, or in person. Be there...or be somewhere else!