NYC @ La MaMa Etc with Robert Patrick – Part 1

Singing a duet with Robert Patrick of his original song “Harmony” during La MaMa Etc’s “Coffeehouse Chronicles #140: Robert Patrick” on Feb 4, 2017  at their First Floor Stage – photo by Fussy Lo Mein


I had a splendid time in NYC accompanying Robert Patrick Playwright on his long-awaited and anticipated return to La MaMa Etc. for the premiere of “Hi-Fi | Wi-Fi | Sci-Fi”, in which directors Jason Trucco and Billy Clark delivered fascinating technological approaches to one act plays by Robert Patrick from the 1960’s & 1970’s that were very ahead of their time in predicting future (now contemporary) situations.  It was marvelous to see such an engaging and techno-magical treatment of Robert’s work – something that I think even the most familiar with Robert’s plays would be pleasantly surprised and impressed by.  Robert was stunned by it all – to which he came up with an explanation of his experience – something along the likes of “I’m experiencing a kind of jet lag between 1961 and 2017”.

I enjoyed watching Robert get caught in the projector lights, so absorbed in and dazzled by the immersive 360 degree video across the way on opening night, he didn’t realize he was on display!


I tagged along on his adventure to document his journey and experience a bit of NYC through my dear friend’s eyes. Robert moved to LA from NYC in the early 90’s, and had only been back for a few short, one-day visits for special events. The folks from La MaMa were great hosts, graciously opening their doors to us both in order to welcome him back  for a week and a half so that he had time to take in many of the show’s performances and to enjoy reconnecting with so many wonderful people. They held a “Coffeehouse Chronicle” panel event of “expert friends” from various points in Robert’s history on Saturday, Feb 4. I felt honored to be part of the event representing Robert’s recent prolific exploits in the LA Underground Performance scene during the past 5 years. I can’t quite describe how remarkable it was to witness so many theatrical luminaries of the Off Off Broadway scene that came out to see Robert that afternoon – there was so much history in the room – it was vibrating. I got to hear delightful stories, which were like getting to admire exquisite and rare crown jewels for a brief moment shown to me by those who actually got to wear them.


Some of the theatrical luminaries and friends from Robert’s life that shared the stage to discuss their experiences during the Coffeehouse Chronicles #140 – (from left to right) producer John Wolfson, Robert, actress extraordinaire Carol Nelson, (seated) playwright William Hoffman, (standing) prof. Arthur Adair, Coffeehouse host Michal Gamily, (seated) author/actress/archivist Magie Dominic, (standing) actor Jordan Beswick, me, and author/publisher Michael McGrinder.


The play took a rather interesting twist during our visit. Robert and I sat with the directors over breakfast the day after the opening night to share some of our notes and observations. It was decided at the table that the show would be propelled to another level by having Robert close the production with one of his a cappella songs. Funny enough, Robert had a song, from his “Bobcappella!” show that I produced, which fit the theme of the show perfectly – even using the title elements of “Hi-Fi | Wi-Fi | Sci-Fi” within the body of the song as rhymes. Suddenly Bob was in the show!

Tom Bradley Tribute Video at LAX

Me (producer), Lorraine Bradley (Tom’s daughter), Jon9 (designer), Phyllis (Tom’s daughter)

It was a great privilege and pleasure to work as producer for Holonyne Corporation’s brand new video installation at LAX in tribute to Mayor Tom Bradley. The video was designed by Jon9 for JCDecaux and LAWA (Los Angeles World Airports) for the 72′ video display Time Tower in the departures lounge at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. An unveiling of the video to the public was held on January 30, 2017. It was an interesting time to do so, as the airport was besieged with protests surrounding the controversial travel ban – but we held the event regardless and managed to bring some positive energy to the week honoring a wise and dignified man who helped usher in a progressive era in Los Angeles.

This marks the centennial year for Tom Bradley, who served a whopping 5 terms as Los Angeles mayor from 1973-1993! Through the process of producing this video I discovered so much about this monumental figure who greatly influenced modern Los Angeles. Before working on the video, I knew little about him, other than the fact that –  interestingly –  we shared birthdays (Dec 29)!

Tom Bradley worked his way up the ranks in the LAPD, dealing with its troubled history of abuse and racism. From there he became one of the first African American city council members,  and eventually ran for mayor. He lost his first attempt, but tried again, this time building a diverse coalition of voters – who rallied behind him. In 1973 he became the first black mayor of a large metropolitan city and worked hard to create a very inclusive city government, one that truly represented the population. He led efforts to build the Metro system, revitalize the downtown area, and hosted the first financially successful Olympic games in 1984 (thereby creating a model for future city’s to learn from) all while being a great family man. These elements (and more) were worked into the beautiful tribute piece created by Jon9 involving a series of B&W photographs over colorful city backgrounds.

I hope that during this centennial year many people across the city and nation will learn more about Tom Bradley’s life, challenges, and accomplishments.

Troubadour Trixter’s Fable of the Fox & The Cat

Aesop’s Fable of the Fox & The Cat is quite a relevant one for our modern lives as we grapple with so many options. We can consider ourselves oh so clever like a fox, but as you will see from the story, that being clever and having so many possibilities in life is not always a great thing. The term of analysis paralysis may not have been known during Aesop’s time, but apparently the concept was!




Troubadour Trixter’s The Difference Between Heaven & Hell

For this next Troubadour Trixter outing, in honor of the feasts that occur around the holidays, I thought it would be appropriate to share the popular allegory of “The Difference Between Heaven & Hell”. It is often told as “The Allegory of the Long Spoons” – in this version it is about elbows. I like the elbows version a bit better as it gives us the opportunity to discuss the fact that on Earth we have elbows. You’ll understand what all this elbow talk is about when you watch the video – in joy!


Troubadour Trixter’s Tale of the Red Versus Blue!

These are tricky times! Now more than ever we must balance between being diligently informed about our actions and socially conscious. It is practically a full time job sorting through all the misinformation that exists in the world, while simultaneously providing ample opportunities to care for self, environment, and others. Personally the sharing of my voice, art, heart, and soul seems like one duty among countless others I cannot neglect.

So for a start I posted a simple little video on youtube that I hope you’ll watch. The story comes from an old African myth about a trickster…and the aspect of using red versus blue is as relevant as ever in our current time!



In “HARMONY” with Robert Patrick

Quite a pair – singing with Robert Patrick Playwright

Well, I finally got my wish – to sing a duet with Robert Patrick during one of his shows. This was my third time around as producer/director for Robert and third time was definitely the charm for that wish to come true! As a special finale number to his recent “New Songs For Old Movies” we performed together in a lovely little number called “HARMONY” written as a clever homage to the road movies of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

I must admit, I was under a lot of stress juggling the various demands of my day job as post production Operations Manager at PennRose Studios (coincidentally I celebrate my one year anniversary on the job this month) and the role of producer that we had precious little time to run our number. I was struggling with hitting all the notes and rhythm correctly up until the last minute – it’s hard work singing a cappella to someone else’s tune!


But I’m happy to say, in the end, it all worked out splendidly! In fact, Robert confessed to me – in spite of our ordeal getting to the point – that it was one of the most fun moments on stage he’s had. I certainly agree and look forward to doing the number with him again!


The piece starts out with Robert singing the first verse and melody of the song solo – as if he were Bob Hope singing to Bing (my part). It’s a clever ditty about the strength of great friendships/ partnerships – a perfect tribute to Bob and Bing who starred in 7 (yes, SEVEN) “Road to…” movies. Robert and I have 4 more productions to mount before we could even dare to compare…
After the first verse, the song gets passed along to me, and I sing pretty much the same lyrics (with slight variation), but this time the harmony of the tune.
The first lines of the verse are “I’m no good alone, but I’m great harmony…”
And then…the two of us sing together! This was the tricky part for me to handle…I always wanted to slip off my part and join Robert in the melody! But I held it – and even used some simple choreography to ensure I got it!
So we danced around – snapping our fingers and enjoying the finale to our third production together and celebrating Robert’s 78th birthday!
And I must say – “HARMONY” proved to be another fun and witty song created by the remarkable Robert Patrick Playwright. I am continued to be inspired by his history, intelligence, and creativity.
So now I have another wish! As the final lyrics of his song profess:
“So please give in, and say that we’ll live in….wonderful glorious, beautiful marvelous, glowing and growing harmony!!!!”
the ReBegin is here