Theater Review — The Fourth Wall

From today’s S.B. News-Press:
‘Fourth Wall’ is entertaining and troubling

Following on the heels of Genesis West’s production of Caryl Churchill’s deconstructionist “Blue Heart” last month, Ensemble Theatre Company’s presentation of A. R. Gurney’s “The Fourth Wall” adds to the boundary-breaking this theater season.
The play’s title alone suggests something meta-theatrical will be up. The invisible fourth wall that separates performer from audience — can it really be torn down? And does this mean an evening of mortifying audience participation?
Thankfully not, but Mr. Gurney’s play is an odd duck. Not too radical to upset the general public, it hints at subversion but hedges its bets in the second half. I can imagine many being entertained and pleased by Mr. Gurney’s work, but I can’t imagine many being deeply satisfied with it.
But there’s lots to like. We open on a suburban living room, radiant in warm, rosy colors. Two characters enter: Roger (Robert Lesser), a “successful businessman,” and Julia (Gillian Doyle), an old friend from New York. The dialogue is overwritten; the performances wooden.

Read More

The Man Who Invented the Album Cover

For without Steinweiss, there would be no Abbey Road.

Big Town Songbook: Make ’em sing
Most people who have bought any musical recordings over the past 60 years might have assumed they always came in covers, or sleeves, or jackets, that featured a colorful graphic designed to enhance the lure of the music.
They didn’t. Album covers had to be invented. This was a task that largely fell to a Brooklyn kid named Alex Steinweiss.