So Buyer & Cellar reopens June 18. As I’ve mentioned, I liked it so much when I saw the 99-seat version, I threw caution to the wind and invested. But see it anyway. Its star, Michael Urie, beat out five others — even including Bette Midler (“I’ll Eat You Last”) and Holland Taylor (“Ann”) — for the Drama Desk “Outstanding Solo Performance” Award. Here’s the story. “A fantasy so delightful,” says The New Yorker, “you’ll wish it were true.”
Prague, in Czech, is “Praha,” which I know because I was a Slavic Languages and Literatures major in college (which meant reading War & Peace in English) and took Czech for a day. It turned out that all Czech words are stressed on the first syllable — PRA-ha — except, the instructor went on to explain, those stressed also on the second syllable. “What,” I asked, “are you just supposed to shout the whole word?” No, she explained, “listen to the difference.” After twenty minutes of not being able to discern the difference, I dropped Czech.
And today Borealis begins trading on the Prague Exchange. Symbol: BOREY. Newsflash: there is a Prague exchange. Indeed, it is 20 years old. Here are current quotes. I don’t see BOREY yet, and I’m not sure when we first will, but I’m bookmarking this dollar-corona currency converter to be ready.
Go ahead, laugh. Pra-ha-ha-ha-ha. But Gregor Mendel, founder of the science of genetics, was Czech, as were Franz Kafka and Antonin Dvorak, and as is Milos Forman, whose “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975 won all five major Academy Awards — and what company, I ask you, is more cuckoo than Borealis? Or, well, not cuckoo — I think it may have passed that stage. Let’s just say unusual.
In any event, the more interesting near-term action could be in Paris, June 17-23, rather than Prague. Borealis will be at the Paris Air Show, Hall 5, E-264.
THE CENTER HOLDS
So the Republicans stand for basically three things: cutting taxes on the wealthy; austerity; and blocking everything the President tries to do — even if it was originally their idea. They justify the first by dubbing the wealthy “the job creators.” But as serial entrepreneur multi-billionaire Nick Hanauer shows so clearly in under six minutes, it is actually the middle class who are the job creators. They justify austerity by citing a “massively influential” study by two Harvard professors that turns out to have been massively wrong. And they justify the third — well, they don’t even try. They’re just determined to see the President fail, whatever damage that may do the country. For more on that, see Jonathan Alter’s The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies, just out. Will someone please bring back the Grand Old Party? The party of Lincoln, who subsidized construction of the railroads (infrastructure!) and launched the first land-grant colleges and the National Academy of Sciences . . . of Teddy Roosevelt, who busted the trusts and championed meat inspection and honest food and drug labeling . . . of Eisenhower, who gave us the Interstate Highway System (infrastructure!) and, lamenting a bloated military, warned of what he called the “military-industrial complex” . . . of Nixon (yikes!), who launched the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration . . . and so many moderate Republican members of the House and Senate. Virtually all gone.
The center held this last time. But our friends across the aisle, with their three goals (and their four “pillars of deceit” — government, the media, academia, and science), remain determined.