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INTERVIEWS & PROFILES

KAREN ALLEN (actress, May 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aP

LESLIE AYVAZIAN (playwright, Feb. 2001):
https://wp.me/pzvIo-l7

BOB BALABAN (actor-director, June 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cB

ANNE BASS (Lantern Theater executive producer, March 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bu

VALERIE BERTINELLI (actress, March 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-b0

LORRAINE BRACCO (actress, Nov. 2009):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2p

DIAHANN CARROLL (actress, Oct. 2008):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2r

LYNDA CARTER (actress, Oct. 2017):
https://wp.me/pzvIo-eR

PATTY DUKE (actress, Sept. 2009):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2x

SUSIE ESSMAN (actress, Dec. 2008):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2A

JULES FEIFFER (author-cartoonist, April 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-a8

CARRIE FISHER (actress, Oct. 2009):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-2D

TONY GEORGAN (Merrick Theater founder, Feb. 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bX

SEAN GRENNAN (playwright, Nov. 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cc

BRUCE GROSSMAN (Cultural Arts Playhouse producer, March 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bU

CHRISTOPHER HACKERT (playwright, May 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bk

CHERYL HINES (actress, Sept. 2017):
https://wp.me/pzvIo-eY

ALLISON JANNEY (actress, April 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aV

BILLIE JEAN KING (athlete, Jan. 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-b5

TARMO KIRSIMAE (director, Feb. 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bX

BARBARA KOLB (principal, Feb. 1977):
https://wp.me/pzvIo-h4

CHRIS LEMMON (actor-singer, Oct. 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cl

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN (actress-singer, July 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-aK

KELLI O’HARA (actress, Dec. 2017):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bq

PAULA POUNDSTONE (comedian, Nov. 2017):
https://wp.me/pzvIo-eV

JEFFREY SANZEL (Theater Three artistic director, Sept. 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bG

ALENA SMITH (playwright, June 2015):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-cB

JONATHAN TOLINS (playwright, May 2016):
http://wp.me/pzvIo-bM

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Click the links for David Lefkowitz’s oeuvre, which he hopes you’ll loeuvre.

FEATURE STORIES:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/feature-stories/

INTERVIEWS & PROFILES
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/feature-stories/interviews-profiles/

PLAYS: Full Length:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/full-length-plays/

PLAYS: One-Acts:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/one-act-plays/

POEMS: Humorous:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/poems-humorous/

SONGS:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/songs-by-david-lefkowitz/

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
http://wp.me/pzvIo-ac

THEATER REVIEWS:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/theater-reviews/

PLAYS INDEX: One-Acts

Blind Date
1986, revised 2008 (Dark Comedy. Synopsis: A man, a woman, a bad restaurant)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-i

Death of a Manure Salesman
1996 (Synopsis: Comedy. A family mourns, so attention must be paid)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-y

Down Came the Sun
2000 (Synopsis: Drama. A March-October romance in Key West)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-B

King Solomon the Wise
1990 (Synopsis: Dark Comedy. Synopsis: Sol’s got a decision to make)

Seaweed for the Gambler
1995 (Synopsis: Solo Drama. What’s it worth to work in the U.S. Mint?)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-s

The Sky is Calling
1994 (Synopsis: Drama. Unhappy traveler hindered by airline security)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-6

The Trickle-Down Lullaby
1986 (Synopsis: Solo Dark Comedy with Music. Father worries about raising his baby)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-2a

Uphill
2017 (Synopsis: Comedy. Sisyphus meets a sports reporter)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-76

PLAYS INDEX-One-Act: https://wp.me/pzvIo-hQ

MILLER, MONROE & KAZAN AT BAY STREET THEATER

(c)2018 David Lefkowitz

(Note: this article was first published in June 2018: http://lipulse.com/2018/05/21/fellow-travelers-bay-street-theater/)

“How do you reconcile your friendships and relationships with your belief system? When someone you love doesn’t adhere to the same code, what do you do?”

Asking those questions is playwright Jack Canfora, who explores themes of camaraderie and betrayal in his drama Fellow Travelers, world premiering at Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater May 29. The plot follows a love triangle of sorts, as two close pals both obsess over the same complicated woman. In this case, though, the buddies are playwright Arthur Miller and director Elia Kazan, who originally staged Miller’s landmark Death of a Salesman but also went on to name names during the McCarthy eraThe woman? Miller’s wife Marilyn Monroe, with whom Kazan—as shown in confessional letters published posthumously in 2014—had an affair. “Miller, Monroe and Kazan had an intense and enmeshed relationship,” Canfora explained. “And it always fascinated me that nobody wrote a story about it.”

Canfora penned his story seven years ago, with Broadway’s powerful Shubert Organization holding the option to produce it. “My main producer Leonard Soloway gave it to them a while ago, but it can take a long time for plays to get momentum behind them. They did a table reading this past summer, which led to the premiere.”

Michael Wilson, former artistic director of Hartford Stage and director of 2013’s The Trip to Bountiful Broadway revival with Cicely Tyson, helms the play, which features “fictionalized” dialogue to go with actual events. “What happens in the play really happened,” Canfora avowed. “There are no ninja attacks or car chases! It’s just that some things had to be compressed. For example, Mark Blum plays Hollywood film producer Harry Cohn. The real Harry Cohn didn’t do all the things this character does—though he did a lot of them—but all the things he does in the play were done by somebody.”

Asked if Arthur Miller was a particular influence on his own playwriting, Canfora claimed, “I wouldn’t compare myself to him in terms of quality, and I don’t see myself writing like him stylistically, but he’s a tremendous influence.” Canfora’s style perhaps owes more to the likes of Stoppard, Kushner, Albee and…Elvis Costello. “My plays tend to be very oriented in language. Characters have fairly witty responses to things, which helps because I often write dramas that are heavy thematically but have light moments and comedy in between.”

As for what he hoped to achieve by writing about the legends in Fellow Travelers,Canfora replied, “These are iconic figures sealed into our collective consciousness, but in the process they’ve become ‘typed.’ Treating them three-dimensionally is sometimes lost when that happens. But the same tropes that were politically and socially at play then are still valid now. Miller was a universal writer but also an extremely American one. He’s writing about what it means to be a thinking, feeling person in our culture. That doesn’t get old.”

*******************

NOTES & BACKSTORY:

When planning my monthly column for Long Island Pulse magazine, I’m always happy to do a piece about Bay Street Theater on Long Island, since, sadly, they’re one of the only venues producing new plays in the region.

 

SONGS INDEX

SONGS

Below please find a list of many of my songs — funny, serious, satirical, dark — with links to their lyrics on this website. Many of these songs were performed on my radio program, Dave’s Gone By, or may be heard on my youtube channel.
For more information, including rights and permissions, please contact me at davesgoneby_at_aol.com.

All songs (c) by David Lefkowitz, unless otherwise noted.

*

ALEPH BAIS (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6b
(a fat-free parody tune from a Rabbi’s perspective when he teaches Bar Mitzvah bochers their Haftorah portions)

ALMOST A SONNET (1981): http://wp.me/pzvIo-O
(a lightly serious love song with a nod to the bard)

AMAGANSETT PRINCESS (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-T
(a fairly serious song about a girl looking for all the wrong things in all the wrong ways)

ANAL DREIDEL (2007, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3y
(Thanks to a new medical procedure, Rabbi Sol Solomon discovers a new toy…and talent)

THE ANSWERS TO BLOWING IN THE WIND (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-eJ
(Who said the questions had to be rhetorical?)

THE ANTLERS ARE BLOWING IN THE WIND (aka “Moose You Around”) (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2g
(An absurdly romantic waltz)

AR-15 (2018): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gh
(Yet another real-life psychopath turning a school into a mausoleum)

BACH PRELUDE #1 IN F.U. MAJOR: https://wp.me/pzvIo-fn
(A goofy plateful of hateful)

BAD, BAD MAN (2017): https://wp.me/pzvIo-eD
(Yet another sociopath doing satistic things, parodically)

THE BAGEL BOAT SONG (1985, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-13
(A “Banana Boat Song” parody, kosher-style, which was performed in the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

THE BALLAD OF PETE TOWNSHEND (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3A
(A tune penned when The Who balladeer was having legal troubles with the interwebs)

THE BALLAD OF TEENY PEENIE (1985, co=author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-16
(A silly song. Infantile even)

BAXTER HOLVOE’S VOLVO SONG (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8v
(A creepily comic ballad for a sociopathic seducer. Ah, love!)

BEFORE THE GOLDRUSH (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-19
(A semi-serious song about the way rock bands rise and crash.)

BEN GAZZARA (1994): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2d
(A deeply earnest lament about missing this fine actor — written many years before he’d actually died)

BETTER DO IT NOW (1984, auths: Scott Rodolitz, Jay Auerfeld, and Kevin Gerber): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9t
(Wish I’d written this catchy, sharp song about Long Island life, but I didn’t. My bandmates did.)

BRUNO (1981): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gL
(Carey may get out his cane, but Bruno breaks out objects on a whole other level)

CAPTAIN LIFLANDER’S MADRIGAL (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3C
(A satirical tune about American exceptionalism and weaponry)

CAUGHT (w.t.c.o.h.c.) (1986): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1f
(A thoroughly reprehensible comic song about a young girl’s evening proclivities)

CHANUKAH WISHES (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3E
(A comic song about a Jewish boy’s true hopes for the Chanukah holiday)

CHERRY ON TOP (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1k
(A satirical tune mocking 1980s Long Island youth culture, such as it was)

COMING AND GOING (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1q
(A downright depressing song about friendship and betrayal)

COMMUTED SENTENCE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-e2
(A serious number about the, um, joys of commuting to and from NYC

CONSTIPATED (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6T
(A parody song about a poor woman whose stones aren’t rolling)

COVER’D WITH CRAP (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3G
(A comical and aptly disgusting sea shanty)

CRACK OF A WHITE MAN’S ASS (1992): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8t
(A song as anatomical as it is comical)

CRAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3I
(A song parody penned in the midst of the recession)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1u
(A song parody of Joe Cuba’s “Bang Bang” featuring a very bad mother)

DAMN SCHOOL, APPROXIMATELY (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-er
(A Dylan song parody knocking and mocking the education system

A DAY IN THE LIFE (OF A PSYCHOPATH) (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fC
(I wrote about a sociopath today, oh boy)

DAYENU (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-46
(A Passover parody song that thanks God for…well, something)

DEAD AIR (1985, co-author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1A
(A fairly serious tune about the ills of American radio)

DEAD BLOWFISH (2015): http://wp.me/pzvIo-49
(A parody of “Dead Puppies” dedicated, with apologies, to Miley Cyrus’s departed pet)

DEEP IN THE HEART OF DALLAS (2016): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4d
(In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, a darkly satirical song parody of “Deep in the Heart of Texas”)

A DINGO ATE MY BABY (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3t
(A darkly comical number, to be bellowed in a thick Aussie accent)

DO THE ONION (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9f
(A slow, gloomy dance for people who have no interest in dancing)

DO THE PHOENIX (1994): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2j
(A darkly satirical song instructing lucky teens on how they can die just like River Phoenix)

DON’T MESS WITH US (2003, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4h
(A plucky tune, loosely based on an old Yiddish melody, about Jews’ resiliency)

DON’T THINK TWICE, JUST GO (2009): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4m
(A song parody of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” dedicated to GWB)

DOUBLE HERNIA (HERNIA BOTH SIDES) (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gT
(With apologies to David Bowie and my intestines)

DRINK TILL I’M DRUNK (2010): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fg
(A jolly Irish song about Irish activities)

ELEPHANT WOMAN WANT GO HOME (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8H
(An a cappella, call-and-response tune perfect for hauling…stuff)

ENEMA BLUES (1978): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5o
(A happily Elvis-ish tune about going with the flow)

EVERY DAY ON THE 5:09 (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1N
(A fairly serious song about enduring life on the Long Island Rail Road)

FLOWERS WEREN’T MEANT TO LAST (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4p
(The plaintive complaint of a singer-songwriter)

FRONTAL LOBOTOMY BLUES (1979 co-author: Scott Rodolitz, revised 2006): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1J
(With apologies to “Mannish Boy,” a sick tune about a sick tot)

FUN IN THE KITCHEN (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5r
(A sick calypso ditty that will not be a hit with PETA)

(I’M HAVING A) GAY CHRISTMAS (2004, co-author: Peter Fitzgerald): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4u
(A pervy nod to alternative holiday celebrations)

GO CIALIS (2014): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4A
(To the tune of “White Rabbit,” this pharmaceutical tribute rocks, um, harder)

HAIR ON MY KNUCKLES (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gF
(Though it’s not true that having hair on one’s knuckles signifies retardation, that doesn’t deter the muse…)

HAPPY FOOT SONG
(see listing under MY FOOT)

HE’S GOT THE SHITHOLE WORLD (IN HIS HANDS) (2018): https://wp.me/pzvIo-g3
(A timely immigration song for our President)

HELLUVA LIFE (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fs
(The joys of castration, Bee Gees style)

HERE’S TO THE HIGH SCHOOL (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5t
(A bitter alma mater for bitter alma martyrs)

HOLIDAY CONGA (co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon, 2008): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gt
(The beauty of Jewish holidays is not their sacredness or spirituality; it’s that there’s so many of `em)

I KNOW WHAT GOYS LIKE (2012): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4G
(A parody tune, co-written with Rabbi Sol Solomon for his stage show, Shalom, Dammit!)

I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU (author: Scott Rodolitz, 1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dU
(A catchy tune about finding the right girl at the wrong time)

I WANNA DECOMPOSE (1979, co-author: Scott Rodolitz): https://wp.me/pzvIo-f3
(Nihilism at its goofiest)

I WANNA HOLD YOUR STUMP (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5H
(Look ma, a Beatles song parody with no hands!)

I’M GONNA PISS MYSELF (2017): https://wp.me/pzvIo-ev
(A Beatles parody about something yellow that isn’t a submarine)

I’M ME (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8K
(A jaunty tune celebrating the self)

I’M TOO SEXY (FOR MY PROSTATE) (2017, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-cN
(A parodic disco ditty about the Rabbi’s various ailments)

IN HIS ASS (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-ea
(A spirited spiritual about items actually inserted by people into their interstices)

IS IT GOOD FOR THE JEWS (2004, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4J
(A Yiddishy ditty that asks the age-old question)

IT WAS AN ALL RIGHT DAY (2017, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-70
(a parody of Ice Cube’s “It was a Good Day” from a Jewish perspective.)

IT’S A STIFF (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4M
(a dark song parody, to “Let it Snow,” about a true New York story)

JEOPARDY KEN (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4P
(A song parody, to the Beatles’ “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill,” written to celebrate “Jeopardy” celeb Ken Jennings)

JERREE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dx
(Jerry Lewis is no longer with us, but don’t tell that to the retarded boy who loves him…)

THE JERRY LEWIS TELETHON HOP (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dv
(Penned by Scott Rodolitz and Kevin Gerber, a mostly instrumental tribute to the nutty telethon host)

JOEY, THE SPASTIC KANGAROO (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4R
(A bouncy comic tune about an Aussie animal that bounces too freely)

KENNEDY CAR CAR (fka Song for Ted Kennedy) (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-de
(A folkie number about the chap acquitted)

KILLIN’ THE CANDIDATES (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5J
(A darkly comic look at the trigger happy)

KISS ME, I’M IRISH (2018): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gA
(A song for the Irishman in all of us)

THE KOSHER HOT DOG PICNIC (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-as
(A children’s folk song about–what else?–depravity)

LA-LA LAND (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-J
(A song parody of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” written specifically for a “Howard Stern Show” contest)

LADY LIBERTY (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5L
(A playful number about a statuesque lady)

LAMENT #9 (1982): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5P
(If John Lennon heard this song parody, he’d primal scream)

LET HIM PEE (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-ez
(Even early on, I was a “whiz” at Beatles parodies)

LOOK WHAT THEY DONE TO MY HEAD, MA (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4U
(With apologies to Melanie, a dark song parody for the age of terrorism)

M-O-T-H-E-R (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4Z
(Inspired by moms and Theodore Morse & Howard Johnson’s alphabetical tribute to them)

MADE IN THE USA (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5X
(With apologies to The Boss, a parody song of planned obsolescence)

MAKIN’ POOPIES (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4W
(A song parody for when you’re in the dumps)

THE MARRIAGE SONG (All You Do is Bitch) (2013): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3w
(A marital song parody of Lennon-McCartney’s “All You Need is Love”)

ME (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-20
(A joyfully comical-egocentrical tune)

MEM’RIES OF SCRANTON (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9h
(A country-tinged, comical tune about family travels)

MICHAEL, ROW (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-65
(An environmentally conscious song parody)

MONSTERS OF THE WORLD (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-67
(A political song, both serious and ambivalent. Oh joy.)

MOOSE YOU AROUND (1985):
(see listing under The Antlers are Blowing in the Wind)

THE MOST OFFENSIVE SONG EVER WRITTEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7G
(No, really, it’s vile. I dare you…)

MY BLUES (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fd
(A disease parody from my diseased mind)

MY DOGGY’S CHRISTMAS GIFT (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-51
(A comical tune about how to keep your pet happy during the holidays)

MY FOOT (aka Happy Foot Song) (1990): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7C
(A comical marching tune about our neglected tootsies)

MY LADY’S A WILD BUZZARD (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-f5
(A tender parodic ballad extolling the behavior of a harridan)

NADINE (written by Scott Rodolitz, Jay Auerfeld & Kevin Gerber; 1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dA
(A doo-wop number about teenage love…from behind)

NAPERVILLE (1989): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1V
(A comical tribute to a somewhat underrated Chicago suburb)

THE NIPPLE SONG (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6s
(A celebration of all things nipular)

NIRVANITY (2002): http://wp.me/pzvIo-54
(A parody with all apologies to the late Kurt Cobain)

NOT A FRIEND (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6y
(A serious tune about the limits of platonics)

NOT THE CLAM BAR (1983): http://wp.me/pzvIo-da
(A Clash parody that chooses pastrami over prawns)

NOTHING IN THIS WORLD (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6C
(A seriously depressing song about about muddling through the mundane)

O THURM (a.k.a. THURMAN MUNSON) (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gW
(A Dylanesque tribute, of sorts, to a ballplayer’s demise)

OFF COLOUR (2018): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gm
(A parody song for, and about, young and old)

OH CUM ALL YOU FAITHFUL
(see listing under THE TWELVE PERVERSIONS OF CHRISTMAS)

OH DAT BEN (2015): http://wp.me/pzvIo-56
(A wry tribute to the early years of presidential candidate Ben Carson)

OH, MY LOVE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-61
(A serious love song from a long time back)

ORGY BOY (1987): http://wp.me/pzvIo-22
(A joyfully depraved comic tune about naughty activities)

OY OY (2015, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-58
(A not-so-traditional Jewish hand-clapping song)

PHOENIX ENVY (2004): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fU
(A song for when Glen Campbell was more naughty than tragic)

PISHES SWEETER THAN WINE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5a
(A parody song about the fountain of aging)

THE PITY ME I’M POLISH POLKA (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5d
(Well, at least it’s not an oberek)

PSYCHO BLUES (2006): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1C
(A darkly comic tune about the activities of a psychopath. Not autobiographical)

PUBIC HAIR (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8M
(An ode to our nether feathers)

RABBI PEARL’S LAMENT (aka “The Schvartze Rubbed My Shmekel”) (1987, co-author Jeff Rothstein): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6G
(A comical cautionary tale for a man of soiled cloth)

RABBI SOL SOLOMON’S RABBINICAL REFLECTIONS THEME (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5h
(How the good Rabbi opens his sermons)

RAIN ON THE BORDERLINE (1986): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6K
(A bit of unhappiness, in serious song form)

THE RECTUM OF EDMUND FITZGERALD (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5l
(With apologies to Gordon Lightfoot and a lot of dead sailors, a dark parody tune inspired by a true Long Island travesty)

RING MY BELL (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-94
(A joyful number in Wild Man Fischer style)

SANDY DUNCAN’S EYE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5x
(a rhythmic and visionary tribute)

SANTA QUITS (2012): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6h
(a mashup piece, in Buchanan & Goodman style, using short samples from other artists).

SANTASIA (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6m
(a not-safe-for-the-north-pole holiday poem about Santa’s depravity)

SEAMUS THE URINE MAN (1998): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6p
(An Irish tune, based on the true story of a Dublin shop owner with a unique bouquet)

SERVE SOMEBODY (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gZ
(A parody tune ruing Bob Dylan’s stillborn again period)

SEW BUTTONS (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8Y
(A bit of pure absurdist whimsy, with sprinkle of Wild Man Fischer)

SEX WITH A CHICKEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9R
(A comical song for the bestial years of our lives)

SHAKING LIKE A MONKEY (1992): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1Q
(an absurdly happy comic tune about, well, doing the title)

SHEEP ARE MOIST (1982): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7J
(A comical, country-folk number that became the anthem of the band I was in at the time, The Moist Sheep)

THE SHIT SONG (2012, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6X
(A comic ditty about world religions penned for the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

SNIPER’S LULLABY (2002): http://wp.me/pzvIo-aE
(Written for my radio show, a song–to the tune of “Hobo’s Lullaby”–to celebrate the capture of the Beltway snipers)

STUCK INSIDE OF HEWLETT WITH THE BROOKLYN BLUES AGAIN (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fp
(A parody, of course, about rampant corruption, of course)

SUGAR, SPICE, AND A VERY SHARP AXE (co-author, Scott Rodolitz; 1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dh
(Lizzie Borden has nothing on this girl)

SWIMAWAY (2005): http://wp.me/pzvIo-ax
(A parody song inspired by the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, yet another iteration of “Mbube/Wimoweh/The Lion Sleeps Tonight)”

TAKE YOUR UNDEROOS DOWN (The Rolf Harris Song) (2014): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7w
(A Rolf Harris parody…and pillory)

TEN MORAY EELS (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8B
(A strange poetic chant for those who find the little Indians too un-P.C.)

THAT SONG ABOUT THE LADY OF THE BOWERY: https://wp.me/pzvIo-gP
(Ah, when love is blind, deaf, and impervious to odor)

THE SCHVARTZE RUBBED MY SHMEKEL
(see listing under RABBI PEARL’S LAMENT)

THEN YOU’RE JEWISH (2012, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-73
(A comic ditty about modern Jewish life. The song is performed in the first act of the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5j
(The second — yes, second — song I wrote about enemas…and hopefully not the last)

THE TRICKLE-DOWN LULLABY (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2a
(A darkly satirical number about a desperate man. The piece was written with stage directions and can be performed as a brief one-act solo)

THE TWELVE PERVERSIONS OF CHRISTMAS (aka “Oh Cum All Ye Faithful”) (1979, co-author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6O
(The melody is traditional the exploits are not)

THURMAN MUNSON
(see listing under “O THURM”)

TUMOR IN MY HEAD (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8a
(A jaunty, non-autobiographical tune)

VEGETABLES ARE BAD FOR YOU (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7L
(A comical country song about mercy killin’. Yee haw)

WAKKA WAKKA BOOM BOOM PIG (2001): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9o
(Penned in Italy and dedicated to the man selling splat pigs there)

WALK ON THE WEIRD SIDE (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-do
(And you thought Lou Reed was kinky?)

WHAT AM I? (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8j
(A joyful song of the self)

WHEN I’M NINETY-THREE (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dq
(A parodic ode to decrepitude)

THE WHITE JEW BLUES (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7S
(Kind of an “oy is me” song for members of the tribe)

THE WORST SONG EVER WRITTEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7y
(A love song utilizing every possible cliche and groaner rhyme. Someone should sing it through a megaphone)

YESHIVA BOY (2011, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5U
(A bouncy Bob Seger parody that served as the opening number of Shalom Dammit!)

YAYS AND BOOZE (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fi
(A parody ballad with a rather startling blood-alcohol content)

YOU DON’T GET ME HIGH (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-eO
(A song parody about love gone up in smoke)

YOUR MEAT’S TOO BIG (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5A
(In Fats Waller parodies, size matters)

DISCOVER THE ARGYLE THEATER IN BABYLON VILLAGE

©2018 David Lefkowitz

(This article was first published in May 2018: http://lipulse.com/2018/04/23/argyle-theatre-babylon-village/)

For 92 years a movie theater stood in the middle of Babylon’s West Main Street—well, not 92 straight years. In fact in 1924, only two years after the Riley Brothers constructed the Capitol Theatre, the place went bankrupt. Running under new management just a year later, the rechristened Babylon Theater spent succeeding decades alternating between movie-palace glory and post-fire reconstructions. Recent years have been cruel to old-fashioned cinemas however, and after a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy in September 2014, the doors shut for good. A former Babylon Village Chamber of Commerce president told Newsday, “It’s another part of a vanishing Long Island. It’s a sad thing.”

But with every death comes rebirth. This spring, the period of mourning comes to an end thanks to the efforts of a clinical psychologist and his actor son. Last year, Mark Perlman and his son Dylan purchased the Babylon Theater and, using savings, recent earnings and some tax help from the local Industrial Development Agency, set about birthing The Argyle Theatre, a legitimate house for Broadway-caliber shows. On 500 high-backed seats that used to be part of the Beacon Theater, patrons can enjoy a cultural night out watching Equity actors and well-known musicians.

The creation of a new performing arts center flies in the face of the attrition that has gutted the Island theater landscape over the past decade. How then do the Perlmans think they can make it so close to, yet so far from, Broadway? “We want a convenient and affordable alternative for Long Islanders,” Dylan stressed. “We’re using union talent to try to replicate the Broadway experience, from the customer-service end to the venue itself.”

Mark elaborated that they have “a team of about twenty people experienced in Broadway and regional theater on board to handle artistic, technical, sales and marketing.” Hofstra-educated Dylan also emphasized the use of the venue for such alternative revenue sources as concerts, comedy series, film festivals, day camps, theater classes and fundraising events.

Still, creating an in-house theater company is priority one. “We’ll be casting both in Babylon and at a studio space in Manhattan,” explained Dylan, who expects to hire Broadway performers “who may be in-between shows or off a tour” alongside homegrown newcomers seeking “a launchpad for their own careers.”

The Perlmans anticipate each production will run five-to-six weeks, at six performances a week, and cost more than six-figures—a daunting prospect considering The Argyle is a for-profit venture and must rely on revenue rather than subsidies and grants. As such, the pair are targeting frequent theatergoers. “It’s increasingly difficult for the average person to see multiple Broadway shows. Tickets are $115! Even discounted tickets are pretty out-of-control,” Dylan noted.

“We’re five minutes from the Babylon train station,” Mark added. “A person can go on a Thursday night and not have to worry about expensive parking. We want to become part of the fabric of the community and be a thing to do on the Island: have dinner and walk right to a show.”

The Argyle’s inaugural Broadway season begins May 10 with the premiere of Guys and Dolls, which runs through June 17. “It’s been seeming real for a while, now it is real,” Mark said. “It is fun to stand on the stage and look out at the imaginary audience when that was only an abstraction just a year ago.”

*
NOTES AND BACKSTORY:
Hey, anybody building a theater on Long Island deserves kudos and best wishes, so I was certainly happy to write this piece, if skeptical.

KISS ME, I’M IRISH

(c)2018 David Lefkowitz
I come from down in Donegal
My family comes from Cork
My sisters live in Sligo
Though my brother’s in New York

My background is a source of pride
I’m Celtic through and through
And that makes me superior
To you and you and you

Now, Ireland isn’t perfect
We’ve had our little wars
We may have spilled some English blood
When settling old scores

But look around Hibernia
And how can you complain?
The grass is green and gorgeous
`cause there’s so much fecking rain

Kiss me, I’m Irish
Touch me, I’m a Turk
Marry me, I’m Mexican
and don’t believe in work

It doesn’t matter where you’re from
Or what your parents think
So kiss me on the Blarney Stone
And buy me one more drink.

The home of Sean O’Casey
And heavy woolen clothes
There’s Bono and there’s Enya
Apologies for those

The fighting and starvation
They show that we are tough
And when it comes to booze and sex
We never get enough, so

Kiss me, I’m Irish
French me, I’m French
Squeeze me, please, I’m Portuguese
If you can stand the stench

It doesn’t matter where you’re from
Or if you’re straight or queer
Just kiss me on St. Patrick’s Day
And buy me one more beer.

Now, you might call me racist
For mocking what I hate
But bashing Jews and towelheads
Is kind of fucking great!

I know that I’m a drunkard
With a three-inch, flaccid penis
But I feel like a porn star
when I’m guzzling my Guinness

There’s nothing we love better
Than a bonny, red-haired girl
To bring her on a date
where we can drink until we hurl

Sure, girls from other lands are fine
But an Irish female’s finer
`Cause she has fluffy flaming fecking hair
`round her vaginer!

Kiss me, I’m Irish
Lick me, I’m a Swede
Shake my hand, I’m African
And all I do is breed

It doesn’t matter where you’re from
Or if you’re lower class
So kiss me down in Dublin town
And buy me one more glass.

(slower)
It doesn’t matter where you’re from
Or if you’re short or tall
Just kiss me, I’m Irish
And give me alkyhol.

*****
NOTES & BACKSTORY:
With yet another St. Patrick’s Day approaching—and an episode of my radio show, Dave’s Gone By, airing live on that 2018 day, I wanted to do a Saturday Segue of my homegrown Irish tunes. Since all the songs (e.g., “Drink `Til I’m Drunk,” “Cover’d with Crap,” and “Seamus, the Urine Man”) had previously aired on the program, I wanted to concoct a new tune to make the segue special.
The title came first, and I knew I wanted something both lively and offensive. The chorus got things rolling, as did the idea of making the narrator gleefully racist about other cultures. The more ballad-y bits came a day later, and the whole piece was finished on March 7 in a piano practice room at my university. After returning from a short trip to Cincinnati, I grabbed my Yamaha keyboard and recorded the tune, which can be heard here: http://davesgoneby.net/?p=11986 or on youtube: https://youtu.be/CMXWtOvUUCk.
My favorite things about the song? A couple of lines still make me laugh (even though I know they’re coming), and I’m proud of having two time signatures (3/4 and 4/4) and three very different sections of the song that somehow really fit together musically.