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JOURNAL
May 2012
serendipity or sign

Ok maybe one, my little kalimba I can't stop playing...

I am in love with books again. The feel, the smell, I am praying that they won't go the way of music. I have a kindle for travelling, yes, but I still buy just as many hardcovers. I can't help it.

 

I think it's in the DNA. My father was a journalist, my mother a poet.

 

I am obsessed with Alison Bechdel. I bought her new book Are you my Mother? for it's title, (in the same type face as my favorite kids book of the same name.) Her first book Fun Home is brilliant too.

 

Geez. Meghan O'Rourke who wrote the review in Salon also wrote a great memoir The Long GoodbyeWhat's going on here?

 

I hear Alison Bechdel is also working on a musical with another fave writer Lisa Kron. Lisa wrote "Well" the play that premiered right next door to us when we did our run of dates for "Back in the Circus" at the Anspacher Theatre in New York. Kismet? I don't know any more. "Well" is brilliant.

 

The Forgetting  - top of the list. Provocative, lovely. How did I miss it when I was in the Alzheimer trenches? Oh, right, I didn't have time to read.

 

Alone Together.  Wow.

 

Behind the Beautiful ForeversWow.

 

Jorie Graham's latest book Place.  Wow.

 

I am not making a case for amazon. I still buy most of my books in hardcover from a tiny bookshop I adore. I am determined to help keep them in business, everyone there is so... bookish. A lost world. Hey, it's been raining all the time, so what better solution.

 

My little theatre debut is coming up soon. I'm not quite sure how this all happened, except I AM sure - it was mom's idea. I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating; my mother was always dramatic. And she's always inhabited my songwriting - I used to thank her on stage for all the good material. ("The Angel in the House," "Blood From a Stone," "Lullaby,")

 

Even the series of songs about the circus. (Come to the show to hear more about THAT.)

 

When I started caring for her in 2010, she would, daily, find some pun, song, turn of phrase, that thrilled her. Then, she'd say "Jonatha, that's WONDERFUL! Are you getting this down? We could make a play out of this and make a LOT of money." Often it would be complete nonsense - a musical about Cheerios, a Cyrano like meditation on NOSES, - for a while it was obsessive odes to HER mother "Amelia Behrhorst Stone, my mother, my mum, everyone loved her, and she loved everyone."

 

My instinct is always to "get it down" - so my time with her was no exception. Writing about my mother is a natural imperative.

 

Our new "collaboration" will debut next week at Pittsburgh City Theatre.http://www.citytheatrecompany.org/gala.html

 

There are rehearsals during the week, and then performances Thursday at 8 and Saturday at 3. I'm also doing a little songwriting workshop while I'm there... Saturday at 3.

 

In the meantime, in case you happen to be in Cologne, Germany THIS week. I am performing for the WDR with Billy Bragg and Wenzel. My rockstar pal Johannes Strate(Revolverheld) will join me for two songs as well to celebrate Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday. The live performance is:http://www.wdr5.de/veranstaltungen/v/vd/24.05.2012-this-land-is-your-land.html

 

Show will be aired on July 15 and 16 on WDR 5

 

CHEERS! More soon.

rapt audience

I snuck away to Paris again. So many frequent flier miles. So little time. But I needed an audience. My pal ronnie suggested creating one right there. I gussied up the pillows. Tried out my stuff, songs, stories, the whole catastophe. They LOVED it.

 

The guy on the right couldn't get enough.

Next stop, Pittsburgh!