Jefe's House

The Sixth Boro

Chicago Blues

by on Mar.23, 2015, under On the Road, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

Amtrak Residency
Day 10
3/22/15
20150321_173559Got up with the rooster crow — or in Amtrakspeak the ear-blasting 6am breakfast call — to see off the Warren-Powells who hopped off in Osceola, IA at 7:40am. I then wrote until an early lunchtime (the last meal aboard my beloved California Zephyr before it concluded its run in Chicago) during which I met a pair of retired micro-brewers, Wendy and Don Littlefield. The better half is completing her first novel, a murder mystery that I look forward to reading.  They also hipped me to Philly Inquirer food writer Craig LaBan, whom I should have known about as I’m now a Philadelphian, but I didn’t. Now I do. We also talked about our shared appreciation for August Wilson and the fact that they’ll be seeing Two Trains Running in Chicago soon. This was the second time on this trip that August Wilson came up.

20150322_112525

The train station in Galesburg, IL, historically an important railroad town, boasts and antique Pullman car…

I spent my final few hours aboard the Zephyr (continue reading…)

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

To Think That I Saw it on Markenpower Street

by on Jan.20, 2015, under Pophood, The Sixth Boro, The Truth Is In Here

My son’s multiverse of alternate realities crossed into the real world in a remarkable way.

IMG_4328

Parenting: Oh, the places you’ll go.

My 3-and-a-half year old son  is among those many toddlers who live in numerous alternate realities at once.  In a sense, so do I.  I’m, bi-urban, teaching in New York City and in Philadelphia. As a writer I am also often working on multiple projects at once for vastly differing audiences.  When my son’s not at daycare or cooking something up in his kitchen, he works in “my New York” and “my Philadelphia” as he calls them. These are different cities than the ones I know and love.

“Hey Pop. In my New York, red means go and green means stop…Hey Pop, in my New York, I have a baby daughter who just turned 21.”  In his Philadelphia, he teaches college courses in museums and in making drinks.  My wife is a biologist who works in the Philadelphia suburb of Spring House, which must seem to him a distant, fantastical place. One of her coworkers is named Eric.  “Hey Ma, at my Spring House, I also have a friend named Eric but he’s no the same Eric.”

Not surprisingly, he has gravitated toward Dr. Seuss from among the many children’s authors at his fingertips. He’s obsessed with crunk cars and wonders when we’ll be able to all take a ride together in a zumble zay or make quick exits by ejecting ourselves out of a gazoom.  He’s watched the original Cat in the Hat animated 1971 TV special ad nauseaum and loves to sing along to the complicated lyrics of “Calculatus Eliminatus.”  This past Halloween he decided to be The Cat in the Hat and insisted that my wife and I dress as his oversized Things 1 and 2.

A neighbor asked me how I felt about my son’s “telling stories” about his fictional New Yorks, Philadelphias and Spring Houses, suggesting that we were encouraging him to grow up to be a George Costanza; a neurotic, emotionally immature, chronic fibber who has trouble facing real world problems. I countered that my wife and I heartily encourage his colorful imaginativeness.  Rather than scold him or nudge him back to Earth we ask ever more probing questions during one of his increasingly fantastical yarns, seeing just how far will his racing young mind carry him as he speaks extemporaneously and thinks on his feet.

Then again, perhaps we’ve given him a little too much imaginative freedom for his own good. His multiverse reached its zenith recently when it crossed into the real world in a remarkable way that left me flabbergasted.  (continue reading…)

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , more...

Scrumptious

by on Dec.07, 2014, under The Sixth Boro

kidfinger

I don’t know.

Snatched from grubhub’s menu for an Italian restaurant in South Philly.

 

Comments Off :, , , , more...

#thethingswedoforourkids

by on Oct.25, 2014, under The Sixth Boro

thing1

The thinking man’s Thing 1.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4328

The full effect. My better half and  I are but bookends to the main attraction. Costumes (besides the wigs) are entirely homemade by said better half.

 

Comments Off :, , , , , , , more...

Cross-Cultural Vagueness

by on Oct.12, 2014, under The Sixth Boro

In case you’re not sure what you’re looking at while grocery shopping.
20141012_155047

Comments Off more...

Mystery Train: the Amtrak Residency

by on Sep.24, 2014, under Film/TV, NYC, On the Road, The Press, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

amtrakThe what? You heard me.  I’m thrilled beyond recognition — thrilled to a crisp, in fact — to share the exciting news that I’m one of 24 writers selected out of 16,100 entries in the first ever Amtrak Writers Residency.  Not without its fascination and controversies, the residency has been covered microscopically in the New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and HuffPo over the past 8 months.  For my money, Boris Kachka wrote the best overview in New York Magazine.   Basically, we each get to travel for a week or two in a private cabin on the Amtrak routes of our choosing during the next year as kind of a moving residency, as opposed to being isolated at a cabin in the woods or holed up at an artists colony like Yaddo where I have also stayed.

Alexander Chee, the writer who started it all.

This unique residency program started because last year in a PEN interview, novelist Alexander Chee said that he did a lot of writing on trains and that he wished Amtrak had writers residencies. He was joking but Amtrak got wind of his remark, thanks to a grass roots Twitter campaign, and decided to heed his call and launch such a program for established writers.

One of the writing samples I submitted was my Washington Post story from last year about my crazy spiritual experience aboard a commuter train between New York City’s Penn Station and Philadelphia.  However, my primary writing sample was an excerpt from my award-winning, yet unproduced (anyone?) screenplay Lords of Light, an historical drama about Nikola Tesla and his rivalry with Thomas Edison, written while I was a graduate student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Speaking of this, I can’t help but proudly mention that (continue reading…)

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

One-Minute Play Festival Video is Now Live

by on Aug.06, 2014, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

interact3 interact *

*

* A lot can and did happen in 60 seconds. Last weekend’s One-Minute Play Festival at the Interact Theatre has come and gone and the video is now online at howlround.tv. I urge you to watch all 60 of these charming 60-second plays or skim to any place and watch a few flavorful tidbits to brighten your day. They are funny, tragic, political, topical, you name it.  If you’d like to see mine, “Foreign Policy,” written just for this festival, you can drop in at 42:45. It was directed by David O’Connor and features actors Isaiah Ellis, Ashley Fisher-Tannenbaum and Joseph Smithey. *

Watch live streaming video from newplay at livestream.com
Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , more...

A Lot Can Happen in 60 Seconds

by on Jul.28, 2014, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

interact

 

 

interact3

My short play “Foreign Policy,” written just for Dominic D’Andrea‘s nationally acclaimed One-Minute Play Festival & Philly’s InterAct Theatre Company, and directed by David O’Connor, will premiere this weekend at the One-Minute Play Festival:

Sunday, August 3rd @ 8PM
Monday, August 4th @ 8PM
Tuesday, August 5th @ 8PM

On the main stage at the Adrienne
2030 Sansom Street
Philadelphia

This year’s fest features 60+ rapid fire miniature plays by established and emerging Philadelphia playwrights.

Tickets $20
215-568-8079
or Click here

In the meantime, please enjoy a Boneyard cocktail.

 

Comments Off :, , , , , , , more...

Boneyards: The Wienering

by on Jul.08, 2014, under NYC, The Sixth Boro, Theatre

There’s a little taphophile in all of us


After a highly successful world premiere in the 2013 Philly Fringe in September and an extended post-Fringe run in the fall, Jeffrey Stanley is back with Boneyards: The Wienering is back this summer 2014 and features a special guest appearance by acclaimed New York-based performance artist Michael Wiener.

Very limited seating
$10 tickets here

Shivtei Yeshyuron-Ezras Israel Synagogue
(doors open 45 minutes early to allow the audience time to wander the 3 floors of this 119-year-old storefront synagogue before descending to the cellar)
2015 S. 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA
2 blocks north of Snyder Avenue


Press Contact:

info@shiva3.com

7/8/14 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

P hiladelphia, PA – The ongoing seance-as-theatre experiment continues.  After a highly successful run in the 2013 Philly Fringe and a post-Fringe extended run last fall, Jeffrey Stanley’s BONEYARDS is back from the dead to rock your underworld for 2 performances in late July. Come in from the heat and peacefully rest in a cool, dark, coal cellar.  Same autobiographical, spooky show, same mouldering location, same real ghosts, but now featuring a visit from New York’s quirkiest experimental performance artist Michael Wiener who will be sharing the crypt with the show’s creator Jeffrey Stanley.

(continue reading…)

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...

UFOs Over Philly on 6/27

by on Jun.22, 2014, under The Sixth Boro, Theatre

InterAct Theatre Company and the Philadelphia New Play Initiative are presenting a Playwrights Showcase this Friday 6/27/14 at 8pm at the Adrienne Theatre on 20th and Sansom Streets featuring excerpts of works from Emily Acker, Alisha Adams, Joy Cutler, Chris Davis, Jacqueline Goldfinger, Sam Henderson, Bruce Walsh, Douglas Williams and yours truly (from my play UFOs Over Brooklyn).

My Outstanding Cast
Curt – Brian Cowden
Randi – Alex Keiper
Mack – Brendan Norton
Thea – Isa St. Clair
Neody – Joe Guzman

This event is FREE but (continue reading…)

Comments Off :, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , more...