Review: My Terms of Surrender

Michael Moore’s My Terms of Surrender, his one-man piece on Broadway, closes today and I waited until the last minute to see it but I’m damn glad I did. I’m a fan of Michael Moore’s documentaries, although some truth’s may be hard to believe at times, he’s coming from a good place. They are slanted, yes, but all documentaries are. Documentaries are made subjectively, not objectively. Anyways, I felt it was my patriotic duty to see this show at least once.

I have to give Moore props for standing onstage for two-hours-and-fifteen-minutes, without an intermission. I expected this to be 90-minutes-no-intermission so I was stunned when I left the theatre and it was 10:15pm. Anyways the audience was pumped and the house was buzzing. I even spent $15 on a sippy cup of wine and wore my RESIST tank top. I was excited.

My Terms of Surrender is half-memoir and half-how-to-activism. I knew absolutely nothing about Moore’s life, like the fact that his speech about Abraham Lincoln and the hypocrisy of the Elks Club got the ball rolling on Capitol Hill to change the loop hole in the 1964 Civil Rights Act so that private clubs couldn’t keep discriminating. He was 17 at the time. Or the fact that he hated being slapped with a paddle by his principal so when he was 18, he figured out how to run for president of his school’s board and won (and 11 months later he had the principal and VP fired !!!!).

He realized when he was 17 that someone who was seemingly without power wasn’t necessarily powerless. He realized that somebody small, like him, could get shit done and it only took a little. Not doing anything big.

He talked about the beginning of the Iraq War when he was one of the only ones speaking out against it and he was ostracized for it. He said that when (not if) Trump declares war on North Korea, we have to speak up and speak out against it, and until we see North Koreans marching through the arch at Washington Square Park, there’s no reason to go to war with North Korea. “I can’t do this alone again,” he pleaded. I got you, dude. As a 17 year old I was against the Iraq War, and I’ll be against a North Korean war, too.

He also talked about the poison water in Flint, ridiculous TSA standards, and how we ended up with Trump. His post-show to-do list in the Playbill includes: 1) Make the Daily Call (go to 5calls.org); 2) Make the Monthly Visit (to your local reps office), 3) Show up at townhalls (duh); 4) Help Flip Congress in 2018 (oh yes, we must – we need 24 seats in the house); 5) The electoral college music go (another duh); 6) Join, join, join (the ACLU, BLM, Greenpeace, etc.); 7) Help form blue regions of resistance (help keep your blue state blue!); 8) YOU must run for office (what office should I run for??); 9) You must become the media (use our social media for good); 10) Join the army of comedy (#mockhimup) because he is thin skinned AF.

This closes in a few hours and I’m tempted to go see it again just to get inspired, but if you have the means and the time, GET THEE TO THE BELASCO THEATRE! The entire balcony is $29.

Winning in 2018 and 2020 is not an option. Let’s do this.

 

 

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Goodbye, Old Friend.

When an acquaintance posted on Facebook Saturday afternoon that the famous Angus McIndoe Bistro on 44th Street was closing on Sunday night, my boyfriend said we absolutely should go after our dinner and movie (which we happened to be seeing on 42nd street) on Saturday. I have such great memories of Angus from The Broadway League holiday dinner party in 2007 to sitting at the bar next to one of the producers of American Idiot (who would later become a friend) before the first preview to just having a drink there back in the day before a show when Sardi’s was too crowded and we were too lazy to walk down to 9th Avenue before or after a show.

The bartender told us they’d been notified of the closing the night before that they were out of a job after Sunday night. We watched Matthew Broderick walk by a few times (since the casts of Sylvia and Something Rotten were upstairs partying) and Stephen DeRosa randomly popped in too while enjoying a few beers. I chatted with the bartender about theatre and about how much I’d miss this place, despite how little I ventured to it in recent years. 

We were almost the last ones in towards 1am when we closed out our tab, wished the bartender good luck, and grabbed a cab home. 

I’ll always have good memories of Angus. The best we can hope for now is that it doesn’t become a Chilis or another Guy Fieris. RIP to another theatre district staple. 

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Last Thursday Jeremiah Ross of Vanishing New York broke the news that the Edison Cafe in Times Square was losing it’s lease and being kicked out. The theatre community responded and loudly. It is a regular hangout for many actors, stage hands, producers, etc. I’ve spent lots of time there in the past. What comes to mind first are the fourteen Monday evenings that I spent there in 2011 with my classmates in the 14 week Commercial Producing Intensive, along with our leader Jed Bernstein. We ate lots of matzos soup and talked about class, theatre, and life.

And most recently I went there with friends before we saw Cabaret on the first night of Rosh Hashanah in September. One of those friends, Ben, was crushed by the news and notified me the second he found out about the Saturday Lunch Mob that was being organized. Of course we’d go.

There was a line out the door to get a table but we slid up to the bar, ordered matzos ball soup, coffee, and blintzes, and watched the chaos around us. There were cameras there, reporters, patrons walking around with signs, and regular at the bar. I spoke to a couple while waiting for Ben’s arrival and they were just gutted. 

The Edison Cafe is the last affordable place to eat in Times Square that’s not a hot dog stand. Their matzos ball soup is ridiculous and way cheaper than the $15 bowl at Junior’s. Their lease is up on December 27th, so we have about a month and a half to save this New York landmark.

Sign the petition if you have a second.