Saturday, November 9, 2013



The Bread and Puppet set is nearing completion. They’re now into final rehearsals while the set builders race against time to finish.

Zeljko arrived yesterday from Serbia.  So today I head down to Columbus Circle to talk with him about his latest round of screenings.  And our Dream project. Zeljko’s been working with the idea. Trimming it down to a manageable size. Working with the idea of what he calls escape….that dreamers are looking for escape. At first, I resist his idea. Because I has the sense of dreams being an escape from reality. Like drugs and alcohol. But he’s got something else in mind. Vivid, he says, vivid. Alive. Real. An escape form the systems the structures that trap us into something more vivid. Like RL, he says. He had a dream, of a boat, a ship. Not a bookstore. Or a cart. A boat. He made it vivid. And he escaped the structures that said a boat on the streets of Manhattan was crazy. He made it vivid. And then I understand  in his use of the English words escape and vivid, what he is after. I think I can work with this.

Since I’m in the neighborhood, I decide to drop by and visit Jack Sheedy, my old friend.  Jazz trombonist. Actor. Poet. College dean. Photographer. Writing coach. Life mentor. I want to share with him what’s been going on. The Indian Summer Tour. Bread and Puppet. My own playing and performing.

Later I’ll meet Zeljko and Zoran for a photography exhibit.  Straight arrow magical realist creator of docu-fairytales Zeljko and bearlike filmmaker and film school teacher Zoran a Balkan Zorba. A Serbian photographer is sharing his impressions of our city in his exhibit Found in New York. He has an eye for found beauty and an ironic sense of humor. As always, the vibe is somewhere between late aughts Lower East Side not quite to Brooklyn hipster and mid’70’s Washington, Pennsylvania. Or more Canonsburg, home of Perry Como and Bobby Vinton and the millworkers speaking Serbo-Croatian during the time nobody cared what side of the hyphen you were from.

When I come back, the giant looming puppets in the darkened sanctuary have the eerie feel of a temple found in a cave somewhere in a hidden world.

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