Sorry for my extended absence from the blogosphere. This week has been a bit of a perfect storm. It's the first week of school at the Boston Conservatory, and I just started teaching a new course on the neuropsychology of music.
Seriously. This may surprise some of my readers, but I actually have a degree in psychology. Despite the hyperbolic title of my blog, there has been the occasional thought that has entered my head that wasn't in some way connected to music theater. Emphasis on "occasional."
The course is essentially about the way that the brain processes music. We start off with some gross anatomy (hence, the Human Brain Coloring Book image to the left), then segue into discussion of brain pathologies and imaging studies, and how they illuminate the neural pathways involved in experiencing and creating music. One of the texts in the course is Oliver Sacks' marvelous book Musicophilia, which features a series of compelling and often heartbreaking case studies of people with a variety of brain malfunctions, from dementia to stroke to Williams syndrome, and the amazing ways that music can either bring relief or torment to people with these conditions. I can't recommend the book highly enough.
But, anyway, back to musical theater. I did want to bring my readers' attention to the artscope article that I wrote about Diane Paulus, the new artistic director at the American Repertory Theater, and the director of the current hit Broadway revival of Hair. I posted outtakes from the interview here a few weeks back, as well as a preview of the A.R.T.'s upcoming season. The article just came out in the September/October issue of artscope, but it isn't available online yet, so here's a PDF of the article:
I'll be attending a press performance of The Donkey Show tomorrow night. Look for my review here sometime early next week. And after that, I promise I'll find something to post about besides Paulus and the A.R.T. That is, until I go to see Sleep No More and Best of Both Worlds.