"Get yourself a light Cordelia."
(Nigel the pup)
Some I visit daily, some several times a day, others two or three times a week. I usually click on them alphabetically...starting with a daily glance at Actors Guild of Lexington's blog to see if any of the staff have posted anything or to read the occasional rehearsal blogs of actors in the latest show. Then it's onto Copious Notes, the daily Arts blog of the Herald-Leader's leading Arts columnist, Rich Copley.
Moving out of the local scene, I visit Haines His Way, my LA pal Bruce Kimmel's very witty, whimsically personal, entertaining blog and message board with a gang of gregarious regulars. Besides being the leading producer of theatre music on CD, Bruce is also an accomplished writer, director, actor, musician, and all-round raconteur. I miss the hilarious meals Bruce and I used to regularly have in the red leather booths at Musso and Frank or Birds (and their tower of onion rings) and this is a great way to keep in touch. Next on the list is Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion to see if Harlan Ellison has dived into the ongoing and oft-spirited debate and discussion on the message board of his site.
The local paper does not satisfy my news jones and, as I prefer my news with a liberal slant, I always check out The Huffington Post. The site also links to several other news sites and columnists, both liberal and conservative, which I often check out, so I usually get a good mix of opinion and perspective.
We Americans can be awfully ethnocentric, so to get an international point-of-view on what's happening in the world and how we are perceived, I go to British Media Online three or four times a week. This link will take me to most of the main London newspapers...The Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Standard, Mail, Independent, Express, and the BBC news sources. Truth be told, I spend most of my time in the Arts pages of these papers, catching up on the London Theatre scene. You'll notice the Guardian is individually linked, as I find their theatre coverage the most comprehensive. There always seems to be something new and different and updated on the site and they also have interesting theatre blogs.
I am unabashed British Theatre-o-phile...so I'm regularly checking the National Theatre and RSC theatre sites. The London Theatre Guide keeps me abreast of any new developments in The West End. Stagework is the most fascinating theatre site about the process of production. Great interviews and videos with artists from every theatre discipline about how the work is put together. You can watch scenes from major London productions rehearsed and then see the final, finished product. I can spend hours here.
Two American theatre sites I keep up with are the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and The Independent Shakespeare Company. I'm a fan of both companies and try to get up to see most of Cincy Shakes' shows. Here I've been able to finally see productions of rare Shakespeare plays like CYMBELINE and TIMON OF ATHENS. Unfortunately, the Independent Shakespeare Company is based in LA. But when we lived there, Julieanne and I looked forward to their productions, particularly their intimate summer Shakespeare in scenic Barnsdall Park. The company focuses on language and performance with minimal costumes and set dressing. Both of these companies maintain regular acting companies, so you get to see lovely ensemble work with actors who have consistently performed together.
In addition to a mess of theatre sites, I also have bookmarked a great many film related sites. I've linked a couple here. WORDPLAY is my favourite screenwriting site...where seasoned veterans, newbies, and wanna-bes all converge. The site is run my good colleagues, Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott, writers of the popular Zorro and Pirates of the Caribbean movies as well as SHREK. There are great articles and columns dispensing worthwile advice to anyone pursuing this precarious profession. But the best advice can be culled in the free-wheeling discussion forums where old pros tangle with young bloods and hungry aspirants. I don't visit the forums as much as I once did. At one point in my life, it was something of an addiction...where I spent far too much time. But you can still find my pontifications in the archives and several, you'll find in their "Hall of Fame Posts" Archive. My other movie link listed here is The Miklos Rozsa Society...devoted to simply the greatest film composer ever!
One of the wonders of the internet is that it has freed us from the tyranny of local radio's limited options...which have been reduced to mostly music I don't listen to or talk I don't want to listen to and far too many commercials I don't want to hear. On the internet, I can now find any kind of music I want from New York cabaret to Big Band. The latter I find on a public radio station out of Cincinnati, WMKV. I particularly like the website after 11 or 12 at night when it's just non-stop music featuring terrific thirties and forties bands and singers and the Great American Songbook.
To be able to get BBC Radio is a wonder. I've linked here BBC 4 because I love their comedy and quizzes (which are also comedies). Some of my favourites are: The News Quiz, The Now Show, Just A Minute, Sorry I Haven't A Clue, The Unbelievable Truth. The BBC4 link will take you to their other great stations too -- BBC 7 which features repeats of comedy shows, including classics like The Goon Show, even My Word & My Music; BBC3...arts and culture; and BBC London with entertaining dj's like Danny Baker. The BBC also has a feature called "Listen Again" which allows to you to listen to these shows at any time, accommodating your own individual schedule.
I probably have more book-related sites bookmarked than anything else. I've only listed two...one is my beloved Cecil Court in London where I've spent many happy an hour.
The other one listed here is the most useful one -- THE ABE, or the Advanced Book Exchange. I hesitated listing it. We book collectors are usually very protective of our sources...so consider yourself privileged that I share this with you. If you can't find a used book on the ABE, you probably can't find it. As well as using it to track down hard-to-find books, I also find it handy as a pricing guide.
So any favourite sites you care to recommend?