The ladies and gentlemen of the United States Postal Service dropped the new issue of PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art in my mailbox yesterday, and Bonnie Marranca curates a fine collection of criticism and texts to launch the publication’s second hundred issues. Of particular interest are Peter Handke’s play Voyage by Dugout, or The Play of the Film of the War, inspired by the Yugoslav wars and premiered in 1999 at Vienna’s Burgtheater; Ryan M. Davis’s contemplation of the Wooster Group’s Tennessee Williams project, Vieux Carré; and Ms. Marranca’s own touching memoir of the late Daniel Gerould in her opening editorial. If it’s in my mailbox, it’s likely at better newsstands now.
And tonight, America votes. American Idol is a pleasure which I don’t feel guilty about at all, and this season has spit up two candidates for the honor who could not be more different. The heated questions this week: Will Phillip Phillips be able to suppress those odd facial and vocal tics — that arched eyebrow, that half-smile-half-sneer — and his general weirdness and select final songs palatable enough to avoid alienating most of the United States in the final haul? Will Jessica Sanchez be able to persuade that same majority that, at the age of 16, she has experienced one-tenth of the emotions she so robotically and unconvincingly sings about? I’ll be rooting for P-squared myself. The trouble begins at 8.00pm Eastern.