Friday, September 29, 2006

Interesting plays in Washington DC and Durham, NC

As an appendix to my last entry, I thought I would mention two interesting plays which are starting their respective runs at Arena Stage in Washington DC and Man Bites Dog Theatre in Durham, NC, respectively. As of tonight, Arena Stage is producing "Nine Parts Desire" a one-woman show by Heather Russo about nine Iraqis and one Iraqi-American who talk about how their lives have changed since the outset of our invasion/occupation/liberation of Iraq. Russo was interviewed about the production on NPR's "All Things Considered." Alas, Washington D.C. is four and half hours from Reidsville, NC.

Durham is slightly closer, but I'm not sure I can make this one either. Nevertheless, it is worht mentioning that Man Bites Dog Theatre will be performing an 'all African-American" version of Anton Chekov's play "The Cherry Orchard," which as perhaps many of you know takes place in Russia during the outset of the 20th century. One has to applaud the theatre for deciding not to have the play take place in the American South, as they had rationally contemplated. I think this play would have been even more interesting if my friend Agnetta, who recently got married and moved to Chicago, was in it. She had performed in a Showtimers production of "The Crucible" in Roanoke, Va. I say this because Agnetta is from Kenya.......! If any of you have any black friends named Vladamir be sure to mention this production to them............

Since most of my friends are still in Roanoke, Va., and can not watch the stars hovering over the barns here in Rockingham County, NC, with me.......I do hope some of you can make the time to check out NoShame Theatre... a weekly late-night dose of improve and over-the-top skits. I am hoping to come back err...... soon. I need to finish a skit or two though!


Useful links.....

Arena Stage:

Man Bites Dog Theater (I hope!)

And, lastly, Mill Mountain Theatre (where NoShame is performed) is

I think is the web site for the coffee shop just down the street from it!

"Half-Nelson" opens at Grandin Theatre in Roanoke

Hi again. It has been a while. I now live in Reidsville, NC, and work in Danville, Va. My cousin Mike Dawkins, who lives in Rock Hill, SC, and works in Charlotte, NC, probably understands how surreal it is to live in one state work in another; but, it alas proves that the old cliche about being two places at once in sadly true. Case in point, the highly-regarded independent film "Half-Nelson" is showing at the Grandin Theatre in my hometwon of Roanoke, Va., and the Chelsea Theater in Chapel Hill, NC. It looks like I can not go to either place- this weekend- but, I would like to suggest that anyone who reads this in either of those two areas try to check out this film. In a review by Melissa Anderson of "Time Out New York," which was published in the July/Aug. 2006 issue of "Film Comment," she states that "Half-Nelson" is a memorable fim. She adds that it is an extension of director Ryan Fleck's short "Gowanus, Brooklyn" (2004) and that "Half-Nelson" is never cluttered with the 'each one, teach one' sappiness seen in Hollywood films like Michelle Pfeiffer's "Dangerous Minds." Anderson also credits stars Ryan Gosling who gave a striking performance in "The Believer" (2001) and Shareeka Epps for a profound film which is 'no one-note redemption song.' Anderson says that the film is about an intergenerational, platonic relationship in which the two lead characters Dan and Drey learn to take care of each other.

With this and the last two blog entries, some of you may be outright shocked to learn that I am actually more into theatre than films days. But, to me, this is very much like trying to to decide if one should go out with Rosario Dawson or Scarlett Johansson- though, assuredly, if I were dating either of them I could probably stay at home, watch reruns of "CSI: Miami" and be happy........! Nevertheless..........

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Documentary "I'm a Sex Addict" now on DVD

For anyone who may be spending their spare time watching hours of porn, waiting to see if a certain woman comes by a particular street corner at 3 a.m., or likes to fly to Amsterdam for other reasons besides visiting the Van Gogh Museum, you can now see the exploits of another sex addict as experimental documentary filmmaker Caveh Zahedi puts all of his experiences into his surreal film "I'm a Sex Addict." The film, which failed to garner a theatrical release in spite of critical acclaim in some circles, is now out on DVD through IFC Films, as of Sept. 12.

Amazingly enough, I saw this film at a special screening at the Grandin Theatre in my hometown of Roanoke, Va.! Jake Mahaffy, then a professor at Hollins University, arranged for Zahedi to come to Roanoke in November of 2005 (has it really been close to a year!) where he showed this film.

I found "I'm a Sex Addict" to be rather intriguing, but I would have preferred some more 'distance,' as the film is a personal narrative documentary- the kinds which Michael Moore and North Carolinian Ross McElwee of "Sherman's March" fame have made famous. As it is, the film is told exclusively from Zahedi's perspective and one questions how those around him, including the women he loved, felt about his exploits.

To promote the film, Zahedi wrote an interesting piece in the current issue of "Film Comment." It features excerpts from his diary about the experience of trying to get his film some very necessary publicity.

In a passage dated Feb. 17, 2005, Zahedi states that the second review of "...Addict" appeared in "Variety." It was a less than flattering review by Debroah Young in which the critic stated that Zahedi had defined his own sub-genre of screen narcissism.

Zahedi responded in his diary by saying that Young's comments were highly annoying. He added that he has been accused of narcissism in the past, but the charge seems exasperating to him since his film makes a delibertate effort to 'if anything, exaggerate (Zahedi's) character defects.'

You can be the judge by watching "I'm a Sex Addict" for yourself. The web site for IFC films is (I believe)

If you live in the Roanoke, Va., area, and want to bring "...Addict" back for an encore, you can always call my friend Jason Garnett, general manager of the Grandin. Perhaps, they can arrange to show "I'm a Sex Addict"  for a midnight screening of the film the same day they show "Fox and the Hound" at 10 a.m. for the kids, and get the two films mixed up!

Lastly, I, Tilly Gokbudak-if I can be narcissistic- want to sincerely thank everyone for logging onto my blog. As of Sept. 21, this blog will be one-year old. There have been 92 entries and close to 700 hits so far.

My friend Tom Angleberger, who is a columnist for "The Roanoke Times," has suggested  that I should make my blog more 'sexy' by perhaps adding a podcast of a chainsaw juggler or something. I do have a good friend Blake Lipcomb who has juggled hammers, but that isn't really what the kids want to see.* Perhaps, one day if I become as computer-savvy as my brother-in-law Matthew Lovell in Dogville, Co.**, I may have to look into that.

Incidentally, my brother-in-law Matt and my sister Lale recently adopted two pit bulls into their home and I understand they get along quite well with their cats, Flash and Whizzo*** 

*-Alas, Blake dropped a hammer on his head last week, and I am told he may now have amnesia.

**-Dogville, Co., is an all-too obvious nod, nod, wink, wink to all my film buff pals.

**-See my blog entry about the Guatemalan babies!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The great Orson Welles

There is a new book by Joseph McBride about the great auteur/moviestar/stage director entitled "What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?" (University of Kentucky Press, $29.95), but I am motivated to post this latest blog entry because of a fantastic production of the Austin Pendleton play "Orson's Shadow" that I saw last night at the Deep Dish Theatre in Chapel Hill, NC. (The roadside back to Reidsville was a bit of an adventure because I missed a fork in the road near Gibsonville but, well......never mind!). Both Pendleton's play and McBride's book deal with Welles' artistic inability of live up to making "Citizen Kane" (1941) in his mid-20s. Welles first gained notoriety before "Kane" by helming a radio theater version of H.G. Wells novel "War of the Worlds" which was so realistic that many people in New Jersey really believed their twon was being invaded by Martians... some even so far as to commit suicide! In the Deep Dish production, veteran stage actor Derrick Ivey was great as Welles. According to the playbill, he also has the distinction of playing Richard Nixon (arguably my 'favorite' Republican president) in a play called "Nixon's Nixon." The Pendleton play deals specifically with Welles coming to direct a stage version of the acclaimed play "Rhinoceros," which became a film starring Gene Wilder in the 1970s. That performance featured Welles' long-time rival Laurence Olivier and the two played out their feud while in rehearsal! Pendleton, also a veteran stage and screen actor, got the idea for the play by listening to Welles' rants while on the set of the 1970s movie "Catch-22." In an article in the current issue of "Film Comment," film scholar David Thompson, an irreverent figure in his own right, wrote about McBride's book. Thompson said that the book differs from some of McBride's other works on Welles in that it focuses on the last two decades of the legend's life. During this period, his only film of acclaim was the documentary "F is for Fake," and even that has his detractors. The Thompson piece reflects the British historian's own comments about Welles in his book "A Biographical Dictionary of Film" (1995), which my sister Lale got me for a birthday present several years ago. (She knows me well!). In that entry, Thompson stated the following about Welles: "But, so little of the life of Welles is all or anywhere near true. He inhaled legend- and changed our air. It is the greatest career in film, the most tragic, and the one with most warnings for the rest of us." The Pendleton play is also available in a CD version from LA Theatre Works. It is how I initially became aware of the work. I found it in the Salem Public Library in my hometown of Salem, Va. Deep Dish Theatre's next production will be of the acclaimed play "The Exonerated," which features real-life testimonials from individuals who were exonerated from death row. It has drawn considerable opposition of death penalty proponents because it is indeed a powerful, thought-evoking work which was made into a tv movie which aired on CourtTV (of all places!).


Useful Links:

Deep Dish Theatre:

Film Comment:

LA Theatre Works

And, of course, for Welles himself I'm sure you can google him, and get tons of info!

Saturday, September 9, 2006

LiveArts in Charlottesville has acting workshop

If you have the time, money, desire and means of transportation, you might want to take part in LiveArts' Actors' LAB for guys. The workshop will be coordinated by Clinton Johnson. It will start on Sat., Sept. 16 and run through Oct. 28. The workshop is $175 for members and $200 otherwise.

LiveArts is the largest theatre in central Virginia, and has produced such recent plays as Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" and the quirky musical "Urinetown." They are located in Charlottesville, Va.

According to a flyer from LiveArts, the workshop is designed for men who want some acting experience or who wish to hone the talent they may already have. Through a focused look at the male roles in the LiveArts season ahead, the workshop will provide a chance to learn the ropes and dive into the manly style of acting.

There will also be a showcase featuring class work at the end of the workshop session.

I love this part- LiveArts is recommending that participants wear deodrant (mandatory!) and perhaps bring some Old Spice as well.

LiveArts will open its regular play season on Thursday, Spet. 21 with the Peter Schaffer play "Amadeus" that was the basis for Milos Forman's 1985 Oscar-winning film.

For more info: Call 434-977-4177 ext. 100, or email

LiveArts web site is:


Friday, September 8, 2006

Less Controversial 9/11 Show on PBS

By now, everyone has assuredly heard about ABC's controversial mini-series with Harvey Keitel which has been criticized by 9/11 Commission members, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nv) and even former president Bill Clinton for allegedly fabricating incidents to shoulder the blame on Madeline Albright and other Clinton administration officials for the attacks. There is an alternative on that night, however. The acclaimed PBS series "Frontline," now in its 20th season, will air a two-hour documentary entitled "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero." It will air at 10pm, EST in most markets, including Blue Ridge Public TV in Roanoke (Va) and North Carolina Public TV, which covers Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte. According to the program's web site, the documentary will feature interviews with priests, rabbis, an Islamic scholar and a photographer who captured the horrific evens that unfolded in New York on that day. I hope those of you who stumble upon this blog can watch it.


Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Recipe 4 Carolina Claret Mud Meat

This current blog entry will mark the conclusion of my 'food trilogy.'

The weather here in Reidsville, NC, is very nice considering that it rained all night and for most of the morning.

Yesterday, I had a chance to go see a performance by Greensboro folk singer Bruce Piephoff at the Grove Winery in nearby Gibbonsville, NC. I met Bruce during a screening of the documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnson" at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro last week. He sings a great range of songs, including songs about Greensboro such as "Tate Street Blues," but I really enjoyed his songs about labor conditions at meat packing facilities in eastern North Carolina. His web site is

Here is the recipe, as promised. For more info about the Grove Winery, their web site is

Carolina Claret Mud Meat

1 Cup- Claret wine

1.5 cups of stew meat cubed

1 cup of julien carrots

.25 cups of water

1 tbs. of grape seed oil

.25 cups of flour seasoned salt and pepper

3 scallions diced

1 bay leaf

2tbs of chopped cooked bacon

1tbs of butter

Toss beef in seasoned flour. Heat oil and brown beef. Add rest EXCEPT scallions and bacon. Cook one hour- covered. Brown scallions in butter. Add to Beef. Add Bacon. Cook for one hour. Remove meat. Reduce liquid to sauce consistency. 

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Vegeterians in Wyoming???!

I am not one myself (a vegeterian), but I found this to be very interesting. According to the special Food issue in the Sept. 11th edition of the liberal magazine "The Nation" (, there is a new trendy vegetarian place in Jackson, Wyoming, which is the main vacation destination for our 'beloved' vice president Dick Cheney. In fact, the Cheneys spend their entire summer there. One has to wonder if there is now such a place in Crawford, Texas too?!

The mention of this came in the letters section in the front of the issue, and it was submitted by Jon Wiener of Irvine, California.

The name of the establishment is the Harvest Cafe. It is located at 130 W. Broadway Street in downtown Jackson. Wiener said the menu consists of homemade pies, organic salads and strong espresso. There are also new age readings and live music performances at night.

The place is listed among places to find vegetarian cuisine in Wyoming on the internet site

As you might expect, there aren't that many vegetarian places in Wyoming.........

A poem by Andrew Hudgins about.... eating.....

I have wanted to post a poem on this blog for this longest time. I thought about posting the only real poem I've written "The Girl from El Paso," but it is perhaps too long and I am no Robert Frost. I've also thought about posting a poem from my friend Kammal Ayyildiz who is a poet, but his book of poetry "The Cistern" is at my mom's house in Salem, Va. But, I think I've found one which was published in the Spring 2005 Food issue of "Oxford American." This entry will be the first of my food trilogy. Stay tuned.....


Here is "Unfilled Desire" by Andrew Hudgins. I suppose since this blog is not a magazine, and I am not making one dime of it- he can't sue me!:)



by Andrew Hudgins

When I was just a boy

my deep, unfilled desire

was eating chocolate icing_

all I could acquire

But mother only let me

scrape the batter bowl

and that was not enough

to glut my greedy soul.

I yearned to make a batch

of double cookie fudge

and spoon it in my mouth

until I couldn't budge.

But now that I am twenty,

in bars and drinking beer,

I ask for Miller Lite

because my friends would sneer

at what I really want.

It wouldn't wow the chicks

if I ordered up a bowl

and a box of brownie mix.


Oxford American is a quarterly collection of Southern literature and journalism, published in Arkansas. Their web site is

Ironically, Andrew Hudgins, author of "Ecstatic in the Poison," lives somewhere in Ohio.