Theater For The New City - Street Theater Tour 1998
Tompkins Square Park NYC
Sep 19 1998

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with thanks to Theater For The New City

"Taxi! Taxi! or The Equality of Life"

A recent move of my studio turned up this tape. I've numbered it #80 as it was a spare number but in truth it should be something like Punkcast#6.5. It was September 1998, I had just purchased the trusty trv900 which I still use to shoot shows and was eager to take it out for a test run. Across the hall from my studio were the offices of the TaxiTalk newspaper - a hotbed of militancy as the cabbies were just then staging citywide protests for better working conditions. Mayor Giuliani had branded them terrorists after they had threatened to gum up the streets with striking taxis. When the TaxiTalk guys, who had a cable tv show, asked me if I would like to go take a shot at some related street theater I jumped at the chance. Every year since 1971 The Theater For The New City, based in the East Village, has staged a summer Street Theater Tour which takes a production and performs it in parks and other public places throughout the five boroughs. In 1998 it was 'Taxi! Taxi! or The Equality Of Life'. The title referred to a Giuliani campaign to clean up the city using the 'broken windows' theory that if you busted all the petty crime the larger affairs would follow. He had, while ignoring the needs of many struggling social programs, also built himself a highly expensive - and as it later turned out highly vulnerable - control bunker downtown from which to manage the city during terrorist attacks such as those threatened by the cabbies. Meanwhile, down in DC, the Clinton administration was totally bogged down in the Lewinsky scandal, at the mercy of revelations from her confidante Linda Tripp. The only light for beleaguered city dwellers was the unprecedented success of the New York Yankees who were winning World Series like there was no tomorrow, All this, and more, was portrayed in this riotous production, in which a gruff rock and roll angel comes back to earth to help out a distressed family.

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DVD80. I will say that I am now wiser about how to shoot in badly lit conditions like this. You'll observe me pausing to wipe a smudge off the lens about 10 mins in.

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date posted: 9/5/09

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