Posts Tagged ‘theater

30
Jul
14

Kansas City ♥ President Obama

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Pete Souza: Pres Obama acknowledges the crowd at the Uptown Theater in KC today

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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President Obama greets Grayling Taylor

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President Obama tries a sample of roasted coffee from Ethiopia at Parkville Coffee during a surprise stop along Main Street in Parkville, Missouri

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President Obama orders an iced tea

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Pete Souza: Pres Obama signs a coffee cup for a patron at Parkville Coffee

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President Obama greets people during a surprise stop on Main Street in Parkville, Missouri

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Pete Souza: Pres Obama scopes out the merchandise at Cool Vintage Watches in Parkville

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President Obama sips an iced tea while in a quilt shop

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President Obama greets airport workers and their families at Kansas City International Airport

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President Obama waves as he boards Air Force One, heading back to Washington, D.C.

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Back at the White House

10
Jul
14

Beautiful

@petesouza: President Obama on the rope line following his speech at the Paramount Theatre in Austin today

10
Jul
14

The President at the Paramount Theater, Austin

10
Jul
14

Austin ♥ President Obama

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Doug Mills: Obama gets a fist pump as he pays for his lunch during a surprise visit to Franklin Barbecue in Texas #obamaaustin

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Doug Mills: President Obama gestures as he arrives to make remarks at the The Paramount Theatre, Austin TX #longhorns #ObamaTX

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President Barack Obama meets with Kinsey Button at Magnolia Cafe in Austin, Texas. Kinsey, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote the President a letter in January explaining her family’s struggle to lead a middle class life when both of her parents lost their jobs in the wake of the Great Recession

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President Barack Obama waves prior to boarding Air Force One before his departure from Austin, Texas

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President Barack Obama jokes with patrons as he orders barbecue for himself and the people in the front of the line at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. At right is Kinsey Button, who introduced the President in his speech earlier that afternoon

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Dan Pfeiffer, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, and traveling aide Bobby Schmuck carry President Obama’s order from Franklin Barbecue onto Air Force One

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President Barack Obama fist bumps the cashier after paying for his order at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas

10
Jul
14

“I’m the guy doing his job. You must be the other guy”

@dougmillsnyt: President Obama gestures as he talks about the GOP during remarks at the The Paramount Theatre, Austin

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@dougmillsnyt: Obama talks with some locals during a surprise visit to Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas

13
Apr
14

The Obamas Watch ‘A Raisin In The Sun’

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Michael Schulman: Watching The Obamas Watch “A Raisin In The Sun”

On Thursday, the cast of the Broadway revival of “A Raisin in the Sun” was told that a “high-level official” would be coming to the show the next night. Who could it be? Kathleen Sebelius had just resigned—maybe she had more time for theatregoing? Word got out on Friday afternoon: the Obamas were coming to Broadway. By seven o’clock that night, Forty-Seventh Street had been partitioned off, and the Barrymore Theatre was swarming with security guys—not an unwelcome sight, after the Times reported that Broadway has had a tough time attracting men. This was not Obama’s first act of Presidential playgoing. In 2009, he and Michelle went on a date night to August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” and the First Lady has brought her daughters to “Memphis” and “The Addams Family.” “A Raisin in the Sun” was more than a safe choice: it was an undeniably poignant one. It premièred in 1959, and made Lorraine Hansberry the first African-American woman to have a play produced on Broadway. The story follows a black family in Chicago preparing to move into a big, fancy house, despite resistance from their conservative white neighbors. (Sound familiar?) And its themes are as lofty and as loaded as Obama’s: upward mobility, the pain of progress, and, as Sarah Palin might put it (though Hansberry certainly did not), “that hopey, changey stuff.”

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The lights went down, and the door to the street swung open. A stream of people, including the President, the First Lady (in black), and Valerie Jarrett, snaked through to the back of the house and then down the aisle. Ignoring the announcer’s pleas, the audience leaped to its feet—this usually happens at the end of the show—and camera flashes twinkled in the darkened theatre. The Obamas shook some hands and took their seats. It’s not often that a single member of the audience commands more attention than the action onstage, and in the initial minutes there was a jittery energy that distracted from the story. Denzel Washington got his usual entrance applause (and a few catcalls from the balcony). If it took a while to buy him as Walter Lee Younger, it wasn’t because Washington is twenty-four years older than his character: Obama’s Obama-ness somehow increased Denzel’s Denzel-ness. At intermission, the Obamas went backstage to meet the cast, as patrons flooded the bar.

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Act Two was sprinkled with unspoken moments of meta-theatre. When Walter asks his son, Travis, what he wants to be when he grows up, the boy says, “Bus driver.” His father urges him to dream bigger, and the words “President of the United States” seemed to waft in the air momentarily. In the end, the Youngers take the house, defying the enmity of the “welcoming committee.” They are the change they’ve been waiting for. At the curtain call, the Obamas joined the audience in a standing ovation, and Denzel Washington tipped his fedora to the President, flashing his matinee-idol grin. Scott Rudin, the powerhouse producer, said, “I pretty much cried the whole time.” Bryce Clyde Jenkins, the thirteen-year-old who plays Travis Younger, was still beaming. “I was in school at 11:08 when my teacher, Miss Bernadette, pulled it up on the computer that the First Lady and the President were coming to the performance tonight,” he said. “I kind of jumped for joy inside myself.” Did he find it hard to concentrate onstage? “No,” Jenkins said. “We have a responsibility to the people who are in the show and the Obamas to put on a good show and treat them like they’re our last audience.”

More here

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