Monday, March 24, 2014

Randi Zuckerberg has her George Plimpton moment on Broadway.

Explaining the post title: George Plimpton of PARIS REVIEW fame had a lucrative sideline of being a "professional amateur" as football/baseball player/trapeze artist/bit-part movie actor and turning it into books and TV specials; one of the books (PAPER LION) became a movie in 1968, best known today as the breakout vehicle for Alan Alda, who played the reel version of Plimpton.

Now, let's go to Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.  She's on Broadway in the still-running stage version of ROCK OF AGES--offering insight into her new sideline, plus reacting in a tsk-tsk cluck-cluck way at the little people who aren't comfortable with San Francisco becoming a high-cost-of-living techie haven:
Your part of the plot is arguably a bit anti-capitalist, certainly anti-big money development. You even call the folks you're rallying "comrades." Does that strike you at all as a bit ironic, considering you and your family's own business success? Does part of your plot line ring true to your own life experience?
When I was developing the part, I actually found myself reading a lot about and calling upon the current struggles in San Francisco — the income disparity, the gentrification of the city with so much incoming tech wealth, the large homeless population. And that's what I drew upon to create my character. She's fighting to preserve L.A.'s Sunset Strip in the '80s.  But in my mind, she could easily be protesting in San Francisco today. I'm not saying that I agree with her personally. Some of her antics are completely over the top, ridiculous, and seemingly pointless — much like people throwing rocks at the Google shuttle buses in San Francisco today, causing destruction and harm to innocent people just to make a point. But in researching this role, it definitely made me see a new side of the story and forced me to put myself in the shoes of someone who loves their city and sees it changing into something completely foreign, right before their eyes. Change is really hard, and I admire her courage and fearlessness in standing up for what she believes — but at some point, we all need to realize that nothing stays exactly the same forever.

Here's the rest of the interview:

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