HELLENIC HAPPENINGS

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – Comedian/political satirist BILL MAHER, host of HBO’s smash hit show REAL TIME, staunchly defended NICHOLAS and ERIKA CHRISTAKIS, who as Headmaster and Associate Headmaster, respectively, of YALE UNIVERSITY’S SILLIMAN COLLEGE, were berated by student protesters for not being sensitive to various cultures that the protesters believe are being mocked by certain Halloween costumes. The couple left the college in December (whether the leave is temporary or permanent remains unclear) as the controversy had not subsided.

On his January 22 show, Maher strongly condemned the Yale students satirizing one, as follows: “She is adamant that untouchables must be allowed to vote!  Oh, wait, that’s GANDHI. This insufferable brat can’t sleep at night because there’s no school policy against the white girl dressing up as POCAHONTAS. Which is what these days they call a microaggression – which begs the question: if it’s just a microaggression, shouldn’t it just make you microangry?” He continued: “hey, kid, you want to protest outfits that oppress people, why don’t you start with these? at which point he showed a photograph of four Muslim women covered from head to toe, with only two holes in their garb from which to see. “Because saying Yale doesn’t have enough cultural sensitivity is like saying Pier 1 doesn’t have enough wicker…Because if you’re not feeling coddled enough at Yale, there’s nothing our government can do for you. Because it’s the government’s job to protect a lot of things, but your feelings ain’t one of them,” he concluded. The segment was titled “Martyrs without a Cause.”

CHICAGO, IL – MARIA BURNHAM wrote a play called MITERA, because she wanted to write about Greek-Americans, and “family seemed to be the natural way to go.” In a promotional video for STRANGELOOP THEATRE in Chicago, which will feature performances in March and April, Burnham said she focused on dominant family members. “Mitera is the story of three, single adult Greek-American sisters who live at home and have their lives turned upside down when they find out their mother is still micromanaging their lives from beyond the grave,” Strangeloop describes the play. The dominant family member in question, then, is the mother, even though, deceased, she is not an actual character in the play. The three Greek sisters, all with the last name SHERIDAN, are OLGA (40), NITSA (35), and DIMITRA (31). They also have a cousin named DIMITRIS KOKKINAKIS and there is Dimitra’s godmother, SHARON KASKALIS.

Burnham first wrote Mitera as a short play, whose performance at Strangeloop’s “LOOPSHOP”  was strongly received, she said, and that is when she decided to expand it into a full-length play. Watching it performed live really gave Burnham perspective, because “it’s different to hear it out of other people’s mouths, rather than what you were hearing in your head as you were writing it.” She said it was particularly interesting to her because she based the characters on people she knows, and attributed the real people’s voices to the characters as she wrote – and then she heard the different-sounding voices of the actors who performed it.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – BON JOVI, a quintessential MTV era arena rock band founded in 1983 by JON BON JOVI is set to release their new album this March, called THIS HOUSE IS NOT FOR SALE. It is the first album without celebrated guitarist RICHIE SAMBORA, who left the band in 2013. His replacement, who has toured with the band in Sambora’s absence, is Greek-American PHILIP ERIC XENIDIS, better known as “PHIL X.” The Canadian-born Xenidis has also performed with an array of well-known musicians, including other fellow Greek-Americans TOMMY LEE and KELLY CLARKSON.  The album is the band’s 14th studio album – most of the others have gone platinum, including their 1986 SLIPPERY WHEN WET, which sold over 28 million copies worldwide.