ellenkushner: (Default)
We saw Lithgow & co's KING LEAR last night at Shakespeare in the Park. Well worth seeing.  Really really smart and interesting direction. Lear & Fool's relationship best I've ever seen:  Fool genuinely bitter about Cordelia's loss at first, all his jokes barbed - then he takes over as Lear's glue & caretaker:  "Keep me in temper" spoken to him and not the gods.  And Edmund a classic Shakespearean sociopath - dispassionate & charming & in cahoots with the audience - in a line with Richard III & Iago - he should always be played that way!  Because of miking, every word crystal clear & some vocal subtlety allowed.  Best Lear-Edgar-Kent-Fool ("I took you for a joint-stool") scene ever, because they were ALL PLAYING OFF EACH OTHER instead of fading into the background when it wasn't their turn.  Edgar's Mad Tom was utterly freaking out the Fool, who kept edging away from him.  Tom very physical, jumped on top of Kent at one point.  Everyone united in trying to protect the unraveling Lear.
Kent genuinely funny, Gloucester genuinely dignified - if a bit of a fool (and his eventual transformation less than satisfying).  Cornwall a true brute; Albany irresistibly reminiscent of a nice Jewish man who just wants everyone to be decent - til he sees it's hopeless.  Cordelia's opening scene terrific, as you can see she & Lear have a special bond, so she expects him to get what she's doing…. and everyone's dawning horror when they realize he means it and is not quite himself and nothing anyone can do about it.  How Kent tries! What a writer, that WS - the number of times Kent refuses to give up….
Best closing lines to a play ever ever ever:
The weight of these sad times we must obey;
Say what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest have borne most; we that are young
Shall never see so much nor live so long.
ellenkushner: (FurCoat)
An absolute peach of a day, or so it turned out after a stressy morning following up on last night's dreadful moth revelations (which were Tweeted & Facebook'd in ghastly RT*) - managed to make it to lunch date with Ellen Datlow, Betsy Mitchell (editors of considerable note) and visiting Israeli publisher (and BBF) Rani Graff at PongSri for Thai near the theatre where we then saw Alan Rickman & a remarkable cast of younger actors in SEMINAR on Broadway.  It's all about aspiring writers, and we hooted our way through it, poking each other frequently; after, we retired to Amy's Bread on 9th to fortify ourselves with caffeine & baked goods, and argue about who was cooler, Writers or Editors.  I will not say who won; I think it was the oatmeal-walnut scones.

Then Betsy & Ellen went off to unaccountably do some editing, while those of us who Live for Pleasure ambled up to Columbus Circle, looked at some Crafts and then had an incredibly fine dinner at Sugiyama - turns out even Japanese fancy kaiseki restau's have an Early Bird Special - er, excuse me, Prix Fixe - in NYC.

The marched back down to W. 44th to see On a Clear Day You Can See Forever w/Harry Connick Jr, who wasn't very good, but the rest of the cast was.  [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman is bound to write up a smart review, so I will say only that the newly revised book is absurd yet charming.  I did see the original (in summer stock) when I was 12, and it had a great effect on me.  I am inclined to be critical; also, as a working fantasist, I resent my suspension of disbelief being asked to perform unreasonable acrobatics.  Still, I grinned through most of it, and didn't think about moths.

Walked Rani back to his hotel, where he presented me with some 12 boxes of Galilee Bouquet herbal tea in such divine flavors as Sage & Lemongrass, and Verbena & Za'atar. (I had asked for 1 box of Rosemary & Sage, but apparently Wissotsky doesn't make it any more.  As booby prizes go, the 12 other boxes take the cake bigtime!)

Subway took us home, where I attacked mothy plastic clothing bags with vigor and bleach - until I realized this was really stupid, and just threw them out.

Thank goodness for great lashings of sweet to go with the bitter.  And grant us the blahblah to remember that it's not always one or the other.

And to all, a good night.

*In brief:  Went to uptown Storage Unit yesterday (in rented car) to retrieve winter clothes, and found 4 of our stored Persian rugs seriously moth-eaten. Was not pretty.  Will spare you details.  Delia Facebook'd about it some. She waited for emergency Rug Man to come & take them away.  Will cost a lot to fix, but hope insurance will cover.  HOPE.  Brought clothes home, thought they were OK, but found damage in one, so went out for garbage bags & mothballs (yes, I know now that mothballs do not in fact work - looked a buncha stuff up on internet - including fact that we shoulda put anti-moth in the rugs when we stored them - but who knew?  Our stuff is in a climate-controlled bunker 4 floors underground! It all seems so sterile, there....); this morning took it all to the cleaners....
ellenkushner: (INTERFICTIONS)
Just found out that "Sleep No More" (which I wrote about here and Delia here ) did not close in the spring, or else is back:  running through Sept. 17th in NYC, for those who wish they had gotten a chance to see it.  Tix are pricey, but it's like nothing else on earth.

Best writeup may be Daniel Rabuzzi's here.
ellenkushner: (INTERFICTIONS)
We saw Punchdrunk's Sleep No More on May 4th.  [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman  wrote about it here - and I strongly recommend Daniel A. Rabuzzi's literate, lyrical, descriptive  post here about it on his delightfully-named (and ever stimulating) blog, Lobster & Canary.  They both think it's a very interstitial work, and I don't disagree.

Did I love it, you'll want to know?  Well, I was still coughing a lot & mildly feverish - and absolutely determined to take it all in, interact with everything macro (breathing down actors' necks as they opened mysterious envelopes) and micro (opening random drawers in elaborately-coiffed rooms).  I really wanted to engage - Daniel refers to it as "a massive LARP (live-action role-playing game) where the script is plastic and no one knows for certain what comes next" - but either I didn't fall into the right rooms, or the huge muffler around my neck put them off . . . or that's just not the show that it is.  I loved the sense of being lost in a series of rooms from other peoples' lives.  I loved the sense of being disconnected from time.  I loved the sense of the weird. I loved experiencing what I could experience (and reading Daniel's description brings me back all sorts of little deliciousnesses I had forgotten).

But it is very much an experience for an observer.  Many of my writer friends adored it, and one (in Boston) even went 4 times (which, if NYC prices had been lower, might be a more attractive proposition).  My embarrassing admission is that, unlike most writers, I am not much of an observer.  Or rather, my observations tend to be text- and sound-based - oh, and touch & smell I respond to strongly.  Delia is always mocking me for "not noticing things" that tend to be visual or even social.  (I think I notice quite a lot!)  And I guess I am, at heart, someone who likes coherence and linearity more than pure experience.  But I was expecting a lot, and perhaps being more relaxed about just taking it as it came would have made it easier.  If I had the time and occasion, I would definitely go again.

So I commend it to you, to make of it what you will, according to your nature and the roll of the dice.
ellenkushner: (Madame J. (closeup))
I can't believe Delia got me to go see Macbeth again!  I hate that play.

She said this time it would be different: that no one would die, and the witches would give Macbeth milk & cookies.*

She lied.

I hate those people. Everyone in it is horrible, and there's no redemption - No narrative tension, either, once we've gotten the killing of Duncan (oops! spoiler) out of the way.  However, John Douglas Thompson was magnificent - he went just as spectacularly nuts as Lady M. in his way, and went from a kind of dorky nice guy to an evil monster with hardly a stop for gas . . . and Annika Boras made the best and most interesting Lady M. I think I've seen.

Can we stop, now?

(No, wait, I guess we can't:  Sleep No More is next week!  There had better be milk and cookies.)

*P.S.  Actually, she didn't say that.  It was I, on my way to the subway, ever hopeful.


new post

Mar. 13th, 2011 07:35 pm
ellenkushner: (IAF)
 Got back last night from a completely wonderful day:  first to matinee of an Arthur Miller play I'd never even heard of,  The American Clock (directed by Cynthia Babak, writer & reviewer Paul Witcover's partner).  There's a nice review here, and [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman  just wrote one as well (also see her last one, on the TFANA's brilliant revival of F. Murray Abraham's Merchant of Venice).   Final performance tonight.  A fusion of vaudeville, show tunes, video & a script written with Miller's genius for tight characterization, jumping from scene to scene, from monologue to monologue, so that you felt like you were switching channels on a collection of fabulous movies about the Great Depression, each of which you'd love to watch in its entirety, and all of which together gave you the genuine sense of what it was like to live through those times - as Miller intended.

Our companions were the delightful delicious pair Carlos Hernandez (author of "The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria"   and co-author of the Interfictions 2 Study Guide) and poet & educator Liz Clark. We started out at that fish place on 5th, wound down to Gorilla Coffee . . . and were still talking about books, writing, teaching and the best leather jackets when we parted at the Atlantic St. station.

I got home and checked e-mail, and was disappointed to see that there were no comments to the LJ post I had thrown off that morning . . . hadn't I?  I remembered writing it.   So where was it?  Oh dear, oh dear . . . nothing.  Went to bed certain psychosis was immanent.

Then I remembered that I'd posted it here.
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
I just quite unexpectedly met Alan Rickman, backstage at a performance of Strindberg's Creditors  at BAM, a show he directed. I was the guest of the Welsh Cultural Council (long story) and we had fantastic seats for the show (row B!).  One of the three amazing actors in this tight little drama, Owen Teale, is Welsh, so we were ushered backstage to meet him - and what a great guy he is!  He speaks of Rickman with warmth, and not a little awe.  He is, apparently, a force to be reckoned with.  (Teale also does fabulous imitations of his voice, along wtih Al Pacino's  and other dressing room visitors....Ah, actors!  I could never mimic worth a damn.)  Apparently Rickman comes to every performance, and gives notes (by phone) the next day.  So there he was in the dressing room, being pleasant to everyone who wanted to talk to him.  He obligingly shook hands with all of us. Then I had wine with Teale (who obligingly had brought out plastic cups & opened a bottle) - it did seem a bit Wrong that we were there to see him, but everyone was still clustered around AR.  Then Rickman politely said good bye all, and I realized I had a copy of "The Man with the Knives" in my bag.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained - I mean, it's not like anything bad was going to happen.  So I shook his hand again, and said, "I had no idea you would  be here tonight, but I wonder if I could give you this?  Thank you very much; I really appreciate all the work you've done" or something like that.  And off he went.

I knew you'd kill me if I forgot to mention it.  Especially as I already told my Twitter pals first.  (But you know I love you best, don't you?)
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
Remember right before your parents' parties, where any time you reached your hand out to something in the 'fridge, your mom shouted, "Don't touch that -- it's for Company!" ?  (Man, I hated Company.  They got all the good stuff - howcome we never got confetti pasta salad, or little parfait puddings?)

Well, right now my 'fridge is full of Cheeses of Many Lands, and baby carrots, and hummous & baba & stuff like that.  And, [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman , DON'T TOUCH IT!!!

It's all going down to the Workmen's Circle building tomorrow, where we're assembling a cache of New York's Finest voice talent, to do a reading (with music by Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi) of the Feminist Shtetl Magic Realist Klezmer Musical Radio Play I've been writing with Yale & Elizabeth Schwartz, The Witches of Lublin.  It's a private reading, designed to let us writers hear the script done by Real Actors, and hear if it works.  We've invited some colleagues to critique us, as well.  We did the same thing almost a year ago today, and spent the year rewriting based on people's comments (and the things that had been brilliant on paper - and when we read them aloud in Y&E's backyard in San Diego - that suddenly rang like tin).  [That said - we've just moved into a bigger room, so if you really want to come listen tom'w, let me know.]

The whole thing started in June 2006, when we were moving into our apartment in NYC, and our dear friends Yale & Elizabeth were packing up to move to San Diego.  While we were hauling our unpacked boxes out to their car for them to use, I said, "I'm really sorry you guys are leaving, not just because I was looking forward to being in the same town with you, but because I'd been hoping we could do a project together."

And, Lo! before all the boxes were in the car, we'd had an idea.  And I went back to the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, who'd been asking me to propose something, and said we'd do the Debut of our new Musical Radio Play for their 2007 season.  And it was so.  We worked with a great trio of pickup musicians + an entire radio theatre troupe that just happens to reside in Kalamazoo, and presented the show (with Eliz & me playing major roles) . . . . and then we rewrote the whole thing.

And in NYC in 2009 we did that reading, and we learned a lot.  And now we're ready to do it again.  After this one, I hope we'll be able to move forward with a director, producer & funder(s!) so we can record & mix in time for "The Witches of Lublin" to air on public radio for Passover 2011 as a Holiday Special.

I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime . . . Don't touch that!  It's for the Talent.

Cast List (April 2010):
Anne Bobby, Adrienne Cooper, Chris Delaine, Sam Guncler, Fiona Jones, Barbara Rosenblatt & Doug Shapiro
ellenkushner: (*Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
No, really, I insist. If you're near NYC, see Liz Duffy Adams' play "Or," if you possibly can. It's about a woman who wants to be a famous writer, and theatre people, and kings with deliciously long hair, and language and gender. See?

Tix are $20 if you turn up 1 hr before the show (and there are still seats.) The NYTimes loved it, and was not wrong to mention Stoppard in the review, I think. If you can't go - or you need encouraging - Ms. Adams has kindly given me permission to print her Prologue
here: )

See? As [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman said; written for us!

Orpheus X

Dec. 10th, 2009 11:15 pm
ellenkushner: (Latvian THOMAS)
I am a huge Rinde Eckert fan - to me, his work practically defines "interstitial," and his performance is always electrifying. We went tonight w/Chiara to see his "Orpheus X" at TFNA, where it's playing through Dec. 20th. I don't think Chiara moved a muscle for the entire 90 minutes. The moment Rinde appeared, opened his mouth & let out that voice (and that passion), I practically started crying from pure joy. [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman will probably write it all up with all her erudite observations from the subway trip home.

All I can say for now is that he & director Woodruff rang some terrific changes on the story: He's a popstar (in a near-future world meltdown), locked in his apartment; She's a small-press poet who died in his arms when his taxi hit her in the rain. She goes into the Underworld desperate to write ("When you're dead, they take away your pens and pencils") and is given chalk by the Queen of the Dead (played by a man who doubles as Orpheus' manager on earth - they also have an adorable [to a relative degree - the whole show is pretty intense!] duet about what it's like to sit at your desk & write.... "And then it's done?" the Queen says, and Euridice gently corrects her: "And then it's begun."). Too tired to say more now, but I wanted to let you know that, at least. There's a good interview with Rinde while he was developing the show for ART here; I just wish TFANA would put online his program notes for the current version, which are excellent.

Now I'm listening to the entire Monteverdi Orfeo on YouTube - just so I can find the heartrendingly glorious [well, damn! I've played the whole thing, and he never sang The Song! And there's no way even on Google to look up "the tune that goes daaaa-dum, da daaaa dum....."!]
ellenkushner: (*Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
If you love me (well, my stuff), go see OR by Liz Duffy Adams! GO TODAY to the 3 pm matinee - there are rush tix for $20 1 hr before the show and we were there yesterday to a half-empty house, so you should have no trouble getting seats.

International superspy & ardent playwright Aphra Behn, randy monarch Charles II & trousered Nell Gwynne mix it up with much gender confusion in a neo-Restoration comedy with streaks of Oscar Wilde, Tom Stoppard, Feydau, (of course, Behn herself), and many sharp lines about being a writer/actor - more opinions to come, but I know today's matinee will be easy pickings for rush $20 seats, so I rush to get this up & out for you.

And if you don't live in NYC, make plans to come - it's been extended through Dec. 13th, thanks to rave reviews.
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
Back from WFC & the triumphant Interfictions 2 debut week, I've now been to a few of the first rehearsals for the new cast of this year's production of my Golden Dreydl for Vital Theatre, The Klezmer Nutcracker, and done a number of revisions to the script - some during the rehearsal itself: on Saturday, Sara, the Fool and I did improv on their lines until we got something we all liked. Most of the cast are genuine dancers - there will be many entrances on pointe, my friends, with pirouettes galore, this year! The Queen of Sheba will OWN every 9-yr-old in the audience when she does her Arabesque . . . . Sara & the Fool are "merely" tumblers - watching them egg each other on to cartwheels with a "Comaneci Finish" was pure bliss! - they have great chemistry together already, and what's more, they Get the Fantasy . . . When the director asked, "So, how does the Fool know that the Peacock was supposed to be guarding the Demons?" (See? I told you I was revising lots!), one said, "Well, he's mythic - he just does!" and the other, "It's a small Land; all the magical people know each other." Mwa! The ensuing discussion made me pontificate on the fact that Fantasy has to work on 3 levels, all at once: the Mythic, the Metaphoric, and the Real. (As Delia pointed out when I told her: This means that [all together now] Fantasy is Harder!)

I missed this morning's rehearsal, but the Production Manager, Leah, faithfully sends out a Daily Report. To give you some sense of how groovy this year's show will be, I present here the bit on
Costumes/Wigs & Make-Up:

1. [We just lost a cast member, who got a job with a touring production, so] L-- will replace V-- as the Autothith in the riddle scene.

2. Now that we’ll only have one toy in the first scene we’ve decided to ditch the Transformer and just have a dinosaur-type creature.

3. Luke would like to play the Guardian of Flame as a very short person with shoes on his knees, is it possible to get him some knee pads for rehearsals?

4. The Carob Man’s costume will need a pocket for his carrot.


La, la, la (Sing:) . . . There's no business like show business!

And now I really must go type up the revisions I promised for tomorrow.

You didn't think I was blogging because I didn't have something more important to do, did you?
ellenkushner: (*Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
[livejournal.com profile] deliasherman has blogged our latest theatrical outing - my comments (of a memoirish nature) are below her post, and I'm not going to copy them here!

How am I? you may be wondering; and howbout them deadlines? Aherm. Yes. Am running KlezNut revisions back-to-back with a Riverside story that a rather prestigious, high-profile, high-paying anthology has allowed as how they'll take a look at if I can get them a final draft in 2 wks. You do the math. We're bringing actors in for a reading of the revised script on Weds., so I'd better get as much story done as I can before then. 'Bye, now!

(Took yesterday off to hang out with beloved nephew AJ who drove down from college for a weekend in NYC - why he wanted to spend an entire day eating & walking in Central Park with ageing aunts is - well, it's nice, that's what.)

Yeats

May. 13th, 2009 10:10 pm
ellenkushner: (EK/DS wedding band)
We went last week - or was it the week before? or sometime before that...? - to the Irish Repertory Theater to see The Yeats Project, which 2-night spree [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman has brilliantly summarized here and here.

I was not as moved by The Countess Cathleen as Delia was - until they got to the final lines, which utterly break my heart:

Tell them who walk upon the floor of peace
That I would die and go to her I love;
The years like great black oxen tread the world,
And God the herdsman goads them on behind,
And I am broken by their passing feet.


Particularly poignant that they are spoken by Cathleen's foster mother (nursemaid). (I had meant to put this up for Mother's Day, but forgot in the weekend's flurry.)

I wonder if Dylan Thomas loved them, too?
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower . . . .

Really, we'd be watching these OK plays - listening, really, as they're solid verse without much action - and every few minutes a full, gorgeous unknown bit of Yeatsian glory would pop out......

Well, as T.S. Eliot said, "Yeats had nobody; we had Yeats."

BINIBON

May. 7th, 2009 01:06 am
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
A quick note to let New Yorkers know that BINIBON, the highly interstitial Jack Womack/Elliot Sharp collaboration at The Kitchen thru May 9th is very much worth seeing! Acting & direction are terrific. But it's all about Jack's language - sheer poetry, describing the New York we lived in in 1981. A dangerous place. It no longer exists. Very much the NYC I wrote Swordspoint in and about. Jack's characters - waitress, transvestite, teen graffiti artist - ghosts of the night Jack Henry Abbott killed that guy at the Binibon cafe - recall it in speeches so sharp and funny and moving I had to keep myself from rocking back & forth, sticking up my hand and yelling, "Oh, yeah! Tell it, baby!"

They guy playing Abbott is just chilling. As the Narrator (a shaky former jazz drummer) describes him (yeah, I got Jack to send me the script) :
Here's some text by Jack Womack )
ellenkushner: (Thomas the Rhymer)
When we saw this play in previews a couple weeks ago, I was so moved I literally couldn't speak. On the way home, while we were talking about what we'd just seen, I had to stop and lean against a lamppost in Times Square to let my emotions pass through me. I wanted to write about it in depth, but couldn't find the time to say what I wanted to say. I left it to [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman to write one of her wonderful reviews of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, incorporating some of what we'd been talking about.

Today's NYTimes has a rave review. Just reading it made my scalp tingle again, and my eyes prickle with tears of feeling. Do see if it you can. There are some tix up on TDF.org for next week (to my surprise; Next to Normal - also a rave recipient -'s are gone - because it's got music? Because it's about white people in suburbia?). There are also discount tix on Broadwaybox.com and Theatremania.com. I was pleased to see the Times critic said what we felt: it's about magic. It's epic poetry. In the everyday. In history. It's a good reason to remember why we make art - and try to make good art, not just something to sell. You can't just sit down and decide to make great art. But you can decide not to try not to.

I know most of you will never see it. Glad to see that there's a tiny excerpt up online here: "My daddy healed people with a song. I seen him do it...."
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
A rock musical (well, almost an opera, and sometimes acoustic - gee, does that make it interstitial?) about what manic-depression does to a family? Oh, yeah, definitely a Must See. NOT.

Except that it is. Really & truly.

Delia & I loved it (her report here). With some trepidation I got tix for my Cousin Els, back in her native burg for the holidays. She saw it last night, and loved it.*

Tix are plentiful on TDF if you're a member, and there's still a big discount online (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] vertical_chaos) while it's running in Previews at: http://www.nexttonormal.com/friendsandfamily

Opening night is April 15th - that's the night the critics come & review it, and if it gets the rave it deserves in the next morning's papers, it will be impossible to get tix after that. Word to the wise.

*My favorite line from Els & her friend's trenchant analysis - from her note to me, not her blog (hey, you're my LJFriends, you get some special privileges!): "It's smart choices on top of smart choices," Natasha said. "It's a smart-choice sandwich."

A smart-choice sandwich. I must remember that; it's the way I feel about all the art I love, ever since I got trained (in college) to consider works of art as choices somebody made.

More from Els: And the set, and the way it's plotted so tightly and feels so emotionally & psychologically true but not trite or pat, and the use of rock music -which keeps underscoring that these middle-aged people were once young, and are in fact both still stuck in that time just after teenagerhood emotionally, frozen by what they've been dealing with/avoiding since. And the way none of them are cartoons - not even Dan, who could so easily have been. "They're all working so hard," Natasha said, meaning the characters, not the actors, though the actors obviously are too. "They're all working as hard as they possibly can." .... Anyway. It got a standing ovation & I was far from the only person crying. Now I see why people want to see it over and over.

Still not convinced? (Or, um, not in NYC/Can't afford it?) Here's some of the music. And here's an interview with the amazing amazing lead, our friend Chris's best friend (which is why we went to a show on manic-depression in an American Family to begin with), Alice Ripley. (Who's from Cleveland!!)
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
Thanks to everyone over 9 who still came to see me in The Klezmer Nutcracker at Vital Theatre! To those who were too scared of little kids - or who loved it and are ready for more - Vital is premiering a new adult play, LOOKING FOR THE PONY, tonight, with discounts available for the month here. "Eloisa is finally ready to leave a lifeless career in finance to pursue a childhood dream when her sister Lauren is diagnosed with breast cancer . . . . As funny as it is heart-breaking, LOOKING FOR THE PONY is a rollercoaster ride through treatment, ambition, loss and acceptance."
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
Mark O'Connor is just about the most amazing fiddler (all trad styles) we've got in this country - and an interstitial kinda guy who also composes & plays w/classical musicians . . . He's got 2 hot dates coming up in NYC: Friday Jan. 23 at Symphony Space with one of my fave classical guitarists, Sharon Isbin ("each performing a solo set and then, together, premiering O'Connor's new work for guitar and violin, Strings and Threads), and April 28 at Merkin Hall: LINGUA APPALACHIA: AN EVENING WITH STRINGS (MARK O'CONNOR, ANI KAVAFIAN, PAUL NEUBAUER and MATT HAIMOWITZ). Discount tix available to TDF members. (He's got other dates in Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, etc.) And if you share my love for trad/classical fusion - there's also Anoushka Shankar w/Orpheus Chamber Orch (they are great!!) at Carnegie Hall on Sat., Jan. 31, 8 pm. Also TDF. We've got tix for 1/23, and we'll see about the rest....

Tuesday we saw PAL JOEY (also TDF), and I don't see what the critics were being so snippy about. The score is fantastic - hot tunes, and an underscoring that uses them as themes almost classically, very well-played - the staging is inventive & exciting, the dancing lively, and I thought Stockard Channing's performance as the society lady who picks up our anti-hero was nuanced and riveting. I love the fact that she's not really a singer, but can she deliver a song! "Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered" becomes incredibly grotty in context. And who knew Martha Plympton had such a hot alto? There are small things you can find to complain about, but nothing that ruined it for me, which I count a success. The word I kept using was Crisp: the dancing, the staging, the performanes..... A big relief, when there's so much Sloppy around. As for the story - maybe I'm just a sucker for Amoral. Whaddaya think?

It is a wonder that we made it all the way to the theatre. Tues morning found Delia revising an essay & putting the finishing touches on the The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen copyedited ms., both due the next day. I went to yoga, brought back Vietnamese lunch for the teeming masses, which by then included Matt K., come to minister to the computers, and our assistant, R, who bustled about filing things & giving moral support. Computers worked. Computers didn't work. Maybe they worked. Problems fixed; others arose. Matt is my Hero. He went to Radioshack to get them to give us the right plug. Delia put the ms. in envelope & gave to R. to take to Viking. General rejoicing. R left, Matt left, R came back for sweater, made her drink more soup for her cold. Iga turned up to clean. We got dressed, went to the theatre, met Veronica there, and had mojitos at Cuban place nearby to celebrate D's novel. At last.
ellenkushner: (Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
Hey! The Kevin Kline Cyrano de Bergarac that I saw (and posted about) last year on Broadway is on PBS "Great Performances" tonight at 8:00!

Aha, thinks I, I'll have plenty of time to figure out how to record via my new DVD player/recorder...

Oh, ha. No f*in' way. The words of the Manual, they are as the Hindu Greek to me - or rather, the things it does when I ask it to obey the manual are just plain silly, and not at all to the point.

So if anyone else manages to capture it, I would be much obliged to you for a copy. [ADDED: My tech god, Mr E-- M--, is doing so even as I type. Let's hope his works! - He was kind enough to point out to me that the reason the Input Cable thingie was coming up blank was because there is, indeed, no cable put in to my DVD yet. Ha. I'm not as dumb as I look.]

If you read my old post, you'll see why: it does seem like a Sign from the New Year, showing up as it does this very week, to sit down and get started on the thing. You may be sure I will consult your many helpful comments of 12/8/07 as I do so.

**ADDED**
I'm so happy that lots of people got to see it because of my post (useful, for once!) - and that more technosavvy (or better-endowed) than I will look it up and record the 2 a.m./repeat broadcasts...)! Enjoy - and let me know what you thought.

October 2014

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