Monday, January 30, 2006
Today, quite suddenly, I had an opportunity to see my niece and nephew. My niece, Leah, is almost 7, and my nephew, Jackson, is almost 2. They are in town staying with my mom so that their parents could fly to Arizona to visit a family member who is in the hospital. Since it is almost both Leah's and Jackson birthdays, my mom decided to have a sort of impromptu birthday party for them, and so Chas, his mother, and I, drove to Dublin today to meet them all at Chuck E. Cheese.
The last time I was in a Chuck E. Cheese I was a teenager. I must say that I was rather disappointed. My memory was so much better than the reality before me. Although there were a few things of note. First off, the (poorly designed) animatronic creature/singers were not singing cute little kid songs, but instead songs from the 80's including tunes by Big Country, and (what I thought was the creme de la creme) "I'll Tumble for You" by the Culture Club. Let me tell you, you haven't really heard Culture Club unless you've heard it sung by an animatronic female chicken and a gender indeterminate purple fuzzy thing. Trust me. No, really. OK... maybe it is similar to watching Boy George sing it after all...
Of course I ate pizza, which means I basically blew my diet for this evening, but that's OK, because at my doctor's appointment today I learned that not only have I decreased my blood pressure and brought it to normal (it had been slightly elevated because, as they told me, I was 12 pounds overweight) but I have apparently officially lost 22 pounds in the past 8 months. Wowzers! That's awesome! But I digress...
Leah was very excited to see me. I haven't seen her in quite awhile (over a year) but we always have so much fun when we hang out together. Jackson I had only met once, when he was an infant, as my brother and his wife life in Nevada. I had been warned that he doesn't take to new people and so not to expect much. He was begging me to pick him up and hold him for much of the visit. I felt victorious. ;)
Much of my evening was spent chasing Jackson around the play area, which tired me out pretty quick. I love kids... I really do... but not for me, thanks. The best thing about being an Uncle? Uncles go home... ;)
While we were there, I saw they had one of those cute little machines that take your picture and then prints it out as a "sketch". All in all a very good day.
Click images for a larger view.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
It's been a difficult week for me. A lot of ups and downs emotionally.
I wont go into the details here but a few things keep popping up...
- Emotions are unpredictable things, sometimes especially just when you think you have them mastered.
- Relationships are seldom easy. And never when they matter so much to you.
- I can't change what anyone else feels, so I just need to focus on myself.
- I will trust that the Universe has a plan for me and that it wouldn't lead me down a road that goes nowhere.
- I have a lot to be thankful for.
- I need to do more Kala.
- Polyamory is complicated because people have emotions (see #1)
- No two loves are the same.
- I am grateful for the love I have, but am I being greedy to worry that another might be slipping away?
- Greedy or not, I love him.
- See #4.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
The Best Worst Play I Have Ever Seen
I had heard very mixed reviews about this play going into it, so I really did not know what to expect. I knew that I loved the work of Dave McKean who was in charge of visual concept design, so I figured it would at least look pretty. And it did. Really pretty. I loved the sets... the costumes... the projected visuals (for the most part). But I have to admit that the acting pretty much sucked. Not all of it... but almost all of it.
Hugh Panaro as Lestat was pretty much insulting almost all the way through Act I. His delivery of dialog was stiff and unimaginative. While he does have a talented singing voice, it is unfortunate that they really didn't give him much that was worth singing. Unfortunately this was a theme throughout the show. All in all this play had really little to no business being a musical. Or if it had to be a musical then it would have benefited from actually having good music. But it didn't. Oh, boy it didn't. The music by Elton John was passable at best, while the lyrics by Bernie Taupin were mostly terrible. (Pet peeve here... when writing a musical it is not necessary that every piece of dialog need be sung... I don't want to hear you sing about how you are going to tell your story and let everybody know the truth, any more than I would want you to sing about how you were able to get all of your chores done that day and still have time for a quick bath.) But a good percentage of the lyrics in this play were just as mundane. Even this could have been forgiven, however, if the lyrics were poetic. But they weren't. Out of all of the songs, only two stick out in my head as good... and even both of them had problems. Carolee Carmello as Gabrielle was a surprise gem in this play, especially after coming across so boring and stiff in her introduction. Later on when she was made into a vampire she emerged a strong presence which culminated in her performance of "The Crimson Kiss" which in my opinion was the musical highlight of the whole show. It was really quite good... I was both shocked and pleased that suddenly so much talent was shining through. I actually got chills... the music, the lyrics and the performance were astounding. Too bad it occurred near the end of Act I... nothing for the rest of the play would equal its vigor.
Lestat, as I have known him from the books of Anne Rice, is a rather Luciferian character. He lives by his own rules and is certainly larger than life. He has a type of messianic presence that compels those around him to engage him on his terms. But little of this was present in this version. Instead Lestat is presented as somewhat of a whiner in Act I. While he does become more powerful and engaging later on in the play, in the beginning he has nothing of his awesome presence and those of us who know the character are left with the feeling that our beloved vampire-to-be has been emasculated even before his story begins. It's like Lestat-lite... now with 10% less interest.
Claudia was played by the talented Allison Fischer, who's performance was both strong and believable. When she sang "I Want More" it was another surprising high point for the show, although I felt that the song went on for much too long considering that it changed very little, both musically and lyrically.
At this point you are probably thinking that I hated this play... but you would be wrong. I did enjoy it... or at least parts of it. The overall story is one that I love and so it was certainly entertaining to see it played out before my eyes live... but I was disappointed in its overall execution. Especially for something that is being so obviously hyped and with some big names attached to it, I really expected more. I'd like to say that they should tweak it before it gets to Broadway, but honestly it needs more than just tweaking. Pretty much a whole new cast would be in order (you need people who can both sing and act!) and I believe that they rely much to heavily on the projected images which form a massive percentage of the set design. (For example... whenever a vampire drinks, images are projected upon the screen which depict the memories and experiences of the victim's life... while interesting, the play would have benefited from the addition of the ensemble acting or dancing interpretively in the background... otherwise it quickly degenerates into a gimmick, that while interesting and even compelling the first time, becomes stale quickly.
So... if you have an extra $160 lying around burning a hole in your pocket and it's either this play or a new pair of shoes, I'd think long and hard about your choice. My ticket was fortunately a gift, so I was able to relax and enjoy myself. If I had shelled out the money myself I would either have been very upset, or would have had to force myself into believing that I loved the show just to save face.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Please? Pretty please? With sugar or another suitable artificial sweetener on top?
**EDIT: I have been nominated, so thank you to everyone who did. Name's only go in once so you can stop now. ;)
Thursday, January 05, 2006
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Wednesday, January 04, 2006
You scored as Theater. You should be a Theater major! Like a bohemian actress, you are seasoned and confident and not afraid to express yourself!
What is your Perfect Major?
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