passing strange


So, instead of sitting at home tonight watching a bunch of Pennsylvania primary results that ultimately leave us in exactly the same place we were yesterday, I opted to go see a new Broadway show, Passing Strange.

Definitely the right choice. This ranks right up there with the best shows I’ve ever seen. The music made me want to get up and dance, the humor had me laughing out loud, and the drama brought tears to my eyes. I’d see it again in a heartbeat. It’s technically a musical (and I hope it wins the Tony after years of Disney-fied crap), but it’s really more of a rock spectacle, charting the progression of “youth” as he tries on a host of different personae while trying to figure out who he is. It’s apparently based on the life of the writer/composer/narrator, Stew. I just marveled at how he could perform this show for 2 and a half hours every night, since he’s in every single scene.

I’m glad it’s a hit.

New York Times Review – Passing Strange.

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I do have that giant pile of books…


With the TV writers strike, I was actually thinking that it might be a boon for things like theater, since folks will be more actively looking for things entertainment-related to do.  Unless, of course, all of the Broadway stagehands also go on strike

Maybe this would be a good time to recommit myself to reading the giant pile of books that only ever seems to get bigger. 

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I’m never getting that hour and a half of my life back…


(NaBloPoMo day 2)

Posting immediately before and after midnight, by the way?  A really good way to kick out two days’ worth of posts in one sitting.  I thought this one should be a little bit more substantive than "hey!  I joined a new group!". 

So, anyway.  Last night was Halloween.  But instead of doing something traditional like going to a party or a haunted house or just sitting at home handing out candy, my folks and I decided to go see an off-off-broadway play at a theater near my house.  More specifically, this play.  That’s right, a one-woman show about global warming.  based on Lysistrata.  sort of.  with sock puppets. 

OK, so…the actress herself was somewhat engaging.  Incredibly self-absorbed (but what one-woman show wouldn’t be?) and overly earnest, but I did laugh a few times.  But the comparisons of herself to, um, Gandhi?  a bit much (the use of "ethnic" accents also bugged the living daylights out of me – overly "cute" bordering on offensive).  The incredibly over-long tangents about her personal life that had little to nothing to do with the plot or point of the narrative were crazy-making.  We all agreed that the show would have benefited from about 20 minutes of fat being trimmed.

of course, the best part being, while sitting next to my DAD, she pulls out the biggest, bluest [personal *massage* device] I have ever seen…if I wasn’t one of only eight people in the theater, I might have gone running out of the emergency exit. Yeah.  my dad’s a pretty hip, with-it guy who is very un-paternalistic, but there are still some things that I’d like to pretend don’t exist when sitting right next to him.

So…that was an experience. 

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I am telling you…


Zuzu over at feministe had a pretty interesting breakdown of Jennifer Holliday’s career (or lack thereof) after Dreamgirls. But watching the video put me in a slightly different frame of mind.

Dreamgirls was the very first Broadway show I ever saw – I couldn’t have been more than ten years old. After watching this video, you’ll understand why that experience made me, for life, a devoted Broadway musical fan.

Man, I really, really hope we get a non-dubbed version of the new film here in Italy.

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I know it may seem petty….


…given the recent news out of Asia, but I was incredibly saddened today to learn that Jerry Orbach had died. To most people, he was the ultimate New York cop, Lennie Briscoe, on Law and Order, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that he first made his name as one of the most prolific song and dance men on broadway, including originating the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago. Last month I actually tivo’d (and am only halfway through) the PBS documentary about Broadway, and Orbach is all over the thing – it was really amazing to see how young (and suave) he looked in the clips…

Between Orbach and Susan Sontag, we’ve lost two quintessential New Yorkers in the past few days, both to cancer. I’m wondering who the third is going to be, because these things do always come in three’s, don’t they?

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Just in time for the long weekend…


I manage to get myself sick. Nothing like a little bit of the flu to make the Turkey taste that much better. Anyway, I’m off to the country house to recuperate (and infect the rest of my family).

Project for the weekend? dragging my dad and stepmom into the 21st century by setting up the wireless network in the weekend house. The last time I tried to talk them through it on the phone, I spent 20 minutes asking questions, only to ask, "ok, now what color is light light on the Airport?" and get the response "oh, you mean that thing has to be plugged in?".

Yeah. They’re not allowed to touch things.

In other news, we did go to see Twelve Angry Men, last night, and it was great. I’ve read it several times, and it’s like an entire evidence class rolled into one 90-minute theatrical exercise. One downer – Philip Bosco was out sick. His understudy was great, but Juror Number Three is the heart of the show, and I just kept imagining Bosco’s utterly distinctive voice saying the same lines. The best part about going to see shows like this on Broadway? realizing that every single one of these actors has credits from Law & Order in their Who’s Who. Ahh, the incredibly tiny New York-based acting community. It was like a room full of male Tovah Feldshuhs.

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Due to the inclement weather, I ended up with a ticket to the show Hairspray (they were originally intended for some clients who never made it into town). Definitely worth venturing out in the snow for! Of course, it’s the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids time of year, so I ended up donating more than I ordinarily would, simply because I didn’t pay for the tix. :)

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