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Last week A and I went to see Lorenzo Pisoni perform his childhood in his one man show ‘Humor Abuse.’ The theater is tiny and Pisoni draws his audience into the story (sometimes literally) while keeping them on their toes (beware of those sandbags!). One of my favorite lines went something like…

‘So it was me and a lifesize model of me and several helium balloons in the steamer trunk and it was summer and it was hot and sometimes the balloons would break, and it was very loud. This started when I was three. I HATE balloons.’

The tricks and acrobatics were exciting but it was the story that really drew the piece together and made it feel worth watching. I only wish clowning was always that engaging!

Friday night I saw Emanuel and the Fear play at Crash Mansion (I mentioned the show to you in my weekend post). The number of instruments on stage is a bit overwhelming but all of the sounds are used to great effect, including the voices of the two vocalists- Emanuel Ayvas and Liz Hanley.

Dallin Applebaum and Liz Hanley

Emanuel Ayvas and Liz Hanley

Liz Hanley, Brian Sanders and Colin Dean

Liz Hanley, Tom Swafford and Brian Sanders

Saturday was beautiful and I hope everyone spent as much time out in the sunshine as possible; I certainly did! I had a picnic in Prospect Park with a group of friends and then we all wandered over to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to experience the cherry trees in bloom. They will be blooming for several weeks and you can keep track of their progress and plan your visit accordingly through the website.

Cherry Tree blooming in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Cherry Tree blooming in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Saturday evening G and I attended one of the Jazz at Lincoln Center events. Of course first we wandered around failing to find the theater and then failing to find the box office but eventually we made it to our seats. This event showcased some pieces by Wynton Marsalis, who was also performing, and some stories by Langston Hughes. I will admit the whole thing was a bit too edgy for me. There was a whole series devoted to various animals and generally speaking no matter how interesting it is to make a saxophone sound like a monkey I still do not think it’s worth buying tickets to hear the result. However, some of the jazz was more traditional and certainly the technical skill of the musicians was more than adequately demonstrated. There was also tap dancing, which was marvelous to watch, even from the balcony. P.S. If you attend any events at the Rose Theater you should call the box office and ask for the seats behind the stage; they’re cheaper and you’ll be right on top of the action (I intend to do this next time).

We grabbed a bit of a hurried dinner at Cafeteria (classic Chelsea restaurant- music loud enough for a club, men with too much product in their hair, modernist furniture and slightly pretentious everything, however pretty yummy for all that) before heading over to the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas to see The Raspberry Brothers in action! Jerm says I was one of the first to begin promoting their show but luckily others have now caught on; check out his interview with Andrew Singer in The Apiary. The Apiary is also recommending the improv comedy festival at The Creek LIC this weekend, which also includes an act from one of the Raspberry Brothers (amazing how comedy comes together).

The Raspberry Brothers

The Raspberry Brothers

On Sunday G and I experienced a somewhat different form of comedy at the Barrymore Theater, where we saw an all-star cast perform ‘Exit the King.’ The whole cast is fantastic but I felt like Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon were really incredible. The script was witty and occasionally just a tad profound without feeling dark. For example;

He acts as if no one has ever died before!

No one alive HAS ever died!

The final scene is rather hypnotic and was not necessarily the best way to draw the story to a close. I adored the absurd capes and crowns and had to fight the urge to go and find a very long piece of fabric immediately (I played dress up a lot as a child).

Sunday night I had dinner in a bubble. Yes, a giant plastic bubble, the Raumlabor’s Spacebuster to be precise. This art installation by German artists focuses on the idea of using vacant space. The bubble will be traveling to various locales around the city this week and you should try to attend one of the events. It is definitely an amazing experience to dance to tunes spun by Jonathan Toubin inside a bubble in the courtyard of the Old American Can Factory... so I expect the other events will be at least as enjoyable.

The Spacebuster behind the Old American Can Factory

The Spacebuster behind the Old American Can Factory

Inside the Spacebuster after dark

Inside the Spacebuster after dark

Add that to your plans this week! Also be sure to look at my earlier post for other events to consider and stay tuned for additions!

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I have a very busy weekend planned and I’m not even going to half of the events I’d like to go to.

Tonight I will be missing the Brit Boras concert at Pianos I told you about but I urge you to do what I say and not what I do (haha) and dance the night away! I have it on good authority that the cellist is adorable and the music’s good too.

Also tonight, Look Presents Detour: NY’s Premier Film Noir and Arts Festival. Go out to Galapagos for independent film noir, steamy burlesque and all sorts of other “unexpected adventures.”

Ongoing throughout the weekend is the Migrating Forms Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives:

Migrating Forms is the organization that grew out of the New York Underground Film Festival (1993–2008), presenting five days of new experimental film and video.

Here’s the trailer for this year:

On Friday Clay Space 1205 hosts an opening party for their new 11-artist group show from 6-9pm. Ask about their spring classes and ceramic workshops- pottery classes aren’t just for bored housewives afterall!

Clay Space 1205

Clay Space 1205

Friday is also opening night for the Raspberry Brothers at Chelsea Clearview Cinemas! I know I’ve told you about them in the past and now you’ll be able to see them every Friday and Saturday night at midnight! This month their victim is ‘Dirty Dancing’ and you can find me in the audience this Saturday night giggling whilst trying to eat popcorn.

dirtydancing

On Friday night I will be rocking out to the tunes of Emanuel and the Fear at Crash Mansion. Here’s their promo video:

On Friday and Saturday you can hear Wynton Marsalis play at Lincoln Center:

Tap dancers Jared Grimes and Dewitt Fleming, Jr. join the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalisin “Spaces,” a five-movement tap ballet by artistic director Wynton Marsalis along with the premiere of “Jesse B. Semple Suite,” based on stories by Langston Hughes set to music by JLCO trombonist Vincent Gardner. The “Jesse B. Semple Suite” will feature actors Anthony Thompson Adeagbo and Summer Hill Seven.

Saturday night check out the Cameo Art Gallery in Williamsburg, where Sigmund Droid will be turning up the funk factor with his dirty dance punk.

Sigmund Droid at Cameo Art Space

Sigmund Droid at Cameo Art Gallery

Also on Saturday night there’s an awesome lineup at the Bowery Poetry Club– Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize winning poetry editor of the New Yorker, is the featured reader and Racket provides the tunes. The late show is !BadAss! Burlesque with Velocity Chyaldd.

!BadAss! Burlesque

!BadAss! Burlesque

Ongoing this month, the ISSUE Project Room is presenting all sorts of experimental madness at Old American Can Factory near the Gowanus Canal, before making their big move to their new digs at 110 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Read what Brooklyn Based has to say about the artists/musicians/performers involved.

P.S. Tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival go on sale to the general public on Monday!

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I’m feeling a tiny bit under the weather at the moment so you will have to forgive the brevity of this post. I’ve had several adventures worth relating this week.

On Monday I went to the Purim comedy act at the 92Y Tribeca, which I told you about in a previous post. I particularly liked the sketch modeled on ‘High School Musical.’ At the end the boy goes off with the girl against the wishes of his friends…

Girl: Oh no, you are going to leave those lousy friends of yours and go and do your school work. AND you are going to Medical School!

Boy: I have to go guys, I’ve been searching for a woman to replace my mother for my whole life!

You can watch clips of Shushan Channel’s sketches on their website.

On Wednesday I finally got around to seeing a film that was part of the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Series, which I mentioned some time ago. I saw ‘The Joy of Singing’ at the IFC and it was truly French in every sense you can imagine. My friend L was not a big fan but she’s not nearly as much of a francophile as I am. If you missed the series check your Netflix- some of them will probably come out on DVD sometime soon-ish.

I also saw B spin at Hugs that night (I told you about this in advance as well); he was fantastic as always and while we couldn’t get much dancing going I have high hopes for next time since it’ll be warmer and more people will be willing to move from their warm apartments.

Friday night my friend M was having a ‘Blue Velvet‘ party so I wasn’t able to attend any other events. Afterall, I wouldn’t want to miss blue velvet cupcakes and crazy sadistic sex scenes (oh David Lynch!)!

Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini in 'Blue Velvet'

Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini in 'Blue Velvet'

Saturday afternoon my grandmother and I saw ‘Happiness’- a new musical now playing at Lincoln Center. It was adorable and heartwarming and altogether lovely, certainly not ground-breaking, but lovely.

HAPPINESS unfolds the stories of a dozen or so New Yorkers stuck in the morning rush of a stalled subway car and required by the spectral trainman to recall and re-enact the happiest moment in their lives before they can continue their travels… and travails.

HAPPINESS celebrates those fleeting moments in everyday lives — typically unanticipated, largely overlooked, always ephemeral — that upon reflection become people’s fondest memories

Happiness

Saturday night I saw the Young New Yorkers Chorus perform (mentioned this to you earlier). They were fantastic and I found the melodies, which are apparently based on ‘ancient chants’ to be very similar to some of the chants Jewish prayers are set to. I would be interested to look into the correlation further.

I’m off for the moment but I promise to get back to you with this week’s events shortly.

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I spent both of the last two evenings crying while actors sang love songs on stage. It was marvelous. Luckily on both occasions my companion(s) were tolerant of the waterworks and realized they were actually indicative of what a wonderful time I was having.

Monday night I saw the new revival of West Side Story, which is currently in previews at the Palace Theater. Arthur Laurents, at the age of 91, is doing a revival of his own show that goes in a totally new direction- the Puerto Rican characters speak and sing in Spanish. At first I found the scenes that were almost entirely in Spanish, like an argument between Anita and Bernardo, jarring and confusing. Subtitles were deemed a distraction so if you don’t speak Spanish you can only guess at exactly what’s being said. I didn’t begin to really appreciate how powerful the contrast between the languages could be until Anita and Maria sang A Boy Like That/I Have a Love. When Maria breaks into English the audience feels that she’s embracing Tony and the country he’s part of, but also that she’s painfully breaking from her own. The music is even more powerful, especially through the voices of these two truly phenomenal actresses- JOSEFINA SCAGLIONE and KAREN OLIVO.

Karen Olivo (Anita), George Akram (Bernardo) and company

Karen Olivo (Anita), George Akram (Bernardo) and company

Josefina Scaglione (Maria) and Matt Cavenaugh (Tony)

Josefina Scaglione (Maria) and Matt Cavenaugh (Tony)

The final scene after Tony has been killed, in which Maria threatens to kill herself and members of both gangs, feels raw and terrifying. She switches hysterically from English to Spanish and her pain and confusion is more clearly demonstrated through this mix of languages than it could possibly have been otherwise. I certainly recommend seeing this production, if possible see it before it officially opens.

As interesting and enjoyable as West Side Story was I will admit that it paled somewhat in comparison to South Pacific, which I saw last night at the Lincoln Center Theater. We arrived late (my fault; I mixed up the time) but were immediately swept away by the energy and talent of the performers. The theater is much smaller than the Palace and even from the balcony we had a fantastic view. Andrew Samonsky lives up to his character’s description (“You sexy Lieutenant!”). The relationship between him and Liat (Li Jun Li), though really the secondary romance of the musical, has more of a feeling of authenticity than I expected. These are two actors truly embodying their characters; they are both swept away by a love that seems to exist outside of reality. The feeling of bitterness and desire in the song ‘Happy Talk’ is amazing. I started crying then and kept on crying right through until the end of Act II.

Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable) and Li Jun Li (Liat)

Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable) and Li Jun Li (Liat)

Of course it was Kelli O’Hara (Nellie Forbush) and Paulo Szot (Emile de Becque) who made the show truly phenomenal. Since we missed the opening scene it took me some time to really feel the chemistry between them. My first impression of her was formed during ‘I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,’ which she performed beautifully.

Kelli O'Hara (Nellie Forbush)

Kelli O'Hara (Nellie Forbush)

I can’t count how many times I’ve sung that song in the shower after a breakup; it is ingrained into my subconscious image of relationships. Her southern accent and his French accent were problematic for me at first; they felt inauthentic and distracted from the words being spoken. In song they appealed to me much more. When he sings ‘This Was Nearly Mine’ the irony is present to a degree that recalls Greek tragedy more than musical theater.

Paulo Szot (Emile de Becque) and Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable)

Paulo Szot (Emile de Becque) and Andrew Samonsky (Lt. Joseph Cable)

I was involved enough that I actually forgot there was a happy ending and was so swept away by it I was hysterical all the way through the curtain calls. If you have any positive associations with this musical see it now before this cast begin to leave the production.

Stay tuned for additions to this week’s roster of events and for my weekend post!

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We have quite the week ahead of us and I hope that you won’t let the nasty weather stop you from attending some of the great events taking place.

On Monday night head out to Galapagos to witness a new kind of open mike night- Open Variety Night!

Artists are invited to perform in New York City’s first certified green cultural venue. The monthly showcase is open to all variety entertainers: jugglers, hoofers, magicians, aerialists, physical comedians, opera singers, violin playing pogo stickers, steppers, acrobats. The stage is here for artists to work out material in front of a live audience.

The Open Variety Stage is a response to variety artists — circus, sideshow, vaudeville, etc. — not having a stage to work on new material with a live audience.  Although there are a number of open mics in the city, few provide spaces high and wide enough for the work that many of us do. We aim to create a supportive laboratory for emerging artists and professionals alike to work on material, try new bits, and reawaken old acts.

This event is particularly exciting because it is being presented in partnership with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus– a fantastic organization my friend D used to volunteer for (you might say she actually ran away to the circus…).

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

On Tuesday I for one am going to see South Pacific at the Lincoln Center Theater. Some of the original cast will be leaving the show soon so you should definitely get tickets if you want to see it! I will be sure to post my review though I very much doubt that it will be anything but glowing.

If I was not going to the theater I would definitely be checking out the Bushwick Book Club.

The Bushwick Book Club meets the first Tuesday of every month at Goodbye Blue Monday and employs the delirious talents of local songwriters who plumb the depths and scrape the ends of a chosen literary gem to create that rare and beautiful thing – a new song. All songs are then displayed, spread wide, in one hour. It’s an hour-long orgy of book-related songs and book-inspired food and drink. If that doesn’t sound indulgent enough, I don’t want to know you, you sick, sick bastard.

Head out to Goodbye Blue Monday and enjoy the indulgence.

On Wednesday the InDigest Reading Series at Le Poisson Rouge will include a free absinthe tasting from 6-7. After you’re all properly liquored up Jibade-Khalil Huffman and Paul Dickinson will read.

Absinthe

Absinthe

On Wednesday check out Sustainable NYC and join in converting your trash into treasure. Bring your “exciting cardboard” and team up with the recycling junkies, creative geniuses and pack-rats of our fine city to create wallets, postcards, pencil boxes, and more!

Starting on Wednesday you can be part of the selection process for the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival. Audience screenings will be taking place Wednesday through Saturday so for once you could have a say in which films make it big.

NYC Short Film Festival

NYC Downtown Short Film Festival

This Thursday  Tom Raworth and Peter Richards will be reading at Solas as part of the St. Mark’s Bookshop Reading Series. These two accomplished poets are sure to bring an interesting crowd- go for the people watching if nothing else!

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series begins on Thursday with a screening of ‘Paris 36.’ The New York Times says:

The happy news about the 2009 series, whose remaining screenings take place at the Walter Reade Theater and the IFC Center, is that overall it is the best in years: a heartening development after a precipitous falloff last year. In addition to “Mesrine” and “Séraphine,” it includes major new films by Claire Denis (“35 Shots of Rum”), Agnès Varda (“The Beaches of Agnès”) and Benoît Jacquot (“Villa Amalia”) and a diabolically witty homage to the mystery writer Georges Simenon by Claude Chabrol (“Bellamy”) in which Gérard Depardieu plays a Maigret-like police investigator. Mr. Chabrol’s first movie with Mr. Depardieu, “Bellamy” also marks his 50th year as a director.

The series continues until the 15th; be sure to get your tickets for the screenings at the Walter Reade Theater or the IFC sooner rather than later!

 Le Plaisir de chanter

Le Plaisir de chanter

Stay tuned for additions as the week progresses!

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I should probably be out somewhere watching the Oscars or at the very least watching them here in my recently cleaned apartment, but I am simply not in the mood for glitz tonight. Therefore, I will take this time to tell you about my amazing weekend and the amazing week ahead.

Friday night was a very very secret-themed night. My friend G and I went to a semi-secret Japanese restaurant for dinner. It’s called Kyo Ya, and it’s between 1st and A on 7th St. but you probably wouldn’t see it unless you realized that you should be looking for a set of stairs going down to an unmarked door.

Kyo Ya

Kyo Ya

The food is interesting and different from what I usually think of as Japanese. G’s ‘black cod with miso glaze’ came with a grouping of unidentifiable but delicious sides/sauces, which he very much enjoyed. The barbecued beef was good, though wrapped around rice it was complicated to eat with chopsticks. I only truly dislike chopsticks when it comes to cutting things; I haven’t mastered whatever trick is necessary. Probably the most exciting part of the dining experience (not to say the food wasn’t excellent) was a trip to the ‘secret bathrooms.’ One of the walls, which looks like wood paneling, unexpectedly opens to reveal doors! G says this was really the thing that made the restaurant fantastic.

Staying with the theme of secrecy we met up with some friends at PDT for drinks. It was J’s birthday and one of his friends knows the bartender so we were miraculously able to get a reservation for 6 on a Friday night. Be aware- this is generally close to impossible. PDT is hidden inside Crif Dogs on 8th St. between 1st and A. When you walk into the restaurant on your left there is a phone booth; you go in, pick up the phone, and tell the hostess you have a reservation. The other side of the phone booth opens and you are in PDT (Please Don’t Tell).

PDT

PDT

G had something with bacon infused bourbon and said it was amazing (since I don’t eat pork drinking it also seemed wrong). You can also order food from Crif Dogs- I recommend the waffle fries with cheese and jalapenos.

Saturday morning I pulled myself into my best upper-west attire and went up to Lincoln Center to see the ballet with my Grandmother (she’s picked up tickets for the spring season so expect more ballet posts in the future). We preceded the show with brunch at Cafe des Artistes. We loved the paintings of nymphs and such covering the walls.

Cafe des Artistes

Cafe des Artistes

Cafe des Artistes

Cafe des Artistes

We were fairly satisfied with the food, though the french toast at Petite Abeille is definitely superior as are the eggs benedict at Jane (sadly neither of those places is very convenient to Lincoln Center).

The program at NYC Ballet yesterday consisted of three short pieces:

Ballo della Regina– Music by Giuseppe Verdi and Choreography by George Balanchine

Ballo della Regina

Ballo della Regina

When I first started watching ballet I had a hard time with those that didn’t expressly tell a story. The more I see of it though the more i enjoy this sort of thing that is purely about movement, the line of the body, the music and its relationship with the dancers…

Davidsbundlertanze– Music by Robert Schumann and Choreography by George Balanchine

Robert Schumann's Davidsbundlertanze

Robert Schumann's Davidsbundlertanze

This was my favorite of the three. I adore Pas de Deux and these couples were just stunning. My grandmother’s favorite, Philip Neal, danced, and one of my favorites, Janie Taylor, was heartbreakingly beautiful.

Glass Pieces– Music by Philip Glass and Choreography by Jerome Robbins

Glass Pieces

Glass Pieces

This piece was actually three pieces, the second of which I really enjoyed. There was a row of dancers along the back of the stage who were silhouetted; their legs seemed to blur into darkenss and their movements were dreamlike and beautiful. The third I couldn’t seem to get into because of the exceedinly shiny costumes (see above). They were simply too absurd.

My party last night was stellar. I definitely reccommend flavor tripping should you have the opportunity. Everyone had subtly different experiences with the berries, some much more extreme than others. I really loved how lemon slices tasted- like lemon drops but even more sugary! You can order them from the Miracle Fruit Man and they will be shipped to you overnight encased in dry ice (which is kind of exciting in and of itself). The masquerade element was also highly sucessful, G and Kate1 made some super elaborate masks and many people revealed that they possessed elaborate feathery things perfect for the occasion.

I will post again shortly with events for this week!

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I just got home, having called it a night a bit early given my growing sleep deficit. Friday night was fantastic! K and I  had a reservation at Satsko but when we got there we discovered (through some surreptitious glancing around the streamers/curtains) that it was frighteningly empty. No decent place should be that empty on a Friday night so we wandered down to Spitzers instead. Of course we had to wait for 45 minutes but we munched on truffle mac and cheese and drank Tanqueray and tonic and all was well. K and I both have a real thing for truffles. I kind of want them on everything… they’re actually a good reason to sell your soul to corporate America- more money means more truffles (and shoes). After a vastly satisfying meal we walked down the street to The Slipper Room to enjoy the aforementioned Hot Box Burlesque. We were pleased to partake of acts featuring Bunny Love, Bambi, Peekaboo Pointe, Queen Laquifa and Tigger.  This was an excellent representation of burlesque. I was very pleased because K and I had three burlesque virgins with us. There was comedy, there were absurd costumes, there were dollar bills all over and there was a drag queen. Perhaps the most exciting performer ‘sang’ the national anthem with her thighs. Yes. She put the microphone between her thighs and scrunched them to play the national anthem.

Singing with her thighs

Singing with her thighs

It was  pretty incredible and I will admit to being jealous of this talent. In fact by the end of most burlesque shows I tend to  feel compelled to perform burlesque. It’s not that I would feel uncomfortable with the nudity, what holds me back is really my lack of dancing skills and comic timing. Sigh…

Friday night finished up with my first bar brawl. This must have been in the wee hours of Saturday morning, there had been a good deal of drinking, dancing and burlesque and some short dweeby looking guy pushed K and she pushed back and then he really pushed her hard, almost knocking her off her pretty little heels. Then I was trying to beat him up and his tall, comparatively sober, friend was holding me back and it all could have gotten quite ugly (trust you me I would have won) but luckily the sober friend dragged the dweeb outside and K and I were able to feel triumphant.

This morning I had to be up at an ungodly hour to meet my grandmother for brunch at Petite Abeille. It’s a marvelous little Belgian place near Union Sq. but I’ll admit brioche french toast was not quite what I wanted first thing this morning. My grandmother is a fantastic woman and a true New Yorker. We go to the opera and the ballet together and visit all the museums and do a great deal of shopping and brunching. She spoils me dreadfully. This morning she bought me lots of pretty things. She has stellar taste and I would be at a loss without her. We trooped up to Lincoln Center in time for our matinée at The New York City Ballet. This afternoon they did a program of three short ballets:

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

Stravinsky Violin Concerto/Choreography by Balanchine

Stravinsky Violin Concerto/Choreography by Balanchine

La Valse; my grandmother paticularly enjoyed this one because she’s been watching Philip Neal perform since the start of his career and she still thinks he’s “very handsome.”

La Valse/Ravel and Balanchine

La Valse/Ravel and Balanchine

And finally, West Side Story, which was interesting in this context because only some scenes were performed and the singing wasn’t always coming from the dancer playing the character, and the dancing is a bit different because the dancers are trained in ballet. On the whole it was not my favorite rendition of West Side Story but I did love their version of the dance where Tony and Maria meet. I was just bummed that they didn’t have the ‘I just met a girl named Maria’ song; I used to sing that in the shower all the time when I was about 12.

West Side Story/Bernstein and Robbins

West Side Story/Bernstein and Robbins

According to Playbill the revival of West Side Story will be opening on Broadway quite soon. Apparently the Puerto Rican characters will be speaking/singing in Spanish.

The production “will introduce the unprecedented element of selectively weaving Spanish throughout both the book and songs,” according to a July 16 announcement.

Laurents, who earned solid reviews (and a 2008 Tony nomination) for staging the current Broadway run of Gypsy, stated, “This show will be radically different from any other production of West Side Story ever done. The musical theatre and cultural conventions of 1957 made it next to impossible for the characters to have authenticity. Every member of both gangs was always a potential killer even then. Now they actually will be. Only Tony and Maria try to live in a different world…”

West Side Story has music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Laurents. The staging will retain the original choreography of late director Jerome Robbins, who conceived the project by using Romeo and Juliet as inspiration. As previously announced, the Robbins choreography will be restaged by Tony Award nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life).

I’m not sure how I feel about this innovation but I’m curious enough that I will probably try to find cheap tickets, or at the very least monitor the reviews. We really haven’t had much beyond revivals and Disney shows on Bway lately, which seems really unfortunate since I’m sure there are a lot of creative new projects that just aren’t getting funding. If ‘Cars’ becomes a Broadway musical I may have to set up a picket line.

Tonight I went with a few friends to see all the Oscar nominated short films at the IFC Center. First were the live action shorts:

  • Auf Der Strecke (On The Line): A bit disturbing, rather unsatisfactory ending, very little smiling.
  • Manon on the Asphalt: I am too much of a francophile to not have LOVED this. It’s tragic but so sensuous; I love the close-ups of her hair, the leaves above her, the dreamy way her thoughts travel amongst the people who are important to her. It’s a splendid death scene.
  • New Boy: There are Irish accents and a very charming teacher and a whole group of bright eyed children who learn to be friends with the new boy; I hope this one wins simply because it’s optimistic.
  • The Pig: This is sort of a comedy about two men who are in the hospital and a painting of a pig.
  • Spielzeugland (Toyland): I cried hysterically through most of this. It’s about the Holocaust. There are too many movies out right now about the Holocaust.

After a brief interlude, and the purchasing of popcorn, we sat through the animated shorts:

  • La Maison en Petits Cubes: We travel through the past by going further down in a house that has been built up over time as water levels have risen (environmental msg? not sure).
  • Lavatory/Love story: Too cute. Way too cute.
  • Oktopodi: Two octopuses are in love and rescue one another from various dangerous situations.
  • Presto: If you’ve seen WallE you’ve seen this one- magician vs. his rabbit.
  • This Way Up: Hard to describe, involves undertakers, clowns in hell and some other trippy trippy stuff.

There were definitely others that we saw today that weren’t actually nominated but I’ll admit that they’ve all blended a bit in my mind at this point. I have been told that all of the nominated shorts can be seen through iTunes and I highly recommend that you check them out at some point before the Oscars; it’s very fun to know what’s happening in those categories.

Tomorrow I am going to try to make myself get some work done but I will post about any particularly exciting events happening this week!

Past Shenanigans

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