Friday, February 26, 2010

"I don't worry anymore, nothing like I did before. I don't worry, I just watch them rolling back. I don't worry anymore, 'cause it's all right, all right to see a ghost. And I wanna see 'em go down in the river where they go, and I wanna see 'em rolling, rolling back. And I wanna see 'em go, 'cause it's all right, all right to see your ghost." ~the national

We had our second snow day of the year today! It's crazy outside, so I stayed in. I think we got around 20 inches of snow (probably more, because it's still snowing). It was lovely to stay home.

Last night I went to see The Miracle Worker on Broadway. Oh. My. Gosh. All I have to say is: Abigail Breslin, Abigail Breslin, Abigail Breslin. Absolutely amazing. I loved the show, mostly because of the performances. I was in the front row in a perfect spot (I felt like I was onstage, and I practically was because the stage isn't raised, it's the same level as the audience and goes right up to your feet), and there was something about that intimacy that really made me connect to it. I love that theatre. Being mere feet away from Abigail Breslin and seeing her expressions up close was amazing. She really, really impressed me. She doesn't have a single line in the play (she plays Helen Keller), but she captured the character perfectly. She nailed the physicality. She'd be sitting onstage a couple of feet away from me with a heart-wrenching expression on her face and tears pouring down her cheeks, and tears would jump to my eyes as well. Alison Pill plays Annie Sullivan, and she was wonderful as usual. I've seen her in a bunch of things and she's one of my absolute favorite stage actresses (maybe my favorite). The two of them must be covered in bruises! Jennifer Morrison (from House) and Matthew Modine gave good (not wonderful, but good) performances as The Kellers.
I've read complaints about this production, and most complaints were from people who had a bad view. Luckily I didn't have that problem; I had a perfect view. The play may not be suited to theatre in the round (or at least not when it's staged like it is), but I didn't have a problem seeing anything. I could understand why you wouldn't like it if you could only see the backs of the actors' heads, because that takes away the whole appeal; you need to see the actors' facial expressions to enjoy this play. I wonder if they'll change anything regarding the set before it opens.
They were filming the performance, and there was a camera directly across from me, so I'm nervous that there will be some video in which I appear (crying and wearing my bright blue striped rain boots) that a bunch of people will see.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"This could be the very minute I'm aware I'm alive. All these places feel like home. With a name I'd never chosen, I can make my first steps. As a child of 25." ~snow patrol

In case you don't know already, I am obsessed with Martin McDonagh's work. He is my favorite playwright. I've read and seen more than my fair share of Shakespeare, Miller, Chekhov, Ibsen, Williams, Wilson, Beckett...and yet Martin McDonagh is my favorite. Blasphemous, right? But I just love him. The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Pillowman, The Beauty Queen of Leenane...all of these are among my absolute favorite plays, and they're all written by him. So when I first heard (a long time ago) that he had a new play coming to Broadway, I was beyond excited. It's called A Behanding in Spokane. I saw it on Saturday, and of course I loved it. It's not my absolute favorite McDonagh play, but it's fabulous. It's very dark and funny, and of course (because it's McDonagh) it's wonderfully bizarre. Christopher Walken's performance really made it extraordinary; I can't imagine anyone else playing that part. Sam Rockwell and Anthony Mackie are also great. I already want to go back and see it again.

On Sunday night I went to see a reading of a new play by Jesse Eisenberg called The Ambassadors. The reading featured Eisenberg as well as Justin Bartha, Katie Kreisler, and Sam Rosen. Eisenberg is best known as an actor (I loved him in Adventureland), but he's actually a great playwright as well. I enjoyed the reading very much, and I hope the play eventually gets staged and that Eisenberg continues to write.

Tonight I'm going to see Jeremy Sisto play some music. I loved him as Billy on Six Feet Under, and it'll be fun to see him in person. Then tomorrow Nic and I are seeing All About Me on Broadway. Dame Edna and Michael Feinstein seem like quite a pair, so that'll be interesting.

All these fun things are easing the pain of being back at work this week.

And just because it's amazing, Christopher Walken reading Lady Gaga's "Poker Face:"

How can you not love this guy? Go see him on Broadway if you can.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"It looks like darkness to me, drifting down into Miami." ~counting crows

Picspam. Too tired and busy to write details now.

On the beach:
Ice cream sundaes at Ghirardelli:
Me and Monkey:
At the beach!:
I wish you could actually see the tree arch under which we were standing:
I felt like I was in The Secret Garden:
Swimming in the ocean!:
Plane ride home, we got to see the sunrise over the ocean:
Plane ride home. Not a happy camper after not getting any sleep. I am not wearing any make-up. My tan makes me look like David Bowie (click for the close-up to really see):
And, just because:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"You’ve been humming in a daze forever, praying for Pavement to get back together. Nobody knows where you are living, nobody knows where you are. You’re so far around the bend, you’re so far around the bend. Now there’s no leaving New York. Now there’s no leaving New York. You’re so far around the bend, you’re so far around the bend. Now there’s no leaving New York. Now there’s no leaving New York. Now there’s no leaving New York. Now there’s no leaving New York." ~the national

Today I got up ridiculously early for a weekend and waited in line for 3 hours for rush tickets to A View From the Bridge. I was frozen while waiting in line, but I was the first person and so I ended up with a pair of front row orchestra seats. I had to go early because it's been so crowded after The New York Times (along with every other publication) gave the show a love letter of a rave. The show was well worth the wait. Oh my goodness, it was fabulous. First of all, I loved sitting in the front row because I could see the actors' faces so clearly. I could see every tear on their faces and every particle of spit that flew out of their mouths (I might have even gotten hit by some of Liev Schrieber's). What a beautiful production of a classic Arthur Miller play. The performances are what really make it special. Liev Schrieber proves that he really is one of the most talented stage actors of our day. He broke my heart. Scarlett Johansson was surprisingly wonderful. Here's some of Ben Brantley's NYTimes review:
"Mr. Schreiber is such a complete actor that he has often thrown productions into imbalance, highlighting the inadequacy of the performances around him. That is not a problem here. That the excellent stage veteran Ms. Hecht holds her own with Mr. Schreiber is no surprise. That Ms. Johansson does — with seeming effortlessness — is....Ms. Johansson melts into her character so thoroughly that her nimbus of celebrity disappears. Her Catherine is a girl on the cusp of womanhood, feeling her way down familiar paths that have suddenly been shrouded in unfamiliar shadows....

Without your being entirely aware of it, you have been ushered to exactly where Miller wants you to be: the realm of classical tragedy. And to the cast’s infinite credit you realize that these characters not only belong in this world at this moment, but that on some level they always have."
I cannot say enough good things about this production. Go see it if you are able to. One fun thing about being in the front row was locking eyes with ScarJo during curtain call. We were giving the show a standing ovation, and so I was standing directly in front of ScarJo while she was onstage, facing her. She was still crying (it's an Arthur Miller play, of course much of it involves crying), but she looked at me and smiled. It was a nice moment.

Tonight Nic and I are seeing The Pride, a play with Hugh Dancy (Mr. Claire Danes). I love him, so I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

Tomorrow evening I will be spending Valentine's Day at Lauren's. We're going out to dinner, I'm spending the night, and we leave for Miami very early the next morning. What a romantic Valentine's Day, right? Too bad we're both straight. At least I won't be spending it alone and will be with a single friend with whom I can commiserate. We're planning on watching lots of Gilmore Girls before we go off and spend a Florida vacation a la Rory and Paris.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"We’ll be their pet, we’ll wear their collar. Into the flame and off to the movies. The thrilling of Claire, for the thrilling of Claire. The thrilling of Claire, for the thrilling of Claire." ~the national

I love looking at New Yorkers' footwear in the snow. Random, right? I wear my tall, blue-striped rain boots. A lot of people wear rain boots. Some people wear heavy duty snow boots, some people wear old ratty sneakers, other opt for work's quite interesting.

Today was the best snow day ever. I ended up going to the matinee of Time Stands Still, starring Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy James, Alicia Silverstone, and Eric Bogosian. I love Laura Linney. You Can Count On Me is one of my favorite movies (I wanted her to win the Oscar for it). She was fabulous in this play (the entire cast was fabulous, in fact). I thought she worked really well with Brian d'Arcy James. I kept wanting him to break into song, because I'm used to seeing him in musicals! He's a great dramatic actor, though. Alicia Silverstone was wonderfully adorable; she was perfectly cast. I had a second row orchestra seat, which really made me feel pulled into the action. The New York Times raved about the play here; it's a great review to read. I would quote highlights but there are too many.

After the play I met Christin for a Cirque de Soleil event/rehearsal open house, which was cool, and then we went to a thing at Dylan's Candy Bar, which was even cooler. We dipped rice krispie treats and pretzels in the chocolate fondue fountain, drank hot chocolate, and ate too much chocolate. It was so yummy, though. And who can resist free chocolate?? Not I, my friends, not I.

It will not be easy to go into work tomorrow. This day off in the middle of the week was just a tease. Only two more days until winter break, though. I hope I can get through them unscathed.

I'll leave you with this awesome piece on one of my favorite actresses, Alison Pill. I love her. She's just Without even trying to be. I've seen her in a few things onstage (The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Mauritius, reasons to be pretty) and she always gives a knock-out performance. Nic and I saw her sing at this tiny, tiny bar in the East Village one night and she has a great voice (even though the music was incredibly bizarre).
Some of my favorite quotes from the feature:
"I've broken a lot of sets."

“I grew up a happy kid in Toronto. I’ve never suffered. I’ve never even had a real job! But I understand sadness and striving, and those two things tie into all the roles that I’ve played.”

"When I was doing Inishmore, every time I got drunk, I’d turn Irish. I was like, ‘It doesn’t affect me at’all!’ What’re ya talkin’ about? Shut da fuck up!’”
There's also a great profile of Ethan Hawke in the magazine. It's a lot longer than Pill's and I don't have time to pull out quotes, but it's worth the read.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"Astair, your glare is killing me. Astair, in skies of blue. The signs you wear are making me so confused. But the mountains and the trees, are they just what you need, or are they less than what you'd expect to see?" ~matt costa

School is canceled tomorrow due to the impending blizzard. I am thrilled. I think I'm going to rush a Broadway show (probably A View From the Bridge, starring Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber). Then we just have to finish out the week, and next week we have off for winter break. Lauren and I leave for Miami on Monday and I cannot wait. I need warmth.

I had a lot to write about but now I can't remember what.

I saw the Broadway production of A Little Night Music on Sunday. Angela Lansbury is fabulous. I also liked Catherine Zeta Jones; her "Send in the Clowns" was beautiful. Stephen Sondheim is such a genius; I'd enjoy any one of his shows just because I'd get to listen to his incomparable compositions.

Tonight Nic and I went to see A Lie of the Mind, which is an off-Broadway play directed by Ethan Hawke. I loved it. The cast was absolutely amazing (Josh Hamilton, Marin Ireland, Laurie Metcalf, Maggie Siff, Keith Carradine, Alessandro Nivola, Karen Young, and Frank Whaley). It's a Sam Shepard play, and it's bizarre and very intense and very powerful. I loved what Hawke did with it. I've seen other shows that he's directed and enjoy his directing work very much (I've also seen him in the audience at his own plays, including tonight). In fact, tonight there was only one person sitting between us, so I was sitting less than 2 feet away from Ethan Hawke while watching a play directed by Ethan Hawke. Quite odd and yet extremely cool. He laughed a lot (often he was the only person laughing, which was kind of adorable). I wanted to approach him and talk to him and tell him that we went to the same high school (we could chat about some crazy teachers that I know we both had), but instead I left him alone. The only words we exchanged were when I squeezed past him to get to my seat and said "Excuse me, I'm sorry" and he replied, "Oh, it's no problem." Deep stuff, huh? He's a cool guy, though. Tonight he participated in a talk-back with the audience after the show. He loved talking about the play; in fact, he wanted to stay after the moderator said we had to leave. But the moderator insisted that we all leave because they had to close the theatre. Anyway, it was a fun experience.

Question: What is wrong with being serious? Or a little down sometimes? Why does it always need to be explained? It bugs me that my mom seems to think I need to be perky and happy all the time. That is not normal. That is not me. And I am totally okay with that.

I suppose that's all for now. I want to leave you with this recording of mine (which I've already posted) from the best concert I attended this summer, The Saturday Night Rebel Rockers Traveling Circus and Medicine Show (Counting Crows, Augustana, and Michael Franti & Spearhead). I keep listening to it over and over. I think my favorite songs are "Caravan" (I cannot get enough of that song), "A Murder of One" (duh), "Just Like a Woman," "Why Should You Come When I Call," "Cecilia," and "Rain King." Those group songs are just so joyful. There were exactly 20 people onstage making music together, and they seemed to be having so much fun together. You could tell how happy Adam was to be in his hometown (he says it quite a bit).

ETA: Okay, the player isn't working, so here's a download link if you're interested.

And a couple of videos that I took: