listersgirl: (nothing happened)
This not sleeping thing is getting a bit ridiculous. I would like some sleep please! LAME.

As a follow-up to my freecycle post, I've now had the original two takers back out, and the next two that I picked (based on grammar - oh, like you wouldn't do the same thing) be EXTRAORDINARILY complicated. Next time (and there will be a next time; I'm just collecting all the remaining stuff) I'm giving so many qualifications that it'll take a determined person just to get to the end of the email.

I've just started watching The Wire season 4. Love! My favourite moment so far was totally awesome. )

I took a brief look through the Fringe play listings yesterday (Fringe! So excited! Also: TJ). So far the themes seem to be opera and hockey. But not together. It's right after I move, so I think I won't be seeing as many things this year, but I'm sure there'll be room for a few things. I WILL MAKE ROOM.

I'm sure I would have many more exciting things to say, but [see first point].
listersgirl: (sondheim)
Holy moley, it's September! I'm a little excited; I love September. And it's an absolutely gorgeous weekend so far. I'm currently sitting around in jeans (that I'm testing to make sure they won't stretch too much and get saggy* - I got them from the Gap for those who care), and I'm not even too hot. Later I think I'll have tea!

[livejournal.com profile] vestra was here last week, which was fantastic. We had three games nights (three!) and went to two musicals featuring people she knew, one of which was ridiculously silly but pretty entertaining (We Will Rock You), and one of which was excellently performed but a terrible, terrible show (Nunsense -- in Mississauga no less). I'm ridiculously excited for the production of Sweeney Todd this fall; I need some really GOOD theatre to cleanse my palate. Plus, Avenue Q! and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee!

(Speaking of musical theatre, I went to see Hairspray (the movie) this afternoon. It was totally fun. I love the show, so I was a little worried (plus fat suits are always bad news), but they did a great job. I totally wanted to dance the whole way through.)

And now [livejournal.com profile] vestra is gone, and that's sad. I need my friends to all move here.

You know, despite the fact that I'm not going back to school or anything, it totally feels like September. I guess it's because things are starting - I signed up for a bellydance class (at a different studio to avoid the guilt - that one moved anyway), and the French classes, and they both start mid-September. I never did get around to finding a choir to sing with, though. Oh well.

And now, dinner and finding recipes to use the half-can of chipotle puree I have in the fridge.

*I think the jeans will be okay - I read in a few places that the trick to buying jeans that fit properly is to buy them a little too tight, because they stretch, which is totally true -- my jean capris are very loose after wearing them for a day. So I was going to do that, but these ones seemed like they fit too well, you know? And they were a little expensive. But I think I have jeans, since they didn't stretch out of shape.
listersgirl: (too early)
Am very hungry. Very very hungry. This appears to be my default status these days. It's a little distracting.

Manners for Men: Really excellent, funny in a somewhat terrifying way, and awfully depressing. The guy, whose name is Justin somethingthatI'mtoolazytolookup, creates amazing characters with just the tiniest motions.

Curriculum Vitae: Funny wander through one man's work history, framed with silly observations about writing a CV. Tailed off weirdly at the end, but kept me laughing the whole way through.

We also tried twice to get into Talk Thirty to Me and failed both times. The second time, the last tickets were sold to the people right in front of us. Denied!

And now, the interactive portion of this entry:

I am stymied by dinner once again! I spent ages in the grocery store on the weekend, trying to think of what to buy to make dinners for the week, and left with almost nothing. So, what are you eating these days, in this summer weather?
listersgirl: (cabaret)
We saw two shows on Tuesday, and two on Wednesday. Not a disappointment among them. We are Fringe stars!

Dishpig: Very funny one-man show about life as a dishwasher, co-written with TJ Dawe, which is why I wanted to go. Yes, I am that predictable. As with most one-person shows, it's the performer that makes the material interesting, but I actually worked as a dishwasher one summer, and this brought back some terrible memories. I used to have dreams every night about washing the floors! Anyway, it was very frenetic and entertaining.

Expiry Dating: Written by and starring our very own [livejournal.com profile] girldetective! It was a very funny show about dating on a deadline, and I could totally hear A's voice in the writing, which was awesome.

Fuck Off and Die: Tales in Teen Angst Poetry: Bad poetry. Bad poetry written by a 13-year-old. Bad poetry written by a 13-year-old performed with over-the-top interpretation. Seriously, how can you miss?

Gibberish: Chris Gibb, the performer, asked us all not to describe the show because then it sounds really bad, so let me just say he is a funny, funny man, and the audience was killing themselves. Also, backflips. Seriously.
listersgirl: (supernatural forces)
As promised, Fringe reviews from day 1:

First Heist Club: I have this theory that traditional style plays sometimes don't work at Fringe, simply because they suffer in comparison to the inventiveness of everything around them. Although probably that theory just applies to me. In any case, First Heist Club is about a group of women planning to rob an armoured car company, but not everything is as it seems. It was okay - occasionally funny, and a pretty good script, but the cast seemed to be working way too hard for the size of the space, and the beginning in particular was weak. I don't know, it needed something. The people around me seemed to find it entertaining, though.

Napoleon's Secret Diary: Very funny idea, great presentation and I always enjoy Ryan Gladstone (although he stumbled over his words or mixed up lines in quite a few places, which, this wasn't the first show or anything). Also, there were a couple of places where he was clearly expecting the audience to respond back, but since the whole thing is set up as Napoleon talking to his diary, it was completely unclear what was going on. Entertaining, though. There was a hilarious bit about the history of France enacted through vegetables that cracked me up.

Legoland: My first AWESOME show of the season. A two-hander about the ridiculous adventure of a teenaged brother and sister. So funny, very clever writing, fantastic cast, and my favourite kind of Fringe show - non-linear, lots of sidebars, something you wouldn't see elsewhere. Brilliant! Go see it!

And Stratford:

Oklahoma and My One and Only: These were both fantastic. Stratford always does such a good job with the musicals. Neither of these are musicals that I particularly care about, so my favourite parts ended up being the chorus boys - how can you resist dancing cowboys? And My One and Only was full of amazing tapping, and these three guys that acted as sort of a tapping greek chorus. Funny. My one complaint is that someone needs to tell Cynthia Dale she's far too old for the roles she keeps taking. She wasn't terrible, just much older than her co-star.

Merchant of Venice: This has apparently been getting mixed reviews, and I can see why. I think the director was going for a sort of Julie Taymor's Titus or Baz Lurmann's Romeo and Juliet feel (lots of quick cuts, hyper-realism, contemporary and historical mixed into one), but couldn't quite pull it off. Honestly, though, I think a lot of the fault lies in the play itself (sacrilege, I know!). From everything I've read, Shakespeare wrote it as a true comedy, with Portia and her romantic partner whose name I can't remember as the leads. But over the years it has come to be regarded as one of the dramas, with the Shylock and Antonio story as a the central part. So it felt jumpy in mood and in scenes, and the whole ring scene at the end felt very tacked on. The woman playing Portia was great, though, and all of her stuff, especially the bits with the various suitors, was great.

The Blonde, the Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead: A one-woman show, with the one actor telling the story (of a woman (the redhead) whose husband leaves her, and then her neighbour (the brunette) sees him with another woman (the blonde)) in seven segments, as seven different characters. Really fantastic. Some of the character transformations were brilliant.

Shakespeare's Will: Another one woman show, this one about Anne Hathaway, reflecting back on her life just after Shakespeare's funeral. This may have been my favourite play of the ones we saw at Stratford. It was really just fantastic.

And now, I am supposed to be at another Fringe show, but I let myself get scared off by the thunderstorm. Oh well. Tonight!
listersgirl: (beatrice!)
[livejournal.com profile] starfishchick pointed out that I have not yet publicly expressed my delight that Fringe is nigh, despite the fact that my head is full of excitement, so: EEEEEEEE! Fringe!

I've been reading the show listings on the website, but I'm waiting for the paper schedules to come out so that I can pull out the pens and do some serious circling and starring and crossing out. Hurrah!

(I have learned my lesson from last year, though, and I'm going to respect the heat, respect my energy levels, and not let myself get burned out, especially since I'll just be coming off spending a week with my parents (who are wonderful, but that's a week of making sure other people are happy, and I normally get to be pretty selfish). Restrained planning and "convincing" other people to see shows with me so that I can't back out -- it's the way to go!)
listersgirl: (follies)
[livejournal.com profile] mystery_diva pointed out this video on YouTube which I now desperately need to share with you all. It's Avenue Q meets Fiddler on the Roof, and it's AWESOME.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVtc8jbAYYE&eurl=
listersgirl: (sondheim)
And it's December, which apparently came a surprise to me, as I left my December transit pass sitting on the kitchen table. Imagine my irritation when I couldn't get through the turnstile! Imagine my indignation as I squeezed past the people buying tokens and flashed my pass at the man in the box! Imagine my embarrassment when I realized that it was me, and not the TTC, who was the idiot, and that the transit man was probably cursing me for attempting to scam him! Imagine my annoyance when I realized that I would now have to pay actual cash to get home again!

In other news, I had no time for breakfast this morning, due to an extended bout of not-getting-out-of-beditis, so I have succumbed to the lure of toasted bagel and peanut butter. Expect whining about stomach pain and heartburn in approximately 2 hours.

These last two weeks have been full of theatre for me, which makes me all *glee* and *bliss*. Last week I went to Wicked with [livejournal.com profile] starfishchick, which was great. On their own, I find the songs fun, if nothing special, but the production made them come alive, even if it did leave out a lot of the politics found in the book. Still, great choreography and costumes, excellent singing for the most part, and damn, did they all sound scarily like the people who originated the roles on Broadway. I don't think I've ever seen a touring production before where the intent was so clearly to copy the original, down to speaking inflections.

Then on Tuesday I took myself to Chicago, which I've never seen a professional production of. And yes, there was a Backstreet Boy on stage. He was actually pretty good - his voice was a lot sweeter and somewhat less powerful than I would have picked for Billy Flynn, but it's a good voice and he's got the stage presence. The women beside me were very excited, despite having been all mocking before the show started. And the rest of the cast was great. The woman playing Roxie looked just like Miranda from Sex and the City (from where I was sitting in the gods). It was eerie. Most importantly, the dancing was awesome, and I loved how they used the stage, putting the band on stage on riser-like things, and having the cast use the same setpiece, and interact with the bandleader. It really played up the vaudeville angle.

Last night I went with dancer friends from Kitchener to see Arabesque Dance Company's new bellydance show, Asala. Fantastic. One of the best all around shows that I've seen. The live band was amazing, and there was a drum interlude that nearly killed me, and the dancing was great - group choreographies that mostly ran through various folkloric and contemporary styles. With many, many costumes, including at least 4 for each dancer during one big number. I love that. Seriously, if you like bellydance, or you're curious about bellydance, go see this show. So much better than Bellydance Superstars.

And now that it's December, I promised myself that I would stop getting annoyed every time Christmas music is played, or I see decorations, or people talk about it. Because there's only so long you can carry around that kind of irritation without exploding, and December 1st is when Christmas is allowed to begin (or so says I).
listersgirl: (thrilling heroics)
The weather this morning

...wait, come back! If I promise to also have a controversial opinion in here somewhere, will you forgive the weather talk?

Okay.

The weather this morning was a little freaky, in a good way. When I left the house I could see this patch of dark, bright blue over downtown - seriously, it was shining and tremendously eye-catching, but it was not normal weather. And then when I got downtown, it was like there was a cap on the city. I couldn't even see the top half of the CN tower, and that was while standing practically right underneath. It was this bizarre combination of fog, rainclouds and sunshine. Gorgeous.

Last night I went to see Spamalot. I was a little bored, to be honest. It wasn't bad, but I checked my watch at least 4 times, and it wasn't even that long. Plus the female lead couldn't sing very well - it's always distracting to me when the song actually references belting or being loud, and the singer can't pull it off (see also: Uma Thurman in the Producers movie). Also, I'm so tired of pop culture (especially musicals, because I love them so), where women are completely sidelined to being sexpots and chorus girls in skimpy costumes. Although this was probably more noticeable to me since I just watched The Producers. The two shows are really cut in the same mode.

On the plus side, there were some funny bits, I enjoyed the complete over-the-topness of the production numbers and Broadway references, and the audience was clearly having such a good time - laughing at the tiniest reference to the movie, cheering when their favourite characters appeared. Also, and completely unrelated, teenage boys really all have the same floppy hair. Ha.

Update: in case anyone was losing sleep over my podcast confusion, I've settled on listening to them at work, and it's fine. I'm not totally concentrated, because I'm working, but then when have I ever been able to really concentrate on spoken audio without visuals? Never, that's when. So, yeah.
listersgirl: (jack sword)
My fringe show of the day was excellent, again.

Real Time

It's about two people who meet in a gaming room on the internet and turn out to not be quite what they portray themselves as, which is a trite concept, but they made it fresh. Plus the two actors were very physical, throwing themselves around the stage at one point in a fantastic representation of a video game.

Unfortunately I had terrible transit luck on the way there and back (on the way back, two streetcars in a row somehow managed to not see me at my stop, and they weren't out of service or too full. I am invisible! Plus it took me so long to get home that by the time I had lunch and got ready to leave again, there was no point in leaving because I would have been too late for my second show). Also, I could hear people honking outside even during the show, which put me in a terrible mood for the rest of the day. And it just got worse from there on. Bathurst was SO FUCKING LOUD. Why do people have no respect for other people? Is it entirely necessary to hold your horn down for 3 minutes straight while stopped in the middle of the street, AND blow your whistle? I hate sports and sports fans. I suppose this is what I get for living on the edge of Corso Italia, but for fuck's sake, they didn't stop driving around honking until after 3 in the morning.

Yesterday I was so annoyed that apparently I allowed everyone around me to be mellow, because I took all the annoyance on myself. Today, I'm still annoyed, plus I'm running on three hours sleep and I can't see straight. HATRED.

Luckily I avoided some of the evil by going to see Pirates. Pirates! )
listersgirl: (cabaret)
Dude, I have been awesome this year, with getting only the good shows. As [livejournal.com profile] starfishchick and I were discussing last night, the first show we saw, which we thought was great at the time, is now probably our least favourite. It's kind of wonderful when that happens.

Stealing Venus

A one-man caper experience, telling the tale of stealing the Birth of Venus from an Italian art gallery. The story was fun, but the real entertainment lay in the characters - the South African who found himself inadvertently masterminding the caper, the 7 foot albino Jamaican hired to watch over him, the Irish driver. One scene near the end went on way too long (actors playing drunk gets old really fast), but the first three-quarters of the show was a riot.

After this we went for dinner, and then attempted to go to Antoine Feval, but it was sold out by the time we got there, just 15 minutes after tickets went on sale! Bastards. So we conferred and regrouped and went instead to:

Drama Queen

You know when the first three words you hear are "Champagne chocolate cunnilingus" that you're at an Alex Dallas show. This was fabulous - mostly telling stories about her acting career (including some Sensible Footwear stories) and her father's death. She deftly manages to move between the sombre and silly, and even when she drifts into much-mined, less personal material, her expressions save it all. Very funny, and the audience loved it.
listersgirl: (bunny)
Two excellent shows yesterday.

Zombies

Okay, so this wasn't actually about flesh-eating monsters roaming the streets, which was briefly disappointing, but it was a fantastic one-man non-linear piece from one half of Screwed and Clued out of England, about actually living your life vs. just going through daily monotony. Which makes it sound really boring. But it was great! Clever and physical, slightly bizarre and highly entertaining. What the Fringe is all about! Definitely recommended.

The Lab

Oh Matt Payne, I love you the most. I have never been disappointed by anything that Theatre SKAM has done, and this was no exception. Taking place in a massive trailer, it was the story of a guy who applies for a summer job in a lab and gets sucked into something beyond his comprehension. But really, it was about Matt Payne being all these different characters with the most entertaining use of lighting I have ever seen (the shoes! ha!). By the end, I felt like I was in the middle of some sort of bizarre experiment, although that could have been because my butt was completely numb and the heat was stifling. AWESOME. Go now (but take a cushion for the bench).

Today I have sacrificed some fringing time for sleep, laundry and groceries, which I think is an excellent decision. But two more shows tonight, yay!
listersgirl: (follies)
Yay! Fringe has officially begun for me: I have stood in my first ticket-buying line-up and my first ticket-holding line-up, and seen my first show, and in fact, my first sold out show.

The Catering Queen

This got a lot of advance buzz, and I'm glad I made it to the first show (with [livejournal.com profile] starfishchick), because it's going to be one that's hard to get into. And it was a good start to Fringe season: funny and well acted, if a little slow at times. It's what I think of as a Type 1 Fringe show: a standard small-scale plotty play that could really be performed anywhere, but is good for Fringe because it's got a small cast and minimal sets. The audience was having a great time, and there were definitely some excellent moments. I just felt it dragged a little in the second half, especially during the scenes with the ex (who was also not the strongest actor on the stage). Alison Lawrence (who also wrote it, I believe) and Dmitry Chepovsky (I totally misspelled his last name) were excellent. Recommended.

Tonight, two more shows, and I need to start planning the rest of my schedule.
listersgirl: (break's over)
LOOK I AM STILL ALIVE.

But just barely. With so many people away right now, I feel like I'm running a one-woman library. Which would be fine, except that there is enough to do for a staff twice our normal size.

Wait! Come back! I promise, no more boring work talk.

Things which I learned yesterday

Being at a French organization when France is doing...something in the World Cup is not smart. It was very loud. But anyway, I had my first French class last night, which was fun. I was sitting next to my exact opposite - someone who has a vast quantity of words stored in her brain, but can never remember any grammar. Together we managed a vaguely coherent dialogue (remember those? it's like grade 9 all over again!) on the terribly exciting subject of shopping.

So far the class seems easy. It's a bit deceptive, though - I've never been in a language class that felt above my level, but that doesn't mean I remember anything I learn, or am able to use it later. It doesn't really matter, though, since I'm here to get better comprehension and more fluency, which I'm terrible at no matter what level. I am gaining skills in surreptitious guzzling of water, though - we're not supposed to have food or drink in the classrooms, but I JUST CAN'T DEAL.

(I also can't deal with my lunch, which just collapsed all over me. Sigh.)

Colour me unsurprised

I have so much more tolerance for annoyance during Fringe season. Last night, while attempting to buy passes, the poor volunteer's mouse kept freezing, and there was DRAMA, and the other office person had no suggestions other than "clean it", and the guy was getting embarassed and frantic, clutching my credit card in his hand as if to hide the fact that he hadn't been able to DO anything yet. And I stood there and smiled beatifically. Because it's FRINGE! And everything is good. Plus it's totally awesome weather for fringing, unlike last year, which reduced me to tears any number of times. Not that that's hard to do - I cry at everything! Go me! - but still. I have all my Fringe update sites bookmarked (including your blog, [livejournal.com profile] girldetective), I have multiple programs, I have people who want to see a few shows, I have far more excitement than is healthy.

Here, have another song: Or, actually, don't, because I can't get it to load, and lunchtime is over. Later, skaters.
listersgirl: (follies)
Air conditioning!

I got home yesterday to find that it had been installed (which I wasn't expecting, because management said that they would give me warning before the people were going to come into my apartment while I wasn't there, but oh well). I had a moment of panic when I couldn't get it to turn on, but finally I figured out that part of my extension cord/power bar/multiple socket set was dead, which was a relief. Also, I will not be surprised if one day the entire apartment explodes, because there is only one outlet supporting a vast network of cords. Anyway.

It feels entirely decadent having air conditioning, like having a cleaning person or a car and driver. Decadent, and AWESOME.

Then I left my blissfully comfortable apartment, and went to Hello Again. It was good. The show, which I don't really know, other than the pieces that Audra McDonald sings, is totally excellent. The cast was...variable. The soldier, nurse, writer, husband and wife were fantastic ([livejournal.com profile] vestra, the writer was in In Trousers last year), but I thought the whore, politician and especially actress were weak (which is kind of funny, because the two reviews I read singled out the whore and the politician as being standouts in the cast, but I didn't think either of them were great singers, and he had no stage presence). So of course the opening and closing scenes were sadly ineffective. But the rest was great! Especially the scene with the writer and the young man in the 70s nightclub. Oh man.

Anyway, totally worth seeing. Hurrah.
listersgirl: (wash and zoe)
I think my fan is giving me a headache. Actually, I hope my fan is giving me a headache, since I've had one every day for the past who-knows-how-long, and I'd like something to blame.

Ow.

Anyway, for the curious, I am back from my one-day trip to Montreal. It was extraordinarily wet there, but I was in a sub-sub-basement, so I didn't see much of it. It was a very nice sub-sub-basement, though. I had a somewhat random conversation with my boss over lunch where I think I managed to indicate my interest in having everyone under my control moving up in the world, if there is somewhere to move. So that's good, I suppose.

Meanwhile, I have been perusing the Fringe program. [livejournal.com profile] sarcasma, there are zombies! I'm going to post a tentative list soon, in case anyone wants to join me for things, which would be lovely. And I'm going to go to bed, because I got up at 4:30 this morning. Honestly, that seriously doesn't even count as morning. Evil!

Good night, all.
listersgirl: (sondheim)
Why half-price martini Wednesdays are good

Half-price martinis.

If you start drinking right after work, you can have many, many martinis and still be home by 9pm.

Suddenly, Wednesday night will feel like Friday night.

Why half-price martini Wednesdays are not good

When your alarm goes off at 6am, you will realize that Wednesday is actually Wednesday and not Friday, which makes this Thursday and not Saturday, which is very sad.

Let's talk about Sondheim, shall we?

The cast recording of the new Sweeney Todd is coming out January 24th!! I didn't shriek at all, not even a little, when I read the release sheet, although there was luckily no-one around to hear me not shrieking, so there's no proof. I also didn't draw happy faces all over the page, or dance in my chair. Nope, not me. I've heard such good things about this production -- I wish I could go see it. It's almost enough to make me apply for the music cataloguer job at NYPL that just came up, although the fact that it doesn't even pay enough for me to live in New York, let alone see Broadway shows, is a bit of a detterent.

And in TV news

I've been watching Sports Night again, for the thousandth time. It really just never gets old. The episode where, at the end, Dan and Casey start naming off all the support staff -- I cry every time, even though it's not actually sad. It really takes almost nothing to get me to cry anymore. There was this brief period of about three years -- the glory days -- where I was a hard-hearted bitch with no sympathy for anything or anyone. I miss that! For one thing, it was much less embarrassing to read in public during that time.

So maybe I have one quirk

I really don't like starting watching TV series from the middle -- which is not unusual, I know. But I realized recently that even once I've already seen a show, I tend to watch it each time from the beginning right through. I don't pick certain episodes. I mean, it's not that I won't watch individual episodes, because I will happily, if I'm at someone else's house, or if I'm watching with someone. But when I'm watching a show by myself, no matter how many times I've seen it, I always start back at the beginning and watch all the way through (although I may skip past boring parts). Maybe this is why I couldn't name a favourite episode for so many of my favourite shows -- I think of the show as one unified season, not a bunch of distinct episodes.

Rent

Nov. 30th, 2005 09:37 am
listersgirl: (angel santa)
RENT! YAY!

Rent is one of my favourite musicals. I'm not obsessed, and I know it's not perfect by any means, but somehow it always manages to sneak onto my Top 10 lists. I'm sure the fact that I saw it in New York in 1995 (?), with the original cast (except for Adam Pascal [Roger], who was replaced by his understudy that day, if I remember correctly) makes a difference in how much I love it, too.

Taken without reference to the stage production, I loved the movie. I really did. Sure, the cast was probably far too old for the characters, but it was just so incredible to see them again. Also, I adore Jesse L. Martin and Anthony Rapp. ADORE.

In which I ramble about the movie compared to the play, and some of my favourite bits )
listersgirl: (kiltie)
And Fringe is over for another year. I saw lots of good shows, missed out on a few that I would have liked to have seen, and spent lots of money on food. Oy.

The Comment Card

Life as a waitress may not be the most original of topics, but this was very funny - she had a lot of stage presence and excellent energy. The show would have benefited from a better structure to give it some flow and make it more than a series of stories, but the stories were funny, so it was worth the hour of my time.

Now I promise I won't talk about theatre for at least another week. In fact, probably longer, given the state of my bank account.

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