Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"I was thinking as small children think, as if my thoughts or wishes had the power to reverse the narrative, change the outcome." (Joan Didion, TYOMT)

I have been trying to finish this post since Saturday evening. Grr...

Saturday I saw the play The Year of Magical Thinking at the Studio Theatre in DC. Though I was nearly deterred due to a severe rain and lightning storm, I was able to wait it out at a Starbucks before standing in line for my pay-what-you-can tickets.

I first read Joan Didion's book -- about the death of her husband and illness of her daughter -- several years ago and loved it. I've been relatively blessed thus far in my life when it comes to loss, so I am removed enough to handle books on grieving like hers, C.S. Lewis' A Grief Observed, or Gloria Vanderbilt's A Mother's Story.

It was just one actress playing Didion on a small stage with scenery that didn't change. As much as I love sweeping musicals with huge production numbers, my favorite shows have been smaller productions, usually dramas, with fewer than four people. The only other one-person show I've seen was Underneath the Lintel with Richard Schiff in London. It's still in my top five of plays I've ever seen, though, I actually probably think about it more than all of them.

This one was good, though not perfect. As much as I loved the book, I just wasn't that impressed with how it translated to the stage. And while the actress was very talented, and even resembled Didion, I didn't feel a very strong connection to her. And since the subject is so emotionally charged, this was disappointing.

(This also may have been influenced by the twin pillars of Annoying Theatre-Goers I was wedged between. They each immediately staked their claim to the armrests, and then some, intruding into my bubble so as to make me curl into myself to escape their fleshly elbows and too-long shirt sleeves. The one on the left kept making a gurgling sound as if he were choking on his tongue, while the one on the right kept shooting me sideways glances, not sure why. Oh, and the one on the left wasn't actually choking on his tongue. I'm not so cruel as to ignore someone having a crisis.)

And that's that. Next show will be Spring Awakening, I think, unless something else catches my eye first.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"This isn't it is it." (Buckminster Fuller)

According to my father, I neither update my blog enough, nor keep it interesting enough for his liking. Sorry, Daddy, not sure this will be too interesting for you either.

I've been trying to think of what I've been doing lately, and I honestly don't know. I work a lot, read a lot, started walking whenever I can around the Capitol/Mall. I sleep some, eat a little, write none. But it's now officially summer in my mind, as I was waiting until this past weekend was over to declare it so. I spent the weekend doing photo shoots in the Virginia suburbs for work. (I rarely talk about work, but it was for work. In this case, I wrote the training, and then we needed photos to match. I wasn't in them - thank god - just making sure everything was what we needed. It was interesting and different from what I often work on.).

I haven't had a straight up do whatever I want weekend in awhile. I require weekends for rejuvenation and sanity, so this hasn't been ideal. But I'm determined to make the most of this summer, which primarily means getting away. I'm burned out and some days it's all I can do to not scream out obscenities just for the release. So thus far that means Chicago in July and the whirlwind beach/home/Chapel Hill in August. And in between that, who knows? Boston, Philly, Vegas, a beach up here? We shall see.

I did manage to fit in a walk on Saturday evening to see Mr. Lincoln, whom I haven't seen in awhile.

And that's enough of the non-interesting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"There is beauty in the everyday. And when people learn to look for it, they'll find inspiration in the least likely places." (Cade Martin)

I'm in love with this photo, taken by Cade Martin:

The ballerinas look so elegant and graceful; the man following like a footman right out of Cinderella. And the Carolina blue punchbug and umbrella are quite nice, too. But mostly I like the contrast between their art and the art of the business conducted in the Capitol behind them. And, of course, placing them in the ubiquitous crosswalk just reminds me of my most favorite crosswalk picture:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Forget regret, or life is yours to miss

Last week I fulfilled my mother's day gift to my mom when we saw the Broadway tour of Rent at the Warner Theatre here in D.C., with original cast members Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp.

We first saw it four or five years ago on tour in Raleigh. We went the first time knowing only that it was a popular play with that beautiful song we all know, Seasons of Love. That's it. No idea about the plot, themes, or characters.

Now we've seen the movie version multiple times, have listened to the soundtrack ad nauseum, and think of I'll Cover You as the beautiful song. (Though obviously Seasons... is still quite perfect.) For me personally, this time around, the world has changed, but especially my understanding of it, and thus has my knowledge and perception of the themes the play presents. I cry at different parts, well the same parts, plus several others. And different aspects of it affect me more now that I'm older, on my own, and paying rent instead of living "la vie boheme." (Yes, me, Ms. Shops at the Gap-can't live without her iPod-eats red meat*, still has dreams of a non-conformist bohemian life.)

But all in all, the show was amazing. The stage was rather small, which I think took away from some of the presentation. But since the theatre is so small, and we were quite close to the stage, it felt like you were in the play. The music was loud and invigorating, and most of the actors were amazing. Four enthusiastic thumbs up. (Two for me, two on behalf my mom.)

*I am almost certain that sentence is not grammatically sound. And it's probably not that clear. It's really bugging me but I'll fix it later. I have no idea why I'm pointing this out. It's not like my news ed prof is going to leave me a comment saying "-5." Or will he?