Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'mmm, London!' category

LotR dancing across the London stage

August 21, 2007 12:00 am

If you’ve been watching Slashdot more closely than I have, you might have noticed this blurb. Or this one. Or even this one.

I didn’t, though, so I only just tonight ran across the home page for London’s musical theater production of Lord of the Rings.

It looks amazing in terms of production design and pure spectacle, and the video clips are worth a gawk or two. I have to wonder, though, how LotR is being staged without turning into a nine hour production, a la Wagner.

(Not an inappropriate comparison, come to think of it. In fact, a Slashdotter notes, “Just watch, LOTR, the musical, will be released in Germany under the title ‘Das Rheingold’. I think most of the adaptation work has been done on the German version by some guy named Wagner.”)

From what you can hear on the show’s website, though, I’m not sold on the music. I’m too much in love with Howard Shore’s soundtracks for the LotR movies, and this music is a re-imagining more along the lines of Le Miz or Wicked. And I like the music from those shows, but each of them has a very different atmosphere from what I associate with LotR. There’s a clash of styles.

…but if I were in London right now, I’d go anyway. See the note on the show’s page that says it looks great from the 15 pound seats way up in the balcony? That would be me.

(Actually, I think LotR is currently in the theater where I saw The Producers. Which was awesome from the balcony.)

The Shakespeare Code

April 28, 2007 2:38 pm

Since I’ve finished what I have of Babylon 5 and school is wrapping up for the moment, the obsession d’jour has become Doctor Who. I watched enough on SciFi last fall to be a bit disappointed when the new season started on BBC without my having access to it, but it wasn’t until I ran across the clip of Harry Potter references (which I told you about a few posts ago) that it occurred to me to check online…

The Harry Potter jokes come from the episode broadcast on April 7, the title of which grabbed my attention: “The Shakespeare Code.” Definately a fun romp through Elizabethan England, with several scenes filmed at the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London, whee! Besides the HP amusement, there are no less than six instances in which the Doctor quotes Shakespeare to Shakespeare (though Will comes up with “to be or not to be” on his own), as well as other references to the Macbeth witches and their “blasted heath,” the “Dark Lady” of the sonnets, and the scholarly debate concerning Shakespeare’s sexuality (”Ooh, fifty-seven academics just punched the air…”).

I particularly appreciated that the episode revolved around a Shakespeare play that is not Romeo and Juliet! Instead, they used the less known Love’s Labors Lost, playing on the fact that there may have been a sequal, now lost, called Love’s Labors Won. [Tangent: Now I want to read Love's Labors Lost next month, it's one I don't know.]

After so much Renaissance lit in college, though, a few things jumped out at me as odd.

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Trivia

November 13, 2006 1:13 am

A few thoughts on life in Boston.

Thumbs up:
WBGH is my local PBS station. I am such a huge nerd, but it really does make me smile.

Drizzly days remind me of London.

Public transportation. I don’t have to pay for gas because the T takes me everywhere I want to go. (We will ignore the fact that of course I pay for my T pass…but since that happens once a month, I can ignore it on the other 29 or 30 days.)

Cambridge is really pretty. I need to take more pictures of some of the pretty buildings around here.

I can walk to a natural foods store that carries things like soy whipped cream. I was sure that such a thing did not exist, until my roommate wandered off to the dairy section and came back with a can. “Will this kill you?” she asked as I read the label. “No,” I said, “but I can’t promise it will taste good.” She and her folks, who were here at the time, later said it was pretty decent.
Dialogue edited for pith (poke, Poke).

Thumbs down:
The pigeons in Boston Common are constantly underfoot. One of these days, I’m just going to kick one. Or I’ll start taking lessons from Tom Lehrer.

Movie theaters are outrageously overpriced — even more so than other places I’ve lived.

Bums. I hate them…and I hate that I hate them. The bleeding heart in me wants to help; the pragmatist knows that my spare change would barely be a finger in the dam. The penny-pincher is pinching pennies, and the cynic wants to hiss, “Get a job!” Especially to the one guy who’s always standing outside CVS and occaisionally calls you “honey.”

Time wasters

August 4, 2006 5:53 pm

Now you too can be Jackson Pollok! At least online. (Everyone’s ambition, I know.)

The cross-breed zoo. I know I’ve seen the duckigator picture before, but not the rest. They’re all amusing, though I’m especially fascinated by the gryphon, cardifox, and bunny-bird.

I’ve been going back and re-tagging some old entries, especially ones that (a) were “Uncategorized,” (b) needed my new “D&D” tag, or (c) needed my slightly less new “Mmm, London!” tag. Which took me to this entry, at which point I started feeling a little bit guilty because the site I made with foreign study stories was (a) never finished and (b) no longer online because of that little graduation thing. So it now has more blathering added to the end and a link to my pictures, which are not on Flickr, but are on Kodak’s “EasyShare Gallery,” through which I ordered all the gazillion prints that went into my scrapbooks. Mother had discovered that before I discovered Flickr.

And if you were curious like Tae…

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News flash

January 20, 2006 7:52 pm

Ye olde English whale? Straight from the BBC, apparently this northern bottle-nosed whale wanted a night on the town. And by town I mean, those buildings in the picture are Parliament. You don’t get more middle-of-London than that – and London isn’t exactly coastal! Fascinating.

Christmas and movies

December 22, 2005 12:59 pm

Not a great deal of news here, folks. Christmas is happening, with all usual activities. Tree is up, outside lights are up, cookies are baked, presents are wrapped. I took the boys shopping the other day, which was almost not as much of an ordeal as last year. When they know what sort of thing they’re looking for – they were better on this than last year – that’s half the battle. The other half is finding this stuff. Last year we managed it all at the mall, I think…this year took us from Books-a-Million to the mall to Circuit City to WalMart.

Oh – and I managed to go to the post office at Christmas time without crushing my finger. *bows* So my grad school applications are all mailed off.

Came home last week and got my nose buried into three books, as usual. I came home reading Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White, something I’ve wanted to find since I saw the musical based upon it when I was in London a year ago. Mmm, London. Mmm, Christmas lights in London.

I also picked up my German version of the first Harry Potter book in an effort to pull my Deutsch back again – I have a German lit course next term. Harry is, I find, a nice way to wade back in. I know the English well enough that it helps me out. Oh yeah, is that what merkwurdige means? Riiiight…

The third is a massive tome that my parents gave my brother for his birthday last spring. It falls in the “What to read after Harry Potter” advertising category, but between its size and his general busy-ness, he hadn’t started it yet. So I did. The first page or so is very clever, but then the 80 pages that follow are fairly slow. By pg. 80, though, I was hooked, and by 200 it hums right along quite nicely. The title is Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and it’s set in the early 1800’s, as England is at war with Napoleon. Much magic and fairies and high society. Reminiscent of Patricia C. Wrede’s Mairelon books, but I have several hundred pages to destroy that illusion.

This Christmas has brought an unusually large number of movies I want to see! Since when does that happen, anyway? The Producers is out, as is Peter Jackson’s King Kong. There’s a new Pride and Prejudice, and I’m intrigued by the premise of Memiors of a Geisha (only sufficiently intrigued to rent it later, probably). This isn’t even counting the two (two!!) I saw last week, Rent and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Rent is a musical I hadn’t known anything about except that a lot of people really like it – I have one friend in particualr who is a big fan. When Pug and I went to see it at the mall, they were having some sound problems – way way way too much bass in some of the big numbers, so much so that you couldn’t hear the words…and the words were important. That whole setting up the plot and introducing the characters thing? Yeah. They evened out as the movie went on, and I really liked the show itself.

Narnia I enjoyed too. Pug, Tae, Elf, and I went out to dinner and saw the Narnia movie a week ago. Though I think the White Witch looked all wrong, there was a lot more that looked just right. The creatures were great (not the only way in which this production improves on the old BBC version with people in animal suits, but a major factor!), and the children were well cast. At first, I was a bit bothered by how much they seemed to be bickering, but when I looked back at the book later that night, I realized that they’d made a change for the realistic. No kids talk like they do in C.S. Lewis, not even British kids.

Personally, I’d been a little down on Narnia in recent years. Somehow, the more clearly I saw the Christian symbolism, the more I dismissed the tales. (Sad truth: I’m not as open-minded/tolerant/accepting as I like to think.) Seeing it all again reminded me that it is a good story all on its own. Christ figures don’t mean much to me, but dear old not-a-tame-lion Aslan does. That’s where the story is powerful to me. So I guess that’s what I liked best about it.

Back the Bid!

July 6, 2005 8:05 am

London 2012!

That’s right, folks, all the banners and bus advertisments (that’s ad-VERT-iss-ments if you please) paid off – the 2012 Olympics are going to London! Hurrah for fish and chips, beefeaters, and doubledecker buses!

(psst to Poke – the art museum we visited (the National Gallery) is the building in the background of that picture in the article)

So I decided to come back to the States…

December 3, 2004 4:07 pm

And I am so glad to be home!!

I know everyone wants to hear everything, so I’m working on that . It’s a work in progress – in fact, there’s only enough of it there now to be barely worth posting this note! So if pages suddenly appear and disappear as I work out the kinks, don’t be startled.

Edit 12/8/04:
As some of you have noticed, I’ve started putting pictures in. They’re being finnicky, and I’m not sure whether it’s my lazy simplistic coding or Furman being stupid (I’m using the webspace I’m allotted there, which means when they go down, the pages go down. Plus this program has its quirks, and most of them are dumb.). So if the photos won’t load….uhhh…hit reload a few times or try again later. My apologies!!

Edit 8/4/06:
As probably no one has noticed, the above link doesn’t work anymore, due to the fact that I, uh, graduated and no longer have access to the university’s web space. You might also remember that I never finished the page in the first place. However, you can find my pictures online at Kodak’s EasyShare Gallery (seemed easier to upload them there and order prints than waiting for the kiosk at WalMart to spit out hundreds of prints). You should be able to see them without having a log-in or anything. There’s five sets:
Tour of Ireland, Scotland, & England (our first two and a half weeks)
Stratford (the next two weeks)
London (five weeks)
Free Travel (the last two weeks)
And a supplement: a few pics I got from friends.
Someday, they might get to Flickr, but don’t hold your breath — you know me better than that! (That would also take months’ of upload space on Flickr unless I start paying, which isn’t likely in the near future) But if you ask, I’ll happily show you my (two volume) scrapbook.

Jane Austen’s Bath

June 29, 2004 10:28 pm

The Big Question:

Bubbles or Not?

As I’m sure you can guess, there have been a lot of jokes to that effect around here recently, but the good news is that I’m done! With that one, anyway, but I have breathing room on everything else.

And that means that I have time to prepare this campaign! After all, Elf needs a title.    ;)

Living life comes before recording it.

February 20, 2004 11:54 pm

That’s for those of you who have been complaining that I haven’t posted anything here in almost two weeks. They’ve been crazy ones too. The term’s all but over – exams are next week and I leave Wednesday to go home!

And THAT means that this morning was – at least according to current plans – the last math class I will ever sit through! (And I was even awake and coherent for it…heehee. Yesterday morning? Yeah, that was another story.)

I learned the other day that I’ve been accepted to the UK foreign study program for next fall – am very excited about it!

Work tends to be crazy this time of term, just as everyone’s projects and papers are about to be due. We were host to a minor soap opera this morning, though. Since Furman Hall is being rennovated, one half at a time, a lot of professors are having to move to other offices. Some of them will be moving into our temporary home after the CCLC moves back to the library this summer. Now, the offices where we are now are much nicer than the old ones in Furman Hall. So we’ve got various professors drooling over these offices and plotting about which one they just have to have. I get a kick out of it – they’re so serious, but it’s so silly.

We had our first almost-full run-through of Fiddler this week. Went pretty well, considering! I’m only in about five scenes, but it’s something, and I enjoy it.