Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'theater' category

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.

Tales

July 25, 2004 9:41 pm

Went to see Camelot at the formerly community college last night with my family, and quite enjoyed it! (It also gave me an opportunity to wear a gorgeous bracelet I recieved for my birthday.    :o)    ) It took me a bit to warm up to the actors, but I liked them more and more as it went on. Camelot isn’t Elf’s story, but it is mine. Has been for a long time and probably always will be, though I can certainly understand her desire to soundly slap some sense into Arthur, Gwen, and Lance. I was rather disappointed in their Merlin, who was entirely unconvincing, but (a) He doesn’t stick around long and (b) I’m a little sensative here anyway – I’m something of a Merlin fan. Oddly, they chopped out two songs after they printed the programs: “Then You May Take Me to the Fair” (a favorite of mine) and “Fie on Goodness”. But of course, it was plenty long enough as it was. I don’t think there’s such thing as a short musical.

I was amused to recognize Guenevere – the actress graduated from Niceville HS the same year we graduated from CHS, and I remember seeing her at All County and All State Choruses with me from 8th grade on or so. We were never really acquainted, but a familiar face and name. She did a lovely job.

Unfortunately, they were having some sound probablems – the actors’ microphones would blip off now and then. And more unfortunately, there was an old battle axe (Dad’s phrase, he was next to her) two seats away from me. She kept up a running commentary, and then at the end of the first act, she had the ever-loving gall to comment to her husband that she had just been dozing off the whole first act, never seen anything so boring in her life. After all she had seen this when Robert Goulet played Lancelot! (This would be the original Broadway production, circa 1960.) If it had been me sitting next to her, I’d’ve had some choice things to say to her, believe me. Ah well.

Following is the beginning of my travel journal from this month. It rambles a bit, so read at your own risk.

Show me more… »

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.

Shakespeare, mostly

November 16, 2003 2:20 pm

My roommate left me this morning…
I was glad she went, though. Her parents came up to take her home – with any luck, she’ll get better faster in her own bed. Pneumonia is icky.

Friday night I went to see the theater department put on “Twisted Tales from Shakespeare” which was well done and very funny! They took Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and acted out rather Monty Python-esque versions with only four actors (two male, two female). Narration was supplied by a stereotypical pompous scholar (who also discussed things like Shakespeare’s background and the authorship question), with comic remarks from the “Footnoter”. The program alone was hilarious – one whole page was headed with the warning “After the program, there may be a test”. It contained such gems as

(on Hamlet)
1. Have you noticed how, in Shakespeare’s plays, when people said they saw a ghost, they usually did? Were people more trustworthy in those days? Were ghosts?

and
(on A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
2. What is your idea of a wild thyme?

and, as a message from the author of the book the play was based on, Richard Armour,
“Since I have been a longtime professor of literature at a number of colleges and universities, you may wonder whether I ever taught Shakespeare. How could I? Shakespeare died in 1616.”

I was in stitches just reading the program.