Monthly Archives: August 2007

It’s Alive!

Obviously not a reference to my blog, but that should change. I’ve been really busy and then ran off to Seattle for a little birthday fun but I’m back and hope to get back into the swing of things. After all…28 isn’t THAT old!

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The main reason for the excursion to Seattle was to see the world premiere of Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein”. With the same creative team that took “The Producer’s” to Broadway I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to see this before it heads to New York.

Young Frankenstein is one of the most ambitious shows I’ve seen in many years and it will certainly be a Broadway success. I had a rollicking good time and truly enjoyed it’s many nods to Broadway musical legends such as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bob Fosse, Cole Porter and George Gershwin, all while staying true to the film.

The show runs very long and is in serious need of some tightening. Unfortunately, the most obvious deletion would be one of my favorite scenes, “Join the Family Business”, which really doesn’t move the story forward. It is signature Susan Stroman right down to the astounding monster puppet that assembles from various pieces to dance among the generations of Frankensteins.  I’d prefer they cut, or greatly shorten, the gruesomely long Act 1 finale “Transylvania Mania”.  It simply feels out of place after the spectacular laboratory scene where the monster is given life, the natural ending to act one.

The cast was fine but the leads are really second rate compared to the supporting roles of Igor (Christopher Fitzgerald) and Frau Blucher (Andrea Martin), both of whom took their roles beyond mimicry of the movie’s original stars and made them their own. I see award nominees.

My biggest complaints with the casting were Megan Mulally, as Elizabeth, whose pregnant pauses to draw a laugh were tedious at best. Not to mention the reworking of that role from virgin to slut that kills the “Ah, Sweet Mystery…” joke. I’m  certain her added presence in the stage version is merely a guise to ensure a Best Actress nod at the Tony’s.

My other complaint is Sutton Foster playing Inge. She was dull and had serious problems with her accent and probably should have dropped it altogether. She did shine in the “Roll in the Hay” number but that was purely direction. Overall, I really shouldn’t complain though since it’s rare to have such high caliber talent perform here in the Pacific Northwest. They are all veterans of the stage and should be commended for taking on roles that are so ingrained in the minds of a generation of moviegoers.

With all the new songs Mel Brooks wrote for this production, and there are many great ones, the most memorable tune of the night is still Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz”. This trumped up version is Susan Stroman at her finest. It is the most explosive, energetic and innovative dance number I’ve seen in years with references to the classics of both stage and screen. Don’t forget to pick your jaw up off the floor once you return to your senses. It’s that good!

I haven’t even touched on the technical aspects of the show but let me just add these two notes.

*William Ivey Long is the King of Costumes and will probably pick up his sixth Tony Award for this show.

* Mark Brickman, Special Effects Designer, is a God!! If you know Pink Floyd, you know Mark Brickman, and his innovative effects in this show will leave you dumbfounded. People will talk about the ‘Hayride’ scene for years.

If you get a chance to see this show before it closes in Seattle next weekend or this fall in NYC, don’t pass it up. You’d have to be Abby Normal not to enjoy it. (Yeah…I’m sure you saw that coming!)

Sunshine

Through gray skies and rain…these have offered a touch of sunshine.

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I’m still hoping for some semblance of summer.

Knit-a-little, Split-a-little

In an attempt to retain my gay card during the sports heavy fall, I’ve succumbed to the requests of some colleagues and joined the Neurotrans-Knitters. Yes, I know…that’s soooo gay! I myself have informed many a friend, upon hearing they knit, just how gay it really is.

Wanna know what’s even more gay? I was splitting wood yesterday afternoon (after having spent the previous 2 hours knitting and watching tennis) and a song popped into my head. I couldn’t resist singing it aloud for Mark…“Knit-a-little, split-a-little, knit-a-little, split-a-little, knit, knit, split” and he did…he split…he turned on a dime and walked away while muttering under his breath…”that is soooo gay”.

Between the knitting and creating new lyrics for old show tunes I should have a good year or two of watching sports and happily not listening to Madonna and Cher before I have to worry about my gay card again.

I’m just sayin’.

Phun Photo Phriday

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Mobile Home

All Better

Okay, I feel a lot better now. The Simpson’s movie was hysterical and attending the first showing of the day we had our choice of seats. There was a total of eight people in the entire theater and not one of them had their cell phone on. Either that or they were all terribly unpopular.

I haven’t been to a movie theater in a while and was really surprised to see how much advertising they had for television shows. We arrived earlier than expected and now know about every show that will air on TNT next season. These aren’t just ads either, they’re like mini “making of” documentaries. I’m probably not telling you anything new since you’re probably not the hermit I am but now I’m beginning to see what’s attributed to my hermitism. (new word!) I’m going back to waiting for the DVD’s that I can watch at home, sans advertising.

Good news: The big guy is at a conference in Malaysia until the middle of next week which takes all the stress out of my work day. I spent the morning sipping my latte and reading the news while giving myself a manicure…in his office. I love it when he travels! Of course that took all of fifteen minutes and I was back to work for an hour or two before running off to lunch with some colleagues. Did I say how much I love it when the big guy travels?

I received another bit of good news yesterday that further lifted my spirits. My alcoholic sister will not be bringing my alcoholic father to visit this month. I’m not sure exactly why she’s changed her mind since she mentioned it to my aunt as recently two months ago. Maybe she realized she hadn’t yet asked if I’d be home or maybe she simply forgot. Alcohol will do that to you. Of course…she may remember again when she pours another quart of rum into her coke so I can’t fully relax for another three weeks. You see…dad hates cool weather and will only visit in August so I’m nearly off the hook, until next year. (Note to self: Plan long vacation for August 2008)

Now to find something to do for the weekend. I’m feeling travelly.

Barry Bonds Sux!!!

His steroid assisted record and anti-fan attitude have forever tarnished the reputation of my beloved Giants.

Fuck you Barry Bonds!!!!!!

It’s Raining

What the fuck is up with this weather? As if the outrageous humidity and thunderstorms of a couple weeks ago weren’t enough now we have to suffer through cloudy skies and drizzle. The vegetable garden is not happy and I’m going to be really pissed if the tomatoes are all mealy and the corn doesn’t sweeten up. Portland’s summers are short enough as it is but then to have cloudy gray skies and temps in the mid-70’s for over a week in August…aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

On a happy note…I received an e-mail Friday morning informing me that Todd Rundgren is playing the Aladdin Theater in September. I’ve been a Todd fan for what seems like forever thanks to my cousin who turned me on to the Faithful Album nearly 30 years ago. Yep, forever ago. Not long after we saw him with his band Utopia and I was hooked. I’ve seen him numerous times since, both with and without the band, and never been disappointed. And…he’s playing my favorite venue, a theater so small you feel like your sitting in a friend’s living room. Needless to say I purchased tickets immediately, so there’s a ray of sunshine on this otherwise gloomy day.

Ya’ know…I think I’m just going to blow this joint and go see the Simpson’s Movie.  I need a good laugh.