Archive for the Theatre: Broadway Category

The End of 2011

Posted in Art, Chapel Hill, Durham, Job Search, Music, Music Videos, Nerds, Theatre: Broadway, Vacation with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2011 by The Dilettantista

Heeeeeey friends.  How’ve you been?  Did you have a good holiday season?  I did, because I spent it with people I enjoy and also because my kitchen has gotten a few upgrades, namely this grill pan which I shamefully have not yet used y’all.  Operation get back to clean eating, however, starts on Sunday so I imagine the grill pan will come into play.  Also, speaking of clean eating, have you seen this great little Mark Bittman post where he gives lots of yummy, veggie-based, clean recipes?  Those will be delicious, especially since I am full steam ahead clean eating because I am going to a wedding in late January and I want to look bangin’.

So I’ve been acclimating to my new job, which I still like although this week, as you can imagine, was mega-slow.  I am resolving to go into 2012 with lots of optimism and enthusiasm, especially because I went into 2011 with a general sense of doom and a feeling of failure in regards to my career search.  New job, new attitude, old cliches!

This will be a sort of scattered-about, catch-up post since I have been VANISHED IN JOB LAND (sorry y’all).  I’ve been meaning to post about this trip I took home to Sarasota way back in November, but it clearly isn’t going to happen.  Instead I’ll just post a few pictures of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic, an international sand sculpture competition that was taking place the weekend I was in town.  If any of you watch Sand Masters, most of those folks were present.  The sculptures were only partially done when I saw them, but they were still 100% amazing.  Here are a few of my favorites:

If you look closely you can see a skull between the teeth, inside the fish.

This one was titled "The Five Senses."

So that’s awesome right?  PS if you didn’t already know, Siesta Key is an awesome beach in Sarasota that currently holds the #1 spot on Dr. Beach’s Best Beaches in America list.  Siesta is famous for its white, pure sand that has the consistency of sugar.  The beach is also incredibly wide.  It is an unbelievably beautiful spot.

Anyways, RESOLUTIONS!  Do y’all have any?  Mine are pretty vague:  MORE VEGETABLES, MORE BLOGGING, MORE SLEEP (I really need 8 hours guys I have to stop lying to myself), MORE GRATITUDE, LESS WHINING.   I think that about covers it.  What about you?

While you ponder your goals for next year, here are a few items with which I have been 100% obsessed lately:

1) Sand Cats.  I didn’t know these guys existed.  They are tiny, adorable cats that live in deserts in North Africa.  They are THE BEST and I want one so much y’all.

LOOK AT HOW CUTE THAT IS LOOK LOOK LOOK.

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Internet Happenings That Are Making Me Happy

Posted in Art, Dragon*Con, Dragon*Con Countdown, Food, Movies, Raleigh, Restaurants, Theatre: Broadway on August 4, 2011 by The Dilettantista

Over at NYMagazine theater critic Scott Brown and Bill Lawrence, the showrunner of Scrubs and Cougar Town, are having a tussle regarding Scott Brown’s extremely negative review of Zach Braff’s new play All New People.

So basically Scott Brown doesn’t like Zach Braff because of his Zach Braffness and also Garden State, and I agree with both points because non-Scrubs Zach Braff is insufferable and, really, J.D. is borderline insufferable much of the time and also Garden State is a pretentious and overrated movie.  Scott Brown spends much of his review of All New People on an anti-Zach Braff crusade before ultimately reviewing the play.  Bill Lawrence, in an open letter to Scott Brown, is all, “dude, you can’t go on a rant about how you hate Zach Braff, who is my friend, and then give his play like, all of two paragraphs, that just isn’t cool dude.”  Bill Lawrence also attacks Scott Brown for being a pretentious, wordy, stuck-up theater critic which, duh.  Come on, what else is a theater critic?

And then Scott Brown writes an open letter to Bill Lawrence and basically ends with “sorry I didn’t like your friend’s play, dude.”

Anyways, Bill Lawrence’s letter is hilarious and Scott Brown’s letter is slightly less so–despite a hilarious and, yes, pretentious reference to H.P. Lovecraft ( ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!) but the whole thing is just really entertaining to someone like me who spends way too much time reading culture websites.   You can read the whole shebang here.

I don't really like Natalie Portman either, by the way.

I’m also really liking the NYTimes’ article on Kalup Linzy, an artist I was only loosely aware of until seeing his work at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s 30 Americans show.  The show had a number of his drawings as well as his film, As Da Art World Might Turn, which I found amazing and hilarious.  Linzy is part Andy Warhol and part RuPaul and part John Waters and part soap opera and he also collaborates with James Franco (but who doesn’t) and I just think he is a lot of fun in an art world that takes itself far too seriously.  I also think it is telling that the article is placed in the NYTimes style section rather than the Arts Section.  Back when I was an “academic” I was all about art that blurred the line between high and low culture, so Kalup Linzy is right up my alley.

Finally, I am definitely all about the NYTimes Magazine‘s profile of restauranteur Danny Meyer.  I have eaten at Shake Shack (numerous times and locations), Eleven Madison Park, and Union Square Cafe and have extremely positive feelings about the food, service, and ambiance at all of the restaurants.  The article is a great look into the crazy busy life of the man who has made perfect hospitality and customer service his trademark and his gold mine.

And those are the internet happenings that have entertained me on this Thursday!

Tonys 2011 Liveblogging Extravaganza o’Fun!

Posted in Theatre: Broadway on June 12, 2011 by The Dilettantista

Sup bitches!  I’m going to be liveblogging the Tonys this year despite not having seen ANY of the shows–and it saddens me to say that this is the first time, in a long time, this has happened (first world problems).  So come, experience the Tonys with me!  Like everyone else in the world I am pulling for The Book of Mormon and Sutton Foster.  Also, Josh Gad from The Book of Mormon for the arbitrary reason that he was a forensic’s dude like me.  Victory!  Neil Patrick Harris is awesome so hopefully this will be a great night.  Maybe he can even come onstage as Dr. Horrible to stoke the fires of a Dr. Horrible musical on Broadway?  Yes?  Please?  Anyways, Tonys start at 8:00, and I should be liveblogging the whole thing…unless Jon convinces me to turn on HBO at 9:00 to catch tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones.  This is a definite possibility, people.

What if this show won a Tony? What if this show won a Tony award? Papa, would that change the way you saw your little boy?

If you are interested, NYMag is showing photos of the red carpet.  First impressions: Kate Flannery looks old in that hair and that dress, David Burtka and NPH are just too damn good looking in perfect suits (duh), the Priscilla Queen of the Desert costume designers brought drag queens which are, of course, the best accessory anyone could have, I think Jennifer Damiano’s yellow dress is cute but I am not digging the matching yellow platform heels (too matchy matchy!), Patina Miller’s dress is awesome though I have only seen it from the back, and Sutton Foster should have gone with an actual color rather than mud, though her stylist did a good job with her hair and her makeup.  Also, was expecting more of a crazy outfit vibe from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but maybe they’ve grown up.

Additionally–not that you should read them instead of me, mind you–the NYTimes will be liveblogging the Tonys here and NYMag will be liveblogging the Tonys here.  Also, a few awards have already happened (ungh).  The Book of Mormon won best score and orchestration and Kathleen Marshall won best choreography for Anything Goes.  Kathleen Marshall’s win means that Mormon will not win all the awards for which it is nominated, but I am pretty sure it will clean up.   Also, evidently Athol Fugard won an award and his speech was not broadcasted?!?!  That is just so lame.  Anyways, onto the televised portion of the show!

8:00:  And we begin!  NPH I love you so much.  Please sing for me.  Have people really never seen theater?  Since when has it been just for gays?  What about Jews and ladies?  My, they have a lot of random religion choruses to pull from this year, don’t they? Sailors too!  Damn that’s gay.  Oh hey thanks for shouting out the Jews.  Oh god Brooke Shields forgot her little solo part.  Stephen Colbert didn’t though  amazing what happens in live theater, right?!

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9 Days to Dragon*Con: Sweeney Todd or, My Costumes Part I

Posted in Dragon*Con, Dragon*Con Countdown, Nerds, Theatre: Broadway on August 24, 2010 by The Dilettantista

We have officially hit the single digits re: Dragon*Con.  And yes, you read the above title correctly.  I will not have just a (singular) costume but instead several (plural) costumes (plural).  Two, to be exact.

So, no surprise y’all, I love Stephen Sondheim with all my heart.  And while Tim Burton doesn’t inspire in me the same maniacal fervor, I was still pretty stoked when Tim Burton decided to make a movie of my favorite Stephen Sondheim musical.  Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is absolutely Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece and I remember that it exploded my mind my sophomore year of undergrad, when I listened to it obsessively.

That is the opening number from the original Broadway production, was back in 1979.  The original cast had Len Cariou as the title role and the amazing Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett (and Victor Garber at Anthony!  Crazy!)  By the time PBS decided to film and broadcast the production, however, Len Cariou had been switched out for George Hearn–who I personally think is better, because Len Cariou is more of a classic silky baritone whereas George Hearn really infuses the role with smoldering fury.  Anyhow, like I said, this is the opening number, and if you are only familiar with the Tim Burton movie you will not recognize this number because TIM BURTON CUT OUT ALL INSTANCES OF THE VOCALIZED VERSION OF “THE BALLAD OF SWEENEY TODD” WTF TIM BURTON HOW DARE YOU.

I mean, otherwise, the movie was fine.  Better than fine, I was really pleasantly surprised, and even the comical amount of gore and blood spatter didn’t shock me.  I thought the cast was uniformly well chosen, even if Helena Bonham-Carter had the wrong voice for the role of Mrs. Lovett.  Which leads me to the purpose of this post:

Yes I am doing a Mrs. Lovett Costume and yes it is the Helena Bonham-Carter version not the Angela Lansbury (or Patti Lupone) version.  Yes I bought a big Victorian skirt and a weird blouse off of Etsy and I am pairing it with some stuff from my own closet as well as a rolling pin that I need to make look blood-stained.  I feel that it will be awesome.

So yeah, that will happen.  I’m fairly excited.  Check in later this week to learn more about THE SECOND COSTUME.  9 days 9 days 9 days…

12 Days to Dragon*Con: Good-Bad Movies, Good-Bad Musicals

Posted in Dragon*Con, Dragon*Con Countdown, Nerds, Theatre: Broadway on August 21, 2010 by The Dilettantista

So this post is inspired both by yesterday’s Rocky Horror homage and my learning at Venice Little Theater, way back near my hometown of Sarasota, is doing a production of Evil Dead the Musical.

Yes!  There is a musical version of Sam Raimi’s horror-schlock classic!  I haven’t been lucky enough to see it, but evidently there is a blood splash zone.  Also, clever songs such as these:

Um, youtube is full of lots of videos of community theaters doing the musical, but I did find this jaunty montage of the original production:

Like, ohmygod y’all, how fun does that look?!

About a year and a half ago I saw the musical adaptation of The Toxic Avenger, which I believe is a Troma film from way back some time ago.  Since it is not nearly as well known as The Evil Dead: Basically a nerdy man gets dipped in his Jersey town’s toxic waste garbage plant and he comes out a big gross super mutant who takes revenge upon polluters while wooing the local hot blind librarian.  This is what happens in the musical, evidently the movie is a bit less political.  Also, Nancy Opal is in it, and in one scene she plays two characters having a conversation with each other, she is so fierce.

Also, a Carrie Musical happened in 1988.  Yes, a Carrie musical.  Betty Buckley plays the mom y’all.  She sings this crazy song to called “Eve Was Weak” before shoving Carrie into the Jesus Closet.

This musical was pretty much a failure so documentation is scarce.  But man, fierce.

Broadway is nerd-friendly too.

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