Month: June 2009

Live-blogging the Tonys!

8:08: LIZA!!!! I tear up a little bit.  The reaction shot of Anne Hathaway rocking out and screaming is priceless.  Other thoughts of the opening:  HORRIBLE ACOUSTICS.  Why is Bret Michaels at the Tonys?  Everyone loves Dolly Parton.  Stockard Channing, who I love, looks tired.  I was sort of bored by Elton John opening the Tonys, though it was wise to feature those three boys early on–people adore them.   I really really really want to see Hair.  Sutton Foster is one of the best things about Broadway today.  OMFG LIZA AND ELTON JOHN ARE DANCING WITH THE CAST MEMBERS OF HAIR.  Also, the female soloist in “Let the Sun Shine In” is amazing.  I also love that all the Broadway people are singing along as well.  I must see Hair.  The Tonys are so close to me this year!  Aw, and Bebe Neurith got a flower!

8:12: Neal Patrick Harris is a great choice as host.  Everyone loves him.  And very few people know that he has a career in Broadway.  Also, he is having a golden moment.  And everyone loves him.  His suit is so shiny.  Wow, most expensive number in the history of the Tony Awards? What recession?

8:14: Constantine Mouralis (spelling?) seems like a nice person.  I am glad that people can escape American Idol with their souls intact.  Why are the acoustics still not fixed?

8:15: Jane Fonda puts on her reading glasses.  I giggle.  I can’t tell if i like her dress or not, but I sort of like the giant broach/belt buckle thing.  She presents featured actor in a play.  The only one of these plays I have seen is The Norman Conquests, and I’ve only seen one of those.  Roger Robinson from Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, an August Wilson play, wins.  He is an older man, and it is his first Tony.  He seems extremely happy, and grateful.

8:18: Bartlett Sher gets some love.  So does the great, late August Wilson. So does Obama, who saw the show last weekend with Michelel on their fancy date night.

8:19: First commercial.  I clean up from the dinner that I trekked to 1st avenue and 90th to collect: delicious chicken etc. from Pio Pio Peruvian chicken.  I put the remainders in the microwave to keep it warm for Phil, who will be journeying uptown post-rehearsal of his show.

8:24: First performance.  Shrek.  Saw it in December.  Again, Sutton Foster is a wonderful, charming lovely person and an incredibly talented performer.  Also, I love Daniel Breaker, who plays Donkey.  I saw him in Passing Strange last summer.  May he continue to win great roles.  Shrek was really, highly entertaining.  Of course the excellent cast helps.  And thank goodness, they are featuring Christian Sieber in this performance–but did his knee-pads slip on the stage? Ridiculous.  He is six feet tall but spends the entire show on his knees as Lord Farqaad.  It is a very clever, very suspension-of-disbelief little theatrical trick.  Also, They’re lucky they have a Jen Cody in the chorus, she’s as tall as Sieber is when he’s on his knees.

8:29: Sutton Foster, Brian D’Arcy James, and Daniel Breaker are in the audience in their costumes to watch the rest of their cast perform.  Adorable.  Also, NPH just said “BTW.”  LOVE. HIM.

8:30: James Gandolfini says that he and Shrek are of no relation.  I never watched The Sopranos, but suddenly I like him.  He and Jeff Daniels present bed featured actress in play.  Once again, the only one of these I have seen is The Norman Conquests. Angela Lansbury, unsurprisingly, wins for Blithe Spirit.  I need to see her in this show ASAP, before she leaves to continue being awesome elsewhere.  The audience LOVES HER SO MUCH.  The reaction shot of Heidi from [Title of Show] makes me so happy.  This is Angela Lansbury’s FIFTH TONY AWARD (amazing), and she still seems very humbled and grateful.

8:34: Something about presentations by touring shows?  I think?  I got distracted by a MoMA twitter about a performance art piece tomorrow night.  Why is Mamma Mia still on Broadway?  I mean, I understand that people love Abba, I myself enjoy Abba, but still.  I mean, really.  The show is fun but that was like, 8 years ago.

8:42: Snippets of plays!  I remember when they used to do this a long, long time ago.  I appreciate Colin Hanks, I hope he is on Mad Men more often; he has large ears.  They are introducing 33 Variations, a play I probably won’t see because it is about a Beethoven-obsessed scholar dealing with ALS.  Sometimes things can be too depressing for me.

8:44: Will Ferrell calls himself a Broadway veteran.  The audience laughs.  His tie is white.  Also, he correctly pronounces Waiting for Godot in a really exaggerated manner.  Aw, Hunter didn’t win for Best Book?  Sadface.  Will Ferrell is presenting for Best Original Score of a Musical.  The award goes to Next to Normal, which I am seeing on Wednesday.  Dolly Parton, in the meantime, waves at the camera from offstage.

8:47: Next to Normal winners shout out BMI Lehman, where Phil does his musical theatre stuff, then promptly get played over by the music.  I hate it when award shows do that.

8:48: Lin Manuel-Miranda, of recent In the Heights fame, comes to introduce the West Side Story performance.  They do the dance at the gym, a wise scene, one of my favorites from the show.  One of the best parts of watching the Tonys is getting to see all the chorus people, who have probably dreamed about this moment foreve,r perform for their shows.  West Side Story is, of course, filled with young chorus folk.  Also, they really did completely recreate Jerome Robbins’ choreography.  I mean, I guess you don’t tamper with that which is already perfect.  I sort of like the idea of a long-haired Anita, it is unexpected. This show really has some of the greatest music every written for anything ever.  If only the ending were a little different, right?  A decent Tony performance: good combination of showcasing the dancing talents of the entire cast while still featuring the two leads.

5:57: Susan Sarandon presents Best Direction of a Play.  I just saw her last week in Exit the King.  I love her speaking voice.  Matthew Warchus is nominated twice?!  Wow, he is busy:  Gods of Carnage and The Norman Conquests.  He wins for Gods of Carnage. Yasmina Reza’s latest play (evidently he has directed four of her plays?!) which I really want to see–the cast includes Jeff Daniels, James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, and Hope Davis.  He also acknowledges his Norman Conquests cast, which is sweet.

9:00: Susan Sarandon also presents best Direction of a Musical.  The women who directed Hair and Rock of Ages look like they could be in the casts of their own shows.  Stephen Daldry wins for Billy Elliot.  I predict Billy Elliot will be the big winner of the evening–forgettable music, but a really fantastic production.

9:02: Rock of Ages comes on without being announced.  I WANT TO SEE THIS SHOW SO MUCH.  Really it looks like the most fun jukebox musical ever.  Also, everyone onstage looks as though they are having a great time.  Is Gavin Creel holding an English flag?  Is that even Gavin Creel?  Jessica?  Constantine Mouralis is so likeable, wow.  The little man with the mustache looks sort of like Jack Black.  Heh, yay meta-theatre.  OH HE IS COMING TO TALK TO LIZA.  This makes me so happy.  Rock of Ages colliding with Liza.  Really, this is the best moment of the day.  And people are holding up their phones like lighters, as  “Don’t Start Believing” starts playing.  I never grow tired of this song ever.  I forget who plays the female lead in this show, but she’s supposed to be awesome.  Again, the camera lighters, joy.  Also, this show’s band is very much in on the action, nice.  GYAH GLITTER SHOT BY A MAN WITH WINGS.  Okay this show has gone very high on my MUST SEE NOW list.  And end with a crotch shot of the little man with the mustache.  WIN.

9:07: NPH is doing shots with Bret Michaels?  Can I come?

9:12: Hi Edie Falco!  I like the color of your dress, I’m not sure how I feel about the texture.  She presents the award for Best Special Theatrical Event.  Liza will probably win, although Will Ferrell has a fighting chance.  Liza wins.  I love Liza.

9:14: Phil calls me to tell me he’s on his way.  Liza thanks the audience. Did I mention I love Liza?  If you haven’t seen Arrested Development go rent it right now, if only to see Liza’s performance as Lucille Two.  Also, DON’T PLAY MUSIC OVER LIZA.   I will soon suspend live-blogging to restart the Tonys with Phil, but will restart once I get caught up to the Liza part. Thanks for your patience, gentle readers!!!

9:16: Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis emerge to present Gods of Carnage, another need-to-see.  Not sure how I feel about Hope Davis’ dress, though I appreciate that it is short.  Love the color of Marcia Gay Harden’s dress, but she could use a bit of lipstick and blush.

9:17: Suspension of live-blogging!  Will continue providing my much-sought-after opinions shortly!

In honor of the TONY AWARDS!!!

I had a post about my Saturday in the makes late last night when my firefox crashed, so I decided to go to bed.  You will all receive tidings of my fun evening in Brooklyn later tonight.  In the meantime, in honor of the TONY AWARDS, I present to you this video from a fan of [Title of Show]:

Tony Awards Cake!

I will be semi-live-blogging the Tony Awards.  I say semi because I will be watching the latter part of it on delay, as I am waiting for Phil to finish up his rehearsal for The Wasp Woman so he can join me uptown for our own personal Tony Awards viewing party complete with Thai food.  The party we were supposed to attend was cancelled, so we improvised.  I also say semi because I have not yet seen many of the shows that are nominated.  This will be remedied as the summer progresses, though I can guess that Billy Elliot will win best new musical and those three boys will win best actor in a musical.  Oh and Alice Ripley will win best actress in a musical for her role in Next to Normal, which I am seeing on Wednesday.

Week the First: Accomplished

I have been in New York City precisely one week but, of course, it feels as though I have been here longer.  And, shorter.

First, I need to advertise my friend Brad Bogner’s podcast, as he was kind enough to advertise my blog in this week’s episode.  Brad is the most opinionated person ever.  I mean this in the best way.  Have a taste of his caustic yet glorious medicine here:  The Brad Bogner Show.   Alternate website here.

Listen to this man's podcast.
Listen to this man's podcast.

I can already see my work week routine.  I get to the Whitney at 10:00.  Diana gave me the key to the offices, so if she is not there I let myself and Theresa (it is Theresa with an “h,” I have been misspelling it).  The documentation offices are actually in the museum proper, just off to the side of the lobby, by a Sol Lewitt mural.  At least once or twice a day a lost visitor stumbles in, presumably looking for the bathroom.  He or she then immediately gets an embarassed look on their face, stammers an apology, and disappears.  Also, we have a looping 30-minute soundtrack from the Sadie Benning video art piece, “Play Pause,” which is currently playing in the small gallery off the side of the lobby.  The soundtrack of my life, people.

After going into the office, which is our own little awesome space with a refrigerator and coffee maker which is nice because we don’t have to share them with the rest of the staff, I get settled at my deskspace, which is a computer on a large table with lots of open flat surface on either side where I can sprawl, which I like.  I hit the files.  I try to kill 10-15 a day.  I enter data.  If the data has problems I go to the library to find the correct data.  The librarian, who has red cats-eye glasses, looks unhappy to see me.  I sometimes find the correct data, sometimes not.  I go back upstairs and resume the files.  Sometimes Diana comes over and we talk about her life in the suburb and her two kids, or the best grocery stores on the Upper East Side, or the differences between the vampires of Twilight and the vampires from the Anne Rice novels.  If I find something ridiculous regarding artist comments I show it to Diana and Theresa.  Then I file some more.  And at some point I take lunch.  Around 5:00ish I leave, if I have no social plans I go to the gym, otherwise I go meet a friend for dinner or something similar.  Thus far, I’m okay with this schedule.

I also walk between 2 avenue and my apartment a lot.  In my immediate vicinity there are only beautiful old brownstones and expensive stores I cannot afford.  Carolina Herrera is my neighbor.  So I trek out to the 3rd avenue Duane Reade or 2nd avenue Gristedes or Citarella in order to run my errands.  My gym is also on 2nd avenue.  I am hoping all of this walking back and forth over 3rd and Lexington and Park and Madison will accomplish sometime in terms of trimming my waistline.

Hello, neighbor.
Hello, neighbor.

Not accomplishing the trimming of my waistline?  The delicious crepe I had for dessert tonight.  I decided I didn’t just want to sit at home on a Friday night post-gym, eating Lean Cuisine post gym and watching Sydney White on tv.  I shunned the cliche and put myself together to go down to what has become one of my favorite areas during my viists to New York: St. Mark’s Place.  St. Mark’s Place between 2nd and 3rd is this fabulous amalgamation of sunglass and hat vendors and Japanese restaurants and comic book shops and hookah bars and tattoo parlors and a karaoke bar where I once sang Meat Loaf’s “I Would do Anything For Love (But I Won’t do That) and Salt-n-Peppa’s “Push It” after drinking a giant magherita from Dallas BBQ.  I love walking down that stretch of the city: the people are the best, for reals.  Also, the Dessert Truck tends to hang out in that area.  Win.

Tonight everyone was wielding umbrellas, as it was 58 degrees and raining.  Um, June?  I walked down St. Mark’s to The Crooked Tree, a crepe shop on St. Mark’s Place between 1st and avenue a.  I met up with Phil post rehearsal for The Wasp Woman (playing on Sunday June 14 at the Algonquin Theatre on 24 between Park and Lexington!), and we both ate delicious nutella and strawberry crepes (look, sometimes you need dessert) and drank mango and passionfruit sangria and all was well.  And then we were both hit by a wave of exhaustion/food coma and decided to go home, though we made a brief detour to Kim’s Video where they were playing The Kinks’ The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society which I need to own.

A glorious massacre of nutella and strawberry.
A glorious massacre of nutella and strawberry.

So now I am exhausted and winding down by blogging.  I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.  Weekend plans include going to the gym, going to the Met to see the Model as Muse, a photography exhibit, and maybe the new American galleries–although I have all summer to go to the Met so I can take my time.  Success.  I would also like to take my book and read in Central Park, go to Bed Bath and Beyond and buy some hangers, and watch the Tony Awards.  Should all this come to pass, the weekend will be a success.  For now, I would like a successful night’s sleep.

New York State of Life

I am sitting in my sublet (yes, mine, she is not here, and she has moved most of her stuff out, mine is such a lovely word) on a comfortable couch on my computer watching Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on TNT.  Legolas just toppled an Oliphant on his own.  It is a good, if silly, thing.

Last night I moved to the UES (Upper East Side, for those of you who asked), and I am pleased to be in my own space.  My landlord was still here last night, and she slept on the couch (I love beds, I forgot how much I love beds), but we talked a bit before we went to sleep.  She teaches math at an all girl’s middle school near here, and basically her students are little Blair Waldorfs in training.  She says that money is no object for these girls but that many of them are fairly screwed up because their parents (designers, bankers, generally self-important people with lots of money) don’t pay their kids much attention.  This isn’t the case for all of the girls, but more than a few fall into this category.  I actually saw my landlord and her students as I was walking to the museum this morning: lots of little middle school girls in plaid skirts that seemed to have gotten a little shorter, and most were wearing very Blair Waldorfesque headbands.  This is a whole new world into which I have entered.

Anyhow, my landlord is fairly friendly, I’m glad we got a chance to talk before I moved into her apartment.  I promised her numerous times that i would keep it clean and new and lovely.  However, I wasted no time unpacking my suitcases.  Last night my landlord was snoring rather loudly and despite my exhaustion I couldn’t sleep, so I went into her closet and unpacked my larger suitcase.  I unpacked my other suitcases this morning before work, and am now more or less settled into the space.  I am lacking hangers, however, so my clothes are folded on shelves rather than hanging–I’d like to remedy this as soon as possible, for the wrinkles my work dresses are no doubt accumulating are making me unhappy.

The apartment, however, makes me extremely happy: high ceilings, newly rennovated, new appliances, spacious lots of light.  I just took a few pictures of the apartment and the inside of the building, so you can see for yourself.  Here they are, click on the thumbnails for larger images:

I’m still working on the final bits of settling in: buying groceries, getting hangers, etc., but I hope to be more or less entirely settled by the end of the weekend.  Hopefully I can start cooking a few things soon!

Today was also my first day of actual work.  We had a bit of a rocky start due to our not being authorized to access our files on TMS (The Museum Service, just to remind you) and our not being connected to the printer.  However, once the kinks were knocked out we were able to get cranking.  The work is a little mundane: going through old documents in files and verifying that the information checks out in the file and on TMS.  We’re also reorganizing the documents in the file andcleaning up some of the language in TMS.  If we have trouble verifying information via the files in front of us we head down to the library to do some research.  I’ll be popping down tomorrow to verify some publication information regarding the last file I looked at today.  The files themselves are object files, each containing all the documents the museum has pertaining a specific object; for this project, all the objects are drawings.  Occasionally the project gets interesting when I stumble upon amusing artist comments.  Each artist is asked to fill out a sheet with questions regarding his or her work, and sometimes their answers are hilarious and/or sad.  One artist, who I did not know, stated that his artistic goal was “to create a new paradigm in painting.”  Another artist, when asked to describe the subject of work, scrawled a smiley face on the page and stamped “TOP SECRET” above the smiley face.  When asked the same question about another of his works in the collection, the artist said: “It would be interesting if I filled this space with words but it would be more interesting if I left it blank.”  Ah, artists.

Diana is also a fun supervisor.  We spent the first fifteen minutes of the morning talking about New York as it was in 1983, when Diana moved here–as you can imagine, it was mostly about how the city had changed and been cleaned up.  Around 1:00 Diana shouted at us to go to lunch, which I spent grabbing a quick ricotta tartine at Le Pain Quotidien and then running to the grocery store for round one of stocking my refrigerator.  Around 4:30 Diana grabbed us and pulled us to the upstairs conference room, saying: “They’re giving away free gift bags!  Let’s go get them!”  We were able to snatch the last few bags and I am glad that we did: white Donna Karan tote bags with a large tube of scented moisturizer and some perfume.  Win!

After work I went home to unpack the groceries, then headed down to St. Mark’s Place to meet Trisha Baga for dinner.  Trisha is an artist who studied at Cooper Union and is now in the Video and Media Arts MFA program at Bard.  I went to Pine View with her, and have always been a fan of her work.  She’s headed to Bard on Saturday (the MFA program only has classes during the summer), so we decided to meet up before she left the city for the summer.  We went to this amazing restaurant called The Hummus Place (website says they’re going to have an Upper East Side location soon!  Yes please!) where we ate lots of hummus and pita.  We talked about art and Pine View and our current lives and later her friend Philip joined us and we talked about art and stuff some more.  We also drank the most delicious mojitos.  They tasted the way they looked: green and fresh and swimming with mint.  Also, they were slushy, and slushy is always positive.  I’m not a huge mojito fan but these were delicious.

SO GREEN. SO DELICIOUS.
SO GREEN. SO DELICIOUS.

I think St. Mark’s Place is adorable and fun and full of great people watching and I want to try every restaurant there.  Especially between 3rd and 2nd avenues, totally a bizarre, New York place.

After dinner I headed back uptown, grocery shopped part two, and came back to my apartment around 9:30 to shower, collapse, and write this blog.  I have to admit I feel a little guilty when I tell people I am staying on the UES: It is so swank, kind of Disney-ish in an odd way, very much not where I thought I’d be living when I found out I’d be here this summer.  It is a  different part of New York than where I go to socialize, but I have to admit, the proximity to work is awesome.  I’m sure after living here for a bit or so I will find the restaurants and cozy parts of the neighborhood, and make it my own.  And the LES (Lower East Side) is a mere fifteen minute subway ride away when I want it!

Exhausted, time for bed.  Not sure what I am doing tomorrow night, but the rest of the weekend will be filled with a park day in Brooklyn on Saturday and a Tony Awards watching party on Sunday.  Speaking of which, I leave you with this affirmation of both mine and my sister’s existence, which is displayed right across the street from my apartment:

I Broadway therefore I am.  Aren't we all.
I Broadway therefore I am. Aren't we all.

Movin’ on up.

Firstly, thanks to those of you who comment!  I really enjoy getting comments on the blog, it instills in me a sense of ridiculous importance and feeds the inner narcissistic beast.  Keep it up, I will love you forever!

I am posting early today because I am finally MOVING INTO MY SUBLET (yay!)  I’m not sure if I’ll get to post tonight as the woman from whom I am leasing will be there tonight, and I want the few hours before sleep to go smoothly.  However, she will be gone tomorrow, and I will finally be able to settle in and starting living here.  Ee!

Anyhow, today was the first full day, more or less.  We still oriented ourselves, but this time it was restricted to the interns in the Registration department.  Diana (my supervisor) went over, in detail, the project for the summer.  I will be working with the object files for approximately 360 drawings from 1970-1979.  I’ll be looking through the documents in the files, everything from acquisition sheets to correspondence to artist statements, and making sure that the correct information is entered into TMS.  If I find any major discrepancies I head down to the library and do some research, but only if discrepancies exist regarding dates, titles, provenance, exhibition history etc.  Hopefully I can figure out a way to expediate the process (I am a fan of efficiency) and not get too bogged down in the mundanity of data entry.  I had the option of choosing from several time periods: pre-war, immediately post-war, and the 70s, and figured I’d hop on the 1970s because it is closest to my area of personal interest and because artists in the 1970s were feisty.  I hope to read juicy, angsty artists statements in the object files.  I didn’t actually start work today, just lots of orientation, save for lunch (once again in the park with Teresa.  I’ve been getting delicious salads from this UES grocery store called Butterfield Market.  Old-school New York cute.  ) and a weird rambling 45-minute conversation about Martha Stewart sightings, Dr. Ruth, the Turkish-Greek conflict, and the island of Cyprus.  The tangential conversation began when we were discussing the Whitney’s off-site storage area which is located down in Chelsea by a fashion photography studio and, I believe, Martha Stewart’s old company headquarters.

I also discovered that I had connections with one of the other employees in the Registration Department.  While we were orienting ourselves I kept eyeing the girl across the table from me, whose name is Krista, because she looked incredibly familiar.  Right after lunch she said the same thing to me–that I looked familiar.  We both figured out that we were at the Harn in Gainesville around the same time; she was working in the library while I was an intern.  Still, it gets weirder.  Here is the conversation that happened as i was leaving:

Me: See you tomorrow Krista!

Krista: Actually I’m going out of town.

Me: Where are you going?

Krista: To Florida to see my family.  My sister just had a baby, the first in the family!

Me: Aw, yay.  Where in Florida are you from?

Krista: Sarasota.

Me: I’m from Sarasota!  Where’d you go to school?

Krista: Pine View.

Me: Uh.  Me too.  That’s so weird!

As you can tell I am incredibly articulate.  Anyhow.  Krista graduated 1998, with Santosh’s sister (that was the only name she knew that I also knew, i told her I was staying with Santosh).  ALL OF PINE VIEW LIVES IN NEW YORK CITY.  I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but still, small world.

Oh, also, during lunch I was able to check out a bit of the Claes Oldenberg show.  I only had time to really look at two rooms–the room with the fantastic Ice-Bag C that expands and retracts as though it is breathing, and a small room with objects and signs from Oldenberg’s The Store.  I love Oldenberg, so of course I was pleased to see some of his work, and I am looking forward to having more time to see the show later.  The ice bag piece was especially fun.  Part of the charm of Oldenberg’s works, especially his soft sculptures, is their anthropomorphic quality–they sort of look like people, in an odd way.  Therefore, to me at least, it made perfect sense that one of those sculptures such expand and twist and collapse, almost as though it were inhaling and exhaling deeply.  More on the rest of the exhibition when I get a chance to see it.

Anyhow, after leaving the museum I lingered a bit on the UES to check out some grocery stores, then hopped on the 6 to head home.  I really dislike the 6 in the afternoons because it is the only train on the UES and it is OBSCENELY CROWDED.  Today the trains were off schedule and the car was packed to the brim.  I was uncomfortably close to a man who smelled like old gym socks and cigarettes.  When I had a chance to move away from him, I did so, only to end up next to a crotchety old woman who kept bitching about people bumping into her.  As though we had any choice?  If you don’t want to be jostled, don’t get on the subway when it is crowded!  Anyhow, the subways were so off schedule that the train actually skipped my stop, so I ended up walking about ten blocks back to Santosh’s.  In the rain.  Ah well, these things do happen.

So that’s my day.  I’m going to grab some dinner, make sure my stuff is all organized, and then head up to my sublet around 8:30-9:00 (I am subleasing from an incredibly busy woman).  I’ll be happy to be there, but even happier when she is gone, and I have the space and the large bed to myself.  Yay good night’s sleep!

Talk to y’all when I’m  settled!