Monday, May 15, 2006

Unblogged But Not Forgotten


After the jump (thank you, Gawker), some rapid-fire accounts of things I should have blogged over the last three weeks but didn't.


1.Semi-stalker of Beckett takes a handful of good photographs and dines out on them for the rest of his life.



2. Because the list of authors to be read from sounded so good, we went to this event without even checking out the list of readers. A pleasant surprise – and Rushdie made a guest appearance, to read from Milosz’s poems. Excellent. Listen here.



3. Broadway No. 1: unmitigated tripe, from beginning to end. Or rather, from beginning to interval, when we left in shock. Nellie McKay can sing, but she cannot act.



4. Broadway No. 2: overblown, but still compelling. Fiennes twitches with uncertainty, Jones trips into melodrama, and McDiarmid, the comic turn, steals the limelight in a tragedy. But there’s no doubting the strength of Friel’s words. And most importantly, of course, a great after-party...



5. Broadway No. 3: unchallenging, but brilliantly written. Irritating use of film clips, but superb use of Richard Griffiths. Richard Griffiths? Monty, you terrible c***!



6. Clever people being ironic about cleverness. Great. For about two minutes. Listen here.



7. We went to this to hear Kinnell and Williams, knowing nothing about Paul Zweig. He died 22 years ago. Williams read one of the most perfect elegies I’ve ever heard.




8. Taking over a vast warehouse in DUMBO, this year’s crop of visual arts graduates from the MFA programme. Worth it: Gary Hadad’s photographs, Yasue Maetake’s performance art (videoed), Qing Liu’s installation. The rest: meh, as they say in livejournal parts.



9. This is perhaps the best piece of theatre I’ve seen all year. And it isn’t even finished yet; this was a workshop performance, for which hey only had something like three weeks of rehearsal. It looked near-perfect to me. Sabooge rock. They’ll bring this to the Dublin Fringe before it returns here, to PS 122. Wherever you are, go.



10. Films recently caught on DVD and in the cinema:
(a) One insult after another. Unbelivably bad.
(b) Terrific. But isn't there some horrible irony to Ryan Tubridy's liking it?
(c) One insult after another. Unbelivably bad. (This was my second time to see this film. It gets worse with each viewing).
(d) A great new film from Terry Zwigoff. Genuinely funny and brilliantly strange. And yes miglior, yum. That’s Anthony Minghella’s son, by the way.

10 comments:

Stellanova said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that that production of the Threepenny Opera is bad. I really like Nellie McKay's music, and I wrote my undergrad dissertation on the Threepenny Opera, which I love. I read about this version ages ago and thought that the two sounded like a great combination. Of course, I had no knowledge of her acting skills - and this wasn't the Willett and Manheim translation, which is the only English version I've read, so perhaps I shouldn't have assumed it would be any good. And from that link, the costumes and staging look pretty atrocious...

Miglior acque said...

I actually didn't think that Crash was that bad, but I am very much in the minority. Parsifal hated it too, and he's so often right about these things. I did nearly leave the cinema. Arts School Confidential looks amazing and I'll be trotting along to see it.

hesitant hack said...

Stellanova, I didn't know the Threepenny Opera at all; this was my very first encounter with it. I wonder if your intimacy with it would make any difference to how you saw this production. You would probably last right to the end out of interest, if nothing else - but McKay, though her voice is a pleasure to hear, was really quite lost onstage. I felt sorry for her. She didn't know how to move. Alan Cumming, meanwhile, was just going through the motions. He wanted his character to be likeable, which was ridiculous. I barely saw anything of Blondie before I fled the theatre.

Miglior: hmm, yes, but didn't you say that you almost left the cinema Crash because you thought it was so good, touched so many raw nerves, etc? I thought it was just facile, laughable really. Seeing things on the big screen can make them seem better than they really are, though. I think that might have happened a bit with Match Point in my case.

Stellanova said...

Yeah, I'd probably feel obliged to sit through the Dreigroschenoper, if only for old time's sake. In true academic style I've never actually seen a stage production of it, although I read it (auf Deutsch, of course) and listened to the definitive (and fabulous) German Lotte Lenya-starring version about a million times. So curiosity and the strangeness of finally seeing people act out something I'd read so often would keep me in my seat.

I do find it very funny that a polemical Communist musical was turned into a Broadway hit (I believe that in the past most English translations have toned down both the commie-ness and the theatrical experimentation quite a bit). But I can't really imagine Alan Cumming as Macheath, delivering speeches about the corruption inherent in the capitalist system. Especially with Cyndi Lauper....

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