Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rainy days and Sundays

It's always hard to motivate when it's gloomy and spitting rain, off and on. It's the kind of day where sitting inside, curled up with a blanket and a good book, sounds ideal. I suppose I should take advantage of those opportunities now, hm?

Despite the gloom, I did make it to church, to the produce market, and to the gym. Also managed to do a menu plan for the week and throw together some salads for easy lunch-packing. This is the last week of the childbirth class (we meet twice, with one as a make-up session) so I'm pretty much not home until Friday. I've learned the hard way that if I don't take a few minutes to think about meals, I end up eating out, spending money I shouldn't spend, and eating food that's not as healthy as it would be if I packed it myself.

(I'm still eating stuff I shouldn't, of course. Just less of it. Hold on a moment while I eat another vanilla wafer, please...)


(Warning: Musical theatre geekery ahead.)

Last night, I went to a production of Chess at a small cabaret-style theatre on the north side of the city. I've gone there once before for their production of Evita and enjoyed it very much. Evita is, in my mind, a big show, and they did an excellent job of mounting the production in an incredibly tight space. (It's also a show I can sing from start to finish with few errors, so I'm picky.)

The book for Chess is, at best, terrible; as one of my friends said last night, "Who thought it would be a good idea in the 80s to write a musical about chess matches?" But looking past some of the truly dreadful plotting the music is gorgeous, and I have a soft spot for the show. It's not staged often, and once again this company did a good job with the show in a limited space.

In particular, the actor playing Freddie (Courtney Crouse) was excellent. I normally have limited interest in Freddie as a character, but last night he was the one I really focused on throughout the show; his "Pity the Child" was incredible (and definitive, for me at least). It's difficult to play that kind of assholish character and give him any kind of layers, but Crouse does it beautifully. I'll be looking for him in future productions around the city, and assuming I'm ever able to actually leave the house post-baby, I'll attend productions simply because he's in them. Yes, he impressed me that much.

Jeremy Trager as Anatoly has a beautiful voice (I could listen to him sing all day) and throws himself into the role with dedication; he was good, but he was a better Peron. Maggie Portman as Florence also has a stellar voice (she was Evita for the same theatre company), but she never really gelled as Florence for me. She's not bad. I'm not sure she's capable of being bad; she's too talented. But Florence has moments of real, wrenching vulnerability, and Portman has trouble backing away enough to truly sell that vulnerability. (Also, she kept scrunching up her face. That's not acting, that's scrunching up your face. All of us who attended commented on it, actually; it became distracting.)

Overall, it was a good evening, and a production well worth seeing.

Next Saturday, for a change of pace, I'm going to the ROLLER DERBY. No, I'm not kidding.

I can't wait.

What does a seven-months-pregnant woman (who's finally popped, by the way) wear to the ROLLER DERBY? I have no idea. But it will be a lot of fun figuring it out...


Catherine said...

I'm with you re: "Chess" - it's a big cornfest but the music is just so lovely (oh, those crazy cats from ABBA!). Who doesn't love some "One Night in Bangkok"??

Catherine said...

I agree with you re: "Chess" - it's a big cornfest with lovely music (Oh, those crazy cats from ABBA!). Who doesn't love some "One Night in Bangkok"??

Unknown said...

And Catherine, they did an amazing job on "One Night in Bangkok"-- on this tiny stage with only maybe seven or eight people. It was remarkable.