oracne: turtle (Default)
Last night, I visited the Wilma Theater for the first time to see the world premiere opera "We Shall Not Be Moved," which focuses on the violence that comes of racism, poverty, guns, and bigotry. It was intense, as you might imagine. It did not end well for anyone, though the ending is not entirely without hope. If you squint. I did not feel depressed afterward, perhaps because I had experienced all this as really good art and art uplifts. That sounds weird, but it's true.

Those of you in NYC, the show is going to be at the Apollo, and tickets go on sale next week, I believe.

There are two primary, opposing points of view: a Latina cop, and a group of teenagers on the run, looking for solutions through cryptic messages from the past (dancers in white sweats, notes dropped on the floor of an abandoned house). There are shootings. There's a school closing. There's a plot twist which I guessed pretty quickly but was still dramatically effective. There was a lot of really good singing and dancing, but not as much spoken word as I'd expected.

I'm not sure how I feel about a male countertenor (John Holiday) playing a trans boy, but damn was he a good singer. The bass (Aubrey Allicock) was also particularly fine, I felt (I have a weakness for basses, so caveat emptor). The bass did most of his second act singing while lying on the floor or propped in someone's arms, which was impressive.

I most loved the choral singing by the entire cast, as you might expect if you know me. My favorite solo was at the end, sung by one of the female dancers - I want to hear that piece again, several times; it was mesmerizing.

Music by Daniel Bernard Roumain, libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, choreography by Raphael Xavier and Bill T. Jones, directed by Bill T. Jones.

Presskit.

PhillyVoice article.

I got home about 11:30 pm, then had to shower and wind down, so I am pretty draggy at dayjob today. Our first choir rehearsal of the season is tonight, 7-9 pm. *blinks*
◾ Tags:
hagar_972: Ginger cat with a key around his neck tilting his head (Cat With Key)
Who got more songs in the Top 40, Idan Amedi or Static & Ben-El?

I suspect it'll be Amedi on the basis of him simply having had more singles this past year, but I'm not committing to anything until the full list is out (two and a half hours in we're still in the 20s).

Also Galgalatz prepared a medley of literally all of Static & Ben-El's hits (on the basis of the kids winning Persons Of The Year two years in a row), and good fucking luck not grinning through it. I'm also pretty sure they just put it on for the second time.

And even as I type this, another Idan Amedi song is up. It's almost as if he released half his latest album as singles over the past year or something. /sarcasm Still not complaining, though.

ETA. OOF. Basically Galgalatz's site did something Weird and I missed half the 20s, and that would be how and why I heard that medley twice. And Yuval Dayan's Leilotai, not that I regret, as it's pretty, but. Shows how much brain I have today.

ETA 2. It's 17:39 and we're in the top five. I found the listing of everything released so far, and the clear leader in charted songs is, unfortunately, Eden Ben-Zaken. Omer Adam is giving her serious competition and he's significantly less annoying, so. However - actually, wait. We hit the Big 3, I need my attention.

ETA 3. Todo Bom came in only at third, and the anchorwoman sounded positively insulted and fairly pissed off. Second place was totally meh, and - Song of the Year just announced and yeah, okay, if the cute boys had to lose, it's to the written-by-Dudu-Tassa song that seriously fucks with one's expectation of whether the speaker in the song is male or female. (The singer is male, but singing in other-gender is a Thing That Happens around here.) So if the boys had to lose, okay, I'm good with this.
◾ Tags:
istia: 2 kel'ein from cherryh's "kutath" in black robes with swords, 1 crouched beside other (x | cherryh kutath)
This episode--408--is pretty much the most perfect finale I could imagine!

Spoilers )

◾ Tags:
istia: smirking derek hale (teen wolf | derek smirk)
The longest state-of-emergency in BC's history finally ended on Friday. Read more... )

I'm doing my best not to think about having paid $1,658 for car maintenance & repair on Friday. Gah. Read more... )

Media

I watched a pretty good docu about climate change that didn't tell me anything new, but did do a great job of providing a veritable smorgasbord of apocalyptic story ideas! Once we reach the 2 degrees celsius rise in global temperature (having already reached 1 degree), you got your fire-ravaged world, your flooded world, your earthquake-devastated world, your pandemic world, your starvation world....

19-2: The final episode of this show airs tonight. S4 has been tying up a bunch of loose ends as we approach the end. I'll miss the Ben & Nick partnership; also the new gay sarge & Bear & Tyler. I cheered when Bear finally got her promotion to sergeant! My 2 major hopes for the final episode are... Read more... )

Outlander: I'm only watching this show because I heard the gay guy might turn up some time during this 3rd series. Is he called John Gray or something like that? I haven't read the books so I have only the vaguest of notions.

The best things about this show remain the opening credits; the Scots accents & music; & the production values. My major reaction to 301-02 is: OMG, Frank, stop wasting your life being devoted to a woman who doesn't give a flying fuck about you! Wake up! Move on!

Teen Wolf: my watch for Derek & Stiles in the show's final few episodes continues. Spoilers 618 & 619 )

Upstart Crow: the other show about Shakespeare is back for its 2nd series! This one's the comedy rather than the (slightly) more serious Will that debuted this year. Only 1 episode into the new series so far, but I laughed several times, so it's promising.

oracne: turtle (Default)
Silent movies are my jam. So I really, really loved the production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" I saw Friday night.

The stage background is plain white with doors at two levels. The upper doors open to reveal small platforms and/or stools, on which the singers stand (yes, they had safety belts). Animation was projected onto the background, and the singers interacted with it. Everything was in a very 1920s style, with touches of steampunk. The singers wore white silent film-style makeup. Spoken lines were replaced with intertitles (in the appropriate font, even!).

The best part was The Queen of the Night. The singer wore a tall headdress and makeup with a plain shift that concealed the rest of her body. Projections made her appear as a giant spider, the size of the entire background, prone to stabbing at Tamino with her stabby legs while he dashed out of reach. I also loved Papageno's animated black cat.

One update I really appreciated was that Monostatos, molestor of Pamina and chief of the slaves (this enlightened country has slaves?) was originally described as "a blackamoor." In this production, the tenor is instead costumed as Nosferatu, who leads a pack of wolves. Not only was it less skeevy, but it fit the theme.

A great start to my experience of the O17 festival, and the only non-premiere I'm attending. Tonight is "We Shall Not Be Moved," which will be very, very different from the Mozart.

Review at Bachtrack.

Broad Street Review.

◾ Tags:
oracne: turtle (Default)
Time for the O17 Festival! I am not going to everything, but I'm going to a lot.

Tonight: The Magic Flute - The innovative production from Komische Oper Berlin presents Mozart's The Magic Flute in a style that evokes a meeting between 1920s silent movies and David Lynch, with the singers performing amidst fanciful animated projections. Also, the women in the chorus get to be in drag for part of it, complete with top hats and beards, which I know because all my buddies were posting pictures of their makeup on The Book of Faces.

Monday, 9/18: We Shall Not Be Moved, world premiere - Acclaimed composer Daniel Bernard Roumain and librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph team up with legendary director Bill T. Jones to present the World Premiere of We Shall Not Be Moved, a genre-defying chamber opera combining spoken word, contemporary movement, video projection, classical, R&B and jazz singing, and a brooding, often joyful score filled with place, purpose, and possibility. This is the one related to the In/Sung event I went to last Saturday.

Thursday, 9/21: Elizabeth Cree, world premiere - Composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, the team behind 2012’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, return to Opera Philadelphia for the World Premiere of a chamber opera based on Peter Ackroyd’s novel, The Trial of Elizabeth Cree. One of my choir friends has a small named part.

Sunday, 9/24: Wake World, world premiere - Opera Philadelphia Composer in Residence David Hertzberg transforms the renowned Barnes Foundation with the World Premiere of The Wake World, a site-specific, one-act opera inspired by Dr. Albert C. Barnes’s famed collection and the works of mystical 19th century British poet Aleister Crowley. This one has a lot of cool chorus work.

I also slide in a Saturday day trip to NYC to see the premiere of Brown Girl Begins, a movie from the first part of Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring.

See you all on the other side.
◾ Tags:
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
We are perfectly fine! But our plans have had to change... )

"Well, a typhoon is a quintessentially Japanese experience," I remarked to Geoff.
◾ Tags:
astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
They close tomorrow so hurry and get your nominations in!

Mine are:

Witcher: Geralt, Emhyr, Ciri, Dandelion (duh)

Dragonriders of Pern: Menolly, Robinton (I totally want Menolly/Robinton NOT SORRY)

Dune (the book): Paul, Jessica, Stilgar, Feyd -- I don't know exactly what I want here, I think I want some outsider POV on Paul maybe?

My runners-up were:

Rome: Pullo, Vorenus, maybe Octavian -- man, I would love a story that undid what the show did to Octavian in S2 so much

Gladiator: Maximus, Commodus

Brimstone: Ezekiel, The Devil

Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon: Eric, Hank, Sheila, Venger

Battle of the Planets: Mark, Jason

and my perennial hope-springs-eternal Dracula: the Series: Lucard (hope doesn't really spring very far lol)

I am totally not mentioning these here in hopes that someone has a spare nom they wouldn't mind using on one of these. ;)
◾ Tags:
oracne: turtle (Default)
1. No gym on Friday, because I'm going to see "The Magic Flute," so I made sure to do both weight-bearing and cardio last night.

For weight-bearing, I did sets of twelve pushups and lunges and tried a new thing for my back muscles, which was pulling myself on a mat using my forearms. I did some ab stuff as well, though not as much as I'd planned. For cardio, I did intervals on a bike as well as trying out the new "Jacob's Ladder" climber machine; I didn't go very fast or very long, but twice got my heart rate up high. I plan to try that machine again.

2. Today, I got a flu shot, and my arm already hurts.

3. I paid my choir dues. Rehearsals start on Tuesday.

4. I bought four concert tickets for Tempesta di Mare, all for 2018.

5. I got a haircut.
◾ Tags:
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
Geoff is blogging our trip at his own journal, if you're interested. He and I tend to report different things in different ways...
◾ Tags:
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
I didn't realize that I would start choking up the moment we walked into the Peace Park, but on reflection I really should have expected that )

And now we're back in our ryokan, winding down and getting ready for bed. Tomorrow we'll go do the temple walk in Onomichi, I hope!
◾ Tags:
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
Rewatching this episode felt a lot like the first time did - which is a good thing! Everything that worked still works, and that's always nice. And as for the things that didn't work as well... well: this episode gets a get-out-of-jail-free card on that one, so to speak.

Both of this episode's plots have a fakeout/bait-and-switch thing going on. On Johnny's side of the plot, the answer to "Where's Clara?" is "Right here", and the answer to "What do the Hullen have to do with this?" is "Nothing." On Dutch and D'avin's side of the plot, the stakes are not what they seem to be.

Two out of these three things have big-ass tells. On the Clara end of things, it really stands out both that Ollie is written an awful lot like Clara, and that she knows things - and acts like she knows people - in a way that doesn't line up with her being fresh from the factory. On Dutch and D'avin's side of things, I remember watching this episode the first time and thinking that the "restore the comm stack" mystery felt a lot as if it was cut-and-pasted from pieces of other episodes - I was thinking s01e05 in particular - and that parts of it (like Dutch in that hallway) felt video-game-like in an odd way. (This, too, goes under "a lot like the first watch" - the same things stood out to me again, in the same way.)

I'm wondering how we're meant to read Turin's leadership. On the first watch I thought we were meant to read him as competent, and was irritated because the way I look at it he really wasn't. On rewatch, knowing how this is going to go, I wonder if this was really a case of the metaphorical seams in the writing showing (and he was meant to seem competent) or if the show was trying to telegraph that actually, Turin's not the shit. If anyone has opinions on this one, I'd love to hear them!
◾ Tags:
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
I definitely let time get away from me--Yuletide nominations end on Friday! (It actually technically ends at 5am Saturday morning, US Eastern Time, but of course I like to sleep Friday nights, so it'll have to be by bedtime on Friday night.)

Who else has nominated so far?

Only three fandoms, as usual. Hmm.

Okay, looking at the nom self-report spreadsheet, someone says they've nominated Almost Human, including John and Dorian. So that takes a load off my mind! And, happy surprise, someone who isn't me nominated Sinbad (TV), including Sinbad and Gunnar (and others). Whew.

Someone reports having nominated Space: Above and Beyond, which is a delight to hear--but, the characters they nominated were West, Vansen, Hawkes, and Damphousse. Without McQueen in some fashion, it's hard for me to get interested. {{{McQueen}}}

Someone reports having nominated the 1958 movie The Defiant Ones! So good, so upsetting, so slashy. I had a vague story idea for that once upon a time. Not sure I'd be able just to throw myself open to write someone else's request, especially given the historical context and serious racial issues one would perforce have to grapple with, but I'll keep it in mind.

I'm thinking I'll nominate Rejseholdet, since that remains so very rare still (even though I have had some wonderful stories written for me, which I wholeheartedly recommend! I am just also v. greedy. :D ).

Dare I gamble that someone else will nominate Master & Commander? (Or the O'Brian books, though I don't feel as confident when offering to write bookfic, for fear of people requesting het and/or Diana.) Maybe I should, just in case.

For a third, many choices jostle in my head. The Sting, of course, which is a best beloved (and also, being a movie, provides a nice short canon for people in a hurry, whether pinch-hitting or trying something new or whatever. :D). Shetland, though I'm not sure who else wants the kind of stories I'd want to offer/request (Jimmy/Duncan, anyone?)
◾ Tags:
oracne: turtle (Default)
A chunk of last week's reading time was taken up by my review book, but I also have some fanfiction recs!

Beyond Belief by thingswithwings crosses over Agent Carter with Wonder Woman, and there is action, and lesbian shenanigans, and heading off into the sunset together. More like this, please.

Season Tickets by shuofthewind is an X-Files AU in which Darcy Lewis is Mulder and Matt Murdock/Daredevil is Scully from S.H.I.E.L.D..

The Other Man out of Time by sara_holmes features Clint Barton traveling in time and meeting Bucky Barnes and falling in love. It's also AU Age of Ultron. Happy ending.

The Course of Honour by Avoliot is original m/m romance fiction on AO3 - features arranged marriages, treaties, gaslighting (in the past), and political intrigue.
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
arriving, and our first couple of days )

It's four o'clock and we're having a quick wash and rest before going out to see what we can of the Peace Park and then find some dinner! Contrary to the forecast I checked this morning, it isn't raining! though it's still hot and humid. Still, after some fiddling we figured out how to use our room's air conditioner, so we have respite, yay.
◾ Tags:
istia: josiah sanchez wearing huge stetson (m7 | josiah hat monotone)
A small round-up of stuff I've been watching.

Dominion Creek: A Western w/ a couple of twists:

1. it's set in Canada instead of the ubiquitous US, during the Yukon gold rush of 1897-98;

2. it's an Irish show, the 1st Western the Irish film industry has made, apparently.

It's in 3 languages: Irish, English, & the local 1st Nation tribe's dialect, but has hard-coded English subtitles. It's astonishing how many Irish folks, men & women, were in the Yukon! Heh. It seems like 90% of the Dominion Creek denizens are Irish. They speak Irish continually amongst each other, but slide into English when it's an outsider, or occasionally throw some English phrase into the middle of an Irish sentence. The Irish title of the show seems to be An Klondike, anglicised into Dominion Creek for some reason.

At 1st I thought Dominion Creek was Dawson Creek renamed because famous Mountie Sam Steele is in charge w/ his no-nonsense rule of law, which includes not allowing any guns except his own within the town. But he departs a few episodes in for Dawson Creek (ETA: by which I actually meant Dawson City, which is in the Yukon & was the heart of the gold rush; Dawson Creek is a town in BC, nothing to do w/ the Yukon or the gold rush :), so apparently not!

It's a gritty, well-done, non-romanticised Western that focuses on the adventures of 3 Irish brothers who are all distinct personalities, but close-knit (when not fighting each other!): Tom, Padraig, & Seaumas Connolly. I like the show, except....

Spoilers )

Strike: Cuckoo's Calling: 1st series of 3 episodes was ultimately disappointing because the solution to the mystery was the least untwisty conclusion ever. From the 1st episode, I kept thinking, "I hope it isn't going to turn out to be so-&-so," so when it turned out to be so-&-so, I rolled my eyes. I'm not even a well-read mystery reader or watcher; I mostly only imbibe mysteries if they happen to be set in space, or occasionally some interesting historical time, like Cadfael. So it's not like I'm familiar w/ the genre, yet it was still so painfully obvious. I guess I can see why Robert Galbraith's books didn't make much of a stir until he was revealed to be J. K. Rowling!

There's also the continuing issue of the very uninteresting relationship between Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) & his sidekick/helper/PA/trainee, Robin (Holliday Grainger). Just your typical, no-surprise male-female pairing. The only thing about this relationship that would be surprising is if they don't end up romantically involved. That would at least be refreshing. I have no expectations of its defying the well trodden route it's on.

The show's now into its adaptation of the 2nd Galbraith book, whose title I've forgotten. I'm only watching for Tom Burke. I still find him very enjoyable w/ his limp & his stubble & his down-&-outness. :)

Tin Star: I've only seen the 1st episode of this show so far (it's streaming on amazon prime, which I don't have), but I'm hoping for more. The title refers to the lead character's status as police chief. Jim Worth & his family (wife, teenage daughter, little boy) have just emigrated from London, England, to a small Albertan town at the foot of the Rockies called Little Big Bear. Magnificent scenery!

Which is under threat by tar sands development & big business hopes of profit via destruction. That's the Big Bad. Most familiar actor to me is Canadian Christopher Heyerdahl (Todd in SGA!), always excellent. He, naturally, plays an ominous guy. Though I should probably know Tim Roth, who's playing Chief Jim Worth.

So we have outsiders adapting to an entirely new culture & a small town on the cusp of catastrophic change. I particularly like the teenage daughter, who is very into the environment & protesting & bucking convention; also, she's not thrilled to have been ripped from her life in bustling London to be stranded in the Canadian wilderness. Heh. Nothing remotely boring-emo-teen about her.

But then the unthinkable happens.... So, good start. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Teen Wolf: As the show airs its final ever few episodes, they're pulling out all the stops in bringing back old characters! Spoilers )

the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
They've lost power, of course, and there's property damage including a roof leak, but the house didn't flood (floodwaters reached the driveway but came no further) and the kids even slept through the worst of it. YAY.
nestra: (Seth)
We were watching "The Grinder" on Netflix, and it's funny enough. Silly, but I am totally okay with silly these days. Rob Lowe is Rob Lowe-ing all over everything.

But now Timothy Olyphant has shown up as a villain. I am ON BOARD.
◾ Tags:
oracne: turtle (Default)
I did better this weekend while staying off social media and Doing Things so I sometimes forgot that the world is apocalyptic (it is always apocalyptic, isn't it?).

I figured out one of the things that makes me so tense about social media. It's that when people are freaking out about events, or commenting about events, it all feels like I am Wrong for not feeling/commenting/doing what they are doing. It's worse when there are several Events going at once, like hurricanes/flooding/earthquake/immigrants/white supremacists.... I can't act on all those things, not all at once, not to the degree needed. There is only so much one person can do. It is very, very important to remember that, so you're able to do at least some things instead of melting into an anxious, ineffective puddle.

Another thing is that anxious/angry tweets/posts/whatevers can feel like personal attacks. Why aren't you fixing this?! You, right there?! It can feel this way even when you, the reader, know that those posts are coming from places of terrible dread and fear. Again, there's only so much one person can do, and sometimes to be able to do anything, you have to protect yourself.

So, things I actually did this weekend:

1. Hung out with a friend to give her support - we did brunch and, later, dinner followed by rolled ice cream. Green tea ice cream with an oreo ("The Hulk") is bliss.
2. Attended a film and spoken-word and song event about the 1985 police atrocity against the MOVE organization and the 2012 Philadelphia school crisis, showing support for this kind of event, and appreciation and support for the performers, some of whom were kids.
3. Wrote a book review, supporting Art.
4. Hung out with Ms. 9; talked about why some kids might not like school (she is not one of them), admired her growing acrobatic strength, and cuddled her on the couch while watching Teen Titans Go!
5. Culturally enlightened Ms. 13 and her bestie about Rainbow Goths.

These were good things, and I did them.