Fool’s Gold

Film No Comments »

Payback is hell, as they say.  So after living a normal 9 to 5 work life for the past six months (the first time it happened, I may add, in the seven years I have been with this consulting firm, so I don’t really feel guilty about it) due to the unique business circumstances of my last client, I got thrown into a crazy role late last week, where I am managing work and resources 14 hours ahead of me in the central timezone. The first casualty of the heinously sucky life I will be living the next four weeks is the Golden Globes press conference.  Yes, it was a press conference with, ahmm, Mary Hart in one of her trademark matronly sack dresses, versus a dazzling, couture-studded awards show with Angeline Jolie, but I still felt bad missing it due to being stuck on a two hour conference call Sunday night.  It’s still the Golden Globes- the playoffs to the Oscars!  So I hungrily searched for video clips this morning of last night’s press conference, and I nearly gagged on my chocolate croissant.  There was the Beverly Hills Hilton ballroom, with the forlorn-looking white linen-covered banquet tables with their classy floral arrangements….and sitting in some of them were butch-looking women with (gasp) stringy, non-conditioner using hair, and (swoon) wearing corduroy pantsuits, and (what the hell) big-ass nametags! These were journalists?  I thought I was viewing a hidden camera at The Closet after a lesbian softball tournament game!  Where was Helen Thomas when you needed her?  (Thanks Divine Ms. Jennifer M for the reference).  I needed Angelina…and Katherine Heigl…and Amy Adams….hell, I’ll even take Sally Kirkland!!! I felt a pang of sadness for the Golden Globes of old.  Good choice though in the movie categories.  I think Daniel Day Lewis, Johnny Depp, Julie Christie, and Marion Cotillard, who won in the acting categories, are locks for Oscar nominations.  Javier Bardem might as well be drafting a speech for Oscar night (well, if it doesn’t turn into a press conference).  My greatest delight though was in the win of Cate Blanchett as Best Supporting Actress as one of the Bob Dylans in I’m Not There.  I think it is one of the most sensational performances from recent memory, and I’m glad she finally got some love after Gone Baby Gone‘s Amy Ryan’s unstoppable grand slam with the critics’ awards.  For the complete list of Golden Globe winners, click here.

Loose Ends

Film, Theater 1 Comment »

There’s an interesting post in Kris Vire’s blog Storefront Rebellion about the article in the Chicago Tribune last Friday regarding new year’s resolutions for the casual theater-going folk (and yes, I posted a comment).  I am incensed by the continuous patronizing tone that the Chicago Tribune arts and culture editors adopt towards Chicago audiences.  I mean, recommending Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, staple of South Florida community theaters, as “…something untested, unknown and a bit avant-garde…”?  The play is about as avant-garde as meatloaf on a cafeteria line! One of the things that’s been perturbing me right now is how we Chicagoans still have a ways to go to admit to ourselves proudly and confidently that we live in a cultural capital full of world-class talent and arts experiences (see my August: Osage County post a couple of entries down).  And how can we when our largest circulation newspaper treats us as if we’re just half a generation removed from orangutans?

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More New York Theater

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rock-n-roll-broadway.bmpSo although August:  Osage County was the centerpiece of my recent theater weekend in New York City, I also managed to catch a couple of other much buzzed-about plays.  First up last Thursday night was the off-Broadway production of Red Bull Theater’s Edward the Second, Christopher Marlowe’s classic play about power and politics, in a new version by the late Garland Wright.  Last Saturday afternoon, I was at Rock n’ Roll, Tom Stoppard’s new play imported to Broadway from the West End, about idealism, nationalism, freedom, and yes, rock and roll told through recent Czech history (from the Soviet invasion to Vaclav Havel’s ascension to power).  Although both plays were interesting and for Rock n’ Roll at least, at times dazzling, I still went through stretches of tedium at both when I felt that shopping at Bergdorf Goodman or getting a pedicure were probably more pleasurable than sitting through the play.

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Got the Plains

Theater 2 Comments »

august-osage-county.jpgSo let’s get this out of the way.  As I was entering the Imperial Theatre on W.45thStreet in New York last Friday night to see the Broadway transfer of Steppenwolf Theatre’s August:  Osage County, I stopped in my tracks when I saw the dreaded announcement indicating that Amy Morton was going to be out of the performance that night, and that her understudy, Dee Pelletier, would be taking on the pivotal role of Barbara, the eldest Weston daughter.  I was gravely disappointed, especially since I was looking forward to seeing Amy re-create her stunning portrayal from the Chicago production, a heady mix of nuanced self-realizations and volatile emotions, going head-to-head with the magnificence of Deanna Dunagan’s performance.  But since I was on a short trip to New York and had other theater scheduled, I sucked in my large gut and decided to just deal with it.  Which was the right thing to do, anyway.   For August: Osage County in New York, as it was in Chicago, and even without Amy Morton (in fairness, I felt Dee Pelletier gave a very good performance), is a galvanizing theatrical event–a masterpiece, really– brimming with ballsy, I-can’t-believe-Tracy-Letts-had-the-guts-to-write-this drama, but also tackling really provocative, intelligent themes around inter-generational differences, the impact of continued national affluence and indifference, and family dysfunction. 

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My Ten Memorable Dining (Including One Drinking) Experiences of 2007

Food 4 Comments »


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