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No, my dear readers, I didn’t run off to Canada to get married to Ryan Reynolds (yes, People’s Sexiest Man Alive is indeed Canadian, but he’s already taken by that wench, ScarJo…grrr!).  I was super busy with my day job flying all over the country beginning in late October, and then I went off and racked up more airline points in Asia to do the same meetings over there during the past couple of weeks.  I haven’t been in the Asia-Pacific region, where I grew up, for more than a decade, so there was a lot of exhilaration but also quite a palpable sense of dislocation on my part.  More on that in a later blog post. But now I’m back (and un-glamorously jet-lagged) in the frozen tundra that is Chicago in December, and I promise to catch up on all the blogging I’ve missed the past couple of months.  On the theater front, I’ll be catching two major openings in the coming week:  Steppenwolf Theatre’s hotly anticipated mounting of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with acclaimed ensemble members Amy Morton and Tracy Letts in the roles Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton infamously made their own, and the Hypocrites’ tantalizing production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, directed by Artistic Director and Chicago treasure Sean Graney. I’m also planning to catch several plays that opened while I was away:  Backstage Theater Company’s Memory, XIII Pocket’s Cash, and the Artistic Home’s Sweet Bird of Youth (allegedly being brought to Broadway next year by Chicago director David Cromer, with Nicole Kidman, her forehead, and the new object of my and the country’s lustful obsession, James Franco).  Oscar season is also in full swing, so it’s also the time of year when I catch up on my Oscar hopefuls.  I’ll be traipsing along to The Black Swan, Daren Aronofsky’s All About Eve-in-tutus opus and 127 Hours, or the amount of time I want to spend in a hot tub with James Franco, oh, oops, wrong subtitle.  I need to still write about  David Fincher’s The Social Network, my current bet to lead the Oscar nominations, and about two wonderful books that recently came out about the Philippines, it’s culture, it’s people, and it’s psychology – Miguel Syjuco’s emotionally conflicted Illustrado and Rafe Bartholomew’s exciting, intriguing look at the Filipinos’ national obsession with basketball, Pacific Rims.  Did you guys miss me?

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