beowabbit: (Me: on Ferris wheel 2012-09-09)
Having a wonderful weekend with [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom. I got to see closing night of the fabulous and very funny Theatre@First production of Twelfth Night. Congratulations to director Ari and to a wonderful cast and crew (including a bunch of excellent actors new to Theatre@First). Then after strike we went to the cast party which was delightful (and yummy, which was good, because I realized on my way out of the house to go see the show that I hadn't had dinner!).

We had to leave a bit early so we could get up this morning early enough to have dim sum with [livejournal.com profile] bitty and [livejournal.com profile] bubblebabble and a bunch of their friends while they’re in town. (We were still half an hour late to that, but we got to see people, which we wouldn’t have managed if we’d stayed up like the party people we wish we were.) Was wonderful to see them!

And then we went and saw a movie. We went to the theater knowing nothing about any of the films that were playing; one was a sequel to something whose original I had at least heard of, even if I hadn’t seen it and hadn’t realized that there was a sequel, and a couple others that I’d vaguely heard of, or whose franchises I’d vaguely heard of, but then [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom noticed that one that was about to start had James Gandolfini in it (in his last lead before he died), so we saw Enough Said, and we loved it! The acting and directing were really good — the dialogue (especially in awkward situations) was very naturalistic, and we left the theater sort of feeling like the characters were a bunch of people we knew. Highly recommended. (And I’m not just saying that because as a middle-aged fat guy I like seeing James Gandolfini as a romantic lead. :-)
beowabbit: (People: Hamlet)
Congratulations to everyone involved in The Baltimore Waltz. It was a great show, funny and poignant. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I are going back to see it next week, and I’m sure we’ll notice lots of things we missed this time around.
beowabbit: (Me: on Ferris wheel 2012-09-09)
Our booth at the Pride Festival. L-R: [livejournal.com profile] imlad, [livejournal.com profile] vanguardcdk, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom (seated), and V. who I don’t think has a LiveJournal. There are more photos here. It was a fabulous success!
beowabbit: (Travel: 1933 Ford)
After the fabulous closing night of Lysistrata and a wonderful birthday party for [livejournal.com profile] surrealestate and DD's darling Tadpole, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I were crossing the street this evening when we were hit by a car. It was making a left turn into the street we were crossing; the driver had probably slowed for the turn but didn't seem to slow at all to avoid hitting us; he did pull over a ways down the block and come back. There were lots of witnesses, among them [livejournal.com profile] anomie666 who happened to be on a bus that was passing and who stayed with us through the whole evening. He is a wonderful person and he deserves a medal and some really good Scotch.

All the emergency vehicles (at least two police cars, a fire truck, an ambulance, and eventually the tow truck to take away the driver's car since he left in other accommodation) had enough flashing colored lights for a Somerville Christmas. We declined the ambulance since we were just a few blocks from the hospital and the paramedics wanted to put us in back and neck braces and that seemed over the top (neither of us had hit our heads or had spine pain). [livejournal.com profile] anomie666 walked with us to the hospital.

The ER experience was quite good; everybody was very nice and we were treated very well. We both got lots of X-rays. I got the brunt of the impact, but I'm just banged up a lot and swollen and bruised. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom has a small fracture in her elbow (a radial head fracture), probably from when she landed. (I was thrown over the hood of the car, into [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom who was also clipped by the car.) They gave her a splint and a sling, which is going to be a hassle for a while. We're both on industrial-strength ibuprofen and I'll be icing for a while. (Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom had some bags of edamame in the freezer. :-)

Well, it wasn't the evening we were expecting, but at least we spent it together. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom, I love you through thick and thin.
beowabbit: (People: Hamlet)
[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I saw Theatre@First’s performance of Lysistrata last night and it was hilarious. John Deschene is a genius. The dance and shadowplay worked incredibly well. The actors are also genii, especially [livejournal.com profile] ladrescher. And the music had me bouncing in my seat and worked perfectly with the show. I didn’t realize this until just now, but there was a lot of stuff that just had to be perfectly timed in order to work, and it all was. Go see it if you haven’t yet. (No complaining that you live in Australia! You have almost a week in order to scrounge up plane tickets and get here.)

Bent

2012-09-15 12:25
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
No time to do it justice, but [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I saw Theatre@First’s production of Bent last night, and it was incredibly powerful and moving and truly spectacular. It’s about gay men in Nazi Berlin and Dachau, and it’s just as intense as you might imagine. The acting was stunning. You may not be able to sit through the whole thing, but you should try.

The New England Theater Geek has a review. If you’re not sure whether you can handle it, Wikipedia has a summary of the plot (with spoilers, of course).
beowabbit: (Misc: spines of old books)
So I finished The Swerve, which I briefly mentioned earlier, about the composition, loss to obscurity, rediscovery, and impact of Lucretius’ Epicurean philosopical poem On the Nature of Things. Utterly loved it. I learned a lot about a lot of periods of history that I didn’t know very much about, and it presented a very convincing account of the rôle of this classical poem, almost lost and really preserved largely by accident, in laying the intellectual foundations for the modern Western world.

One thing that struck me as a 21st-century reader, reading Greenblatt’s exposition of Lucretius’ view of the universe, is just how far you can get by pure speculation, without formally using anything like the scientific method. Lucretius, and Epicurus before him, made up what they thought they knew about the world with nothing like formal experimentation, with no theory-testing, just coming to conclusions based on whatever they happened to observe, plus whatever biases were already in their heads. And to be sure, they got an awful lot laughably wrong from a modern vantage point. Quoting Greenblatt:

Lucretius believed that the sun circled around the earth, and he argued that the sun’s heat and size could hardly be much greater than are perceived by our senses. He thought that works were spontaneously generated from the wet soil, explained lightning as seeds of fire expelled from hollow clouds, and pictured the earth as a menopausal mother exhausted by the effort of so much breeding.
But he also believed that everything in the universe, whether matter we interact with on earth or lights we see in the sky, was made up of tiny indivisible particles; that while physical objects seem solid, those tiny particles probably have space between them,; that they interact, and that while a rock face may be eroded to sand and a human being may decompose to dirt, the tiny indivisible particles (though they may scatter) never change or disappear; and that all these particles were in constant motion, and that their behaviour in aggregate was controlled by random fluctuations, by what we would now call laws of statistics. He believed that living matter was made of the same particles as inanimate matter. He believed that human beings were animals, and that the differences between different kinds of animals were generally matters of degree, rather than kind. He believed that animals develop from other animals, as the random changes (or “swerves”, hence the title of Greenblatt’s book) of the atoms the animal was made up of accumulated into larger changes, and the animals with beneficial changes did better than the animals with detrimental changes, so that the beneficial changes were passed on. He believed that consciousness was a phenomenon produced by physical bodies that could be explained (like everything else in the world) by the incredibly complex interactions of uncountably many tiny particles.

All in all, it strikes me (and Greenblatt) as a startlingly accurate picture of the world for Iron Age philosophers to make up out of their own minds, their haphazard observations of the world around them, and earlier authorities’ writings.



So of course I had to order the Loeb edition of On the Nature of Things. I wish my Latin were good enough to read it in the (particularly difficult, I gather) original, but I’m going to have to content myself with glancing across at the original when I come across a particularly good or interesting passage. (And looking a lot of stuff up.) It’ll be a while till I get to that anyway.

I also recently read Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis 2 (the sequel to Persepolis, which I read a few months ago. Both very highly recommended (and quick reads, of course, being comics). They’re great example of the use of the comic format; there were lots of panels which were very concisely evocative in ways I can’t imagine a pure-text book or a movie being.

And finally, on Friday [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I went back to see Theatre@First’s production of Pride and Prejudice again. And again it rocked (often with laughter). It obviously wasn’t exactly the same this time, but you can basically re-read my opening-night review and not go wrong. Of course, we noticed lots of stuff this time that we’d missed last time. And this time I took a lot of pictures, which hopefully I will eventually get around to posting on Flickr.

Still desperately looking for a renter (or, failing that, a sugar daddy or a winning lottery ticket), but I have a few nibbles this week.

So, full crazy-busy busy life, but largely full of fun.
beowabbit: (Me: swimming at the Ledges)
Just wanted to let you all know I’m still here. :-)

[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I have a busy and fun weekend ahead of us, starting with Pride and Prejudice again tonight and including dinner with [livejournal.com profile] vanguardcdk, his parents, and [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine on Sunday.

And wow, typing this on a touchscreen is a tedious process!
beowabbit: (Misc: spines of old books)
[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I saw Theatre@First’s Pride and Prejudice last night at the Somerville Theatre, and it was spectacular. Go see it if you possibly can. The sheer number of jaw-droppingly outstanding performances was unbelievable. J. Deschene’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh got spontaneous, sustained applause as she flounced off the set after one scene, which she richly deserved. Doug Miller’s Mr. Bennet had a little mime show at one point where he had the audience in stitches without speaking an audible word. Brian Edgar’s conniving vicar Mr. Collins was quite spectacular — you wanted to take a shower after he left the stage. And those were just a few of the highlights; this large show was just chock full of spectacular performances.

The sets and scene-changes were great, too. The sets were very spare, just some furniture and moving panels hinting at walls. And the scene changes happened around the performers, generally as they were delivering lines. You might think that would be distracting, but it wasn’t at all, instead, it made the show flow smoothly, and I think it was an inspired choice.

The sound, the lighting, the costumes, the makeup all were great. But honestly, it was hard to notice them when I was busy being bowled over by the acting.

This was an original adaptation for the stage by director Elizabeth Hunter, and the adaptation itself was an incredible accomplishment. I’d have to go back to the book to figure out what plot points got cut, but the play was true to my memory of the book.

There are three more performances: tonight and next Friday at 8pm, and a matinee next Saturday the 31st at 2pm. Here’s ticket info. If you possibly can, you must go see this play.
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s short play “Dan in the Lion’s Den” has been chosen to be one of the Hovey Players’ summer shorts! I am unsurprised (it’s a great little comedy) but delighted, and so excited to see it! When Theatre@First performed it, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom directed it herself (and ended up changing genders of two of the three characters to match the fabulous actors she cast), so it’ll be exciting to see what another director and cast does with it. I can’t wait!

(The other play I recognized is Chris Lockheardt’s very funny “Not Funny”, which T@F has also done. Judging by the two shorts I’m familiar with, this is going to be a good festival!)

My love also grows delicious cucumbers on her balcony and makes awesome pickles out of them; I just had some.
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I went to Topsfield Fair yesterday, as is our annual custom. It was very crowded this time, but that didn’t impair our enjoyment. In fact, it increased it, because we ran into [livejournal.com profile] urban_faerie_ and [livejournal.com profile] clarity_dog and then [livejournal.com profile] ayelle and [livejournal.com profile] zendzian and [livejournal.com profile] ayelle’s sister (whose LJ name I don’t know), and we all hung out and had a blast (and lots of food, including the world’s best macaroni and cheese and a smoked turkey leg almost as big as my head that I couldn’t finish). We’re thinking about taking a day off work so we can go during the work week next year. (And maybe on a weekend day as well — there’s too much to see in one day.)

Life is very, very good. And suckling piglets are very cute.

It is possible that there will be a few photos if I ever get myself organized to post them.

Also, I have a few people coming to look at the room in the next couple days, so I might stop hemorrhaging money quite so rapidly soon.

Yay!

2011-05-16 23:39
beowabbit: (Default)
Just got home from readthrough for PMRP’s Summer Radio Theatre show (followed by drinks and a nibble with [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom, who is working on another segment of the show, and some other lovely PMRP folks). This is going to be a huge amount of fun!
beowabbit: (Default)
I meant to post this a long long time ago, but life has been crazy. And life is still crazy, so rather than taking the time to write up a post (and not having time for a shower before work), I’m going to quote from here:
I [that’s [livejournal.com profile] dietrich] have a mad plan. This summer, I'm going to direct Shakespeare's As You Like It. Besides the usual awesome actors, clowns, melancholics, cross-dressing leading ladies, wrestling matches and love notes on trees, this production will include SCUL bicycles, burlesque dancers, firespinners, and color-changing LED lights. Yes, we're going for broke on what may be the biggest show Theatre @ First has ever done, by bringing together the fabulous talents of all the fabulous people we know.

Oh, and, we'd like to do it in Seven Hills Park.

Yes, free Shakespeare in the Park for Somerville! And to make it happen, we need support.

I've set up a Kickstarter page with a nifty video and further info about this. Go check it out, and give what you can; we're offering some nifty rewards.
The show is going to happen either way, but if Theatre@First can get enough contributions it will be free and outdoors, and free Shakespeare in the park sounds like a very worthy goal to me!
beowabbit: (Default)
 Lots going on over the last few weeks, and I’m so behind in reporting it that I’m just going to do bullet points, in something approaching reverse chronological order:
  • My beloved honeywuzzle [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom is cooking me eggs and ham and toast for breakfast.  Om nom nom!
  • We saw Despicable Me last night and really enjoyed it.
  • I feel like I’m hitting my groove at the new job, and feeling really good about it.
  • Talked to [livejournal.com profile] bcat1 recently; she and the babies are doing really well.  They’ve started rolling over and are just starting the process of learning to crawl.  My mother [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre is going to visit in August, while papa [livejournal.com profile] spacechicken is visiting family in Canada.
  • The festival went really really well! We sold out most of the nights, which is unusual.  (We usually sell out one or two.)  The cast party was lots of fun, but judging by the scandalous things I’ve been hearing, we may have left a bit too early.  As I posted earlier, I have photos from the show [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom directed up, and hope to get photos of the rest of the shows up soon.
  • Oh, speaking of photos, yesterday after going in to work for an upgrade I took a bunch of photos of the building I work in, also to be posted soon.  Practical it’s not, but it sure is pretty.
  • I love living in Boston.  [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine and I have been going to a series of free outdoor classical concerts.  Now that she’s done with the semester’s classes, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom can join us for some of them.
  • I’m really enjoying the summer, with walks along the river and lots of good outdoor time.  [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I are going to the beach next weekend.
I’ve got loads more to say, but that at least lets you all know that I’m still here and still having fun!
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
I finally got my pictures from “A Nice Danish Boy”, uploaded to Flickr. Here they are. Sorry they’re not cropped and colour-balanced; it took me long enough to get this far.

(For anybody on my Friends list who doesn’t know, this is the short play written by the excellent Mark Harvey Levine that [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom (commissioned! and) directed for Festival@First 7: Shaken Up Shakespeare, performed by [livejournal.com profile] surrealestate, [livejournal.com profile] barumonkey, [livejournal.com profile] saxikath, and Lev. Here’s plumtreeblossom’s post about it.

I’ve got photos from the other shows, too, and they will go up on Flickr as I get time
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
Hi! Apologies as always for being so behind on LiveJournal. I had a post about how wonderful last weekend was mostly composed on the T, and lost it when my phone ran out of battery. But believe me, last weekend was wonderful.

One of the things that’s wonderful about my life these days is [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s show in Theatre@First’s summer one-acts festival. Loads and loads of my friends are involved in the festival, and it’s going to be massive fun, but I’m going to be self-centered and talk just about [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s show, because she is my honeywuzzle and she is directing it, and [livejournal.com profile] surrealestate, who introduced us, is in it (as are [livejournal.com profile] barumonkey, who demonstrated at a recent rehearsal that he can perform the play all by himself, [livejournal.com profile] saxikath, whom [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I have worked with before, and Lev, who is blessed with talent from beyond the grave, but not with an LJ account), and I have been rehearsal-assisting with it.

[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom is directing A Nice Danish Boy, which retells the confrontation between Hamlet and Gertrude with a Jewish twist. It was actually written for her — when “Shaken-up Shakespeare” was chosen as this summer’s festival theme, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom contacted playwright Mark Harvey Levine much of whose very funny work we’ve done before, to ask whether he had anything he thought might be appropriate. He didn’t (other than Shakespeare Lives, which we did when we did a whole festival of his plays in 2007), but he decided he wanted to write one! And it is very funny, and the cast is doing excellent things with it, and you should come see it, and a bunch of other awesome plays as well.

Performances are:
  • Friday, July 16, 8:00pm
  • Saturday, July 17, 8:00pm
  • Sunday, July 18, 3:00pm (note time)
  • Thursday, July 22, 8:00pm
  • Friday, July 23, 8:00pm
  • Saturday, July 24, 8:00pm
and you can either reserve tickets in advance and pay for them at the door, or buy them in advance online (for a $2 additional fee).

The show is at Unity Church on the corner of College Ave and Williams Court in Davis Square.

So [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom is directing world premières two years in a row. :-)
beowabbit: (Me: brain MRI)
So I had my first migraine yesterday. I was very very lucky: it was quite short (only about 40min before it was mostly over), very mild, and it was the kind that does not involve much pain! (I know about those because [livejournal.com profile] sionnagh used to get them. Took years before she learned what they were, since you think of a migraine as involving, you know, a headache.)

Details, of interest to me just because I’d never experienced it before. )

I hope this is not the start of a trend, although if they’re all that mild, it won’t be much of a problem.

Oh, and rehearsal was loads of fun!
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
So some of you may remember that last summer, my darling [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom wrote and directed a short one-act play for Festival@First 6. (I helped a bit with the play itself, and then was on the stage crew for the whole festival.) Juliet’s boyfriend Rich took and edited video (thank you, Rich!), and the play is finally up on YouTube! Yay! It had to be split in two parts because it’s (a couple minutes) over YouTube’s ten-minute limit on individual videos, so here are part 1 and part 2 of Dan in the Lion’s Den, by Mare Freed, as performed at its world premier in Somerville, Massachusetts, by the fabulously talented Juliet Bowler, Kerri Babish, and Lou Lim!

([livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom has also posted these to her journal here, and to [livejournal.com profile] theatreatfirst’s journal here.)
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
(1) I am doing much better. I still have occasional coughing fits (and in fact I pulled a muscle with one this morning), but I'm almost all better. I feel better than I've felt in a couple months.

(2) [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom has absolutely zero voice and can barely whisper, thanks to so much coughing for so long, and she has a bad sore throat (which I had for a couple days and got over), but other than that she is also doing much better. She's got her energy and her appetite back, the coughing is almost gone, and the fever's been gone for a few days. Yay! It's so good to see her up and about and energetic again!

(3) [livejournal.com profile] woodwardiocom has a great post about the many layers of fiction in The Big Broadcast, the show [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I worked on which had such a spectacular run. I hadn't really thought about it until reading his post, but I think those onion-like layers of fiction within fiction are part of why the whole show felt so rich and satisfying. The Thousand Nights and a Night and parts of the Canterbury Tales have similarly deep nesting of stories, and I think there's something about that particular device that's especially good at sucking you in.
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