webcowgirl: (Theater)
I know I am just a very sad sack but I'm excited that my review of the ballet The Blue God caused my site to experience the second highest number of hits ever: 511 yesterday! I completely savaged it as, well, it was bad, and in a sloppy rather than a camp way. It was also a letdown as it was supposed to be a recreation of the Ballets Russes performance but the only thing it really had was the set and costume - not even the music. Bah. It was a raging let down. On a positive note, this makes yesterday's blog hits second only to the day I gave Carlos Acosta a dressing down (811) that beat all the majors to the press; the third day is still Tuesday, May 25, 2010, when I had 493 hits.

I also had a very enthused review of the Little Angel Theater's The Tempest, which wasn't so much "The Tempest as performed by puppets" but "The Tempest with the two magical creatures performed as puppets and the rest done by top-class Royal Shakespeare Company actors." It was just fantastic. But no one is really reading that one, so I'm telling you again here, it's great and at only £12 a real steal.

Yesterday after work (already forgotten) I went to Pilates with Alison up north, which was great fun, then headed down south the Vauxhall tavern to meet J and [livejournal.com profile] lovelybug for some drawing at the Dr Sketchy event. Our models were both stunningly gorgeous; one looked like Anna Mae Wong, the other like she'd stepped out of a Paul Gaugin painting. It was a really good evening and hard to believe it constituted "hump day" since it all seemed to be going up."
webcowgirl: (flower)
This has been, I think, a very successful weekend, despite my being stood up on Friday night. Yesterday Sophie (a game designer I met on Twitter) came over a bit before lunch and got to work in my garden; she's missing hers and has become an "itinerant gardener" paid in the fine salary of home made lunches. [livejournal.com profile] wechsler showed up just in time for the stacked enchiladas I made; afterward we "dug back in" and just ripped through six months of weedy and brushy growth. The weeds are really knocked out now, and I think the hazels are finally done for; perhaps I'll actually have some luck growing dahlias this year. Then it was time for tea and crumpets and warming up - it was very cold all day - and Sophie went home and [livejournal.com profile] wechsler and I went out for some nice curry. Really, exactly what I'd be hoping my life here would be like, loving my house with its garden and feeling very homey and centered - the total opposite of how I felt last weekend when work was driving me crazy.

I just barely managed to get my review of Northern Ballet's Cleopatra (the ballet, which I kind of think [livejournal.com profile] robot_mel might like as it's pretty close to the actual history, so keep in mind for May when it's at Sadler's Wells) done before Sophie showed up, but I'm still behind two reviews, one for the butoh thing and one for the puppet show I saw last Sunday. But really, what I need to do is clean my house, as I won't be here for most of the next three weekends, go to Amy's house for the stich 'n bitch, timing it just right to hit the Ritzy in Brixton for the King's Speech. And then go out to dinner. I don't really see how the writing is going to happen at this rate. Solution? Nap. The shows have both closed anyway and I need the sleep.
webcowgirl: (Default)
I was thinking of making a resolution that I wouldn't blog until I'd written a short story, kind of as a push to get myself to write a short story, kind of because, well, I've really never written any fiction before. But I didn't think that was right, to stop blogging altogether, as, well, how much time do I really spend doing this? It seems like it's very little. But I did actually spend time writing a short story (!) tonight. I think I can do this because I already know how it ends: it's a dream I had two nights ago, and it seemed like a perfect fairy-tale length type story. Hopefully I won't lose the voice and I'll get it finished; it shouldn't take long.

Meanwhile I went completely bat-shit wild on my theater blog and did three posts yesterday.
One of them was the predictable "this is what I saw and loved in 2010" post; one of them was "this is what people saw and loved on my blog in 2010" (with tips on what seems to drive traffic to a theater blog - summary: people are cheap); and finally a preview for a big ballet week that's happening in April, a "Diaghilev festival" that promises opportunities to see ballets I've only ever seen pictures of before. Yes, I am very excited about this; who hasn't seen and drooled over that famous picture of Nijinski as the Faun?

Okay, well, maybe not all of you but I sure have. Anyway, I had to write about it, in part because I need to see if I can find some people to go with me, in part because I wanted to know if it would be worth the money given I hadn't heard of any of the dancers or the troupe that's performing. And that's some writing I just couldn't put off.

In other news: I'm still sick, [livejournal.com profile] wechsler is still here recovering from surgery, and after a week and a half absence [livejournal.com profile] theta_g is back under the roof, too. We'll be back to a two person household tomorrow. And hey, January: I have no idea what to expect, but I'd really like to start out with a finished short story.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Oh, what a lazy, lazy Saturday I am having. I have [livejournal.com profile] wechsler over to keep me company while I potter around the house; it was supposed to be a "go take an autumnal walk in Richmond Park" day, but the "heavy showers" forecast caused us to reschedule it in favor of "stay dry and don't do much." I fed him the leftover Moroccan chicken stew I made at [livejournal.com profile] booklectic's Thursday night; he seemed happy with it. God knows it held up nicely!

Cruelty abounds in the presentation of the Thursday Metro "style" edition: I didn't need to be pointed to a 135 quid dress that's perfect for me, but there it was. Hurray, red is in, but what I need is more green. I also liked this bracelet, but, well, trip to Inverness next weekend, it's no time to be blowing money now.

Last night was a really quality evening of ballet, a super strong mixed bill that I haven't bothered to write up yet. I went with [livejournal.com profile] mable_morgan, who has got to be one of my favorite people to go see ballet with ever. We had a good catch up about our lives and promised that we _had_ to hang out before Christmas. Sadly, she doesn't like panto, so we'll have to find something else to go see. Maybe Cinderella at Sadler's Wells would be the ticket.

URGH what can I say about the rest of the week? I managed to have dinner with [livejournal.com profile] trish_piglet and [livejournal.com profile] babysimon on Wednesday after Pilates, which was great, then I had my last Thursday night at [livejournal.com profile] booklectic's on Thursday - really, all of this time with people during the week is good for me. Work carries on in a state of turmoil, but hopefully my quiet weekend will help restore my sense of self - provided you understand that by "quiet" I mean one ballet, one play, one movie, and bookclub with [livejournal.com profile] robot_mel and [livejournal.com profile] beluosus tomorrow! I have probably 80 more pages of Lady Chatterley's Lover to read, but I cracked open Pursuit of Love and will have to exert strong discipline to get my focus back.
webcowgirl: (Travel)
My last day in New York went pretty fast. I went by my brother-in-law's for brunch: he of course didn't hear his bell ring & left me on the doorstep panicking. I then went to the restaurant thinking he'd be there. He wasn't, but they let me use their phone, and I called him (waking him up I think) and he came over. Breakfast was good (pancakes & bacon); afterwards I went to his apartment to BS for a while & pick up the crap I'd had shipped there. The 2 new pairs of boots & shoes looked great (I'm wearing the shoes now); Sierra Trading Post rocks! On the other hand, Skirt Sports screwed up and sent me a plain red shirt instead of one with dragons on it. Fail.

Bizarrely, BIL's parting to me was, "Safe flight and have a nice life." It was kind of grim and dispiriting. Thanks, Jeff, no need for me to ever see you again either if that's how you want things to be.

Then it was back to [livejournal.com profile] koaloha's to deposit my ill-gotten gains (let's not forget the bagels!) and then head to Leia's. She was done with hanging with her mom for the now and came across the street to sit in the cool outdoor bar and drink vodka lemonade with me in the obscenely pleasant Indian Summer sunshine while little plates of food came by our picnic table. It was really a great visit: highlight - she asked me, "How are you really doing?" No one really seems to ask me that ever, probably because they don't want to hear the answer; given the freedom to speak, I seriously unloaded. Hell, she and I might not see each other for another two years: you have to build the bonds when you have the opportunity. I left feeling much better than I did earlier. It was nice. It's good to have friends that you know are out there for you even if they can't be in the same place as you.

Then it was back to K's with a slight detour (AHEM) through Target to see if I could find an appropriate T-shirt for [livejournal.com profile] robotmel (grey with bats or black with silver cobwebs?-your choice) and a box of Count Chocula for [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy. Then I repacked and reweighed my suitcases, just skidding below the 50 pound max for Big Red, and headed to the airport via the Long Island Railroad and Air Train.

After that everything went like clockwork, including a lovely 5 hour snooze on the plane and an otherwise unremarkable flight and arrival. When I landed, I got my first text about the reorg from my wingman; my second came an hour later, as I headed from Hammersmith underground on the Picadilly: there were no job losses in my team, not one. In retrospect, as I came back to the kicked pile of ants that is Il Postino this week, I discovered 23% losses across the board and some job groups in which 50 people are going for 35 jobs. I've felt embarassed about going around talking up my team to various groups over the last year, like it's the kind of work that only a useless tick would do; but now I feel like I must have done something right, because all my little chickens are safe in the henhouse, every single one. It's a huge relief.

I should write more about the week since I've been back, but it's really been so busy I haven't (and don't) have time, but I can say this: Pilates twice, ballet once (Birmingham Royal Ballet's Romeo and Juliet), dinner with (kinda mentally messed up) team last night, dinner for [livejournal.com profile] dr_d tonight. I'm also showing a potential short-term tenant the house tonight and hoping he'll say yes. Meanwhile I'm backlogged on reviews: I wrote up The Scottsboro Boys (new Kander and Ebb!) while I was on the plane, but I still haven't got around to Time Stands Still. Someday, someday.
webcowgirl: (Darger)
Oh, I was a happy, happy girl sleeping until nearly 11 o'clock today, straight through my hostess's departure and well beyond, as I was a bad girl and did not go to bed until 2 last night. Such pain and no actual theater blogging was done! I wound up having to hustle my ass to get out to the Folk Art Museum, though (skipping breakfast altogether - I wound up getting a Philly cheese steak at a food truck near Rockefeller Center), as I had a 2:30 Date With Destiny (or rather with [livejournal.com profile] koaloha).

The Darger exhibit (my icon is a picture by him) itself was quite small, and I actually was kinda aggravated by the captions. So much of what they had to say was based on the authors' trying to interpret Darger's emotions about his life: "he liked little girls because he wanted to have a family" "these were very sad because he was a lonely man" "he collected art because ..." I mean, really, they had NO IDEA how he really felt about anything - none of these people knew him personally, as near as I know the only person who has ever been interviewed and even kind of knew him was his landlord, and I'm positive he did not talk to her about being traumatized by being orphaned as a child. I also found the entire assertion that he was an "art collector" most spurious. I mean, people put shit up on there walls pretty much everywhere, that does not make them "art collectors." (Hmm, maybe I should go back and come up with my own ideas about the works and possessions of his on display - the Folk Art museum runs a scholarly stipend to study Darger and I could probably say more than these people.) He did, however, make collages and then frame and hang them, and they were cool. There were also two or three full panels of his Vivian girls work on display, and they were most enjoyable, especially as they had some of the source work also on the walls.

The rest of the museum was: two floors of quilts (I liked the hollyhocks quilts but this is not my area of enthusiasm); a floor of representations of people: and ... hmm, carved duck decoys, weathervanes, etc. I blazed through the gift shop and then ran over to my hotel; they did have my computer plug there. Then it was BLAZE BLAZE up to Lincoln Center. I arrived 10 minutes late but all was well and I got a tour backstage at the Koch Theater. Highlight was seeing Ashley Bouder rehearse; lowlight was ... well, there wasn't one, really, and as an extra prize I got a pair of tickets to Saturday's matinee. Yay!

Afterwards [livejournal.com profile] koaloha and I went to Old John's Luncheonette, where she had a salad and a burger and I had a slice of real New York cheesecake. And a vanilla shake. Yum. Then she headed out and I went to the Barnes & Noble to kill time before the show (and get the new William Gibson book, 50% off hardcover) and have a cup of tea. 6:30 and back to the Koch, where my brother in law appeared fairly close to time, then in for the show. It was only a two hour deal as it was the big gala, with all sorts of folks in fancy clothes and paparazzi to take pictures of them; sadly, the dances were kind of dumbed down to suit them (in my opinion). I enjoyed Balanchine's "Tarantella" and "Western Symphony" but could have skipped the first two pieces.

The good news about it being done by 9 (in time for the suits to have some kind of fancy hoo-hah after the show) was that it left us time to go have dinner in Chinatown: Congee Palace, here we come! I was unable to resist a $5 lychee martini on top of my also very cheap dinner. We had a good visit then headed back to Brooklyn for the evening. So overall, a good day!
webcowgirl: (Travel)
Today was another blazing day. I was still in a bad mood about being stood up by my brother in law and worried that maybe everyone was going to start blowing me off, but after breakfast I finally got L (current Shadow mom) on the phone and things set up for the evening and WHEW not everyone is willing to blow me off with four hours notice, after the fact.

We attempted to make it to Battery Park but trains were working against us, and it seemed like we'd made it only half way there in an hour, so when we surfaced to figure out just how we could make it to the southern tip of the island, suddenly there was the Brooklyn Bridge and the weather was nice so hey, why don't we walk across it? And we did.

We then puttered around in a little park on some former docks (I'm guessing), and by puttering I mean I got ice cream ($3.50 a scoop, ow) and S took photos. Then we decided to not trust to luck and actually leave very early to get to the ballet. We did actually arrive at Lincoln Center half an hour early, which gave us time to find Traviata Pizza and sample its wares (good).

The ballet itself was good - Chaconne seemed both sexless and senza brio, but act two we had the famous and deserving it Ashley Bouder in the Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux, which entirely smoked the rest of the afternoon. I thought it was good to see a whole program of Balanchine, but I was reminded of the Martha Graham company - so much of this stuff they're dancing is so old that the company is in danger of going hopelessly stale.

Then it was off to Brooklyn to see L and of course my beloved Shadow, who apparently had some kind of gland infection and burned through her India trip money getting it sorted. However, this could mean that I see her before so long, so lemons/lemonade. We had some Thai food and then went to the cool bar across the street that had just 6 months ago been an actual operating garage. Home by midnight and ... more tomorrow!
webcowgirl: (Ballet)
I've been doing lots and lots of writing on my blog lately as I've been seeing all sorts of ballet. The Mikhailovsky was in town for two weeks, and I saw their Swan Lake, Cipollino, "Mixed Rep" and Laurencia; now I've moved on to the Bolshoi (who had a week overlap with the Mikhailovsky). The Bolshoi isn't doing nearly as innovative programming but they compensate with tremendous dancers; the performance of Giselle I saw on Monday - well, the dancing of the character Giselle - was truly amazing. It got me all motivated to go and see Le Corsaire on Tuesday so I could see that Natalia Osipova girl again. What a star! I'm also seeing Spartacus (one of the most hilarious, over the top ballets ever - slaves and crucifixions and orgies, oh my!), on Saturday, while tomorrow I'm planning on seeing the Bolshoi's mixed bill, featuring Petrushka, the ballet about the fucked up puppet.

So yeah, I've been writing reviews like mad, and I haven't even been able to link to them here because, er, I've been going out too much to do any of my diary blogging. Last night I saw yet ANOTHER ballet, one that wasn't even the Bolshoi or the Mikhailovsky: it was the new production by Carlos Acosta, my "dancer of Great Note" since I've been here (and a show I was able to drag [livejournal.com profile] mabel_morgan to, to my pleasure). I'm sort of sad to say that I hated the show, but my anger at the money I wasted on my tickets is being tempered by the fantastic traffic it's bringing to my theater reviews blog. Until today, my busiest day had been Tuesday, May 25, 2010, when I had 493 visitors; when I checked an hour ago, my blog was already at 464 for the day. And THAT is something worth being happy about - it certainly justifies the effort I made to get my review up before I went to bed.

Meanwhile tonight I'm off to Above the Stag to see "Blink! Twice," a production of great songs from forgotten musicals. I saw their previous show "Blink! And you missed it" and loved it, so I have high hopes for this show (though I know I'd enjoy it more if I had someone to go see with me). Seriously, though, I have been burning the candle at both ends for the last two months and I need to slow down; hopefully an extra round of Pilates next month will help get me to normal levels as the candle has been getting rather short.

Oh yeah, I had a great visit with my uncle in Munich last weekend. He's been really depressed most of the last yeaer; hopefully I can tempt him out of his shell and convince him to spend some more time with me next year, and maybe get him to do some travelling with me.
webcowgirl: (Ballet)
The weekend is rushing away already, no surprise since it's 1 AM here. J was crazy and went out after [livejournal.com profile] lovelybug's birthday do to see a show that started at 11:30 PM. It's called "Hotel Medea" and it takes place on a boat: he wrote it up here if you want to hear what happened. Important note: they were served breakfast.

Me, I'm not one for staying out like that anymore, especially not if I were trapped on a boat and wanting to leave and go sleep. Instead, I got to bed at a fairly decent hour so that I could make it to my 12:30 pre-ballet lunch date on time. Then it was off to Cipollino, a ballet that, believe it or not, is about a class war between fruits and vegetables (my review here). I thought it was a hoot but I'm a bit of a hard-core ballet fan; fortunately I went with another diehard, [livejournal.com profile] _la_mysterieuse, with whom I nattered about good and bad ballet like our lives depended on it for nearly every spare moment we were together. She's a pro-stories, not really liking modern person; I'm a love some stories, hate MacMillan, love a lot of modern type. In between we have Carlos Acosta. Both of us found this article on him rather insulting; worse yet, we agree that neither of us want to see him in modern. Ah well.

Tonight, meanwhile, was a stay at home night, which involved making tacos with [livejournal.com profile] wechsler (who met me at Covent Garden after the show), then playing some Carcasonne and watching a David Attenborough video on amphibians. Then he went home and I stayed up late writing my ballet review (i.e. until now). Why do I do this when I'm probably never going to get anywhere professionally with these things? Ah well, tomorrow I'll have two of them to write, since I'm going to the 3 PM mixed rep by the same company I saw today - oh, but wait, I'm going to a rock concert (Os Mutantes to be specific) for my evening show. Whew, what a relief, and I bet I can get it all written up in between the shows and then get to bed at a sensible time.
webcowgirl: (Ballet)
So apparently there are three great Russian ballet companies - the Bolshoi, the Kirov (possibly also known as the Marinsky?) and the Mikhailovsky. Anyway, two of them are in town this summer, and I went with A to see the opening night of their season last night - unsurprisingly, Swan Lake. My review is here, but you can kind of guess what I thought of it if you know I nicknamed it "Escape from the Black Cockatoo."

There are a few different endings to Swan Lake, and last night's was the worst of them. It all boils down to this: Odette is not a tragic heroine if she doesn't die. That's all there is to it. Siegfried, he deserves to die, but for Odette not to die is like having Romeo and Juliet live.

Ah well, we had great seats and the orchestra played beautifully, but sometimes that's just not enough.
webcowgirl: (Default)
It's been a busy week for shows, despite spending Wednesday night in Chesterfield. I've got reviews up now for "All My Sons" (Tuesday night) and "Dream of the Dog" (Thursday night); in some ways they were very different (America family drama circa 1947 versus South African white vs black confrontation circa 2010): but structurally they were very similar. And then last night I went to Above the Stag (with [livejournal.com profile] booklectic and [livejournal.com profile] dr_d as well as [livejournal.com profile] shadowdaddy and Andrew) to see the all-male "Dangerous" (a modern day "Dangerous Liaisons"), which was another kettle of fish altogether and which I haven't quite managed to review yet. Soon, though, and it had better be really soon, because I have another play tomorrow night and I need to Get On The Horse.

Tonight was "unbirthday cards unparty," which meant about five people were over, 2 for hardcore cards from earlyish and then four for dinner and cards and chatting and (as it turned out) charades and it was all a really good time.

Last night was also a good time with the play but a special star was seeing [livejournal.com profile] koaloha for dinner. When people talk about social networking I think they are talking about making money and getting jobs but for me it's all about people and god damned if I don't use this damned blogging and chat and Twitter shit to help me make real friends in real life. [livejournal.com profile] koaloha I met through an LJ post from probably 8 years back about singing showtunes on the subway, and yet years and years later (in fact 2 Christmases ago) I turned this into meeting her in real life and it was great, she was all of the wonderful person I might have guessed but even better in person because there were another thousand stories there waiting to be told, even though she seems like she's really a bit shy. And now I have an invite to come back and see her, me, visit, her, in New York, this October, and you know what, goddammit, I'm gonna buy me a ticket next month and this is going to happen. And she said some stuff about me looking like I've really got my life pretty sorted and I'm doing well and that, well, that made me feel good in a way that's going to last me all week long. Me, I'm almost 43 years old, and my life has really turned upside down in the last six months, but someone who's seen me at both the nadir and now, she says I'm doing alright. That makes me feel good. See you all on the flip side.
webcowgirl: (Ballet)
Well, I've been doing a poor job of seeing less shows this year, as I've actually seen ten more as of today than I had this time last year. Pathetic showing. I blame [livejournal.com profile] wechsler, after all, if we were hanging out more I'd have less reason to be hiding out in a theater night after night. Worse yet, I could be at home surfing the web for Alice in Wonderland earrings. Totally need these like a hole in my head, but that's why I have two, right, to hang the earrings from. Hurry back from France, [livejournal.com profile] wechsler, my impulse control is weak right now.

Eh. Well, I've been very social this weekend, going to see the all-male Pirates of Penzance not just with Amy (whom we'd just spent a week with in Italy) but also Chantal whom I'd met from Twitter and my old coworker Cate. Somehow it all wound up running long and we didn't get back home until midnight. That wasn't about the show, of course, it was all about the gossiping and catching up.

Saturday was rather a quick rush out the door after breakfast to make a 12:30 showing of Cinderella at the Royal Opera House (I've been writing it up tonight and just finished it.) It made me wish that PNB would take on a few shows from abroad: I'm sure the Seattle audiences would eat this up. I sure did.

Afterwards it was off to Bou Tea (just down the road from the ballet!) for another stab at their delicious tea menu, then off for a round of rarely possible Saturday afternoon shopping, which led to new jammies & undies (M&S), groceries (Tesco), bread (Paul), and contact lens solution (Superdrug). I know, almost too exciting for words, but it was great to have so many of these stores so close together, basically between the ROH and the tube, and to actually have them all OPEN.

Then home and a wonderful [livejournal.com profile] dreamsewing came over for tacos. We fiddled and chatted and ate and (yay!) bought tickets to go to Madrid in June, then finally got off of our tails and went to Chez Blondes for further socializing. Somehow we stayed until almost midnight, then dragged ourselves back home for a rather too-late bedtime.

Morning and I was making French toast with yonder bread from Paul. M headed off after breakfast, while I got to work on cleaning house and self prior to yet another ballet engagement. J showed up with groceries while I was in the shower, and we then headed off to Bou Tea again, where we met [livejournal.com profile] mabel_morgan, Amy (again) and her cousin (who'd house-sat for us and needed to return the keys, which I do really hope I put in my bag). Then we went to ENO to see Ballet Nacional de Cuba, which wasn't entirely rocking it for today's show, but we loved our dress circle seats (an unusual extravagance for me) and the second act really picked up.

Theatrical irritations of the weekend: 1) girl singing along with "Modern Major General" at Wilton's Music Hall 2) child singing along with the violin during a rather emotional selection from Swan Lake. Okay, awesome that the kid knew the music that well, but FOR CHRIST'S SAKE I could hear him from across the freaking hall STUFF A SOCK IN IT.

Home then and cooked Moroccan chicken with less success than my first go back at [livejournal.com profile] wechsler's flat three years ago (what am I doing wrong?), but the leftovers will serve us well during the week. And now it's 10:30 and really time to go to bed. Should I bother reviewing the Ballet Nacional show? Probably not, as it's now over. Pilates tomorrow and bed VERY soon tonight.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Sunday's big deal was going to see Paris, a "Lost Musical" by Cole Porter getting a staged revival (see my review for the details) at Sadler's Wells. It was really great fun, as silly a show as you could please, with snappy dialogue and good to great songs. I didn't even mind that it was three acts - time seemed to fly! I'll have to go to the next one with [livejournal.com profile] booklectic if she can manage it.

Yesterday was Plow Through Boring Personnel Stuff at work (complete with great quote I'll have to share later), followed by Korean food and then a trip to the Peacock (Sadler's Wells southern outpost) to see a night inspired by Diaghilev - yes, again, as half of the dances were pulled from the original Diaghilev night Sadler's Wells did back in September. Thankfully, they did the best piece from that evening ("Afterlight"), and we got a new Wayne MacGregor to boot, so it was well worth the five quid ticket price (and the community dance pieces weren't all that bad). In fact, it was so well worth it that we left after "Afterlight," the better to get home and get a good night's sleep. I ruined the effect, though, by staying up late writing my Paris review. I've been out 14 nights in a row as of last night and have three more nights to go before I "take it easy" by going to Sicily; this going out and then writing about it lark is kind of wearing me out. If only work was less busy and I could spend more time writing there ....
webcowgirl: (Status report)
I did not get my week off to a great start by rushing home from the Nureyev Gala at the ballet only to stay up late writing my review. The event was fun, though I wish it had started on time and the interval had either ended on time or maybe even a little earlier (half an hour is a long time to stand around). I especially like that I got to meet [livejournal.com profile] pimm2005, someone I'd been stalking on Twitter for a while.

I also got my review of Friday night's Macbeth by Cheek By Jowl posted. I'd finished writing it already, but the extra time to post was time I could have spent in bed.

So I started yesterday off a little tired, then proceeded to have it WHOOSH by me. We're doing personnel reviews, and I spent at least three and a half hours working very hard on writing them and talking to people about them. At one point I realized I had no one hanging over me and whipped out a quick but unnecessary overview of the Oliviers, the UK version of the Tonys. The big surprise was that The Mountaintop, a play about Martin Luther King's last night, won best play; I had enjoyed it a lot and was really pleased.

Then it was a quick trip to the gym, discussions about staffing, more reviews, my review, discussions about budget, and WHEW it was 5 PM and I had a special triage meeting for a project I said needed triage meetings. One of the guys in it was so good I went and congratulated him afterwards for skill in being tough with whiny developers. Then it was reviews and a quick visit to the presentation I'm giving today and WHEW there was my phone call from J liberating me.

Off we went to the Pho restaurant for a nice bowl of soup, perfect on the chilly, wet day Monday had somehow turned into. Then it was off to the Barbican for the Magnetic Fields. I hadn't expected that it would be a show with a zither, a cheesy electric piano, a guitar, a cello, and a ukelele, but suddenly the sound of the band made sense. And the lead singer, the man who croons to me with the deepest voice ever used for pop songs, well, he's a man probably in his late 40s who looks like a cabbie. And the music was wonderful.

But still, back home at 11, and tired again today. White Guard tonight at the National; since it's the official opening night, it's starting early. Thank God. I need the sleep.

Oh yeah. Results of three posts in 12 hours? HIGHEST HITS EVER on my theater blog. You know I'm excited about it.
webcowgirl: (Ballet)
So, lessee, it's been a short week for me, since I was out of town on Monday. Tuesday night I stayed out too late to see if the Royal Court's "Cock" was as good as everyone says; the next night I was off to Sadler's Wells with [livejournal.com profile] mabel_morgan to see Carlos Acosta (link is my review). My favorite part of the night was hanging out with her, really; she is such good company and has really clear insight into human nature.

Last night was "stay at home and catch up" night. I left work super early (5:10), came home, cleaned, and roasted a chicken. The house looks ... a wreck still, so I'll be doing Wash Rinse & Repeat before the cocktail party tonight. Meanwhile, J's show opens tonight at the King's Head, so anyone who likes Charles' Dickens, perhaps you should get down there and check it out. They did a nice recovery from having their ceiling collapse on Sunday.

My boss has been gone this week so it's been oddly quiet and productive at work. I want to write about it but it seems like I have hardly any time to be online anymore, especially since blogging is banned at work. (I can do it from my phone but it's really an effort.) I did get asked to present at the local QA conference, though it's only a book review - but still, I'm excited about it. All the way in March ... and it's on my calendar.

I've also got an idea about what I want to do about the Ozu festival at the BFI. If any of you like 1920s-1960s Japanese cinema, let me know, and maybe we can see about going together.
webcowgirl: (Ballet)
Wow! The last act of the Diaghilev tribute I saw in October has been judged so offensive that the BBC won't show it. I am so amused. Here are some quotes:

The BBC has abandoned plans to screen a ballet featuring a deformed Pope who rapes nuns which it had announced as one of the highlights of its Christmas schedule. [I don't know, it would be a highlight of a sort to be sure.]

and

.... the de Frutos sequence climaxes in what has been described as “the most graphic scenes of sex and violence seen on the dance stage”. [This seems like a bit of an exaggeration. Maybe they don't see much modern performance.]

and

De Frutos believes his work would have met with Diaghilev’s approval. He said: “He wasn’t bothered by political correctness. Those were the glory days when people would sleep with you to get a job. And some of the best slept with Diaghilev.”

On my side, the piece was difficult to sit through. On the other hand, I felt like I was watching history being made, and now even more so. It was memorable. It was enthusiastically offensive. It was the baddicle. In some ways, it achieved what it set out to do so very well that I think it put many other merely limp works to shame.
webcowgirl: (Ballet)
Last night we had a great night at Sadler's Wells watching Birmingham Royal Ballet's Cyrano. It was really just insanely fun - I mean, sword fights and a baguette dance in a bakery and even a full-on battle scene! The dancing was good and the dancers totally won me over with their acting - I got sniffly twice. Anyway, the link above is my full review, and if you're even the least bit interested, I've included a link for half priced tickets in the review.
webcowgirl: (HotTomato)
So Monday night was work then Habit of Art at the National Theater (the new play by Alan Bennett); last night was work then Birmingham Royal Ballet's "Quantum Leaps" program at Sadler's Wells. Man, I love the shows, but the writeups (which is what the links go to) are proving really difficult to do now that I have to (gulp) actually do work while I'm at work. I was even writing up "Habit of Art" while I was at the (2nd) intermission for the ballet last night.

Fortunately, tonight finds me at home, where I've just served [livejournal.com profile] bathtubgin and [livejournal.com profile] lovelybug my pasta with pesto and new potatoes (and cream) that seems so well suited for cold nights (double carb goodness!). I added some kale and squash to make it a little more healthy, then made a flan to ruin the overall effect. Now I'm so full my stomach kind of hurts. God, pesto just makes it impossible to really get my head wrapped around what a portion size should be. Anyway, it's now after 10:30, and I'm going to take my gut and go to sleep. More ballet tomorrow and then again Friday - sleep is for the lazy, I say!
webcowgirl: (Default)
Well, I gotta say, what with working 8:30-6 and eating at my computer so I can read more emails, this job is making it damned hard to keep up with writing about the shows I see, much less having the energy to actually make it in the theater in the first place. Still, I've finished my review of the ballet Mayerling which we saw last night (for 20 quid each courtesy of the Sun), and yesterday's lunch I devoted to writing my Annie Get Your Gun review. I've been shamed in my writing this week both by the West End Whinger's Annie review and Clement Crisp's review of the Scottish Ballet. The Whingers spent far more time being brilliantly funny about what was wrong with Annie; Crisp just shatters me with his concise, perfect words that capture so much better than I can what was happening. I mean, basically, he and I felt the same way about the show, but he expressed it like a Japanese bento box and my review was like country fried steak and gravy ... from the cafeteria.

*sigh*

Anyway, I continue enjoying work, and today I think I made a friend with a guy who's a test manager in a sister company. But mostly I still have too much to do and not enough time in the day and just getting enough sleep is a bit of a challenge. And I'm totally disappointed that this country doesn't have brownies that come and clean your house for a bowl of milk, cause I sure as hell could use some right now and there is plenty of things for the to dig into in the kitchen right now. That said ... must have bed now. [livejournal.com profile] varina8 arrives tomorrow and I will need to be perky for the next ten days. Aaargh!
webcowgirl: (Default)
Dammit, I'm sitting here, two computers fired up, reading the slide show and the original printed article that are the inspiration for the presentation I'm giving tomorrow at the office 2 hours north of London, and I totally don't want to work on it at all. I've napped, I've had a late lunch, and now I'm into serious procrastination mode as I've fired up LJ. Wow, look, I didn't read it for two whole days! Maybe I can find a cheap flight to India for Christmas, that's how I should be spending my time.

I also want to write up "Enron: the Musical," about which I'll say, not much of a musical but wow, a lightsaber fight! I managed to get my review of the Scottish ballet (not a euphemism for Macbeth, I promise) done yesterday through a combination of 1) highly portable laptop with unfortunately undercharged battery and 2) my phone but I don't consider that ideal as I like to be able to put links and such in my reviews and if you can't connect to the web while you're writing this doesn't tend to happen. Still, Enron must wait until later. But why WHY did I say I'd go do this talk tomorrow? AARGH MANAGERIAL DOOOOOOM.

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