Sunday, February 10, 2013

Circus Oz at Royce Hall

Circus Oz
So we decided to be the only adults not accompanied by children at the matinee of Circus Oz's From the Ground Up performance at Royce Hall this Saturday.
And we had a fun time.  It's interesting to see a circus that had a narrative through line and repeated motifs.  There was a very interesting piece where the straps were attached to a rope and so there was a pulley relationship between the person on the rope and the person on the straps.  There was also a hilarious bit on skates.  Next week we are off to a magic show, this one for grownups.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Scott Grant 
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

So we had not seen Gustavo Dudamel conduct, and that was something that we needed to change so the beloved did a two-in-one-blow and got us tickets for the Philharmonic's debut of John Adams "The Gospel According to the Other Mary" with Dudamel conducting the Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Chorale. I must say that it was riveting musically and I love watching 100 people on that intimate stage making music. The percussion stands were full of BIG DRUMS and cow bells and all manner of things to make noise, and they did! I spent a lot of time wondering when this or that piece of percussion would get hit, the anticipation was fun. The music was incredible and very moving, though sometimes I felt the texts got in the way of the story. I liked watching the chorus too, they wore black and had notebooks of white pages like doves flying across them when they sang. However, reading the review of the show in The New Yorker made me realize what a musical dilettante I am. My reaction to the music was primal and not influenced by references to "El Nino" or other composers (I love Adam's "Nixon in China" a text I know so well that the Beloved and I have had a running joke for the past 15 years about Madame Mao's aria. But here, in the New Yorker was a knowledgeable opinion about the opera. Who knew all that was going on?
We also went to the Broad a while back to see the Fado singer, Ana Moura. She really has one of the unique voices of the 21st century, and hearing her in person made me realize how recording can dull a resonant spark. Her voice was so much warmer and powerful in person. The other person who I think has a one of the great voices of the 21st Century is Concha Buika, the flamenco singer, and I must make a point of getting tickets the next time she is in town, no matter how expensive.
Finally, I was in the Kinetic Theory Student Cabaret and Stephanie put a really quick little video montage of the three shows up on YouTube. I have about 10 seconds in it, which you can see here, I'm on a trapeze with red tights - spinning and prancing. I'm the only one on the trapeze with red tights but if you clink you'll miss the cuts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

Well I just haven't written in a while. But I must talk about The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz. However I must also mention that this spring I went to see Cavallia (which should come with a parental warning label: Do not bring your tween daughters to this show unless you can fork out for a pony) and it snowed in LA while we were in the tent. Otherwise it was a typical Cirque show - a big marshmallow of a spectacle but nothing that sticks to your ribs. But horses, how can you go wrong? We also saw Mark Morris' Allegro at the music center. It was wonderful, a lovely, witty pastoral. At one moment the tallest female dancer (who was tall) and the smallest female dancer (who was a real shrimp) walked diagonally across the stage, tall one leading, holding hands like a mother and child. And two men came and lifted the smaller dancer up in the air so she became a lost balloon, floating away. Lovely images, the part where the men danced together and then slapped one another elaborating on male attraction and homophobia, the fox hunt. All lovely.

However, Chad Diety is just a blow away event. It's really one of the best things I've seen in ages.

It touches on a lot of the things I find important in art - how do you tell a story within the confines of the art form you are using? Set in the world of Wrestling, a male version of the soap opera (did I say that? Yes I did! Take that guys!) that tells jingoistic stories of humiliation, defeat and victory. But our protagonist, a Puerto Rican from the Bronx, Macedonio Guerra wants to tell a different story about America. A story where people collaborate to put on a show - because Macdeonio is the guy in wrestling who is an actual wrestler who job it is is to make the bigger beefcake guys who can't wrestle look good. And the beefcake - Chad Deity, who is the wrestling star attraction - is supposed to make sure that the other guy doesn't get hurt. This collaboration is the hidden heart of the wrestling world. You have to be really good to make the other guy look good while you are getting beaten up. It was a fascinating look at who is telling the story.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Does this X-Ray Make me Look Fat?

So I really don't spend a lot of time worrying about my health or searching the web for my symptoms. I know that I am not a medical professional and so I don't like to diagnose myself. And I really like the fact that lately a lot of my medical imaging is getting digitized. I banged up my shoulder pretty awful last October and my chiropractor (after forbidding me to be on the trapeze) decided that this had gone on a little too long and so ordered me to have a shoulder X-Ray. And Tony, the X-ray tech handed me a CD of my pix. So I just popped this CD into my computer and had a total melt down. Um - no wonder my shoulder hurts I appear to have some random flecks of debris in my side. But how do I google this? It looks like I have sprinkles in my shoulder. Could it be the dreaded Cupcake form of arthritis? Maybe it's the frozen banana sclerotic disease? I would love to know what the hell these things are. And I have no idea how to search for this.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


So we went to the horse show, Cavalia, and it was spectacular. Literally a spectacle. There was some sort of theme about horses and mankind, but you couldn't really tell because there were horses! And Acrobats! And Aerialists! And trick riders! And magic vanishing ponds and trampolines!

It was a spectacle, and I saw it. And I never need to see it again. Once is enough in some senses and this is one of them.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh Dear Where has the time gone?

So I keep on meaning to write a billion blogs on lots of topics with my usual acerbic wit and charm. But then I can't face turning on the computer to do fun stuff after being on the computer all day long.

However, I did mean to use this blog to write about the shows and stuff that I have seen so that I could remember what it was I saw. So instead of talking about Egypt or the fascinating article on how Texas has the worst schools and the highest teen pregnancy rate and how they only do abstinence sex education so there are just going to be more and more kids in Texas getting bad educations and pregnant which you know, won't help the fiscal problems of Texas. But no, I need to talk about Hair.

Hair Hair Hair Hair Hair Hair Hair Hair long beautiful Hair.

We saw Hair at the Pantages in Hollywood and it was a very, very fun show. The beloved C and the sister-out-law had seen Hair about 7 or 8 times when they were 6 and 7 so it was sort of a family nostalgia event that the sister-out-law organized.

Very fun show, very anti-war, lots of good tunes. Lots of very athletic dancing and at the end there is a "love in" of audience participation dancing and you would think the actors would be tired and want to stop dancing but there's another 20 minutes of applause audience participation dancing at the end. I suppose to make up for the fact that Claude dies. Yes, Claude gets killed in Vietnam. And we see the body. Unlike today's wars where we weren't allowed to. You barely know that people, our troops are dying and getting blown up. Hmmm. Hair was rather topical.
And much better than the Music Man, a show that the father-out-law once was nice enough to take me to which I thought was a misogynist piece of crap with some okay tunes. I've been humming Carbon Monoxide ever since. And very moving at the end.

We also, like a gazillion years ago in November saw Dengue Fever perform live during a screening of the classic "Lost World." Lost World really sets up the classic narrative arc of the white (British) folks exploring the unknown (Africa, Asia, South America) finding some strange beast (Tarzan, Dinosaurs, King Kong) and bringing them back to civilization and bad things happen. For example in this film they bring back a poor brontosaurus to jolly old London and it is hungry and confused and wants to find some greenery and so it just trashes London (this is a silent film obviously and it's before King Kong and Godzilla, but it is a very good large animal trashes city sequence) trying to find something to eat. The animation is so incredible you really felt the pathos of the brontosaurus and when it finally went off of London Bridge you hoped it would be able to swim back to South America.
Dengue Fever of course was totally awesome. They're one of my favorite bands.

Finally we went to LACMA and did not get stuck in the BCAM Barbara Krueger elevator.
We saw the exhibit "India's Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow" and since I know squat about the subject I actually read the signs. It was really fascinating. One thing I've always wondered about some Persian and Indian paintings, is about the buildings. The paintings have the flatness common to paintings that are not using 3 point perspective (or Renaissance Perspective) so things stack up in these novel ways and I could never quite tell what the buildings were like. They seemed to be endless, with patios and courtyards and arched walkways and second and third stories with large balconies. And I couldn't figure it out. Well there is an entire room where they have reproduced a large panorama of the city taken in the 19th Century of the palace (or the ruins of the palace) and holy cow! There are courtyards and colonnades and arches and open air patios and gazebos and it is endless. The palace goes on forever. So that answered that question.

The other thing this exhibit had was a painting from 1860 or so, and I guess I should say that Lucknow was primarily an Islamic city, but there was a painting of Mohamed lying on a bed with the Angel Gabriel. Which you know, sort of blew my mind in a whole bunch of ways.