Friday, November 17, 2017

The Exterminating Angel

Thomas May writes an article called Angel in America for the Metropolitan Opera.

Don't be alarmed.

 This is not Angels in America, but an article on The Exterminating Angel, the Met's NT live performance on Saturday.

The live performance is on Saturday.

I have other things to do, so am going to wait to see it at the Encore.  But if anyone does get there, how about an off-the-cuff review for the rest of us.

It looks fascinating.  You might also enjoy this article from TrendFem.

The Guardian calls it the opera with everything.

I love the MetLive.


Bolshoi Ballet - The Taming of the Shrew

Andrea Mohin/The New York Times
Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov
as Katharina and Petruchio
in the Bolshoi Ballet’s “The Taming of the Shrew”
at the Lincoln Center Festival. CreditAndrea Mohin/The New York Times

Watch a preview of Bolshoi's The Taming of the Shrew featuring Ekaterina Krysanova and Vladislav Lantratov.

The following link should work:

 Preview of the Taming of the Shrew

The music is Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a (arr. R. Barshai from String Quartet No. 8): II. Allegro Molto" de Vladimir Spivakov & Moscow Virtuosi

Judith Mackrell of The Guardian reviews The Taming of the Shrew by the Bolshoi saying "Shakespeare’s problematic play has tripped up choreographers in the past, but Jean-Christophe Maillot’s interpretation is bold and fast-witted".

The New York Times says "In Bolshoi’s Ballet, No Shrew to Tame".  So there is another take on the ballet.

We are going to try to see this performance, Mary, Naomi, Rhiannon and I.

I go out to the web and see bits and pieces of it.  I am so looking forward to see it on the big screen on Sunday.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Follies - Waiting for the Encore

The treat bowl after both girls had filled their purses.

The notebook contains notes to help me ask questions
about the songs and the performers.
We had done everything to get ready for the Follies.

I had done the trip to Dollarama to pick up the treats (white chocolate and plenty of lollipops for Rhiannon).

Mary had purchased flavoured popcorn at work – a fund-raiser, but now it was doing double duty and was on its way with us to the show. 

Mary had popped some kernels at home as well, “I hate that Cineplex popcorn.”  Good to make everyone happy.

I studied the reviews of the show, making up question for the girls to answer: $1 for every correct answer (or any try) up to $10.

When they came home from school, I told the girls the questions and the answers, telling them that when they saw an example of what we had talked about, they should poke their mother and that would be enough to answer the question. For example, if you see the crumbling brick walls of the set, or the castaway props, or the faded red velvet chairs, or even if you know the names of the characters in the show, then you are on your way to making money.

We arrived just in time to get settled in our seats. The theatre was already full so our seats were in the second row from the front. I pulled out the clip in my hair for I had to slip way down in the chair, lean my head against the back of it and then find a place in my progressive tri-focals where I could get a clear image of the screen.

So far, so good.

I settled in to hear an interview with the artistic director of the show, then another with Stephen Sondheim, and then the show began. Having watched a 1987 production on youtube, I found myself comparing that production with this new one – up to the point when we lost the video on the screen, only to get it back without the audio.  This was the beginning of the slippery slope.

By the time we left the show, there were only a handful of people in the theatre still listening to at least the musical score. For us it just wasn’t working without the vocals. Now we have to go back for the Encore, January 20th, 2018.

Still, I was happy walking out of the theatre and down the steps to the car.  I noticed that I was humming and singing clips, like "Hey, up there".  The music so Sondheim.  Probably the interview with him before the show started was worth the price of the ticket, which in the end was refunded to me.

In the meantime, on the way home, we still answered questions about the show so that the girls could earn their money.

And we began to prepare for the Bolshoi Taming of the Shrew ballet which is on Sunday.

As well, we made a small stop at the Golden Arches.

All’s well that ends well.

The view of the kitchen floor as we walked in from the theatre.
The worst part of the evening was walking back in the door and seeing that the dog had spent the night getting into the garbage and licking every last piece of tin foil, plastic wrap and foam carton in there.

 “No, Arta, you can’t help clean it up. It is my dog,” said Mary.

It was me who left the garbage open, but at this time of night, who is going to argue.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Planning Meeting

We are trying hard, very hard, to figure out what we should do tomorrow.

"I think I will just sit on your lap for a while,
mother, while we discuss this."
My take on the day is that we should pretend we are in London, and head off to  the National's Oliver Theatre to see Stephen Sondheim's Follies.

We can do this by going to the local theatre, eating our treats, seeing the show and coming back to the best beds in the world -- those at home.

Mary warns me that her girls aren't big soda drinkers, and they are still recovering from Halloween candy overdose.  So I don't know what there is to do but just go and enjoy the show.

I have not only been immersing myself in the reviews of the show, but I went out to find a youtube version of it, and watched the whole 2 hours, filmed over the shoulder of some patron who was in front of a camrecorder.   That is the way to see the show with the worst sound and colour.  But I couldn't stop myself.

Will Naomi and Rhiannon be able to get up to go to school the next day?  

As a grandmother, I say, thrown caution to the wind, and if no one can get out of bed the next day, who cares -- except that we do have to send Mary off to work.

The four of us have had a grand day today.  Mary told me to buy marbles at the Dollar Store, for Rhiannon wants to play them at recess with her friends.  I think the price was $2.50 for half a pound of marbles.  I bought two bags when one would do.

I asked Rhiannon if she wanted to youtube refresher on how to play the game,  

"You know how to do it, Grandmother, just get playing."

The score was 2 games to one, but I expect tomorrow I will do better.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Antigone at WHP

From Rebecca:

Just got back from Toronto (a workshop with Indigenous documentary film makers and law professors mixed). It was pretty fun!

Click on the link to read the text on the poster.
Last week was the prison symposium  which was amazing.

William Head Penitentiary is the federal minimum security prison (mostly life sentence people but near the end of their sentences).

We have a PhD student who is there (he went in as a 20 year old, and is going to be doing at least 10 years before the possibility of parole…. I think he is about 27 now).

The prison has a society which does theatre in the prison: 37 years of theatre!? It is run by the prisoners, and the public goes in to watch. They just did Antigone
Last year they did a piece where they wrote the play as well as doing all the set, costume, and acting.
So I saw Antigone, and then we went back a week later for a Symposium inside the prison for activists, academics, theatre people, community volunteers, prisoners, prison staff/warden etc. to talk about the past/present/and future of WHOS (William Head On Stage).

It was a full day in the same room, and so inspiring. This theatre company is something really special. It is also totally funded by the prisoners (through a society): they work with community volunteers, but have to raise all their own money for staging, costuming, snacks, etc.

There is no “govt money” that supports this. Nor are the guards paid to do all the overtime necessary for when the public comes in: the prison guards ‘volunteer’ their time.

 None of it would happen if the warden (both present and past) did not have a commitment to let it happen… and the assistant wardens coordinate with management and operations, etc to make sure things can happen.

Really, it is like a strangely fragile flower that somehow has been able to survive for over 35 years. 

Almost impossible to imagine.

 And the theatre work itself is really transformative for the men.

Quite an experience.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Tim's Band at the National Music Centre

This is Tim Oldham's Band at the National Music Centre in Calgary ... and other selected pictures from a fabulous event ...

looking down on the band from the top
 ...Audra in the sound booth with her cousins ...
Zoe at My Regrub
... dancing ...
Sound Booth
... Theresa on drums ...
 ... Regrub Restaurant before the first bite ...
Audra with Fred Penner

Tim said they painted the collapsible wall behind them
 the night before so they  couldn’t open it and play in the music hall. 
They crowded onto the balcony.

A Splendid Moment

From Moiya


I went out to take a picture of what I thought was a splendid moment.

My sunglasses were on because I had a shot in both eyes this morning.

That was about 2 hrs. ago.

Now I went to open this up on my e-mail and come to see that there was even a rainbow out there.

I certainly did not see it until now!


Can¹t wait for all of you to come and enjoy what is all of ours.

Love Moiya