Thursday, March 5, 2009

WC: New Review Posted

I've reviewed Happiness at Show Showdown ("I feel that the show has potential. I guess I just can't rule out those bloodlines.")

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

WC: God of Carnage

I've reviewed God of Carnage at Show Showdown ("much of the audience gave the show a standing O--unless they were standing for Tony Soprano, which is completely possible").

Sunday, March 1, 2009

WC: Good TV Shows to Netflix

A friend asked for some recommendations of what TV shows to rent, so I made her a list. I thought it might be of interest to some of you out there.

Some background first: although I own a TV, it is not hooked up to cable or an attenna. For me, it is a DVD-delivery system. As a result, I actually know very little about TV. I've never even seen a reality show.

As a result, I rent DVDs based on other people's suggestions, and the following list includes shows that at least one other person (my sister, a friend, etc) told me to see and that I liked as well. So you're actually getting a few people's recommendations here.
  • The Wire--drug gangs, cops, newspapers, schools--an entire city brilliantly and heartbreakingly depicted. Could be a strong competitor for best show ever. Not an easy show to watch, however.
  • Slings & Arrows--Canadian, three seasons, 6 eps per season, each season following a season of a small theatre group doing Shakespeare--Hamlet, R&J, King Lear. Funny, moving, sexy, smart.
  • Once and Again--newly married couple deals with exes, blended families, etc. Smart, funny, moving, psychologically astute. Unfortunately only 2 seasons are out on DVD. Very well-acted, and everyone is gorgeous, which works both for the show (they're fun to look at) and against it (hard to believe that people that good looking really have problems!)
  • Sports Night--smart office comedy that takes place at a TV sports show.
  • Northern Exposure--Jewish doctor ends up in small town in Alaska.
  • Carnivale--a traveling carnival with people with actual powers, including an ongoing serious fight between good and evil with all sorts of weirdness. Unfortunately, it ended after 2 years, and they had to rush the ending--they really could/should have gone another year.
  • Pushing Daisies--bizarre, unusual comedy about a man who can bring dead people back to life by touching them. Very quirky, very mannered. If it works for you, it's fabulous. If it doesn't, it's painful. It worked for me.
  • Samantha Who--another quirky comedy, this one about a woman coming back from amnesia. She used to be a bitch; now she wants to be nice. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I really like it.
  • Heroes--regular people with superpowers try to save the world. The first season was quite entertaining--I hear the next two kinda suck. But the first season stands alone very nicely.
  • 24: each season covers 24 hours in the life of a, what?, agent, spy, mega-butch-he-knows-everything govt guy. Violent, edgy, fabulous interesting characters, disturbingly pro-torture, addicting. (I've stopped watching, but I admit to quite enjoying a few years of it.)

WC: Obama's First Month in Office

For a really nice summation of everything Obama's done--and hasn't done--so far, see this excellent article by Elizabeth Drew:

The Thirty Days of Barack Obama

WC: Aida Mancillas

I'm sad to say that I only met Aida once, but grateful to say that I met her. In another sense, I can say that I already knew her. When I lived in San Diego, one of my favorite activities was walking across the Vermont Street pedestrian bridge. It wasn't that the bridge had a great view; it spanned a not-particularly-attractive city street. And it wasn't that the bridge was taking me anywhere I wanted to go. It was the bridge itself I liked to visit. Designed by Aida (with Gwen Gomez and Lynn Susholtz), it was full of fun quotations about bridges and about traveling by a range of people of diverse backgrounds (you have to love a multicultural bridge!). The walkway had the definition of the word "bridge" engraved along its length. The bridge was whimsical, smart, open-hearted, and fun--a true reflection of Aida.

During our brief visit, Aida and I talked about the bridge. She showed me the beautiful view from her backyard. We chatted about Andrea, who she adored with her heart and soul. She was lovely and gracious, and I'm very very sad she's gone.

WC: Theatre Reviews

I am now doing theatre reviews--along with a bunch of other people--at Show Showdown.

My two most recent reviews are of La Sonnambula ("a delightful, gorgeously sung and produced confection") and Mabou Mines DollHouse ("with more coups de theatre per half hour than most directors could be expected to produce in a lifetime").

Please stop by.