Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saw Absinthe at Spiegelworld in New York. Wow, I was impressed with the performances. I think every act had something to recommend it -- straps, swinger clowns, balloon, skaters, pair balancing, hoops and hand balancing and contortion, duo static trapeze, tumbling, and maybe another one or two that's slipped my mind now. And it was great to be just a couple rows away from the action. I'm definitely keen to go to another show there, even if not this year.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saw New York City Waterfalls by Olafur Eliasson: the one in Brooklyn at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, another between Piers 4 and 5 near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and a fourth on the north shore of Governors Island. I was charmed by the waterfall under the Brooklyn bridge. The other two that I saw just looked like giant scaffolds with water flowing down the side like a big fountain. I suppose the combination of the bridge pier masking the scaffolding, and the juxtaposition of a waterfall under a busy old bridge made that one work for me. Glad I made a point to go.
I (and hundreds of other people) participated in the Improv Everywhere MP3 Experiment 2008 in New York City on Governor's Island. It was lots of fun to see hundreds of other people in red, blue, yellow and green shirts looking knowingly at each other and anticipating a fun bit in the afternoon. I wore my Dartmouth 'GREEN' shirt and got a few smiles and snickers and a few recent- and soon-to-be Dartmouth graduates introduced themselves. The Improv Everywhere site gives good coverage of what the event is actually like, so I won't elaborate on it here. Plus I've only found one picture where I can tell I'm in it.. It's certainly different and fun to be participating/playing/performing/having fun than just reading about it and looking at pictures and imagining it. It was also nice to see Charlie Todd there in the fray.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saw Ka with DK in Las Vegas. I was afraid it would basically be an apparatus/scenery-driven show, but was pleased that it was better than that. In particular, the duo strap act in the second half was quite impressive, as was the big spinning apparatus act. In addition, the moving stage platform that went towards vertical (and was covered with arrows and ripples) was a platform for engaging acts. While quite simple, the bird puppetry was lovely. I wasn't quite as taken in as other Cirque du Soleil shows, but was not disappointed, either.
Saw Tropic Thunder with DK and really enjoyed it. It reminded me lots of South Park's sensibility, but live action with a big budget, and quite well done.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Saw Le Reve in Las Vegas with DK. It was cool to be in a smaller venue (than O) and seated in the round around the water. The mood and such for the show was well done, but I wasn't impressed by anything in the show. I felt like it was a lot of people on winches. If there weren't winches, I think I'd have been bored to tears. I much preferred O, which had a lot more variety and lots more impressive acts.
I've now seen both the world's largest cut diamond and the world's largest rhinestone. DK and I went to the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas. It was pretty cool, actually. A bunch of fancy cars and pianos and outfits, staffed by friendly people.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I went to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. Unfortunately, it just didn't do much for me. The harbor location is lovely, the flow around, to and from, and on top of the building seemed awkward, and the monumental cone is, well, monumental. It was interesting to watch glassblowers at work (and have seen that other places before), and there was lots of art glass, particularly lots of Chihuly. It's clear to me that the skill required to create the works is impressive, they just didn't grab me. As I reflected on that, I was thinking that just being around one Chihuly piece would probably be more engaging for me than being around hundreds.

The one thing that I did particularly like was the exhibit Contrasts: A Glass Primer. From their own description: "The exhibition is comprised of international, historically important, and visually stunning works of glass art that are grouped to illustrate opposing ideas, techniques, and styles." It was quite engaging, and got me to look at the items with much more engagement than just "that's lovely" or "that's impressive" or "I don't care for that".