Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Sunday afternoon, Jim and I went to see The Buddha In His Own Words. I thought it was well-written and interesting, but the storytelling and acting didn't draw me in. It felt like something between an animated university lecture and a story hour, but didn't get to the level of intensity that a one-man play needs to in order to get me involved.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday night I went to Boston Lyric Opera's Dvorak "Rusalka", which was performed quite nicely with engaging staging. It's a lovely piece of music, and I'm glad I listened to the talk beforehand -- I had no idea that Dvorak was into the whole leitmotif thing, too. And I'm glad I brought binoculars with me -- being able to see the performers closer-up brings me much more into the experience, even if I don't use them the whole length of the show.

Unfortunately, the first half of the first act was marred by lobby conversations audible in the hall and an extremely disruptive latecomer seating mob, right at the beginning of the highlight aria. *sigh*
Went to the Friday afternoon Boston Symphony Orchestra concert of Stravinsky "Petrushka", Ravel "Mother Goose" and Prokofiev "Violin Concerto No 2".

I really liked Petrushka, I thought I'd like Mother Goose much more than I did based on the description, and the Prokofiev was nice.

Overall, it was really great to be in the hall (this time on the second balcony in back with great sound and no annoying person behind me. I was alternately drawn in to the music and stimulated to think about various things, mostly inventing-related, which was actually nice. I might go just for that kind of stimulation.

Between the first and second pieces, as the orchestra was rearranging, I saw someone change the conductor's score and I wondered how they make sure that they get the right one. Do they have a checklist backstage? Do they check with the players to make sure of what's next?

Then the conductor and soloist came on and there was a longer-than-expected delay before starting the piece. The guy who changed the scores came out and looked at the score and then red-faced (I presume) took it back stage and brought a different score, to the chuckling of the audience mixed with light applause. What a fun coincidence! (Fun for me, at least -- I expect he was somewhere between disappointed and mortified.

Based on this, I'm likely to try to head back to get rush tickets ($9), even if I'm not that excited by the program -- just being there is great.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

London Symphony Orchestra Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 & Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 at Symphony Hall March 25 was lovely and inspiring (despite the man with the noisy plastic bag right behind me -- who let it fall to the floor at one point, then noisily picked it up again so that he could have it in his lap to make more noise with -- *sigh*).

First, it was nice to be back in Symphony Hall -- a lovely place that I have fond memories of. Then as soon as the music started, I also remembered how beautiful the sound is -- both clear and warm and enveloping, even though I was near the back just under the first balcony overhang.

While themes from the Beethoven were familiar to me, it felt mostly new. It was fun to be able to listen more closely after listening to a number of lecture + concerts of Beethoven's String Quartets that I heard in San Francisco a couple years ago. And the playing was first-rate -- both expressive and precise. It also was interesting to watch Giergiev conduct -- without baton and with often floppy-jointed gestures.

The Prokoviev was all new to me as far as I can tell, and while it wasn't as preciously beautiful as much of the Beethoven was, there was lots of rhythmic excitement and much richer and varied orchestral textures.

I'm looking forward to getting back to Symphony Hall for more Russian composers at the next BSO program.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Of Mice and Mink" by Gold Dust Orphans was fun and well-done. I'm glad D reminded me of them and then went with me to see the show. I'm also glad I read "Of Mice and Men" so that I could appreciate how they played with the original material. (I didn't know anything about the story besides that it was American before that.)

I'm looking forward to their next show: "Willy Wanker and the Hershey Highway". Seriously. (Or they're just pulling all the audience members' legs, which could be, too.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"I Love You Man" with S last night was much funnier and cleverer and sweeter than I expected.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sita Sings The Blues (at the Boston MFA)was engrossing and charming and fun! (You can even watch it online.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I saw Hasty Pudding Theatricals' Acropolis Now with DT on Sunday March 15. It was as fun and silly and clever as I'd remembered the shows to be... I'm looking forward to next year's show.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I saw Wonderboy performed by Joe Goode Performance Group with Basil Twist-directed puppetry at Northeastern U. on March 14. I was engaged but not super-excited by the first piece on the program, but I was charmed and really enjoyed the combination dance and puppetry second piece. A bit of magic and fun and tenderness.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I saw Two Men of Florence at the Huntington on March 12, and enjoyed it. The set was cool and effective. By intermission, I thought 'well, that's well-set-up, but where's the conflict?' Then the Pope decided something was really wrong, and things did get interesting.

Afterwards, the Out and About reception and backstage tour was nice.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I enjoyed the Triangle Gay Men's Chorus fundraiser and performance called 'Feelin' Groovy' on March 7 in Durham, at the lovely Duke Gardens. It was nice to enjoy the chorus singing, and really revel in how lovely they (formerly we) could sound, especially in a sweet little arrangement (by Roger Emerson) of Scarborough Fair.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I went to the Opera Boston performance of The Nose on March 3. I was looking forward to seeing someone I knew from college in the title role. By the time I got there, the only tickets I was willing to pay for had the supertitles blocked. I enjoyed the pre-concert talk, and the show seemed to get off to a good start, and I enjoyed some of the clever stagecraft. Unfortunately, the music just didn't engage me, I couldn't see the guy from college under his foam costume, and I just wasn't enjoying it. I left at the intermission. I suspect I would have enjoyed it a little more being able to follow a little more closely with the supertitles, but I don't think it would have drawn me to stay. Oh well.