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Nov. 2nd, 2011

poor Yorick

A Moment in the Woods

A month ago I went to see Into the Woods" at the Alliance Theater with my friend Andrea and her son.  I had meant to take them to see Henry the IV part I at Barrington Hall, but the weather had turned nippy, and Henry was outside on the lawn, and I had already seen it.  I love "Into the Woods," know the score by heart, but I had never seen a live production until now.  The production at the Alliance was visually stunning, the cast was terrific, it was well acted, and beautifully sung; in short,  everything regional theater ought to be. During the first act, I thought I recognized the actress playing Cinderella, as Marian the Librarian from Fabrefaction's production of "The Music Man" that I had seen last spring before I started rehearsals for "The Seagull".  Indeed, I checked her bio during the intermission, and sure enough she had played Marian. 

Our seats were in the front row, perhaps not my first choice, but interesting.  It certainly made for an intimate experience, and even though there were plenty of open seats, we stayed put.  In fact during intermission, a lovely couple of gay men came down and asked if they could join us.  They had seen the show several times, and wanted to be down front for the second act.  We started chatting, and discovered that one of the gentlemen and myself shared the fact that this was our first live production even though we adored the soundtrack and had seen the televised version.   Now I must say, that although Jill Ginsburg was a terrific Marian, she was truly moving as Cinderella, and I, as well as my lovely new neighbor were in tears while she and Red Riding hood were singing "You Are Not Alone" right at the edge of the stage.  The gentleman next to me noticed I was crying, and reached over across the empty seat between us,  took my hand, and squeezed it.  I looked over and gave him him a little smile.   It was sweet, if a little unexpected.  The show ended, and my friends and I left.  I never got his name, we didn't exchange numbers, or promise to get together for drinks.  It was just a passing moment of shared emotion in a dark theater between two theater lovers.

Monday night, on Halloween, I went to see a much different Sondheim show, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" back at Fabrefaction.  My former colleague Diane Mitchell was playing Mrs. Lovett, and Trey Getz, who had played Harold Hill in "The Music Man" was playing Anthony, the young sailor.  It must be something about Sondheim. The difference in performances reminded me a bit of Miss Ginsberg's between  Marian and Cinderella;  while Trey was a fine Harold Hill,  he gave me chills as Anthony.   After the show  I saw a couple of familiar faces while waiting for the actors to come out.  It was Jill Ginsberg, Cinderella,  and her boyfriend Corey Wright,  Rapunzel's Prince, there to support her erstwhile Harold in his current role.  I introduced myself, and told them both how much I had enjoyed "Into the Woods," and that I had seen it closing night from the front row.  She remembered me and the crying gay man next to me, and how he had grabbed my hand.  She asked me if I knew him, and I said  no, that I had never seen him before that night, and that they hadn't even been there until intermission.  He just reached over and took my hand.   In fact, I was with  the people on the other side of me.  She and Corey said that the two men were their most ardent fans, had seen the show at least six times, and had come to all of the talk backs.  We all agreed that it was just one of those spontaneous, inexplicable moments; like the song says in the show, "just a moment in the woods."   
"And if life were only moments, even now and then a bad one, but if life were only moments, then you'd never know you'd had one."  

Mar. 8th, 2010



I saw this in a theater in Georgetown about 25 years ago and I was chuffed to find it on youtube. 
Still as funny as I remember it.  I've been saying "It's a movie," ever since.

Go Sally Sparrow

  Kudos to Carey Mulligan, AKA Sally Sparrow, even though she didn't win the Oscar for "An Education."  What a field to be nominated with; Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, and Helen Mirren.  It took me a minute to realize who she was, and that she was the same actress. .

It looks like  she has quite a career ahead of her. I am looking forward to the remake of "My Fair Lady."  I believe she is playing Eliza.

Oct. 8th, 2009


Long Time No See

Boy, I just noticed how long it's been since I've visited over here.  I guess it's been a long time in between Doctor Who specials. 
I am in a play myself out in Littleton, Ma called Rookery Nook.  It's a British farce and it's hysterical.  Anyone in the Area come on by.  www.artsboston.org/event/detail/50267

Jun. 15th, 2009


David Tennant to reprise his role as Hamlet on BBC2

Doctor Who star David Tennant to reprise his role as Hamlet on BBC2


Many of you Whovians have probably already seen this news, and are already doing the happy dance.  Needless to say, I am beside my self with joy; David Tennant and Patrick Stewart, captured for posterity, together, in Hamlet no less!  I'm tingling all over.  Although, it will seem like forever until they broadcast it here, or I can buy the DVD.  Oh well, doing the happy dance now.


Guardian UK
Article by Caitlin Fitzsimmons
Friday 29 May 2009

"Tennant will be joined by fellow cast members from the Royal Shakespeare Company production, including Patrick Stewart.

David Tennant as Hamlet

David Tennant as Hamlet. Photograph: Ellie Kurttz/RSC

Doctor Who star David Tennant is set to reprise his role as Hamlet in a TV production of the play for BBC2.

Tennant will be joined by fellow cast members from the popular Royal Shakespeare Company production, including Patrick Stewart as Claudius.

BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow said the production was "a wonderful opportunity to bring one of the great stage successes of last year to a wider audience".

The RSC artistic director, Michael Boyd, added: "As the show was sold out for its entire run, this is a really great opportunity for our work to be seen by so many who could not come to the theatre and see it on stage."

The stage show, which ran at Stratford-upon-Avon and then London last year, was a sell-out success. Tennant was favourably reviewed for his portrayal of the Danish prince.

As well as Tennant as Hamlet and Stewart as Claudius, the entire cast of the RSC production will join him, according to Baz Bamigboye writing in today's Daily Mail. Penny Downie is to play Gertrude, Mariah Gale is reprising Ophelia and Edward Bennett will revive Laertes. Bamigboye added that Gregory Doran, who staged the play for the RSC, will shoot the film version on location."


Mar. 29th, 2009


Doctor Who: Internal Consistency?

 Nah, it's too much to ask really, I mean, the show has been on the air for over forty years.  It has been fun though to see the progression and development over the years.  That sonic screwdriver has come a long way.  I've recently been watching vintage Who, mostly Tom Baker, but some Troughton and Pertwee as well.  Before things could be "deadlock sealed", sometimes the screwdriver couldn't open locks that were too simple, check out "Carnival of Monsters" and "City of Death."  In Carnival, even though the sonic couldn't open a simple lock, it could pry up the alien alloy plate from the floor of the S.S. Bernice.  I noticed too, that when K-9 was around, the Doctor used him to cut open doors instead of using the sonic, but maybe he just wanted K-9 to feel useful.
I also noticed the Doctor's resilience to radiation has gotten a lot better over the years.  In "The Armageddon Factor"  K-9 warns the Doctor and Romana of dangerous radiation levels in the sector where Princess Astra was being held, but in the new series, the Doctor is always mentioning how much radiation he can safely absorb.  Come to think of it though, he and Romana do spend a lot of time wandering about in that irradiated sector without any problems.  Maybe there were just no humans around to explain superior Time Lord qualities to, but you would think K-9 would know what dangerous radiation levels for Time Lords would be.    
 On the subject of "Armageddon Factor", it was the  first time I had seen it, and it was great finally to see Drax. I had heard about Drax in Doctor Who references, I'd heard about the Doctor being called Theta Sigma, but it was delightful to see the scenes; hearing the two reminisce about the class of '92. It made me realize the saddest thing, or the most fun, depending on how you look at it, is how much I miss having other time lords around.  I loved the Romanas, the Master was just about the only thing that kept the 3rd Doctor being stranded on Earth bearable, I never did like UNIT.

In fact it was the first time I had seen the entire Key of Time series, and discovered how much I liked  Mary Tamm as Romana I.   She had left me a bit cold in the "Ribos Operation,"  but in "the Pirate Planet", she won me over with her cool as a cucumber demeanor, her Know-it-all attitude, as well as her adorable boots.  
( I do have a thing for boots)

 I particularly liked how much she irritated the Doctor with how often she was right.  I knew my attitude had changed straight off when she was reading from the Tardis manual,  and the Doctor gets so irritated that he rips pages out.
 Later she materializes the Tardis so smoothly, the Doctor doesn't even notice.

As was watching Romana episodes, it occurred to me why I liked Reinette so much.   I think the combination of the two Romanas reminds me of her.  To me at least, it explains why the Doctor might have been so drawn to her; her cool demeanor, confidence, her wit and agile mind combined with impeccable taste, all remind me of aspects of   the two Romanas, as close as a  mere humanoid could be to a Time Lord of course.


There has been quite a dearth of new Doctor Who here in the States, couple that with my general blues over the departure of Tennant, and it's been great to remeber why I liked this series in the first place.  Looking at the early episodes on, it's pretty clear there was no master plan.  They were vague early on and obviously were making it up as they went along, adding details and powers as the plots demanded.  I will no longer worry about internal consistencies and inner historical accuracy within the Who verse.  It's nice when the writers go to the effort, but I wouldn't count on it.  Anyway, I think I've said about all I have to say.  So, as the Doctor said to Leonardo, See you earlier.  Love Kerriblu.

Feb. 11th, 2009


HighSchool meme

I got this from Earlgreytea68

I don't usually look back at my life that long ago, but I have been a bit lately, so here goes nothing.  

1. Did you date someone from your school? Yes, but no one very seriously.

2. Did you marry someone from your high school? Absolutely not.

3. Did you car pool to school? No.   I mostly walked.  Tucson High was less than 2 city blocks away from where I lived.  

4. What kind of car did you have? I didn't have a car; I relied on friends, my bike, and my mom. We had a huge green Ford LTD.  She refused to teach me how to drive.  My stepmother taught me how, she was appalled that I couldn't drive, didn't get my license until after I had graduated.   

5. What kind of car do you have now?  A minivan, a Jeep Wrangler, and a Volvo convertible.  Oh, and I just got back from taking my 16 yr old out driving.

6. It's Friday night...where are you? (then): I was either at a football game in the fall, the theater (school or community), a concert, or a party with friends.  Once I was back in Utah, if I wasn't at home, I was at Eric's, or sometimes a rehearsal; I did  two plays, and  I suppose there were a few concerts.  

7. It is Friday night...where are you? (now):  Mostly at home, sometimes at the mall.  I am so boring now.   

8. What kind of job did you have in high school? I only had one summer job, working in a bakery once I moved back to Utah.  Very bad for my hips, but Marie Osmond came in one day.

9. What kind of job do you do now? Not working at the moment, but if anyone needs some decorating,  or a Russian document translated,, I'm your woman..

10. Were you a party animal? Yes.

11. Were you considered a flirt? I doubt it.  

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?   I was in all three.  In Tucson if you wanted to be in the Orchestra, you had to march in the band. I played flute.  I was in choir and the small choral group that you had to audition for.  I was also in as many plays as the drama department would do.  When I got  back to Utah, the choir was out, they had held auditions the year before, and I was out of luck.  The same with the All -State music competition for flute.  So, Yael and I couldn't compete, even though we were two of the best damn flutists in the state that year, all because we had just moved to Utah, and they made no exceptions.  

13. Were you a nerd? I don't know how people saw me in High School.  I certainly wasn't one of the "popular" in crowd.   I was into choir, orchestra, and theater, so I hung out with those of like interests and didn't worry too much about my "image."   

14. Did you get suspended or expelled?  No. I good girl; I went to class and got good grades, except for Physics.   

15. Can you sing the fight song?  No, but I played it enough in the pep band and marching band.

16. Who was/were your favourite teacher? Mrs. Nott. 

17. Where did you sit during lunch? There was an outdoor area I sat at in Tucson or on the grass with friends.   

18. What was your school's full name?Tucson High,  is now Tucson Magnet  High
Logan Senior High School. 
19. When did you graduate? 1980

20. What was your school mascot? Grizzly

21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Yes, but I would stay in Tucson if I could for my senior year..

22. Did you have fun at Prom?  I didn't go.  In Tucson, I had a boyfriend, but didn't go to Junior Prom.  When I moved back to Utah, I didn't date that year.   The guy that I thought might ask me never did.  

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? Didn't go, so no.  

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion?  No.  I still talk to the people I still want to talk to.   Although, there is one friend I'd like to find that I can't get in touch with. 

25. Do you still talk to people from school?  Some, mostly on Facebook.  I only really have one friend that I kept in good touch with from High School the entire time.  Most that I have run into when I have been visiting my home town I am friendly with, but we are not close.  Some I am finding on Facebook, and it's been great to reconnect, even when I didn't know them very well.   It's amazing what a difference in attitude  29 yrs can make. 


My big thing these days is reconnecting.  I have been grateful to find good friends I had lost track of, practically in my backyard.  It was so good to see them again, after far too long, and pick up where we left off.  

However, the most amazing reconnect I've found on Facebook, has been a woman I played flute with in High School.  I was a senior and she was junior.  I had to change schools and moved back to my home town my senior year and  needless to say, I was not happy about it.   She was from Israel, and I have no idea what her parents were doing at the University in that small  Utah town for a year.  We weren't really all that close, except in competition scores and seating in band and orchestra, but we had a mutual friend that we both clung to rather closely.  Anyway, 30 years later, I discover through mutual friends and the wonders of the internet,  that she is playing flute professionally and has relocated to NYC.  I have now bought her CD, am planning to go down to New York, and hopefully see her play.   Here is just a short clip of  Yael performing in New York. Oh yeah, she composes too.  Maybe I should dig out my flute again, I know where it is, but something tells me I couldn't hold my own around her anymore.  
It's not everyday someone you acted with or played in an orchestra with actually makes a career out of it.  I have worked and studied with some fine actors, some who went on to Yale Drama, and others who tried to make a go of it in New York, and out of all of them, only one, Lauren Marie Taylor, had a real professional career. She had the career first, then her agent sent her to acting school.  I liked her though, she was great.  Oh, my sister did summer stock with Kyle Machlachlan a couple of years before he did Dune, but I was in New York that summer going to acting school, and never met him.  He doesn't keep in touch.  

Now the next thing I have to do is read, "The Reckoning,"  a real live novel written by someone I knew when living in DC, who also happened to throw fabulous parties.  It's on Amazon for anyone out there in the ether who might be interested.  

poor Yorick

Boston Still Hates Me: a rant

I took a trip into town last Thursday.  It started out really well too. It was early, I was already out and about, and I thought, "why not go explore?" After all. I'd had a couple of really nice trips into Boston, where nothing bad happened.  I was already on Rte 30 near 95 (128) and I drove liesurely in and stopped at interesting stores along the way.  I practiced my Russian at "Berezka," but didn't find the Russian bookshop I'd been told about.  I stopped at "Urban Renewal," a thrift store like I hadn't seen in ages, and went a little mad.  I continued in along Newbury Street and down near Symphony Hall. That's went things disintegrated.  I found my bank, and a Whole Foods, I needed food and cash, and luckily enough or so I thought,  I found a metered space right in front of the store., but I had no change, only a dollar bill.   You see where this is going.  By the time I got out of the store to feed the meter, I had a ticket.  Disgusted and angry, I went back in to get food, then I got cash and tried to find my way back out of Boston the way I had come in.  I ended up going around in big circles, trying to get back to Commonwealth Ave, but now it's dark and rush hour.  I finally ask directions.  I get to Commonwealth but and I still can't find the store I wanted to go back to.  I stop,  ask directions, but  no one knows, so I call.  Iv'e been very close for half an hour, but they were on Brighton Ave, not Commomwealth.  How could I not have remembered this?  I thought I was on Commonwealth the entire way in.  I have now had my typical Boston day, I went in, got a parking ticket, and got lost.  At least I got home without hitting any of the packs of joggers running along Rte 30 in Newton, at 7:00pm on a Thursday night when it was 6 degrees out.  Are they nuts?  It's icy, and there are a lot of cars using that road.  They could at least have the sense to run single file, and not two or three abreast.  I know it's residential through there, but really, do they have a death wish?  That being said, I loved Urban Renewal.  Best Thrift store I have ever been in, and I have frequented a few in my day.  Maybe someday I'll find that Russian bookstore.   

Feb. 2nd, 2009


25 things about me meme:

I got tagged over on Facebook.
Here's how it works: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged, including the person who tagged you (me). If I tagged you, it's because you tagged me, I mentioned you (either implicitly or explicitly), I want to know more about you, I think you relate to or will be amused by something I've written here, or any combination these reasons. If you are reading this and I didn't tag you, I'm glad that you are. I would never intentionally dis you. Most likely, you've already been tagged by someone else. I've seen a few of these around.

1.  I took  Russian because I loved Anna Karenina (the book, not the movie), and Mikhail Baryshnikhov. Later on I found I could get a job with it, so I majored in it. I have no Russian ancestors, and I have never visited any Russian speaking country. 

2.  I have adored science fiction/ fantasy genre, both literature, TV and film, since I can remember.  I wanted to marry Captain Kirk when I was about ten,  I really am not sure how many times I have read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and the list goes on to this very day to include Farscape, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter, to name but a few.

3. I am appalled by the lingering stigma of mental illness, and the secrecy and shame that that engenders.  I wish we could all be more open and sharing with each other, especially the menfolk.  

4. There were fairies in my garden in Scotland when I was five. I was sure of it, I could hear the music.  My sister TL says I used to talk about the fairies coming,  then I would shriek, and run off.   The "Torchwood" episode with the little girl and the faeries that were after her resonated with me on a visceral level.   I still love stories and artwork with fairies in them. 

5.  It's a very small world.   My Mom made me take ballet and piano growing up in Utah. I didn't stick with either, but my sister Kathy danced for a long time and her best friend was my piano teacher.  I now live in Massachusetts, and my childhood piano teacher lives one town away,  about ten minutes drive. 

6.    I do love my animals,  dogs, cats, and horses, but dogs are my favorite.  In fact, these days  I'm pretty sure I prefer dogs to the majority of the  people I meet, with the possible exception of some  snappy Chihuahuas.

7. I would never have started acting, if my mother hadn't needed "volunteers" for her productions she was doing in graduate school, both in Utah, and in Arizona.  My first bit was a ten minute scene of a family fight we improvised for some conference at Park City when I was nine.  I didn't want to do it, but I got some new clothes, and a day off from school.  More readers theater productions would follow, where I was "persuaded" to participate, but I didn't actually seek out the stage on my own, until Tucson High did "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" and I've been addicted ever since.  These past five years are the longest I've ever gone without being in a show.  It's been dreadful.

8. I tend to mimic other people's accents without thinking about it.  This was especially a problem when we lived  in England, and I had to conscientiously stop doing when I realized people thought I was mocking them, when I really wasn't.  In the same vein, I realized how stupid it sounds when you tell someone they have a lovely accent, when people said it to me.

9. I need more light!  I have Seasonal Affective Disorder pretty bad,  I miss the south or the southwest, I'd take either.  On dark, dreary days I could easily spend all day in bed, if life would let me, preferably with hot tea or coffee and scones.

10.  I wake up slow.  I'm not good in the mornings, and it's best if I don't have to truly interact with anyone before nine, ten is even better.  Coffee helps.

11. I moved my Senior year and had to change High Schools.  It was traumatic, and I would have done almost anything to stay in Tucson for my Senior year.  Unfortunately, none of my friends families wanted me to live with them for a year.   The only good thing about moving back to Utah, was my friend Eric, with whom I'd played in the Wasatch Junior Youth Orchestra several years earlier.  That was about it.  Even though I desperately want to move someplace sunnier RIGHT NOW, I won't do that to my son who is a Junior this year.

12.  I have always wanted to live in a city, especially London or NYC, but I always end up living just outside them, DC, Baltimore, London, Atlanta, and now Boston.  Oh well.

13. I start projects that I never finish.  I am also easily distracted and have been know to have several half finished projects going simultaneously.  Unless you give me a deadline, then it will be done on time.  No deadline, possibly never done.  I have fabric for curtains, or pillows, or skirts I meant to make, and have never unfolded.  Yes, I have been diagnosed with adult ADD, and probably had it as a child as well.

14.  I often give the appearance of not caring about what  other people think of me, or of conforming to to some arbitrary social "norm."  While this is generally true,  I care a lot more, and my feelings get hurt more often than I let on. 

15.  I wield a mean wet saw.  A friend  taught me how to tile around 1990, and I have been tiling floors and walls in my houses ever since.

16.  I believe in God, but I don't go to church.  However, if you find one that works for you, go for it.

17.  I'm a frustrated musical theater star.  I've been known to break into show tunes, I love to sing along with records or the radio; I dance sometimes too.  I can carry a tune, but I'm not a great singer.  #1 son is greatly annoyed by this habit, and is always telling me to stop. As if.  No one in my house joins in with me on the show tunes, except for "Avenue Q."

18.  The 12 years I spent in the D.C. area left me thoroughly cynical. I mistrust all politicians, and feel that neither party has the high moral ground.  I think we should change our campaign system to be more like the British, and limit the campaign time to 4 or 6 months.  It's getting ridiculous here. 

19. I could probably live on breakfast cereal.

20.  I Lost on Jeopardy, in 1986.  Thanks for the Rice-a-Roni and the Turtle Wax.  It was fun, although I had to say I was a "Government Clerk" instead of " Russian Linguist," or "Spy."

21.  I have always had a hard time telling right from left when giving directions. I'll say right, and point left, and vice verse.  If you are ever in a car with me, follow the hand signals.

22.  I played in Carnegie Hall in 1979 with "America's Youth in Concert."  After New York, we played in Rome, Florence, Venice, Geneva, Paris and London, where I met up with my Mom, who had been in Edinburgh writing her dissertation.   We saw three West End plays in three days.  I played flute in the orchestra.  Best trip ever, I was 17 and in Europe without my parents. 

23.  The only reason I ever wanted to be a boy, was because the boy scouts went to cooler camps.  No matter how good the Girl Scout camps might be, the Boy Scout camps my brother went to were even more adventurous, and nothing could beat the Jamboree in Montana he went to.  Otherwise, I'm pretty happy being female.

24. I don't love to sew, but I know how.  I have made window treatments, and decorative pillows in the three houses I've owned.  I gave up on clothes; I never finished them.
25.   I have a live and let live policy. I try to be reasonable, and take the attitude of "why can't we all just get along."  It doesn't always work.  I have a temper that often gets the better of me, but  I have been working to control it  most of my adult life. On the plus side, I don't hold grudges. 

There, whew, I'm finally finished.  I didn't tag 25 people, but I tagged most of the people I know that haven't already done this.

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