Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday, Monday

Loved IN THE HEIGHTS. Maybe a bit dated and a bit predictable. But I also think it is unfair to criticize Miranda for not having a Black enough cast. It's his memory of the neighborhood he grew up in. And there are certainly prominent Black cast members. But the bulk are Hispanic, which reflects his experience. I found it vibrant, lively, joyous and a good movie to return to the movies with. It certainly would not be as much fun watching it on HBO Max.

Enjoyed watching the making of the cast album for COMPANY on Criterion. Elaine Stritch is a stitch in it. Watching the cast sing Sondheim's songs you really see how difficult the lyrics are. I've never seen COMPANY performed (it is a rarity, I guess). I have seen SUNDAYS IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, ASSASSINS, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC and INTO THE WOODS.

Also watched THE DRY on Amazon Prime. I think there is one too many twists in it and the makers didn't take enough time with the drought, but it was a solid crime movie IMHO.

I attended a concert in a tent as part of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Concert. Wonderful music by Mendelssohn and Brahms. Christina Goerke brought so much feeling and joy to her singing. 

Just finished THE PUSH, which was sort of like THE BAD SEED except it looks at three generations of women who eventually produce a murderous child. Or do they? Is it nature or nurture? A page-turner.

The Detroit Free Press ran an article on restaurants with decks on Lake St. Clair or the Detroit River. So a friend and I drove across town around 1:30 thinking we would sail in. The place was packed and it's a large place. We could only see the lake if we stood in the parking lot. But we had a nice lunch. We ordered a lobster roll and they told us lobsters wouldn't be available to mid-July. Maybe they have a chip in them too. 

Anyway, what's with you?


Steve A Oerkfitz said...

Spent fathers day at my oldest daughter's house with several grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Saw the wonderful documentary The Sparks Brothers, Edgar Wright's love letter to his favorite band-Sparks. The eccentric American band who have been around fifty years and are largely unknown, although they are much more popular is Britain and the continent.
Did some movie rewatching-Sunset Boulevard and Gattaca. Didn't really watch any series this week. Bosch starts Friday.
Finished The Trawlerman by William Shaw. Had to get it through Ebay since Shaw doesn't seem to have an American publisher any more. Now reading Gangsterland by Tod Goldberg. And a scattering of short stories.

Margot Kinberg said...

I'd like to see In The Heights, too, Patti. I haven't had the chance yet, but I hope I will.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I had to buy a Shaw book through ABE - DEADLAND - for the same reason as Steve.

Well, COMPANY is sure available in New York. Since the first time we saw it in very early 1971 (clued in by a co-worker who was Donna McKechnie's sister), we've seen it many times, including bringing friends that Christmas. The next year we saw it in London, with some Americans (including Elaine Stritch and :Larry Kert), sitting at the very top of the huge Her Majesty's Theatre on Haymarket for 75p. each. We saw the 1995 revival at the Roundabout with Boyd Gaines as Bobby. In 1997 we saw it twice, first a local theater company at Poly Prep High School within walking distance of our house, then at the Edinburgh Festival. The seventh time was the 2007 revival with Raul Esparza, who was highly praised but my least favorite Bobby. and Jackie already has plans to see the third Broadway revival next year, with Bobby now "Bobbie" with Katrina Link in the role. Can't wait to see what Patti Lupone does with the Stritch role of Joanne. One thing: no one has ever come close to Beth Howland's lightning fast rendition of "Getting Married Today."

We have seen the show about the making of the cast album. And speaking of albums, we bought (don't know why I didn't have it) the CD of The Band's THE LAST WALTZ movie, then watched it again on Prime. If anyone wants to see it, do it now as it is leaving Prime at the end of the month. Some great stuff in it.

We finally finished THE GOOD PLACE, also LUPIN, which was one of Jackie's favorites. Started SWEET TOOTH last night. Watching BLACK SPACE and a bunch of other foreign series. We tried US on Masterpiece (as they are pretentiously calling it), but didn't like the characters enough to stick with it. One thing, for any who did watch it: Tom Hollander is short, 5'5". Saskia Reeves, who plays his wife and was clearly several inches shorter than he is, claims to be 5'6". Maybe she shrunk?

Jeff Meyerson said...

On Sondheim, we've also seen:

Follies 5 times
A Little Night Music 6 ties
Pacific Overtures 4 times
Sweeney Todd 4 times
Sunday in the Park With George (least favorite Sondheim)
Into the Woods

We've also seen revivals of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and (his collaborative work) West Side Story (twice, I think) and Gypsy (3 times).

Not to mention:
Side By Side By Sondheim (3 times, all in London)
Mostly Sondheim (London)
Sondheim on Sondheim

pattinase (abbott) said...

To live in NY, ah! Thanks for the reminder about THE LAST WALTZ.
I want to see the Spark Brothers doc after hearing a discussion on a podcast. I have never heard of them.

Jerry House said...

A surprisingly quiet week here with only anninterruption by tropical storm What'shername, which took down a few trees in neighboring Pensacola but only gave us driving rain. The destroyed bridge was finally repaired and traffic began flowing in two lanes from both sides, allowing the very incovenient detour bridge to restore its tolls ($5 each way; rumored to jump up to $7.50 each way soon).

Except for tropical storms, it has been great beach weather. We've hit the beach each morning with Christina since school let out. Calm, relaxing, and hypnotic. Then Christina was called in to interpret for a summer school class for disabled children for the next month. The student she interprets for is a sweet boy with severe cerebral palsy. In the small class of five students there is also a young girl who throws things at anything and anyone she doesn't like -- a field that includes everyone. The girl can't communicate but she has a great aim and a strong arm, so Christina is updating her dodging skills.

Christina, Jessie, Erin, and Amy have taken off for a girls' weekend. Jack is staying with us. He'll be nine next month and is getting so mature. It's hard to imagine our loving him more than we do now. Between Jack's schedule and driving Ceili to work at five a.m., we've found little time for anhything else. (My Monday blog, for instance, may not be finished until tomorrow.) Television, courtesy of Jack, consists mainly of DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and some Jurassic Park Lego show. We've also been rewatching Marvel's RUNAWAYS on Disney. More grown-up type television will commence later this week.

With both my daughters off, it's been a fairly quiet Father's Day. The girls are having a blast and I cn't think of a better Father's Day present than that. With Christina off, Walt is also alone but he's bulding a new cage for their tegu and he gets to play with the dogs uninterruped, so he's happy. He also fixed my computer which went wacko for a number of days last week. Walt has more heavy skills than I can count on my fingers -- cabinet making, photography, soap making, computer repair and security, and much more.

Books read this week were TARZAN AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN (an unauthorized Tarzan book by "Barton Werper," which the Burroughs estate managed to take off the market and have remaining copies destroyed), Rex Stout's THE HAND IN THE GLOVE (a mystery featuring PI Dol Bonner who also appears in some of the Nero Wolfe books), and THE TOFF ON FIRE and THE TOFF AND THE FALLEN ANGELS, both by John Creasey. And there were the usual whole buncha short stories.

Have a great week, Patti, with lots of good shows, films, books, and friends to keep you humming merrily along. Stay safe.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Claudette. I always think of the Everly Brothers song, written by Roy Orbison, who named it after his wife.

George said...

We're trying to figure out whether to watch IN THE HEIGHTS on TV or to go to the local AMC theater that's showing it.

We had another hot week with not enough rain. Climate change is a terrible!

I managed to read a few Library books so that stack is going down. But, I ended up buying books and CDs and Blu-rays on AMAZON in a moment of weakness. I need to stay away from the computer more.

Today we're supposed to get rain and wind, tomorrow we'll be in the 60s. Wacky weather!

pattinase (abbott) said...

See it in a theater. Just go in the afternoon if you are worried about distancing.
Jerry's family is the busiest family I know.

Gerard Saylor said...

I took Boy #1 mountain biking on Saturday. We ride separately because he is too fast. It only took me 10 minutes to crash. Another opportunity to prove how important helmets are because I wonked my head hard enough for it to hurt a bit. I needed to replace my helmet anyway. Bumping into a tree 30 minutes later has left me with pain and stiffness in my left shoulder.

Later in the day Boy #2 and I drove to MKE to visit some bookstores and the cat cafe. The cafe had A LOT of cats - and four kittens! - so Boy #2 was quite pleased. Unfortunately the bookstore we were to visit after the cat cafe was already closed. I was so sure they were closing at 8PM and not 6PM.

Very nice weather and lots of people out and about. And parking was free!!

We did jack-all for Father's Day and I watched TV. My shoulder hurt too much to do much anyway. I finally watched MILLION DOLLAR BABY though. Only took me 17 years to get to it. I read the F.X. Toole short story collection before the movie was made and he wrote some fantastic stories. He died before completing his novel and I tried reading the version his family put out, but it was "bleah" and I did not finish it.

I also watched the western IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE. My wife was in the room and you could tell the main character's dog was going to be killed later on in the story. She was quite angry with me for watching a film where a dog dies. I wanted to tell her. "I told you it was going to happen!"
Still, VALLEY was a pretty decent revenge western with some nice humor to it. An example of how good an actor John Travolta can be. As I was watching I was thinking that the casting of Travolta and Ethan Hawke probably made up 75+% of the budget.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wow. Sorry about the accidents, Gerard. Bicycles are more dangerous than we think. Don't know why no one wore helmets until the eighties.

Gerard Saylor said...

Oh, another thing, Boy #2 and I went by a theatre playing the Sparks documentary. I would have liked to stay for the film but Boy#2 would have been bored and it would have been an extra long day for me with driving back home.

Rick Robinson said...

The list of your activities reads like it is 2019 instead of 2021. Wow, you are majorly out and about! Here in Oregon, there's a pandemic and less than half are vaccinated, so I stay home. The weather has been hot (over 90 again today), so we get into the garden early and then run the A/C beginning about 11am.

I read three more Thinking Machine stories, then A SOLITUDE OF WOLVERINES by Alice Henderson. It's the beginning of a new series which has been compared to Nevada Barr, and I can see why. I liked it well enough, but not enough to get the next one coming out later this year, as there was too much ecological preaching for my taste.

Also read Rhys Bowen's new one, THE VENICE SKETCHBOOK, which is general fiction, not mystery, but is as usual well written. However, the jumping about between 1913, 1938, and 2001 bothered me, as I prefer books to be told straight through. Bowen is a fine writer, but I liked her previous two books better.

I did get both THE BIRDWATCHER and DEADLAND by William Shaw from Amazon (I read SALT LANE a week or so ago, and Barbara finished it yesterday) , but have yet to read them. The one Steve read is the latest and I'll wait until I get to it before finding a copy.

I'd be very happy to see the end of this hot weather, but I don't know when that might be. We could see triple digits later this week and we are already in drought level Moderate. We may be prohibited from watering this Summer, and if so could lose shrubs and some Perennials. Bummer!

Hope you have a happy week, Patti. I'll try to have a short story post up for Wednesday.

TracyK said...

We did get out more last week but not a lot. We ate out twice, at the same place, a place in our neighborhood that does just breakfast and lunch. We ate outdoors and were comfortable with the experience. Also went out to the Rose Garden in Santa Barbara for Father's Day and took lots of photos. Lots more people were there this year than last year when we went in June. But it is never very crowded.

Last week I finished THREE STATIONS by Martin Cruz Smith. I started BEL CANTO by Ann Patchett, and I am enjoying it very much. It isn't very long but it is taking me a long time to finish it, not sure why.

I keep hearing about drought problems in California but supposedly less of a problem in Southern California, I don't know why. I hope we get some of our perennials established before that happens.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I loved BEL CANTO. One of my favorite novels. I will be in La Jolla for a month in January, where I hear they have saved enough water for several years.

Todd Mason said...

Glad some of your favorite artistic pursuits are becoming more accessible again. We haven't tried to go to any theaters yet, though I've continued to do the shopping, always masked, throughout the past year.5. In fact, enough shopping that yesterday a box of cat litter fell off the back of the shopping cart and smashed my right big toe rather more than I initially realized. Apparently not broken, but an x-ray is in my future. Can't trust that day, indeed.

I finally watched the fifth, and short (13 episodes rather than 22/23) season of PERSON OF INTEREST with Alice, and the shorting of the season seemed to leave matters rather more incoherent than in previous seasons, some odd behavior unforced and less acceptably unlikely. Still worth seeing, but slightly disappointing compared to earlier seasons.

THE LAST WALTZ wasn't exactly new when I first saw it on campus at the University of Hawaii film theater in 1983, but that was a stretch of time back.