« Star Trek (rebooted) | Main | Joss Whedon at Wesleyan (May 30, 2009) »

May 29, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

A baby giggling happily while dancing a waltz.

My husband and I are going to Stratford tomorrow to see two previews. Granted that Macbeth and Julius Caesar are not exactly happy plays, but Stratford! Colm Feore! Geraint Wyn Davies! Stratford!

Um, yeah, that's distracting. In a terrifying sort of way. Babies. Giggles. Gah.

Oh, nice! I am going to Stratford on July 2nd and then from July 7-11, anticipating seeing nine shows but doing it via rush tickets, so who knows. Last year I went ten for ten with rush tickets, so it may work very well. Or I may spend a lot of time just sitting by the river. In between I will be at an SCA event - gah - called Known World Dance Symposium, and then in Toronto for 24 hours or so visiting a friend and maybe shopping for fabric.

Ah. the non-maternal genes :)

Well, I find it amusing. This was found out the last time I went to the Conservatory dance. Megan loves all sorts of dance.

My steampunk-movie talk (my first-evah! talk by the way) is taking shape, in my head, on a notepad thickly covered with scribbles, and on my computer. I'm gathering lots of pictures too, although I'll set up the talk to stand on its own, should the Magic Lantern refuse to cooperate.

We've been having a long talk about presentation format on techno-fandom of late, and the consensus seems to be that the best approach is to put it on a thumb drive and/or CD and test it on a generic sort of PC to make sure it works beforehand, especially if you either (1) make it on a Mac or (2) use some software other than Powerpoint.

I was picturing a dancing baby sort of like, you know, THE dancing baby animation. But with giggles. And to waltz music. It was scary. But definitely distracting.

Susan... I was planning either of two approaches. One is to make PowerPoint slides. The other would be for me to prefix each JPG's name with a number so that I could click on them in the proper sequence. In both cases, I'd back up the presentation on a thumb drive. The second approach has the advantage that, should my laptop crash, I could switch to someone else's laptop without being concerned about its not having PowerPoint on it.

My main concern is how well the hookup of the laptop to a slide projector would work - and not just because I've never used a laptop/projector setup. I figure that someone at the con could take of that. I'd prefer connecting the laptop to a big flatscreen because of picture quality, but that too might have a few pitfalls.

You'll have to see her face when I hold her and dance. She really loves waltz, and thankfully likes swing. :)

Serge: In addition to pre-test, and a copy on another media, try to remember to bring an adapter that goes from your computer to a standard VGA connection.

serge: you one smart cookie :)

using numbered .jpg files was one of the better 'avoid problems' solutions. Another thing I just thought of is to make sure that the thumb drive can be read on both mac and pc.

Be paranoid and test as many iterations as you can think of and you will be less likely to be bitten on the arse when you go to give the presentation.

Jeff... Adapter for standard VGA connection. Thumb drive compatible with Mac and Windows. Both duly noted. I don't know about my being a smart cookie, but I am quite paranoid when I write computer programs and that attitude has served me well.

As for my talk per se... I've got "Back to the Future III" thru NetFlix after AJ mentionned it. Disney's "Island at the Top of the World" is on its way. It probably sucks, but a movie that has dirigibles AND Viking at the North Pole can't be all bad. I've also actually bought "Captain Nemo and the Underwater City", and Cezch 1958 film "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne".

It's half term so nothing amusing has happened to me at all.

Until a blackbird tried to steal my ice cream. Is it my garden Mr Blackbird? Why yes, yes it is*.

* The blackbird and I disagree over who owns the garden.

There seem to be certain logistical challenges for a bird trying to steal ice cream. How exactly did the blackbird approach this?

Jon Favreau is posting progress snippets (no spoilers) about the filming of Iron Man 2 on Twitter. (http://twitter.com/Jon_Favreau) :)

*sends virtual hugs*

Well, the concept is distracting but the Twitters are sadly dull! Thanks!

(Have you seen the Holmes trailer? Mmmm.)

It was very nice to get to your dance at Balticon last Friday night. Thanks for doing that. I hope you do it again next year.

I was in Detroit last Monday, coming back from my uncle's funeral in Canada. I was pleasantly surprised to note that it appears to be in much better shape than it was in when I was last there three years ago. Perhaps Detroit really has turned the corner and is on its way back to being a city people actually want to live in. I feel hopeful about the city of my birth for the first time in a very long time.

Other than that, I'll simply note that your dances are among the bright spots in my world these days. You really do provide a lot to the community. I deeply appreciate that.


I saw the "Holmes" coming attraction on the big screen. It looks even better than it does on YouTube's tiny screen, not too surprisingly. The audience laughed. With it.

Thank you, Bill! I had a wonderful time with that dance and am very optimistic that I will be asked back again for next year.

Susan, I stopped and had a small vanilla ice cream cone today and the birds were fluttering by all the tables. I think they were waiting for me to spill some.

And I put the Human Rights sticker on my car today. You can read why in about an hour when I do my LJ posts.

Garfunkel & Oates in "Sex with Ducks"...

The blackbird wasn't very good at stealing ice cream. It got as far as landing on the table next to my ice cream and looking at it slightly puzzled before I shooed it away.

The last scene of Back to the Future III is a thing of wonder and joy. Also, I'm pretty sure I had been watching the same Westerns as Marty Mcfly as a child.

Neil... I'll probably watch it tonight after I'm done with some yard work. As for thieving animals... A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to a national park near Los Alamos that has Anasazi ruins, and we set up in our usual spot by a creek. Anyway, the wild life is anything but, and in fact one squirrel began showing a little too much interest toward my thermos, which was filled with espresso from Starbuck's.

I need to go get ready for a night out with the husband, so this will be a brief post of amusement and responses, with more amusement coming later, I hope.

Of great amusement to me today (and I may be biased) is the way that my dogs, especially the black tri Maggie, seem to see me coming into the living room and suddenly change how they're lying as if thinking "Must adjust position for maximum cuteness! Must make stretchy yawning face to get pet!" It causes much giggling.

The Holmes movie looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. We're both looking forward to it here.

Serge, I hope that I'll be able to come to your steampunk movie panel. I assume you'll share the date/time as soon as you know when it is?

Off I go to make myself presentable!

AJ... Off I go to make myself presentable!

From this into this?

And yes, of course, I'll let you know when that steampunk-movie thing willbe on at FiestaCon.

Jeeff...About babies happily giggling... I don't have kids, but I get along with the little ones pretty well. My wife says it's because I'm young at heart when not downright juvenile. Anyway, last time I was in the Bay Area, I spent quality time with my 2-year-old nephew, both of us sitting on the same bean bag, with him calmly imbibing milk while I again and again played his favorite DVDs of chamber music.

Good things: My brother graduated, and now I feel old. Also, I got Creme Brulee!

Alsoalso, um...I've got nothing.


Sorcyress... My brother graduated, and now I feel old

Now where did I put my cane?

Um, trust me, no comparison.

That wasn't properly distracting.

I was going to ask Serge to loan me that cane, but then I realized he probably meant using it to walk with.

Of course that's what I meant, Susan.

Today's plans... Weeding thru all our flower beds while my wife is in the San Francisco Bay Area... Getting new glasses, and my wife made it clear I was not going to get anything steampunky.... Acquiring the materials to replace the stairs at the top of our yard - after the original owners spent quite a bit of money on the original landscaping, you'd think they'd have gone thru a few extra dollars to build something that's not an accident waiting to happen... Tonight, watching another steampunk movie, maybe the version of 20000 Leagues starring Michael Caine, Mia Sara and Patrick Dempsey, while drinking quite a bit of coffee to compensate for my by-then pooped state.

Well, it's not the first thing that came to my mind. I was thinking of an English vice. No doubt I have been corrupted by association with Neil.

Today: catching up on half a dozen blog posts for both Kickery and Rixo that I've been starting and leaving unfinished over the last couple of weeks, mowing the lawn, and then maybe going up to a university a bit north of here where Joss Whedon is supposed to be giving a talk tonight. My mom is coming to visit tomorrow to do yardwork see a movie, and take me out to dinner. I can't believe how many movies I'm seeing this year!

No doubt I have been corrupted by association with Neil.

No doubt. I spent the afternoon playing croquet and drinking Pimms, and then cheerleading for my croquet partner. It seems I can't do the splits any more.

Tonight: The Belgian Bar.

The weekend doesn't get any more English than that.

Monday: The year 10 upper band take their final exam of the year so we begin three weeks of intensive work with the lower ability kids so they'll be ready for their exams!

I love croquet! I am quite terrible at it, but it's very accommodating to bad players. I can spend all my time engaged in destroying other people's positions rather than in a futile attempt to actually win.

We get together periodically in late 19th-century costume to play. I am reminded that if I want to play this summer, I should get to work on scheduling it.

Pimms cups...wow, that reminds me of New Orleans and late-night parties at dance weeks.

Serge: There's not enough makeup in the world to make me look like Liv Tyler, but luckily I also never look as bad as that first picture ;)

Sor: When you have Creme Brulee, do you really need anything else?

I've done pretty much everything I had set out to do today. I got a new hose reel, but it's raining right now. Just came back from my eye exam. It appears that it has barely changed since 3 years ago and I don't need to get new glasses. The doc thinks it would be a good idea to get glasses for just my computer work. I'm considering it. Any opinion on the subject? Right now though my eyesight is weird because of the drops they put in to dilate my pupils. Yuch. Hoperully it'll clear out soon because I can't watch movies without discomfort.

Susan... No doubt I have been corrupted by association with Neil

A curse on those foreign devils who corrupt our women with their strange ways!

I mowed down something like 8 months growth of grass and grass-like stuff in the back yard, on Monday. (In the tropics, that translates to well over waist high. I'm not very good at this gardening thing.) It's shooting back up alarmingly fast. I am making resolutions to keep on top of it better in the future, which I will undoubtedly duly disregard in said future.

AJ: Well, I can always use some raspberries to put on top of the creme brulee. But that's about it.

Newhappy! I saw Pixar's "Up", and it was very very sweet and funny and good and just generally Pixartastic.


I'm in line for Joss Whedon's talk! (Logged into the Wesleyan network from my spot on the sidewalk courtesy of a friendly undergrad.) They should be letting us in any minute.

Tomorrow I need to mow my foot-high front lawn areas before my mother arrives at noon.

Here comes Joss....later!

Serge, I got computer glasses last year. They're a life-saver; I had been getting bad headaches from computer use, and that's stopped. Yay!

The only problem with them is that they're not useful at work, where I'm constantly switching between reading distances. Next stop: trifocals.

Mary Aileen... Ahah! I've been getting more and more frequent headaches when I spend a long time at a computer. You've convinced me. Frequent switching wouldn't be a problem for me because all the people I work with are more than one thousand miles away and meetings are always over the phone so. I wonder if my wife would let me get steampunky computer glasses since I'd never be seen wearing them in public. Hmmm... Probably not.

I got not, not two, but three treats today. I finally found the 3rd volume in Seah Williams's superduper space opera Astropolis. Also, I saw in my mailbox NetFlix's Island at the Top of the World and also the recently bought DVD of Captain Nemo and the Underwater City. On the downside, I just finished watching the Michael Caine version of 20,000 Leagues and the ending is even more depressing than I remembered. The Nautilus is absolutely gorgeous though.

I can't help envisioning a bird trying to pick up an ice cream cone by the ice cream end: nothing solid to grasp in its beak.

The scariest moment I've ever had with an animal taking an interest in my food was at Stratford (Ont.) when one of the swans decided it was hungry. Swans are huge and very aggressive. I was sitting on a bench, and the swan's beak as it was coming at me was right at eye level. I practically teleported off the bench.

Macbeth: It was okay. The acting was generally quite good, apart from a disappointing Colm Feore. Lady Macbeth was especially good, although I and others in the audience weren't quite sure why she was made up to resemble Michelle Obama so much. We didn't like the setting at all. Warning: loud explosions and gunfire, some in-your-face spotlights.

Julius Caesar: Very good. My husband thought the acting was much better despite the fact that many of the actors were in both plays. The setting was better, although in some ways even more chaotic. The gunfire was kept to background noise.

I'd be happy to meet up with you at some point during your visit if you'd like. I'm not going to KWDS and have banned myself from fabric shopping until I use up more of my stash, but don't mind having an excuse to go to Stratford again (although your visit does coincide with the Toronto Fringe Festival).

Serge, I'm wearing computer glasses. They were very cheap because I got them here. I'd heard from other fans who got glasses there, and I got my current set of progressives there, plus two sets of reading glasses and the computer glasses. Make sure to read the How To Order page linked from the left sidebar.

I was thinking of an English vice.

Here is a typical evening in the Garden of England showing how canes are used in the privacy of one's own home.

(Safe for work; has previously appeared on this site; most recently captioned "By the power of Greyskull!")

Marilee... Thanks for the link. What is the difference between reading glasses and computer ones? The doctor told me that computer glasses are good for up to a distance of 8 feet. Are reading glasses good only for extremely short distances?

Neil... That picture is disgusting! Don't you kids have any decency? That being said, if you're He-man, is that Man-at-Arms on the left, and She-Ra in the middle? (When my wife worked at California's State Banking Dept, she and her gay friend escaped from the dreariness by imagining the adventures of He-Ra and She-Man. No, I've never asked her to elaborate.)

My husband thought the acting was much better despite the fact that many of the actors were in both plays.

But not the same director, perhaps? Some directors are better at drawing out the quality of their actors than others.

I've been away all weekend at the State Band Championships. Our band won our division, scoring 90/100 for the test piece and 175/200 overall. (But we missed out on the trophy for best score by a band from outside the metropolitan area, by a single point. Again.)

Yeah, I remember that English vice of yours. But unless Serge has three canes to loan me it would be hard to reenact it with Sor.

He-Man and She-Ra invariably make me think of the kids in Dykes to Watch Out For. I suppose this says something about my off-center cultural literacy.

Zenni was recommended to me at Balticon for cheap glasses. I assume that if you have four sets of glasses from them you like their service?

Band? Like a marching band? I was a flag twirler in high school. I loved marching around making funny shapes and tossing a six-foot flagpole (with proportionate flag) in the air. We did a few competitions, though we were never big winners. Congratulations on your divisional win!

Susan... Thanks for the reminder that "Dykes to Watch Out For" is out there. I'm planning to get my computer glasses this week. I'll then go to the bookstore next door and order the book. I doubt that they'll have it already in stock on the premises, but who knows?

Susan, thank you.

It's a brass band. We do march a few times a year, for appropriate special occasions, but not as a regular thing.

So was the competition a purely musical one with you all seated somewhere or did you march around while playing?

(I didn't even know you played an instrument! What do you play?)

I'll actually be in Hamilton (McMaster University) for a few days beforehand and Toronto for about 24 hours, so we might be able to meet up without you having to come to Stratford.

For all Colm Feore's prominence at Stratford, I've found his performances very uneven over the years.

It was a seated musical competition, this one. We've never entered any marching competitions, because mostly our marching skills aren't up to anything significantly more complicated than straight lines. (We could of course do something about that if we did more marching practice, but the band's priorities lie elsewhere than fancy marching.)

In the band, I play trombone. (I started out at the bottom of the trombone section, and outlasted everybody who was above me, so I have been lead trombone for some years now.) I also play piano a bit (well enough to play and sing along to, but not what I consider to be public performance standard). And I'm theoretically teaching myself guitar: I've got up to Lesson 2 in the book and then lost interest twice already.

Serge, yes, reading glasses are for much closer. I can read okay with the progressives, but the reading section is small and not where I put the newspaper or books.

Susan, yes, I'm very pleased with them. Most glasses come from China anyway, so there's no reason to pay the intermediate folks. Just be sure to measure the frame of your current glasses and get a frame that is very close to that size. I have the same frames for the computer glasses and one set of reading glasses and would love to have them for progressives, but they don't have enough height. The other reading glasses are slightly larger than I'd want for anywhere other than the bed, but I bought them because the frame is completely titanium and can be twisted without breaking. It makes it much easier to read while lying on my side.

Paul, I was in orchestra and band in high school and played snare when we marched and oboe and English horn in orchestra. We didn't do fancy marching, but we were the first drum section in our area that did funk rhythms instead of military rhythms.

Paul: Yes, it was a different director. Unfortunately, Macbeth was directed by the festival's Artistic Director, which is not a good sign overall.

It officially opened last night. The Toronto Star's critic pretty much read my mind in his review. He thought the setting was more interesting than I did, but what I thought was not quite right about it may simply be ignorance on my part.

Susan: I'm sure something will work out.

Susan... we might be able to meet up without you having to come to Stratford

Planning to smuggle wood into Canada again?

Having been offered a major discount on buying more tickets, my husband and I will be going to Stratford for two more days, seeing The Importance of Being Earnest, Bartholomew Fair, A Midsummer Night's Dream and West Side Story. We wanted to see them anyway, so the extra 40% discount on top of the regular discounts (for the dates we wanted) was not too hard to take. :)

The reviews have been very good for the three that have opened (MND doesn't until August), with WSS seemingly causing the critics to have a mass orgasm.

Well, Earnest has Brian Bedford in the drag role, which is reason enough for me to see it. WSS has Bruce Day in the Officer Krupke role, which is the only reason I'm bothering, having seen it a gazillion times (including once before at Stratford). I'm going to miss Dream this year unless I make a special trip back just for that, which probably isn't worth it.

I wouldn't bother to see WSS, also having seen it a number of times, but my husband suggested it as he hasn't seen it in any form. I feel better about seeing it if it really is that awesome a production.

I'm looking forward to seeing Geraint Wyn Davies not get killed off before the first intermission (he played Duncan and Julius Caesar). He'll be playing Bottom in Dream.

I'm curious... How different is West Side Story's stage version from the movie's? By he way, I think I once heard that that part of the city used to be where the Lincoln Center now stands.

You know the stage musical is not a "version" but the original creation, right?

The movie was as good an imitation of the musical as film can manage, given the loss of the immediacy and electricity of live performance that really makes a show (and WSS in particular) soar and any movie just a pale imitation. It was made under the direction of Jerome Robbins himself, who of course does well with his own choreography, with a lot of the original stage crew involved. The casting of the film was very weak, going for celebrity over talent with Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, and Richard Beymer (who failed to live up to his little burst of stardom after 1962). None of them were capable of singing their roles, so other voices are dubbed in, which is absolutely pathetic in a musical.

Susan... I thought I had put the word 'original' in along with 'stage version'. Considering how frequently my sleep was disrupted by work last night, that goofup isn't that surprising. This is to say that, yes, I knew that the stage is where that musical began. Going from movies to musicals is a more recent trend, as far as I know. (Wasn't there a recent stage production of "42nd Street", which originally was a film about stage musicals?) As for "West Side Story"... It's my understanding that Robert Wise, the movie's director, really wanted Robbins involved, but that they had to let him go (I love those euphemisms about firing someone) because it became something like a ship with two captains. As for the voices being dubbed... Turner Classic Movies recently ran a featurette about that, in between movies. Apparently the actors didn't know they were going to be dubbed and in fact would repeatdly be told they were doing just fine. It was obvious from the interviews that Moreno and Beymer weren't happy about having been fooled - and Beymer made a crack about Marnie Nixon's vocal range being so great that she had dubbed him too.

42nd Street:
For values of "recent" that include thirty years ago, sure. It won the Tony for Best Musical in 1980. The original of that one is a novel, of course, followed by a film version (1930s) followed by the stage musical version.

So movie -> stage isn't that recent a trend, though it's gathered a lot of steam in recent years with the Disney invasion of Broadway (with often-unfortunate results, though The Lion King is something I'd like to see since it involves a quality stage director-designer, MacArthur-grant-recipient Julie Taymor). The obvious recent example that was actually good (as opposed to, say, Shrek: The Musical or Spamalot or 9 to 5) is The Producers, which then managed to make the return journey to film with less success.

It's happening for the same reason we get sequels and remakes on movies and television: audience dumb-down. Broadway is playing so much to tourists nowadays that the level of theatrical sophistication is lower than it used to be, so producers feel safer (financially) with retreads of familiar material rather than original works.

Stratford, of course, does musical revivals in large part for similar financial safety-net reasons: they haul in the family audience in droves. But it's disappointing to see them restage WSS so quickly. If it weren't for Bruce Day, whom I adore, I wouldn't go see it for the nth time. (I've even worked on WSS, way back in summer stock. I still remember sewing all those %!^#* skirts for the dance in the gym in one frantic, sweaty afternoon.)

Thanks for the clarification about the origin of "42nd Street", Susan. I had not realized the stage production went that far back.

"9 to 5"?
Oh goodness.
What's next?
"Star Wars"?

When things cost a lot to make, yes, they'll hedge their bets by going with something that already has a built-in recognition factor. I can undertsand their reasoning, but that doesn't mean I like it.

Still, there ARE other reasons for remakes, I was looking forward to 2002's movie remake of "The Time Machine". It had the technology to show that chilling scene of the Traveller going into the extremely far future, so far that our sun is a bloated red thing, and some crab creature is coming out of the sluggish sea. (I once came across an edition that had added back in a passage that revealed that the crab is an even further devolved morlock.) Instead the movie effed that up by giving us a Dantesque landscape of monstrous metal statues and flames and stuff. I'll stick with the early 1960s version.

One more thing about stage shows originating with movies... At least "42nd Street"'s movie version had come out in the 1930s, about 50 years before the stage version. As for "The Lion King"... the cartoon came out in the mid-1990s. I haven't seen the stage version and it'd be interesting to watch if only because of Taymor. That being said, I very much disliked the original cartoon.

I have vague visual memories of having seen all or part of the movie, maybe at someone's house. It doesn't seem to have stuck in my head in any serious way. Why did you dislike it?

I would be happy to buy a ticket to watch Julie Taymor dramatize the phone book. Or a Burger King menu. Or pretty much anything else she feels like doing. The "genius" grant was given very, very appropriately in her case.

(Notice that Lion King is outlasting all the other Disney stuff on Broadway. Sometimes quality does mean something.)

Why did I dislike the movie? It's been a long time. Well, there was this whole royalty thing, and if you're born in this or that group, it's what your life will be. I know, it's a fantasy, but there's something about it that rubbed me the wrong way. Besides that... Good lion, blue eyes, and bad lion, yellow foreign eyes. Oh, and having the two main hyenas's voices played by two minority actors? Ouch. I'm sure Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin were glad for the paycheck. Anyway, it's not like I give much thought to the film anymore unless someone mentions it.

Regarding Taymor... I see that she's currently doing the post-production for a movie version of The Tempest.

Yeah. I can't remember offhand whether she directed a Tempest for TFANA or elsewhere that this might be adapted from (similarly to her movie Titus being in many ways an adaptation of her staged Titus Andronicus for TFANA way back when).

I expect my willingness to follow her anywhere, artistically speaking, to be more severely tested by (brace yourself) the early 2010 Broadway opening of the Taymor-directed Spiderman musical with music by U2's Bono and The Edge. Yes, I'm serious.

IMdb.com says that Taymor director The Tempest in 1986. As for Spiderman, I had heard about a stage version, but didn't realize she was involved. Well, if that pays the bills and allows her to do what she really wants to do...

My experience with live theater is limited to two or three shows at the local "Gaslight Theater" which puts on parody shows (you'd probably like them, Serge, they're full of puns) and has an arrangement with the 50s-style diner next door, so that you can order food and have it brought to your table in the theater (so it's like a dinner theater, except the dinner is optional).

My mother-in-law keeps trying to get tickets for Wicked every time we visit NY but she never has any luck. We did see Blue Man Group two years ago, but I don't know if that counts as theater or as more of a concert.

Speaking of remakes, who the heck wants to see Pelham 123 again?

Susan, WashPost article on female directors.

As to The Lion King, I don't remember if I saw the movie, but I do remember the costumes from the ads for the stage version, and I'd definitely see it just for those.

Interesting. The article focuses on directors of musicals and gives me the fascinating information that the director of Mary Stuart also directed, of all things, Mamma Mia! What a bizarre combination.

Julie Taymor has done of lot of work with Indonesian puppetry techniques, which I understand to have influenced her costume/puppet (they're really a bit of both) designs for Lion King on Broadway.

I didn't see Pelham 123 the first time, nor do I have any idea what it is. The odds of my seeing a remake are low.

AJ... you'd probably like them, Serge, they're full of puns

This kind of calumnious accusations being posted all over the internet is probably how I wind up on pun panels at cons.

Susan... Not only is "Pelham" a remake, but Marilee forgot to mention that John Travolta plays the bad guy who highjacks a New York City subway train. 'nuff said.

Susan... The article focuses on directors of musicals

I notice the absence of Mimi Leder, who directed George Clooney in nuclear-terrorism thriller "Peacemaker" in the late 1990s. She also directed "Deep Impact" not long after that, about attempts to divert a comet about to crash into the Earth.

I'm pretty sure those aren't stage productions at all, let alone musical ones, so I can't imagine why you'd think they'd be relevant to an article about the female directors of stage musicals.

Bad wording twice within the same day? I guess I was more tired than I thought from the previous night's frequent awakenings. It's just that I wanted to bring up the names of female directors who work in a genre not traditionally associated with women.

Right, but their absence from an article about directors of musicals (female or otherwise) is logical, given that they aren't directing musicals. They also left out female directors of stage plays (notice they didn't even credit Lloyd with Mary Stuart), female directors of TV shows, female directors of large corporations, and female directors of medical education programs. This isn't remarkable any more than the absence of singers from the Metropolitan Opera at a science fiction convention is remarkable. The article is tightly focused.

Pelham 123 got a good review in the NYT today, by the way, and has a good cast (I like John Travolta). I still probably won't see it unless it gets really, really hot and I need an air-conditioning break.

Susan... The article is tightly focused

Me, I like a main focus, but I don't mind a bit of rambling.
("You don't? We are shocked, shocked!")

As for movies... There isn't really anything that I'm looking forward to for the rest of the summer. There is "9", out on my birthday, about life after humanity is gone. Then there's "Sherlock Holmes" during the Holidays. There are a few things that might be interesting, like "Moon", but it's a quiet year so far.

Of course, I will also want to see Taymor's "Tempest". I wonder how she did the stage version in 1986, and what approach the movie will take.

I want to see Up, but as the health stuff spirals (four medical appts next week, and the next couple of weeks are almost that bad), I don't know when I'll have time. But Netflix emailed me today that Monsters Inc. will be here tomorrow, which makes me happy. It's one of the DVDs that I put right back at the bottom of the queueueue after I watch it.

For those who never saw the movie, here's the coming attraction for Taymor's Across the Universe.

We decided to go see a movie last night, a late show as we are fond of doing (less crowded, less chance of kids). Our 10 o'clock options were Up in 3d and Star Trek. As we approached the box office, we were both thinking that we should see Up... until we heard the guy ahead of us in line, who was buying tickets for the exact show we wanted to see, complaining about the cost, and being loud and obnoxious. Faced with the idea of putting up with him through the entire movie, we chose Star Trek.

I wasn't too impressed with Trek, but at least there were only 4 other people in the theater with us, they were quiet, and we got to see the trailer for 9 on the big screen :D

AJ... Only 4 other people? Goodness. The audience dried up that fast?

10PM Sunday is probably not a preferred time for movie-going (Monday morning comes too soon...).

I remember seeing The Phantom when it came out in 1997. It wasn't that late, but there were only 2 people in the theater, including my wife and I.

I missed The Phantom movie when it came out; that was after I grew out of reading Phantom comics and before I grew back in.

Since then, I've tried watching it twice (once when it was on TV, once on video). Both times, I lost the will to go on before the end of the allegedly action-packed opening sequence. They seemed to be trying to go for a thirties-movies-serial vibe, but for some reason it was just... dull.

I hope you had better luck with it, if only because switching it off and doing something else isn't an option when you're watching it in the theater.

Paul A... I grew up on The Phantom comic-strip and, while I liked the movie enough to buy the DVD, it's one of those cases where my liking was fueled by nostalgia. It could have used a better director, and less silly villains. The Phantom's costume, with the intricate patterns all over it, was quite neat. Say, did you recognize the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer as his girlfriend? And, hey! That's Catherine Zeta-Jones as the Bad Girl who sees the errors of her ways.

I enjoyed the Phantom movie. Enough to see it at least twice (once in the theater, once on DVD). Nostalgia for the strip was part of it, but not all of it.

(Until the second mention of the comic-strip, I thought we were talking about Phantom of the Opera (which may never have been a movie--was it?). Yes, I'm slow on the uptake sometimes.)

Mary Aileen... I think Andrew Lloyd Weber's Phantom was made into a movie back in 2005. I never saw it so I can't tell if it was any good. Susan?

I never saw the movie of the Lloyd Webber musical, but I saw it three times on stage in various cities back in the 1980s. Since I live near enough to NYC to see it again any time I feel like it, why watch it on film instead of live?

I'm pretty sure the story has been filmed before, though. Wasn't there a silent version, for starters?

If you saw Weber's musical 3 times on stage, Susan, I'll assume that you didn't dislike it. Heh. As for movies based on Gaston Leroux's story, let's see. There was Lon Chaney's silent-era movie. The early 1960s had Hammer Films's version, with Herbert Lom. In the 1970s, there was Brian de Palma's "Phantom of the Paradise", a rock musical that combined Leroux's story and Dorian Gray. The 1990s had a TV adaptation - with Charles Dance, I think. There are probably others that I forgot about.

I liked it fine as a teenager. I don't know if I'd like it quite as much now, though it would be much easier to analyze all the subtextual kinkiness now.

Susan... Are you referring to this subtext being specifically in Weber's story, or was it already in Leroux's original? If it was also in the movies I saw, it went over my head, I am embarassed to say.

It's "Lloyd Webber," not "Weber." Weber writes the Honor Harrington books. Lloyd Webber writes musicals.

I haven't read the original so I don't know about that, but it's certainly in the musical.

Oops. Wrong Webber. Coming soon to Broadway, Andrew Lloyd Webber's "David Weber's Honor Harrington"...

LLOYD Webber. Not just Webber. His last name is two words. His brother is Julian Lloyd Webber. His father is William Lloyd Webber. His daughter is Imogen Lloyd Webber.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)