Thursday, July 26, 2007

Next week is August already

Recently: Top-floor terrace party, beautiful sunset, great friends in Park Slope. Vivaldi and Piazzolla's seasons at the old bandshell in Central Park with a wonderful subset of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Reading on a rock by a waterfall in the relatively secluded northern woods of the park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Patti LuPone belting it out as Mama Rose in Gypsy at City Center. Delicious cheesecake and cheese plate and steak frites at Artisanal.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

You get what you pay for

Remember that story about the fistfight that broke out in Boston's Symphony Hall at the Pops concert recently? I was half expecting a repeat of that performance tonight at the N.Y. Philharmonic's concert in Central Park. This wasn't my first time at one of these, but it was perhaps the most fraught so far. Throw a free musical event in the park with fenced in areas for people to sit on a weeknight when a lot of people end up arriving late and you have a recipe for some pretty rude behavior. It amazes me how people who show up 15 minutes after the concert starts expect to find a seat in front of the hundreds of people already sitting down. There were certainly a lot of footprints on blankets and heated exchanges. At what point do you give up the illusion that you can somehow control the crowd around you? It's sad this has to happen at something I'd otherwise champion wholeheartedly. It's heartwarming on a theoretical level that all those people come out to listen to classical music. Of course it is an excuse to have a summer evening picnic with friends and family, see some fireworks and openly flout the open-container law as well, but the music's a big part of it. At least I like to think of it that way. Would it be better if say they charged a token handful of dollars to get in to keep the crowd down somewhat, I wonder. Eventually, things did settle down, and we got to appreciate most of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition without interruption.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's too hot to blog

So some quick hits:

Absinthe at Spiegeltent: A must see! Really captivating acrobatic art mixed with some good ol' school falsetto channeling of singing divas spiced with some bawdy humor in one of the most amazing moveable cabaret tents around.

Surface to Air: While I usually love trips to Symphony Space (the Selected Shorts series being one of those nostalgic favorites that symbolized the bridge between my childhood and coming to New York), I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this "Summer Stock on Broadway" show. The house wasn't even half full and the show seemed to reflect that. It wasn't absolutely dreadful, but not really very winning either. There wasn't enough humor to balance out the weighty subject matter and the shouting match between father and son toward the end was too long. Plus, as M. noted, the play squandered the one moment of climactic pathos it might've been able to squeak out.

Transformers: I don't think I would've gone to see this on my own, but I have to say it beat my expectations. Which isn't saying much. Just that it's better than horrible. There were enough moments where you could tell the filmmakers were able to poke fun at themselves and the genre to make you remember the absurdity of it all, such as the scene where the soldier is trying to get a hold of the Pentagon and he gets routed through a call center in India. And the part on the teenagers' date when the lead actor whips out the "more than meets the eye" line. That seemed to separate the audience into those who grew up in the '80s and those who didn't. But the climactic fight scene was too long. (Then again, I usually think so when it comes to action movies. Hence why I'm more likely to see them accidentally than on purpose.)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What's almost better than getting an iPhone?

Learning that This American Life, the Showtime TV show, is now available for download on iTunes. For that amazingly high percentage of people who listen to public radio, but don't get premium cable channels.