Thursday, July 01, 2010

Shows / Peppers / Hearse

--On Sunday we went to see Billy Elliot, which was, I regret to say, mostly stale and without focus. I think the original production was probably outstanding--the direction is the only thing that saved it from being a completely worthless evening. There are some fantastic visuals and, thankfully, the action never seems to slow. But the show has to compete with the film version, which is arguably flawless in its emotional pitch, and its ability to hang on to a moment. There were no moments in this show, only people doing what they do eight times a week.

--Alternately, we saw the utterly engrossing and fantastic revival of La Cage aux Folles on Tuesday, with Kelsey Grammer, and the incomparable (and now Tony Award-winning) Douglas Hodge. How refreshing, how inspiring, how fulfilling to see something so grand and real and hilarious! This show is full of moments. The gags come freely and lightly, with a kind of joy about them that I haven't seen on Broadway in a long while. (I'm remembering the first few performances of Spamalot, where the audience was just so crazy excited about what they were seeing.) This show felt like that. If you are nearby, or far away, go right now to see it. It's spectacular.

--Our shishito pepper plant made one giant pepper. We were shocked! Remember a while ago when I was talking about how I didn't really see plants. I didn't really get the miracle of them? Here is the miracle of growing things. You leave for work and when you come home there is a shishito pepper waiting to be plucked off, tickled with olive oil, blistered in your great-grandmother's cast iron, dusted with sea salt, and savored. Look, I shouted to nobody, a miracle! I showed Kip, "Look!" "Where did that come from?" he said.

--Here is a really new, really beautiful song by Ani Difranco.

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