Monday, March 31, 2008

A Joyless Affair

Tonight I went to see A Catered Affair on Broadway. I don't know what it is... maybe In The Heights has ruined me for other musicals? Or maybe this one is just... not that outstanding. The acting was strong and the book was well-written, but the music? Yeesh.

Here's the premise. A girl, who's brother recently died fighting in a war in the 50's, decides she wants to quickly marry her boyfriend in a no-fuss civil ceremony and move on with her life, but her family eventually convinces her to let them throw her a huge wedding, against the girl's better judgment. I would like to say hilarity ensues. It does not.

No one in this play is over the death of the boy who went off to war. Neither is the composer. No one barely cracks a smile throughout the whole musical. The music offers very little variety and never transcends the gloom. Also, most of the songs are spoke-sung to the point where you wonder why there is music at all.

I liked several of the performances a lot. Faith Prince and Tom Wopat are very compelling as the bride's parents. Harvey Fierstein is always great to watch and this is no exception. But these people are all theater PROS, they could read you the phone book on stage and make it compelling. But given the choice I'd rather hear them perform something better than the phone book. Does this material really need to be a musical, and is this really the best type of music for it? Give me something with a little pep! If you're out of Ibsen or Beckett, don't turn the phone book into a musical. Look around for a People magazine, at least!

I will be interested to see the reviews when they come out. Maybe they will love it and it will seem like i have no idea what I'm talking about. There's talent and professionalism here, but I thought the songs really failed. I am seeing Cry Baby this weekend. Word on the street is that it is not good. I'm hoping it's a beautiful disaster. If it's gonna be bad at least let it be gawdy over the top bad. That's the broadway i know!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Plans

I believe the Lennon quote goes: Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.

But what if you are not busy making other plans? What if there are no plans and no momentum towards making them? I am not by nature a self-planner. I mean, it's my day job to organize other people's schedules and make plans for them, but that's different. It's like with chefs who don't cook for themselves at home. Right now I have peanut butter and jelly prospects for the future.

It's not like I'm naturally spontaneous either. I'd mostly just kinda like to sit here on my couch and have good things happen to me with no effort. I don't think I'm unique in this desire, but I know it can't be this way! As I continue to barrel toward 30, I've been reflecting, and I've got some perspective on where I've been, and where I am now. I have some nice ideas about where I'd like to be heading, but no real plans on how to actually get there. So, if I have no real plans, does that mean despite having a full daily routine, I in essence have no chance at having a life?

Quite possibly. The thought makes me uneasy, but you could argue a strong case for it and i would be inclined to agree with you.

But then recently I turned a corner: Maybe I COULD make plans! Sure, why not? And then life would wonderfully come and interrupt me just as i started getting busy, and send me in the direction of my destiny. I will make an effort to make plans, and then i will report back here and chronicle how it's going. Perhaps life will show up after all.

So I'm gonna try to blog. I will most likely not follow through. I tried something similar to this on myspace, but i wound up hating myspace, so it never really materialized. But the interface here seems easy enough to understand. Excuses are few. Hopefully if you are reading this, I'll say something mildly amusing every now and again, and you'll eventually comment, and I will feel special. I have lofty ideas about what I should be able to accomplish in my life and it ain't gonna happen unless I get out of my comfort zone and try new things. When I get inspired, I will follow through. Now that's my plan.