Friday, February 28, 2014

through my headphones

I am an avid theater fan, but do not (much to my disappointment) live near Broadway or the West End. Because of this, I am not able to see all of the shows I would like. And so, I've compiled a list of my favorites of the shows I've seen... and haven't seen.

Shows I've Seen:

The Crucible

This straight play is written by Aurthur Miller, the playwright of Death of a Salesman and once-husband of Marilyn Monroe. Inspired by Communist hunts and transformed to the Salem witch trials, The Crucible is completely heart-wrenching. It was also made into a film with Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder.


I was able to see this wonderful musical while it was on Broadway, which was a wonderful experience in itself. The show itself, however, managed to outshine the location. It featured lovely actors and actresses like Rob McLure (Chaplin) and Jenn Colella (Hedda Hopper). It shows a slightly adapted version of Chaplin's life, detailing his insane mother, film career, marital struggles, and his exile from America after Communist accusations. It's quite similar to the Chaplin film, in which the actor is portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

This poetic tale is weaved by the one and only William Shakespeare, and has to be included. It's one of his better known plays, and has been played many different ways. The version I saw included a segment about a boy dreaming, probably in the early nineteen hundreds- making the text of the play legitimately a dream. The dialogue is witty and funny, and the cast I saw acted the script so well every word of it was completely understandable despite the "stigma" of Shakespeare. The 1999 film version has great actors such as Christian Bale (Demetrius), Stanley Tucci (Puck), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Titania).

Shows I Haven't Seen:

Love Never Dies

This is Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, in which Christine, husband Raoul, and son Gustave travel to America. It involves Coney Island, reappearances of certain characters, and quite a lot of drama. And all of this, I've only gleaned from the musical score- which is just as amazing and intricate as Phantom's.

The Addams Family Musical

It's the traditional ghoulish and grim humor one might except of the Addams family, but in a musical. Wednesday has just come of age, and after that, everything begins to happen. She has invited a boy and his family to dinner- a semi-normal family from Ohio. I've been able to watch much of it online, and with an original cast containing Nathan Lane (Gomez) and Bebe Neuwirth (Morticia), it's absolutely hilarious.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

stuck in my head

A friend of mine recently introduced my to the musical duo of Twenty One Pilots. Though their genre of music isn't usually my thing, I couldn't help but be intrigued. They do a lot of rap, but also some "regular" songs. In all of it, the lyrics are gorgeous. I haven't heard a whole lot of their repertoire yet, but of what I have heard, "House of Gold" is my favorite.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"who is the third who always walks beside you?"

Since I have been talking much of novels and television and film of late, I decided I might add some poetry into the mix. One of my favorite poets (of which, of course, I have many), is T.S. Eliot. Besides being one of the main voices of the Jazz Age disillusionment, one of his poetry collections was turned into the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The man is a genius with words, and here I will share excerpts from a few of his lovely works- and links where you can read the rest.

"The Waste Land"

(lines 249-256)

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.
(lines 18-27)
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

(lines 49-54)

For I have known them all already, known them all;
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

I encourage you to click the links, read the poems, and revel in T.S. Eliot's mastery of the written word.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

lady detective

 Set in 1920s Australia, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries defies most (if not all) stereotypes. She is a woman detective and quite independent. One of her friends- who is also a woman- is a doctor and scientist. The police (her particular friends, when it suits her) are completely competent, and the murders are not always based around the same thing.

To date, I have only seen a few episodes of Miss Fisher. However, these episodes are enough to know that I exuberantly recommend diving into her dangerous world of gold plated guns and keeping daggers in your garter. Essie Davis (Miss Fisher herself) plays the part with such honesty, you'd think she'd lived her entire life chasing criminals in heels. Her friends include the dashing Nathan Page as the Detective Inspector, the young constable Hugh (played lovably by Hugo Johnstone-Burt), and Dot (Ashleigh Cummings), a girl who works at Miss Fisher's home and- defying the social standards of the time- has become her friend.

you can quote me on it

It has been a while before I've posted some of my favorite literary quotes, so I decided to renew that tradition:

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”
-Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

“Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”
-George Orwell's 1984

“When an uninstructed multitude attempts to see with its eyes, it is exceedingly apt to be deceived.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
-Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

Monday, February 3, 2014

the eclectic authoress recommends...

43. The third season of "Sherlock", a show I've talked about much before. It's just ended its three episode run in the United States, and has ended with just as big of a cliffhanger as our favorite consulting criminal did in "The Great Game". The cinematography is as beautiful as ever, and the plot twists are even more intense.