Well, dear readers, I am sitting here like so much fish, listening to music on this Friday evening and, after an over eighty-degree sunny day, it is currently raining and has been all evening. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, sun then rain, just like that. Is it any wonder people are sick and allergies are rearing their ugly little heads? Phut, I say, and phut I say again. I had a very rough night for reasons I know not other than perhaps the chicken salad didn’t agree with the bagel and perhaps the bagel didn’t agree with the Ny-Quil, but I was up several times with an upset tummy. I think I still managed to get almost eight hours of sleep, but that’s impossible to know, really.
Once up, I only had time to answer some e-mails before moseying on over to the theatre to meet with our sound designer. We walked the theatre and he’s going to do what he feels is best within our budget, so I can now rest much easier about how our show will sound. After that, I picked up some packages and thought about matzoh ball soup, but I needed a break from it, frankly, so I just came home. I had a couple of bagels with cream cheese and some mac-and-cheese I got from Gelson’s. And I listened to a lot of music – mostly symphonies including two by Kurt Weill (in performances I didn’t find all that good, but I did enjoy the music, especially the second), several by Joly Braga Santos, who’s really great, and then Arnold Bax, whose symphonies I never cared for but am really loving now. How can that be you might ask and I might tell you, for why should I withhold such things from dear readers like yourselves. I came to know Bax through the series of recordings by Bryden Thomson on Chandos. At the time they were highly lauded. I could never quite get with the music and I didn’t really know why. But I do now – because the Chandos “sound” back then was washy and indistinct with no orchestral detail – that was most of it. In rediscovering the music I’m listening to the five of the seven symphonies recorded on Lyrita, one of my favorite labels for LPs and CDs – well, it’s a whole different ballgame, with conductors who really understand what Bax is about and sound that is beautiful and up front with lots of orchestral detail – it makes all the difference in the world, frankly. These five symphonies are really wonderful – the first, second, fifth, sixth, and seventh, with the seventh being my favorite. Bax was also an excellent film composer, who wrote the classic score to David Lean’s film of Oliver Twist. Very enjoyable, I must say. At some point, I sat on my couch like so much fish.
Last night, I watched a motion picture on the Flix of Net, a quite awful thing called 211. Now we knew it was going to be awful since it stars Nicolas Cage, and it lived up to awful quite well. The writer/director was a former professional snowboarder – exactly. I’m sure he began with a list of every cliché under the sun, just so he’d be sure not to miss a single one. It’s all so tiresome. We open in some Middle Eastern country with lots of shooting, money being transferred, people being offed, and nefarious people doing nefarious things. Then we go directly to a cop and his newly-pregnant wife – her father is also a cop and they’re somewhat estranged, only because we need them to reconcile in the final scene. Then there’s the young black kid bullied in the bathroom by your standard issue white teens – after they try to put his head in the toilet he knocks one of them to the floor – now wait – JUST as a teacher enters so of course the bullies get away with it and the kid has to either be expelled or do a ride along with the police as punishment. Guess which one it is? The black kid’s mother is a nurse. So, the kid does his riding around with Cage and his son-in-law – pretty uneventful, until the bad guys from the first scene pull a bank heist. As soon as the see the cop car in the parking lot, they blow up a diner as a diversion. Are you keeping score? Then we have the ubiquitous hostages, shooting, trying to keep the kid safe, partners being shot, SWAT people acting like idiots, and on and on and on. In the end, everyone gets what they deserve, daddy and daughter reconcile, a year later she and hubby have a new baby and the black kid is there photographing it all on his phone. All of this takes place in what seems like hours but in reality is only eighty-one minutes sans end credits. It continues Mr. Cage’s string of bomb after bomb. This supposedly had a theatrical release this past June, but I simply don’t believe it ever played a theater. The direction is awful, as is the writing, and there are some of the worst performances you will ever see on the screen. It’s a shame about Mr. Cage – nice that he makes money, but he was a talented actor who should be doing better things.
After that, I had another bagel and cream cheese and continued listening to both music and the rain, not necessarily in that order.
Today, I’ll sleep in, then just relax, maybe go out for a bite to eat or bring some matzoh ball soup back here, hopefully pick up some packages, but mostly just rest and relax and watch something.
Tomorrow will be more of the same, and then Monday we’re back at it and that’s my week – rehearsals and more rehearsals and hopefully finishing blocking the entire show by Wednesday or Thursday, at which point I’ll assemble the various parts, block the scene shifts and we can begin run-throughs.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, sleep in, relax, eat, hopefully pick up packages, and perhaps watch a motion picture of some sort. Today’s topic of discussion: When you were growing up what was your favorite record label and why? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, having had a sunny day and a rainy night.