Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the WindThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is almost a love letter to literature itself. I can't remember who did the English translation, but they were incredible. It begins the morning Daniel can't remember his mother's face and his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. He can choose one book and picks a book by Julian Carax and falls in love with it. When he tries to find out more about the author and other books by him, he discovers a mystery instead. Not only did Carax have almost no success, but there are almost no copies left - a mysterious stranger who calls himself by one of Carax's characters has been buying or stealing any copy and burning it.

I loved this book, the poetic writing, the mystery, the characters. Be forewarned there is some language (though very judiciously used, I never felt it to be gratuitous) and a few love scenes (which, with one slight exception are relegated to poetic descriptions, albeit, slightly dirty poetry).

I like that on the back cover it says "even the subplots have subplots". This is an amazing read and very engrossing!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Okay, I have to post another song :)

Ruthie and Carol are both priceless in this! If you don't think you'll like it, just seriously wait until Carol starts singing. No explanation needed

"Invocation and Instruction to the Audience"

This is the opening number to a musical review of Sondheim with a stellar (no, STELLAR!) cast (Carol Burnette, Ruthie Henshall, George Hearn, John Barrowman, and Bronson Pinchot - who sings this number). I HIGHLY recommend renting the DVD "Putting it Together", I love almost every minute of it (and highly like the rest).
This always makes me laugh though, especially if you've ever been to a live performance of anything. Basically it's about the etiquette, but extremely funny!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Via Dolorosa" sung by Lea Salonga

I'm not sure if this is technically a Christmas song, but appropriate nonetheless. Perhaps others are familiar with "Via Dolorosa", but I was not until I was looking up videos of Lea Salonga (original cast of "Miss Saigon" and singing voice of Jasmine on "Aladdin") and came across this beautiful rendition! It's haunting and moving, and... oh, just click play already! If you want to fast forward past the beginning, the song itself starts at 0:47, but the speech they play beforehand is beautiful in it's own right.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Awesome spoof/dance off Harry Potter vs. Twilight

The actress "portraying" Kristen Stewart is beyond perfection! Loved this!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Drowsy Chaperone

I've only seen a handful of stuff at Hale Centre Theatre, but what I have seen is top notch quality, and their performance of "The Drowsy Chaperone" is no exception. I wasn't familiar with this musical beforehand, but it was a delicious treat!
It's modeled after a decadent 20's musical, like the old Cole Porter or Gershwin stuff with over the top acting, any excuse for a big tap number, and gangsters that are anything BUT intimidating. The thing that makes it work so well is it's structure. The play actually opens on a lonely recently divorced man who likes to listen to showtunes on records. I thought, oh he'll dissapear after the musical part starts and come back every once in a while or at the end - boy! I'm so glad I was wrong! He's there the entire time "pausing" the record to explain something (meanwhile, the actors are frozen mid-sentence, mid-song, and even mid-note!), or the hilarious time when the record "skipped" and they kept repeating the same phrase till he fixed the record. The actor who plays him has the best comic timing ever - I think I'm actually going to go see it again with my neighbor :)
Get tickets now!!! It was the best time out I've had in a while! It runs through Nov 27th and is only $23-$26 a ticket!
Here's a small peek from their production that they posted on YouTube.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chinese State Circus Swan Lake (trust me- you've never seen it like this!)

Oh, please - I could do this in my sleep! (Well, in my dreams while I sleep that is)

Incredible stunts!

Some people must have something missing in their brain to pull some of these stunts!