Play Reviews--Watch Them Now
2020-05-06, 9:20 p.m.
Quotes from today's morning meeting:
* "Somebody knew the apocalypse was coming, because they had toilet paper in there." --Lioness on finding TP in the storage area.
The strike that was affecting my job is now officially over, as apparently The Hammer was dropped on the strikers and it was quietly ended almost a month ago but somehow the news only has just gotten out. I reasonably assumed that coronavirus ended that in all practicality. Well, I feel sorry for the strikers, who now REALLY can't afford to lose their jobs, but they weren't likely to going to win anyway and it's one less thing to worry about for me."
* Toward the end of the meeting: "Okay, we're getting crazy now." -Tigress
"Where's Jennifer's Camera?" was unfortunately brought up at the end, forcing me to openly freak out at people not to ask me why, and Grandboss changed the subject. Thank gawd.
As for the rest of work, I gotta give Grandboss props for working out the kinks in getting that giant list I have to deal with taken care of a lot faster. Then spent three hours on Zoom again in training. Mom messaged me wanting "two minutes" (yeahright) and I was all, nope, totally having 4 hours of Zoom per afternoon now, can't even do that.
During lunch, I was watching "Tiny Beautiful Things." "Stars In The House" did a Zoom play of 'Tiny Beautiful Things," which I did not know was a play, exactly (feels more like it would just be a reading even before this time), but it's perfectly set up for the age of Zoom, with three others reading the letters and Nia Vardalos as Sugar answering. If you want to watch, it's only on through Mother's Day. I enjoyed it, though like I said, doesn't exactly seem like a play even though they did have scriptbooks that they showed at the end. But hey, Cheryl Strayed/Sugar writing is always profound. I was rather disappointed that the most memorable letter I always think of (that friend of hers that got burned and later killed himself) wasn't really in it, but....I dunno what to say there.
In the interviews after, Nia said "This is the biggest audience we've ever had!" Hubert called it "a mix tape" of excerpts from the book. Nia said that in the original play, the letter writers would just drift in and out of Cheryl's wall-less house, because Cheryl basically said it was like they were haunting her all day.
After work, I did a storytelling open tell/brief workshop. I signed up for a workshop at thestorystudio.org a couple weekends ago and got an email a few days ago saying they were offering open tells for current/past students if you want to sign up, first ten get to tell. I wrote back and was sent the Zoom link, but didn't get a response as to whether or not I was in the first ten, I assumed that meant I wasn't in the first ten because I wrote them back within, I dunno, a half hour or something. But it turned out this is a new thing for them--their second event like this--and enough people flaked on showing up so that I got in. Go figure.
Stories told involved (a) a guy passing a love note to a girl in second grade and then finding out she thinks he's ugly, but now as an adult, his wife wrote him a love note saying he was the most beautiful guy he ever met (d'awwwww), (b) a girl blabbing that her uncle is in prison and getting slapped for it, (c) a girl and her dad somehow get into a pool brawl when he's trying to save her from drowning (I confess that was a bit confusing, for obvious reasons, (d) a guy who got bit in the face by a snake at a "serpentarium." The first one was my favorite.
I actually got a really good critique on my hot water story (in all honesty, I like Lisa and I signed up for another storytelling class with her in June, but it's pretty freewheeling in a sense), and they were surprised that I was more advanced for being a random stranger, I guess? The teachers at this joint are sharp. "You're an advanced student" and "it's obvious that you've been doing this." Woot! Will have to ponder the critique stuff for a while. They made VERY good points.
After that, I watched Emma: The Musical online, which takes place in 1960. I admit I think it's really taking off around the end of chapter 5 when Emma and Knightley are kind of fighting with each other. The actress playing Emma is spectacularly Emmaish, I must say. I kind of wish the guys in this were a bit hotter and less "older English dude" (okay, Robert Martin's doing pretty well for himself, but why anyone would swoon over Elton, I cannot fathom). I don't think the music is all that memorable, though. It reminds me of various musical analysis pieces I've read about when a musical has a lot of memorable songs (Hamilton!) versus ones where really only one song stands out ("Defying Gravity" comes to mind), versus ones where somehow you can't remember any of the tunes after the fact (Love Never Dies.... well, I remember a few of them now, but it's only because I just saw it recently). Sometimes that happens, I'm not sure why. The musical does really fit when transplanted to 1960, though. They said before the show that they kept the dialogue the same.
Ewwww, Elton proposes asking for her "eternal obedience." SQUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.
I do enjoy Emma's open snarly pissiness throuh gritted teeth every time Jane Fairfax comes up. "One can only hope she takes the bait," she snarls at the camera. Delightful. Wait, did she just say that smuggness and arrogance only look good on her? Hah!
I can't help but notice that a great way to bond temporarily with a false love interest in Jane Austen is for the two of you to hang out, bitching about a third person you don't like very much.
I maintain that Jane Fairfax seems like a perfectly nice girl, albeit a bit bland and VERY MUCH overhyped. Pretty much like Jane Bennet, except we look at her through a different lens this time, the lens of pissiness rather than the look of sisterly love. "I don't not like her, I simply have chosen not to form an attachment to her," Emma says, which amuses me. Save that one for later. But later she's all, "She's not so terribly bad."
At intermission, the girl who plays Harriet said she's been doing this show for twelve years and was asked to talk about it from her POV when they started creating it. I love how she started talking about the show they did as a "radio play" during a blackout, and '400 decided to stay, even with no air conditioning." That was her favorite show.
Wait a minute, Robert Martin just read Pride and Prejudice and I don't think he liked it!? I continue to be amused at the gag that Harriet goes on about how he says charming things and the character continues to be verklempt.
"Vanity must always be forgiven, because there is no hope of a cure." BWAHAHAHAHA. Oh goody, someone else for Emma to hate even more! "I shall take you under my wing and make you my pet," Mrs. Elton says, and Jane Fairfax's expression is priceless.
I like how absence doesn't make Emma's heart grow fonder one bit. But later she's all
I like how Emma thinks Harriet is the best of them all. I like how later Harriet rips her a new one while singing for thinking she's so low and has to take whoever she can get because she's "natural" (i.e. someone's bastard).
"What is this endless dance we're in/" Knightley sings. I confess I'm actually enjoying him doing this number. "Faultless, in spite of all your faults." Then he asks her to call him George and she refuses because she doesn't like it! "Emma, you mock me even now." "Of course. What better time?" (Maybe he needs to get rechristened as Ernest?) Her dad won't call him George either!
In other news, Linda wants to do another radio play next week and I of course said I'm in, and ah, you-know-who wants in this time....
* "Seeing" someone now has a whole other definition these days, sigh.
On a related note, from today's Carolyn Hax chat (Washington Post): "Couples at all stages of relationships go through separations all the time--deployments, family commitments, work-related travel, schooling. Some of them make it, some of them don't. I know you want yours to be one of the ones that does make it, but some of that will depend on what you put into it, and some of that will depend on the Universe. The more you can delegate to the Universe, the better I like your chances. It leads to flexibility and flexibility is your best chance to get through trauma without shattering. (Relationship physics.)"