February 10th, 2008


Ars Longa, Chita Brevis

Well, going to see Chita Rivera with the West End Whingers last night was really quite fun. I had a nice buzz going from all of the wine I had before the show and, as she talked about the passage of the years, I could practically feel them blowing by me. Unfortunately I don't really have a grasp on the early part of her career (as I didn't make it through West Side Story - the copy we rented was so horrible we gave up after about half an hour) so I didn't really get the buzz from hearing her talk about and sing the songs of those, er, decades (hard to believe that someone like her would do a touring Sweet Charity back in the day - did they actually once have quality actors do tours instead of hacks?).

But she sang SO many songs from shows I'd never heard of (The Rink? Phil called it the one with the rollerskating dogs, but it was just a dog with rollerskates from the description she gave) that I felt like she represented the tip of a huge iceberg of music I'd only ever experienced a fraction of. So much more wonderful music out there for me to learn! And watching her dance, I though, how strange it was to see this - she represented a physical memory that just couldn't be recreated other than in her body. So much of the stuff she's done and been in is just gone, and yet, as she started singing, "Big Spender," I felt she could hear the words and the movement as a whole within her - a piano ker-slap (thump PIVOT), "I could tell ..." (thrust ripple) "at the time ..." - and so MANY of these things were buried in her, she was a veritable altar of musical theater and should be being carefully mined for all of her knowledge n an expedited basis.

Oh, but to see her sing, "Nowadays ..." just an echo of the old days with Gwen Verdon, but so lovely ... all of those years rising up in front of us, and it was heaven. Aaaah. And then there was more wine and catty comments exchanged between old friends and talking about the rise and fall of musical theater (in England and the US) and how the dogs got rollerskates, plus riding the buzz of finally getting my plane tickets for Easter booked. Truly a great night out!

It's spring already!

So, in the long series of posts called Another Sunday Pissed Away, I present today's entry:

Breakfast: country potato hash (bacon, peppers, onions, taters) with melted cheese on top, poached eggs, a side of smoked back bacon, and hot sauce.

Afternoon: a walk in Bishop's park, as the sun was really shining nicely and some kind of trees are blooming and something else bizarre is smelling lovely. I went with wechsler (shadowdaddy is not so much up for walking as his foot is not well yet) and we watched Indian ring necked parakeets eating cherry blossoms in a little private garden inside the Fulham Palace grounds. Said palace was actually open today, and we went in, but held off poking around in favor of snacking: scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream for me with something they said was Assam tea but wasn't; shepherd's pie for him, with no salad as they were out.

Now I'm back and off to shop for groceries before going to the NFT to see Anna Mae Wong as a fan girl; unlike some of you, she'll actually be dancing and holding fans. At some point I'm going to try this recipe for Bucatini all’Amatriciana, but I think I screwed up and just got pork cheek instead of cured pork cheek (guanciale), so I may save it for later.
Movie reel

Pavement Butterfly (Anna May Wong), and in which I throw in the towel

Well, I do like silents, but Pavement Butterfly didn't hit the heights I was hoping for. Yes, Anna May Wong was lovely to watch, but the plot was thin on the ground and there just weren't enough subtitles. The piano player who accompanied wasn't bad, but compared to the genius of the Mighty Wurlitzer at the Paramount Theater (and pre-created scores, and sound effects), this was just ... accompaniment. It wasn't a bad movie, just ... not great. Oh well, it was pleasant enough to get out.

That said, shadowdaddy and I are throwing the towel in on tomorrow's entertainment, a three and a half hour opera we booked tickets for back in December. Whatever, we can get our money back for these, but the thought of getting back home at 11:30 after what might or might not have been a good night's entertainment is more than either of us can bear. Benjamin Britten: better when you've got actual stamina, which we don't. We'll save our energy for other nights.