30 November 2008

What to see, what to see...

I'll be in NYC in a few weeks, for a few nights. While I'm there, I want to see as much theatre as I can, and I've been going some research on what to check out. I'm looking for shows that:

a) have a great sound design.
b) are newer.

I've been reading reviews and seeking some advice, and here is my (current) list:

39 Steps - I've heard the sound design is great!
Taking Over - A new piece of hip-hop theatre.
South Pacific - How could I not?
Blasted - because I have yet to see a Kane.
Speed the Plough - perhaps.

Any other thoughts? Recommendations? Un-recommendations?

23 November 2008

A long burst of work, followed by a nice day off.

Last weekend, I was in Minneapolis, working with a few friends (and a bunch of students) on a new piece based on the Gilgamesh myth. On Monday, I flew back to LA, and thus began an intense week. 'Began' may not be the right word, since it was really the eighth day in a row that I was working, but still. Anyhow, Sarah picked me up on Monday at LAX and drove me straight to campus for a rehearsal. I was on campus on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Today, I finally got a day off. Sarah and I met Luke and his daughter Tosca for breakfast and then a trip to the farmer's market. After, Sarah and I went exploring in San Pedro, where there were great views:

















And a beautiful Korean pagoda looking over the Pacific:










After our afternoon in San Pedro, we zipped back to Long Beach, where I graded one last paper before dinner with Aga. We did some sushi and then a trip for some gelato. We also found the new cheese shop in Belmont Shores, but it was, alas, closed.

After dinner, Aga went home, and Sarah and I watched Edward Norton in THE INCREDIBLE HULK. It was better than the Ang Lee film, but that's not saying too much.

Tomorrow is a day of doctors appointments! Podiatry and opthamology!

17 November 2008

Something I don't understand re: financial bailout

So, back when we got this $700B bailout package, Henry Paulson said that the money would go to buying bad loans. Then, recently, he changed his mind, saying that he'd use the money for buying ownership in the banks themselves. I don't know why he gets to change his mind about how that money is spent - I don't get to decide to spend $5000 on a new car instead of paying off our car loan...

Anyhow, no one in Washington seemed to make a big stink about it, but now that the Democrats want to take $25B to bail out the auto industry, the Republicans are all squawking about how that's a bad idea, since that's not how the money was originally intended to be spent.

(I'm not sure the $25B on the auto industry is the right choice... I'm making another point...)

My question is this: why is it okay for Paulson to change his mind about how the money should be spent, but it's not okay for the Democrats to ask for a change?

15 November 2008

A day in Minneapolis

I'm in Minneapolis now, on a long weekend, working on a show with some old friends. We had two great days of rehearsal. I still don't know what the show will look like but that's okay - it's not really supposed to take any form quite yet. We're still working on structure. Yesterday, we did a lot of viewpointing and moving to music. Today, we did a bit of movement training before splitting off into groups. Adrian took a large group to work on building a monster out of humans. Lisa took three students to explore the civilization of Enkidu, and I had three(ish) to learn the George Smith Striptease I wrote. Each group did interesting work, and it was exciting to see it all come together.

This morning, Adrian and I went hunting for breakfast. Outside of the overpriced Holiday Inn buffet ($10 for muffins? ridiculous), and we ended up wandering into a Somalian Restaurant for breakfast:

















I ordered the goat stew:
Post-breakfast, Lisa took Adrian and I to the rummage sale for Jeune Lune, a great theatre company that is closing its venerable doors. Here are some photos of that:



















After rehearsal, I got dropped off near uptown to see DEATH AND THE MAIDEN, produced by some friends though Sarah. It was a great show and I enjoyed my time immensely. Afterwards, I tried to call Sarah, but she was busy. Liz and Josh and I went for drinks.

Tomorrow, I hope to see the Mixed Blood show that Thumbs designed.

09 November 2008

One of my oldest memories...

... is assembling for a family portrait when I was 4 or 5. The entire Olivieri family was there: me & my sisters, my cousins, my parents, aunt & uncle, and my grandparents. It was a cool crisp day, and I have a vivid memory of the crunch of the leaves and the smell of the air. Today reminded me of it. It's cool (for southern CA), the sun is bright, and there's a stiff breeze blowing. I had a nice run, except when a small sandstorm whipped up and some children nearby started crying.

04 November 2008

I am so super-proud!

Hooray America!

Not such a good experience...

Sarah and I got up early and walked down to our polling place. We waited in a slow line, but eventually, we got to the front and had to give our name and address. Sarah's name was listed on the voter list, and her process went without a hitch. I was not so lucky. Despite having received confirmation of my vote using https://lavote.net/SECURED/VOTER_REG/, my name was not on the voter list. I had to vote provisionally.

My initial guess was that since I registered so near the deadline, my name was already printed on the voter list for my old address across town. Rather than print my name twice in different locations, they had me vote provisionally at my new address and will wait to make sure that I didn't vote at my old address before counting my ballot.

However, once I got to work, I found out that a friend of mine, who has not moved and who has voted at her polling place before, also had her name purged from the voter list. So, now I'm a bit concerned. I've reported my problem to the local board of elections, to npr, and to kpcc (our local npr station). Will see what happens.

03 November 2008

Santa?

Is it me, or does this feel like Christmas Eve?

VOTE!

VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE 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01 November 2008

RIP, Studs Terkel

He was a great man. A courageous, curious, and daring man. There aren't many more like him out there.