Saturday, December 29, 2018

Tickets: 1 of ?

I've joined a book club. I really hope it continues; we've met once and I really enjoyed it. I've never been in one. It's loosely tsundoku-themed, which I imagine could be said of many book clubs.

Its being thus has brought me into more contact with that concept--tsundoku--and how it's crept across the zeitgeist from its original, book-centric meaning to encompass all of the things we all do where we're making lists / collecting things / setting intentions to read / see / create / do, instead of actually just doing the things. Making stacks, literal and figurative.

I've got a stack of tickets that I've had for years. I may even have done this exact thing I'm doing right now already -- either here in this blog (I think not?) or in my own personal journaling (I think so). But I'm going to do it here, now; what I'm going to do is just finally do what I've been meaning to do for however long (honestly: years) and just kind of work through this stack of tickets to write out my thoughts about them. Half of which I will have totally forgotten! Because this ish happened years ago! What is wrong with me?

I am listening to Laura Stevenson's new single, "The Mystic & The Master", and its b-side "Maker of Things". They're terrific; Laura Stevenson is terrific.

Let's go.

The Little Foxes (preview)
Antaeus Theatre Company
October 21, 2018 2pm
Good great starting with an easy one. I saw this a couple of months ago. I remember it well. Antaeus is a wonderful theater company here in L.A., and I try to see everything that they do. I'd never seen this play, which is by Lillian Hellman and was terrific to see. I was braced by how contemporary and engaging so much of it was (much credit for which goes, no doubt, to the uniformly excellent cast and characteristic crisp, sharp, specific direction). I was also engaged by how not contemporary parts were, dramaturgically -- by how the creaky machinery of plot mechanics of another era really leap out at you and mark something as of its time. I am very happy I saw this, and to tell you about it.

Hole in the Sky
Circle X Theatre Co.
August 26, 2018 8pm
So one note @ the top: this production was a produced site-specifically, at a ranch out in Lake View Terrace, which made it quite a trek for me (and, I suspect, many of its audience members). And I wanted to change the date of my ticket, and Circle X was very prompt and friendly about letting this happen. Thanks, Circle X -- I'll be back because of that, if nothing else.
Also, this was a very worthwhile production. So again: it was produced site-specifically: it's a play about the tensions created by water use and water shortage in a California agricultural community, and of course how class and race interweave with these material concerns and the people they press on. So it was performed on a ranch. They did a really good job--seriously--at making that a non-crappy experience for the audience; it was comfortable, sightlines were good, etc. As night fell, some of the visual value of being on the ranch was reduced since it just became like being outside. But they did a nice thing with a truck pulling up at one point, and etc. It certainly made the whole story more lived in. The play leaned--for my taste--towards exposition, didacticism, and plot swerves that whose wind-up had been unclear (to me). But I learned from it, and was grateful for the chance to live for an evening inside voices and concerns that are very real and warrant dramatic presentation. I'll certainly see Circle X's next production and, if it's like this one, see the one after that too.

The Women
Archway Theatre Company
April 7, 2018 8pm
This was fun! My friend costume designed and acted in this production of another famous play of a bygone era; it was staged in the very vintage clothing shop from which the costumes were drawn. Everyone was dressed just right (as far as I could tell!), and I was grateful to be exposed to a play that was significant and successful in its time but that I had missed until now.

Isle of Dogs
The Landmark [for movies, I'll just say the theater I saw them @]
March 31, 2018 12:05pm
I don't have a lot to say about this that hasn't been said. It was really well made; it was really carefully and elegantly and successfully conceived and executed. It felt a little clinical and distant, to me, like Anderson's work generally does. And I guess most of all was the thing of its being set in Japan but still--to me--feeling like the choices that were made about whom you can understand and who speaks like...basically, I think it wound up other-ing Japanese people some. Which felt particularly twee and odd, in a movie set on their home turf. Other people might not feel that way, and I'm not pushing some big thesis about the filmmakers. That's how I felt.

Annihilation
ArcLight Santa Monica
March 16, 2018 8:05pm
THIS MOVIE WAS VERY GOOD WHY DID IT NOT DO BETTER? That is about all I have to add. It was so cool to see original IP (I know it's based on a book, which I'd like to read; I mean "original" IP in that it does not rely on a popular and preexisting franchise/character/topic) in like a real sci-fi movie with ideas and crazy stuff happening and the ol' resonance-between-the-protagonist's-inner-turmoil-and-the-crazy-stuff-happening-in-the-world thing, but that thing is so great when the "crazy stuff" is great! (And, when you have a committed and engaging performance from your lead actress, as this film did). I'm really glad I saw this! I wish more people had seen this!

Black Panther
The Landmark
March 12, 2018 1:15pm
What do you need me to say about this movie? It's as good as you've heard. Maybe better? Here let's do lists; this isn't ranked but here are movies based on Marvel IP that I thought were totally terrific: Black Panther, X-Men and X-Men 2, Logan (probably my favorite), and...okay I'm putting The Avengers on this first-tier list because of that post-credit scene where they're eating gyros or whatever and I did enjoy it so much, but I think it's actually more like in its own little tier between first-tier and second tier. By the way @ the Landmark early afternoon on a weekday there's "bargain" pricing; I didn't even know that! Cost me twelve bucks to see a superfun supercool movie. Big win.

That's it. I'm not going to attempt any summary till I'm done with all these, and maybe not even then.

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