[personal profile] rusty_halo
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Things I did other than work 110 hours in 2 weeks:

I enjoyed Game of Thrones. Sean Bean is fabulous, and overall the production was incredibly faithful and thoughtfully done. It’s really amazing to see a quality adaptation of a story I love–and so rare for Hollywood to do it right!

On the plus side: The actors playing Tyrion (!!), Cersei, Arya, Viserys, & Jorah are all fabulous. Beyond dream casting!

On the "I'm reserving judgment" side:
* I have high hopes for the young woman playing Danaerys. Really looking forward to seeing how she does as the character evolves.
* It's a premiere so they had a lot of exposition to do--hopefully I'll be more drawn in as the story kicks into gear. (I still don't find the first book particularly engaging until, y'know, 3/4 through...)

On the minus side:
* The Dothraki scenes are so blatantly racist.
* Could Jon be more blah? Why did they cast that actor??
* I haven't seen enough yet of the actor who plays Jaime to know if he can pull off the character's nuances, but the shallow side of me is very annoyed that I'm not attracted to him even the tiniest bit. He's supposed to be prettier! :P

***

I had a dream that I was moving back into my old apartment. At first I was super happy to be back in Manhattan and leaving Brooklyn, but then I began to remember all the miserable things about living there (constant roommate-hunting, never being alone, teeny amount of space, terror of being caught with my cats, darkness and dust and lack of light) and to miss my Brooklyn apartment, and it turned into a nightmare.

So I woke up realizing that I actually like where I live now better than where I lived then. Time Out New York just did a piece about how my neighborhood is "trendy"; we have a sushi place (with vegan options) and a vegan bar around the corner (with vegan bar snacks!) and new stuff is opening every day. And every weekend I can open the blinds from the northwest windows and the southeast windows and have light all day until the sun sets. Not to mention I have my own kitchen and a whole entire spare room. So even though I miss Manhattan, I'm glad that I'm here.

***

I went to see Chris Cornell last week. It was a solo acoustic show at Town Hall, which was very intimate and a unique, relaxed, friendly environment to see him in. But mostly it just reminded me that I'm more of a Soundgarden fan than a Chris Cornell fan. Thankfully to my delight, they just announced a summer tour! Not a chance I'll miss it. Have added Badmotorfinger to my otherwise all-Nick Cave rotation to celebrate. :)

***

Went to see Sleep No More last Saturday from 11pm-2am. Definitely the most unique theater experience I've ever seen, though I spent most of the time hot, tired, annoyed by all the people around me, and having a hard time breathing through the mask.

Still, it was amazing. So rare for an artistic experience to really surprise me. It was so meticulously detailed and huge and incredibly well put-together--moments that could have been cheesy failures if done poorly were instead all universally stunning.

For those who don't know, see the reviews linked above. A quick description is that it's like an interactive silent modern-dance Macbeth done in the style of a 30s Hitchcock film, in 3 massive warehouses (100,000 sq feet total--around 100 rooms, from little nooks and crannies to huge ballrooms and "forests") ranging over 6 floors.

It's very dark and all audience members are wearing masks, so you know the actors by seeing whoever is unmasked (and for the most part, absurdly beautiful). The audience is told to be silent and the actors mostly don't speak, but the music is meticulously chosen.

The silence and masks make you anonymous, voyeuristic, and you're encouraged to be "bold"--to rifle through drawers, read letters, open cabinets, open doors, etc. You can just wander the haunting, unbelievably detailed sets (the antiques! all the amazing old stuff! typewriters and ledgers and silverware and books and dolls and hair brushes and...) or you can follow an actor and see a performance.

The story seems to be most nonlinear, and since you can only follow one actor at a time, you end up missing a lot. The actors do interact with each other and you can switch to following another at any time, of course (and sometimes if you want to stay with whoever you're following, you have to chase them up or down several flights of stairs in the dark, so it's not easy to stick with one actor!)

So among the things I saw (and [personal profile] 10zlaine went and every single thing she saw was different, btw):

* A dance of witches in some kind of basement lounge, and a man miming along to an old record version of "Is That All There Is" and crying, then he walked over to a hotel porter who wiped away his tears.

* A big ballroom dance scene with all the major actors (I saw it twice, first from the dance floor and later from a balcony above) in which (I think?) Duncan gave Lady Macbeth a necklace?

* A huge room (Lady Macbeth's?) with a bed in the corner and an old bathtub in the center, in which Lady Macbeth stripped Macbeth (completely! these actors were naked and surrounded by close-up strangers) and put him in the bath to wash off blood, then they did a whole dance thing on the bed, and he left and she washed her face (in the same water he'd just been naked in) and then she did this crazy dance behind a glass barrier.

* A creepy old asylum (tons of rooms including a padded cell and the boss's office with all his detailed notes on the patients) with one room full of bathtubs--Lady Macbeth stripped (completely! in front of strangers! I would never want this job!) and tried futilely to wash off blood.

* Two very attractive men doing a very sexualized dance together in an old phone booth. And then some kind of fight (maybe murder?) in a pool hall?

* Some kind of loud techno-music, dance-club strobe lights ritual thing where a baby was born bloody and put into a baptismal fount, and a guy (the male witch, I think) was completely nude except wearing a goat's head miming an orgy with both male and female actors.... It was crazy. Something that you'd think could easily be cheesy but it really, really wasn't--it was intense and sexually-charged and scary.

* And then I ran after the actor I found attractive and ended up in this tiny dark room with about 7 other people, and the actor naked on the floor in the shower then silently directing the audience to dress him. Like 5-10 minutes in this room with just a few other people and this beautiful naked actor/dancer... it was very odd. (!!)

* And then... I don't want to spoil the end, but it was the banquet scene with the ghost and it was also excellently done.

(Apparently I had the massive-amounts-of-nudity experience--[personal profile] 10zlaine didn't see any naked people, whereas every time I turned a corner one of the actors had their clothes off!)

The lack of verbal language, anonymity, darkness, encouragement to explore/voyeuristic audience position, maze-like environment, and vivid visuals make the whole experience incredibly dreamlike and immersive, difficult to track chronology or feel grounded in reality. Like I said--it was by far the most unique theater experience I've ever had.

(So I bought a ticket to go again in a few weeks--I wasn't sure if I'd want to go through such an exhausting experience twice, but in retrospect it's really stuck with me and I definitely want a chance to see it again from more angles.)

Originally published at rusty-halo.com. You can comment here or there.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-21 02:37 am (UTC)
alpheratz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alpheratz
!!!!

I just saw it last Friday night. Jesus Christ, it was incredible and I cannot wait to go again, maybe in June.

I mostly followed the Bald Witch and then the male witch for a little while, and definitely saw fewer naked people than you. In fact, I saw very few of the same scenes you did. I saw the banquet twice, including the finale, and the male witch singing Is That All There Is (and then I had a one on one with him that made me completely elated), and the naked orgy, but I didn't see any of the other stuff you mentioned! I would love to see more nudity next time. And the telephone booth dance (my friend saw it and thought it was really cool too). *is prurient*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-21 12:42 pm (UTC)
alpheratz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alpheratz
Okay, so after he sang Is That All There Is and the bellhop wiped his tears, he turned to me, because I was standing close, and handed me the tissue. So I wiped his tears too, and then he dragged me to one of the telephone booths and stared at me for a long time and then gave me a little token (a boar or bull on a length of thread). It was so cool. I wrote about it here a little, but without spoilers.

I've been hearing rumors that it might be extended through October, in which case I might make it up to NYC a couple of times to see it. I'll definitely go again in June if it's extended past June 4th. And I'd love to meet up - our schedule was kind of full this time around so I decided not to try to schedule more stuff in, but next time, definitely. :) When are you going to SNM again?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-22 03:45 am (UTC)
dalmeny: a field of roses extends to the futuristic curve of the Bicentennial Glasshouse, like a crashed spacecraft (rose garden)
From: [personal profile] dalmeny
That theatrical production sounds awesome. I wonder if something similar will ever make it this far south.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-23 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] netweight
At first glance, I thought you were referring to the fact that you don't sleep anymore (110 hours! D:). The play sounds seriously cool though.

Game of Thrones! \o/ (My articulateness still doesn't extend much beyond this. GoT, OMFG! The credits, holy crap, that was so awesome. The casting, the world-building. \o/)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-24 04:29 am (UTC)
soundingsea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] soundingsea
Game of Thrones! But umm, why was the Danaerys/Kal Drogo 'wedding night' scene so rapey? Wasn't it more romancey in the books? *has not read GoT in years*

The Jaime actor was actually great in New Amsterdam (and has his moments of looking decent in that series, so I have hope).

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-25 02:06 am (UTC)
soundingsea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] soundingsea
Oh, yeah... I realized they were aging the other kids up - I forgot how young she was, though.

Removing nuance is what TV does best, y/Y? ;)

it does bother me that so many of the things they changed were done in a way that left the story more in-line with traditional fantasy cliches and less of an interesting response/subversion to them.

These writers clearly don't have Martin's command of the material. I'm still interested in seeing what they do with it, though. (Also, visual feast!)

rusty-halo.com

I blog about fannish things. Busy with work so don't update often. Mirrored at rusty-halo.com.

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