Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Out and About in the S-E-A

I know it has been far too long since I last updated this blog so new and exciting posts are definitely in order. The primary reason for my absence has been my extended preparation for the GRE(Graduate Record Exam) which I took yesterday and received a solid raw score-further results are pending and will surface in about 10-15 days. I am very pleased with my performance thereon and I do hope that my score on the essay portion of the exam will be reflective of that.

The last couple weeks have also been full of all sorts of cultural experiences and opportunities. I had a hard time trying to fit practice tests and study sessions for the GRE within the social calendar. A horrible situation, right? Through my job and other relationships across the city I have been able to attend several events and plays in Seattle. Recent highlights include:

Vespers at Mars Hill Graduate School
A wonderful, moving event organized by my friend, KJ for new and old students alike of this grad school located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood offering degrees in counseling and various areas of theology.

Shrek the Musical at 5th Avenue Theatre
I was pleasantly surprised by this show. Consistently good music, keen Broadway references, dynamic staging and a visual pleasure. I think it will be a success as it moves to Broadway in New York this fall.

The Little Dog Laughed at Intiman Theatre
Hilarious, witty and at times a hard-hitting commentary on the state and treatment of gay performers in the entertainment industry.

Eurydice at ACT
A beautiful, must-see show written by Sarah Ruhl. See my review.

Opening Night and 10th Anniversary Gala for the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall
I certainly enjoyed the company of a couple close friends at this event, however, for the opening of the Symphony’s 2008-2009 season, the show failed to show off the immense talent of the symphony, instead opting for a string of lackluster performances by a bass far past his prime and a pleasant, but out-of-place soprano. If I want to see opera, I’ll go to the Opera.

The Phantom of the Opera at The Paramount Theatre
This was the first time I had ever seen Phantom on stage. It was a lot of fun in and of itself, but fascinating to finally see the show after experiencing it through so many cultural references over the last couple decades.

A few other opportunities and happenings lie on the horizon and I expect to have plenty to blog about in weeks and months to come. The fall season is upon us and while the notion that I no longer have classes to return to this year is growing increasingly odd, I am excited to be in a place of a different kind of learning. Call me a freelance scholar, a perpetual academic, a student of the world for the time being as I contemplate graduate school. In any case, I look forward to being able to focus on my passion of analyzing various media and creative processes as I attend more artistic events around the city and as the new television season gets underway, which I am able to follow with an unprecedented attention without the burden of classes and work or the traditional modes of TV programming—thank you, Hulu, iTunes and all my friends who have Tivo.

Stay tuned for my thoughts on Fringe, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and True Blood.


Ryan said...

I've heard of this Shrek Musical, and I'm not sure I entirely understand it - is it an original story or a musicalization (is that a word?) of the movie?

Though I've seen neither, I'm looking forward to hearing about Fringe and True Blood, and I know Melissa enjoys The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

And it's good to have you back - I was about to send out a search party.

Ian said...

The Shrek Musical is an interesting creative phenomenon. I've heard they went back to the original book and also fleshed out the movie to make it really fit the Broadway musical mold. Gone are the many pop culture references, replaced by additional witty dialogue and some funny Broadway musical spoofs. I think it really works for the most part.

Melissa said...

Ian, I think you're fabulous and I stalk your blog muchly.

My Shrek question is what does Shrek look like? And Donkey? (Funnily enough, this was my biggest concern with The Little Mermaid going to Broadway.)

And is Sutton Foster as amazing live as I've imagined her to be?

Ian said...

Brian D'Arcy plays Shrek and can be seen in costume here:

I was a bit disappointed with Donkey. He looks like a a donkey suit.

And yes, Sutton Foster is great! She is a far better Fiona than Cameron Diaz and her musical numbers fit. The script makes her come across as a somewhat crazed/manic individual having lived in the tower all her life. A nice touch.