What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

07 September 2015

I Promise I Like Non-Sad Shows, Too

Had another one of my brain-addling "two trips to the theatre in the same week" weeks. I really need to stop doing that.

However, what's done is done. A friend asked if I'd like to go along to a dress rehearsal for Ballet Austin's Hamlet on Thursday, I texted back an all-caps "YES!!!", and away we went. It was a beautiful show, and while it's hard to pinpoint my exact favourite moment, it was probably the beginning of Act II, which starts with Ophelia's funeral. However, Ophelia's death scene at the end of Act I was also amazing, and Laertes' grief at the funeral was almost painful to watch, it was so sad. During the intermission, we had a discussion among ourselves about whether Hamlet's heavy breathing at one point was genuine or acted--it could have gone either way, because he never stopped moving and we wondered how he was not exhausted.

The show only ran for one weekend, so if you missed it it's too late, which is a real bummer. Check out Ballet Austin's Twitter feed for photos, videos, and assorted awesome. Incidentally, I tweeted something about not being able to find many of the Ballet Austin company on Twitter, and they promptly tweeted back with a list of handles. I have never been so well accommodated in my Twitter-stalking, and when I said so with my thanks, they said, "Stalk away!" What's not to like about that, y'all?
From Woodlawn Theatre's Twitter feed. Matthew Lieber as
Riff is seated on the left and Travis Trevino as Bernardo is
seated on the right. The costumes were nice as well, as you
can see.
So, in the spirit of seeing more major character death on stage, Denise & I drove down to San Antonio on Saturday evening to see West Side Story. I don't have the knowledge or skill to do any kind of proper review, but I'll try: Mariela Flor Olivo's Maria was breathtaking, and she absolutely stole the show from her costar Kyle Krambeck as Tony. Poor guy was no match for her incredible voice and powerful emotion (not that he was bad; she was just that good). Rounding out my list of favourites were Matthew Lieber as Riff (holy freaking smokes. It's a crying shame that Riff dies at the end of Act I. He was amazing), Alyssa Lopez as Anita, about whom I can't say enough nice things, & Eric Garcia as Chino, whose emotion grew as the show went on. He was powerful in Act II.

The choreography was fun, as it always is in West Side Story, although Denise said at intermission that it's hard for her to believe these guys are all so tough when they keep dancing and snapping at each other. Tee hee.

My quibble with the show is that Anita doesn't get sufficient time to grieve for Bernardo (i.e., none). That's always bothered me about West Side Story. Maria gets a scene of crying and screaming (during which I also did a lot of crying--emotional girl is emotional), whereas Anita gets a song. That she shares with Maria. Not. Enough.

Next up? The Little Mermaid at the end of September, as part of the Broadway Across America tour series in Austin, for which I've finally found a cast list (I think). And there are some other local shows I'm pondering. Gosh, I love living in Austin.

What have you been up to?


Hart Johnson said...

I hadn't been here in a while and had completely missed the news about you being widowed--I am so sorry. My mom went through it when I was a kid and as hard as it was for me losing my dad, I think it was harder for her. Glad you have friends and chances to get out and see and do some things. I love the ballet, and plays/musicals are a blast.

Su Wilcox said...

Thanks! Theatrical therapy is doing wonders for me.