Thursday, November 26, 2015

Macy Gray!!!!

Last night I saw Macy Gray perform at City Winery. She was crazy charming and talented. It was such a small intimate setting and her energy was huge. She sang lots of songs from her first album On How Life Is, and lots of newer work which was all wonderfully funky and soulful and uplifting. She seemed so happy up on stage. She kept calling us sexy people. And she kept asking why we wouldn't dance with her.  The audience remained seated most of the evening, but when she did my all time favorite song, Relating to a Psychopath, I couldn't help myself and got up danced. Such a great concert.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

This weekend I saw Complexions Contemporary Ballet perform at The Joyce. The program included four dances. My favorite was the longer first dance, set to Bach. The dance had a choppy and dynamic feel to it. Romantic and complex. The choreography throughout the evening was consistent. Certain movements which I quite liked were repeated in different scenarios. The final dance was set to Metallica and was broad, brash, over-the-top but very exciting.

Master of None

I watched the entire first season of Master of None this month. The Netflix series starring Aziz Ansari is incredibly watchable. Interesting and entertaining, it follows Aziz's character Dev negotiating 21st Century dating complexities and life as the son of Indian immigrant parents. There are many funny lines, awkward moments, and scenarios. But what I enjoyed most about this show is the generous and kind nature of Dev, who is curious and interested in others experiences. He devotes time to exploring his parents' lives and struggles as new immigrants, the life and personality of his girlfriend's grandmother, the common experiences women have with creepy guys. Dev's energy and respect for others infuse this show with a very unique charm.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Avenue Q

Over the weekend I saw Avenue Q, and off Broadway musical that I've been hearing good things about for a decade.

I hated it. It was schlocky -- the music was boring and embarrassing, the thin plot had nothing compelling it, and the use of puppets for some of the characters just seemed annoying to me. Worse, it was offensive in a blithely cheerful way -- actors and puppets singing and dancing about racism, among other things. My friend and I walked out at intermission.

Solitary Nation

Solitary Nation is a disturbing PBS Frontline documentary of the use of solitary confinement in US prisons. It looks at the inhumane practice while considering the difficulties corrections officials face with some very troubled and violent inmates.

A Royal Affair

A few weeks ago I watched A Royal Affair, a movie about the relationship triangle between the King and Queen of Denmark and the King's physician.

The arranged marriage between Caroline and King Christian quickly disintegrates as it turns out that he is totally bonkers. He forms a close friendship with the man he appoints as his royal physician, who in turn begins a hot and heavy affair with Caroline. The movie is slowly paced, but this is okay. The romantic aspect of the movie is located within a complex of political intrigues and relationship dynamics, and eventually Caroline and lover seem motivated more by a desire to put forth Enlightenment reforms than to simply have sex with each other, which is quite interesting. I was particularly intrigued by the relationship between King Christian and his physician. At first you hate Christian for being so crazy and spoiled and oblivious. But it gradually becomes clear how vulnerable and isolated he is. There is much tenderness between him and the physician and Christian's final act as King is deeply horrifying.