This may mean I'm less apt to ramble on about laundry, the mail, if Fresh Direct was early (today) or late (twice recently), if the FD frozen items were frozen (they were mushy in the summer, then rock hard, recently getting mushier - uh oh), what I bought, some little thing that happened on the subway.
The main events:
The Russian Piano School - lecture (David Dubal) and piano recital (Sergei Babayan) at the 92nd Street Y. My seat was in the first row, but way right, so it was like being under the piano. I moved left after intermission for a much better view. Babayan made the piano sing and even dance, when I finally could see his fingers.
"Gypsy" with Patti LuPone - We knew every note of the original cast album with Ethel Merman, and put on shows with our dolls. My sister was Baby June and I was Louise, and I'm not sure if we completely understood the stripper aspect. I'd never seen the show or movie and it's closing March 1, so I got a balcony ticket last Tuesday. On arrival, it was upgraded to mezzanine as they did not use the balcony that night, so all the better.
When the familiar music began, I started tearing up and was crying during much of the first act. The same thing happened when I saw "The Sound of Music" revival a few years ago, though in that case I not only knew the music, but also had seen the Broadway show with Mary Martin, as well as the Julie Andrews movie. A friend then wondered if I was nostalgic for my childhood in the Alps, so maybe I was nostalgic for my childhood in vaudeville. Or at least putting on plays with our dollies in Great Neck.
Anyway, Patti LuPone was very good, but I kept comparing every intonation to Ethel Merman. Laura Benanti - an excellent Louise - was at my cousin's very small wedding 3 years ago, since she was married at the time to a colleague of the groom, but I didn't talk to her then and she's since moved on. The production had song, dance, baton twirling, burlesque, minimal scenery, and an onstage orchestra.
Rounding out the week was the annual holiday party at Janet and Joe's, which as always had great food, games, and company. There was much laughter of the "you had to be there" variety. The national anthem archive was updated with "Hello, Mali." Like I said, you had to be there.
I seem to be hitting my favorite trash-tastic authors lately, as I read:
"The Sky Is Falling" by Sidney Sheldon - The characters are cardboard, and much of the plot is predictable. Dead bodies are piling up right and left, yet only spunky anchorwoman Dana Evans thinks something's fishy and investigates. She naively trusts everyone even as more people wind up dead. Typical Sidney Sheldon - yet I was riveted.
"Thrill!" by Jackie Collins - predictable plotting and improbable characters and situations. My review of her "Married Lovers" also applies here: "If I were an English major, I'd probably have my degree rescinded when I say that I really enjoyed the book....Sure it's formulaic - impossibly gorgeous and brilliant heroine, sleazy Hollywood types, and a bad guy eventually come together in a suspenseful climax - but I get completely into it."
I also read "West End" by Laura Van Wormer (not that it's not trash-tastic, but not at the same level as the above). I just couldn't get into this 1989 novel about fledgling New York-based TV network DBS (the D stands for the Darenbrook media family) and its star news anchor. Shootings, musical beds, colorful personalities, addiction, financial shenanigans, family intrigue... it was still a long 557 pages.