Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things That Are Making Me Ridiculously Happy

  • Today is my 2-year anniversary of moving to San Francisco. I love this city and feel so grateful for my life here--my apartment, my neighborhood, my roommates, my new friends, my old friends reconnected-with, my finding my way into the theater community here, the supportiveness of that community and the great art they make...
  • Speaking of which, the premiere of my play at Theater Pub on Monday night was a huge success. I couldn't have asked for a better cast, director, or venue in which to make my local playwriting debut. I'm still kind of on a high from Monday evening, which is why I haven't blogged about the experience yet... in the meantime, I'm looking forward to the 2 other performances! August 23 and 30th, 8 PM (but get there early!)
  • A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book is finally out in paperback, so I finally am reading it! I started it Monday morning and am about 200 pages in (out of nearly 900). There are a ton of characters and I'm excited to find out what happens to all of them. It's the longest book I've read in quite a while; it's the most excited I've been about a new novel in quite a while; I'm enjoying it so far.
  • I just bought my tickets for a long weekend in NYC at the end of October--my first trip back there since graduation! I look forward to the East Coast autumn, to traveling, to catching up with old friends... Now I've just got to decide what show to get tickets for.
  • The day after I return from NYC, Stephen Sondheim's book about lyric-writing will be published! 480 pages of (as the subtitle has it) "Collected Lyrics, with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes." Not sure I'll be able to wait for the paperback with this one...
  • Whit Stillman, of Metropolitan fame, is preparing to shoot another movie! Working title is Damsels in Distress, a comedy about a "charming, eccentric clique of stylish but possibly quite mad" college girls, whose values "appear to derive from the late lamented Zelda Fitzgerald." Sounds like vintage Stillman (and one of my friends recently described me as "Zelda Fitzgerald without the insanity," so it is any wonder that the description of this new film has me ridiculously excited?)


Dr.J said...

An affectionate congratulation for your (first of many to come) success at Theater Pub.
Could you stress the importance of Sondheim comparing him with someone of the past?
The edition of Byatt´s Book got me in between the Potter tetralogy, so it will cost me quite a lot of money to get through her complete works, what about the Public Libraries system in SF?
A suggestion: Zelda reminded me of a lady you probably would like to know better: Zenobia Camprubí, the wife of spanish poet and Nobel laureate Juan-Ramón Jiménez (the pure-poet of our XX century) she died in 1956 with 3 days difference to her husband receiving the award (and, alas¡ she died alone in Puerto Rico) where they exiled after 1939 (although Jiménez was not really a political man). The first to translate Tagore into spanish, Zenobia lived in the States from 1896 to 1909, was a pioneer of feminism, a teacher at Maryland University and Rio Piedras (Puerto Rico) and literally gave her life to the convenience and comfort of her husband (a real genius by the way). Sorry for the long comment and best luck with the remaining soirées (break your leg)

Marissa said...

For me the appeal/importance of Stephen Sondheim is as follows:

*Really, really clever lyrics and rhymes--as good as those of past masters like Cole Porter.
*Sophisticated/complex music and the ability to write in many different musical styles. People sometimes say "you can't hum Sondheim songs" but he has written some gorgeous, heartbreaking melodies.
*The ability and willingness to dramatize subjects and emotions that earlier musical theater composers did not dramatize. "Modern" emotions like ambivalence, uncertainty, regret, etc. Many of his characters are intelligent people who struggle with the contradictions within themselves. More three-dimensional than your typical musical theater character.

P.S. The reason I don't buy hardcover books is not so much about money--it's more that hardcovers are too heavy and difficult to carry around!

Dr.J said...

I was competely unaware that Mr. Sondheim was the author of the lyrics for "Something funny happened on the way to the forum".
I have never seen it on stage of course but I have watched the film several times and it is wonderful, if only for Buster Keaton.
By the way, you must be well off if money is not a problem for buying books, what is your salary?
as salary comes from "salt" is that a salacious question? Best wishes for Monday 30