December 29, 2007

Spring Awakening - Bitch of Living

I've seen Spring Awakening enough times now, that I don't LOVE it anymore, although it has one or two numbers that still interest me, particularly this one. The number explains teen sexual angst very nicely. (Two celebrity spottings last night - Tara Lipinsky and Tom Hulce. )

December 28, 2007

Almost a New Year

The year is almost over and any resolutions that I was going to make coming 2008, I already made in the fall when I turned 40; not that I make resolutions anyway. I believe that if you're planning on making some kind of change in your life, you should do it as soon as possible. If that coincides with the new year then so be it. My changes coincided with my 40th birthday.

I guess what I am saying is that people shouldn't wait until a new year is looming to examine their lives. That should be an ongoing process. You should be asking yourself what you can be doing to be the best-possible-you on some kind of regular basis. And if you're happy with who you are then more power to you.

I realized I needed to lose weight after seeing myself looking hefty in some photos. Of course, I am always aware of my weight and how I look but for some reason, those particular photos told me that I needed to make a change. Forget the new year.

I also decided that this is my 40th year is when I get my driver's license back. Several years ago, I let it lapse. I have a new learner's permit and all that remains is my attendance at one of those five hour courses and of course, the driver's test. That's another promise I made to myself several months back.

For me, these small changes are about regaining control of those parts of my life that I've let slide over the years. I know for a lot of people the new year is a time for reflection. If that's what you need, then so be it. Think about those little changes you can make that will contribute to your general sense of well being.

Okay. Now I can't help it. Now I'm thinking about making new year's resolutions in spite of what I expressed at the top of this post.

What do you think? What are your resolutions going to be? I'd like to know.

December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day!

Is Boxing Day non-denominational?

The week following Jon's signing was interesting. I worked a new show call The Homecoming over at the Cort Theater - a play by Harold Pinter first produced in 1967, the year I was born. It's a 40 year old play. And it's a creepy play, a truly creepy play. It probably is a good play. Ben Brantley of New York Times fame thinks it's held up well over the decades and specifially because it's designed to make audiences feel uneasy. It makes me feel a little too uneasy. Besides, I find some of the performances outright boring. Perhaps with other actors the play would move more quickly - oh no that's right. Pinter is famous for his long uncomfortable pauses. In the wrong hands, they just make actors look crazy.

The last night I was there I saw the actor who played the hunchback in The Name of The Rose (pictured below). He also played Hellboy in the film of the same title, and a small part on one of my favorite shows of the past, Charmed. In fact, when you look at his IMDB page, you'll see he's been working almost constantly since the 80's. But I'll always remember him best as Salvatore, the Hunchback.
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Jon's parents came down for the holiday weekend. We had quite a few nice meals. Saturday night we had dinner at Muglhai on Columbus Ave and 75th Street. We went to Opa! here in Astoria for a late lunch on Sunday. And on Monday night we supped at Dae Dong on 32nd Street. I think their lunch service tastes better than their dinner service but the food was good enough I guess. If you haven't had Korean food, definitely get thee to 32nd Street between 6th and 5th Avenues for a treat. Looking back, I should have suggested a different restaurant.

It was a good visit and a good week overall.

I started a new work cycle last night over at the Eugene O'Neil theater for a week of Spring Awakening. John Gallagher Jr., who won the Best Featured Actor Tony for playing Moritz, has been replaced by Blake Bashoff, seen most recently on Lost as Karl. He's doing a decent job, but no one can really replace Gallagher.

December 18, 2007

Book Signing at Borders in Bridgewater

Jon's book signing
Jon had his first booksigning last night at the Borders in Bridgewater, NJ. It went very well. It was kind of surreal. As Jon read excerpts from his book the crowd grew from 8 people to 12 people and several bought books to get them signed by Jon. The Borders in Bridgewater, NJ sold out of Jon's book as a result. It was pretty cool.

Jon's book signing

I was very proud of Jon. He read two excerpts from his book - the Hall-Mills murder and the story about the Radium girls. The Radium girls were crippled or died from exposure to radiation at the factory where they were employed to paint watch dials. It's a culturally significant case because their law suit helped to establish many labor laws we have now to protect workers from the hazards of their jobs. The Hall-Mills murder is a spectacular murder mystery about the death of a priest and a young girl from his choir. But it is also an early example of police losing control of a crime scene with negative long term results.

I would tell you more but then you wouldn't have a reason to buy Jon's book which you should do of course.

December 17, 2007

America's Most Smartest Model - Final Recap - Part I

The finale of America's Most Smartest Model aired December 16, 2007 at 9pm est. The final contestants, Andre Birleanu and VJ Logan were asked to make a multimedia presentation about why either one deserved to win the title of AMSM. But before I get into that, I wanted to give a brief summary of the episode that preceeded the finale.
Episode 10
Andre, VJ and Angela moved to a beautiful house for the competition that would determine which of the three would advance to the final. The night they arrived, Mary Alice threw them a party whose guestlist included severalprofessional models. Andre, VJ and Angela were told to meet with the models and choose who they wanted to pose with the next day at the final photo shoot. Andre bonded well with two pretty girls, Angela found a couple of guys that she could boss around and VJ - well he was partying and making observations.

The rock and roll shoot the next day, went well for Andre and VJ but not so well for Angela. Andre went first and proved once and for all that he knows how to model. VJ started his shoot copying Andre's moves. I should also note that when Mary Alice asked VJ who he decided to model with, he told her that he wanted the two girls that Andre had chosen. So, he stole Andre's moves and his models. Toward the end of the shoot, VJ managed to pull a few original poses and basically saved himself. Nothing could help Angela though. She tried her best but unfortunately she couldn't vary her poses enough to convince Mary Alice that she ahd the right stuff to be America's Most Smartest Model. As Mary Alice likes to say, she just wasn't model enough.

Angela's failure sent her home packing, leaving VJ and Andre as the final two. Back at the VH1 house, Andre and VJ were told that their final task would be dueling presentations about why either one should be America's Most Smartest Model. To help them with their presentations, they were each given a team of professional presentation providers. In addition, Ben Stein gave each model a cell phone that they were encouraged to use for the purposes of product placement and presumably to help them succeed.

I have to say, I was disappointed that the show didn't end at the episode 10 because I truly didn't believe that the producers had enough material to make a one hour program out of the remaining footage. And for the most I was right. To fill time, the final episode seemed to go out of its way to remind viewers what had been seen previously after every commercial break. Of course, they could have been doing that because they assume their viewers are stupid and need to be spoon fed every piece of information two fold. I prefer the former explanation.

The Puppy Movie

The short home movie about my in-laws puppy makes my blog hard to load. I had to take remove it from the site. My apologies to my in-laws and to anyone who has been watching the really cute puppy get her toy out of a jar.

If you haven't seen it, link to it here. Jon's parents got a cute puppy that is part poodle and part havanese. She's smart and very funny.

December 13, 2007


food1I visited with my nutritionist today and the news was good. In the month since our last appointment, I've lost 5 more pounds.

If anyone is keeping track, I've shed 12 pounds since starting my diet two months ago.

There are several reasons why I'm working with a nutritionist. The obvious reason is that she knows a lot about healthy ways to lose weight. Before seeing her, I never would have been happy with a result like the above because it just doesn't seem like that much, but now I know a weight loss of 1 - 2 pounds per week is healthy.

I am very happy with this result.

The nutritionist I chose is an eating disorder specialist. One of my main concerns is NOT developing an eating disorder and I discuss that with her all the time.

I strongly recommend seeking professional advice if you are planning to lose weight. The support the doctor gives me is soooooo beneficial, beyond what a loved one could give me. It's one thing have someone tell you you look thinner which of course is wonderful. It's another to be able to speak with someone ad nauseum regarding weight loss.

Losing weight is turning out to be more of an em0tional issue than I imagined and she understands that.

December 11, 2007

A Nice Bike Ride

I took my bike out yesterday. After not riding for a week, I wasn't sure what to expect. But I certainly wasn't expecting exercise to feel that good especially after not feeling well on Sunday.

It felt as good to my body as smoking a cigarette did, three months after quitting. Smokers can related to what I'm saying. It's not just your head that enjoys the cigarette. Every inch of your body soaks that nicatine goodness.

Well, yesterday, that's what the exercise felt like. Every part of me felt good while I was biking. It's been so long since I've had that feeling from exercising, probably since high school.

December 07, 2007

America's Most Smartest Model - Episode 9 Recap

There was a double elimination in this episode. Both Rachael and Brett were sent home.Andre, Angela and VJ are the remaining contestants. This upcoming episode - episode 10 - should be the finale and then I'll be free from having to write about this show.

At the Edge Challenge, 5 contestants had to pair up and build a go cart. That's right. 5 people can't be broken up into pairs, so Brett paired up with Pickel in absentia. Andre and Rachael, Vj and Angela made up the other two teams. VJ and Angela were the first to finish their go-carts. Andre and Rachael won the go-cart race. Brett didn't race because he did not complete his project.

Andre and Rachael won advance information about a Jaguar car that they had to show off the next day for the Call Back Challenge.

The Call Back Challenge involved modeling a brand new Jaguar and listing the car's bullet points.

Brett, Rachael and Andre failed miserably while Angela and VJ both went on to win the competition.

You know the rest.


Chorus Line MarquisExplorer Pass Travel Blog picked up one of my photos for a story they did about the end of the Broadway strike and they gave me a photo credit. It's a picture of the Chorus Line marquis.

Coincidentally, I am working there tonight.

December 04, 2007

The Farnsworth Invention - Opening Night

I was very lucky to be assigned work at the opening night of The Farnsworth Invention. I love working opening nights, for obvious reasons. Openings are great for spotting and speaking with celebrities. Last night, I saw Oliver Platt, Bob Sagett, and Richard Kind. Caroline McCormick, who plays Dr. Olivet on Law & Order, is absolutely stunning in person. There were a lot of celebrities there but the above are the only ones I saw.

Of course, I saw Aaron Sorkin and of course it ended up being awkward and weird for me. He is very, very nice but I ended up in a misunderstanding with him regarding his marital status and an I.D. for his father's headset. He's not married to the assistant that I mistook for his wife. And even though, he was willing to give me his personal license for his father's headset, his assistant who is not his wife provided one instead.

This all happened two minutes before curtain went up. I'm still kicking myself for calling out to Mister Sorkin to get an I.D. from him at all. I'm embarrassed to have bugged him that close to curtain time. But mostly I'm just glad he's a nice guy. With another big shot it could have gone the way that didn't end in smiles.

One patron that I was particularly happy to help was Peter Shaffer, playwright of Amadeus and Equus. I was so excited when he I saw his I.D., I giggled like a little kid. He's unbelievably nice. And I had a nice conversation with him when he returned his headset after the show. We both liked the play and we both appreciated the sound design of the show, which is very good in case you were wondering.

The other reason opening nights are exciting is the general atmostphere. It's always charged with optimism and fear. Everyone involved with the show was looking forward to the opening night party and from the porter to the house manager people were dressed in black tie, ready to impress.

The play was GREAT last night. Everybody's timing was spot on. Jimmi Simpson's portrayal of Farnsworth was so touching last night, that he moved me to tears. He was already good when I first saw the show in previews a month ago, but he's gotten SO MUCH better. Hank Azaria is on fire as Sarnoff. And the supporting cast does a great job playing over 150 different characters.

The staging is great. When the actors are doing anything on downstage in the background, they move in slow motion until it's time to become a part of the action upstage. The sets are great. The costumes are beautiful. There are two costumes in particular that I wish I could make part of my every day wardrobe.

Go see the show. Don't listen to the Times reviewer or anyone else who criticizes Sorkin for historical inaccuracies. The same thing could be said for Amadeus. Salieri and Mozart did not really have the relationship portrayed in that play but who cares? They're good shows. They're plays, not documentaries. If anything, these plays are excellent introductions to some pretty weighty but interesting subjects.

In terms of the show being bogged down with information which is a critique I've also seen of the show, that's wrong. The show does deliver a lot of information but it's delivered in bite size pieces that are easy to absorb. The director did a great job streamlining everything so viewers would not get confused.

The story about who invented television as told by Aaron Sorkin in The Farnsworth Invention is compelling. It's good drama that is well crafted and exciting to watch.