Friday, September 25, 2009
In honor of the 70th Anniversary of the premiere of "The Wizard of Oz" about 200 movie theaters around the country screened a newly remastered, high definition print of the film last night.
Though I've seen the movie many, many times on TV I've never seen it in a theater so, of course, I went to see it at the AMC 15 in Century City.
What an outstanding experience.
The colors are so vivid it's breathtaking. Two things I noticed for the first time on the big screen were 1) how intricate and beautiful all the costumes (by Adrian) are and 2) how great the sound is.
For instance, the sound and music builds during the tornado scene and then there's absolute silence once the house lands. In a theater with good sound the effect is really startling.
And with good sound you can pick up all the witty lines in the dialogue and lyrics.
Can Bert Lahr sell a joke or what? He puts the Ape in Apricot.
Had lunch on Tuesday at the Original Pantry Cafe in downtown Los Angeles.
I see they've gotten rid of their decades old Community Table. The first table along the left wall had seating for about 12 and different parties of various sizes would sit there and eat with whomever else was at the Community Table. As we've become increasingly isolated in our society I'm sure the idea of sitting at a Community Table horrified lots of customers.
When I was at USC I wrote a paper for my Freshman Creative Writing class about a meal at the Community Table. I got an A. And it was the last time I ever sat at the Community Table. I don't want to eat with a bunch of strangers at the table.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thursday I had a meeting at the end of the day in Bakersfield. Since he grew up there I asked GeezBob for a suggestion on where to have dinner afterwards.
Nicely, he sent me a long list of possibilities. I ruled out the restaurants I'd been to before and that put Buck Owen's Crystal Palace at the top of the list (especially when I read about their famous Chicken Fried Steak).
Sadly, when I arrived at the Crystal Palace I learned Travis Tritt was performing there Thursday night and the only way in was if you had a ticket for the sold-out show. So back to GeezBob's list.
That's how I ended up having dinner Thursday night at the Coffee Shop of the Westchester Bowling Alley in downtown Bakersfield. I suppose the food was good for a bowling alley, but I can't say it was the best recommendation I've ever had. However, nothing ventured nothing gained.
Saturday night I went to see "Blackbird," a dark love story presented by the Vs. Theatre Company. Written by Adam Rapp, it's a tightly scripted play about two broken people -- a Gulf War veteran who has been plagued by physical and mental injuries since his return and his girlfriend, a drug-addicted, former-stripper who just wants to be told what to do. The entire play is set in a claustrophobic, trash-strewn room where they live without running water in New York City. And if that weren't enough, it's Christmas Eve and a little blackbird keep persistently tapping on the window trying to get into the room.
The acting is great, but it's the writing that makes this play so superb.
I'd recommend this show to those in the Los Angeles area but Saturday night's performance was the last. Fortunately, according to the program, a film adaptation of this play is coming out later this year.