Sunday, November 18, 2012
Last night I went to see "Seminar" starring Jeff Goldblum at the Ahmanson Theater and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
It's an interesting play about writers and their fragile egos. Goldblum, with his bizarre cadence, has become a caricature of himself. But his comic timing is impressive and the entire cast of five is very strong.
I suppose I should write more but writing about what's been written about writers seems a little intimidating.
Had an excellent lunch on Thursday at the newly remodeled Spago. The new look is timeless, sleek and modern. The food and service remain outstanding. I even found Wolfgang Puck walking through the dining room saying hello to customers. (He's in the rear of the photo in a white smock with his back to the camera.)
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Had a great time last Sunday night in Ojai for a reading of Terrence McNally's new play "And Away We Go" at the Ojai Playwright's Conference.
Set to open next year off-Broadway, this delightful play is a Valentine to the theater. Six actors play 36 roles set in six theater troupes over time -- Ancient Greece, England at the time of a "new" play by William Shakespeare and even Coral Gables during the out-of-town tryout of Beckett's "Waiting for Godot."
The show time travels back-and-forth and, at times is a little challenging to keep up. I certainly didn't get all the theater references -- I can't imagine anyone but McNally actually gets them all. But it's like a fun game of Theater Trivial Pursuit -- I felt so proud when I got a joke before the rest of the (major theater) audience.
Anyone who cares about the arts, and the theater in particular, will just love this show -- whether you're a regular audience member, an actor or a theater professional.
After the show Mr. McNally took to the stage to answer questions and to hear comments. One amazing revelation was how much he had changed the show during the week he'd been in Ojai. McNally is a serious opera buff and originally one of the six troupes was an Italian Opera Company. That entire section was ripped out and replaced with a "present day" theater group. I'd love a chance to see the deleted opera sections, but I can also say the modern day sections added much of the poignancy of the piece.
I was too intimidated to ask a question during the Q&A. I was afraid to reveal myself as "just" an audience member. No, my question was not, "Oh Mr. McNally, can I have your autograph?" I really wanted to ask when he writes a piece like this how much of his attention goes to how the show would actually be staged (i.e., that character can't start his monologue for three more minutes because he needs time for a costume change) or does he just focus on getting the right words down on paper and leaves the logistical problems to the director and others?
I may never know.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Recently I had to go to Santa Maria -- a part of California famous for its perfectly prepared steaks -- so I worked a couple of restaurants that have long been on my list into my itinerary.
First I stopped off at The Hitching Post in Casmalia for dinner. Wow! Has to be one of the best steaks I've ever had. Certainly not an "elegant" place, but excellent food in a "let's get to eating" setting.
Before heading home I stopped off for lunch at Jocko's in Nipomo -- another Central Coast restaurant famous for its steaks. Folks say dinner (after the oak pit is lit) is better here than lunch -- but I have to say I was pretty please with my lunch. Next time I'll come around in the evening.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thanks to JeezBob I got to go to the Staples Center Monday night and see the Circus from a Luxury Suite.
I've been going to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus since I was a little kid and just love it.
Walking through a throng of protesters assembled on the sidewalk in front of the arena was a new experience. I sure hope the PETA extremists are proud of themselves for making the 7-year old boy in front of me cry by getting in his face about the "bloody show" he was about to see. Talk about "abusive."
I took a quick trip last weekend to visit Death Valley. I was intrigued because the temperature had reached 128 degrees on Wednesday.
I stopped by the Furnace Creek Ranch for lunch. The buffet wasn't very impressive but there's not much else for 100 miles in any direction, so what are you going to do?