Tag Archives: music

Some ideas about “The Last Five Years”

Drew and I went to see The Last Five Years at ACT in San Francisco. They did it as a concert, which I am now convinced is the way this show should always be done. I’ve seen I think 6 productions of The Last Five Years, and with the exception of this most recent one, they’ve all tried to stage every scene. And (I know I may be biased but) Drew’s version from college is the only one that accomplished staging it with any sort of panache.

If you don’t know the show, it’s almost entirely music. It’s the story of a five-year relationship between a man and a woman, only she tells her story going from the end of the relationship backwards, and he starts at the beginning and moves forward. The music is incredible, and even though the concept (love gained and lost) is simple, it’s well done.

Since they are almost never in each other’s stories, they are technically always in different spaces, even when sharing the stage. And it just makes the physicality difficult, especially later in the play. I think it is actually a lot cleaner to just put the actors onstage and let them sing in front of microphones, rather than worry about creating the visual world for the audience. We’ll get there on our own with just the actors and the music, I promise. We certainly did with just the talented actors and musicians at ACT.

But! I had two thoughts during this production that I found really interesting.

*Spoilers follow*

The first is that, from the beginning of the evening, I decided I was going to go through the play as Team Jamie. I am always on Cathy’s side, I always find her more sympathetic. So I wanted to really commit to going on his journey. And I did. I was right there with him until he cheats on her. And then all my sympathy goes out the window. So maybe there is a legit reason I’ve been Team Cathy all these years, and it’s not just because I like her songs better.

The second thing is just a conceptual idea. While watching this time, it occurred to me that they very specifically give you Jamie’s age at the beginning and end of the play: this five years spans his life from age 23 to 28. But Cathy’s age is never mentioned. I’ve always assumed she was the same age, but…what if she starts the play at age 30? So then: that’s why his mom doesn’t like her (it’s not just the fact that she’s not Jewish). It’s also why she feels so much pressure to succeed, and so much resentment when her 23-year-old boyfriend is succeeding and she’s not. She also mentions having kids a couple times, and I know that people can think about that at any age, but it becomes more poignant to me if she’s, you know, 33 and feeling pressure about it, while he’s 26 and it’s not on his mind. I’m not saying this is necessarily the way it’s written, but I think it would be a really interesting choice to make in a specific production of the show. It would add an interesting dimension.

All that aside, I still love this show as much as I did in college. And I’m so glad we went and saw it last weekend. I would tell you to go, but it was just a three-nights-only event, and it’s taken me too long to get around to saying, “Go see it.” My bad! I will burn you a copy of the original off-Bway cast recording to make up for it.

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Filed under Drew, Love, Music, Sentiment, Theatre

Disney Project 2014: Make Mine Music

Movie: Make Mine Music

Release year: 1946

My reaction: We’re getting into this tradition of pointing out the familiar names in the credits (which, of course, play before the movie). It’s fun. It’s also fun that it’s been like 7 weeks and we’re still doing this. I don’t know if either of us thought it would last very long.

I actually really liked Make Mine Music, which I’ve never seen before, especially after the last two weeks. This is like Fantasia-light. Like a few little musical stories: “Peter and the Wolf,” “Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet,” “Casey at the Bat.” It was really fun, and not too long.

I liked that the music that wasn’t chosen wasn’t all classical. It was a good mix of musics and animations. I would watch it again.

B’s reaction: Same same. I’d say he enjoyed it.

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Filed under Children, Drew, Movies

An Aux-cellent Decision

I spend a lot of time lamenting choices I’ve made: for example, I got in the wrong lane at Target, with the high-maintenance customer at the front of the line. Or, I bought lunch today even though I told myself ten times this morning not to do that. Usually, I took one freeway home when I should have taken the other. Etc.

But sometimes, I do something, and when the dust settles I just feel like I have to throw myself a parade because I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.

This is one such thing:
photo (1)This is an aux cable, which I can use to play music (or audiobooks!) from my iPod or iPhone in the car. Drew and I went to Best Buy like a month ago to buy one, and it was a hassle to park and then to get the stroller inside, so when the only aux cable they had on the shelf was $22, I bought it because I didn’t want our trip to have been in vain.

But when I got home and checked Amazon, they had this baby for $1.57 with free (albeit super slow) shipping. I was like, Sorry Best Buy, and promptly ordered this one, and returned the Best Buy one later that week.

So yeah, this cable took awhile (like 3 weeks) to show up. But it’s perfect, and the cord retracts into the center piece until you pull it out, so it’s not flopping all over the place. I love it. So happy. I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.

*Tickertape*

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Filed under Awesome, cars, Humor, Nonfiction

Solstice and singing

So, as I understand it, yesterday was the first day of summer. I basically say my favorite season is whatever season we’re currently in (with a slight bias toward spring and fall), but seriously, summer is great. We left Drew’s parents’ house the other day just after 9pm, and it was still sort of light outside. I just freaking love that.

From here on out, the nights are going to start getting longer again. This is bittersweet. On the one hand, I’m enjoying the relative heat (for the most part) and the looooong days. On the other hand, this means we’re on the downhill slope into fall, which I’m looking forward to for a variety of reasons.

To celebrate the beginning of the decline of the summer, we were serenaded last night at 4am. Well, I was. Drew slept through it, thank goodness.

This same thing happened a couple weeks ago. That night, I also woke up at 4am, not sure if it was the music that woke me up or if it started after I was awake. (I wake up a lot in the middle of the night, and usually just fall back asleep.) But there was this vague instrumental music, and I thought, Is the TV on? But it seemed to be out the back window, so maybe it was coming from the house behind us? That night, it played through that instrumental song, then the Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You,” then “That’ll Be The Day” by Buddy Holly, then something I can’t remember, and then we were on “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon when it finally switched off.

I assume it’s someone’s clock radio going off, and it just takes them 15 minutes to turn it off. But that time a couple weeks ago, when it also woke up Drew, he sort of freaked out, and then spent the next two hours unable to fall back to sleep, and then had to get up for work.

So last night I tried to ignore it the best I could, and to fall back asleep, although it didn’t happen until it was finally quiet again. The only song I remember was “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5. I’m still not sure if it’s from the house behind us, or from our neighbor. Either way, I’m just really glad it didn’t disturb Drew, and that I wasn’t awake longer than about 20 minutes altogether.

Happy summer! Here’s to sleeping through the night tonight!

6/22 EDIT: I jinxed us! The radio went off again last night, and I got to hear Buddy Holly again, and also “I Can See Clearly Now,” and also about 4 other songs. It woke up Drew this time, and he walked around trying to figure out where it was coming from. He reported that you can hear it best in our room, leading me to believe it’s either our upstairs neighbor or the house out back.

He even opened the window to try and pinpoint it. When the music went off a minute after that, he said loudly, “Thank you.” Which I found hilarious.

The only upside is that this morning I heard what the station number is. So, Dad, it’s 103.7, which appears to be KOSF.  You can listen to it online here. I mean, it’s annoying at 4am, but it does seem like a good station overall. It’s not the station’s fault.

How many times do I let this happen before I start doing some investigating/conversing with neighbors?

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Filed under "Other people", Awesome, Drew, Memoir, Music, Nonfiction, Not awesome, Sentiment