Tag Archives: san francisco

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

La Cenerentola at the SF Opera

Last night I did something really cool – I went up to the SF Opera for a dress rehearsal of Cinderella (or, La Cenerentola) as one of their live tweeters. There were eight of us in one box (and at least one more box full of people somewhere else), tweeting our thoughts throughout the 3-hour performance. SO FUN! I would definitely do this again.

Below is a selection of my tweets from last night. (If you like this, check out twitter for the full account…)

My biggest takeaway from this experience was that I had a hard time keeping up with what was going on, while also looking down at my phone. During the first Cinderella/Prince scene, I noticed someone else had tweeted something about “one song together and they’ve already kissed? scandalous!” I was like, “They kissed?!?” I completely missed it while I was commenting on something else.

It’s a grand life lesson – you miss a lot when you’re staring at your phone! Live tweeting is a double-edged sword! (?)

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Filed under Awesome, Music, Technology, Theatre

Exhibiting bad manners in public

I arrived at the BART station yesterday morning and walked casually down the platform. I was just approaching one of the pre-walking marks on the ground when I noticed something strange. Looking up and down the platform, I saw single-file lines, with maybe 3 or 4 feet between each person, lined up in front of where the train doors would land. The people in these lines were reading newspapers, or looking at their phones.

Standing near the edge of the platform, I kept studying the lines. When did this happen?

I texted Drew: “Is it a bart manners thing to line up single file to wait for the train? Everyone is doing it here but I’ve never seen that before. Can I just stand near where the door will be or do I have to line up?”

He wrote back: “Yeah, it’s the opposite of the NY cluster.”

That’s what I’m used to…people pushing and shoving to get through the doors first. That’s what I’m comfortable with. Is that sick?

I said: “But…a single file line? I don’t like it. =( And now I realize I’ve been that beezy cutting lines the whole time?”

Then he called me a NY a-hole and I laughed out loud, and the train came, and while I didn’t push and shove to get on, I definitely didn’t wait for the line to go first, and then I camped out near the doors. So I’m definitely that bad-manners BART person who you glare at during your morning commute. Sorry about that! It’s been mostly inadvertent up until now.

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Filed under "Other people", Drew, Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel, Work

Arthritis Walk for the Cure

I tried my hardest to update last night, but my computer was completely uncooperative, and so here we are.

Yesterday I was just going to say a little bit about cravings/aversions, because I think it’s kind of interesting. I haven’t had a lot of cravings, per se…I don’t think it’s fair to blame pregnancy for wanting milkshakes every other day (I do not automatically give into that “craving”), or for my current phase of eating tortilla chips and salsa every chance I get (delicious!). I also have been enjoying drinking water a lot more than I used to…can’t complain about that.

What I’ve seen more of is food aversions – things that I used to love that I can’t stand anymore. I really liked beets, but now they sound repulsive (the mix of vegetable matter and sweetness? or something?). I’ve been avoiding a lot of vegetables, actually, including broccoli and squash, both of which I used to like. I like carrots and peas, which are both fairly sweet, and I wonder if that has something to do with it? I’ve also been avoiding eggs in all forms, and roasted garlic, which I used to eat with a fork. I’ve been trying to make up for the lack of vegetables with fruits, and sneak vegetables in wherever I can.

This morning Drew and I got up early and went up to Crissy Field in San Francisco for the annual Arthritis Walk. We were on an 8-person team headed up by our bff Erin (who works at the Arthritis Foundation), and I believe our team raised about $1200.

It was a totally beautiful day for walking around by the water, and before the walk started there was time to hang out, get some breakfast, and even check out the various entertainment…like this awesome marching band!

I’m not sure what you call a band that is just marching in place…but later they marched to start the actual walk.

At this point I stopped taking pictures, but Erin was enlisted by her work to run around and take photos of everything. It was a great way to start the morning!

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Filed under Beauty, Drew, Exercise, Friends