Monday, December 27, 2010



1onthetown had a theatre companion this month for BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON. We've been talking about seeing this for awhile and when the closing notice was posted she ran out and got us two ducats on the aisle in front of the stage right speakers. The intimate Belasco Theatre Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre houses this rousing Guitar Hero bio of the seventh president. The eponymous lead as played by Benjamin Walker proves he can fill a theatre with his voice even without a mic. The incredibly cluttered stage makes scene changes easy as everything is already up there. I liked a lot of it except for the dotty lady in the wheelchair who narrates the first half of the proceedings.

This show started in L.A. in 2008 and there's a West coast TV sick humor sensibility that may have contributed to this show not catching on, such as jokes stretched paper thin and too long (for example, in the very beginning we suffer through the narrator wordlessly tooling around and around the stage in the electric wheelchair). The other negative is the effeminate depiction of Eastern political figures. Except for the rugged postures of Jackson and Calhoun, figures such as JQ Adams and Martin Van Buren are portrayed as foppish jackasses. I can accept that Andrew Jackson is bringing back sexypants but the other male characters were too Paul Lynde for this context.


What does it take to get me off the couch and into a movie theatre?: a weekday afternoon and the Coen brothers teamed with Jeff Bridges making a movie out of the great Charles Portis's TRUE GRIT. But the real attraction is newcomer Hailee Steinfeld as the plucky miss out to avenge her father's murder by an ungrateful coward. I feel like Christopher Plummer giving you "Miss Daisy Clover" but I'm giving a money back guarantee based on her perf. She's real and the true grit of the title, with no phony 21st c. politics informing her acting.

Were the Coen Bros. joking by hiring a lookalike (Barry Pepper) for Robert Duvall to play the same part that Duvall played in the first version of TRUE GRIT? Oh brother!


I spent a good deal of week one of vacation watching DARIA on Netflix DVD, streaming Season 2 of HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL, and also streaming the cult classic TV show FIREFLY. So sad that we have hundreds of ST: TNG eps and only 14 FIREFLYs but I'm telling myself it's like watching 5 or 6 great movies. I read that 20% of Internet traffic from 8-10 pm is from Netflix streaming and that only 2% of their customers currently stream. When this catches on it may break the Internet. I was running the laptop thru the TV but my new BluRay player makes it a couch potato's dream. How did I miss FIREFLY during its run on FOX in the early 2000s?

THE EMPEROR OF MALADIES by Siddhartha Mukerjee

This book is subtitled "A History of Cancer" and is a good read if you've ever liked a science class or read science for leisure. Stay away if you're looking for humorous anecdotes. The author's vocabulary is excellent and I learned some new words, or at least one of those words that you see but can't ever remember its meaning: febrile.

That's it for 2010. I'm off to the farm, bringing the camera, and will have a full report in the new year.


Brigid said...

Slight correction: It was the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. We did pass the Belasco on the way, though.


Brigid said...

My review is now up: