[On a more down note, I'm so not into Ulysses, and the idea of having to actually have thoughts about any of this makes me feel woefully inadequate. Part of me thinks this will be much better if I take a religion class next semester, and part of me worries that that won't be the case.]
I went to Little Shop by myself Friday night. Definitely a good show.
When Seymour first brings the plant in, it's this solidly built bald guy wearing a green t-shirt, sitting cross-legged in a red wagon. Pretty awesome. He has a great attitude from the very beginning, and after he gets his first taste of blood in "Grow for Me" he puts on shades.
I was noticing this time around that despite its title line, "Somewhere that's Green" is about a v. processed existence. I was also thinking about how earlier in the play we were introduced to the idea that "uptown" isn't necessarily better than "downtown" ("Uptown you cater to a million jerks...").
The stoop girls chorus was played by three v. cute black girls. I think that's the first time I've seen any people of color in a Little Shop production. (Relatedly, I always forget Mushnik is Jewish until we get to "Mushnik And Son.")
This production really played up the sexualization of a lot of the interactions, which surprisingly I actually wasn't super-excited about, though it definitely worked for the Dentist, and I did like Miss Martin's innuendo-ized "wait for me baby" to one of the chorus girls near the end.
When the customer orders $50 worth of roses and asks if they can change a hundred and they say they can't, they all pout. Her "I'll just have to order twice as many then" is still played with the ease of the rich, which makes their poutage seem retrospectively pointless, and I also just don't like it because when you pout you act as if you know this will work, and I don't see any of those characters having that much confidence at that point.
When Orin first shows up, he and the plant high-five, which I liked.
And yeah, I kept thinking of Jubal Early ("When I was young and just a bad little kid, my momma noticed funny things I did -- like shootin' puppies with a bb gun").
At "now spit," the cutest of the girls in this production (Ronette?) actually spits on him, which I loved. And then Orin looks very pleased with himself.
Orin ties Seymour to the dentist chair, which is believable (he unties him when he's asphyxiating) but I disliked that his "Now -- yes I will ... but I can't" is still played as a failure of resolve when we're watching him physically unable to reach the gun (it also makes "Just a flicker of pressure right here on the trigger" a very weird line). I hadn't noticed (or had forgotten) that Orin, in his begging, also sings "Do it now."
(Is nitrous oxide flammable? In this production, Orin's gas mask had a very long tube, so it was occurring to me that he could grab the gun and shoot a hole in the tube, but then I wondered if oxide = flammable.)
When Orin gets absorbed into the plant (who now has three brown-clad, green-shod, dancing girls standing around it as "limbs") the plant cups his face and I almost thought they were going to kiss.
During "Suddenly Seymour," Seymour stands/sits apart from Audrey almost the entire time, which seemed very strange to me. (He also edges away from her when she first approaches to kiss him, which I found interesting.)
I am irrationally bothered by the fact that there were no actual red dots on the floor. (I was also thrown that the dentist's uniform wasn't bloody, though it makes sense since he was fed to the plant whole rather than the implied in-pieces that it usually is.)
The guy who plays Orin also plays all the people in that quick succession with the contracts -- including Mrs. Luce. He has a fake fur stole and a beret-type hat, which at one point falls off and one of the girls (the one I like, I think) grabs it and puts it on. On zir way out, Mrs. Luce says "I didn't like that hat anyway." I hadn't realized that whole thing was an ad-lib until I saw the show a second time and the hat stayed on.
As people get absorbed into the plant, they stand around it (like the girls) in green shoes. There's no other costume change, so I was initially jarred, and it's hard to see them as other than their characters, though it does create the effect that the plant is growing.
"And where you live!" I always expect that line to be "And this theatre," but I can't actually remember whether that was from Norwood's or Smith's production.
On Friday, Nicole invited me out dancing with them Saturday night for her roommate's birthday. I agreed, though I wasn't feeling excited. By the time I left my apartment on Saturday, though, I was actually looking forward to dancing.
Waiting for the train at Davis, there was a small group of definitely inebriated people waiting with me. They were neither teenyboppers nor skeevy, though, which was a nice change of pace.
One of the women (there were two men and two women) was talking about how her face was red, like a fieldhand's, from having been outside in the cold, and somehow this got into making up the word "handfields," which prompted one of the guys to sing "turn turn turn ... handfields."
As we pulled into Harvard, I got up and one of them said, "We should get off here. This is where she's getting off. She looks like she's going somewhere fun." They also complimented me on my "sparkly" shirt. (I was wearing my dark blue glittery shirt.) Such a positive experience (she says nonsarcastically).
I had closed my windows while working in my room 'cause it was cold (upper 50's), so knowing it would only get colder, I figured I'd bust out my long black coat. Turns out, the only time I needed it was when we were standing outside the club after it closed. Ah well. I had forgotten how much I enjoy wearing it, so that was kinda nice. (And I still can't help singing Dar to myself when I wear it.)
We went to middlesex in Central Square, and initially I thought I was gonna dance, but I was intimidated by Nicole and Laura (full of energy and enthusiasm and good at it) and then the music wasn't very good. Cailin was tired and thus not up for dancing, so I sat with her and we talked (though I fear I was kind of a sucky conversationalist). Later we did both get on the dance floor, though there kept being lame people on the dance floor (really bad at noticing that other people were around). The club closed at 2 and I only really wasn't enjoying myself for that last hour.
At one point, Cailin said as a statement/question: "So there aren't a lot of boys at Smith"
I replied: "Bisexual, so kind of a moot point, but true."
Yay easy coming out. She asked about my type, and I mostly don't have one, but I was thinking later that "striking" is largely it -- for women at least.
At another point in the conversation, she asked me about my ideal job. I said: "Getting to read books and watch tv and movies and talk about them."
Cailin: "Have you considered getting a blog?"
I laughed and said I had one. I was relieved that she didn't ask for the URL or anything.
Job suggestions included working as a reviewer and an editor. Thing is, (1) I want conversation more than I want to make statements (2) I don't have the background in genre conventions or anything to be able to talk about stuff in relation to what it's drawing on etc. [And also, having done my Little Shop writeups, I am reminded that I get so wrapped up in the little details that it's hard for me to make the broader more encompassing statements.]
I crashed at Nicole and Laura's (obviously). After Laura changed into pj's she was sitting on the living room floor so I just moved off the couch to behind her and began rubbing her back. Later, we watched an episode of Arrested Development episode (2.05 "Sad Sack"). I had never seen that show before but decided then that I couldn't be less interested in it if I tried.
Around 4am I was getting into bed (well, an aerobed) and I realized, "The T starts up again in an hour, and I'm actually not especially tired..." but I did stay. I woke up around 9 and considered being like a bad one-night-stand and just quietly getting dressed and leaving, but instead I went back to sleep and when I woke up around 10:45 Laura was up, too. I was pleasantly surprised at how not gross I felt and I went with them to brunch at Tremont 647. Now, I tend to think that I walk places way more than most people I know, but even I double-taked at the idea of walking to the South End from Harvard. It actually only took about an hour, though. Mass. Ave. all the way. (I had totally not known before that Smoot measurements get painted on.)
The food quality was good, but our food definitely didn't all come as ordered and our waiter wasn't especially attentive. Cailin talked to the manager, so we got our food comped (only paid for drinks). When he came over to apologize he asked if we were celebrating anything and Nicole said yes, Laura's birthday. A short while later the waiter came over with three tiny cupcakes, one with a lighted candle in it.
Jonah called, had to cancel last-minute, but was very apologetic and offered to pay for his ticket. I asked if anyone wanted to come with me, and explanation of what happened of course prompted opening up the etiquette question to those at the table who hadn't already heard the story. Nicole's conclusion is that Eric "has no manners" -- though that's "not a dealbreaker." I have a little bit of a cognitive dissonance that the same women who were much more upset about the etiquette-less cancelation than I was have also still not given up on the idea of an "us." (I mean, I know that they all obviously know he's a good guy, so the judging dynamic is somewhat different than it would be in other contexts, but still.)
Cailin was going suit-shopping, so I decided it would be a good time for me to head home. I got home c. 4:30 and took a quick shower.
trijinx was happy to come to Little Shop with me, though I foolishly hadn't realized the Sunday show started at 7pm (as opposed to Friday's 8pm show). We got let in anyway, which I appreciated.
I hadn't noticed the "laissez faire" line before. ("True the gun was never fired, but the way events transpired, I can finish him with simple laissez faire.") I expect it was mostly used for the easy rhyme, but given that I was more conscious this weekend than I have been in previous productions about what a social commentary the play is, I wonder about it as a commentary on free market capitalism.
In "Finale (Don't Feed the Plants)" they sing:Subsequent to the events you have just witnessed,The idea of the people being "jerks" bothers me because a large part of the point is that Seymour is a good guy who gets sucked into doing these "bloody awful evil deeds" -- that it could happen to anyone, that that's why we need to be so on guard. "They say the meek shall inherit. You know the Book doesn't lie. [...] They say the meek are gonna get it, and you're a meek little guy. You know the meek are gonna get what's comin' to 'em by and by."
unsuspecting jerks from Maine to California
made the acquaintance of a new breed of flytrap
and got sweet-talked into feeding it blood.
Thus the plants worked their terrible will,
finding jerks who would feed them their fill.
Afterward, trijinx asked for a refresher as to how Seymour gets the plant in the first place, and it occurred to me that if they could drop one plant during an eclipse, why not lots of them? I guess this is part of that handwavy, along with: Does Seymour not think the plant will hear him when he tells Audrey about his plan to kill it?
I imagine someone has written a feminist perspective paper on Audrey culminating in the height of self-objectification asking to be put into/become the plant (though part of me is really sympathetic, since -- among other reasons -- she's gonna die anyway and I'm so practical).
They have a girl playing the trashcan (when Mushnik pulls out the dentist's uniform) which made me a little uncomfortable -- though obviously it makes sense when you want to leave the stage as clear as possible.
I hadn't noticed the girl who rang the shop bell so much the first time, but I really loved her. One time she was practically hanging upside down. She wasn't intrusive at all in her presence, but if you were paying attention she was very enjoyable to watch.
Ah, musical conventions.
When the three stoop girls suddenly started choreographed dancing during Orin's "Son Be a Dentist" song I was reminded of the picnickers in "Under Your Spell" or "She needs backup. Anya, Tara."
And during "Mushnik and Son" I was reminded of Buffy not hearing Giles during "Standing in the Way."
Apparently it's usual to have the same person playing "Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce and everyone else"
Since "the night [was] still young," we walked back to Park St. and then had food+booze at Mike's in Davis Square.
I ended up on AIM for an hour and a half with Joe that night. I really like catching up with people, though I feel like I've gotten so bad at conversation recently (something I suspect is tied to the easy conversation I have with Mary Alice and Eric every day -- that I get used to that environment and have gotten out of practice with like all other conversational environments).
Though apparently I'm gonna be omgsocial this week. Have I mentioned recently how much I love living in the city?
(I'm not sure what happened this weekend, but our refrigerator is back to being v. empty. We do now have pretty light switch covers, though.)
I expect work tomorrow to be even more slow than last week, with Prof.B. out of the country, so Monday night tv writeups will be set aside for then (allowing me to sleep now -- assuming of course I haven't completely thrown off my sleep schedule).