Lately

  – John Donne’s The Good Morrow, particularly the line,”For love…makes one little room an everywhere.” I think Julian Glover’s oldschool recitation here is pretty lovely:


– Alice Friman’s poem Getting Serious, particularly the line, 

“And my heart flexed in me, a sail,
and I swear I saw it flying out of my chest
spiriting away my giddy soul

– Cyrano De Bergerac. Again. I’ve been listening to this radio play 
(Kenneth Branagh as the hero and Tom Hiddleston as Christian): 


– I saw a production of Golden Boy, the Clifford Odets play. Tony Shalhoub’s performance made me tear up, he was so good.

– I recently saw a Pinchas Zuckerman play the Bruch’s Violin Concerto with the NY Philharmonic. Fantastic.
 

– I was introduced to Bruckner via his 6th symphony. Riveting.


And that’s all I’ve got!
Have a wonderful weekend. 

Cyrano De Bergerac

  
A few weeks ago, I went to see the Broadway revival of Cyrano De Bergerac, the classic 1897 French play about a disfigured man who, though he is the bravest and wittiest of men, cannot seem to find the words to profess his love for the fair Roxane face-to-face.  

Anyway, you know the story, and I did too, but as I watched this production, I found the beautiful words of the play and Cyrano’s pure character and never wavering devotion to Roxane so heartbreaking and unbelievably romantic. (What a surprise. This can probably be attributed to the wonderful, amazing performance of Douglas Hodge as Cyrano.)
Some of my favorite lines come from the scene where Cyrano (here cloaked in darkness and pretending to be the handsome soldier Christian) declares his love to Roxane who is standing on a balcony above.
CYRANO: 
I love you, but insanely, utterly
so much I’m suffocating, torn apart
Your name hangs like a bell here in my heart
and so, because I’m trembling all the time,
‘Roxane’ rings out with an incessant chime!
You won’t believe it, but I can recall
each detail of your life, however small:
For instance, last year, on the twelfth of May
you did your hair up in a different way –
It dazzled me so much that, just as one
will, after looking too long at the sun, 
see a gold disk on everything one views, 
the image of your hair did so infuse
my sight that after I could not behold
an object without finding flecks of gold
covering its surface, brighter than sunlight!
Pretty, right? 

Death of a Salesman.

Death of a Salesman
Never struck me the way it did when I saw Mike Nichols’ production this weekend.
You never really understand this play until you’ve worked in an office, dreaming of outside…

BIFF: And suddenly I stopped, you hear me?  And in the middle of that office building, do you hear this?  I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw – the sky.  I saw the things that I love in this world.  The work and the food and time to sit and smoke.  And I looked at the pen and said to myself, what the hell am I grabbing this for?  Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be?  What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am!  Why can’t I say that, Willy?

Die Zauberflote

I caught the Julie Taymor (of Lion King fame) production of The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera House last week. As expected, the sets were memorably inventive, the costumes stunning, her use of puppetry fun, Mozart’s music divine. Can’t wait to see her Spiderman production when it finally opens this year!

It was electric to hear one of my favorite arias in person – the infamous Queen of the Night. It’s amazing that a piece that was written hundreds of years ago still has the power to leave an audience of four thousand absolutely amazed. 
Diana Damrau’s rendition of it is terrific (at the Royal Opera House).

What a glorious feelin’ I’m happy again

Lincoln Center. At night. Right before an opera. This is by far my favorite time and place in New York City. There was a really fascinating article in The New Yorker this week about the renovation / re-design of the famous fountain (I really will never see water the same way again.) They also put together this video of the fountain’s appearance in films.
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1827871374

It turns out that the people who designed the new fountain also designed the Bellagio fountains in Vegas, which led me to watch this video of the Bellagio fountains in action – dancing to Singin’ in the Rain. Marvelous!

Brief Encounter

Being a huge fan of David Lean and his film Brief Encounter, I rushed to see a theatre production that was sort of a beautiful love letter to the film at St. Ann’s Warehouse this week. I’d been wanting to see this production ever since I had heard it won an Olivier award after it ran in London this year.
And it didn’t let me down. Simply put, one of the best pieces of theater I saw all year, and it made me want to see the movie again.