Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spacing Out

You know when you are thinking really hard about something and you "space out"? You just stare at nothing in particular and think. Maybe it's some deep-seated emotional issue of yours, something about your personal life, something complex and philosophical, or maybe even how you're going to handle an upcoming situation. Well, here's what I've been caught "spacing out" about lately:

  • "Why has that person been a senior in college for three years?"
  • "Do I have one or two green apples left in the fridge?"
  • "Am I going to finish that loaf of bread before it gets moldy?"
  • "What would happen if I were to smack that person really hard right now?"
  • "Why do mushrooms taste so friggin good?! And are they really vegetables? Seriously, they're like the perfect food. It's a vegetable that tastes like meat!"
  • "I'm often referred to as 'organized' but the socks I'm wearing right now aren't matching."
  • "Sammy's may have the best reputation among burger places in Provo, and deservedly so, but Stumpy's definitely gives them a run for their money."
  • "I haven't been to India Palace for a while. I need me some Chicken Tikka"
  • "Among one group of people I'm 'reserved' while according to another, I'm 'the one that doesn't shut up'."
  • "I just watched The Blind Side for the first time. Had I seen it in a theater before hearing anything about it, I probably would've sung praises to the heavens for it; but seeing it after all the hype, I'm kinda 'meh' about it. Oh well."
  • "Costa Vida or Wendy's?"
  • "Why am I able to think? Why am I not a device in the natural order? Why do I exist?"
  • "My friend from Logan came to see my show (cough!), while people in Provo are probably going to miss it. I know people have obligations, but is it wrong that I am instinctively a little upset?"
  • "I spend about 4/5 of all my time doing theater related work. Am I still sane? Am I wasting my time? Or have I found what I was looking for?"
  • "Those legs are way too long for that torso."
  • "I know I'm a minority and all, but does every Priesthood lesson really have to be on marriage?"
  • "Those two are just too attractive to be a couple. They can't both be that attractive, they need to cancel each other out in one way or another."
  • "Gurl, HE-YO to da no."
  • "If that couple touches each other one more time, I'm going to throw something at them and run."
  • "Is it wrong for me to be envious of a black woman's voice?"
  • "Now that we're Facebook friends, are they obligated to talk to me when I'm sitting by myself?"
  • "Ha."
  • "I miss Japan."
  • "Did I really go to high school? Did that really happen?"
  • "This is really going to hurt in the morning."
Was this fun? Why don't ya'll leave a comment and tell me what YOU are thinking about?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reviews N' Stuff

I've watched a lot of stuff lately and I'm in the mood to review, so here we go:

The first thing I want to write about, as promised, is The Mortal Fools Theatre Project's production of The Glass Menagerie. To preface, I'm a little embarassed to admit that I've never read The Glass Menagerie from cover to cover, nor had I seen it produced until last night. It's a pity, I know. I knew the basic plot outline and I've seen scenes from it, but I really didn't know what to expect.

Though small and simple, the technical aspects were the first element that really entranced me. This was my first time in the Provo City Theater and I was immediately in love with the space. It's intimate, yet traditional. It's the perfect venue for this American classic. The set felt very much like a complete living room; the sharp and angular walls being the only abstract piece. It felt real enough for the story to hit home, but also distorted enough for this to be a "memory play." The lighting was very effective, and the music created a moving ambience.

As for the acting, it was impressive. That is an understatement but I don't know how else to phrase it.  Simpy put, seeing acting of this caliber in such a small venue is far beyond the $10 ticket price. Each character was so alive. They were living, breathing, and existing in the space so naturally. Part of me wondered how they would react if something completely unexpected were to happen. Each character was full of a consistency and fluidity that made them entirely believable from scene to scene. Even though I knew it wouldn't happen, I was afraid that Laura could potentially jump off of the balcony each time she got near it. I don't know if that was intentionally played, but it read to me quite clearly. Details and nuances like this made this heavy and literary work compelling and intriguing throughout. I loved it.

I also saw BYU's production of the Spanish tragedy Blood Wedding. I knew nothing of the story going into this. At first, the poetic language was a bit overbearing. I was falling behind as I was concentrating to make sure I knew what was going on plot-wise. However, that frustration was quickly suppressed when the aural and visual aspects of the show came into play. Everything about this production was stylized. The movement was beautiful and exaggerated; music, vocals, and even breathing patterns exentuated key moments within the script. The artisitic elements were sometimes thrilling and sometimes confusing, but they were always a pleasure to behold, even if I was lost. This show runs until Saturday and I highly recommend it to anyone that likes to see a non-traditional approach to theater. This is part tragedy, part musical, part poetry reading, and part dance performance, all spun into one piece to tell a very human story.

Lastly, I finally saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland this weekend. It was an acid trip, and I loved it. Need I say more? Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and (surprisingly) Anne Hathaway were all hysterical. Plus, it had random dancing that was quite amusing.

And one final thing. I couldn't get away without saying that As You Like It opens to the public tomorrow. Please come. I think you'll enjoy it. That'll be all.

The Glass Menagerie photo by Michael Handley

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mortal Fools Theatre Project: The Glass Menagerie

This coming Monday, I'm going to see The Glass Menagerie at the Provo City Theater produced by The Mortal Fools Theatre Project ( By posting about it on my blog, I get to see the show for free! I've heard great things about this company. It's comprised of professionals, most of whom are university professors. After I see it, I'll write a little bit about it. 

Photo by Winsor Photography

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As You Like It

Look what I found! The poster! So, as promised, I'll write about it. I'm thinking the FAQ format from last time worked so if it ain't broke, I ain't fixin' it.

Q: What is this show about?

A: As You Like It is one of William Shakespeare's better known comedies. After being banished from court, the protagonist, Rosalind, dresses as a man (not to be confused with Viola from Twelfth Night) in order to discover more about her love interest, Orlando. It has everything you'd expect from a Shakespeare comedy, however, our production puts a very different spin on it.

Q: Is this a main stage production?

A: Yep. This time this is not a "Theater for Young Audiences" production. It's quite far from it in fact. This will take place in a larger theater for older audiences.

Q: That's quite an interesting poster. It doesn't look anything like Shakespeare. Why is that?

A: This production of As You Like It  is set in the present. The story is the same, it just takes place in the world we live in today. The language hasn't been changed at all, it's still Shakespearean. This does change the set, the costumes, the situations, the style of acting, and so on and so forth. This concept really gives everything a harder edge. It is more of a realist approach to a classical work. It is still certainly full of its comedic moments, but a lot of the major plotlines are grittier. The stakes are higher. Rosalind isn't dressed as a man simply because it's funny, part of her reasoning is now that she doesn't want to be raped or murdered in the forest. Duke Frederick is much more dangerous now because he has SWAT troops, guns, and helicopters at his disposal. I think you get the picture.

Q: I heard something about contemporary music. What's that about?

A: Indeed. Contemporary music is used several times in the show. As You Like It has several musical moments written into it. Two of those songs remain in this production, all of the others have been replaced by contemporary songs that you may or may not recognize. When Shakespeare plays were originally produced in the Globe Theater, the music, for the most part, was not written by Shakespeare. It was more the equivalent of a modern day rock concert. Thus, that has been implemented into this version.

Q: Who do you play?

A: Le Beau. In the script, Le Beau is in three short scenes at the beginning, but I've also been thrown into a couple of the scenes where Duke Frederick is speaking to "Lord 1" and "Lord 2" and also to the final scene. It gives my character some much needed depth and a very interesting character arc throughout the show.

Q: What has the rehearsal process been like?

A: Difficult. And late. 8-11 PM Tuesday through Friday, and also Saturday mornings. But it's also been rewarding. This is definitely the most professional setting I've ever been in, and while it was a bit of a shock to my system at first, I've really learned to enjoy every minute of it. I'm surrounded by wonderful people.

Q:  Are you majoring in theater?

A: Um, do you realize who you're asking? I'm about as indecisive as they come and being in college hasn't changed that. I HAVE learned that it is important to do what you love. Make yourself happy and make the best of every situation. Nothing is set in stone right now. I do know that I love what I'm doing right now and would like to continue doing it. That certainly doesn't mean that I'm done exploring though. Who knows what else I may end up loving in the future?

Q: When and where can I see it?

A: March 17-April 2, 7:30 PM in the Pardoe Theater at the Harris Fine Arts Center on BYU campus. You can purchase tickets here or in person at the Harris Fine Arts Center ticket office.

Those of you that are first year BYU students can go to the Office of First Year Experience (JKB room 2006) and get a New BYU Student Arts Discount Card that will get you tickets for $2.

I'm really excited for this. Thanks for being interested and I hope to see you there!

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