Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

The Weekend Was A Blur, posted April 30, 2007 at 09:43 PM

I thought I was going to have a small, quiet cocktail party on Friday night. You know, invite the office kids over for a little drink. Well they came, and so did the other friends I invited. I really intended it to be small, but then suddenly I had a houseful of people. Two big bottles of gin later--along with two bottles of bourbon, one vodka, one Scotch, two red wines, a bottle of Dubonnet, two San Franciscan visitors, two teenagers, a kilogram of Spanish artisanal chocolate, four Spanish cheeses, three French baguettes, and one broken glass--it turned out to be quite a shindig. We drank, we laughed, we danced. And when things finally broke up around 4:30am, Michael and Doug and I went out for breakfast. I got to bed by 5.30am. More pictures here.

Saturday and Sunday were spent nursing a bitch of a toothache. I was never so happy to see a dentist as this morning. And never have I had a deeper respect for my mother, whose long career dealing with unhappy insurance clients like me must have been a particularly nerve-racking hell. I had to make more phone calls this morning, both from my house and from the dentist's office than I usually make in a five-day work week. My insurance company--I won't name names Oxford--just doesn't know what they're doing.

Anyway, enough of the pain. There was definitely some pleasure mixed into my Sunday, in the form of Spring Awakening, Duncan Sheik's Broadway musical about 19th-century German teens coming to terms with sex, sex, and sex.


Photo by Joan Marcus

I loved it. It's based on a play of the same name by one Frank Wedekind, who dared write about such controversial things back in 1891. The play is not updated--it still takes place back in ol' Deutschland--but it now has rock-n-roll songs and power-ballads mixed into it. And the resulting tension between old and new really works. I loved the staging--the direction was quick-footed, and the lights and scenery were visually captivating without getting the way of the actors. And the choreography by Bill T. Jones--which worried me before I saw it as I'm no great fan--was good too. In their review, The New York Times called the choreography "inventive but unshowy," which is exactly right. Jones' frenetic movements of the dancers' hands rubbing all over their own bodies was just the kind of self-love that's called for in this play.

I felt as if a couple of the songs could maybe have been cut, but all in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable show. The Times ran a nice multimedia feature with Duncan Sheik, which you can see here.

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