Friday, April 30, 2004

"Rainbow" High II

Blissfully joyous news from the Irish Rep today: according to an unconfirmed report at All That Chat, the cast of "Finian's Rainbow" will be heading into a recording studio to preserve their take on the classic show. In addition, it looks like they're extending for an extra month and a half, so I should be able to catch it one or two more times (assuming that they haven't already sold out the extension, what with all the love letter reviews they've been getting).

Semester's grinding to a close, and I think everybody in class is just getting worn out. I really could use about a week's straight sleep, and then about a month of study to catch up with all the stuff I'm not understanding. On the good news front, I've now initiated and completed three (count 'em three) nearly meaningless internal studies for work, all of which have gotten unmitigated praise from the lab director. Now, if only that could translate into a better paying (or at least better-scheduled) position...

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

NYUk, Nyuk, Nyuk

NY Times this morning has a piece on an NYU student who lived in the Bobst Library subbasement for a few months. My favorite part is the "try to make something sound good of this" quote from John Beckman, a University spokesman:
N.Y.U. doesn't attract just smart students, it attracts smart, eclectic students... We had a film student who wanted to film a couple performing a live sex act in front of a class. We had students who set up a swimming pool in their dorm room. Now we have this fellow."
Since when is filming a live sex act in front of a class a "smart" or "eclectic" thing to do? Anyhow, this guy didn't do anything new... heck, we had Cooper students crashing the Bobst study rooms regularly (although I think they were only open 24 hours during finals time back then), to say nothing of living in the school newspaper office, the study room, and the TV lounge.

Oh, if you were wondering why your electric bills were so high, it's because you've been contributing to my wardrobe. One of our nifty benifits includes reimbursement for purchase of safety shoes, and I just made a small addition to my sartorial splendor from the monthly shoemobile (no, it doesn't play any merry jingles as it moves around the complex. Would you play the "Mr. Softee Theme" if you knew you were around a bunch of people in steel-toed shoes?).

Thursday, April 22, 2004


Nice surprise came in the mail yesterday: MAC (the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) sent me their awards ballot. While it's hard for me to vote on many of the categories (I simply haven't seen enough shows to judge), they pulled a nice one this year for the "best new song" and "special materials" categories: a CD featuring all the nominated numbers! As a result, I was able to hear David Buskin's uproarious "Bumper Huntin'" and Hector Coris's "In Heaven (they sing nothing but showtunes)," as well as Maria Gentile's gutwrenching "Kindness makes me Cry." Nicely done, MAC; now, try to do something about getting your awards noticed by the major media, eh?

Major feh: Not gonna be able to see Gypsy or Finian's Rainbow again before they close, thanks to the whole s'firah thing. Ah, well.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Springin' Out

Aah, the joys of walking through Central Park on a warm day... seems like I've been waiting for decent weather for centuries. After doing some last-minute financial stuff at my bank (with a shockingly competent service representative), I walked through Frederick Olmsted's masterpiece with a big goofy grin, watching walkers, skaters, cyclists, and ballplayers on a patch of green inside the one of the world's busiest metropolitan areas. After running into my long-lost cousin (hey, Darren!), I hit the chin-up bar in one of the playgrounds, intending to do my patented "swing like a monkey" routine. Unfortunately, the bar hit back. Time to face it: I'm getting old, and I'm out of shape :(.

Resolution of the day: soon as this semester ends, get back to the gym, and start climbing again. Anybody need an out-of-shape belay partner?

Friday, April 09, 2004

"Rainbow" High

If you have to go through five weeks without live music, you could have a much worse send-off than The Lovely Wife(tm) and I got last night, when we caught Irish Rep's sublime concert staging of Finian's Rainbow.

Now, I've always been a huge fan of the score, and was never quite sure why people thought the show was unrevivable (even the movie screenplay, which I've read, seemed fairly tame). After last night, I'm even more confused. Yes, some of the satire is heavy-handed, but I saw nothing offensive, and the book is no clunkier than many other shows of its time. But oh, the talent on that stage. No less than three faves of mine from the piano bar circuit (musical directors Mark Hartman and Mark Janas, and the indominable Terri White), joined a sterling cast including a riotous Malcolm Gets, the gloriously-voiced Melissa Errico (although how you can lose your Irish brogue singing "How are Things in Glocca Morra?" escapes me), and Jonathan Freeman, who is simply one of the best musical comedy character actors of this era. Kimberly Dawn Neumann risked life and limb (hers and her cast members) dancing up a storm on the postage-stamp stage as Silent Susan, and ohhh, the joy of hearing Yip Harburg's words superbly sung. What that man did with the English language would have any lesser lyricist arrested and his rhyming dictionary confiscated, but he made it work, and work superbly.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

It had to be Jews...

Ah, another pair of seders gone by, and only minor collateral damage. TLW and I survived in-laws, late nights, and sinus-clearing horseradish with aplomb, and now I've gotta hunt down the jerk who decided that this would be a good time to deliver the Girl Scout cookies that we ordered a few months back (for the goyim in the audience [if you don't know what a goyim is, then you are one]: orthodox jews don't eat leavened grain products during Passover, and cookies definitely count).

The Jewish community might be gaining some serious cachet soon, if catherine is serious about becoming a member of the tribe... maybe we can get Marie's to start stocking some decent wines now!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Fun while it lasted...

Okay, I thought I was a pretty interesting guy, right? Orthodox Jew who hangs out in piano bars, muses on Torah, chemistry, and Sondheim... all pretty eclectic, no?


My colleague Richie:
Now, I knew all this before (in fact, we bonded immediately on my first day at work because I recognized his tattoo artist). Today, however, we started talking about show biz, and he mentioned that he had a friend who worked with some names in the business. Upon which, he pulled out some personalized autographed photos from Madeline Kahn and F. Murray Abraham. Okay, I can deal with that. But then came the piece de resistance: an autographed photo from the late Fred (aka "Mister") Rogers inscribed to "Lord Richie."

I know now what cool is, and I will never be it. Oh, well...