I didn’t expect much of the Game of Thrones Season 4 finale. Sandwiched between an entire episode dedicated to the Wall and nine long upcoming months of radio silence before Season 5, I figured the final episode would treat us to a bland series of character snapshots and perhaps a few cliffhangers that, being nearly a year from satiation and tied to the frustrating ruts in which many characters found themselves stuck by the end of Episode 9, would just leave me grumpy.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Once again, the writers of the show (aka Lords of the Universe/Masters of the Craft/Benioff & Weiss) exceeded my best expectations. Not only did they bring us pivotal changes in every one of the primary plot points of the show, but the protagonists tied to those plots matured or solidified in some of the most profound ways we have yet seen. Continue reading
The Hallmark Card:
To My Father on This Special Day:
I can’t tell you how much your undying love, guidance and support has not meant to me over the last 28 years. Every step of the way that you have not been there has brought me the greatest joy. Not growing up with you truly prepared me for a world full of men presumably very much like yourself, whose delicate psyches and various ego-related hang-ups it has never occurred to me to waste my time attempting to soothe with my womanly touch. A world without you is exactly the kind of world I remain perfectly happy to continue to inhabit.
The singing card: Continue reading
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the “goodbye New York” essay. Apparently, this well-stocked genre is taking a turn for the cynical as the cost of living in New York City continues to skyrocket. Alarm bells are sounding in the blogosphere and beyond: New York is squeezing out young, creative-minded individuals! New York is becoming an effete playground for the commercial elite.
For my part, I wrote about my move to the city a year after the Fung Wah bus dumped me and two enormous suitcases on a squabbling corner of Chinatown; now, five years later and safely uptown from Canal, I find myself again reflecting on the city that has shaped my early adult life. I’m not ready to write a goodbye essay yet (or, I think, anytime soon), but as someone who still feels creatively fulfilled and challenged here, I am inclined to add my voice to the mix of increasingly hostile adieus. Continue reading
In October I went to see the San Francisco Ballet perform Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella at Lincoln Center. The dancing was excellent, the art direction stunning and the vision sweeping. I left the theater full of the sense of magic that every true fairytale is meant to inspire, and a few specific visuals from the show even rank among the best I’ve seen on stage in my lifetime. While I was therefore satisfied with the experience overall, I was somewhat disappointed by a few key elements. The awe-inspiring sets and costumes take center stage in this ballet, while the plotline and choreography fall short of Wheeldon’s larger-than-life vision. Continue reading
As a cleverly self-described “bromcom,” the new web series “Parker and Steve” follows two guy friends in New York City who spend their time hustling for rent money, looking for love (or something like it), and ending up in sticky situations that they invariably botch into stickier messes. While the premise and plotlines fit snugly into a well-worn genre of bro-based comedy, the 5-7 minute webisode format necessitates some scaling back in the genre’s typically overblown plotlines. The result is an interesting combination of bro humor and wry “Louie”-like charm. In fact, I find that “Parker and Steve” does a good job of bringing the bromcom to life with quirky side characters, witty one-liners and a realistic New York City vibe that will resonate with anyone who has struggled to get by in this magical land of tiny apartments, soaring rent and eccentric individuals all around.
Two weekends ago my friend Jessica and I made our annual pilgrimage to Jacob’s Pillow, the summer dance festival in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Jacob’s Pillow is both an overnight dance camp (“summer intensive” for those of you…you know who you are), where serious students of every genre of dance come to study with masters of their craft during the summer months, and a renowned performance venue for the most cutting edge professional companies from around the world. Every week features two new shows in the beautiful wooden theaters on the small, tree-filled Pillow “campus.” Many innovative companies have their U.S. debut at the Pillow, and many return year after year to wow audiences anew. While the caliber and originality of these performances is enough to woo any dance enthusiast, the opportunity for escape is what truly draws us New York City transplants back year after year. Only at the Pillow will you find professional dancers performing avant-garde choreography in an idyllic mountain setting where the fresh air and the starry night sky endow the whole atmosphere with a feeling of magic. Continue reading
Last Thursday I went to see Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at Celebrate Brooklyn. You can’t get much better than a FREE dance performance staged OUTDOORS in PROSPECT PARK, and Les Ballet Trockadero (“the Trocks”) proved absolutely perfect for the occasion! The famously comedic, all-male troupe of classical ballet dancers easily extinguished the nagging doubts that have erstwhile prevented me from buying tickets to their shows. They were downright hilarious in every way, and they displayed a marvelous attention to comedic nuance that sold me on their talent for once and for all. Continue reading