Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Gaga

My friend from work brought her photos in from the Gaga concert.  I love these pictures of Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More Fine Girls - Tarragon Theatre

Manic. If you had to describe this show in one word it would be manic. It's like the writers drank 30 cups of coffee, then wrote a play. It's like the actors drank 30 cups of coffee before performing. Fast talking, quick movements, manic.
The play centres around three sisters and their varying struggles with sanity. I'm not sure if the play was supposed to be a comedy, there was a lot of jokes and a good one every ten minutes or so but the plot seemed too absurdist for a comedy.
The play goes from one sister who talks to aliens and attaches her furniture to the ceiling, to another constantly bemoaning her fate, to the third, Anne-Marie MacDonald portraying Aunt Jackie from the tv show Roseanne down to the hand wringing and oversize gestures.
The problem is nothing is believable. The story is not believable and goes no where and the characters have no arc, when the story ends everyone is in the same emotional state as when they begin. Along the way we're treated to an insane person's rantings; of hidden cameras, alien abductions, far out diseases. None of it makes any sense. And the payoff, the end of they play, is a narrator saying "a year later, everything got better".  The end.
Skip this, along with the rest of this season's Tarragon offerings. Last season they had original musicals, stories from remote parts of Canada, and contemporary dramas. This year every play seems to be the result of five people locked in a room for two hours.

Lady Gaga with The Scissor Sisters, Air Canada Centre

I was waiting to post this until I got back the photos from the lady I went to the concert with.  As that may never happen....
The Scissor Sisters stepped on stage at 7:57 last night, right on time, and played for 30 minutes. Anna Matronic had new geri-curls in her hair which looked amazing and she was followed out on stage by Jake Shears wearing the sexiest outfit ever invented. This ode to Tom of Finland was a leather tear-away body suit complete with military style hat and cut-away crotch to expose his vinyl thong. From this point I'm not quite sure what other people on stage were wearing or doing as I was drinking in the sight of Jake in this outfit like someone receiving water after crossing the desert.
I do remember Anna saying "If you don't know the Scissor Sisters, that's okay, it just means you're not gay and not British," which I loved.
They did a great job getting the crowd in the mood. A short set leading off with Nightwork, followed by a good mix of hits including Take Your Mama, Running Out, I Don't Feel Like Dancing, and closing with Filthy/Gorgeous. Absent were first single from the new album Fire With Fire and new sensation Invisible Light.
This is the outfit Jake wore, which I loved, but these photos are from the Chicago concert.  I wasn't allowed to bring my SLR camera and I thought I'd be able to find other people's photos from the concert on Google or Flickr.  Nope!

I did bring my Ipod but the camera quality in low light leaves something to be desired.  You can't really tell they're human:

There are some better pics from the Chicago concert here.
Ending at 8:27 left a big gap between them and when the lights went out for Lady Gaga at 10:13 and she hit the stage at 10:20. These two hours we whiled away by looking at each other, getting pushed around by teenage girls, and listening to Michael Jackson's Thriller album three times in a row.
At about 10:15 I had been standing for three hours doing nothing so I sat down.  Some teenage girls behind me start chattering "Why is he sitting down?" "What's wrong with him!" and then proceeded to take my photo multiple times, to send to their friends like "Get a load of this guy!"  Bah, who cares.  If I was 15 I'd still be standing too.
Waiting for the show to start:

The view from sitting on the floor:

The lights dimmed and everyone applauded as Michael Jackson stopped, then Gaga came out.  Very similar to her last tour, with the exception of "Speechless" on the piano which had been a highlight previously but this was replaced with an accapella rendition of "Born This Way" with Maria from youtube.  I expected to hate this part but like everything Gaga she spiffed it up and it ended up being not too sachrine and I nearly welled up.
Jena whom I went with had to leave early so she didn't miss her train, and missed what was the highlight of the show, an encore of "Bad Romance" followed by "Born This Way".  Bad Romance was good but in Born This Way by head exploded and I danced and felt tremendous happiness.  Even by myself, I totally let loose and had that amazing time one gets to have so rarely so all in all it was well worth going.
Here's one Ipod pic that didn't turn out that badly:

And I was able to find some shots of Gaga from the Toronto concert on the net:

My favourite video "Teeth":

And the new video "Born This Way":

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Good Mourning Mrs. Brown - Princess of Wales Theatre

I previously went to see Mrs. Brown's first Canadian show "How Now Mrs. Brown Cow" and really enjoyed it, a great fun evening out. For Christmas I bought my dad and his partner Linda tickets to this new incarnation which we saw last night.

I had been watching the BBC series and had seen the full season already before going in, and much of the plot of this show is presented as a live version of that one. They crammed in six episodes into one 2.5 hour show, cutting out parts and moving other parts around. This worked far better than I thought it would.

For the most part I knew what was going to happen but that didn't lessen my enthusiasm, in fact I enjoyed this show more that I did the previous show last year. One of the great things about a Mrs. Brown show is the actors regularly break the 4th wall, talking of sets and microphones, and are always keeping each other in laughter. It looks like they have great fun doing the show and that shines though and always adds a new, unpredictable element.

My favourite joke of the series was featured, when Mrs. Brown wakes up tired and says to her son "What a waste of time! I stayed up until midnight last night to watch this show called "GRAND PRIX" (pronounced 'pricks'). What a waste of time! The entire facking thing was about race cars!" As well, a great new joke, "Well, as the hurricane said to the palm tree, 'Hold on to your nuts, this isn't going to be an ordinary blow job!'"

Off-colour humour but never smutty, it was a great time at a great show and a super night out. Standouts were the excellent Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs. Brown and Gary Hollywood, with the coolest name ever, as Dino. A great time and I look forward to seeing the whole cast back next year!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Water Heater

Click photos to enlarge them: