Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blood Brothers at the Arts Club Granville Island

The program has quoted that, "Blood Brother's is the musical for those who don't like musicals." I agree. It feels rock and roll. It really is barely noticeable that they are singing their dialogues and thoughts.

Blood Brothers is a musical/play about twins who are separated at birth. The one adopted has lived a privileged life, the other, not so much, in fact, he belonged to an impoverished family.  I love how they have paralleled songs about Marilyn Monroe's life to the story line. Very effective but eventually melancholic.

The most memorable thing about this performance for me is John Mann. I'm embarrass to say that I don't know him or his work at all (Spirit of the West). He plays this somewhat devil like narrator. He's fantastic - he reminds me of the butler in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but in sexy kind of Seal kind of way. He sang in this commanding, concise but hypnotic devilish cadence.

Blood Brothers is at Granville Island, Arts Club Theatre until December 31st.

Backstage Lounge

Before the play, we went into the Backstage Lounge for dinner, it is convenient because it is connected to the theatre, plus you get a 15% discount if you are going to the show. I had the duck pizza with hoisin sauce. Well, I'm definitely copying that recipe - went very well with a glass of cab.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

 I happened to come upon nineteenth century China in  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan in a lounge of a hospital. It took me to  a journey into rural Hunan province during the "footbinding" era. Apparently, these teeny weeny feet (size of cigarette pack) were considered highly erotic. These poor women who belonged in the upper crust of society endured torture and sometimes death when they were about 5 years old in order to have these "lotus" shape feet (that usually stunk and rotted) so they can be "sexy" when they are of marrying age. These perfect tiny feet it seemed, can land you a wealthy husband (which were always the objective).

But this book was so much more, it was also about the life of girls in the era and how they were basically raised to be part of their husband's family, their secret language called Nu Shu which they used to secretly communicate with each other and their relationships with each other and their husband's families.

As I was reading it, I couldn't help but to juxtapose it with Jane Auten's, Pride and Prejudice, which was in the same era. A world apart, but ultimately, it's also about looking for wealthy husbands. Sigh... sad.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Penelopiad at The Stanley

The Penelopiad is Margaret Atwood's interpretation of Homer's, The Odyssey. At the center of it all is Penelope, and surrounding her are her many maids, who also play the other many parts.

There are occasions when this play made me uncomfortable. It is quite disconcerting watching women be men (It's  interesting to see the women be the offender as men, and do a costume adjustment in front of you, to become the victim). Art isn't always beautiful, sometimes, it's there to provoke and illicit emotions -- whether positive or negative is irrelevant. This play did just that. 

This is not a feel good story, and it's not for mainstream taste. But I do like it and recommend it. It is playing at the Stanley Theatre until Sunday, November 20.