Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lazy Day

I'm being a lazy slug so far today. There were a couple of weather alerts during the night that woke me up, so I ended up sleeping late. And then since I wasn't particularly hungry and there was a book I hadn't been able to finish reading the night before, I just sat in bed and read for a while before getting up. I went upstairs to check e-mail while still in my pajamas. I may or may not try to accomplish anything today. I'm feeling better, and I have some voice back, but I don't have a lot of energy and I should probably not push it. I have some work-related reading to do, and I suppose I'd better start promoting the new book, which is coming out a week from today.

One thing I did while I didn't feel like doing anything else was watch some stuff from my DVR to clear space for all those holiday movies they're starting to show and that I'm not ready for yet. One thing I'd recorded was a PBS presentation of the musical Billy Elliot. That's the one about the boy in the British coal-mining town who wants to be a ballet dancer. I never saw the original movie, but thinking about it makes me think of Oxford because it was out in theaters during my trip there, and I remember having a chat with the landlady at the B&B where I stayed about the movie when she and her husband had taken Saturday night off to go see it. There's some really interesting dancing in the musical, but it doesn't quite work as a "musical" for me. The music is mostly pretty forgettable. There wasn't a song that stuck in my head or that would work very well out of context. I thought it was also weird how they mixed in so much tap in a show about ballet. The kid was studying ballet, but he seemed to express himself through tap. I know a lot of people study multiple forms of dance, but it was still weird to me because they're such totally different forms. Probably my favorite bit of dancing was a fantasy sequence in which an adult ballet dancer was representing the kids's possible adult self, and they did a kind of pas de deux with the adult and the kid dancing together.

But then the ending hit one of my least-favorite musical theater cliches. It seems like when the ending of a show is rather anticlimactic and doesn't lend itself to a big closing musical number, they compensate by doing a medley/montage sequence during the curtain calls, in which the whole cast comes out and does a big dance number to a mash-up of all the songs in the show. It's fun in Mamma Mia because it's basically a big ABBA singalong, though I think the originator of the trend is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, where it's actually kind of part of the plot, since the play is a story being told by an onstage storyteller. In this case, it was rather jarring because it didn't fit the tone of the show at all and seemed to be done strictly to have the audience leaving the theater clapping and humming the songs. And it went on forever and ever, with costume changes. I think there were even dancers in one of the bits of it who weren't even in the show itself.

Now I want to see the original movie because I suspect the show added a lot of stuff that wasn't in there -- and I'm not just talking about the songs and all the characters dancing. They have it in the library system, so I'll have to check it out.

Now that it's lunchtime, I suppose I ought to get dressed, or at least switch pajamas.

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