Saturday, May 27, 2017

Another busy weekend

I'm only at the halfway mark, but it feels like a very busy weekend.

On Friday, my wife and I went to the symphony.  It was an overstuffed concert with Grieg's Piano Concerto and Beethoven's 7th Symphony.  Sir Andrew Davis was conducting.  Somewhat surprisingly he is one of those overly physical conductors who sways all over the place with the music.  He often looked like a drunken sailor, and perhaps he ought to rein that in a bit more.  I have to admit, we were both pretty exhausted by the time we got to the final movement of Beethoven's 7th, and it just seemed like the musical equivalent of Lord of the Rings, where there was fake finale after fake finale (and indeed the true ending is just a bit anti-climatic).  I have to wonder if Davis made them take more repeats than is standard, since I listen to a recording of the 4th movement today and it didn't seem to drag on so.  It was a nice concert, but just too long.

I was actually asked to come in to work today to help prepare for next week.  I biked in and worked from roughly 9:30-12:30.  However, I had a few tasks I really had to do, so I didn't stay all afternoon.  I then rode over to Spadina.  Unfortunately, there was an afternoon Jays game, so the traffic on Front St. was just terrible.  After getting my shopping done at Dollarama, I went to Kensington Hall to see Wolf Manor's stripped-down version of Caesar.  They used to do a 90 minute version, though this version is 2 hours.  It still featured 5 actors playing 30 or so characters.  It wasn't quite as confusing as it sounds, though it still feels a bit gimicky.  Maybe 6 or 7 actors would have seemed a bit more natural.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Julius Caesar is quite low on my list of Shakespeare tragedies (though certainly above The Merchant of Venice).  I did like this better than the version in High Park 2 or 3 summers ago.  This production certainly doesn't "redeem" the play or make me think about it in a radically different way.  I would say that Brutus was a fool (to let Marc Anthony live) and then worse, to walk away before Marc Anthony finished his funeral oratory (particularly after being warned against such behavior on several occasions by Cassius).  I believe there is one more performance this Sunday; it is worth watching if you are a Shakespeare buff.  (Of all their productions, I was blown away by Three Sisters, so I'll keep following them for the time being.)

I also used the time to scope out Kensington Hall a bit more and to think if it would be suitable for staging my short plays and how the set(s) might be arranged.  I currently have a hold on the first week of November, but I haven't actually put any money down to hold the dates (so someone could still scoop me).  I am hoping to hear back from two actors I have recruited and go from there.  However, I will also ask around at Toronto Cold Reads tomorrow to see if there is some interest (and availability) and at that point, I will put some money down to make this happen.  I've basically decided this would be the best place to stage The Study Group, so I want to do a bit of a dry run first to see just how it all goes before I try to put on a play that I really care about.  (I just happened to read that there is a potluck at Toronto Cold Reads, so I may have to make some dish, which I wasn't planning on doing, but I suppose it will be fun.  Anyway, it looks like I should go tomorrow and make some stronger connections.)

I also stopped into Best Buy at the Eaton Centre and found it horrible.  Not only is it half-empty, but they were pumping music very loudly everywhere.  It feels like all responsible adults have abandoned ship.  I won't be at all surprised when I read that Best Buy Canada goes bankrupt...

I got home just a bit after 5, and then my son and I turned around and went out to a concert at 6:45.  We could walk, however, which was nice.  The concert actually started at 7:30, but by the time we arrived, it was already difficult to find seats.  The show was almost sold out.  The first half was a variety of short pieces but also a solo set by TorQ.  The second half was Orff's Carmina Burana.  It's kind of overwhelming to hear it in relatively close setting.  The weirdest thing was one of the soloists (in The Dead Swan song) wore a white feather boa and turned around while he was singing, just as if he was on a spit.  Orff probably would have approved.  I thought TorQ was great and the rendition of Carmina Burana was very impressive.  So it was another good concert, though again a bit long.  Ironically, I am supposed to see TSO doing Carmina Burana in about 3 weeks, though they are doing the full orchestral version.  I suppose if I am completely exhausted from work that day, I'll just stay through the first half, since I have just heard the piece live.

I'd like to sleep in at least a little bit tomorrow, though I suspect I need to get groceries and do a few other chores.  If there is nothing else planned, I will probably go with my son in the afternoon to the bike store and drop his bike off for a tune-up and buy a replacement bike pump for myself.  Then I need to stop by the library on the way back.  And I already mentioned that I plan on going to Toronto Cold Reads in the evening.  So it will be a fairly packed weekend, especially if I have to deal with any more work emails tomorrow.

I just recalled that it is Doors Open Toronto this weekend, and there are a few interesting buildings open near me (the most interesting probably being the old Don Jail on Gerrard right near the river), but I don't really think we'll be going, since we have a visitor from out of town with some mobility limitations.  Well, perhaps next year...

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