Monday, October 10, 2016

Rejiggered weekend

This weekend ended up being almost completely different than I expected.  I had basically thought I would take the kids (or my son at least) to the AGO on Sat., and then I would see Master Harold and the Boys up in North York on Sun.  At one point, I was going to see if a neighbour wanted to go, but then she remembered this just wasn't a play that she liked (and indeed Sizwe Banzi is Dead is a much superior play -- probably Fugard's best).  However, the real kicker came when I realized that the TTC had shut down the subway from Pape to St. George for the entire weekend, even Thanksgiving Day!  Pretty lame if you ask me.  I just do not like dealing with the replacement shuttle buses.

That meant that Harold had to be pushed off to next weekend (and I still haven't booked tickets, though I'll try to do that tonight).  I ended up biking to work on Sat. (missing the rain that bookended the day).  Sunday I took it relatively easy, and in fact read a few of the plays that have been piling up around here.  I found that I really disliked Albee's Little Alice (and will be fairly suspicious of any critic who strongly praised it).  I also found in general that O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock is just too imbalanced with far too much attention given over to the shiftless Captain Jack Boyle.  He's basically a Falstaffian character, like Fluther in The Plough and the Stars, but he sucks up so much attention and isn't challenged (at least in the scenes I could stomach reading, as I got sick of him very quickly) and the balance is way off.  I can't see sitting through a full production of this (or Shadow of a Gunman either for that matter).

I also went ahead and tried to book a 4-play subscription to Soulpepper, and ended up being quite outraged at the prices they were charging for Hosanna, including the fact that the only discounted tickets at all were in the first 2 rows.  I decided I just am not going to pay those prices.  I am going to bike over in about 10 minutes to see if I can get rush seats (though still not in the front row), but if not, I am going to skip this play.  I won't cut Soulpepper out of my life entirely, but it is true that I mostly am seeing co-productions and not full Soulpepper productions this year.  (Since I do need some flexibility and may need to switch tickets down the road, I finally booked my subscription with La Chasse-Galerie instead.)  But I feel kind of alienated from their overall approach to putting seasons together and certainly from how they price their shows!

In the end, I took my son to the AGO on Monday, since it was one of the few things that was open.  I wouldn't say that I was terribly interested in their show about Toronto artists from 1971-89, but there were a few nice pieces.  We saw just a bit of Vera Frenkel's video about stories she picked up while living in Vancouver, but it was far too long to stay for the whole thing.  (In general, I think museums are missing out by not selling DVDs of the videos that they host, since few of us really will watch them all the way through.)

Brian Kipping, Dry Cleaners at Night, 1984

I'm not sure quite how I would classify John Scott's Trans Am Apocalypse No. 3, which is an actual Trans Am painted black with the entire Book of Revelations scratched into the paint, but it was certainly memorable.

Overall, this era represents a time that I wasn't that deeply into art, and it is also the time when the art world started moving into conceptual art and generally away from craft.  I am much more interested in art or at least artists whose formative and/or prime years were 1880-1950.  That is why I am quite excited about the next major blockbuster exhibit, Mystical Landscapes, which I expect to see a few times while it is here.

Anyway, the whole weekend got a bit scrambled, and it is also quite a bit colder than it was last week, so that has made me a bit extra grumpy.  I also didn't quite get enough done (either for work or in my creative writing) and this upcoming week I really need to deal with this broken doorframe.  So, as always, there is a lot on my mind.

Edit (10/11): I managed to get rush tickets for Hosanna, and it was worth seeing, but not at $75.  While I am generally loathe to encourage people to go in that direction of trying to get rush tickets, there is a real gap now that TOTix has closed, so finding deals and discounted tickets is much more hit or miss.  I thought the play had its moments, but it was kind of exhausting hearing two gay men banter and attack each other, sometimes playfully, sometimes not.  It's about two relatively fragile souls who probably would not have been quite so cruel to each other (or themselves) had they grown up in an era where homosexuality is generally more accepted (at least in urban centers in Canada, the U.S. and Western Europe).  I don't really have anything particularly profound to say about the play right now. 

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