Sunday, April 22, 2007

I saw the "Fenway Samurai" at work on Friday Night

it was entirely unavoidable, it was a Sox-Yankees smackdown on TV so the Summer Shack in the aforementioned Fresh Pond was full of happy howlin' louts. I even saw the big much discussed eighth inner surge, but being completely ignorant of the basics of baseball, I had no idea what was going only that the crowd was happy with the Red Sox latest acquisitions from Japan.
Frankly, if it doesn't have boxing gloves or a horse's tail, I dunno a thing about it.
What th' hell, everyone was pleased with the last minute victory...I can't criticize hard work in desperate circumstances.
Baseball gets a big hard sell here in America, but I don't get what all the hoopla is about. Ball players stand around in the hot sun, seemingly thinking deep thoughts while they wait interminably for someone to score. A man could compose an opera in the time it takes to actually catch something in the outfield.
Football on the other hand is a chatty sport, or so it seems to this perpetual outsider, armored brutes stand around gabbing away in endless huddles or else get complicated instructions from the coach at the sidelines...and that is only after guys go in and come out to further add fuel to the eternal palaver.
Then there is twenty seconds of serious carnage, then it's back to the tawky-tawk.

The Ninety Nine in Fresh Pond has closed!!!!!!

This is a catastrophe in extremis, where will Arlington drink now? Oh sure in certain restaurants, you can order a drink with your meal, but where to go for a little nightcap at the end of Route Two???
With the loss of the Ground Round, we are down to the Summer Shack (Which is nice but is primarily noted for it's family seafood dining) and the Bertucci's at Alewife Station.
Slim pickin's if'n yew asked me.
This is a cultural setback for Arlington, nothing left for me to do but join the Sons of Columbus, the Royal Order of Osiris or The Imperial Order of Icemen.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sighted on the Red Line this morning

A brief case toting, dignified,nigh lawyerly looking young woman wearing a stylish black over coat, black nylons and white galoshes decorated with multicolored polka dots.
Presumably, she had something a little flashier to wear on her feet once she got to the office.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Actor's Shakespeare Project: Titus Andronicus

Is being presented down on JFK boulevard in Harvard Square until April 22nd. The venue is normally a retail space and yet seats one hundred comfortably...the conversion of the space to full time theatrical use is hearby urged by Channel Zero owing to the cruel fall off in cultural attractions in Harvard Square these last few years.
As for the play itself it is skillfully staged, all the performances are uniformly strong, Robert Walsh's Titus is particularly well played between the twin poles of the character's foolish devotion to duty and his resultant homicidal dementia. Ah but Shakespeare loved his duty loving soldiers (Othello) and foolish old men of power (Lear) didn't he?
If there is a general problem here it lies in the script which is not one of the Bard's best relying as it does on a climax that wouldn't be out of place in a "Nightmare on Elm Street" sequel. Contrivances aside it is always and everywhere Shakespeare's language & potent themes that elevate the mediocre into the marvelous.
And if there is the specific criticism it lies in director David R. Gammon's decision to cast men in the plays two major female parts. Despite the use of male actors in Elizabethan theater, it's always come off as a sort of "stunt casting" option in most modern revivals of Shakespeare. I've seen it down a half dozen times in various plays and of the lot I can clearly say it made a real difference in one case that being Celia Madeoy as Petruchio in Shakespeare and Company's gender reversed version of "The Taming of the Shrew".
It worked that time because the actress was tres formidable and fully invested into putting over a somewhat labored idea.
Here it's just sorta predictable.
Be that as it may it is still an good production of one of Shakespeare's most challenging plays. One hopes A.S.P> can find a way to bide a while in Harvard Square.

Monday, April 02, 2007


(The 2007 Drive In Diaries...part 1)

Thank the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!
Where else, after all, can we see fraudulent nonsense like "300" with a light heart?
I mean thank ghod I saw this film at the Tri-Town saturday night, my guffaws and catcalls might've annoyed a multiplex audience.
Honestly, Gerard Butler as the Spartan King Leonidas prances around in a black spandex posing sack, red superman cape and spouting truculent gibberish that would gladden only the chickenhawkish hearts of a Dartmouth Review alum.
This is when the stouthearted and preposterously pumped Greek warriors aren't giving their special college yell...they do this seemingly every ten minutes.
Ah but did you know the Spartans at Thermopylae went down to glorious annihilation fighting masked zombies,asssorted gruesome freaks and what looks like "The Incredible Hulk"?
Look THAT up in your Herodotus!
Such is the alleged vision of director Zack Snyder.
oh the battle scenes are great, the gouts of gore arc thru the air in slow mo like raindrops in a downpour, the cinematography suggests one of Frank Frazetta's "Conan" paperback covers come to oily life, but the dialogue is wooden and inane along with the dessicated plotline.
As for the sturdy myth of heroic annihilation stick to "They Died with Their Boots On" or John Wayne in "The Alamo" if you are an itchy wingnut.
Otherwise can't wait to see Tarantino-Rodriguez's "Grindhouse" opening this month, the previews promises a film worse than "300" in almost every way!
Another drive in season has begun!