Baaaahstun: Pahk tha cah intha yaaaahd
I went to Boston this past weekend, and let me just say: OMG. I love that city!! It was my fourth or fifth trip, but generally I am out away from city center, and too busy to really go out and explore; however, this past weekend I went more to play. What a marvelous place… I just loved it. I babysat a client’s pied à terre apartment in the Back Bay on one of the main streets, and it is simply one of the quaintest enclaves you ever want to see. Absolutely charming. Granted, it did rain all day and night Friday, but all that passed through, and Saturday was spectacular.
The sky was an intensely energetic blue much of the day, and the clouds looked like the pink cotton candy you get at the fair. I did quite a bit of walking around, admiring the brownstones and shopping (Boston also has some really wonderful restaurants: Try Vlora in Back Bay and Mama Maria in North End). I also took a trolley tour; however, you should avoid the Orange and Green buses… After seven of their trolleys came by, I still couldn’t get on a single one of them, because they were completely oversold. Go with the silver trolley instead: They are open air, and the seats are cushioned. Although the silver trolleys don’t go up into Cambridge (the Orange and Green do), you still have access to a Bay Tour pass (and the silver line costs less). Anyway, there is so much to see there, and I loved getting acquainted with the city, rather than just hanging out in my hotel room (which happens WAY too much when I’m on the road). The bay tour offers some really wonderful views of the skyline, and if you want to go out further there is whale watching.
I am not a musical theatre kinda ‘mo. I’m a theatre-as-politics kinda ‘mo, and most musicals irritate me pretty deeply. I’ve tried to sit through some of the classics, and they just put me out completely. I don’t care how many minutes there are in a year, and you can cool your jets somewhere else. I just don’t connect with musicals for the most part. There are only a few exceptions: The first act of “Into the Woods” was awesome (until I realized there was a whole addition act to go… how long do these things have to be?), “Chicago” rocked my world, and… ummm… hmmmm… that might be it. I am just not much into the spontaneous singing; however, I AM into production, and I loved the book “Wicked.”
I read “Wicked” when it first came out. I stumbled on it before anyone knew what it was while I was looking for examples of antagonist-as-protagonist for my MFA thesis concert at UCLA (I was interested in telling the narrative of the Labyrinth from the Minotaur’s perspective, and I wanted examples of other people who had turned the bad guy into a sympathetic character). I absolutely LOVED “Wicked” (though all of his other writing, except for “Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister,” is wickedly disappointing). When “Wicked” got turned into a musical I was rather shocked, because I was busy as an educator and didn’t realize the book had turned into a phenomenon. So, I realized I was craving some theatre, “Wicked” was playing that night, I loved the book, and there were a few tickets left for that evening after my trolley tour.
OMG… It was just fabulous. It wasn’t much like I remember the book at all, but you cannot expect each medium to work in the same manner. Each type of art has its way of communicating ideas, and this musical did a very good job of getting the gist of the book in its own manner. I could have done without several of the songs, but Glinda was hilarious (though much more vapid than she already was in the book), and Elphaba was completely mesmerizing in some of her scenes. I was very taken with the cyclorama and its capacity for color transitions… I want one of those lighting systems SO BAD… OMG.
But yes… Boston was amazing… 🙂 I’m filing this one under Adventure and Rest!