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 Γ  terre apartment in theΒ  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… πŸ™‚ I’m filing this one under Adventure and Rest!

Author: Devon Hunter

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13 Comments

  1. Very cool. I heard Boston is pretty sweet. Interesting thesis.. labyrinth from the minotaurs prospective. Thats fascinating and I’d love to learn more about that. I’m an ancient history minor so i love such things.

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  2. So you recommend Wicked as it is opening in my town next January.

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  3. I definitely recommend that you see it πŸ™‚

    Oh, and PJ: I ended up adjusting my thesis considerably (as is the case when one undertakes a thesis). I did use elements of the Minotaur, but not in the manner I originally conceptualized. I was, at first, going to retell the story as if the Minotaur (as a twisted form of man/bull) was put into the labyrinth in order to keep him away from other men, because he “devours the flesh of men” (i.e. is a raging queer seducing all the menzes). I was going to make a big Camp scene of it all, and have it so that no one ever came back out of the labyrinth, because it was so much more fabulous inside.

    LOL… as I said… my thesis evolved from there. LOL

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  4. Devon,
    YYYUUUMMMMM…Picturing you as the Minotaur; of course, Thesius in a toga ain’t bad, either. Is it true playing the bad guy (er…half-guy) is more fun??

    Not such a good trade – back pain/nose zit…pain/zit. It might be worse; it could be on one of your more prominent features…Hhhmmm, nose/ass…nose/ass. Geeze, what’s a porn god to do??? πŸ˜‰

    Oh yeah, inquiring minds want to know, how do the burqa’d eat!

    ‘Just a coincidence…Idina Menzel(the original Elphaba) is appearing in concert at my local theatre in few days.

    Rob, who paahks his caah in the guhraahge.

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    • Playing the bad guy is DEFINITELY more fun. πŸ™‚

      Oh, and the veil across the nose/face is a separate piece. She lowered it to eat, and then promptly put it back up at the end of her meal. I don’t remember that her neck, ears, forehead was ever visible.

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  5. let me know the next time u’re going to boston…..love it there. we’ll do the sites and catch up.

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  6. Hey You,
    I’m still up playin’ with my new lap top, but shouldn’t you be fast asleep getting ready for your “Norma Desmond”?(too young for that ref.? And I don’t mean the musical…Although…Glenn Close wild eyed singing on that staircase, priceless! Talk about production! Ah, well, now I’ve dated myself!)

    And, oh yeah…’Westside Story, Oklahoma, Carousel, Dream Girls, South Pacific, Jersey Boys’…I…I…I…I’m Vuhklempt!!! πŸ˜‰

    Soooo then, how ’bout: ‘Doubt’, ‘The Little Dog Laughed’, or ‘Take Me Out’ on stage?? Perfect foder for the political-ly incorrect mo! Full frontal in two of ’em, nekid rasselin’ in one, Catholic nunnery/pedophilia/homophobia in another, and nary a spontaneous song burst in any of ’em!!! ;o

    Nitey Night, y’all!!

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  7. Damn! You were here! I passed by Vlora on Thursday, as I work right by the Common. Next time you’re here and you’re looking for a tour guide, let me know!

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  8. Devon,
    To what, precisely, do you refer when you say you’re into production? Is it all encompassing: conceiving, creating, staging, directing, and presenting? Is it one or some specific combination of those components? Does it include performing as well?

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  9. It is all-encompassing… I like everything from concept to dramaturgy to design (in all its permutations) to choreography to performance… I enjoy everything except marketing. I wish I had a minion for that. I hate that part (and it’s integral to the whole, but the part I’m least willing to do). Sigh.

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  10. It’s always a pleasure to read your updates!I’m sure a lot of people find your blog interesting but don’t comment much,I rarely do but in your case I feel like it’s common curtesy to sometimes acknowledge my silent presence and thank you lol.

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  11. Glad you had a good time in Boston. A lot of people have a problem with it since it doesn’t run all night like NYC. I’ve lived here most of my life and even after 5 years in San Francisco, much prefer Boston so I returned.

    Barely finished “Wicked” the book, but the musical is very good, and if you’re willing to try one more…”Jersey Boys” is absolutely amazing and a true story.

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