While I'm working up a post on "invasion biology," the monstering of tamarisk, and what it means for us to care for our local wilderness in the 21st century, I cannot resist posting this daring "rock art" photographed just this week in the Sespe Wilderness....
I wonder who the anonymous rock artist is -- I took this picture on Monday in a canyon above Fillmore, so he or she or they live amongst us, almost certainly, right here in Ventura County.
NEW YORK — The revival of "The Glass Menagerie" that has Broadway abuzz boasts two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones in the role of the Southern gothic matriarch Amanda Wingfield, among the greatest parts in the repertoire for a mature actress. But this isn't the only stellar attraction.
Zachary Quinto, the 21st century face of Spock and an actor of compelling interiority, plays Tom, the narrator and burgeoning writer burning to break free of his suffocating family responsibility. Equally noteworthy, John Tiffany, who won a Tony for his staging of the musical "Once," is collaborating again with choreographer-movement director Steven Hoggett in a dramatic application of their signature lyricism that's hauntingly accented with Nico Muhly's music.
But the real star of the production is possibly the oldest name in the playbill, Tennessee Williams, whose indelible memory play is heard in all its breath-catching delicacy.
Charles McNulty adds:
The narrator boasts that unlike the stage magician who gives illusion in the appearance of truth, he will give us truth in the appearance of illusion. This promise is kept by Quinto, who viscerally maps the central conflict facing Tom, who is of course the surrogate for Thomas ("Tennessee") Williams.
This deeply felt homage to an author who awakened the country's appetite for serious drama in the middle of the 20th century sparks the hope that he will start receiving the Broadway productions he deserves. His voice, nowhere more poignant than in this most autobiographical play, is still balm for weary, open-hearted souls.
So true, and so wish I could see that production! Perhaps it will travel.
Much attention has been focused in recent weeks on a mysterious barge floating off Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. On Monday the LA Times ran on the top of the front page a remarkably thin story written in the first person about the mystery of this barge, a Google effort. By the time one reached the end of story one wondered if it had been written in first person to cover up how little fact it contained.
Sounds cool, in truth. Here's an artist's conception of the finished work:
In a statement, the Googleplex declared that the idea is to draw people to the waterfront, at various spots around the bay. The designers, a still somewhat mysterious group known as By and Large, promised:
"We envisioned this space with community in mind," By and Large says, "a
surprising environment that is accessible to all and inspires
conversation about how everything is connected - shorebirds, me, you,
the sea, the fog and much more."
Which echoes John Muir's foundational -- and often misquoted -- statement of ecology:
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
Google has done everything it can to connect us to our human universe and to the planet (via the still-astounding Google Earth). Good that it's now working to connect Bay denizens to their home habitat.
Arguably the least plot driven film from the Coens since "The Big Lebowski," which still provided the journey for a new carpet as the Macguffin of sorts, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is even more freeform, but never out of the Coens' grasp. The film unfolds over what turns about be roughly a week or so in the life of Llewyn, and follows his attempts to put some order to the chaos in his life. And it's a tough week: Jean reveals he's pregnant with his child; he's saddled carrying the Gorfeins' cat after it escapes out the door, and accidentally locks the door behind him after staying the night (a great running gag that eventually turns into a lovely metaphor for Llewyn's journey); he's chasing payments from Legacy and trying to line up some gigs. A road trip later in the picture offers a change of pace, but this is a slice of life of one of many trying to make it on the folk circuit, and the Coens capture every detail, acknowledging their fondness for their era, while being able to laugh at it as well (though without getting as broad as Christopher Guest's "A Mighty Wind," the last major folk movie).
Gotta love that classic folk song, produced by the irresistible T-Bone.
A Timesreview of a"Seagull" set in Ireland during the time of "the Troubles" doesn't love the production but brings its wit out lovingly nonetheless.
Among the production’s freshest scenes is the brief colloquy between the bluntly bitter Mary and Aston. Mary’s no-nonsense approach to the impossibility of finding lasting love is in contrast to the other characters’ fretful idealism. As Mr. Kilroy’s excellent if sometimes overly loquacious adaptation clarifies, she is the rare character in the play granted true and thorough self-knowledge.
“I can’t pretend to be interested in your books,” she tells Aston, “but I’d love if you’d send me copies of them from time to time with my name inscribed.” Then she adds: “Don’t write something flowery and poetic, though. That wouldn’t be right, would it, for someone like me.”
And what a gorgeous looking production! Like a living painting:
From a fascinating exhibit at the Whitney Museum, here's a drawing by the great American realist of his mother. The curators mentioned in a note on the wall that Hopper was considered by his peers at art school, including Rockwell Kent, to be literally the best in his class at drawing.
He used this talent as part of his slow, meticulous work as a painter, but occasionally apparently simply drew for the sake of drawing. Think you can see in this work his raw ability/talent. It's not an example of his famous melancholia, which so angers people, so perhaps that's my point -- that Hopper was an artist first, that his melancholia was an expression, not an attitude.
A choice, not an affliction. Does that make any sense?
The answer is not a simple yes, the experts say, but correlative and suggestive, as a central graph he posts shows:
But a good writer such as Money also has an ear for language, and he notes a couple of interesting points in commentary this week. A forecaster for the National Weather Service pointed to "major flash flooding" with "Biblical rainfall events." Words perhaps chosen to make the point to the deeply religious area of Colorado Springs?
And Mooney notes that evenmeterologists and small government advocates and Republicans such as Paul Douglas are seeing a new atmosphere overhead -- an atmosphere created by climate change.
In his exploration of causes, Mooney makes the usual points -- more warming means more water vapor in the atmosphere, means more potential for heavy rains -- but stops short, as the phrase du jour goes, of pointing the finger or affixing blame. This is the responsbile, scientific choice.
But free spirits -- artists such as Tom Toles earlier this week -- aren't as constrained.