I will continue my reflections/ reactions to AWP and my notes on the sessions that I attended soonly. It’s been busy in my neck of the woods lately (well, it always keeps to a fair clip, but this week was a bit more so).
Bullet points of the last week:
We opened a new play at the theatre. A beautiful show based on Gary D. Schmidt’s young adult novel, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Audiences have responded in a glowing fashion and we all hope that word of mouth inspires people to come and experience this story about a fantastic friendship set against the backdrop of the forced relocation of a community off the coast of Maine. The relocation actually happened and it’s tragic. 100 years later the descendants of the community finally received an apology from the governor of Maine. I would encourage everyone to read the book and to experience this play.
Graduate readings at Hamline! I attended the reading on Friday night and listened to my friends Matt Smith and Bri Sharkey read from their works. I love being in the company of insanely talented people and Bri and Matt are that. They’re actually a superbly fantastic couple as well, meeting at Hamline on the first day of their first class. This is good, because I determined that their last names work so well together that they should open up a Private Investigation business or a law firm or something … I mean, either way they’re listed: Sharkey and Smith or Smith and Sharkey … it’s something that’s destined to be paired together. According to Matt he wouldn’t do so well with the whole getting beat up part of being a P.I., but we all agreed that Bri would be great at the physical requirements of being a gumshoe. Matt can hang out behind the vintage desk, look good in the fedora and trench coat, and drink scotch.
Saturday, after a two show day, I went out and got some drinks with Tiff (and Clusman, Colin & Alex) at Gabe’s. Tiff and I were originally going to go to BWW, but then we remembered that it was St. Patrick’s Day. This is what happens when you get past the “any excuse for a bar holiday” stage in your life … you forget things like St. Patrick’s Day. So, we still had fun, we just had fun amidst a bunch of stupid drunk people.
Dinner with Angela. Haven’t seen Ang in a while, so we got sushi last night at Wakame Sushi & Asian Bistro in Uptown. Great place (actually, my second time there–first time was two years ago with Megan). I started with the Squid Salad and Ang had the Seaweed Salad–both were delicious, but I preferred my choice. Then we shared three different sushi rolls: Hot Spicy Girl Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll and BMW Roll). Good time.
I went from dinner with Ang to 21 Jump Street, which was incredibly funny. Movies based on old TV series don’t always work, especially when the original is a drama and the movie is a comedy, but this one managed to. It not only played with the idea of adults posing as teenagers (in a fictional premise, as well as adult actors playing teens in TV and movies) but also with all the conventions of remaking old properties, stereotypes, 80s TV cliches, action comedy cliches and it still managed to be a good buddy cop flick that shows how much has changed in high school in the last seven years (let alone since when I was in high school or when 21 Jump Street first aired). Extremely fun movie.
I also finished Pronto by Elmore Leonard this week. I’ve got Justified seasons 1 & 2 sitting next to my Blu-Ray player and I wanted to get an idea of how Leonard originally constructed the Raylan Givins character before I watched Timothy Olyphant’s definitive performance. It’s a quirky book that meanders a bit, but that seems to be the point. It’s not so much about the plot mechanics, but how the characters exist within the plot. I read the book because of Raylan Givins, but he is really a secondary lead in the book, more than a supporting character, but rather part of an ensemble around the main character (and catalyst/ lynchpin of the plot) Harry Arno. I bought the three book collection for my Kindle (which also includes Riding the Rap and Fire in the Hole, the short story that the first season of Justified is derived). The second book also seems to be a Harry Arno/ Raylan Givins story (I’ll start reading that one next) and it won’t be until the short story that Givins is front and center on his own. By the time I finish with these and the show, Leonard’s newest Givins book, Raylan should be out of hardcover and cheaper on the Kindle.
Between now and then, there are also Leonard’s other books that, if I want to continue with Leonard for a while, that I could devour. Including Out of Sight, which I just rewatched the other night. I still love that movie. I wish more movies were like it, existing within a few different genres at once with distinct and fleshed out characters, excellent acting and a story that doesn’t adhere to a particular Hollywood formula. Excellent flick (and containing, perhaps, one of the best edited scenes ever in the hotel love scene/ conversation between Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez, back when she was a pretty good actress) and Jack Foley (George Clooney, back when he was rebounding from Batman and Robin and establishing that he was, in fact, a great actor and a movie star). I suppose now that I’ve got Elmore Leonard on my brain I should probably rewatch Get Shorty, Be Cool and Jackie Brown too.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I have an Artist Statement to write this week and get to my thesis adviser and my outside reader. And then blogging should resume with AWP Day One, including my favorite panel of the day “There will be blood” and my thoughts on the shortest keynote ever by Margaret Atwood.
More later …