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A Lovely Mother/Daughter Outing - Mo's Journal
January 23rd, 2008
02:29 pm

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A Lovely Mother/Daughter Outing
Zara and I had a great time on Sunday. I had owed her a theatre outing to the play of her choice from her birthday last year and she had decided some time ago on Spring Awakening. I'd bought tickets for the first matinee on a holiday weekend, and that was Sunday.

We went out to lunch first at Ruby Foo's. It's this very touristy upscale pan-Asian restaurant with fancy decor and fancy versions of standard Chinese and Japanese food (e.g. the Beef Chow Fun is Filet Mignon Chow Fun). I'd never been but I thought for just two of us it wouldn't be too expensive, and I thought Zara would love it. She adored it! The food was really good and she loved the decor. She went to the bathroom three times because it was so beautiful and she could try the different lotions :-). There's an origami station near the front where the kids can learn to make a variety of things and she learned a cool kind of box I didn't know how to do. She had a "bento box" dessert - it was a sampler of a bunch of dessert things all made to look like different pieces of sushi or dumplings and served in a bento box. Very fun.

The play itself was just wonderful! It's a musical adaptation of a 19th Century German play about adolescent angst, sexual awakening, and growing up. It's tragic in parts and comic in others. Almost all the actors are kids (in the 17-21 range). There are two adult actors - one man and one woman - and they play all the adult roles between them, leaving the focus very much on the adolescents. The music is just beautiful, the choreography amazing. We had third row seats and could see all the facial expressions really well and also see how the kids' careful coifs got stray hairs by the end.

A lot of the humor in the humorous parts comes from the contrast between the 19th Century German village setting and the kids, who seem most of the time so completely 21st Century North American, as do the music and the dancing. My favorite song-and-dance number was "Totally Fucked." Unlikely to make the leap to AM radio any time soon because of its title and lyrics, it's a totally charming number. It completely captures that universal adolescent experience of being caught at something you know you shouldn't be doing and called upon to explain yourself. And the dance and the music and the words somehow evoke adolescent exuberance and the sense that no one can keep you down along with the horrific realization that no matter what you say, you're totally fucked.

There was not one wrong note, one flat moment, one less than delightful or moving or touching song. The young cast was polished and talented and at the same time fresh. I'm so glad she chose such a wonderful play!

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From:talktooloose
Date:January 23rd, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
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I want to see this play. I always loved the non-musical version.

Sounds like a really special day.
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From:mofic
Date:January 23rd, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
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I'd never heard of the non-musical version!

It was a really great day.
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From:talktooloose
Date:January 23rd, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
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Well, we had a crazy German heading our drama department so we had to study it. Actually, there was a good production in Toronto back in the early 80s.

The play was incredibly controversial when it first opened in 1891.
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From:talktooloose
Date:January 23rd, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
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From:brak666
Date:January 23rd, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
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I haven't seen Spring Awakening yet, but it's definitely on my list. The cast recording was amazing.
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From:mofic
Date:January 24th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
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I want to get the recording!
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From:brak666
Date:January 30th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
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If you have no objections to downloading, I put this up for a friend a while ago. It should still be good.

hxxp://www.megaupload.com/?d=YX8U1313
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From:mofic
Date:January 31st, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
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That's nice of you. I got it on Rhapsody!
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From:chimosa
Date:January 23rd, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
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How awesome- what a great outing!!! The restaurant sounds like a lotta fun- i wanna visit for the bathroom alone!! There's nothing quite like visiting a beautiful bathroom, I can totally feel for your daughter's desire in visiting it three times, lol! I've been hearing a lot of buzz around "Spring Awakening" and I'm so glad you shared your enthusiasm for it- I keep waffling between seeing it and not. Now I'm thinking I should. I'm also excited you mentioned the choreography- when I asked my friend about the dancing he said it wasn't particularly an important element to the show which was kinda sad to hear. Bill T Jones is a really well known and respected choreographer and I expected a lot from his involvement in the show, and to hear him tell it, they barely moved at all.
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From:mofic
Date:January 24th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
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There are certainly several numbers where they just kind of stand there with a mike and sing with rock style movements iykwim. But there are others with (to my unschooled eye) wonderful dancing.

There are seats on the stage, and you can buy them and sit with the cast, which seems cool (and certainly would be a different view of the dancing). But I spoke to the stage manager and she said that it's a good way to see the play the second time, but you can't hear as well, since the sound system is obviously designed so the audience can hear.
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From:brak666
Date:January 30th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
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It was weird to read about what you heard about the choreography. The clips all have great dancing. Also, it won the Tony for best choreography.
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From:chimosa
Date:January 31st, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
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I knew I had seen dancing clips of the show, but I wasn't sure that they didn't just *make* it look in their clips like there was more dancing then there actually is. Ya kno?
Also, it won the Tony for best choreography.
Really? It did? I used to keep up with musicals, but I am so very out of the loop. Was Bill T Jones up against Matthew Bourne for choreography?
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From:brak666
Date:January 31st, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
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Yes he was. Matthew Bourne was nominated for Mary Poppins.
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From:chimosa
Date:January 31st, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that's sad that he didnt win- he's one of my fav choreographers
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From:libgirl
Date:January 24th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
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This sounds fun and the song sounds interesting. I doubt it'll head this way, sadly. :(
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From:mofic
Date:January 24th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
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There is supposed to be a touring company starting this fall.
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From:libgirl
Date:January 25th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
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Really?! That gives me hope, most of those either stop in Columbus or at the Uni. so I have a decent chance of catching this! :D

Thanks for the heads-up!
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From:mofic
Date:January 25th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
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You're welcome!
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