Monday, January 24, 2005

Artistic Vision

Speaking of Star Wars...

For both the "Isn't that Special" Edition and the Star Wars Trilogy DVD, we have heard a lot about the changes being part of the "artistic vision" on how the movies should have been made, if the resources and technology had just been available at the time.

And yet, there is a fullscreen version available...

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Snow Wars & The Three Little Pigs

I was all set to go see The One "Man" Star Wars Trilogy tonight. I had The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack on all day in my car. I even thought of a cool title for my review of it on this blog. But then it decided to snow. And snow. And snow.

Hmmm... The Empire Strikes Back... The opening scene was on a snow covered Hoth... It is snowing about as hard here as it did on Hoth... Coincedence? I think not.

A long time ago, in a grammar school far, far away, I put on my own one "man" play. Being absent the day partners were assigned and being inspired by Fractured Fairy Tales, I decided to put on a modern version of "The Three Little Pigs" (it was the only fairy tale book I could find around the house), with all the parts being played by myself; I would just change nametags.

In my version, the wolf was trying to kick his smoking habit, so he had to use an electric fan to blow down the houses. Imagine this little eighth grader sneaking a fairly large fan out of his house (I learned at a very early age that it is better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission) and lugging it to school. Uphill, through the snow...

I got rave reviews from my teacher. She enjoyed it so much that she had me perform it for another class as well. If only I didn't go into software...

Anyway, did I mention that it is still snowing? Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


About eleven months ago, I heard about SpamALot coming to Chicago. I sent email to lots of friends and was we were going to get a large group of people together to go. It was a good plan; a noble plan.

And then I let nine months pass.

All that was left was limited view seating. And only two friends were willing to go along with this (thanks R & K!).

So, on a warm spring day in the middle of winter in Chicago, we went to the show!

The seats: we were sitting in the third row in the orchestra "look up their nostrils" section, far stage left. When they said "limited view seating", they weren't kidding. Still, ...

The show: excellent!

Even for those of us who can mouth every line of dialog while watching the movie, there are still many surprises. Many jokes are expanded upon. There are many more musical numbers. And, in my not so humble opinion, a far, far better ending. Heck, just having an ending is a surprise!

And for the few amongst us not well versed in the Python-esce humor (hi K!), it is still very enjoyable. The jokes are just bad, bad in campy, fun sort of way.

Camelot: it is still a silly place.

Without giving any real spoilers, let me just say:

1. The Lady of the Lake has an expanded role. (Hey, something has to fill the extra 45 minutes of so over the length of the movie.)

2. There are more religious overtones than in the movie. (I know, I know, unexpected in a play about the Cup of Christ.)

The cast: they are wonderful. Tim Curry makes an excellent king. And considering that he is nearly 60 (it has been 30 years since Rocky Horror), they are quite clever in in keeping his dancing appear energetic.

David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria were great, especially considering they had many roles, just like the original Pythons had. And their accents (even the occasional outrageous accent) were dead on. If there were a new Python troupe, they would fit right in.

The same high praise goes for the rest of the cast (you can go here to look them up).

The Playbill: well worth reading. It certainly had me laughing on the way home.

To sum it up, if I had a chance to go see this in another city, I would jump on it. Start Spreading the News...