Early starts and wicket takers

melville-markets2

I’m tired.

My eyes are barely open.  They feel sandy.  And I feel quite lethargic, reclining as I am my head at an odd angle to gain the cushion, my body twisted so I can keep the laptop plugged in and lie down at the same time.  This can’t be good for my spine.

I shuffle along the couch to try and find  a more comfortable space.  Luckily my fingers know the keys but still I have to stop and correct now and then.

Despite a rather stressed work environment at the moment I’ve had a surprisingly relaxed weekend.

Friday night I played bridge with Arty.  She’s a great player.  She knows the conventions backwards and understands cards.  Even so we only came fourth.  Club bridge is somewhat unpredictable.  Afterwards we discussed the hands – we’re playing in the Women’s Selection next week.  She told me to study hard!

The next morning I got up latish and went for a coffee which turned into lunch with Jif, another bridge pal who I used to work with.  He is a font of all bridge knowledge and gossip and we had a lovely lunch down at Barista which, although I thought over-priced did a very nice Greek pastry thing. (Don’t you love my technical terms)

In the afternoon I went to Knitwit to see if they hold stretch sewing classes.  I’m sure they do but they weren’t open.  Sigh.  Don’t they know that some sewing types work?!  Saturday morning is such a drag to have to spend shopping.

Hmm speaking of shopping I’ve checked out the new Claremont Shopping Centre and found it a bit boring.  I know all the shops aren’t in yet but there is not enough there for me to make the effort yet.  And anyway big shopping centres are overwhelming.

Last night we went to see Shane Warne the Musical at the Regal Theatre.  It was opening night and a carpet of fake grass and a white picket fence led the way in. 

All the regular freeloaders were there and it was a good fun night.

I loved the different musical styles – from rap to gospel.  In that way it was similar to Keating! which you know I loved.

The story of Shane Warne – the bad boy cricket genius – has a bit to work with.  I’m not sure the straight autobiographical chronology worked for me so much – the AIS stuff was a bit creepy – but overall it was a blast.

The classic moments for me include the cigarette scene – worth the price of admission just for that.  I also liked the Simone meeting section and the wedding dance, the sledging song (wouldn’t mind reading the lyrics of that one) and the last song by Simone is also poignant.

Eddie Perfect is indeed perfect as Warney – and as he also wrote all the lyrics, quite impressive.

I would like to see the libretto though as I fear I missed a lot of the humour because I missed some of the lyrics.

While you don’t need to know a lot about cricket to enjoy this musical I recommend familarising yourself with The Ball.  You can see a video here and the wiki explanation is very good too.

A second opinion?

This morning we got up early – 6.30 AM to trek out to Melville for the carpark markets.

It was dark when we arrived, just getting light and already the place was busy with people.  A great place to buy plants I think and there were a few other bits and pieces of interest – a nice sewing machine I was tempted by  – a few clothing items – but I managed not to buy anything – quite easy with Groover walking near me – he is quite the handbrake on spending that one!

I went back to bed when we got home – it is Sunday right?

Although I did manage to get out my convention book to read through some of the bits and pieces I’m playing with Arty on Thursday.

Big bridge week coming up… Monday night with Gij, then I fly to Kalgoorlie for three days, back for Thursday night with Arty, Friday night at home (I think we’re cleaning the house… sigh) and then ALL weekend playing with Arty, and then Monday night again with Gij.

Insane.  It’s feast or famine.  And online I’ve found some bridge tweeters.  Happy day.

Red cordial deters thieves

At least I assume that’s why bartenders in our largest city get their customers to deposit their tips in a glass of red cordial.

Bar tips in red cordial

I decided to go and see Billy Elliot tonight as well, I wanted to really. I managed to get a great seat near the front and settled back to enjoy the show. It was interesting. A different focus form the movie and quite moving at times. There were scenes I thought were a bit weird – the dress one? Giant dresses dancing around. A little bizarre.

Tonight was a bit of a dramatic night – yes I know I should expect drama being, as I was, in a theatre – but during the performance Billy bashed his head on the door. We thought all the blood was part of the show but no. He was whisked off to have it seen to, the stage hands mopped the floor and the show started ten minutes later with the understudy – one of the five regular Billys and the one that looked least like the first Billy. Did a great job from a standing start though.

He had to come on for the big audition number.

Overall I really enjoyed the show and the venue – the Capitol Theatre in Sydney – and the experience was even more special as one of my colleagues knew John Xintavelonis – who plays Mr Braithwaite – so we met him at the stage door for a drink with him and his girlfriend who is a dresser and chaperone for the child cast.

It was really interesting to hear the behind the scenes stuff and find out if the first Billy was okay – apparently so.

At the pub where we ventured for a drink – the pub of the red cordial – the second with the red cordial thang happening – we came across some guys who go to the show several times a week. They are Friends of Billy. Imagine going multiple – and by multiple I mean many many times – not just two or three times. I can’t.

Anyway. Must to bed. Catch you from the Qantas lounge.

Miss Saigon

The wedding sceneFirst of all can I say that if you love this musical already – you will enjoy the production at the Burswood.  The staging is great, the helicopter scene clever, the cast can sing and their group dancing is spot on.  The orchestra wonderful.  It’s a big production and it’s done well.

If you are not the biggest of musical fans…

And don’t get me wrong – I love a good musical – have even in my time bought soundtracks.  I love for example Les Miserables, Chess and of course more recently Keating!.  I’m a big fan of the classics too and have even enjoyed Andrew Lloyd Webber productions in the past.  And sign me up for another look at Mamma Mia and We Will Rock You.

But.  I didn’t enjoy Miss Saigon.

Now I will say I was tired.  It had been a busy day at work and I was rushed to get there.  And I was sitting next to Groover – not the biggest fan of musical theatre.

But still.

I was over it by the second song.  The problem with this musical is that there are too many solos and duets.  The love affair between Chris (who calls their hero Chris?  Sorry to all the Chrises out there but wtf?) and Kim is tender and sweet but do we really need four aching love songs with loads of kissing inbetween every line?

Get on with it already!

The other problem is that there are very few light moments in the script so it is one degrading, depressing scene after the next.  This means the big show stopper numbers like American Dream in the second act seem contrived, as if the producer says “you know what we need here?  how about a big chorus line…”

Then lets add some worthy notes and put a montage of abandoned orphans on – sure yes, worthy, their fate awful – but I’m in my seat for musical theatre people!

I said at interval to Groover – this music reminds me of Les Miserables – and no wonder.  I’ve since discovered both musicals were written by the same team.  At least Les Mis had a stirring anthem and a couple of funny songs – Master of the house for example.

What is it with prostitutes and these writers??

Anyway I sat through it – although tempted to leave at half time.

Sorry to be such a bah humbug but it just didn’t engage me.  You can’t please all of the people all of the time I guess.

Keating!

Hey Keating! The Musical is coming back to Perth in January. Go and see it. Hilarious!

We’re taking in the matinee on Australia Day. My Orchid Hunter can’t wait – he knows all the songs off by heart.

Tickets via Ticketek – it’s at the Regal.

Keating!

If you can beg borrow or steal tickets to Keating! on at the Octagon as part of the Perth International Arts Festival – go and see it.

Clever, outrageously pro-Keating, hilarious, naughty – the singing is fantastic, the music varied, the atmosphere great. I loved it. Here’s what they say:

Share in the heady rise, tempestuous reign and tragic fall of the Placido Domingo of Australian politics. GASP! as Hawke ignores the Kirribilli agreement! THRILL! as Prime Minister Keating sticks it to the drones opposite! CHEER! as he wins the sweetest victory of all! HISS! as the evil Howard betrays his colleagues in his thirst for power! SCOFF! at the blatant historical revisionism!

I’m not sure what Alexander Downer thought, but I thought it was great.

The musical took us from Paul Keating’s first leadership challenge of Bob Hawke through to his last election and included songs capturing things like his Redfern Speech of 1983, the Mabo decision, the 1983 Election featuring Kerry O’Brien… not to mention a tender love duet between Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans. Sigh.

Would you have loved Keating if you were a staunch Liberal voter? I was sitting next to one and he said yes.

The shame of it is that it will never travel overseas – maybe they could do a musical about someone more universally known like… Clinton! They’d have some material to work with there!

Snapped

Yes heeellloooo daaaahling! Mwah Mwah. Note image (right) from Western Suburbs Weekly. One could be cynical and say that it took a blonde wig to get into the social pages or simply be honest and say that lets face it – I rarely go out.

There are no social photographers at bridge (and just as well as I wear my ugg boots on cold frosty nights).

In fact I think it was the wig – it kind of stands out in a crowd and considerably adds to your height.

Far from being the wallflower as per, this one night I was photographed 3 times although once the Slimes realise that both the Worst and the WSW have published my tresses, they may choose not to run it.

And now I have something in common with my gorgeous daughter. We are both blondes!