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17th-Jan-2017 04:50 pm - Murder for Two
trans-canada clouds
A bit of catch-up....

About a month ago, with David and Ellen, we saw Murder for Two at Lyric, by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair. Jared Trolio and Kirsten Salpini were excellent as the detective and all the suspects, respectively. And both played the piano, very well.

Silly but fun.
17th-Jan-2017 04:18 pm - Doc Martin, series 6
docks, seaside
It took us 2.5 weeks to watch series 6 of Doc Martin, after finishing series 5. Some highlights:
Nobody Likes Me (#4): guest appearance by Sophie the squeaky giraffe
Listen With Mother (#7): Eileen Atkins (Ruth Ellingham) vs. Claire Bloom (Margaret Ellingham)

Now we have to wait until series 7 arrives on Netflix, hopefully soon!
15th-Jan-2017 10:42 pm - Clarinet, Cello, Piano Trio
treble clef
Needham Concert Society presented an excellent concert of clarinet trios this afternoon, featuring William Hudgins of the BSO. It was very well-attended, too: 80 people, and they ran out of programs.

William Hudgins, clarinet
Ronald Lowry, cello
Lois Shapiro, piano

Beethoven, Trio Op. 11
Faure, Trio Op. 120
Brahms, Trio Op. 114
13th-Jan-2017 03:40 pm - Hidden Figures (2016)
Joe and I saw Hidden Figures in Framingham on Wednesday afternoon. What a wonderful cast: Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson. Also Kevin Costner as Al Harrison and Mahershala Ali (in a very different role from Luke Cage).

Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson must have been brilliant to have succeeded in such an environment. According to IMDB, Taraji P. Henson met with the real-life Katherine Johnson (98 years old) to discuss the character. Katherine Johnson approved of Henson's portrayal but wondered why anybody would want to make a film about her life.

Nice to see a movie featuring lots of formulas, though Joe thinks they menat differential geometry, not analytic geometry. I learned a lot about the early space program, too.

We're planning to read the book that the movie was based on.
treble clef
Great Performances aired a fun NY Philharmonic concert last week, featuring mostly American composers (Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Copland) plus some Strauss sneaked in as well. There were songs and dances from Rodeo, Carousel, The Sound of Music, and My Fair Lady.

Featured singers were Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and Tony-winning baritone Paulo Szot. Conductor Alan Gilbert even got to sing a little, in 'The Rain in Spain.'

The camera often liked to show the piccolo player, Mindy Kaurman.
4th-Jan-2017 03:15 pm - The Hollow Crown, series 2
I didn't like the second season of The Hollow Crown nearly as much as the first season. Maybe because it was more violent; I kept my eyes closed a lot. After we watched Henry VI Part 1, Joe didn't even want to watch Part 2 so we watched Richard III and then I went back and watched Henry VI Part 2. (The writers combined and cut down the three Henry VI plays to fit into two episodes.)

I learned some Shakespeare-tinged history, at least. And the casts were excellent:
Henry VI Part 1: Hugh Bonneville as Gloucester
Henry VI Part 2: Benedict Cumberbatch and Keeley Hawes
Richard III: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keeley Hawes and Judi Dench

Richard III's fingertapping was very annoyingly effective. Joe was so annoyed he would mute the tv until there was dialogue.

I think I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes feature more than the actual plays. The interviews were quite interesting. Someone pointed out that you could never get someone of Judi Dench's caliber for such a small role as Duchess of York in a stage version of Richard III. But you could for a television film!
2nd-Jan-2017 10:52 pm - Sing (2016)
alto sax
Finishing up our holiday weekend of entertainment, we saw Sing in Framingham with Debby, Joe and their oldest three. At 9:15 in the morning.

I especially liked Rosita *Reese Witherspoon), the super-organized mother of a horde of piglets. The backstage humor (like the auditions) was very funny, and the music was wonderful.
1st-Jan-2017 10:40 pm - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Joe and I saw Rogue One in Dedham on our way to Mike and Polly's party. I liked the movie, even though I could tell it wasn't going to have a happy ending. But it was a satisfyling ending, just hours before the original Star Wars movie begins. Felicity Jones made a great Jyn Erso, and Alan Tudyk was fun as K-2S.
1st-Jan-2017 10:55 am - New Year's Needham, 2017
snowy tree
We went to seven events yesterday at New Year's Needham, including four with Debby and Ellen and/or Alex:

O’Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dancing
Tanglewood Marionettes: The Dragon King
A terrible drought has come over the land. The Dragon King, the ruler of all things water, has not brought any rain. An underwater fantasy, the tale tells of an intrepid Grandmother who journeys to the bottom of the sea in search of the Dragon King, and the answers to why he has forsaken the land above.
Shawn Middleton — Storyteller
Needham Community Theatre
Charles River Ballet
classical dances from Swan Lake, Raymonda, and Romeo and Juliet, as well as original choreography to such toe tapping favorites as Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, In the Mood, and the Mary Poppins and Harry Potter soundtracks
Longwood Opera
Needham Concert Society
music by Vivaldi, Mozart, Grieg and Dvorak and Bach - including Bruce Goody (flute) wtih Jonathan Moretz (guitar)

My favorites were the marionettes, NCT, ballet and Needham Concert Society (especially the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings). Also Thaddeus Bell at Longwood Opera, who sang 'A Woman is a Sometime Thing' from Porgy and Bess, and 'Stars' from Les Miserables.
29th-Dec-2016 03:29 pm - Moana (2016)
We saw Moana with silvergoose on christmas Day. I especially liked the music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the sparkly water and the excellent facial expressions. Favorite song: Shiny

The short before Moana was fun: Inner Workings. I liked the Disney sand castle logo at the end.
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