Heading out in search of some holiday cheer and joy and hope you all have a great new year’s eve. Be safe and as my Dad told me when I was a wee lad. “No diseases” he said to me as I headed out into the world to become a man. I pass this tidbit of knowledge on to you my good friends as a parting gift from 2005. Cheers!
This afternoon I went, as promised, to see the new musical Lestat that’s being previewed here before heading off to Broadway. The crowd was comprised of your standard fare of musical theater goers from young couples to hordes of blue haired ladies. Not the goth fan-girl outing I was half-expecting. And it seemed to be a sold out performance as well which was a little surprising.
The staging is a little strange since they use a mix of regular sets and small movies projected onto pieces of the set. All in all it was an interesting concept that fell pretty flat and outright laughable at times and was passable at others. The sets themselves, although minimalist were what you would expect from this caliber of show which means they were very well done indeed.
The first act opened with Lestat introducing that he’s actually re-telling his story just like in the book but he was alone with his trusty Apple Power book. No Christian Slater in this version. At least Vampires know that Mac’s are the shiznit. It then flashes back to his origins and the show starts to follow him through the familiar Lestat story. I honestly can’t recall the first two songs because I was enthralled with the amount of spit that Lestat (Hugh Panero) was spewing as he sang and even talked. It’s hard to take anything seriously when the star has a huge gob of drool running down his chin. I shit you not. All I could think about was “why doesn’t he wipe his damn face?”. The guy in front of me mentioned to his friend at intermission that the screen over the orchestra was there just to keep the all spit off of them. In all fairness everyone does it when they’re singing and I was in the second row so it was really pronounced but this guy was a spit spraying machine.
The dialogue was horribly clumsy at points and just didn’t really flow at all. I found myself trying not to laugh out loud at points because it was all just so damn silly. As far as the music went it was done completely and utterly wrong. Never once did I give a rats ass about any of the feelings of the characters because they were engulfed in this prozac pansy jingle land that wasn’t in the least bit dark or disturbing or compelling. These are KILLERS we’re seeing on stage and there are songs you’d think were straight out of the Lion King. They picked the wrong team to score this. Period. In the first act there isn’t one single song that stayed with me. I was contemplating leaving at the intermission because traditionally the first act has all the good stuff. I decided to stick it out for you, my faithful readers. Oh and the fact that the ticket cost $100 was pretty good motivation too.
I was pleasantly surprised by the second act. There were 2 songs that, albeit don’t remotely belong in a Vampire musical were quite good. Claudia’s (Allison Fischer) big number, “I Want More” was the only memorable song from the whole thing. Lestat had a great song near the end but it too would have been better placed in another story.
Now we get to the performances. There was not one bad actor or singer on that stage today. They were all world class and I’d go see any of them again in anything but this. Seriously, amazing work all around. Bravo!
I keep going back to why in the hell would they turn this into a musical? It never really was a fit in my mind and after sitting through 2 and a half hours of it it bordered on parody. My final assessment is that if you didn’t speak english it would have been much more entertaining but the clumsy dialog and just ridiculous juxtaposition of the wrong music with a story-line about Vampires doesn’t work. All in all I’d give it 2 out of 5. With that said it’ll probably be a huge hit and make zillions of dollars but my advice is to skip it and just rent the movie.
The public service announcement says: Don’t Drink and Drive!
Someone is not listening because one in six of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the limit. Do they think it doesn’t pertain to them? Do they think at all?
This New Year’s Eve resolve not to drive drunk or let anyone else. Make sure that you and your friends have a safe way home. Designate a sober driver, give your car keys up at the beginning of your evening, or make plans to take a taxi or other public transport.
12-ounce can of beer
5-ounce glass of wine…………all contain the same amount of alcohol
12-ounce wine cooler
ounce-and a-half of liquor
Beer and wine are as intoxicating as hard liquor.
As a taxi driver, here in the Bay Area, I have picked up and talked with many people that have received a DUI. They tell me their lives are Hell. Their driving privileges are taken away with lengthy license suspensions, and a DUI conviction can be a very expensive.
For a sober ride home from AAA for you and your car call: 1-800-AAA-Help (1-800-222-4357)
In my home town, San Jose, Golden Star Cab (not the cab co. that I work for) will be offering free rides
home New Year’s Eve here in the South Bay. 408-573-7777
Well more about Jesus than for him I guess. I was on a podcast hunt tonight since pickings are thin during the holiday season when all good podcasters can’t seem to find a microphone and 20 minutes to entertain me. Bastards! So it was in my travels that I ran across San Francisco’s own Grace Cathedral’s website and their podcasting page. You can pick up feeds for the Daily Meditation, the Choral Eucharist Sermon and even the Sunday at Six Sermon. I’m going to leave it to you to review for yourself since homie don’t roll with the JC. They also have a big section of Real (bad) Audio streams and video on their general AV page so you can get your fix even if you’re not in the neighborhood.
No matter where in the Bay Area you are spending this extremely rainy New Year’s Eve, you will have to countdown an extra minute before your top of the hour smooch. 2006 will be delayed by the first “leap second” in seven years to make up for changes in Earth’s rotation.
I will be indoors mostly, keeping out of the rain. Heading over to a black and white gala at the Federal Reserve building. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to buy a formal dress until this last week’s search. My last-minute answer – the Jessica McClintock outlet at 16th and Carolina in San Francisco. If you head over there anytime soon, all holiday dresses are 70% off of $65-$150 prices.
So what are everyone else’s plans for the evening?
You may have seen the posters on bus stops or in Muni stations around town for the new musical Lestat, based on Anne Rice’s book Interview with a Vampire. Yes, I said a musical. And who did they get to write the music for this staple of gothic fiction? Bauhaus? Nope. Siouxsie and the Banshees? Nope. Dead can Dance? Nope nope nope. They picked goth rock super stars Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin. I’m sure Sir Elton a.k.a. the Queen of the Damned is sure to lay down some gut rotting tunes for this blood sucking undead toe tapping fest of coffin rock.
I read the old Vampire Chronicles back in the day and even enjoyed the film quite a bit but the thought of turning this into a musical just brings a smile to my face and sets off a whole slew of red flags that all point to hi-larity. So much so that I got my ticket in my hot litttle hand and will be seeing a matinee on Saturday with a full report for your New Years Eve enjoyment. This is a preview run of the show before it moves straight on to Broadway. I’m guessing there will be a few whoopsies since they’re still getting the kinks out but what to do if the entire thing is one big kink? Or at the very least one very bad idea.
A few links with some background on the musical:
“Fan Club” with soundbites! – this site is actually a marketing site but they call it a fan club. Cheap.
“Lestat,” the musical: Elton John meets Anne Rice but is it love at first bite?
The melody of immortality
What the blogs are saying
C|Net News reports on a new screening apparatus that GE installed at SFO a few days before Christmas. It’s even got a built in smelly sock sensor to embarass even the most hardened traveller. I mean gimme a break, one twat of a terrorist TRIES to but a bomb in his shoes and we all have to suffer. God forbid anyone tries to sneak on a plane with a jock-strap made of C4.
With the holiday travel season in full swing, General Electric is making a pitch to the U.S. government with a new airport screening system. GE’s security division showed off the system, which it is calling the “checkpoint of the future,” through a trial run at San Francisco International Airport a few days before Christmas. Shown here is a prototype of a shoe scanner.