Monday, March 13, 2006

Weekend Musings

This was a great weekend! We started out by doing the Ski4Kids at Kincaid Park which was a 3k race to support cross-country outreach programs. It was a lot of fun, but a bit like what Yao Ming would feel like if he was at a roller derby. By that I mean, it was all kids, many of them who ski faster than we did, which we should anticipated, but we -- ok I-- didn't. But it was for an awesome cause, so I don't feel too bad.

Afterwards, Frank went to work while I went to the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at UAA. It was really great, with a lot of amazing cinematography. There was one of people skiing off really high cliffs then opening a parachute as they are plummeting to the ground. One lady said this made her feel "alive". I thought, hey, going down the stairs in the dark can do that for me, which is a lot less expensive. This is another example of how being a chicken has advantages.

On Sunday, we went to see Madama Butterfly. I have to say it's not my most favorite opera, although I think the people involved did an outstanding job. I mean, we start off with the fact that B.F. Pinkerton is a real jerk marrying a 15 year old (!). The plot is pretty straightforward, and there is a lot of singing with no action, so it's hard for someone like me to get into it. My thoughts though:
1) Hasn't everyone had a little Pinkerton in their lives? Although the reviewer in ADN thought that Pinkerton did not have enough passion, I couldn't help thinking, hey, that's exactly how he should have played it -- like there was always something else a bit more interesting on his mind.
2) The big failure of Madama Butterfly is the classic Who Moved My Cheese problem. She would be "Hem", unable to face that fact that the cheese has been moved. The inability/unwillingness to adjust to new circumstances is the fatal flaw of Butterfly in this case.
3) Next time, I think they should stop the opera at the first break in the second act. Wouldn't it be more pleasant if we just saw the ship coming back? Everyone would be much happier. Of course this is coming from someone who doesn't like to watch the second half of Titanic.
4) What was up with the big American flag being the front-drop for the final scene? Very Icky! Set designer I think requires a few maturity pills -- the opera is pretty down on the US already. I think the flag on top of it is way too much and offensive.

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