Saturday, 14 July 2007

With a Smile on my Face and a Song in my Tummy

Or a rumble any way. I feel better - almost back to normal! How pathetic an attempt is that at getting maternal affection!? Mom is here one day and I get sick!

I started this blog day before yesterday but just couldn't manage to get through it. Yesterday we had a busy day planned so after a morning of resting and recuperating - it was off to the big citi(es) to see some art!

First we went to see the Picasso in America show. Picasso never visited the US, but he did (of course) have a tremendous effect on art all over the world. For some of us who have grown up around modern art - it is hard to understand what a dramatic change his art was from the representational art that preceded it, but Picasso (and Georges Braques with whom he established the ideas of cubism) had a very significant impact on the art of the 20th century by reducing color choices, focussing on abstraction that was still recognizable as an object but was not realistic and by bridging the third and Einstein's fourth dimension (time) into a two dimensional space by showing objects from multiple places at the same time.

I'm sure I could write a very long response to the show but I need to get to painting my car since we are supposed to show our cars tomorrow -so I will hold off on my thoughts and actually try to write something meaningful later this week. In the mean time, I will post an image of Picasso's "Demoiselles d'Avignon" which had such a major impact on the art world after 1907. Consider this amongst yourselves for homework and we'll talk about it later!

After our visit to the museum we had a lovely dinner at "It's Greek to Me".

I'll let you guess what kind of food it was. Mom had souvlaki I had a stuffed Portabella mushroom and Don had a lamb shank.

It was lovely. Isn't that a cute mural!

Then it was off to 1776 at the Guthrie.

It was a fun show. I love that there is a strong historical component and that much of the dialogue is based on letters and documents from the time. My family has a long history with this play. We saw the travelling broadway version with William Daniels as John Adams and Howard da Silva as Benjamin Franklin, back when Nixon was complaining about its' portrayal of Republicans as cool, cool, conservative men. We all enjoyed it very much this time - but no one can live up to the stage performance of William Daniels. We all agreed that Michael Thomas Holmes who played our John Adams probably was more true to the character in terms of being obnoxious and disliked - he seemed to me a bit like Jon Lovitz. Unfortunately the Guthrie (in my opinion) is rather stingy with their publicity photos so I have no picture of Holmes in the role of Adams , but here is a picture from about the play "All About Us". Michael Thomas Holmes is the guy on the far left.

If you go to the website there is however an entire song (Sit down John) on video and it is entertaining to watch. (I'll fix the link later - you'll have to cut and paste for now, sorry - I need to get to my painting!)

Here is William Daniels with John Cullum whom I think must have played Edward Rutledge (the representative from South Carolina).

Abigail Adams played by opera singer Norah Long did a marvelous job. our group was less united in our opinion of Martha Jefferson (Elizabeth Broadhurst) who did the song "He played the violin" as a brash burlesque. One reviewer wrote that it was underdone so that even his teenaged daughter did not catch the symbolism of the violin. I guess I did not either when I saw this as a teen ager and I am not so sure I love it played that way. I mean yes, it is clear that sex is the issue - but seeing an 18th century woman doing cake walk moves with two relative strangers (even if (I think I mean especially since) they are Ben Franklin and John Adams) seems just wrong. I liked the coy maidenly version of the original broadway show better even though the song was much more interesting and fun done in this fresher way.

The maudlin song "Momma Look Sharp" was beautifully rendered by Brian Skellinger. I never love those high emotion songs - but it was very nicely done and very relevant to a nation at war. I enjoyed this one more this time than when I was younger (Oh I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now!...)

Ben Franklin was great! (We loved Da Silva but Peter Michael Goetz an old Guthrie favorite was excellent!) Here is one of the two press photos I could find of the actual show. (Both were of Goetz playing Franklin (which says something in itself!)

City pages did a nice review here :

I will close with an image similar to the last of the play. The play is quite moving and there was a long ovation when Franklin says, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." I'll leave you all with those highly significant words. What could follow that?


ChrisB said...

Wow that was a long post considering you are not quite 100 %. Glad you were able to have some fun with your mom. I can't wait to see what you do to your car!!

laurie said...

what a fun twin cities weekend.

on saturday we went to the russian art museum on diamond lake road in south mpls. it's one of my favorite museums. the current exhibit is agricultural paintings/socialist realism. the art is good, not great, but it's fascinating to see it and think of the context in which it was created.

the ground floor exhibit is large-format photography from modern russia. very cool.

neroli said...

Dear Darlin,'
How wonderful to hear your voice again, all your interest, enthusiasm, and sharp focus intact---even though the rest of you isn't feeling the same way!
Thank you for the post!

neroli said...

PS----arrgh. You had to give us_that_image for homework!

Pamela said...

I will flunk the test on that painting as well.