The Round Up

What have I been up to lately? Besides working six days a week?
Well, in no particular order, I have seen the following things:
* The Pillowman, at Steppenwolf. Highly disturbing, excellent work. The short stories within the play are amazing. A very Steppenwolf show.
* The Queen, a new film by Stephen Frears, starring Helen Mirren. Superb acting and directing, matched with sharp, sharp writing. I went to a special screening at the Chicago International Film Festival, which prompted me to re-order my Netflix list.
* The Handyman, a French romantic comedy. I didn't set out to see this film. I bought a ticket to The Page Turner, but the print was held up in customs. Instead, the powers that be at CIFF decided to substitute The Handyman. They're both from France, but of remarkably different theme and tone. A charming film with a terrible, arbitrary ending.
* Cinderella, by Sir Frederick Ashton, danced by the Joffrey Ballet. Twice. Beautiful, fabulous stuff. The first time around, I saw the all-star, dream cast. Second time, younger dancers in the principle roles. It was interesting to compare artistic choices and abilities. I sat in the front of the orchestra section the first time and back in the dress circle the second time, which was useful for future reference in seating. I love my season seats (in the orchestra section); I saw a lot of detail and texture that wasn't clear from further back. The dress circle, however, is much better for watching patterns in the corps, which were a bit muddy at times. I'm not entirely sure if that was the dancing or the choreography. Still, a wonderful time had by all.
* Vigils, at the Goodman. I saw the first preview tonight. It's a funny show, but it's hard to judge a show so early in the run. I'm sure that it will be tighter by the time opening rolls around.
What else is going on, you ask. Well, I still haven't finished that raglan sweater, though it is definitely sweater weather in Chicago now. Perhaps tomorrow... I dropped a small fortune at the Lush store this week, in a Crimbo present spree. Oh, and I'm stalking my shipment of yarn from the lovely folks at Webs via UPS tracking. That site is addictive. So, I've got lots of knitting and pampered skin planned. I've also got tickets for King Lear next week at the Goodman.


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