Friday, December 19, 2014

Best Theatre I've Seen in My Life, So Far

2014 has been a year of lists, hasn't it? This is a short list. It's a list of the best productions I've seen in my life so far. These plays made my heart hum. Held me in rapture. Moved me like a psychoreligious experience. This is the kind of theatre that makes me want to make theatre.

In chronological order:

The Seagull (2010)
Directed by Tom Dugdale at UC San Diego
Production history here. 

A Man, His Wife, And His Hat (2011)
Directed by Joshua K Brody at UC San Diego's Baldwin New Play Festival
Written By Lauren Yee
Production history here.

In 2012's defense, I was in a bunch of productions that year in the middle of the desert and didn't see as much theatre.

Our Town (October 2013)
Directed by Tom Dugdale
Produced by The Trip Theater
Production history here.

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (February 2014)
Produced by San Francisco Neo-Futurists
About the ongoing, ever-changing show here.

Dance of the Holy Ghosts (September 2014)
Directed by Michael Moran
Produced by Ubuntu Theater Project
Production history here.

Marguerite to Maya Angelou (September 2014)
Directed by Michael Moran
Produced by Ubuntu Theater Project
Production history here.

Close runner ups: Waiting for Lefty (Sept 2014 by Ubuntu Theater Project) and Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Sept 2014 by Ubuntu Theater Project)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Girl Most Likely (2012): Almost Your Average Indie Flick
Girl Most Likely (2012)
IMDb score of 5.7/10, Rotten Tomatoes Rating of 21%

My score? Medium to enjoyable! Memorable moments include: Imogene (Kristen Wiig) and her brother Ralph talk about Ralph's crush, exploring the world and  broadening one's horizons at the Ocean City boardwalk; a climactic moment when Imogene and her would be New York city friend Dara—a delightfully mean June Diane Raphael, who I normally find very medium at best—get to duke it out at a fancy dinner party.

My absolute favorite moment involves Zelda (a deliciously ditzy and endearing Annette Benning) and Imogene's memory of her birthday parties. She remembers her mother as a cheapskate who, because of her reckless gambling habits, combined Imogene and Ralph's birthday parties, despite the fact that her brother's birthday comes 84 days after hers.

"Do you know how embarrassing it is celebrate your birthday 84 days after your birthday?" (paraphrased...)

Later, we find out Zelda combined their birthday parties because no one would have come to Ralph's party. A single mother, trying her best, with the resources she has.

The set-up to this movie is a little clunky and formulaic, which makes it feel... Well, not much. But the more we learn about the characters, the more they become people (and less just indie flick archetypes) and the more we care about them, no matter what absurd situation they find themselves in.

And at the end of the day, I will watch Kristen Wiig in practically anything.