Monday, April 30, 2012

The Weekend: Mad Men, the Dramatic Arts and Romance

Mad Men

So, Mad Men got Julia Ormond for a supporting role.  That's...  gravitas or something, there.  We also got Ray Wise, and that's always cool.

Mid-1990's me is, of course, always pleased to see Julia Ormond, Juliette Binoche, Irene Jacob, and Isabella Rosellini getting work as the holy quadrangle of European Lady-ness to me circa 1996.*  Its a hell of a role for Ormond, as small as it is, but...  oh, my.

Season 5 has found its own voice, as has each season of Mad Men, but it has strayed from the confines of the ad agency in a way previous seasons have not.  I don't know if its more or less soapy.  Its certainly no less engaging, and in its own way, it feels less predictable and almost more volatile.

But realizing Ormond is actually mostly old enough to be playing the mother of Mad Men's Jessica ParĂ© does give me a moment of pause.  The  sex symbols of my youth are playing mothers of adults.  Schnikies.

Still, Ormond is still Ormond.

Local 17th Century Theatrical Recreations

Friday I went with my cousin, Sue, and her pal to see a play called The Alchemist by Ben Jonson at Austin's Curtain Theater.  The Curtain was built by gaming software pioneer Richard Garriott, who you may know as the self-made astronaut who recently had a documentary created about him.  He's an astounding individual living here in Austin who has used his wealth for all sorts of interesting causes.

The Curtain sits on his property and is a recreation of a 17th Century theater with some modern accouterments such as gas torches rather than traditional torches, electric lighting and port-a-potties.  But, yeah, its all outside, the actors wear recreations of period garb, the music is performed on period-style instruments (live), and we're supposed to cheer and boo heroes and villains from the gallery.  And the actors do not shy away from playing to the crowd.

The theater is home to The Baron's Men, a company of performers who do period shows, mostly Shakespeare, but who strayed outside the familiar a bit for this show.  The cast has been different with each show, but I thought this cast was particularly in sync.  And my pal, Eva, was remarkably good, once again.

The play was great, the company on spot and hilarious, and a good time was had by all.  Also, there was a beautiful macaw there for absolutely no reason I could deduce, but a very pretty bird.

If you live in Austin, you really need to check out one of their shows.


As was previously blogged, Saturday was our Anniversary.  Friday was a little weird as I just happened to be meeting Cousin Sue at The County Line on The Lake prior to the show when I realized "hey, this is where I had my rehearsal dinner 12 years ago".   However, 12 years on, it was far less full of people staring at me with the saucer-eyes like a newfound puppy and making me sort of uncomfortable.

Saturday we mostly stayed home and did chores and read.  Nothing too dramatic.  We had a lovely dinner out, just the two of us, and then were home again.  I hate to tell you young people...  the 12th anniversary is very sweet, but not exactly filled with drama.


I have a copy of a book I am very excited to report upon as soon as possible.  Hopefully by next weekend.

*I say "PHAW!" to your Julie Delpy and Audrey Tautou.  That's right.  PHAW!


J.S. said...

Congrats on the anniversary!

JAL said...

spell check...gets me every time.

You know, I'd never thought tool much of J Delpy until I'd seen "Before Sunset" which ended up as my favorite movie of its decade. Now she sits just below Isabella Rosellini in my book.

Plus, Delpy should get a default nod for being in the "Three Colors" trilogy.

The League said...

At some point I need to check out "Before Sunset". I wasn't a fan of the original film and gave the sequel a pass.

Delpy does get points for her role in "White"! Alas, she never bowled me over.

JAL said...

My thoughts about the first was petty much the same, so it took me a long while to see the sequel. I'm continually impressed with Linklater.