It was a busy weekend (shopping, gardening, washing, cleaning, writing) and has been a busy week so far. Work isn’t so busy, but that means it is good catching-up time, which is useful. Then I go home, cook, and spend the evening at the laptop, typing up my fairy tales. So far, by dint of setting myself that as a project, the “something creative daily” plan has worked.
On Friday evening I went to the ENB “Strictly Gershwin” show at the Coliseum. No-one would call this a show for purists, but, boy, is it fun! The music is, of course, gorgeous, there is some lovely dancing, and as well as a couple of professional tap dancers (one of whom also has a stab at singing), a good twenty of the company get their tap shoes on for a very creditable chorus line number to “Lady Be Good”. The staging of “An American in Paris” is a bit of a jumble – this is the one point when one can really tell that this was originally an arena-style show, set-up for a much bigger stage. But the only other negative is the startlingly ugly shirt worn by the male dancer in “Summertime” – it looks like muddy curtain fabric. When a bad shirt on stage is the worst one can say of an evening out, and one comes out of the theatre tapping one’s toes and grinning, then there’s not much to complain about.
The highlights are two swooningly romantic duets – one for Elena Glurdjidze and Arionel Vargas, to “The Man I love” and one for Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov, to “Summertime” – a lovely vocal arrangement of “But not for me” for two of the singers, and best of all the treatment of “Rhapsody in Blue” as a sort of “Sapphires” tribute to Balanchine’s “Jewels”; a full-on one-act tutu ballet with a beautiful central pas de deux. The lovely Daria Klimentová sails through this with a rapturous smile, total panache and some beautiful balances, and even manages to make a very silly hat look cool.
Right – back home to do some more typing. It pays to have a project of some sort at this time of year, as I always get itchy feet in January. I start to dream of blue skies and warm seas and sunlit forests and golden mountains, and next thing I know I’m collecting package tour brochures and trying to work out when is the earliest I could get a holiday in Crete at a reasonable price. Oh Hellas, my heart’s home! The scenery – the wildflowers – the swimming – the archaeology – the walking - the food! Mia birra, parakalo...