10.25.2009

Culture- Comme les Français- Le Théâtre


In my ongoing effort to support the arts and keep myself culturally active, I have been upping my game by attending more films, museums, art galleries, and live theatre. There is a certain feeling that I get when I take part in any of the aforementioned activities. Each occasion allows for a certain specialness- dressing for the occasion, socializing with close friends (or spending some quality alone time) and being fully in the present moment- immersing myself in the art at hand.

Going to the theatre is one of my absolute favorite activities. Theatre is one of the subjects I studied at University and I hold a soft spot of appreciation for it in my heart. There is a lot of great independent theatre in Los Angeles and over the past three weeks I have taken full advantage. I attended: Mother at the Imagined Life Theatre, The Dig at The Doheny Memorial Library of U.S.C., Ruby, Tragically Rotund at the Los Angeles Theatre Center and Meadowmount- an original one act play at the SIPA Performance Space.

The plays were each original pieces- unique in their own right. Their topics ranged from: mother-daughter relationships, to a Jewish archaeologist looking for love, to an overweight Filipino beauty queen seeking acceptance, to a true story of murder, sexuality and intrigue in the military.

While the subjects were largely diverse there was one common denominator at each performance- the audience. That special gathering of people, the excited murmur amongst friends before the curtain goes up, the hushed delight shared when a sacred moment is explored on stage, the joy of shared laughter and the special experience of being moved- even if just a little- by the collaborative effort of everyone involved.

Such, for me, is the specialness of the theatre…

Have you seen any good plays lately?


I am pictured above (left) at the Los Angeles Theatre Center with Fran de Leon (center), one of the stars of Ruby, Tragically Rotund, and Newton Kaneshiro (right), theatre artist and director of Meadowmount.

15 comments:

Clarity said...

I adore the theatre and am rather blessed to have such a wide selection in London; Los Angeles's scene sounds intriguing.

The play I hope to catch before the run ends is "Life is a Dream" at the Donmar in Covent Garden.

You've captured the anticipation of theatre going accurately. I do like the goose pimply beginning followed by the respectful collective silence. While my first love is film I hope to direct a play one day.

Mr London Street said...

I am going in a couple of weeks to see Kevin Spacey in "Inherit The Wind" at the Old Vic. I love the Spencer Tracy film version so I'm really looking forward to it.

Tom Bailey said...

Getting connected with the arts is a great thing to do for a variety of reasons. In Orange County some of the biggest philanthropists are art focused. The connections there can serve you in a variety of ways.

The Coastal Chicster said...

Ah, the theater. One of the things I miss about living in New Jersey is being able to go into New York City whenever I felt like it and catch a play or visit a museum. One of the things I think the Virginia Beach area is definitely missing out on is CULTURE...like all of it! Haha. I WISH I could see more plays. I've seen tons of Broadway and off Broadway shows. I think one of my favorites was seeing Julia Stiles in The Vagina Monologues several years ago. My other faves were Showboat, Avenue Q, Les Miserables, Chicago, Rent, The Sunshine Boys...*sigh*. I wonder if any good plays are touring this area over the next few months. Perhaps you have inspired me to look into some local theater groups and see if they are putting on anything interesting!

Michael Rivers said...

I recently saw the touring company of Mary Poppins. It was great. Before that was Wicked. Another amazing production!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Clarity- I have always wanted to see "Life is a Dream"... I hope you get to see it! Directing a play would be great fun. I have also always wanted to write a play (a mystery, of course)... maybe one day. Yes London theatre is some of the best in the world. I'm going to be in London for the month of December and hope to catch some good shows!

Mr. London Street- Wow! Kevin Spacey in "Inherit the Wind"- that sounds amazing! I do hope you'll write a review on your blog! PS- I like your new picture :)

Tom- Orange County is really booming arts-wise right now. A few years ago I was part of an initiative to bring arts to schools in Orange County and have had the pleasure of visiting your beautiful performing arts center on more than one occasion...

Coastal Chicster- You would be surprised what you can find in a small town or community that seemingly doesn't have much theatre. Some of my favorite plays are the small, independent kind- in 99 seat theaters and smaller. My favorite play I saw in Paris was Ionesco's The Bald Soprano- the theatre was the tiniest I had ever seen in the world- and I think it only sat 40 people... it was incredible.

Michael- Can you believe I haven't seen Wicked?? I missed it when it was in L.A. I actually don't like musicals as much but really good ones do catch me and make my heart soar :)

La Belette Rouge said...

I am ashamed to admit that since arriving in L.A. last year I have been to no theater. I did go to the Groundling theater but that does not count at theater. Oh, that's not true, we did go see Avenue Q but that is not HIGH theater.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Love that photo of you, Jennifer. I can't remember the last theatre play I went to! I did see the Mikado recently at the Opera House. I love the Opera and ballet and go whenever I can. Just remembered the last play was about a year ago and was Death of a Salesman. I am a culture vulture as well and think it's good for the soul to immerse yourself in the arts whenever you can! Thank you so much for your birthday wishes!! xx

Clarity said...

Fascinating, why a mystery play?

You will "adore" the theatre here. In fact, you might just move. We have real weather too :)

Mr London Street said...

I'm not much of a theatre critic but I might give it a go, since you said such lovely things about my photo.

Kathleen Turner in "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?" was quite an experience too.

ScentScelf said...

DC, your post & query makes me realize too much time has passed since I have seen a live theatrical production. The most recent thing I have seen was a lovely, thoughtfully conceived, with some standout performances. A student production, however...one of the students being my own offspring. ;)

I do have the benefit of a variety of theater here; am about to see "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern" by a small by well regarded company. Once upon a time I saw a LOT of "small" productions...Chicago being a hotbed for that. My focus this past year has been music and museums...followed by film, my former medium...it is hard to keep up with it all! Which is a happy dilemma, of course.

Glad to see you continuing on with the plan! And always happy to hear about efforts to keep/bring arts in the schools.

Des said...

It's great that you are attending films, museums, art galleries, and theatre. Because I think we all get so caught up in how we live, that we forget to reflect on why we live. And that's what is great about films, museums, galleries, and theatre. They make us reflect.

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

Your enthousiasm is infectious ...

I have presented you with an award on my blog. Enjoy! xx

tishjett@yahoo.com said...

You're pictured beautifully.

You are making me feel guilty. We should definitely go to the theater more often. I love it and miss it.

Merci for the push.

Tishxo

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Belette Rouge- I, too, have spurts where I do not go to the theatre for long periods of time... I inevitably miss it and find myself longing to go again!

Josephine- I am so jealous that you get to attend the opera and ballet so often. I adore both and would love to go more regularly. The Opera is really a special occasion. I am going to try to get Mr. DC to take me to the Nutcracker this Christmas...

Clarity- I am a mystery fiend and am currently writing a mystery novel... so I've always wanted to do a play along the same vein- maybe something a little camp like "The Real Inspector Hound". Moving to London is actually a real possibility for me (possibly in near future!) and I will thoroughly enjoy being surrounded by such amazing theatre :)

Mr. London Street- I do hope you give it a go- can't wait to read your review. I love theatre reviews by 'non' theatre critics- they are geared more to the layman and are less pretentious...

Scentscelf- I love that your son (or daughter?) does theatre... that must be so thrilling to watch! Yes, you and I share a passion for keeping the arts in schools, don't we- it is so important. Equally important, to me, as math and science...

Des- that is so well said. We do forget why we live. Perhaps that is what I love about art so much- it reminds me that I am alive. That I exist.

Sharon- Thank you darling! xo

Tish- I hope you get to see a great play soon... Thank you for your lovely compliment xo

 
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