Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Update, Vegas, and More

It's been a rather busy past two weeks, which requires a bit of an uber-update. This update is brought to you by Google Calendar... the only way to remember what I did the past two weeks.

West Side Story

Went and saw West Side Story at the 5th Avenue Theatre last Tuesday. As expected, an outstanding show which was worth of its own entire writeup, but I was a slacker. Few people don't know at least one song from the show, and hearing it all live was quite the exciting experience. I had very little to complain about, and much to praise. The original Jerome Robbins choreography was performed with oustanding athleticism and skill. What can I say?

Music - 5 stars, with an outstanding full orchestra to boot!
Cast - 4 stars, some great performances by some great actors.
Technical - 4 stars.
Overall - 4 stars. Nothing to complain about, but it wasn't quite as polished as you'd expect from a major Broadway production. That's not to say it's not worth seeing, even more than once.

Las Vegas

In what seems to have informally become an annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas with my Dad, this year my sister decided to come along too which was fun. In my many Vegas vacations, I've determined that 3 nights is too long, which is why I opted for 2 nights this time, which decidedly was an excellent plan. However, the adventure began somewhat slowly with the plane out of Seattle boarding about 40 minutes before the scheduled departure, only to depart 1 hour behind schedule. You do the math. It seemed everything was working against us. First the original pilot apparently became seriously ill, and the replacement was stuck on a ferry trying to get to the airport. He arrived shortly thereafter. Then during the pre-flight checks, they found--and don't miss the direct quote here--that "the plane came straight out of the hangar, but they forgot to change the blue water" that is used in the toilet system, and thus we had to wait while they serviced that. FINALLY we were ready to go, and the man on the push tug that backs the plane up had a broken headset so had to get a replacement before he could push the plane out. Something was working against us, but we finally got out and off to the desert.

Amy and I decided we wanted to go see The Beatles' LOVE, one of the newest Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas, and bought a ticket for Dad for Father's Day. On Sunday night we went and saw the show, and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I've seen one other Cirque show over 10 years ago, Mystere, which was the first show in Vegas to feature that crazy Canadian acrobatic troupe. Much of the same bizarre antics were seen in LOVE, everything from bouncing off trampolines, dangling from ropes, and countless other amazing things that make you even more impressed once you realize that those spinning things dangling from the ceiling are actually people. LOVE is unique in that it feature zero live music. The entire soundtrack was developed from original Beatles master tapes and assembled specifically for the show. The advantage here is that you know most of the songs right off the bat, unless you've been living under the rock of pop culture for the past several decades. The creative visual interpretations of the music in the show would be exciting whether you're a Beatles fan or not, but even more so if you like the music. As most shows in Vegas go, it's worth every penny, though it'll cost you a whole lot of them to see it. I'd absolutely see it again.

As for the rest of the vacation, it was a good time. As usual, I redistributed money within Vegas by winning from the rich and losing to the richer. Not very Robin Hood-like, but tis better than losing to everyone. :) But on the other hand, I'll be heading back to work tomorrow... no life-changing jackpots for me... but having a nice relaxing vacation was more than sufficient.

Now back to the daily grind. And I've spent too long writing this, and it's time to sleep. :)

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