Tuesday, June 02, 2009

3 hours and counting...

1100. 3 hours to the release of The Sims 3. I'm having brekkie overlooking the line I'll be joining in a little while. First 600!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Shaking speares in the park

Oh, what an evening! It's closing night for "Much Ado About Nothing" and we the audience are sitting on our picnic mats on the grand slope of Fort Canning Hill overlooking the amphitheatre. We, meaning Amy, B-lo, HP, June and me. Around us is a packed house and lost in the midst are a number of our students who happened to choose the same day as us to go.

The heavens were merciful and held off the rain so we could enjoy shaking our speares in the park for the entire evening. Our picnic was a simple affair compared to what some of the other revellers around us brought. But we were very happy with our own buns and sausages, potato salad and grapes, and other miscellaneous post-meal snacks. When else do we get to eat our way through a literary performance without looking anti-social?

The performance was entirely enjoyable. The cast delivered Shakespeare in a most accessible way, sounding very much like plain English which would have been reassuring to anyone in the audience apprehensive about sitting through a whole evening of Elizabethan chatter. The play is a comedy and and the performance delivered loads of verbal humour and sight gags that we might never get to experience from just reading the text alone. Hope our lit kids in the audience will look at Shakespeare through new eyes after this.

The set was particularly intriguing in that it was elaborate without being fussy, nothing extraneous but everything purpose-built with depth and character. We are in the courtyard of colonial bungalow with a swimming pool at left. The pool contained enough water to swim a couple of strokes in, so it wasn't there just for show. The bungalow set was a series of tall, narrow doors and opening louvres that opened out into the courtyard, revealing a long dining room set behind them. While character asides take place in the courtyard, dinner is going on in the background clearly visible to the audience. That makes for a set that looks like there's a whole world that's living and breathing behind the action that takes place onstage. Amazing.

Another evening well-spent with good food, good company and good entertainment. :D

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Monsters" in 3D

June and I volunteered for nephew sitting duty today. As it turned out, we wanted to watch "Monsters Vs Aliens" in 3D and our agenda happily coincided with theirs.

The movie was a fun romp through a familiar theme: outcasts of society saving the day for everyone. All but one of the (human) male characters are portrayed as weedy, incompetent and self-serving, while the female characters tower over them (literally, in the case of Ginormica). Only Gen. Monger has a clue, knowing when to stay out of the way before coming through for the team in the big finish. So yes, there are obvious feminist overtones but I saw it more as a critique of the males of our species as opposed to a statement from the ladies.

As for nephew sitting, I'm still glad that at the end of the day, I can return them to sender. There's just so much we can do to contain so much sonic and kenetic energy within acceptable levels in a public space. There's so much looking around to maintain spatial and environmental awareness so that they don't wander off or somehow allow the environment to interact with them in a negative way. And as far as behaviour goes, they are already considerably well-behaved and obedient.  Wonder how parents of more feral children cope?