Sunday, May 06, 2007

Brief Life Update No. 15: The Lost Weekend

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - I guess I lucked out this semester in that by Wednesday---when I turned in a bound copy of my thesis to Dean Nazario over at Livingston College---my semester was pretty much over. None of my classes had final exams during the exam week that's currently going on; all my finals were either papers or articles or a big fat thesis.

Thus, I have the upcoming week for all the relaxation in the world before I venture off to Temple University for my two-week copy editing internship training session. So what do I do this weekend instead of relaxing? I pretty much spend my weekend working my ass off at the State Theatre.

Let's see: I had the displeasure of witnessing one of the rowdier (not to mention drunker) audiences I've ever seen at the theater boo two opening acts for the headlining comedian off the stage---not even giving either of them a chance---before hearing the headliner essentially put the audience in their place, however subtly, before going on with his show. The headlining comedian, by the way, was Andrew Dice Clay. Enough said; I guess Clay's unreservedly vulgar, lowlife comedy inspires that kind of behavior in general.

And Saturday and Sunday I worked two double shifts. Saturday, I worked two performances of Jesus Christ Superstar, with Ted Neeley, the Jesus of Norman Jewison's 1973 movie version, giving what sounded like a farewell tour of sorts, according to the ads of the two performances I've seen. And today, I had to usher two marathon dance recitals. It's that time of the State Theatre season, I guess; dance schools all over the state have to put on their end-of-year revues for the parents to fawn over. I worked a bunch of them last season; some were vastly more organized than others. Today's two three-hour marathons were, at the very least, efficient, moving quickly from one dance number to another with a minimum of fuss. And I encountered very little trouble from the patrons this time around.

In short, five shifts in three days. Well, I did say I'd be available all three days, so the house manager used that information accordingly when scheduling me. It's okay, really: as long as I'm getting paid, fine by me. But I won't be surprised if, a couple of days down the line, my legs start to feel all sore from all the standing and straining I did on them these past couple of days.

One thing I notably missed in wasting my legs away at the State Theatre: Spider-Man 3. Apparently it set some kind of record on opening day. I liked the first two Spider-Man films quite a bit, so I'm hoping I'll be able to see it before I leave for Temple University next Sunday. The early reviews have been disappointing, though: many of them suggest that this is an uninspired, lackluster, and overstuffed continuation of the touching, resonant Peter Parker saga. I was afraid of that; Spider-Man 2 seemed to already complete the saga rather beautifully, and so maybe this third film can't help but seem like a greedy money grab, however much Sam Raimi and company try to infuse it with self-importance and soul. Well, I'll reserve judgment until I see it for myself.

Boy, it feels like it's been ages since I've been inside a movie theater. Maybe I've just become more choosy with the films I see. Either I'm just becoming a pretentious shit, or I'm just becoming overly money- and/or time-conscious. (For me here in East Brunswick, it's such a pain to travel to and from the city---not to mention a minor financial burden, unless I'm getting reimbursed somehow for my travels.) Whatever the case may be...I already skipped 300 out of total lack of interest; I'll probably skip Pirates of the Caribbean 3 for the same reason. (I might have skipped Grindhouse, too, if I didn't feel a senior thesis-inspired obligation to see it just to see what Quentin Tarantino had in store for all of us in his Death Proof. Turns out he had something much more interesting---heck, almost Godardian, I'd say---to offer than I expected; the unexpectedly excellent Death Proof is definitely something I'd like to write about in a future entry.) Besides, all the genuinely interesting stuff seems to be almost exclusively in New York City anyway---The Host, for instance, or Apichatpong Weerasethakul's new Thai film Syndromes and a Century. I've heard a lot of good stuff about Julie Christie in that new Sarah Polley film Away From Her; maybe that'll come to Princeton soon, because the film---dealing in part with both the nature of love and Alzheimer's---looks quite stimulating.

Anyway, I will hopefully be back soon with a longer, deeper post on things semester- and/or arts-related.

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