that girl allison

I'm Allison. I see a ton of theatre. I'm a fan of Green Day, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Weezer, Oasis, Adam Rapp, Emily Giffin, and Shakespeare. I run sometimes, and do yoga always.

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thatgirlallison08 at gmail dot com

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I was invited to the first preview of Love Letters last weekend starring Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow. I knew nothing about it going in but it was 90 minutes, no intermission, and the stars are fantastic, so I was excited. Love Letters was originally off-Broadway and then on Broadway in 1989. It had a weekly rotating cast, which is going to be sort-of replicated on Broadway this time around too .

Love Letters is the most simple play you can imagine. Two actors sitting at table onstage reading letters back and forth to each other. Some are only a sentence, some are a page long. We journeyed with these two characters from the time that they were 8 years old and passing notes in class until they’ve both been married multiple times, with children, and careers, and problems. It’s funny, serious, sad, charming, and slightly depressing (towards the end).

This play was slightly reminiscent of the movie One Day, which follows two people throughout a number of years and much unrequited love. 

I walked out of Love Letters completely moved by these actors, the story they told through letters, and the uncomplicated way that it was presented. 

For more information, click here.

On Tuesday night I went to see a preview performance of the Broadway transfer of Steppenwolf’s, “This Is Our Youth,” by Kenneth Lonergan. I was extremely excited because I remember really enjoying reading the play in college and I adore both Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin. I didn’t actually remember what the play was about, and I didn’t know whether or not Michael Cera could actually act onstage, but I had high hopes going into the show.

This Is Our Youth is about affluent youth living on the Upper West Side in the early 80’s, trying to figure out their next steps in life, deciding whether or not to continue using various drugs, and attempting to be independent from their parents. After one of their friends, and primary dealers, dies during the night, they contemplate what they’re doing with their youth and if THIS is how they want to remember it.

Michael Cera, as Warren, was great onstage. He did what he does best: lanky, socially-awkward teenager. My favorite was Kieran Culkin though. I’ve seen him onstage a few times previously and he’d always been good, but he just rocked it as Darren. He spouted off line after line with such ease and his comedic timing for darkly humorous lines was perfect. His physical comedy was also natural. Rounding out the small cast was Tevi Gevinson as Cera’s love interest Jessica. Gevinson, I believe, is just out of high school and doing this in her gap year between high school and college. She was perfectly awkward and nervous as Jessica.

 Needless to say, I really enjoyed this production. I’m also someone who has a soft spot for plays about entitled kids bitching endlessly (ala Suburbia, etc.). This play will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was definitely mine and I highly recommend it. 

Over two years ago I saw Colt Coeur’sRecall" at The Wild Project downtown. It was interesting premise (kids who get "recalled" for bad behavior and such) and I had high hopes for "Dry Land,” by Ruby Rae Spiegel.

Unfortunately Dry Land had no point. I’m still not even sure what it was really about. It focused on two high school girls on a swim team, one is pregnant and needs not to be, then she accuses the other girl of being in love with her, and then the other girl gets recruited for college, and the originally accusatory girl is upset. Sound incoherent? It was.

The cast including Sarah Mezzanotte, Tina Ivlev, Alice Kremelberg, Matthew Stadelmann, and Jim Ireland all gave it their best shots to make sense of the script.

I don’t like to be unfairly harsh on shows, but I really have no idea why this play was staged. If you like avant garde though, this might be for you. 

Quiet Saturday Night At Home: Since I was out with friends last night, my night tonight is made up of Netflix and this pasta. I made this via a recipe on Ramshackle Glam. It’s pasta + asparagus + lemon juice/zest + olive oil + goat cheese + pepper.

Recipe here. 

On Tuesday night I decided to take in a performance of Primary Stage’s newest production, Poor Behavior by Theresa Rebeck. It sounded interesting because who doesn’t love some poor behavior sometimes? I also love Rebeck’s work - as far as playwriting. Her screenwriting for TV (ahem, Smash), not so much. 

Onstage was a small cast of theatre veterans, Brian Avers, Katie Kreisler, Heidi Armbruster, and Jeff Biehl as two couples spending what should be a peaceful weekend somewhere outside of New York City. The play opened with a philosophical screaming match between Ian and Ella (not a couple) over whether or not the word ‘good’ has any meaning. 

There are twists and turns, and affairs that may or may not be, but as you can probably guess, this weekend is a disaster that ends one or maybe two (I’m not spoiling anything!) relationships. I enjoyed Ian’s tirades on marriage and American misuse of it. I enjoyed all of the screaming battles and physical comedy that Poor Behavior has to offer (and it offers a lot of it). What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good screaming match. 

These four adults all take part in some Poor Behavior. Some are more guilty than others, but I can attest to the fact that they all need to grow up a bit next time they leave town together. 

Today in Things I Am Over we will discuss dating apps. Which I am over. Completely. Not that I ever had high hopes for them to begin with but with such low expectations, you’d think I’d have fun with at least one of them, right? They are all basically the same app, except Hinge pulls people who you have friends in common with on Facebook, so it’s not, like, totally sketchy. Just sort of, very sketchy.

Tinder is a joke, which is why I joined. The gross photos that I come across always make me laugh (and occasionally cringe). I met one guy for a drink once and he was very nice. He was a southern boy who ended up being in a very indie band that I like. He was flakey though. Like, we-couldn’t-seem-to-make-plans-to-get-together-in-the-six-weeks-since-our-first-date-flakey. Yet he was still texting me. I gave up on him. I think he was just sort of unknowingly stupid. Very sweet, but stupid.

Then there’s Hinge. This is a joke too but I’d heard it was better than Tinder, and I was like, ‘Why not!’ so I joined. Spoiler alert: It’s not better than Tinder. You get 15 matches a day and you can go through and say if you like anyone (ie. do I think this person is attractive?). I’ve matched with a bunch of guys but I haven’t actually met any of them in person. Why? I literally know nothing about the person from their profile. So, essentially, why would I want to meet them? Because they’re attractive? Not good enough. (For me, at least.) I was supposed to meet a guy for coffee today but I decided I was just that disinterested. I’m sure he was a nice person, but luckily I caught him via text before he got on the train from Park Slope to come to the UWS. 

Then there’s Coffee Meet Bagel. This is a snooze. You get one match a day and if you both say you like each other, you get a text and you commence speaking and actually getting to know each other - as well as you can via text. I’ve met met one or two guys off this app. It’s OK, but I’m bored it at this point.

The problem with these apps? They’re pretty shallow. You’re going solely (for the most part) off whether or not you think the other person is attractive. For me, this is just not enough. You’re good looking? Well, congratulations on your genetics. Attraction for me comes from whether or not the other person is smart, witty, sardonic, etc. Chemistry, I guess. 

Maybe part of the problem is that I don’t really feel like making the effort to date anyone right now. Yes, besides the fact that these apps are shitty, there is that fact too. I’ll be deleting these apps and I’ll stick to going out in the real world and see who is fed up them too. 

/rant over

Last Wednesday, August 20th, I went to the Rubin Museum in Chelsea for the screening of the film short On Meditation, featuring the woman who I refer to as my guru, Gabrielle Bernstein. After the filming, she had a conversation with contemplative psychotherapist Joe Loizzo, who founded the Nalanda Institute. 

I snagged a front row seat somehow and settled in. We ran through her meditation that she calls the “ego eradicator” and thus began my 40 day regiment of it again. They spoke about the science behind meditation and how they now have proof of how meditation affects the brain, so it’s not just hippie bullshit (my words) anymore.

Afterward she signed books and when I asked her for advice on how to deal with super negative friends, she said, “Be the light." I said OK, and I’m trying. She also said not to talk about it with them, which I think is a fantastic idea. 

Another night of mindfulness in the books. 

I finally took the plunge and made a Facebook page for this little blog.

Will you please like it? :D

“The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” - John Updike

Today marks exactly ten years since I first moved to New York City. I was a freshmen and moved into a gross but amazing four-bedroom dorm room with seven other girls on the corner of 16th street and Union Square West. It was a moment that I’d been waiting for for at least eight years. That day had finally come and I was oh-so-happy. Right as my parents were saying goodbye, a swat team descended upon Union Square because of a bomb threat that had been called in because of the Republican National Convention, which happened to be that weekend too. Thus began my residency in New York City.

Monthly Metrocards were $65 (!) at that time and one trip was $1.50. Williamsburg was just starting to kind of become East Village “Light” and filling with hipsters. Pinkberry wasn’t yet known, nor had it infiltrated St. Marks Place. You could still find a yoga class for $10. Rush tickets for actual broadway shows were $20 (not $45!).  Greenpoint was stilled filled with only Polish people and Astoria was just sort of on the rise as an acceptable place to live outside Manhattan. George W. Bush was about to be elected for a second time by a truly idiotic nation and American Idiot was soon to be released. I would totally miss seeing Green Day a block away at Irving Plaza.

Most people go to college to get an education and while that was on my list to, my main goal after high school was “move to New York City,” so that’s why I only applied to 5 schools and they were all in New York.

I don’t want to get too sentimental, so I’ll just say this: Being a New Yorker is one of the best things in the world (in my opinion). It was my dream and I am living the dream. Today I’ll be able to celebrate it drinking cocktails on a booze cruise for work around this island in two rivers. 

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. 

(Above is a photo from my scrapbook from freshmen year - those are three of my seven roommates.)

Dear Greyhound Bus Co:

I spent 21 minutes on hold with your customer service line tonight before getting disconnected. Never once did I speak with an actual live human being. That’s some customer service policy you have going there!

On my bus back to New York City from Boston last night, the driver had very little idea how to drive a bus. He had no idea how to maneuver it. It was unsafe, to say the least. He was using a GPS system the whole time but when he crossed from the Bronx over into Manhattan, he stopped and asked a cop how to get to Port Authority. Then a few blocks later, he stopped the bus and asked us, the passengers. 

Now this is one of the few instances where saying “YOU HAVE ONE JOB” actually applies. The bus driver had one job, literally. It was to get us to Port Authority. After we, the paying customers, told him how to get to our destination, he proceeded to drive down Broadway at 5 miles an hour, getting about 2 blocks between each light change. 

Between a tiny bit of traffic, his absolutely cluelessness regarding New York City, and his incompetence in driving a bus all together, we arrived at Port Authority just before 8:30pm. 

Our bus was due into Port Authority at 6:30pm.

He was 50% late. If that’s acceptable to you, you need to close up shop. 

I was offered a $20 credit today. This is unacceptable as I will not be taking your buses ever again. Given that your bus was 50% late, I would like at least 50% of my money back - in American US currency. 

The bus number was 86151. I don’t know who the driver was and quite frankly, I don’t care, because he was ill equipped to be driving a bus and in New York City.