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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Posts tagged "books"

I was invited by a colleague to see Malcolm Gladwell speak at the SVA Theatre yesterday as part of the New Yorker Festival. I got there a little late but it was still fascinating. I’ve read all of Gladwell’s books in the last year so this was a big deal for me. This is the most interesting man in any room, as far as I’m concerned, and I could read a 400 page book about the telephone book if he decided to write one.

His lecture yesterday was about our “default to truth,” and how we can spot liars. He used the Bernie Madoff case and Harry Markopolos. He determined at the end, that he would rather have a world full of Bernie Madoff’s than a world full of whistle blowers like Harry Markopolos.

He took questions from the audience, some good, some not so good. It was ninety minutes, but it was thrilling. I could listen to him talk for hours. If you ever have the opportunity, go see him speak.  

I had no idea what The Fortress of Solitude was about when my friend told me she had an extra ticket. I read that it was based on a book and Adam Chanler-Berat and Rebecca Naomi Jones were in it. So I told her I was in. I asked her if it was 90-minutes-no-intermission (#nmni) and she laughed and said, “oh no, this is a full two hours and forty five minutes.” I made sure to have an espresso milkshake from Momofuku beforehand.

It was about two boys, Mingus and Dyland, in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn in the 70’s when it was still called Gowanus. Both lived with their fathers and were abandoned by their mothers. One black (Mingus), one white (Dylan), they seem to be on a good path until Dylan is accepted to Stuyvesant High School and Mingus is left on his own to attend public school in Gowanus. We see the incredibly different lives they lead and after high school Dylan runs away to UC Berkeley because that’s where his mother left him to go. He makes a career for himself as a music critic there. 

A major aspect in both of their lives is soul music: for Dylan, it’s the music on the records his mother leaves behind and for Mingus, it’s the music that his father was previously famous for. Dylan’s mother leaves behind her wedding ring which acts as a magnet bringing the boys together, and eventually resulting in their final fight as adults.

The largely ensemble cast is uniformly excellent. Allison Whitehurst deserves special recognition for dancing in roller skates. And David Rossmer didn’t let his bandaged arm and hand in a cast bring him down (he apparently sliced the tip of one of his fingers recently), he was hilarious. Rebecca Naomi Jones did a great job with her two roles; I particular enjoyed her rage in act two. Kevin Mambo, as Mingus’ father, was and is always great. Chanler-Berat was fantastic, as per usual, easily conveying the range of emotions that his character goes through. Kyle Beltran as Mingus was the other standout. His character development and decay was perfect.

The show is long - especially the first act. But if they shave twenty minutes off the first act, The Public has another Fun Home on their hands for sure.

 As much as I liked This Is Our Youth, I would have to say that if you see one play on Broadway this year, it should definitely be The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (based on the book of the same name). This National Theatre transfer from London tells the story of Christopher Boone, a teenager in England with autism who is investigates the death of his neighbors dog and finals out a lot about his family in the process.

The story is simple, but it’s the direction (by Marianne Elliot), set design (by Bunny Christie), and lighting (by Paule Constable) that really make this piece come to life. I wish I could describe it better without spoiler alerts, but I can’t. The audience is really served with a fantastic idea of what it’s like to live with autism.

The ensemble cast is fantastic and work together to bring the ten thousand moving pieces of this play together. The stand out, of course, is Alex Sharp as Christopher Boone. This kid just graduated Juilliard in May and if they don’t give him a Tony Award for his performance, it will be a crime. His portrayal of an autistic child seems genuine and not forced at all.

Make sure you have your coffee before though as it’s 2 hours and 45 minutes long. But it’s fantastic and I was never bored (and my favorite words in the English language are “ninety minutes, no intermission.”). I sat dead center in the last row of the orchestra and the seats were perfect. I know there are $27 tickets in the rear mezzanine or balcony, and if you have the means, I’d encourage everyone to go grab one of these as close to the center as you can and enjoy, and be moved.

Last week I finally procured a copy of Ramshackle Glam, the new book by Jordan Reid, a favorite blogger of mine for years now. I’ve met her a few times and she’s just as awesome in person as her words would have you think.
The weird thing is: this book has absolutely no relevance in my life. At all. I felt silly reading it on the train this weekend because I was afraid people would think I was pregnant. This is not something that’s true nor is it ever something that I plan to have happen (I’ve said it before: I don’t want kids, it’s just a personal thing!).
But nevertheless, I love Jordan’s writing and her book has a tone of “do what you love, eff what anyone thinks,” and it’s great. I like the recipes and the decoration tips (I’m taking the inspiration board advice for my future apartment). I love her writing because she writes with a ton of hyperbole. Which is both amusing and emotionally evocative. 
But one could say this book was a success, because it gave me a bit of insight of what mothers go through (most likely my own mother too!) and also made me super-duper-sure that I don’t want to embark on that endeavor. The specific moment when I was all, “Nope, definitely not for me!” was the following:
“The fact that my decision to shoot my very first style post was preceded by this exact thought: ‘Hmm… I wonder what I should do this afternoon’ Nowadays, that is not a question that enters my mind. Everrrr.”
Call it selfish or whatever you want but I don’t want to ever be so busy and have so many things on my to do list that it wakes me up in the middle of the night. I have enough anxiety as it is; no need to add another living being to it. I’m not sure I could add a pet cat to it. 
So whether or not you want kids, Ramshackle Glam is an amusing, insightful, and thoughtful read into Reid’s life and her experience as a mother. 

Last week I finally procured a copy of Ramshackle Glam, the new book by Jordan Reid, a favorite blogger of mine for years now. I’ve met her a few times and she’s just as awesome in person as her words would have you think.

The weird thing is: this book has absolutely no relevance in my life. At all. I felt silly reading it on the train this weekend because I was afraid people would think I was pregnant. This is not something that’s true nor is it ever something that I plan to have happen (I’ve said it before: I don’t want kids, it’s just a personal thing!).

But nevertheless, I love Jordan’s writing and her book has a tone of “do what you love, eff what anyone thinks,” and it’s great. I like the recipes and the decoration tips (I’m taking the inspiration board advice for my future apartment). I love her writing because she writes with a ton of hyperbole. Which is both amusing and emotionally evocative. 

But one could say this book was a success, because it gave me a bit of insight of what mothers go through (most likely my own mother too!) and also made me super-duper-sure that I don’t want to embark on that endeavor. The specific moment when I was all, “Nope, definitely not for me!” was the following:

The fact that my decision to shoot my very first style post was preceded by this exact thought: ‘Hmm… I wonder what I should do this afternoon’ Nowadays, that is not a question that enters my mind. Everrrr.

Call it selfish or whatever you want but I don’t want to ever be so busy and have so many things on my to do list that it wakes me up in the middle of the night. I have enough anxiety as it is; no need to add another living being to it. I’m not sure I could add a pet cat to it. 

So whether or not you want kids, Ramshackle Glam is an amusing, insightful, and thoughtful read into Reid’s life and her experience as a mother. 

Last night Kristen and I took in a performance of Act One at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre. Adapted from Moss Hart’s autobiography of the same name by James Lapine, Act One told the story of Moss Hart’s upbringing in the theatre. I haven’t read the book yet but I think I’ve seen a few copies lying around the office so I’ll have to borrow it soon. 

Santino Fontano was young Hart and he was fabulous, as he usually is. Tony Shalhoub was excellent as an older Moss Hart and the exceedingly strange George Kaufman. Andrea Martin was hilarious and heartwarming as Moss’ aunt (who is basically responsible for his life in the theatre) and Kaufman’s wife. And who doesn’t love an a supporting role played by the marvelous Chuck Cooper? Yeah, not a soul.

Albeit it being a bit long (it was almost 3 hours), it was an educating and entertaining night at the theatre that any theatre aficionado should make a point to see this season. 

Tickets were provided by the production but not in exchange for any review. 

I will be giving away a pair of tickets to The Cripple of Inishmaan in the next couple of days. 

The Cripple of Inishmaan is starring Daniel Radcliffe. Inishmaan is written by Martin McDonaugh. Who is amazing

Reblog to start the fun :)

Money: A Love Story…. what I’m currently reading. I’ve never read any books on money management but better late than never.
Are you on GoodReads? If you are, add me!

Money: A Love Story…. what I’m currently reading. I’ve never read any books on money management but better late than never.

Are you on GoodReads? If you are, add me!

Last week I was invited to see A Time To Kill, the new drama based on the novel by John Grisham and adapted by Rupert Holmes. I knew very little about it, other than the fact that Sebastian Arcelus and Tonya Pinkins were in it and that it was a courtroom drama. I invited my dad because he’d actually read the book many years ago and likes John Grisham.
To say the least: I loved it. It was about a man (John Douglas Thompson) who hires a very unseasoned lawyer (Sebastian Arcelus) to represent him after he kills, in front of the court house, the men who raped and brutalized his 9 year old daughter. This being Mississippi, and the defendant being black and the slaughtered being white, it was going to be a nearly-impossible case to win.
It held my attention through out two full-length acts and the performances were fantastic. Little did I know that I was seeing a bunch of stars onstage too. The story was so gripping and absolutely compelling. I held my breath when the verdict was being announced.
Among the cast was actor and former senator Fred Thompson who appropriately played the judge for the case with strength and conviction. Patrick Page as the district attorney was tough and charming, if not a little arrogant. Seasoned actor Tom Skerritt played the always-inebriated Lucien Wilbanks with humor and sympathy. A personal favorite of mine was Ashley Williams, who I recognized from Something Borrowed, played the assistant to Arcelus with a quick tongue and a marvelous knowledge of prior law cases. 
And then there’s Sebastian Arcelus. An actor who I first saw onstage in 2002 when he was understudying the role of Roger in Rent. In later years I saw him in Good Vibrations and then Wicked, but he never quite got to show off his acting skills like he does in this play. He played the role of the defense attorney Jake Brigance with conviction and determination and such depth. I was really blown away. 
Holme’s storytelling combined with direction by Ethan McSweeney, lest we not forget this fantastic cast, make for an excellent night at the theatre.

Last week I was invited to see A Time To Kill, the new drama based on the novel by John Grisham and adapted by Rupert Holmes. I knew very little about it, other than the fact that Sebastian Arcelus and Tonya Pinkins were in it and that it was a courtroom drama. I invited my dad because he’d actually read the book many years ago and likes John Grisham.

To say the least: I loved it. It was about a man (John Douglas Thompson) who hires a very unseasoned lawyer (Sebastian Arcelus) to represent him after he kills, in front of the court house, the men who raped and brutalized his 9 year old daughter. This being Mississippi, and the defendant being black and the slaughtered being white, it was going to be a nearly-impossible case to win.

It held my attention through out two full-length acts and the performances were fantastic. Little did I know that I was seeing a bunch of stars onstage too. The story was so gripping and absolutely compelling. I held my breath when the verdict was being announced.

Among the cast was actor and former senator Fred Thompson who appropriately played the judge for the case with strength and conviction. Patrick Page as the district attorney was tough and charming, if not a little arrogant. Seasoned actor Tom Skerritt played the always-inebriated Lucien Wilbanks with humor and sympathy. A personal favorite of mine was Ashley Williams, who I recognized from Something Borrowed, played the assistant to Arcelus with a quick tongue and a marvelous knowledge of prior law cases. 

And then there’s Sebastian Arcelus. An actor who I first saw onstage in 2002 when he was understudying the role of Roger in Rent. In later years I saw him in Good Vibrations and then Wicked, but he never quite got to show off his acting skills like he does in this play. He played the role of the defense attorney Jake Brigance with conviction and determination and such depth. I was really blown away. 

Holme’s storytelling combined with direction by Ethan McSweeney, lest we not forget this fantastic cast, make for an excellent night at the theatre.

A Time to Kill, a new play, is opening on Broadway this season - October 20th to be exact. It’s based on the best selling John Grisham book of the same title and it has an amazing cast to boot: Tonya Pinkins, Sebastian Arcelus, and Patrick Page, to name a few. 
John Grisham’s book has “captivated readers with it’s raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice,” and now it’s time for one of YOU to also be captivated… but on Broadway.
So, to enter to win a pair of tickets, all you have to do is reply with your favorite John Grisham novel, follow my Tumblr, or reblog this post. 
Winners will be notified next Monday! Until then: don’t forget to follow the show on Twitter here. 

A Time to Kill, a new play, is opening on Broadway this season - October 20th to be exact. It’s based on the best selling John Grisham book of the same title and it has an amazing cast to boot: Tonya Pinkins, Sebastian Arcelus, and Patrick Page, to name a few. 

John Grisham’s book has “captivated readers with it’s raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice,” and now it’s time for one of YOU to also be captivated… but on Broadway.

So, to enter to win a pair of tickets, all you have to do is reply with your favorite John Grisham novel, follow my Tumblr, or reblog this post. 

Winners will be notified next Monday! Until then: don’t forget to follow the show on Twitter here

'C.O.G.' Trailer (via top5funniest) (via peterwknox)

I’ve never read any of David Sedaris’ books (I know, I know, I should), but this looks interesting. I’ll have to read up on his life first. Although Jonathan Groff was great in Spring Awakening, I’ve never been a fan of his work onstage since (he’s just not a very good stage actor, IMHO), but he seems like he’s a better fit for onscreen. Also: Dennis O’Hare.