Sunday, July 28, 2002

"Movin' Out"

Friday night we saw "Movin' Out", a musical using 24 Billy Joel songs. It was choreographed by Twyla Tharp. It's doing it's pre-Broadway run in Chicago. It opens on Broadway in October, I believe.

It wasn't really what I expected. It's not a traditional musical, it's more of an interpretive dance. First, there is no real dialog, only song lyrics. Second, there's no orchestra pit with orchestra-style music. There is a rock band on a platform on the stage. A traditional rock band with drum kits and electric guitars, and the lead singer who plays the piano (how Billy Joel-esque). This leads to the third point: The dancers don't sing. The lead singer in the bad sings. The dancers only dance. No talking, no singing, no real acting. Just dancing. Thus, out of all the musicals I have seen, this by far had the best dancing. And the best dancer of all, in my opinion, was the dancer who plays Tony, the main character. He was great! Another thing I liked about it was that for 2 songs one dancer daned on pointe. I always thought it would be cool to see a ponte dancer dancing to rock music. It was so cool!

The music was great. A wide range of Billy Joel songs were used, including classical pieces. One thing I was concerned about before seeing it was that the songs would change from being rock songs to showtunes. That was done for the musical "Footloose". From the clips that I saw, it seemed like they took the rock songs from the movie and made them into showtunes. It didn't work for me. But in "Movin' Out" the songs remained rocks songs. Most of the songs remained true to how Billy Joel did them, except for the excerpt of "We Didn't Start the Fire", which sounded like a cover version by Marilyn Manson. It sounded cool, though.

The basic premise is that Billy Joel songs tell the stories of people like Brenda, Eddie, Tony, etc., characters from his songs. It's easy to tell who some of the characters are in the beginning because Tony and James wear jackets with their names on them. It's obvious who Brenda and Eddie are. However, since there is no dialog, it is sometimes difficult to tell what exactly is happening with the story. We didn't get Playbills until intermission. It would have been nice to have them earlier because there were little synopses of the acts. It would have been beneficial to read that before Act 1 started. To me it seemed more like a view of the events of a generation, not stories with specific characters. The second act was a bit better. It was a little easier to tell what was happening to who. But the ending was a bit difficult to understand.

But overall it was good. Even if you don't follow the story well, the music and dancing and choreography is enough to make it a worthwhile show to see.

Monday, July 22, 2002

I want to be able to start saving money. In order to do this, when my lease is up next April, I'm either going to move into a much cheaper apartment or get a roommate.

Getting a cheaper apartment is possible, but since I want to have an assigned parking space, the rent would have to be much cheaper in order for me to spend less, including parking, than I am now. This would mean moving to a bad neighborhood, moving to a cheap suburb, or moving into a studio. I don't want to move into a bad neighborhood, so that's out. Since I want to still have CTA access, the only cheap suburb I can move to is Forest Park, unless I find some sort of mega deal in Oak Park. So of all these options, getting a studio is probably best. The only problem is that I now have so much furniture that I don't know what I would do with it all. I would either have to sell it or put it in storage, neither of which I really want to do. But if I find a new apartment with a large storage space I can move some small chairs and things in there. But still, not a great option. Finding a 1-bedroom apartment in the city, as well as a parking space, for less than I am spending now is going to be near impossible.

That's where getting a roommate comes in. For the most part, in the neighborhoods in which I would like to live, paying half the rent on a 2-bedroom apartment is cheaper than paying for a 1-bedroom apartment. This way I could pay rent and for a parking space and still be spending less than I am now. The amount of furniture I have might still be an issue, depending on who I move in with and how much furniture that person already has.

But the biggest issue is this: I have had a roommate once, for one year. That was 5 years ago. I have lived alone ever since. Am I going to be able tolerate moving in with someone now? I will be turning (or about to turn) 29 when this occurs. Isn't that old to be getting a roommate for the first time in a long time?

What sort of roommate do I choose? Someone who is a full-time student? That would be nice while I'm trying to finish my PhD. Maybe that's my best bet, even though most of those people will be a lot younger than me, unless they are grad students. The person must be at least 21, though.

And what if the person I choose is a bad roommate? Someone who won't pay bills or rent, or skips town without telling me. I don't want to have to start dealing with this crap now.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

The sunrise over Lake Michigan was so beautiful this morning. They sky was a hazy light blue. The sun was bright orange with a pink glow around it. The lake water looked very blue, with the blazing orange reflection of the sun. It was so pretty that I just wanted to stand there and look at it, but I had to go to work instead.