Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Antwan The Wan

So, the Red Sox came through, and provided NY1's Trick Daddy Dean Meminger a chance to parade his facial hair outside of Fenway this morning.

But first here's More! Culture! Sunday had us trooping over to BAM for the dress rehearsal of The Temptation of St. Anthony. The production is inspired by Gustave Flaubert's novel of the same name, which explores the nature of asceticism through a fictional rendering of the temptation of the founder of monasticism. Flaubert's book seems to be better examined as an insight into nineteenth century psychology and Flaubert's own thoughts than as a guide to the development of monasticism.

If, like us, you're curious about how a group of antisocial coptics morphed into the modern monastic movement (by modern, we refer to the organised communities that developed in the second millenium of the common era), the book is likely less useful. As an aside, our favorite temptation-in-the-desert book is Jim Crace's Quarantine, which fictionalises and makes more mundane Jesus's 40 days in the wilderness. Perfect for those who, like us, espouse that meally-mouthed brand of atheism that says that Jesus was a really great guy, just not divine. Beautifully written as well, so we can't recommend it highly enough.

But, as far as we can tell, the musical, which uses a gospel n' blues n' rock score composed by Bernice Johnson Reagon, goes gently on the metaphysics. The Robert Wilson set, lighting and direction made it look very Greek and minimalist, a little like Fellini's Satyricon. To our untrained ears the music sounded a tad like Hair, but then we were thoroughly confused throughout. It starts today, tix are 25 bux, and if the preceeding pressed any buttons, take a look.

We would only caveat that if you are above about 6'1" think carefully about your seating options. We had been swimming at the delightful Riverbank State Park, which has an olympic-size pool, nice views, and only moderately stroppy lifeguards. We were going to call it the only thing of which that worthless man George Pataki, can be proud, but it turns out that Pataki out-pandered Mario cuomo a year after it was built. But we got cramp at the pool, and cattle-class seating allowances did not improve things. Bad BAM! Bad!

More recommendations: The Animatrix, which explains things a helluva lot better than the films did. and finally, Dirty Pretty Things, which captures the seedy milieu of non-central London better than any Brit-flicks we've seen in a while, despite having no English people in its cast at all.


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