This week is a bit over scheduled even by my standards. The only day I gave myself off was Monday and at this point I feel like I’m sleep walking through work. Tuesday I saw InGenius Series C at Manhattan Theatre Source, which was a lot of fun. I hadn’t been to that venue before and I felt that they made use of their limited space very well. This series of shows are all new one-acts. The four we saw were:
- December by Pam Yaco, directed by Carly Hirschberg
- Presumptuous by Paul Jordan, directed by Gabriella Willenz
- Unprimed by John McKinney, directed by Jessica McVea
- What We Planned For by Jen Thatcher, directed by Angela Astie
I felt like all of the acting was fantastic and they were generally well written. I wasn’t a big fan of Presumptuous simply because I don’t generally find social awkwardness amusing. I’m not interested in a lot of what passes for comedy; those of you who are big fans of ’40-year-old Virgin’ and the like will have to forgive me for my distaste. I did really enjoy Unprimed; it was witty and an interesting representation of a relationship. The couple related to each other exclusively through really vicious arguments, which they enjoyed tremendously. I’ll admit that I’m more attracted to men who can take me verbally as well as physically so I definitely connected with their exchange. I believe that a relationship is shallow without a few really spicy arguments now and then; conflict is essential.
My friends and I had dinner at La Lanterna di Vittorio after the show. Their pizza is good but it’s really the space that makes it worth going to; the glass-enclosed garden in back is airy and fanciful. Plus the waiter was adorable and the jazz music issuing from the downstairs was splendid.
Wednesday I finally managed to get a reservation at Kuma Inn (the last time I just walked in there was an hour wait) and enjoyed some of the most unique Asian food I’ve had in the city. Not all the dishes were a big hit and some of them were so small that even for tapas they seemed absurdly sized, but there were a few really fantastic dishes. My friend and I particularly liked the mussels in kaffir lime coconut curry. I’m actually not a fan of coconut but in this sauce it wasn’t discernible. I usually have mussels in French restaurants, in white wine sauce, and this was a totally different experience. The sauce didn’t cover up the flavor of the mussels but contrasted with them and softened them. The turon crispy pan-fried plantains were an amazing choice for dessert- sweet and soft encased in a crunchy shell. Actually we were greedy and also ordered the ice cream of the day, chocolate chili, which was really fun as well. I’m fairly certain it was actually a brand that you can buy at WholeFoods but I can’t seem to remember the name. I’ll have to look for it the next time I’m there. It starts off tasting like chocolate ice cream but has this super spicy aftertaste that really surprises you.
Following dinner I met another friend at the Bowery Ballroom to see Passion Pit in concert.
Passion Pit at the Bowery Ballroom
I’m not really a fan of any one genre of music. I listen to extremely random things and I like to think I keep an open mind about any new music that comes my way. Last week I downloaded the entire soundtrack to The Labyrinth (David Bowie is fantastic), immediately followed by ‘Nasty Girl’ and ‘Juicy’ by The Notorious B.I.G. Since I’m not a real “fan” of any one band or singer I don’t go to concerts for the sake of being close to musicians I have strong feelings about. Instead I generally go to expose myself to new music that my friends like, or to support friends who are musicians. The friend I was seeing this show with is a DJ and it’s always fun to go to shows with him because he has a truly encyclopedic knowledge of certain genres. I hadn’t heard Passion Pit’s music in advance and I think that allowed me to enjoy all of the songs, rather than get stuck on which ones I was familiar with.
Of course it would have been more fun if there hadn’t been this asshole in front of us. This guy was waving his arms everywhere, which I suppose was meant to aproximate “dancing,” and bumping into people and generally taking up more than his fair share of space. He was clearly convinced that he was the only person in the room. Why is it that it’s so hard for some people to behave themselves at a concert? As soon as they’re in this sort of setting they forget to pay attention to the people around them. I just wanted my own little bubble of space, why is that so difficult to understand? I don’t want your elbows in my face. Ugh.
Well, at any rate, I bought their CD and I expect ‘Sleepyhead’ will be a perfect contrast to ‘Juicy’ in my Subway playlist.
Last night I went with a few girlfriends to see ‘Ride’ at 59E59. It’s a new play, going on for a few more days, written by Jane Bodie and directed by Nick Flint. The two characters wake up in bed together with no memory of the night before. Going into it I wasn’t sure quite what to expect; it falls into the realm of what I call ‘Questionable Theatre.’ I define this as anything that toes the line between awesome and atrocious. This particular piece turned out to be awesome- well written, sometimes comical but with moments of sincerity that made you identify with the characters. I walked away from it feeling slightly more optimistic about people and their ability to form connections with one another.