PBS

Aug. 3rd, 2009 03:19 pm
nycmermaid: (Default)
[personal profile] nycmermaid
Lamentations about my life direction aside...I had a pretty great weekend. I slept. I read. I cleaned. I knitted. I hermitted for 2 days as the weather outside changed from rainy to sunny to rainy to sunny again. I..wai jus one damn minue. he buon on my keyboard for he leer ha comes afer s has jus sopped workin! his pos will reurn once I have his hin fixed!

[20 minutes later]...And I'm back, with shiny new keyboard that I sort of stole...there was a miso soup incident earlier that finally caught up with me...but enough about that. Things I did this weekend. Anyway, one of the things I wanted to talk about was PBS. I watched a lot of it this weekend, so much that I actually did throw them a few bucks in response to their ubiquitous pledge drive. First was the concert for Pete Seeger's 90th birthday, which I had been interested in seeing at MSG when it happened in I think May, so it was very nice to be able to watch it on TV. Pete Seeger is not just a folk writer and singer but an activist for some really cool causes, a guy who truly practices what he preaches. He lives in a home in upstate NY that he built himself; for such a successful guy he lives very modestly and you get the sense that they make everything they can themselves. The concert itself had many great artists like Ani Difranco, the Wainrights, Joan Baez, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews. Really enjoyable. That was Saturday.

On Sunday, while cleaning my house (or making my best attempt) I was flipping channels and came across Chess in Concert, which caught my eye because of Idina Menzel, and also starred Josh Groban and Adam Pascal, in addition to some other very talented actors I had never heard of before. I had a vague knowledge of the musical Chess, like that it was a musical and it had to be a bit weird since the 80s pop hit "One Night in Bangkok" is from it, but I didn't know it was written by Tim Rice and the guys from ABBA, and I had no idea how fucking good the music in it is. Maybe it's never been done before with such talented performers, but I was quickly transfixed, and recorded it and later rewatched it with my family. If you are a fan of musical theater, it is a must-see. The actors performed the show "concert" style, which I guess means it wasn't a full-scale stage show, but it looked like one to me. The amazing thing is that they had about a week to rehearse it before this one-time performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I have never seen Josh Groban before in a theater context, I always just thought of him singing cheesy inspirational pop music, but he was amazing in this. I also recognized more songs from the show than I expected to, like "I Know Him So Well." It's on DVD; go rent it, seriously.
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