Diary of a Dilettante

Like every other self-indugent blogger, here’s what I’ve enjoyed / not enjoyed recently:

Mama Mia

Hello! Meryl Streep.  Abba.  A Musical.  Greece.  Need I say more?  I don’t get people who don’t love this movie.  Yeah, the show sucks from what reliable sources have told me.  I haven’t seen it.  It’s made $2 billion so SOMEBODY likes it.  We saw this at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York on opening night with zillions of other…fans (aka “Queens”).  It was fun. 

BATMAN: The Dark Knight

Too much has already been written / said / blogged about the summer’s overhyped comic book-come-to-life movie.  So I’ll blog a little more.  Okay movie but its length took away from its quality.  The rule:  A movie should end fifteen minutes before I’m compelled to look at my watch.

The action scenes were extraordinary but there were far too many of them.  The plot was too contrived, the Joker too dark and Batman himself too boring.  Maggie G was anemic and Chicago was too nice to be the decayed Gotham.  But Batman achieved its purpose, which is to make money.  Bless their hearts. 




Cute.  Funny.  But as with Batman, at 1 hour 37 minutes, it was 15-20 minutes too long.  Maybe it’s me.  Perhaps at 40, I’ve developed some sort of adult-onset Attention Deficit Disorder.  Or it might be that the frenetic New York pace of everything has gotten to me. 

Regardless I recommend this movie.  It’s a sweet escape.  Some conversatives have railed against it, claiming it has a liberal subtext excoriating us for being too wasteful and harming the environment.  Whatever.  Aren’t we?  I don’t see it.  In the end, the humans do the right thing.  They claim the planet as their own and fix it.  An optimistic, but hopefully accurate, view of our future.   



The 39 Steps

Last night we saw 39 Steps, a Broadway play that is a hilarious spoof of many of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies.  Go see it.  Hitchcock would love it!  We sure did.  The four actors are unbelievably talented, each playing more characters than I could count, sometimes mere seconds apart. 

The plot exists simply to propel the action giving the actors an opportunity to put their craft on display.  Its British farce at its best.  Jonathan usually doesn’t care for British farce but loved this clever play.   


Mary McCormack as a fierce German flight attendant in Boeing Boeing

Mary McCormack as a fierce German flight attendant in "Boeing Boeing"

Boeing Boeing

This was the surprise play of the season.  We’d heard little about it so we went into it with no expectations.  It was hysterical.  We laughed for over two hours.  It’s comedy on overdrive, a roller-coaster trip of entertainment. 

West Wing fans (like me) will be delighted to see two stars, including Emmy winning Bradley Whitford and Mary McCormack on stage.  Christine Baranski fans (like me) will also love it.  (She’s won a Tony, an Emmy AND a Screen Actors Guild award.)  We were disappointed, though, as Baranski was in London for the premiere of Mama Mia.  Still, the show was great and the understudy more than capable.   



Avenue Q

I hesitate to put this here because admittedly I lose points.  I’ve lived in New York for over two-and-a-half years and only recently saw Avenue Q.  Shame on me.  But I really liked this show a lot.  Like Wall-E it was cute, funny, but just the right length.  Somehow it won the Tony over Wicked, proof that people who vote on these awards are on crack, but I didn’t hold that against these puppets.  The puppet sex was erotic, the song about internet porn hysterical and only this show could get away with racism.    



Billie Piper

Billie Piper

Doctor Who


Hitchcock…British.  Boeing Boeing…French.  Continuing our across-the-pond fetish is our favorite television series, the BBC’s most recent incarnation of Doctor Who.  I had never heard of Doctor Who until two months ago and now it’s my favorite show (except for the incomparable Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)  Billie Piper co-stars.  She’s a female British pop music sensation and she can act and dance.  West End and Broadway watch out! 

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Sparrow in Doctor Who

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Sparrow in "Doctor Who"


Broadway fans might be familiar with the Welsh star John Barrowman. He appears in a few episodes of Doctor Who in the second season.  I hear he stars in the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood, but I haven’t seen it so I don’t know.  Regardless, here’s a hot pic of him in an episoide of Doctor Who.  Oh, and he gets naked in this scene! 




Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the young King Henry VIII

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the young King Henry VIII

The Tudors

I love British history and I love Jonathan Rhys Myers so the Showtime series is my nirvana.  I can easily overlook the historical flaws and yeah, most portraits of Henry VIII don’t look exactly like this.  But even King Henry was young once, right?  And how could he attract all those wives if he didn’t look good at one point?  Okay, okay, he’s the king back in the day when the king could have anyone (especially someone better-looking than Camilla…) 



Chris Meloni

Chris Meloni




Finally… where was I when this HBO prison drama was on?  On another planet?  Having missed this homoerotic dream the first time around, thank the Goddess for netflix.  Woof!  This show is every gay man’s fantasy about what prison life is like.  True, the murder-per-epsiode is a bit unrealistic but it’s fiction so who cares?  As long as Beacher and Kellor are screwing, bring it on.

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