In here life is beautiful.

My dude bff, Ben, turns 30 today and since I a out of the city, I surprised him with tickets to see Emma Stone (one of his long time actress crushes) in Cabaret on Thursday. I was a bit nervous that she would be out since she was out on Sunday but luckily she was in that night. We sat the bar stools in the orchestra – pretty much the same seats that I sat in when I first saw the show in 2000. Great seats – barely any obstruction (though admittedly there is a little).

I could hear a bit of sickness in Emma’s voice that night but she was really solid, fantastic even. She’s gotten more into the character since I saw her in her first week. She’s a great dancer too. Alan Cumming was on fire, as usual, and Linda Emond and Danny Burstein were incredible too. I adore them both.

Emma Stone is a great asset to this production and I only wish she were staying at the rest of the run. Ben was even more in love with her afterward.

Emma is in Cabaret through early February. Catch her while you can.

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Matt and I went to see The Elephant Man last night starring Bradley Cooper, and more importantly (to me), Patricia Clarkson. It just got fantastic reviews when it opened on Sunday and I was excited. I’m not a fan of Bradley Cooper because he always plays some slimy grease ball in whatever movie he’s in so I had low expectations. Patricia Clarkson, however, always plays fun, amazingly eccentric characters in movies and I love her.

The Elephant Man was funny at times, but mostly sad and depressing. About a man with severe deformities in the late 1800’s, his life is not easy and he’s kept at arms length most of his life until he’s abandoned and is taken to a doctor’s doorstep. 

Maybe it was my low expectations, but I think Cooper just poured his heart and soul into his performance he was phenomenal. He really blew myself, and everyone around me, away. His physicality and the emotion he portrayed with such few words was mind blowing. He was really great.

Patricia Clarkson was also wonderful, but that’s to be expected. She played an actress who is hired by the doctor to socialize with him, and she becomes entranced with his charm and intelligence. Alessandro Nivola, who played the doctor, was outstanding also.

This is a very parsed down version of The Elephant Man (which is normally 3 acts but in this case it’s 2 hours including the intermission), but it’s still very moving. If you want to find out whether or not Cooper can act onstage, go check this production out.

Cabaret, part deux… aka Cumming a Second Time.

On Saturday the 15th, Kristen and I went to see one of Emma Stone’s first shows as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. I’d broken down and listened to a couple of MP3’s from her first performance and it was a bit shaky but it sounded like she had potential. 

Long story short: She blew us away. She had a totally fiesty, gritty, and strong take on the character which was very different than Michelle William’s. She was totally into and blowing the roof off the title number (Cabaret). She was just brilliant.

I’m going back to see her again soon.

Cumming was great too, as per usual. As was Danny Burstein and Linda Emond. They’re both just so fantastic. 

Like I said, Stone was amazing and I’m going to go see her again ASAP. 

Sometimes street fairs are awesome.  A couple of Sunday’s ago as I walked home from a free yoga class at Lululemon on 65th Street, I passed through one that spanned for about ten blocks up Broadway.  I stumbled up a used & new DVD table and bought Easy A used and Angels in America (brand new!) for $6 each!  A brand new copy of Angels in America for $6?  I was an as surprised as you.  

I picked up the two posters too; one of an early 20th Century Times Square, and the other is obviously the quite popular English “Keep Calm” poster.  If I re-sign my least this year, I’ll definitely be hanging them.

To find out when there’s a street fair in your hood, click here.  

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Easy A.  I saw this trailer on TV several times last night and I have to admit, I’m outrageously excited for this movie.  I love several of the cast members and it’s a topic that’s just funny (to me, at least).  I never made it through the entirety of The Scarlet Letter (I found it dreadfully boring), but I did read Suzan-Lori Park’s modern adaptation, Fucking A.  That makes up for that right?

Between Easy A and The Social Network, it looks like the fall movie line-up is looking positively fantastic.