Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Model Citizens

Last week was Fashion Week in New York, a time for 99.99% of the city to go on with life as usual, while the other .01% (possibly less than that; I'm still waiting on a final statistic from the, uh, Fashion... Board) crams under tents in Bryant Park to watch the brilliant works of sartorial art head down very long runways. This weekend, I (very briefly) joined this tiny cross-section of New York culture and I went to a fashion show. The artiste was an Israeli lingerie designer, who went with a Bollywood theme, and whose show included four models and as many looks, and was over in maybe twice as many minutes. Now, this was my first fashion show, so I could be wrong here, but I always thought that these things were supposed to last as least as long as it takes to finish a cocktail, and include maybe 8-12 looks (because, come on, how else are we supposed to know what to wear), but perhaps minimalism is in this year. It was at least fun to get dressed up for it, and my companions and I capped off the night with milkshakes and onion rings at a nearby diner. Just like Yves Saint Laurent!
Me. I am very different from models.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hello, Dalai!

I've been a theatre geek my entire life, and I sometimes think I've seen it all: Nudity, scenery mishaps, drag shows, old-lady dancing, awards shows, theatre in the round, aerial stuntwork, improvised Shakespeare, one-person plays, tv show tapings, a 6-year-old playing Nixon, Broadway, Off-Broadway, So Very Very NOT Broadway, and a play starring a cat. But this is New York, and there's always something new to see. So leave it to a troupe from Minnesota to introduce me to yet another totally new theatre experince: An outdoor walking play. Friend Alan, who lives here but makes a pilgrimage to Minneapolis every few years to star as the Dalai Lama in the utterly enchanting The Buddha Prince, has the lead role as spiritual leader/narrator in this show, which meets its audience on a sidewalk outside Central Park, then guides them through the park from stage to stage while they reenact the life of the 14th Dalai Lama through song, dance, puppetry, poetry, physical comedy and mime. The formula of outdoor stages+a super talented cast+themes of peace, love and compassion-pretension and a stifling theatre was an absolutely winning one. Can we make all shows be like this? Outdoor walking Glengarry Glen Ross, anyone?
Resolute Tibetans defend their sacred land

K and I met up with the Dalai Lama who, in some interpretations of the story, is a white dude.