Curiosity Killed the Cate

Not yet, of course, but I’m sure someday it will…

Golden Compass movie update December 26, 2006

Filed under: Books,Movies — catherineeliza @ 5:06 pm

This is the first picture I’ve seen of Dakota Blue Richards, the lucky young actress playing Lyra. She’s prettier than I’d imagined, but she looks like she might be good. Philip Pullman says he likes her, so that’s worth a lot. Here’s a link to a fan site I just found, about Dakota, with more pictures from the movie:

Official movie website:


The Apple Tree December 22, 2006

Filed under: Theatre — catherineeliza @ 2:19 pm

Thanks to my lovely friends at Studio 54, I got to see The Apple Tree this week. I’d never seen it, and only knew one song from it, so I was fairly excited. Kristin Chenoweth and I have had our ups and downs (I think she’s a phenomenal character actress ~ she wants to be an ingenue), but no one can argue about whether or not she’s talented. I’d never seen Brian d’Arcy James before but wanted to, and really, who doesn’t like Marc Kudisch?
The first act is based on Mark Twain’s Diary of Adam and Eve. It was just the three stars, in fact, Kudisch was only in one scene (he was the snake), and the rest was Chenoweth and James. So how is it that Kudisch stole the show? Don’t know, but he certainly did! A more entertaining snake, I’ve never seen (sidenote: Did you know Chenoweth and Kudisch were engaged once? Awkward).
Second act was The Lady or the Tiger. Chenoweth had some really nice moments, James was funny, but again, I loved Kudisch the most. Sensing a pattern here?
Third act is called Passionella, and it’s a Cinderella story about a chimney sweep who becomes a movie star. This was the act where, in my opinion Kristin really took center stage. She was fine in the other acts, she’s funny, her voice is gorgeous, but in Passionella she was playing a character part, and she cannot be beat playing an off-the-wall character part! She was absolutely magnetic.
Overall, this musical is not really very good. It’s uneven, and none of the songs are showstoppers. But, it’s fun, light-hearted, and harmless, and you’ll probably have a good time.


Christmas present to myself December 21, 2006

Filed under: Books,Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 5:31 pm

I think a very nice Christmas tradition is to get a present for yourself, don’t you? So, when I got my Mary Engelbreit newsletter, and it announced there would be a limited number of autographed copies of this new book available only at the official website, I knew exactly what my very special gift to myself would be this Christmas. It arrived yesterday, and it’s absolutely beautiful. I always know the perfect thing to get myself.
A very Merry Christmas to us all!


Company December 20, 2006

Filed under: Theatre — catherineeliza @ 6:01 pm

The skuttlebut on this show is that it’s even better than last year’s production of Sweeney Todd (same director, same concept-actor’s play the instruments), so I was really excited to see it. And I’m very glad I did see it; it’s a fascinating production. But I still like Sweeney Todd better. There’s two basic reasons for that:
1) Company is a concept musical. It’s all memories, and thoughts; the whole play takes place at Bobby’s birthday party as he’s about to blow out the candles on his birthday cake. I’m partial to stories, myself.
2) Company is modern. Modern costumes are not as fun as period costumes. Period.
My boss says this production would have been more effective for me if I was familiar with Company already, which I was not. This is the first time I’ve seen it.  You see, everything about the production is abstract – the set, the costumes (all black and white), the script, etc. It was interesting to watch, but I didn’t care very much. I felt like Sweeney Todd was very intimate and personal, having the actors play. In this production, it was just interesting.  Also, I know a lot of staunch Raul Esparza fans.  I like him in general, but I’m not sure about this show.  Sometimes he seemed to be trying too hard.  I’ll have to watch an older Company so I can compare.
Still, it’s Sondheim, and it’s John Doyle, and that’s really all the recommendation you need, in my opinion.


total hypocrite

Filed under: Manhattan Life — catherineeliza @ 4:01 pm

I don’t drink coffee, and thus feel free to ridicule all of those people who can’t get started in the morning without it. Most New Yorkers don’t seem to go anywhere without a starbucks cup in their hand, so it’s no surprise you can often see 2-3 Starbucks from any given vantage point!
But at Christmas, I join the herds. You see, they have Peppermint Hot Chocolate, and it’s so heavenly, I cannot stop myself. I went at lunch and got one, and as I walked down the street with my red cup clutched in my hot little hand, I have to admit, I wasn’t at all ashamed to have joined the masses. Quite the contrary, I actually feel comaraderie with my fellow caffeine drinkers on the street. It was kind of nice. Maybe that’s the real reason everyone drinks coffee all day…


Mary Poppins ~ Part II December 18, 2006

Filed under: Theatre — catherineeliza @ 6:14 pm

Erin and I made our way back to the New Amsterdam Theatre to see Mary Poppins in its entirety. I did think about coming late, and just watching the second act (I had a lot of schoolwork to do), but in the end, I decided to watch the whole thing. We saw different kids, which was fun. Everything in the first act was just the same. I loved Bert, and Mary bothered me (trying too hard to get laughs the whole time). She has a beautiful voice, but whenever she stopped singing, she got on my nerves. And you know what? I miss my favorite scenes from the movie, and that’s all there is to it. I totally respect Disney for going the more creative route and basing the stage production on the books, not the movie, but I wanted to see Mary’s white dress and a carousel horse race. Every song from the movie is re-orchestrated, so there’s really almost nothing that’s just the same as the movie (no Uncle Albert by the way, no ‘I Love to Laugh’).
I was happy to finally see Step in Time, which I’ve heard so much about, but even that was a slight disappointment after all the hype. Don’t get me wrong, there were some good things (did I mention how I adore Bert?), but I felt like the disappointments slightly outweighed the enjoyment level of this show and that’s, well, disappointing. I’ll give them this much, there are some lovely special effects – Mary does fly over the audience which does take your breath away, even if you’ve seen a flying car do the same thing, which I have (In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Overall though, I say no need to go out of your way to see this one.


The Little Foxes

Filed under: Theatre — catherineeliza @ 5:54 pm

In early November (I’m so behind!), I went to see my sister, Laura, in her senior play at Brigham Young University. I’d never seen or read Little Foxes, but with Lillian Hellman, I knew it would be good. The actors were all wonderful, even though most of them were struggling against age-inapropriate casting (something every college struggles with). I didn’t agree with the direction of the play, in that they tried to employ some sort of Brechtian devices, having the actors get ready in front of us. Didn’t work at all for me, and added probably 5-10 minutes to an already long play. And the set was disappointing to may. I may remember things a little better than they were, but I remembered BYU sets usually being pretty great. Still, and good time was had by all, and my sister was great. If you missed the production, I hear Bette Davis is pretty good in the movie version too.