Another short wrap-up again, as I was out late again last night because of another musical thing. In this case, it was literally a musical. The Phantom of the Opera finally came to the local performing arts center, so my sister and I got to see it together live! We’ve been wanting to do so for a long time, and while Phantom occasionally comes to her city, tickets are always prohibitively expensive. I was thrilled when Phantom was announced as part of the 2019-2020 season, and for a reasonable price. This production featured new production design by Cameron Mackintosh. I’m torn between this new production and the one I saw in London in 2014. Both are excellent, and both have their highlights. The new production has a rotating stage and the chandelier’s fall is more dramatic, though I prefer masquerade scene and the descent into the vaults of the theater (where the candelabras rise out of the lake) during the song ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ from the London production. If there were a way to combine the two…
Otherwise, the singing was excellent and Derrick Davis’s turn as The Phantom was one of my favorites of all the versions I’ve seen or heard.
In other news, we had our first snow of the season on Monday night. It was only an inch or so and it had melted by Tuesday afternoon, but it was enough to make the city look even prettier.
And Mina is cute as ever!
What I Finished Reading This Week:
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Both of these are rereads. I’ve read Dracula a few times before, but as usual I found new things. One those things was the fact that the men are emotional. Sometimes it seems as though they weep at the drop of a hat, though I know they are dealing with the deaths of loved ones. I still want to smack them upside the heads for being sexist and doltish now and then, but they are products of their age.
I always forget how Frankenstein is structured, though I really should know. Thanks to my many re-watches of Penny Dreadful between college and now, I have a deeper understanding of both Frankenstein and his creature. I know we’re meant to feel pity for the creature for having been constantly rejected by humanity, but I can also empathize with Frankenstein himself. Suffice it to say that there are a lot of layers to this book, and it is one I will undoubtedly read again.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- Snow: A Scientific and Cultural Exploration by Giles Whittell (20%)
- The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark (38/144)
Both of these books are rather short, so I anticipate finishing them quickly. I’m not very far into either one, but they’ve been entertaining so far and I look forward to finishing them.
Did Not Finish:
Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1) by Tamsyn Muir
This was my second DNF of October. I’m quite disappointed by this fact, as the description of the book (even the shortened one: ‘Lesbian necromancers in space’) sounds fantastic. Sadly, Muir’s writing style annoyed me to no end. It felt like she was doing everything she could to impress the cool kids, and it made the writing itself distracting. Every paragraph seemed to have a phrase or sentence that knocked me out of the narrative because it either read as very 2019, or because it was gratuitously vulgar.
What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:
- Silas Marner by George Eliot
- Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett
I’ve never read anything by George Eliot, but I’ve heard wonderful things about her writing from some of my favorite BookTube channels, so I will give this little novel a chance.
I’ve also heard good things about Miranda in Milan, which is a Shakespearean pastiche novella that asks what happened to Miranda after the The Tempest. Maybe marrying Ferdinand and moving to Milan wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
What I’ve Been Watching:
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Starring: Nathalie Emmanuel, Neil Sterenberg, Beccy Henderson
Directed by Louis Leterrier
This series based upon Jim Henson’s 1982 film, The Dark Crystal, combines Henson’s style of puppetry with computer-generated imagery to create a show that is both full of heart and visually stunning. Too many times, filmmakers rely on CGI for their storytelling, but the makers of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance know their craft through and through, and have made something that is a delight the first time through, and will undoubtedly reveal more details on subsequent re-watches. I’ve only watched the first four episodes, and I am looking forward to watching the rest of the series.
2 thoughts on “Sunday Sum-Up, November 3, 2019”
I read Middlemarch by George Eliot a few years ago and loved her straight-forward writing. It had a different vibe to the writing than the other authors I read right around the same time (Dickens’s Bleak house and Thackeray’s Vanity Fair).
That’s good to hear! I usually don’t mind Victorian writing, but it can be trying after a while. Sounds like George and I might get along very well!