Once again, putting up a post before the length of it becomes prohibitive. So, behind the cuts, the story of my family's sad attempt at Thanksgiving, my thoughts on Suits, a play-by-play of Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway and a couple of thoughts from tonight's "A Conversation with Gary Oldman," to which I brought the lovely alizarin_nyc who adorably elbowed me when Benedict Cumberbatch's name came up.
Okay, Thanksgiving first. My family doesn't really celebrate this holiday, my dad coming to this country only in 1973 and my mom in 1975 and going back to India to have me. So no pilgrims and only the other kind of Indians in our story. But my mom's birthday is the 30th, so we try to use the holiday as an excuse to celebrate her day. Anyway, she and my brother were supposed to drive up here from New Jersey together but that got derailed - between whispers of a blind date and then a late conference call on Wednesday, it turned out that they were going to have to come to my place separately. And of course my mom, though I told her all I needed her to bring was a couple of blankets, brought a lot of food. Meanwhile, she told me that my brother had invited a couple of friends of his and their THREE-WEEK OLD INFANT to my apartment without asking me or even mentioning it to me. So that was fun. She showed up Tuesday morning, he came Wednesday night. In the meantime, while I was at work on Tuesday, my mom started cooking things even though I explicitly said that I had everything planned so that I really only needed to do an hour of prep work on Thursday morning before putting everything in the oven. So she started making things in advance, not using any of the recipes I put aside. Also fun. In any case, his friends never showed up and we ended up having a nice, relaxed meal: my baked tofu (pressed, drizzled with olive oil, honey, crushed red pepper, onion flakes, and sea salt); polenta with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and garlic; asparagus with butter and lemon; roasted brussels sprouts; roasted spiced chick peas; vegan hoppin' john; mint brownies (for him, as I can't stand mint); and good old regular brownies. And he'd brought both seasons 2 and 3 of The West Wing, which is ideal family fare, and season 1 of Suits.
So, Suits - it's the show that USA premiered this past summer. The premise is blindingly stupid, but the show is actually kind of compelling. Mike Ross is a brainy conman expelled from college who convinces top lawyer Harvey Specter to take him on as an associate. There's all sorts of other crap happening, and Mike really is kind of a weenie, but Gabriel Macht, who plays Harvey, is charming and has a brilliant smile and killer bone structure and gorgeous eyes; the actress playing Harvey's assistant is awesome; Rick Hoffman plays an excellent adversary; and, most importantly, GINA TORRES plays the head of the law firm. I can't honestly recommend the show because there is so much of Mike being a weenie and a really tiresome love triangle, BUT Harvey is a very compelling character - he's ethical and competent and hilariously dorky in unexpected ways (his "Rocky" impression is worth your time, seriously). Plus I find it ridiculously endearing when fictional characters laugh at jokes, their own and others', and Harvey gives good laugh, all eye-crinkly and beaming. And Jessica (GINA TORRES) is a badass in high heels.
I took my mom to Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway for her birthday. Man alive, Hugh Jackman is hot in person and a born entertainer. I jotted some notes on my phone when I got home after the show, and I'll try to recreate as much of the show as I can.
He talked a lot about his family - dad, siblings, wife, kids. He said the "only time" his wife has ever been wrong was when she rolled her eyes at his audition script for X-Men, which said something like Wolverine knew something was wrong - his nostrils flared. She apparently didn't get the poetry of nostril-flaring. He went to the first audition fresh from playing Curly in Oklahoma! He put up a picture of the ghastly perm he was working for the role, saying that he can't look at it without thinking he looks exactly like his sister Zoe.
He showed a photo of himself at 12 standing on a track, just one long bony-kneed line - no muscles whatsoever - topped with a big smile and a mop of wavy chestnut hair. So adorable. Then he said that he'd shown that picture when he did the show in Toronto and one of the band from that show pointed out that peeking out from Hugh's wee little athletic shorts was the dangling end of a jock strap. Simultaneous facepalm from Hugh and the entire audience.
He told a story about singing at Carnegie Hall and his dad saying he wanted to come frm Sydney to see him perform. Hugh told his dad it was a black-tie event and found out at the last minute that it wasn't. He caught his dad just before the performance and explained that it wasn't black tie but his dad showed up in a tuxedo anyway. When he asked why, his dad said, "My son is singing at Carnegie Hall, of course I'm wearing a tuxedo." Such an awwww moment.
So, no surprise, Hugh Jackman can really move. Those hips are happy to shake, those legs are long and limber. He did some sexy moves, popping a squat while rolling his hips very seductively for a good two minutes - "How you doing, sir?" he asked in the middle of it to a man in the front row.
He referenced the Muppets (Statler and Waldorf) by referring to some people in the balcony seats. He dropped the word "chutzpah," which was hilariously endearing. He mocked Rick Perry by pretending to forget the third on a list of three, taunted NBA fans by dribbling a basketball for ten seconds and saying that was all the action they were going to see that season, and referenced Milli Vanilli. He mentioned that he was going to be playing Jean Valjean in the upcoming Les Miserables film - finally a JV I can like! - and was generally naughty and adorable.
He brought an audience member up on stage for a song and dance, did a tap routine, and sang songs including "Rock Island" from The Music Man (playing ALL the salesmen), "Luck Be a Lady," "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," "Mack the Knife," "Tenterfield Saddler," "My Boy Bill," "Fever," "Singin' in the Rain," and "Gotta Dance." What a rich voice he's got. I need to see him share the stage with Sutton Foster in a big Broadway musical.
And in the end, he auctioned off (for Broadway Cares) his undershirt - top bid was $10,000 and second-highest was $7,000, so he took them both - he wore one undershirt in Act I and another in Act II. The lady behind the latter bid asked if he'd throw in a kiss to which he said, "Yeah, what the hell? Of course I'll kiss you." He's a star, deservedly so.
and I went to hear Gary Oldman being interviewed tonight. (The title of this post is a quote from him on the prep Francis Ford Coppola had his actors doing for Dracula.) The interviewer could have been better - listened to GO's answers before asking repetitive questions - but it was an interesting evening. GO gave thoughtful and honest answers, including confessing that he took the role of Dracula just to be able to say the line, "I've crossed oceans of time for you." He talked about themes of his career, did impressions of various actors and directors, and made a joke about what was "behind the veil" he passed through as Sirius Black (the answer? Batman.) It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours, and I got to pimp Touching Evil (US) to alizarin_nyc and chat about our Yuletide fics.
I'm drafting my Yuletide fic using Written? Kitten!, which gives you a new picture of a kitten for every 100 words that you write. It's surprisingly motivating. I've got over 1200 words after one evening on the site.
So, how are you all doing? Who's excited about Yuletide or holidays or anything else? I'm thinking of rewatching season 1 of Veronica Mars - I miss that world and those characters. But I'm also open to suggestions for things I should watch that you've loved.