Saturday, June 23, 2007

Destroyer of worlds

Gino Segre's Faust in Copenhagen (reviewed in the NYTBR by George Johnson) sounds like one I must get. That's where my new novel opens, only a bit later: alternate-universe Copenhagen in 1938 (Sophie has fled Scotland at the end of almost-retitled-formerly-Dynamite No. 1 and taken refuge with her friend Mikael's mother who is the housekeeper for Nils Bohr--I had an interesting trip there a couple years ago to visit the Institute for Theoretical Physics and see what it's like. The archivist there is quite wonderful, and answered even my most random questions with great brio--when I asked where the scientists would usually have eaten their lunches (cafeteria, with cook? did they go home for lunch?), she looked at me quizzically and said with great conviction, "No, no, the Danish are a nation of boxed lunches!" Which I believe is true--so we can imagine all those physicists sitting in the lunchroom eating the lunches their landladies and/or wives had packed for them...

I saw Romeo and Juliet last night in the park, I thought it was very good. Clear and effective line delivery, which is the thing I care about most, and some nicely farcical touches, especially in the opening half. There was a great bird in one of the trees behind the stage, I wish I could tell you what it was--something with a very dramatic wingspan--very magical seeing pretty much anything in that Central Park setting, it's exciting being in the park after dark. The set was rather attractive, with a sort of lake of water covering the half-moon of stage in an appealing way--only it painfully reminded me of my beloved grandmother, she would have liked the production very much only the main thing she would have said afterwards was how awfully cold it must have been for the actors whose clothes got wet, and also what a lot of trouble for whoever had to do the laundry!


  1. I am trying to overlook the absence of live theatre in my life.

    You. Are. Not. Helping.

    Sounds wonderful.

  2. Indeed, there is nothing like live theatre--you must arrange a trip to see some! Combine it with a triathlon!

  3. Oh, I saw it last Sunday...we were sitting on the left side of the stage which was quite nice since we could see the castle and the lake in the background - a wonderful backdrop.

    I thought the production was pretty good (especially given that I really dislike R+J) and I thought Lauren Ambrose did a good job in creating a character arc for Juliet. I suppose the mark of a good production might be if you come away with some new thought about the play, and I definitely did. She definitely didn't remind me at all of Claire Fisher from Six Feet Under, except when she was wearing the black dress near the end. I wasn't very impressed with the Friar though, he didn't seem quite right. Everyone else did a fine job.