Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween - Howard - New York Philharmonic - Forever Deadward - Sticks and Bones


Friday==>HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all of my loyal and faithful readers and followers out there in the hinterlands, wastelands and boondocks.

A special Halloween shout-out goes to Her Druidness aka Sandy Mullon aka Island Girl of Anna Maria, FL. Hope you and Pat have an awesome time.

Now ... we have to move on because your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, has yet another entertainment doubleheader scheduled for today ... so ...

Let’s get started with Billi Pod’s report cards on yesterday’s entertainment events, starting with ...

The reading of ...

HOWARD: An American Musical, about the life of Howard Hughes, the iconoclastic, womanizing billionaire, inventor, film producer, anonymous benefactor and aviator, told from the point of view of his long time lieutenant Noah Dietrich==>THUMBS UP.

Remember, Billi Pod usually doesn’t give letter grades to readings and workshop productions.

This was a further step in the creative process for this interesting and informative show.

The cast was excellent, especially Jon Jorgenson as Howard, Sean Allan Krill as Noah Dietrich and Owen Judge as Boy Howard.

The music and lyrics were, for the most part, pretty powerful and the story line is very informative.

I was seated with my theater buddy Dian Crystal aka My Lady and her friend Mary Simon and they both liked the production.

Hopefully the creative process will continue.

When the show was over I subwayed back to the apartment, had my usual pre-theatre snack, a fruit and cheese plate, changed clothes and then headed uptown to Lincoln Center for ...

A classical music concert ... 

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - The program was:

Copeland - El Salon Mexico;
Rouse - Flute Concerto (performed by Robert Langevin); and,
Ravel - Bolero

Totally Excellent!!

For Billi Pod the highlight of the show was Ravel’s Bolero, which earned a roaring standing ovation when it was completed.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the Flute Concerto, by Christopher Rouse, performed excellently by Robert Langevin. Rouse is the Composer-in-Residence at the NY Phil and, frankly, I have been less than impressed with his previous works. This one was both melodic and involving and that is a major plus.

In yesterday’s posting I had indicated that I would probably walk back to the apartment when the concert was over, a distance of just a bit over a mile. Well, it was windy and chilly so I opted to subway back instead.

Now ... let’s move forward some more with the details on today’s second consecutive entertainment doubleheader ... starting with ...

A reading of ...

3:00==>FOREVER DEADWARD - “A pop rock musical that lovingly takes a bite out of everyone's favorite vampire series, and a few other pop culture icons along the way. The show playfully examines our culture of obsession and our obsession with the fantastical.” (reading - free ticket)

This show is part of the Developmental Reading Series by The York Theatre, and, yes ... it is Deadward not Deadwood.

I will be seeing this with my friend and theater-buddy Dian Crystal aka My Lady.

When the reading is over I will come back to the apartment for the usual fruit and cheese plate and then it will be time for my second entertainment event ...

The Off Broadway show ...

8:00==>STICKS AND BONES - “This revival of David Rabe’s Tony-winning play is a savage and savagely comic portrait of an American family pulled apart by their son's return from the Vietnam War. Ozzie and his wife Harriet are overjoyed to see their eldest son David again, but the furies that haunt David begin to overwhelm them and their happy-go-lucky younger son Ricky, forcing Ozzie to make a stand for the values he can’t bear to let go.” (Off Broadway - discounted TDF ticket)

This show has a stellar cast headed by Richard Chamberlain, Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman.

It is playing at the Signature Theatre Complex on West 42nd Street, has a running time of 2:20, with intermission, and runs through December 14th.

A good thing about this show ... the theatre is just a short block from my apartment, meaning, I will be able to mostly avoid the madness on the streets of drunk weirdos in costumes.

So ... my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... 

HAVE A SAFE AND SANE HALLOWEEN!

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.28 miles (or, 9,354 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,243.40 miles (average 4.10 miles per day)

GO GATORS==>BEAT GEORGIA

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.” 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Giants Win - Odd Birdz - Howard - New York Philharmonic - The Gators



Thursday==>CONGRATULATIONS to The San Francisco Giants on winning The World Series last night in Kansas City, defeating The Royals 3-2 on a totally dominating performance, in relief, from Madison Bumgarner, who came into the game in the 5th inning and completely shutdown The Royals for the rest of the game. He was credited with a 5-inning save.

Bumgarner was named The Series MVP, with a 2-0 record and an awe-inspiring ERA of only 0.43.

I do have to say that this World Series was very enjoyable for true baseball fans. Even though I wanted the American League team to win I believe that The Giants were the better team and deserved to win.

Now ... we need to get things underway because your favorite blogger has yet another entertainment doubleheader scheduled here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World. So ... 

We will get started with Billi Pod’s report card on yesterday’s entertainment event ...

The Off Broadway show ...

ODD BIRDZ, a troupe of 8 young Israeli performers weave together movement, music, physical theatre and outrageous comedy to create an evening of hilarious entertainment that transcends barriers of language, culture, and age==>A.

This is a totally involving combination of uproariously funny sketches, with dancing, singing and acrobatics, by an extremely talented group of young performers whose energy and enthusiasm flows from the stage into the audience.

Yeah, I left the theater with a big smile on my face, made even bigger because after the show the cast was outside the theatre singing and dancing and interacting with audience members. 

Billi Pod says==>if you need/want a gut-busting funny experience, then this is the show for you.

It is playing at The Players Theatre on MacDougal Street in The West Village, has a running time of 90 minutes, without intermission, and runs through November 19th.

I had gotten down to The Village early so I could have a nice walk and wander session before my show began. When the show was over I then walked back to the apartment, a distance of 2.5 miles. It felt good.

All of this resulted is some decent walking stats for the day==>5.24 miles

Back at the apartment I had the usual fruit and cheese plate, worked on the draft of this posting and then it was time to watch Game Seven of The World Series, from Kansas City. And, you know the results.

Moving on ...

As I said at the beginning of this posting, today is another entertainment doubleheader ...

Beginning with a staged reading ...

2:00==>HOWARD: An American Musical - “The life of Howard Hughes, the iconoclastic, womanizing billionaire, inventor, film producer, anonymous benefactor and aviator, told from the point of view of his long time lieutenant Noah Dietrich. We follow his early days in Houston to his reclusive, secretive life involving marriages to Ella Rice, a Houston socialite, to Jean Peters, 20th Century Fox film star, and his long affair with  Katherine Hepburn.” (staged reading - free ticket)

This is part of the Developmental Reading Series by The York Theatre Company.

I will be seeing this with my friend and theater-buddy Dian Crystal aka My Lady.

When the reading is over I will come back to PHC, have my usual fruit and cheese plate, and then it will be time for my second entertainment event ...

A classical music concert at Lincoln Center ...

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - The program is:

Copeland - El Salon Mexico;
Rouse - Flute Concerto (performed by Robert Langevin); and,
Ravel - Bolero
(season subscription series)

When the concert is over, if the weather is decent, I will walk back to the apartment.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, you are now up-to-date, so I will start getting ready to begin my entertainment doubleheader.

Oh ... why nothing about the Florida/Georgia game on Saturday from Jacksonville? Simple ... The Dawgs are favored by 13 points and Billi Pod’s gut tells him that they are going to kick Gator butt on national TV (CBS) ... that’s why. ‘Nuff said.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.24 miles (or, 11,461 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,239.12 miles (average 4.10 miles per day)

GO GATORS==>FIRE COACH MUSKRAT!! 

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New York Philharmonic - Odd Birdz - The World Series


Wednesday==>We need to get today’s posting started because your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, has a matinee show this afternoon ... so ..
Let’s get started with ...

Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s concert at Lincoln Center ...

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - The program was:

Bartok - Piano Concerto No. 3 (performed by Yefim Bronfman); and,
Bruckner - Symphony No. 8

This was an excellent concert. 

Yefim Bronfman received a roaring round of applause for his performance of Bartok’s Piano Concerto.

The highlight was Bruckner’s majestic Symphony No. 8, that runs for an hour and twenty minutes. Have to admit that I had some concerns about the length, but, thankfully, the music is so beautiful and involving that running time is not an issue.

The size of the orchestra on stage for this work was the largest that I can remember.

I was seated next to my friends Lenny Gordon and his wife, Marie Taylor. They both enjoyed the concert as much as I did.

When it was over the orchestra and conductor received a roaring standing ovation.

During the applause I got out my iPhone and checked the score of Game Six of The World Series and was shocked and then delighted to learn that The Royals were leading 8-0 after 4 innings. Yes!!

The final score was 10-0. The Royals starting pitcher, the 23yr. old Yordana Ventura, pitched a stellar game, giving up only 3 hits in 7 innings. 

The win tied The Series at 3-3 so the final game is tonight at 8:07pm, again from Kansas City.

On the mound for The Giants will be Tim Hudson (9-14) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (14-11) for The Royals.

Both pitchers will be on short leashes because both bullpens are rested. It is anticipated that at some point The Giants will call on their ace Madison Bumgarner.

Billi Pod will be in front of his 42 ” flat screen TV for the first pitch, pulling for The Royals and The American League.

Moving on ...

Today’s entertainment event is an Off Broadway show down in The West Village ...

2:00==>ODD BIRDZ - “A troupe of young Israeli performers weave together movement, music, physical theatre and outrageous comedy to create an evening of hilarious entertainment that transcends barriers of language, culture, and age.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

The advance buzz on this show is very favorable. This is good because I am in the mood for something very funny.

It is playing at The Players Theatre on MacDougal Street in The West Village, has a running time of 90 minutes, without intermission, and runs through November 19th.

In closing==>No, your favorite blogger didn’t get a new iPhone6 yesterday. It will be done sometime within the next 7 days.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>4.25 miles (or, 9,290 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,233.88 miles (average 4.10 miles per day)

GO ROYALS!!

GO GATORS==>FIRE COACH MUSKRAT!! 

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New iPhone6==>NOT!! - Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra - New York Philharmonic



Tuesday==>Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... in all honesty ... yesterday some really strange things happened during the day for your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World.

What am I talking about I know you all are anxiously asking your inner selves? Well, inner selves ... it basically revolved around my “plan” to take the big step and buy an iPhone6 and some serious communication problems between me, my eye doctor and Express Scripts.

I won’t bore you with the Express Scripts issue(s) ... but the iPhone6 is another matter. So, here we go ... 

After doing a few errands and chores I headed up to the Apple Store on West Broadway, getting there around 1:30pm. Wow, I was totally surprised at how crowded the store was.

When I finally got the attention of one of the blue-shirted people I told him I wanted to buy the iPhone6 with 64GB. To my surprise he told me that they were currently out-of-stock but that they would have some available on Tuesday morning. WTF?

Oh well ... nothing I could do about it. I then asked him about transferring everything from the old phone to the new phone and he asked me what my backup was, my computer or iCloud.

When I told him neither he just stared at me for a few moments and then said that I would have to backup to transfer and that he highly recommended that I use iCloud.

I agreed. He then sent me downstairs to find a tech-person, which I finally did, and he began the process of showing me what I had to do and things began to get weirder. First, I couldn’t remember my Apple Store password which was necessary to create my iCloud account, so we had to go through the process of getting a new password.

Then, I had to buy some additional iCloud space for me to transfer everything and when I tried to pay for it the credit card on file had expired. So we had to go through the process of updating.

Well, finally everything was set and then he told me that it would take at least 3-hours to backup everything and that I should do it at home.

He told me what I had to do, I thanked him and then headed home. I’m sure he was very glad to see me finally leave.

When I got back to the apartment I started the process, following the directions I had been given. Everything worked well, except that the estimated time to backup everything would be approximately 7-hours. OMFG!!

Well, I won’t bore you with more strange details because as of this morning the backup process is now completed, Thank God!!

My plans are to head back to the Westside store this afternoon, hopefully to come back with a fully operational and functional iPhone6.

Yeah, I know, I know ... way too many details and way too boring ... but ... whatever ... 

Moving on ...

Billi Pod’s entertainment event for Monday night was a classical music concert at Carnegie Hall ...

ASTANA OPERA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - “Voice of Asia” - The program featured masterpieces of World classical music, including Rossini, Verdi, Bernstein, Offenbach, Borodin and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, in addition to traditional Kazakh music==>TOTALLY ENJOYABLE!!

This concert featured a stellar group of vocal soloists backed by the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Choir.

For me the highlights were Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, performed by 28yr. old Erzhan Kulibaev (who looks 14, at least from where I was seated) and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, performed by the Choir and Orchestra.

When the concert was over the basically full-house gave the performers a standing ovation.

My comp. seat was in the upper nosebleed section of the balcony but that didn’t matter because the sight lines were OK and the sound was AWESOME, as usual in Carnegie Hall.

Yeah, your favorite blogger left Carnegie Hall with a smile on his face, that is for sure.

Moving on ...

Today’s entertainment event is another classical music concert, this time at Lincoln Center ...

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - The program is:

Bartok - Piano Concerto No. 3 (performed by Yefim Bronfman); and,
Bruckner - Symphony No. 8
(season subscription series)

For this concert I will be seated next to my friends Lenny Gordon and his wife, Marie Taylor. Am really looking forward to seeing them.

When the concert is over I will subway back to the apartment so I can watch the remainder of Game Six of The World Series, from Kansas City.

The San Francisco Giants lead The Series 3-2 so this is a must-win game for The Royals.

On the mound for The Royals will be the hard-throwing Yordano Ventura (14-10) vs. Jake Peavy (6-4) for The Giants. This is a rematch of Game Two, won 7-2 by The Royals.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... those of you who have stayed with me this far in today’s posting ... it is now time to post this and then head out to get my new iPhone6.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.09 miles (or, 11,142 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,229.63 miles (average 4.10 miles per day)

GO GATORS==>FIRE COACH MUSKRAT!! 

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Time for Singing - At This Performance - Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra - The World Series



Monday==>Good morning everyone out there in the morass known as cyberspace. I am happy to report that yesterday was yet another excellent entertainment doubleheader for your favorite blogger here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World.

Both events were totally enjoyable and typified why Billi Pod LOVES living in New York City ... so ... we will get started with ...

First, Billi Pod’s report card on the Musical’s In Mufti production of ...

A TIME FOR SINGING, based on Richard Llewellyn's classic novel, ‘How Green Was My Valley,’ the musical examines the lives and loves of the citizens of a South Wales mining town. A tapestry of choral riches and operatic grandeur==>A

Well, Jim Morgan and his excellent staff pulled off another terrific production of this virtually forgotten musical about the conflict between mineworkers and the owners, set in Wales.

The cast is excellent, of course, headed by Analisa Leaming as Angharad, Glenn Seven Allen as Mr. Griffith and Preston Truman Boyd as Ivor.

I was also very impressed by the stage presence and voice of young Dylan Boyd as Young Huw.

The story line is a bit predictable but that is overcome by the beautiful music and lyrics by John Morris.

Billi Pod says==>see this if you possibly can. 

It is part of the Musical’s In Mufti Series, is playing at The York Theatre @ The Citigroup Center on East 54th Street, has a running time of 2:15, with intermission, and runs through November 2nd.

When the show was over I rushed back to the apartment for my usual fruit and cheese plate and then it was time for my second entertainment event ...

The Off Broadway concert ...

AT THIS PERFORMANCE, in this Musicals Tonight production Broadway understudies and standbys from ALADDIN, BIG FISH, CABARET, LES MISERABLES, NEWSIES, CINDERELLA, and VIOLET performed a song from their show and then later a song from their own repertoire==>A

What an enjoyable evening. The 11 performers, all either understudies or standbys, were uniformly excellent.

IMHO the highlight of the evening was the performance by Nathaniel Hackman, currently understudy for the roles of Javert and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

He first sang “Stars,” sung by Javert in Les Miserables and later “Soliloquy” from the musical Carousel, sung by Billy Bigelow when he learns he is about to become a father. He received a roaring ovation after each song.

The show clocked in at about 1:45, without intermission but the time flew by and your favorite blogger left the theater with a big smile on his face.

Unfortunately, that smile soon disappeared when he turned on his 42” flat screen TV to discover that The Giants, behind a remarkable performance from their ace Madison Bumgarner, were on their way to a 5-0 shutout victory over The Royals.

Bumgarner pitched a complete game and was virtually untouchable.

The Giants now lead The Series 3-2. Today is a travel day and Game Six will be on Tuesday in Kansas City. 

OK ... moving on to today ... 

Billi Pod’s entertainment event is a classical music concert at Carnegie Hall ...

8:00==>ASTANA OPERA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Carnegie Hall - “Voice of Asia” - The program is: 

“Masterpieces of World classical music, including Rossini, Verdi, Bernstein, Offenbach, Borodin and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, in addition to Kazakh traditional music.”
(complimentary ticket)

Sounds pretty interesting, doesn’t it?

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, it is now time to post this and then begin working on my errands and chores list.

At the top of the list is getting the new iPhone6 ... so ... stay tuned.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>3.52 miles (or, 7,709 steps)

Total mileage for the week==>29.43 miles (average 4.20 miles per day)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,224.54 miles (average 4.10 miles per day)

GO GATORS==>FIRE COACH MUSKRAT!! 

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”