2020 Musical Odyssey

UPDATE 11/21/2020: This was a failed project. I kept it going for 6 weeks and then sort of let it slip for the rest of the year. Can’t even blame it on Covid-19 – this would have been an easy-peasy thing to do in lockdown. Guess it was just not important enough. I may attempt again someday (with an improved way to make entries – this updating the same page thing was a little clunky). But I think this is done for now.

One of my intentions for 2020 is to listen to at least on new (to me) music album every week. This post is where I will record my progress. The “recommended by” for the most part are recommendations for the artist – not always (but sometimes) recommendations for the particular album.

WKAlbumArtistRecommended ByImpressions

1
Sleep Well Beast The National Karen R, Mace D It was interesting. Voice similar to Leonard Cohen. Liked Walk It Back and I’ll Still Destroy You the best.
1High VioletThe NationalMace D, Karen RThis one did less for me than the Sleep Well Beast. If I had to choose a favorite song from the album it would probably be Bloodbuzz Ohio.
2AimsVienna TengSaeri G, Karen RI like this artist and plan to listen to more of her music. I think my favorite on this album would probably vary by what mood I were in, but for now, I’ll say, Close to Home.
3Cuz I Love YouLizzoRae M, Maria AGreat, powerful voice, powerful lyrics, and very dance-able beat. Will probably listen to more. Still deciding on favorite.
4My Head is an AnimalOf Monsters and MenTracy F, Karen R, David SLiked it, but I think that I wouldn’t binge listen to this because although I think the femme voice is beautiful, I think I’d only consider it so in small doses. Favorite of the album is Six Weeks.
5When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Billie EilishThe GrammysEven though I don’t think anyone gave me a recommendation for this artist, I figured I’d have to check her out given her killing at the Grammys. This artist is my absolute favorite so far this year. I will definitely listen to this album again and again, and will check out her other work. A few of the songs I loved were: bad guy, all the good girls go to hell, my strange addiction, and listen before i go.
5TakkSigur RosRoss M.I think I’d really need to be in a particular mood for this. Or maybe 25 years ago when I was kind of into “new age” music. Now I just find it kind of monotonous. 🙁 I really hoped to enjoy Icelandic music, because I really enjoyed Iceland. Sigh.
6RammsteinRamsteinKat D.I would definitely listen to this again – and others by this artist. Love the voice. It makes me really wish I knew me some German.
6The Bifrost IncidentThe MechanismsAndy S.This was very interesting. I want to see the movie! (Not that there IS a movie – it’s just very narrative/cinematic). I’ll definitely try more by this group. I’ll also recommend it to my spawn – I think he might like it.

My 2019 Performing Arts (Mostly Theatre) Adventure

In the beginning of 2019, I set an intention to see at least one live performing arts performance every week for the entire year. I’m happy to say that I succeeded. Not only did I attend at least one performance every single week of the year, I attending 101 different events over the 52 weeks. Even excluding my time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I “doubled up” 10 weeks of the year.

I was very happy that friends joined me at 26 of the events (or I joined them, in some cases), and 17 of the events involved people that I know personally. Also, 79 of the shows were by groups that I have never seen before.

Below is the list of events by week. When it says “w/” the name following is someone I know who was involved in the show (most often as a performer).

WEEKSHOWCOMPANY
01The Winter WolfOtherworld Theatre
02The Old Lady BroodsTrap Door Theatre (w/Manuela Rentea)
03AntigoneKirkwood Players
04The Tin WomanTheater of Western Springs
05I Know My Own HeartPride Films and Theatre
06Defiance Buffalo Theatre Ensemble
06Chinese New Year Paradevarious
07ChapattiFirst Folio
08Angelique Kidjo and Ladysmith Black MambazoAngelique Kidjo and Ladysmith Black Mambazo
09GiselleEnglish National Ballet
10Cardboard PianoTimeline Theatre
11Gross IndecencyPromethean Theatre Ensemble (w/Heather Smith)
12How to Live on EarthChimera Ensemble
13Southern ComfortPride Films and Theatre (w/Kyra Leigh)
13The Man Who Was ThursdayLifeline
14Good Enough16th Street Theatre
15Cambodian Rock BandVictory Gardens
16Best for WinterIdle Muse Theatre (w/Erik Schnitger)
17A Night at the CabaretCenter Stage (w/Rose Bonarek)
17Eurydice (Ruhl)Jedlicka Performing Arts Center
18Medusa UndoneOtherworld Theatre (w/Mary-Kate Arnold)
18Small WorldNew Colony
19Friends of GamelanOld School of Folk Music
19Vagina MonologuesElgin Community College (w/Brin Bixby)
20Tribute to Cliff Alexis Harper College Steel Bands (w/Pen Skrzynski)
20I and YouOPFT and Open Door
21Rodrigo Concierto de AranjuezCSO
22BiPolar BitchLabrynth Arts & Sweetback Productions
23It is MagicTheater Oobleck
24Bonnie Whitmore and James McMurtryat Space, Evanston
24A Few Good MenTownSquare Players at Woodstock Opera House (w/Steve Pickering)
25The Killing GameA Red Orchid Theatre
26Anne of Green GablesWarrenville Masterpiece Community Theater (w/Brian Sebby)
27Elizabeth RexOak Park Festival Theatre
28New Play Dev Workshop ShowcaseWomen’s Theatre Alliance (w/Sara Keely McGuire, Cherie McGuire, and Christopher Donaldson)
29Ada and the EngineThe Artistic Home
301776St. Genesius Productions (w/Rose Bonarek)
31Pirates of PenzancePM&L (w/Jennifer Biel)
32Henry VFirst Folio
32Cakeat Out of Space
33Being NorwegianEntity Theatre e.V. (GER) @EF
33Fight SongCalArts Festival Theater (US) @EF (w/Fiona Casper-Strauss)
33Trying it OnWarwick Arts Centre and China Plate (ENG) @EF
34Dark PlayNeonBox Theatre Co (US) @EF
34DallowayDyad Productions (ENG) @EF
34Dorian GrayThe Georgian Theatre Royal Youth Theatre (ENG) @EF
34MetamorphosisDifferent Theatre/Sweet Productions (ENG) @EF
34Importance of Being EarnestShakespeare Reloaded (GER) @EF
34Hyde and SeekFlat Packed Theatre (ENG) @EF
34FishbowlSIT Productions (ENG) @EF
34DrowningDark Lady Co (US) @EF
34Genesis, the Mary Shelley PlayArtists Collective Theatre (CA) @EF
34To Fall in LoveMelpomene Productions (US) @EF
34It’s True, It’s True, It’s TrueBreach Theatre (ENG) @EF
34The Patient GloriaGina Moxley and Abbey Theatre with Pan Pan Theatre Company (IRL) @EF
34ElizabethanDavid William Hughes (US) @EF
34ChameleonFRANK. Theatre (AUS) @EF
34Happy HourFKP, Richard Jordan Productions, Teatro Metastasio, Teater Grob, The Pleasance (ITA) @EF
34Piracy! A Comedy on the High C’sQuesting Vole Productions (ENG) @EF
34The BurningIncognito Theatre Company (ENG) @EF
34The Incident RoomNew Diorama Theatre in co-production with Pleasance and Greenwich Theatre (ENG) @EF
34Ceilidh Dancing with Band AwryStramash (Band – Awry) (SCO) @EF
34QuintessenceEmily Carding/Sweet Productions (ENG) @EF
34DNACasus Circus and Cluster Arts (AUS) @EF
34The Resistable Rise of Arturo UiBede’s (ENG) @EF
34Fempire: Cleo, Theo, and WuTheatre of NOTE (US) @EF
34The WaspPeppered Wit Productions (ENG) @EF
34Noir HamletYasplz LLC (US) @EF
34SprayCho-in Theatre Company – Korean Season presented by AtoBiz Ltd (KOR) @EF
34Northanger AbbeyFireside Theatre (ENG) @EF
34And Then They DiedRiddled Image (ENG) @EF
3500 (zero zero)Argonaut (ENG) @EF
35My Love Lies Frozen in the IceDead Rabbits Theatre (ENG) @EF
35EinsteinPip Utton Theatre Co (ENG) @EF
35The War of the WorldsRhua and Clay (ENG) @EF
35Thrones! The Musical ParodyThrones! The Musical Parody (US) @EF
35A Midsummer Night’s DrollThe Owle Schreame (ENG) @EF
35Wild SwimmingFullRogue (ENG) @EF
35Sexy LampKatie Arnstein and Victoria Gagliano (ENG) @EF
35Murder She Didn’t Write: The Improvised Murder MysteryDegrees of Error and Something for the Weekend (ENG) @EF
35A Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Bridge Theatre, London
35Bartholomew FairSam Wanamaker Playhouse/Globe Theatre, London
36Legally BlondeFreemont St Theatre (w/Steve Pickering)
37Glengarry Glen RossHale Theatre Co. (w/Alan Ziebarth)
38OsloTimeline Theatre
38Best of EnemiesOpen Door Repertory
39Aurelio VoltaireChicago Steampunk Expo
40Holmes and WatsonBuffalo Theatre Ensemble
41Bernhardt/HamletGoodman
42Mother of the MaidNorthlight
43Countess DraculaOtherworld Theatre
44The Hound of the BaskervillesCity Lit
45Hell Followed With HerWildClaw Theater
46The Suffrage PlaysArtemesia
47TruGoz & Fotos at Stage 773
47Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula, Two Scenes from Antony and Cleopatra, and The PlanetsChicago Symphony Orchestra
48PackingAbout Face Theatre
49You Are HappyRed Theatre
50Steel Bands Tribute to Women ComposersHarper College Steel Bands (w/Pen Skrzynski)
51Mystery of Edwin DroodBlank Theatre
52Burning BluebeardPorchlight Music Theatre

Friday, August 30

On Friday, I headed out early in the morning to visit Windsor Castle, only to be told (after getting all the way to Paddington Station) that the free travel that comes with the London Pass doesn’t start until 12:30 pm! Sigh. So I regrouped and decided to go to St Paul’s Cathedral (which opens earlier than most “attractions”) after getting my coffee.

I still had some time to kill, so I found a massage therapist that was vaguely on the way back to Paddington (in Fitzrovia?) who had a 11:30 opening. I had been needing a massage for over a year now, and it felt really nice albeit a lighter pressure than I usually get.

So then off to Windsor Castle.

Then back to London to see Bartholomew Fair at the Globe Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. It was just okay. Took me a while to get a grasp on what was going on.

Passed this on the way back to my hostel.

Thursday, Aug 29

Going to start trying to fill in the days with sketchy details (mostly photos) going backwards. Then maybe I’ll add details lately.

I’m currently at the top of The Shard waiting for the sun to set so I can get a night time view. Not sure if I’ll make it. I guess I made it (see last pix)

Before that, I had some nice pumpkin ravioli for dinner, at what I think I discovered (from the receipt) to be a hotel restaurant.

Before that, the Tower Bridge …

and before that the Tower of London, which I found less interesting than I had remembered from a quarter century ago.

I started out in the morning with a backstage tour of the National Theatre with a fun, but in pain guide, Jessica.

Saturday, August 24

Shows

The WaspPeppered Wit Productions
Noir HamletYasp Is (from Boston, I think)
SprayRecommended by a friend. It was interesting physical theater, but the “story” didn’t resonate with me.
Northanger AbbeyFireside TheatreProbably a straightforward adaptation, but I’d have to read the original material.
And Then They DiedRiddled ImageHad the feel of having been developed via improv.