Musical – Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

When was the last time you thought, “Wow. That was absolutely breath-taking?” Well, the last time I had to sit back and could literally feel my jaw dropping was not too long ago, one month to be exact. During my New York trip I treated myself to a Broadway show and decided to see the musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. If you want to know why I think so highly of the production read on and find out yourselves.

Now in its third year, the spectacular Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has turned out to be the most expensive and technically elaborate theatrical production of all times. The story is based on the Marvel comic-strip superhero and the Hollywood film of 2002. The Broadway show lasts for two and a half hours, including one intermission, and tells the story of the teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life takes a sudden turn when he learns about his astonishing powers. He soon has to take great responsibility over the people and the city of New York.

The flying sequences and aerial stunts are jaw-dropping! The actors move around the stage in mystifying speed and make it a superbly dynamic show. The splendour stage design contributes to a breath-taking atmosphere and extravagancy. An 18-piece orchestra in two rooms backstage perform marvellous live music written by U2’s Bono and The Edge, and all eighteen songs are performed live on stage.

Go ahead and watch the trailer and decide yourselves whether or not you would want to see the show. Lately, more and more negative reviews about the show have been published, referring to the musical as one of the bigger flops in Broadway history. I can assure you that I found the musical overwhelming and think of actors, musicians, producers, and everyone who put their hands on the project very highly and would like to conclude with praise for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: a flabbergasting show!

5 Star Rating: Recommended

Advertisements

Review – Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

Who comes to your mind when you are asked to think about post-colonial British authors? Close your eyes for a few seconds; think hard; then open your eyes and tell me what you came up with. Hmh, let me think …. Kazuo Ishiguro! Does the name ring a bell? Yes? Excellent! I think it’s time to talk about one of Britain’s most eminent writers. He has won the Booker Prize for The Remains of Day in 1989. Even though his last publication was some time ago, in 2009 to be exact, this does not mean that it’s too late to talk about Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall.

nocturnes
Image provided by Random House¹
Summary quoted from Random House¹:

With the clarity and precision that have become his trademarks, Kazuo Ishiguro interlocks five short pieces of fiction to create a world that resonates with emotion, heartbreak, and humor. Here is a fragile, once famous singer, turning his back on the one thing he loves; a music junky with little else to offer his friends but opinion; a songwriter who inadvertently breaks up a marriage; a jazz musician who thinks the answer to his career lies in changing his physical appearance; and a young cellist whose tutor has devised a remarkable way to foster his talent. For each, music is a central part of their lives and, in one way or another, delivers them to an epiphany.

My Thoughts:

Nocturnes is Ishiguro’s first collection of short stories and consists of five parts: “Crooner”, “Come Rain or Come Shine”, “Malvern Hills”, “Nocturne” and “Cellist”. What bind the stories together are recurring themes and characters which are all tightly connected with music, musicians and music lovers. They are all written in prose style and every story has its own delightful and charming twist.

Basically, Nocturnes tells the story of people who have not yet fulfilled their dreams, about people who live ordinary lives and about the sacrifices they have to make every day. We all have a vision of who we are, but very often the world does not allow us to fulfill your dreams. All the characters in Nocturnes struggle with their lives; some get it right, some get it wrong, but they all have to overcome obstacles. I guess this is what makes the book so attractive to us normal ones. It shows that fictional characters are not superheroes after all.

When I got hold of Nocturnes, I expected to really love this collection and I have to admit that I found it wonderful in parts. It would be a lie to claim that Nocturnes is absolutely superb, because there are a few flaws in the novel. But all in all, it’s a nice and entertaining read for everyone who likes humorous, cynical and serious stories.

bohnen3s

¹ http://www.randomhouse.com/book/85610/nocturnes-by-kazuo-ishiguro

Liebster Award

liebsteraward1
Joana from Joana in the Sky with Books nominated us for the Liebster Award. Thanks Joana 🙂 We really feel honored!
And to the creators of this award: Thanks for this wonderful award. 🙂 But do you have any idea how hard it is to find 10 blogs with less than 200 followers? We found 4 among those we were already following and then we spent about 2 hours to find another 6 that fulfilled the criteria and that we liked. Of course we only wanted to give the award to blogs that we really liked. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any search engine out there to look for recently created blogs. How awful is that? (not that you, dear award creators, are responsible for that) Rant over 😀 Still, we feel very honored and are very happy to have received this award 🙂
The Liebster Award is a way to help new blogs with less than 200 followers to gain new followers. By awarding the Liebster award, we can show our followers that there are other great blogs out there to explore.
 
Rules:
  • Link back the blogger that tagged you;
  • Nominate 10 others and answer the questions of the one who tagged you;
  • Ask 10 questions for the bloggers you nominate;
  • Let your nominees know of their award.

Joana has prepared 10 questions for us to answer:

1. What are you currently reading?

Darklittle: The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen and Provence,1970 by Luke Barr

Miss Treegarden: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

2. Do you have any weird bookish habits?

Miss Treegarden: Not that I can think of.

Darklittle: I like to smell and stroke books, but I think that’s something most book lovers do, right?

3. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Darklittle: That’s a though one. I could be biased here, but right now that would be Life After Life by Kate Atkinson 😀

Miss Treegarden: Tricky question, but I guess I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on Night Train to Lisbon by Peter Bieri alias Pascal Mercier.

4. Which is your favourite secondary character?

Miss Treegarden: Difficult to decide on. I really like Ben’s grandmother from Gangsta Granny by David Walliams. She’s hilarious!

Darklittle: Oh dear… I don’t like these decisions. I think it’s Eeyore from A. A. Milne’s Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh.

5. What is your main blogging goal at the moment?

To make us and our readers happy 🙂

6. Do you prefer series or stand-alones?

Darklittle: Until about a year ago, I really liked series, but I became tired of them. Now I really prefer stand-alones!

Miss Treegarden: Usually I decide on stand-alones, because I’m eager to experience a great variety of stories. But should I get hold of book which is part of a series and I like it, I am happy to read the sequels and often can’t wait for the latest books to be released. Sometimes, there are books with an open ending and I really wish for a sequel, which might, however, never be published.

7. What made you decide to create a blog?

Darklittle: I wanted to share my thoughts on English-language literature.

8. If you could meet any author, who would you choose?

Miss Treegarden: This one I know for sure: Roald Dahl.

Darklittle: Hmm… another tough one. J. M. Barrie, or Michael Bond perhaps 🙂

9. What has been your happiest moment as a blogger?

Darklittle: I think the day I realized that there were a bunch of people following my blog and that some of them were actually reading what I wrote 😉

Miss Treegarden: Reading my first post and getting three likes in a row 🙂 I thought, wow, someone is actually reading this and they seem to like it 🙂

10. What made you want to start a blog?

Darklittle: Didn’t I already answer this question? 😀

And this are our 10 questions:

  1. What is the first book that you can remember “reading”?
  2. Do you have a book recommendation for Halloween?
  3. What is your opinion on memes like “Waiting on Wednesday”? Do you like them? Do you use them?
  4. What do you like most about blogging?
  5. How do you prefer to read? / Where is your favorite place to read?
  6. What is your favorite genre?
  7. Which three adjectives would choose to describe your favorite character.
  8. Do you think the names of the characters in novels are important?
  9. Which place would you set up as a meeting point (fact of fictional), if you got the chance to meet your favorite character.
  10. Which book would you like to see turned into a movie?

We nominate the following 10 blogs:

English-language blogs

zeteticat from Bookish Habits

Ciska from Ciska’s Book Chest

Rose from i LIVE LITERARY

holliekins from Much Ado About Books

Scentfragrance from Scentfragrance

Helois from Stain On The Page

Melanie from the coffee club (and me) (We can’t see how many followers you have, but we like your blog, so we nominated you)

German-language blogs:

Donata Bichler from Donatas Bücher

RoteZora from Dreams about Books

Ina_Kzeptabel from Ina_Kzeptabel(t)

Movie – Everybody’s Fine

“Tell me the good news and spare me the bad”

Everybody’s fine. Seriously? Are Frank Goode’s four children, now grown-ups and settled all across the US, truly as fine as they claim to be? When they all cancelled on him for a family reunion, Frank decides to surprise them, turning up at their homes unexpectedly. What starts as a heart-warming dramatic comedy, turns out to be a hectic road movie, taking Frank on trains and Greyhound buses from New York to Chicago, Denver and Las Vegas.

Written and directed by Kirk Jones, Everybody’s Fine is an entertaining remake of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Stanno Tutti Bene, starring Robert De Niro as Frank Goode who tries to live the American Dream and expects his children to work hard to achieve their goals. Since his children thought they did not live up to their father’s expectations, they decide to pretend to be someone they are not to make him proud.

His successful daughter Amy (Kate Beckinsale) pretends to be in a happy relationship, Robert (Sam Rockwell) turns out to be a percussionist instead of a world-class conductor, Rosie (Drew Barrymore) is not the supposed dancer and star of Vegas, and not until the end the audience gets to see artist David (Austin Lysy) who got into serious troubles in Mexico. But since our protagonist is a brilliant observer, and it doesn’t take him long to figure out the truth and what’s really going on.

Filled with numerous clichés, it is a touching and intelligently acted family drama, created about themes such as love, the importance of family and doing what makes you happy instead of living someone else’s dream. The movie is refreshingly open, even though we could have expected more sensitiveness from the actors. Nevertheless, Robert De Niro and his supporting cast did a great job and contributed to making Everybody’s Fine just fine.

Released by Miramax Films in 2009.

Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes.

“Everybody’s Fine” is rated PG-13.

bohnen3s

Travel Review – New York City

“New York remains the most fabulous city on earth,” claims travel journalist Graham Boynton, and boy, is he right. Spending ten days in the Big Apple, I could appreciate a great deal of New York’s wonders, starting from juicy burgers to breath-taking Broadway shows. There are numerous reasons for why I made New York City my travel destination: a rich palette of cultural offerings, the ringing tills of Fifth Avenue, magnificent high-rise buildings, and extravagant boutique hotels.

Once the city had whetted my appetite, I couldn’t get enough of it. I enjoyed memorable walking tours through Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy, China Town, and the Financial District and experienced two more of New York’s five boroughs: Brooklyn and the Bronx. The city’s constant reinvention makes it an eye-catching venue which I looked at with great admiration.

I appreciated the glittering lights as described by Edith Wharton and dived into the big city’s night life while standing on top of the Rock. The Empire State has it all: from overcrowded and stuffy subway rides to cultural diversity in the various New York neighbourhoods. It’s no secret that life in New York has its price, but there are quite a few things to do which are for free, including spending time in Manhattan’s oasis: Central Park.

Image

Visiting the magnificent Metropolitan Museum, strolling through Washington Square Park to walk off some of my lunch, admiring the New York Public Library and walking all the way up from Battery Park to 42nd Street contributed to making my stay an unforgettable experience. I loved my vacation, I loved the city, but I didn’t like what they call morning caffeine intake. Honestly, New Yorkers have to start taking coffee seriously!