Thursday, June 09, 2005

2005 is the year of Othello, I've seen the play twice this year, Wednesday evening at California Shakespeare Theater an outdoor theatre near the City of Orinda and May 22nd at Theatre Rhino in San Francisco by the Impact Theatre. While I knew the basic plot of Othello I didn't know to subtleties of the play. For me Iago is really the central character of the play, his hatred of Othello and his actions made his character the most interesting and memorable. Seeing two interpretations of the play provided me with two portrayals of Iago, actors using the same dialog to prevent this character in completely different styles of menace.

Both presentations modernize the clothing, added certain touches, elements to the play, but kept Shakespeare's words. The California Shakespeare Theatre production was quite good the actors and staging were wonderful. Their production gives Othello more character and presents
his jealousy with much more power than Impact's

The Impact Theatre actors also gave good performances, especially Iago.
I found the direction tighter in their production and this gave the end an intensity I felt missing from the California Shakespeare Theatre presentation. The Impact's production changed the genre of Othello to female, which didn't add anything to the story as Othello male of female is being hoodwink by Iago and follows his/her path to tragedy.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Last week San Francisco was near perfect, blue skies across the city with enough breeze to keep the City's climate temperate. Yesterday was the closing day of the UN World Environment Day activities. I decided to walk through the Presidio to Crissy Field with the goal of reaching Fort Mason to view an environmental art exhibit and the closing festivities of the event.

Hooked up with a friend, we took the ecology trail, which begins near the Arguello Gate (entrance of the Presidio) it was a pleasant walk around 2 miles. While walking on the trail it's hard to believe you'll in a major city. We were quickly transported out of our urban environment.

From the trail we walked through ex-military housing and headed toward Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Promenade, this area is completely flat and is a wonderful place to jog or stroll. One thing I really like about Crissy Field is how well it's utilized, people are walking, biking, wind sailing, fishing with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay. It's one of the most scenic spots in San Francisco.

Finally we reached Fort Mason a multi-purpose facility another part the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Fort Mason holds a variety of classes, theatres, restaurants, and museums. The Environmental festival was ok for me. The event had a very corporate feel Coca- Cola had a booth. I'm sorry but I don't think environmental friendly when I think soda pop.

The artwork was interesting but a lot was cliche, pictures of natural "beautiful" sites and sculptures made to toy soldiers and other plastics. Interesting but not thrilling, I'm not sure what I was expecting from the UN and local government. I was spoiled on Saturday when I stopped at a Grass Roots environmental justice event at City Hall.

Without fancy exhibits or big sponsors the rally had interesting speakers from around the country talking about everything from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuse to closing the PG&E Hunters Point Power Plant due to the pollution it generates in the Bay View/Hunters Point Community. The diverse environment justice rally had the issues and heart.

Sunday afternoon at Crissy Field Golden - Golden Gate Bridge in Background

Watching Wind Surfers at Crissy Field


Saturday, June 04, 2005

Friday let's just skip work, I met up with a friend in San Francisco's Civic Center on Golden Gate Blvd. Friday evening, we started walking west on Golden Gate Blvd through the Western Addition and made our way to the Richmond District. It was a pleasant walk a few miles, I should have taken some pictures of the homes. There was a cute little salt box house that caught my eye, unfortunately its' sale price is $799,000. Anyway, I didn't eat lunch at work, it was around 7:00 PM and I was starving. Thank Goodness my hood has a collection of restaurants and fast food joints. I headed straight to the Subway, grabbed a footlong veggie sandwich and headed to our neighborhood theatre the Four Star. I'm not a big TV fan and I don't have cable, so Friday nights are movie night for me.

One reason I like the Four Star the small theatre size. I know that's usually an oxymoron
for theatre goers. But the Four Star has rows with only two seats. This is perfect for couples and individuals who sneak in sandwiches, buy popcorn and other goodies. I needed two seats to organize my fast food feast.

The two movies I saw were Sin City and Kung Fu Hustle. Sin City was a little disappointing, like many comic books the artwork was very good, creative set design, lighting, interesting use of black/white. But like so many comics with good graphics I found like dialog a bit played out. Also, it female characters were only pseudo-strong always showing deference to their male characters . Whether they were called warriors or not they were pretty much wimps.

Unlike Kung Fu Hustle whose one fighting female was always a leader or equal partner in her own right. Kung Fu Hustle was fun, it had a few slow parts but overall I was glad it was the second feature. It made me laugh with it's silliness yet provided me with good mindless distracting action for a Friday evening.


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