court theater

Shirtless, Senior year, ok-about-his-scars, bandanna-wearing Captain Neil.
Here we see the results of Neil having possibly channeled all his nervous energy- re:Andrew being away- into gym time and runs.

Idk I drew this at work. Stealthily. So my coworkers can’t guess how gay I am.

My Actual Art Blog
My aftg art

They reached Darmstadt, the capital of the tiny duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt. Its princess was not on the list of possible brides, and Sasha [Tsarevich Alexander Nikolaevich, later Emperor Alexander II] stopped there only because it was along the way, for one day. But that evening in the court theater, he saw her, the young princess hiding in the back of the box. He was swept off his feet by “the modest charm of the princess”, who was still a child, only fourteen. She was graceful in the style of a Dürer Madonna. Even when she grew up, she remained fragile, spiritual, and girlishly graceful. Alexander stayed to dine with the boring Duke Ludwig, in the hope of cathing another glimpse of her. Princess Maxmiliana Wilhelmina Augusta Sophie had a tiny waist, golden hair, and blue eyes. Like his mother. That night he wrote to his father, “I liked her terribly at first sight. If you permit it, dear father, I will come back to Darmstadt after England.” He had the messenger deliver the letter to his father on the day of the Annunciation, nine days later. The messenger raced through Europe to reach the emperor on that day.

The Princess was not in Nicholas´s plans. Yes, she came from a German principality, but she was only fourteen. In monarchic Europe all the kings knew everything about one another. Spicy rumours were passed around, and the word was that the princess was not the duke´s daughter, but that of his handsome stable master, the Frenchman Baron de Grancy. But when his son´s dispatch was brought to Nicholas on the day of the Annunciation, religious Nicholas did not fail to see the good omen of the day of glad tidings. (Just as clever Sasha has planned.) He gave permission for Alexander to return to Darmstadt. …

The court welcomed the bride warily. Her “inadequate French” was noted, as was her less-than-perfect nose and her mouth, which was too narrow, “with tight lips and without spiritual sensitivity.” But Nicholas liked her, she resembled his beloved wife tremendously … Most important, her slightly bulging blue eyes showed the familiar meekness and all-forgiveness that were so necessary for life with Romanov men. Sometimes, however, her thin lips curved into a sarcastic smile that showed that she understood everything even as she forgave. That was just the wife for his son. Nicholas forbade the court from discussin nasty rumour about her, from even thinking about them. The court immediately shut up. Nicholas knew how to rule. …

Life in Russian court demanded “daily heroism,” she wrote. “I lived like a volunteer fireman, ready to jump up at the alarm. Of course, I wasn´t too sure about where to run or what to do.” In fact … she realized very well what to do and where to run. Because there was only one thing the court had to do: Please Nicholas. She had to understand the emperor´s wishes and execute them. The coldness of the court no longer frightened he, because Masha (as Alexander called her) quickly learned how to manage it. … Nicholas came to love his daughter-in-law. He considered her intelligent, and sometimes even asked her advice. Naturally, everyone at court considered her intelligent then too. That started rumours that Alexander was ruled by his wife. He put up with it, because in the early years of their marriage, he was in love with her. And she was happy with him - a happy wife and a happy mother.

Edvard Radzinsky: Alexander II

50 Shades of Grey: Some Thoughts

I feel some pressure for this to be meaningful, but I also have to leave in an hour to make my THIGHS FUCKING BURN AT A BALLET BARRE.  This is going to be nonsense. Here I go.

50 Shades of Grey is so easy to understand. Anyone who tries to parse through it is an idiot, and you should tell them so. It’s a fairy tale. It’s not even a fairy tale for adults. It’s a fairy tale for like the little 4-year-old girl who lives inside of you. The one you didn’t even realize got turned on, back in the day, when your daddy spanked you. You can take it seriously, or you can approach it like my friend Stephanie.

“I’m gonna wait til my dad comes back in town and see with him,” she told me this morning.

Anyway, so I never read the books. My sister one time read me passages from them when we were stuck in traffic in the Bronx. It made me sort of grossed out not because they were that dirty, but rather because my sister was reading them to me while smoking a cigarette. At 32, I’ve at least acted on most of the sexual scenes from the book, if not thought about them. Only instead of a rich 27-year-old billionaire, my fantasies involve a gigantic black man….or Caleb. Definitely Caleb. Definitely not Jamie Dornan.

Here’s what the story is. A sweet and innocent English lit major named Anastasia going to school in Portland meets Christian Grey. She interviews him for the college newspaper. He’s like, “Yeah, I’ll give you an interview, I’m a billionaire but I literally never work, I just am constantly changing outfits.” Then he becomes obsessed with her because…wait for it…SHE’S A FUCKING VIRGIN! They have sex, he introduces her into his “secret world,” he is literally around ALL of the time, he buys her shit, he takes her on magic adventures, he stalks her and then they fall in love, happily ever after! She never gives him fellatio — cooties! — but he goes down on her every single time they get naked. HE EVEN BRAIDS HER HAIR. 

Ok, now replace Anastasia with a plump middle-aged white woman eating a jumbo bag of Peanut M&Ms, and you have the real subject of the story, E.L. James, the author.

Christian Grey is some sick combination of the prom king at her high school, her step-father, her Uncle Jim and Robert Kincaid in “Bridges of Madison County.” Only rather than being themselves, they are just richer, better versions of themselves that love her and want to treat her like a princess.

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A small sample of the play I went to on Tuesday - surprise, surprise, a Hound of the Baskervilles spoof! Only three actors in the whole shebang: Holmes, Watson and Sir Henry Baskerville, with the rest of the parts divided up between them. It was a bit odd seeing a tall Watson playing opposite a much shorter Holmes, but I’m guessing that was intended as part of the humour.

The staging was simple but effective, the permanent moor set being behind the curtain/proscenium arch, and Baker Street / Baskerville Hall depicted by cunning lighting and two different fireplaces. I was greatly impressed by the Holmes actor, having the lion’s share of the minor roles, including Stapleton, ‘Miss’ Cecille Stapleton (why’d they change her name?), the butler and his wife, which meant he had to do a lot of very quick costume changes. This was especially impressive when it came to the beginning of the second act, when the actors discovered to their annoyance that some audience member had been tweeting rude comments about Sir Henry’s acting slowing the whole performance down. Thus the decision was made to recap the first act… in fast forward!

My favourite bit, though, was in the portrait gallery. They’d been breaking the fourth wall all the way through the performance – as you’d expect in a comedy! – although they did do very well at keeping straight faces for most of it. However, when Holmes and Watson were examining the Baskerville portraits, with the Sir Henry actor portraying each one with a single picture frame and different expressions, at one point he was trying so hard not to laugh, that the picture frame was literally shaking! Holmes promptly ad libbed, dead pan: ‘We seem to be having a small earthquake.’ Watson promptly responded: ‘Yes, but perhaps we’d better get back to the script, if you can remember where we are.’

My only complaint was over the Hound itself. They kept it the original big, scary dog as in the original tale, using mime and SFX – but I wanted to see the little corgi-type lap dog they had on the posters!

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I need your help Toronto / Sudbury / nearby friends! While we’re trying to keep cool in this heat, we’re also trying to get a kids book together for all of you expecting mothers and newborns and little hilarious tykes who are kind of like dogs but more human and less fuzzy.
What we’re looking for is some locations to shoot the kid’s book – we want this book to be really special and I’d like for you to be part of it!
🍭 Candy store.
🍦 Ice cream shop or cart.
🎒 Cute classroom.
🎈 Cute playground or backyard playground or amusement park.
🛁 Bathroom with a clawfoot tub (think: bath time!)
💈 Classic barber shop
🎳 Bowling alley or arcade.
🎬 Movie set or movie theater.
🏀 Basketball court (maybe in a school gym)
🌻A back yard garden.
🔮Any other cute little scene you would like to see in this book!

These locations should be very well lit, with enough room for me to move around a little bit. And if it’s not too much to ask, Wes Anderson should have had a hand in the design of the place 😂. Also consider that Momo needs to be in the photo (attn: dogs & food prep!) and that I will need permission! In some cases, I may be able to pay for location use if it’s really special.
Send over a DM or an email to aok(at]andrewknapp[dot)com with a couple of photos and a nice little note!

Hopes and dreams list, pre-kids:

1) Exotic sports car collection (minimum of 5)
2) Mansion with pool, tennis court, theater and race track
3) A second house, preferably somewhere in the South of France

Hopes and dreams list, post-kids:

1) 5 minutes alone in the toilet
2) 5 minutes alone in the shower
3) 5 minutes of uninterrupted sleep at night

In retrospect, both of these lists were way, way too ambitious.