today was unnecessarily long. i spent a grand total of 12 hours on campus today, which is 12 hours too many.
went to lecture for the class i’m teaching, my greek class was cancelled for suspicious reasons (aka my prof never showed up on account of him not coming to campus at all today and not telling any of his students???), i had a meeting with the prof i’m teaching for about next week’s schedule, i chatted briefly with our museum librarian about being the new assistant librarian, and then i sat around and tried to do some work while i waited for the talk i wanted to go to to start.
i know i made it seem like i was just going for the free snacks BUT the talk was actually really good and the exhibition was even better once i’d gotten all of the background info about it.
the exhibition is called ‘cosmogonic tattoos’ by jim cogswell and it’s “a story of migration and displacement” told through the collections of our museum of art and our museum of archaeology on campus. cogswell uses adhesive vinyl window murals to tell this story, which is truly fascinating and far too long to get into here BUT basically it revolves round chaos and destruction and juxtaposing that with serenity and calm, telling this story of migration through the objects from the two museums.
one thing that really struck me was when he talked about how this installation subverts the job of a museum curator in a way, because his job as a 'jailer’ of artifacts is to keep them safe inside their protective glass display cases, while cogswell sets them free in these window murals which ultimately - according to the story he’s telling - puts them in danger. it really makes you think about the various (dubious) ways in which artifacts are handled, mistreated, and make their way into museums everyday. it also calls to mind ideas of repatriation of artifacts, the origins of artifacts, and just the whole process of how objects are handled (hands were a big part of the project too).
ANYWAY, i am pooped and after stuffing myself with delicious reception food and wine, i will not be doing anything more than reviewing my powerpoint for the class i’m teaching tomorrow and getting a good night’s rest.
i’ll post more photos of the installation this weekend - most of the ones i took tonight were from the inside but i want to take more from the outside of the museum of archaeology as well as the museum of art!
Some cuts that made me sad; some improvements that made me very happy. I’ll do my best not to spoil.
The Porter/Boy Witch story has improved, because they have incorporated moments to replace some of the ones that are missing due to the changed lobby space.
I love one moment where Boy Witch looks at himself in a half-shrouded mirror. If you stand behind him, you see his reflection looking back at him in the mirror, and the Porter, like another reflection, peering at him from behind the curtain to the lobby desk.
And while I still miss the Porter’s mirror in “Moonlight Becomes You,” I love that if you stand in the right spot, you can watch both him and Lady Macduff, their movements mirroring each other.
Boy Witch has a great moment, coming up from the ballroom dance and after teasing the audience at the lost & found, where he walks through a long dark corridor into the lobby. Following behind him, you walk into the darkness, his shadowed outline slowly becoming apparent as you approach the light of the lobby. It’s a powerful moment; Boy Witch in general feels more ominous in Shanghai.
“Witches 1” looks so beautiful. I’ve never found a reliable place to watch the New York version - some angles are always difficult to see. But in Shanghai, the lobby desk functions like a proscenium stage, and if you stand in the center you can see the whole thing clearly. They use the space so well, the witches spending more time behind and atop the counter, and the symmetry of the spacing and the movements is gorgeous to watch.
The lack of “Is That All There Is?” is still a huge loss. :(
I also adore the moment of the Bride dancing in the trees - not only is it beautiful, but it feels achingly like Wendy in Drowned Man.
I’m sad that they cut the hide and seek between Sexy Witch and the Bride on High Street. It was so much fun, although I’d guess that the logistics were too difficult.
I do love the new scene those two have together, but in general I don’t feel like the Bride’s story has as compelling of a narrative arc now as it had in December. Her relationship with Sexy Witch also isn’t as clear to me now.
I really miss Hecate’s fifth floor scene with the Bride, also cut. :( I felt that it incorporated the Bride more clearly into the existing narrative, better clarified her relationship with Hecate, and added emotional resonance to her story.
The Husband has a more developed story now, and I loved the emotional arc of his loop.
Duncan does something totally unexpected and brilliant. Which again, I won’t spoil. But I loved it.
I greatly appreciate how much more dynamic and interesting the loops of Duncan, Cunning Man, and Speakeasy Barman have become. I know there are fans who enjoy watching a character sleep, or sew, or scrub cardboard, but to me these just seem like side effects of poorly defined character loops, and I don’t mourn the loss. I think it’s great that these characters have more to do.
There are new 1:1s. I had some but not others. All of the ones I had impressed me very much. I won’t say anything else since it’s spoilery, but kudos to Punchdrunk for doing a great job developing these.
The commercialism of the product tie-ins is a little bit distracting. But I don’t think that the integrity of the show itself is compromised. The show is a work of art; I’d rather Budweiser and Kans spend their money on it than on another stupid TV commercial. I think people who criticize forget that art throughout history has been sponsored by those with money.
For the most part, the audience has gotten better since December. The stewarding is great, and one of the Woman in Bar characters actually demonstrates in her lift speech how to give performers space. It helps.
But I did make the mistake of going to the 100th show party, which was by far the worst audience experience I’ve ever had at a Punchdrunk show. I’ve honestly never experienced anything like it. People shoving ahead and pushing you behind them like a wild mob. There was no way to win - either you fall behind and can barely see, or you push ahead too, and either way you feel awful. I can’t imagine how stressful this must have been for the performers as well. :(
On the plus side, 100th show Follies was delightful. (Only it’s not called Follies there, I forget the actual name.) Fun to see such an interesting combination of people on stage - Lily and Sam, Conor and Garth, and several of the local cast.
I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many brilliant performers doing exceptional work; even in eight shows I didn’t have time to follow everyone I wanted to see. A few specific thoughts:
Andrea is brilliant. I can’t complement his performances enough. He’s exceptionally expressive with both his body and his eyes. From Porter to Macbeth he absolutely transforms, from sweet and awkward to intense and terrifying. His “Moonlight Becomes You” is beautiful, and his Macbeth is convincing both in his monstrousness as a killer and the aching vulnerability of Macbeth as a man who is in way over his head.
Fania is delightful to follow and brilliant at engaging the audience. She fully embodies her characters in every way. The contemptuous blasphemy of her Bald Witch must be seen to be believed.
The witch combination of Fania, Miranda, and Olly is the best I’ve ever seen, which is saying a LOT. They have the most amazing energy, pushing each other to the next level, shrieking and cackling and smacking each other, so absolutely delightful and wicked and thrilling. I’m in awe.
Lee Wen Hsin (Debby)
I somehow ended up watching her Dragon Boat scene like five times, and was consistently awed at her performance every time.
In some ways Lily was the star during this visit. Every show she popped up in a surprising role - Lady Macbeth, Bride, Sexy Witch, Lady Macduff, and Nurse.
I never would have expected to see her as Lady Macbeth, but she totally killed it. Lily exudes sympathetic humanity, which made the cruelty of her actions toward Duncan even more painful to watch, and her remorse completely convincing. Her final bathtub scene was heartbreaking.
Also, her Sexy Witch scream in the rave deserves its own credit in the program. I knew it was coming and I still jumped out of my skin.
His Calloway is charming, handsome, and by the end he remembered the names of everyone in my group. Seems like the entire show might stop running if he ever takes a sick day.
Miranda Mac Letten
Miranda’s Sexy Witch is a work of art. Dark and haunting, more layered and mysterious and compelling than I ever thought Sexy Witch could be. Her bar solo seems to defy gravity and move at light speed; it’s a stunning accomplishment.
Olly has totally come into his own as a performer - he’s very confident and comfortable with the audience, and seems like he enjoys his roles. I had a great time following him. At one point as Boy Witch, he startled me and other audience members so much that we screamed out loud. He’s gotten so great at the Boy Witch eye contact and audience interaction. As Speakeasy he was an absolute delight - I found myself laughing multiple times throughout his loop.
Some of his dialog as Cunning Man cracked me the fuck up, which I will not quote here because it’s spoilery, but omg. Brilliant.
Omar’s Banquo is also fabulous, never more so than in the ballroom dance, where his chemistry with Fania’s Bald Witch lights up the room.
Sam is a genius, let’s be honest. He took a character that spends half his NY loop sleeping, and made it into one of the most interesting performances in the show. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say this Duncan feels deeply and uniquely human, and his story is absolutely haunting.
Her Hecate is riveting and terrifying.
In both her roles, she is one of the most impressive Punchdrunk performers I’ve ever seen. She has such presence, and can go from otherworldly and intimidating to profoundly human and sympathetic.
I was very impressed with what I saw of his Taxidermist - didn’t get any 1:1s, but even just watching his loop, I loved the intensity of his nervous energy, and the humor in his friendship with Speakeasy.
The Drama Hotel is open - it’s Shakespeare-themed, expensive, and not designed by Punchdrunk. It has an outdoor bar on the ground level, which is more lively than the Manderley after the show.
The eighth floor rooftop has the Cosmos Cafe, which looks like a bland version of Gallow Green, also isn’t designed by Punchdrunk, and doesn’t serve alcohol. The views are gorgeous.
The seventh floor has both a speakeasy and a restaurant, also not designed by Punchdrunk. I didn’t go into the restaurant (it doesn’t have vegan options) but I loved the speakeasy. We met a fabulous bartender there named Eddie, who’d traveled the world - his cocktails and conversation rivaled the best bartenders I’ve met anywhere.
The different bars feature two different cocktails named “Sleep No More” - one absinthe-based and one espresso-based. The espresso one was particularly fabulous (and appropriately named!).
A few updates to the recommendations I shared last time:
* James Turrell “Immersive Light” exhibition at the Long Museum. Fascinating series of artworks created with light; worth spending half a day to take it in.
* M50 Arts District, especially the Island6 gallery and its amazing artworks incorporating video, light, sound, and interactivity.
* Propaganda Poster Museum - incredibly interesting, and sheds so much light on China’s historical perspective on the West.
* Huangpu River Cruise at dusk - amazing to watch the futuristic cityscape light up around you as the sun sets.
* Mount Sanqingshan - we took a two-night trip here via high speed train and climbed a beautiful mountain. Thank you @whenwillweawake for planning it!
The Drowned Man
I was traveling with a group who were mostly Drowned Man fans, and talking mostly to cast members who’d been in Drowned Man. Everything seemed to bring up memories of it, and we talked about it for hours. It continues to awe me how deeply that show left its impression on our souls.
<b>Nathanaël:</b> *draws Ladybug*<p/><b>Marinette:</b> *leaning over his shoulder* Wow! That's really good!<p/><b>Adrien:</b> *turns around to see what's going on*<p/><b>Nathanaël:</b> Ah- Um- Th-Thanks.<p/><b>Marinette:</b> That's museum-worthy, it's seriously amazing. *awe-struck*<p/><b>Adrien:</b> *walks over to look at it*<p/><b>Nathanaël:</b> ...<p/><b>Adrien:</b> ...<p/><b>Nathanaël:</b> ...<p/><b>Adrien:</b> i bet i could draw a better Ladybug<p/><b>Marinette:</b> I-I bet you c-could too.<p/><b>Nathanaël:</b> *murmuring* why do i suddenly feel violated<p/><b>Adrien:</b> i love ladybug mORE THAN YOU EVER WILL! *runs away*<p/><b>Marinette:</b> *majorly blushing*<p/><b>Nathanaël:</b> Yeah, I feel really fucking violated.<p/></p>
I don’t own the picture, and I don’t own Night at the Museum. Other than that, enjoy!
When you woke up, you were surrounded by
weird, white fluffy things.
“Hello?” You shouted. Voices answered from all around.
scared, Momma!” You ignored everyone’s
cries as you batted one of the white things out of your way. You carefully braced your foot on top of one
and began to climb. The white things
were squishy, and your fee sunk into them if you stayed still for too long, but
you kept going.
you hit a wall. You cried out in
frustration and beat your fists against the wood.
“Hey! Let us out!”
You shouted. People noticed what
you were doing and climbed up to help you.
Eventually, someone heard you and the wall was lifted, and a massive
face stared back at you. People around
you screamed and you let out a gasp as you fell back.
whoa whoa! Calm down, we’re not going to
hurt you!” Your chest heaved with
adrenaline as the giant stared down at you.
“I’m Larry.” Around you, mothers
were calming their children, men were threatening the giant, and some were even
burrowing back down beneath the white things.
n-name’s Y/N.” You managed to stutter at
last. The giant smiled.
to meet you.” He held out his hand to
you. It took you a few moments to
realize he meant for you to climb on top.
are we?” You asked as you crawled into
his palm. You held on to his thumb as he
lifted you out of what you now knew was a box.
is the Museum of Natural History. You’re
a part of our newest exhibit.”
“Yeah. A new miniature exhibit.” He motioned for you to look around. You realized that you had been wrong. Larry wasn’t a giant. You were just small! The ground suddenly shook and you grasped Larry’s
thumb tightly. A red blur zoomed by, and
a massive dinosaur skeleton appeared from around one of the museum
pillars. You gasped in amazement as its
head swivelled around, studying its surroundings. You watched it until it disappeared. “That’s Rexy.
You’ll meet him later.” The little
red vehicle returned and skidded to a stop at Larry’s feet. “Perfect timing.” Larry crouched down as two little people got
out of the car. “Jed, Oct, this is
Y/N. She’s a part of the new
exhibit. I was thinking maybe you two
could show her around and introduce her to the others.”
love to Larry, but I’ve got to train a new group of recruits. But I’m sure Jedediah can handle it.” The one you assumed was Octavius said. Larry nodded.
ah. I mean, I wouldn’t mind to, uh—” Octavius
elbowed him in the side. “I mean, sure. I’d be honoured.” Jedediah came over and helped you down from
Larry’s palm as Octavius took your place.
see you two later!”
“Bye!” You waved after them. Jedediah cleared his throat, and you turned to
where do ya wanna go?” You
shrugged. He nodded, and motioned for
you to follow. You did so, until he
climbed into the red contraption. After
a few seconds, he poked his head back out.
“Ya comin’?” You eyed the red
that thing safe?”
the car?” You nodded. “Not if Octavius is driving!” He laughed until he realised you were
genuinely concerned. He climbed back
out. “Hey,” He grabbed your arm
softly. “It’s completely safe, I
promise.” Hesitantly, you nodded. He grinned and pulled you back towards the
car, helping you get in. He closed the
door, crossed to the other side, and got in.
When you were settled, he began to drive through the halls, pointing out
various parts of the museum. “…And that’s
where mine and Octavius’ exhibits are.”
You nodded. “See that empty spot
next to mine? That’s where your exhibit’s
going to be.” You craned your neck as
you studied your surroundings. Suddenly,
the ground began to rumble again.
Thinking it would be the dinosaur again, you let out a tiny shriek and
grabbed onto Jedediah’s arm. “Whoa, it’s
okay! It’s only Teddy!” He tried to calm
you down. You cautiously looked up from
his arm. Instead of the skeleton you
were expecting, you saw a horse and rider.
Jedediah cleared his throat, and your cheeks flooded with heat as you
realized you were still holding onto his arm.
You smiled nervously and let go.
“S’okay.” He grinned in return. You both sat there for a moment, before
Jedediah snapped out of it.
“Right. Uh, let’s go meet Teddy. Wait here.”
He got out of the car and walked over to your side. He opened the door, offered you his hand, and
helped you down. He offered you his arm,
and you slipped your hand in his elbow. “Teddy!” The man on the horse dismounted and crouched
down. “This is Y/N, she’s part of the
new exhibit. Y/N, this is Teddy.”
Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.” He introduced himself as he offered a
pinky. You awkwardly shook his pinky and
returned the pleasantries.
Y/N L/N,” You replied.
to meet you,” He offered you his hand and you climbed on. He raised you to his horse. “This is Tex.” You reached out and stroked the horse’s fur,
right next to its eye. Teddy lowered you
back down to the ground, and Jedediah helped you down.
should keep going if you want to meet everyone tonight.” You nodded as he led you back to the car.
Teddy!” You waved out the window as
Jedediah drove away. Teddy waved, before
mounting Tex and riding off in the other direction. “He’s nice,”
You commented. Jed nodded.
he’s always been like that. Needs to
loosen up if you ask me.” You laughed as
he pulled over again.
how does this all work?”
do our exhibits come to life?”
Ahkmenrah—you’ll meet him—has this golden tablet. Every night, as soon as the sun goes down,
the tablet starts to glow and we all wake up.”
He explained. You nodded. “Look!”
He said suddenly, making you jump.
“There’s Ahk now!” He pulled over
to the side of the hall.
on!” He grinned as you both got out of
the car. You both ran up to two people
talking, a man and a women. “Hey guys!” They looked down. “This is Y/N, she’s a part
of a new exhibit!” He shouted before
turning to you. “Y/N, this is Ahkmenrah
and Sacagawea.” You waved up as they
both crouched down and smiled at you.
Y/N,” Sacajawea smiled at you. “How are you liking it here so far?”
amazing,” You gushed. “Everyone’s so
nice to hear,” Ahkmenrah smiled. “How long has your exhibit been here?”
just got unpacked today, and I’m taking her to meet everyone.” Jedediah
well we won’t keep you, then. Have fun!” You waved as Jedediah helped you back into the
so the only ones left are Attila and Dexter.”
He looked up suddenly. “Speaking
of which,” He got out and motioned for you to do the same. It was hard not to notice the burly man
covered in armour. He was babbling angrily
at his buddies until Jedediah whistled loudly.
The man froze and looked down at you.
His glare caused you breath to hitch and you cautiously took a step back…
his face split into one of the jolliest grins you had ever seen. You began to let your guard down as the man
crouched like all the others had.
this is Y/N L/N. Y/N, Attila the Hun.” Attila babbled some nonsense and offered his
pinky. You took it and he shook your
hand (rather, your whole body) vigorously.
Jedediah noticed your feet were about to leave the ground, and in an
effort to keep you grounded, firmly wrapped his arms around your waist, holding
you down. You let go of Attila’s pinky
with a laugh.
quickly turned into a shriek from you and a shout of surprise from Jedediah when
a part of the hair on his shoulder moved. A furry face grinned out at you.
Dexter!” Jedediah cursed. “Stop
doing that!” You laid a hand over your racing heart, trying
to will it into slowing. Jedediah
noticed your distress and turned to you.
“You okay?” You nodded
breathlessly. The monkey chattered excitedly and took off. Attila shouted after and took off in pursuit. After a few moments of awkward silence,
Jedediah turned to you again, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. “So, anyway, that was Attila and Dexter.”
think I gathered that,” Jedediah laughed.
Then he noticed something over your shoulder.
flapjacks! It’s almost sunrise!” He yelped.
He began to quickly usher you back to the car.
“Why? What’s so important about sunrise?”
the sun rises, we freeze! If we’re not
in our exhibits before then, who knows what would happen!” Jedediah drove like a madman, leaving you to
hold on to the seat for dear life. He
skidded to a stop in front of your crate.
A tiny ladder dangled from the top.
You both got out and he slowly walked you to the ladder.
you for showing me around tonight,” You said softly. “I had a lot of fun.”
trouble at all,” He smiled. “I had fun too.”
we should do it again sometime.”
You stopped in front of the ladder.
He said quietly. “I’ll see you later,
then.” You bit your lip. It was now or never.
You said. You pressed a quick kiss to
his cheek. “See you later,” You smiled
and began to climb the ladder. Now you
may have missed the dopey grin that crossed the cowboy’s face, but you
certainly didn’t miss his gleeful whoop as he sped off to the hall of
you were gonna like it here.
Thanks to sassyjanitor, princesstoniii, and sonofashepherd12576 for requesting this one!