Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gothy Girl Bloggers Unite under Inclement Conditions... (and why Sleepy Hollow was both sleepy and hollow)



fashionably prepared for the weather
I’ve always enjoyed stories that begin at the end and make their way back to the beginning.  If I started at the very end, the story would be about a very tired but happy girl falling asleep around 10pm last night after a whirlwind of an adventure… but I’m going to back it up a bit. First, I have not read Jade’s review. I’ll do that after I trash it in my own way (okay, okay… I’ll be fair. There were some parts that I liked). I did, however, read her write-up of our meeting. She’s being terribly generous and sweet when she writes that it “was a bit hectic to try to get her and her man to the train on time”.  Ummm, let me set the scene. 

It’s 6:15pm and we (Jade, my fella, and myself) have been hanging out discussing the performance and life, taking fun pictures, and enjoying some after performance light fare when we realize that we need to get a move on to get back to Union Station to catch our 7pm train. Fast-forward a bit to us realizing that the Metro Red Line is having major delays and we’re now down to about a half hour to make the train. Fast-forward some more (and wow, I wish we had footage) to the three of us deciding to catch a cab in a city that is being blanketed by snow and frozen slush all over the roads and sidewalks. We were running down the sidewalks (and sometimes in the streets) trying to hail a cab to no avail for a quarter of an hour. Jade could have simply waved us off because she didn’t need to be anywhere at a particular time but she didn’t and for that I know she is, what we call in the south, a *good egg*.   

Eventually, we caught the cab that got us to our train with less than ten minutes to spare… and upon the departure time we learned that there would be a delay. I’m sorry but I have to laugh because that is just how life goes sometimes. But, for the record, I wouldn’t take it back for a second because in hindsight running through the city with the two of them was pretty fun!

When Jade let me know that she would be going to see the Washington Ballet’s Sleepy Hollow and wanted to see if we could meet up, I figured that we would get along just fine. I hadn’t imagined how much fun we would actually have though. I don’t take myself too seriously and sometimes it’s difficult to get to know someone fully in an online world. And since we were meeting AFTER the show, I was already feeling guilty that she bought a top-level higher priced ticket since the show wasn’t so great. You never know to you try…  I know my expectations were super high. I went on and on about how amazing the Washington Ballet’s Dracula production was

During the Act 1, Sleepy Hollow felt more like something that I would see at a university… During Act 2, it became bad community theater. The topper was that while we were chatting after the performance in the Kennedy Center cafeteria (wine is my excuse ha ha) the Artistic Director Septime Webre was standing inches from me while we were basically trashing the performance. (To be fair, I've included the message from the artistic director that was in the program below.) 

Oh no! There's the Artistic Director! oops!
I understand creative license and wanting to create something new but "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving could have made a fine ballet.  There is even a dance in the story which didn’t need to be replaced by some dancing children in pumpkin costumes (clears throat *elementary school dance recital*).  Not only did we not see the actual storyline (Ichabod Crane competing with Brom Bones for the affection of Katrina Van Tassel) but we hardly got to see any of the scary-pumpkin-throwing of the Headless Horseman, who while talented was somewhat annoying for his special effects that were literally blinding. This brings me to the overuse of media throughout the production. Was this a ballet or an American Blockbuster? The introduction opened just like a movie with the title being illuminated. While there was script that helped viewers understand how the story of Rip Van Wrinkle, for example, was being incorporated, I learned from Jade that those with more pricey tickets in balcony seats couldn’t read the text. What in the world?!?

My fella, who was an actor and appreciates the Arts in general, actually drifted off. He was mortified even admitting it to me.
So what did I actually like? I enjoyed the added cemetery scene with the ghost women dancing. They looked like they were floating in the way that ballerinas can stand on their toes and move in uncanny ways.  I liked the pop of red fabric under the female characters’ costumes but overall, I’ve seen better costumes. Overall, I think it had the right aesthetic. The horses were somewhat steampunk and eerie with six legs to accommodate the dancers. They moved in a way to demonstrate slow motion and it actually worked quite well.

Overall, this is a pretty harsh review but it in no way merited the cost of the tickets to the show and certainly wasn’t worth Amtrak tickets on top of that. Thankfully meeting Jade and our own little adventures made the trip worthwhile. She was a gorgeous human and also she had one of those amazing personalities to match. I enjoyed hearing all about her internship and her studies. I do fear that my husband may have interviewed her a bit too much but he was genuinely interested in her. 

Fortunately, she’ll be in the area a bit longer so that we can have some more adventures which hopefully will not include running through the snow.

13 comments:

  1. I am so jealous! I hope I get to meet you both sometime!

    It is a shame the performance was a bit of a flop, I had to laugh aloud that the director was right next to you, at least he got some unbiased opinions, ha ha! The pumpkin kids sound silly!

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    1. Sigh.... those pumpkin kids.
      Yep.. oops :p

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  2. Funny to hear the same story from two viewpoints! Seems like both of you had a lot of fun despite the bad ballett!

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  3. I had so much fun with you two, and as I mentioned to you earlier, once we knew you were not going to be late, all the running became really entertaining. :D I am looking forward to meeting you again!

    To be fair to us, I don't think we were really trashing the show, we were not bitching, only stating the obvious faults we found disturbing. ^_^

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    1. Yeah, trashing is probably too strong of term but I doubt that director would have liked our comments very much.

      It was so much fun! Looking forward to move adventures with you!

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  4. You two are adorable. I'm glad you had a good time at the ballet. :)

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  5. I didn't like Dracula at all. It was (to me at least, and I'm hardly an expert) less of a ballet and more a performance arty piece. The gentleman who danced Dracula was amazing don't get me wrong - the way he moved his body was mesmerizing. But it wasn't what I came to see. Actually, I knew I wasn't going to care for it when the artistic director felt the need to come out before the show and explain it to us.

    I still love going to The Kennedy Center for plays and musicals and operas...but given my experience with Dracula and yours with Sleepy Hollow, I can't imagine going back to see the Washington Ballet any time soon.

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    1. Oh, I think it's totally fair to call Dracula an artsy piece. Heck, I didn't go for the ballet but to see Dracula so I was biased walking in. But watching the guy who danced Dracula climb down that wall upside down while flapping his arms in a bat-like fashion... I thought that was amazing. Perhaps not ballet but certainly showed the skill of the dancers. I didn't see anything anywhere close to that in Sleepy Hollow which is unfortunate because I'm sure there were some amazingly talented dancers there.

      I don't recall the artistic director coming out for Dracula (but it was a few years back)... but the director came out for Sleepy Hollow too. Hmmm, interesting.

      I did see The Addams Family the musical at the Kennedy Center and I have to say I may have enjoyed Sleepy Hollow more :-/ I completely forgot about that.

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  6. So far, it's been a very positive experience every single time I have had a personal meet up with another blogger. We already 'know' each other online, so in person is adding more layers to the relationship. When you and I get together next month, it's going to be a working time for me, dammit. Doesn't mean that we can't have at least a little bit of fun along the way.

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    1. Considering I was just sending you an email when I saw your comment, I think we'll be able to find a little time for fun :) And if the day is too hectic, we live close enough that we can schedule lunch or coffee :) ((And we should anyway!))

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    2. P.S. Don't expect to see me look anything like this as I'm pruning rose bushes! ;)

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