I've spent the last couple of nights in one of my favorite of all places - settled into my theatre seat to watch a show. On Valentine's Day my mom and I went to see the Atlantic Ballet Theatre perform The Phantom of the Opera at the Rebecca Cohn Autitorium in Halifax. This is a six-year-old company whose home city is Moncton, New Brunswick. In a very short time they've created a repertoire which includes six full-length ballets.
I've wanted to see them perform every time they've danced here in Halifax, but my wallet was always on a different schedule when they were here before. I was really sad to miss their prior performance of Phantom, so when my mom and I read that they'd returned with it, we got tickets right away.
This is a ballet version of the Gaston Leroux 1910 novel, set to music by Francis Poulenc. The choreography by Igor Dobrovolskiy was uneven, with the first act a little vague as to story compared with the second act - which rocked!
The best, most wonderful thing was my discovery of dancer Kostyantyn Voynov. Born in the Ukraine, he's settled in New Brunswick as a founding member of this young dance company. Yay for me! What an exciting find.
His technique is superb, his acting very passionate and his stage presence charismatic. Thank you, God, for Kostyantyn Voynov!
Photos by Marty Melanson
Tonight I met up with Brad after work and we caught The Spiderwick Chronicles. Brad and I both quite liked it. It follows the story of a boy trying to cope with his parents' separation, a move from the city to a small town, and the discovery of a Field Guide to magical beings which a malevolent creature will stop at nothing to wrestle from his grasp. I really enjoyed Freddie Highmore's performance. Here's a few capsule reviews -
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times says: "What will cause nightmares for younger kids will delight older ones, since The Spiderwick Chronicles is a well-crafted family thriller that is truly scary and doesn't wimp out."
Ella Taylor of The Village Voice says: "The movie's richly autumnal look is by swift turns cozily naturalistic and terrifyingly baroque, and director Mark Waters (Freaky Friday, Mean Girls) sustains the balance between real and surreal with mischievous brio."
Peter Sobczynski of eFilmCritic says: "It offers a certain number of pleasures for those viewers who think that they have seen it all before, including some nice bits of humor here and there, a surprisingly serious undertone and a gleefully over-the-top finale that will no doubt delight kids and appall overly sensitive mothers all across the country."
And heading into the weekend, I'll be curled up on the couch watching multiple versions of Pride and Prejudice. The A&E version continues on Sunday with the incomparable Colin Firth.
I'll finally be able to see my adored Laurence Olivier's version of Mr. Darcy in the 1940 film. My former manager at work has an extensive collection of DVD's and loaned it to me.
Though it's lowest on my totem pole, I should take another look at the Matthew MacFadyen version of Darcy. He had some good longing and tension going on.
Who is the ultimate Darcy?
Or Matthew MacFadyen?