The Events

Thanks to a friend in my choir, I’m singing in the house choir for an off Broadway play called The Events. It’s about a mass shooting at a community choir rehearsal. The playwright, David Grieg, starting working on the play in response to Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 69 students in 2011.

They’re doing something else very interesting. For every performance a different community choir will “play” the choir. For nights when they don’t have a choir, or in case of emergency, they’ve assembled a house choir. I’m in that, so I’m actually going to get to do it more than once. I just found out last night that some of us will also be given lines, but we won’t know who until a couple of hours before the performance.

I just tried to cut and paste some lines from a review in The Guardian, which called it the number one best play of 2013, but for some reason my stupid computer won’t let me copy and paste the text. They loved it though. I will see it for the first time when I’m in it, and that’s what the people producing the play wanted.

Here are some of the choir singers, waiting for rehearsal to begin.

The Events Rehearsal

The Bachelor

Is anyone watching The Bachelor? How on earth could anyone fall for Chris? He seems perfectly nice, but come on. He said he couldn’t follow one of his dates because she talked too fast. Except she was speaking at a perfectly normal speed, and anyway she wasn’t talking about international economics! What she was talking about could have been followed by a 1st grader.

I’m bringing this all up though because I want to talk about contestant Kelsey’s comments after telling the story of the unexpected death of her husband. First, she couldn’t remember the name of his cause of death. Who could ever forget that?!? Then her utterly bizarre comments to the camera after telling Chris what had happened. Someone on another blog attributed them to a sort of PTSD, which made sense to me.

What stood out to me was how her comments revealed something about what goes on in the background, and how the producers of the show encourage people to think of their lives. A quick recap. After telling about what happened to her husband Kelsey said, “Isn’t it amazing? Tragic, but amazing. I love my story!”

She goes on to say: “I know this is a show about Chris, but this is my love story, too. This is the unfolding of somebody who’s been through something so tragic and you get to watch her pick up the pieces and grow into another person and into another relationship.”

She’s has taken her story and shoe-horned it into a narrative that will fit this show and now she intends to act it out. I convinced there’s a producer in the background saying, “If we made your story into a movie, what would be our pitch? Who is the heroine? Who is the antagonist? How can we sell YOU?” I could see how someone who is grieving might latch on to distancing herself in this way from what happened and from her feelings.

It’s been a billion degrees below zero lately. I took this on Roosevelt Island. I wish I had zoomed in on the beautiful icy trees.

Icy Trees, Roosevelt Island

It’s Still Christmas in NYC

Oh wow, someone can’t let go of Christmas. This is new. I passed this by on the way to choir practice last night. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it before and I walk down this street every Tuesday night. So someone just put this up.

Thank you, someone. It’s really quite lovely. The robins are a sweet touch.

Christmas Tree, New York City

The Bliss of Archives

I spent almost an entire day at the Surrogate Court Building yesterday! I started at the Municipal Archives, then on to the City Library, and then finally up to the 7th floor, and the Division of Old Records. That’s where I took these pictures.

I was allowed to walk around and explore, which was heaven for me. The first case I pulled had Elliot Spitzer’s name on it! But all my research was focused on the 19th century. I was looking into an early 19th century execution, and a later 19th century insanity hearing.

Just walking around in halls and rooms like this, where the past is preserved and cherished, is a mood enhancer for me. The place is practically thrumming with the stories of everything that ever happened in our city, nothing every really dies here, or is forgotten, and it’s comforting for me to be there.

Historical Court Records, New York City

Historical Court Records, New York City

Historical Court Records, New York City