Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Diva Who Couldn't Sing

Began the morning with early work. It was quiet when I arrived. Though the morning was cold, it gradually warmed up through out the day, probably reaching the mid-30's. I was only outside for about 20 minutes when I came in and another half-hour after break. I spent the rest of the morning doing returns, and most of the afternoon doing the trash. I did get stuck in the registers twice. Two cashiers and a bagger called out, and another cashier went home sick after having only been at work a half-hour.

Headed straight home after work...and as soon as I changed and had a snack, went right back out. I desperately needed to get laundry done. It was fairly busy, which turned out to be a good thing. For some reason, I couldn't find my last two quarters I had for the dryer. I did bring two spare quarters, but I had to borrow one more from a college student. Otherwise, I listened to Ellen and the news and worked on story notes.

When I got home, I put everything away, then worked on writing for a little while. Added more to Cedric and Rusty (R2) bringing a smoke machine to the fair grounds. Leia stops to admire Henry and Charles' new engine that runs on khyber crystal energy. Baron Vader is interested, too...but the duo may have other things on their minds besides showing off their new toy...

Broke for dinner around 7. Had leftovers while watching two second season episodes of Sailor Moon. In "For Friendship," Ami competes with Specter Sister Berthier in a chess match. Berthier is determined to win, no matter what, but Ami and her sister Koan show her a better way. Their sisters Petz and Calaveras are sent to destroy them and the Guardians. Manipulative Rubeus gives Petz a magical scepter that further drives a wedge between her and the competitive Calaveras. When she accidentally rips a hole in space with it, the Guardians prove that not all humans are uncaring.

Finished up the night after a shower with Florence Foster Jenkins. Florence (Meryl Streep) was a real person in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's. Originally a concert pianist, she switched to singing after an injury damaged her arm. Trouble is...despite her ambitions to sing opera, she was terrible. Her husband, former British actor St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), encouraged her career anyway. She involved herself in New York society in every way possible, including in many classical music groups, and gave many private and small concerts. But Florence has greater ambitions. After she makes a record that becomes popular on the radio, she's determined to sing at Carnegie Hall. Bayfield panics, and her accompanist Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg) is shocked. Florence is gravely ill, and all the excitement - and the bad reviews from the New York Post music critic - may make this her final performance.

This was actually really sweet. I did know something about Jenkins from my reading about radio, music, and the theater in the 1930's and 40's, but not how she died. While Streep was Oscar-nominated for her role as the (possibly) deluded diva, I thought Grant and Heldberg were even better as the two men who would do anything to keep her happy, including give up their own careers and social lives. (All three were nominated for Golden Globes.) The amazing, historically-accurate costumes got an Oscar nod as well.

(Incidentally...yes, Jenkins was a real person, and yes, she did have a cult following as a comic novelty act, though it's been debated for years whether she was actually in on the joke.)

If you have any interest in the cast, Jenkins, or classical music and are looking for something on the lighter side, this was really lovely and and gets a hearty recommendation from me.

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