Sunday Lowdown #2

This Week at the Theatre Job:

Things were very slow, as we closed A Few Good Men on Sunday. However, I am ramping up with meetings about upcoming shows, including Fahrenheit 451 (a straight play for young audiences), Caroline or Change (a musical), Grand Concourse (a straight play), On Golden Pond (a straight play), and Oliver! (a musical). Each show is at a different phase of production, and I have to keep things moving along.

This Week in TV & Film:

I am a regular Jeopardy! watcher. The week started with Bif, a repeat winner last week, but he lost to Eric, who was earned over $20,000 simply by answering questions. Bif had to catch up by finding all the daily doubles and gambling, like, $8,000. Bif had a pattern of bidding low in final Jeopardy!, though, and Eric won with $48,001. An awesome start to the week! He couldn’t be caught on Tuesday, winning $28,900. I missed Wednesday’s and Thursday’s shows, but Eric lost Friday night.

My husband and I had a date night on Tuesday and saw The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. The writers continue to play with framing device: the Legos are toys that a boy and now his sister play with. Their fighting drives the film. The cast, songs (especially the credits), and plot, and CG were all amazing, and I recommend the film!

My curiosity got the better of me and I wanted the limited series Alias Grace on Netflix. Based on a book by Margaret Atwood, the project is largely led by Sarah Polley, who I remember for being in Dawn of the Dead but has actually made a brilliant career for herself taking on feminist projects. The six-episode series is wonderful, forcing viewers to ask questions about the trauma women and girls face and how that shapes their decisions — maybe even kill someone.

This Week in Reading: Finished Books

I’m reading some longer books all at the same time, so the only book I finished this week is Arrow’s Fall, which I reviewed on Monday. If you come back to Grab the Lapels on February 18th, you’ll find the conversation Jackie and I had about Arrow’s Fall, especially how sexual abuse is used as in stories.

This Week in Reading: Books in Progress

Roots by Alex Haley: Shell @ Books by the Cup and I are reading chapters 21-40 for her read along — click the chapters to see our discussion. Kunta Kinte went through manhood training and learned how to navigate young adulthood by inducting his younger brother into the process. While out, Kunta is kidnapped by slavers and put on a ship that can only be destined for the States. Alex Haley’s writing is so matter of fact that it hits me harder than slave narratives loaded with pathos.

The Liar, a play by David Ives: I’m still reading this because we’re putting on the play in 2019. The whole show is rhyming, which reads beautifully. Dorante, a horrible liar, and his new servant, Cliton, who cannot lie, have a moment after Cliton realizes his new employer spins tales. Dorante lies and says he had a shot gun wedding, thus his father cannot force him to marry. This is Cliton’s response:

"Could you do me a favor?
Next time you're lying, could you, like shoot a wink?
A poke, a wave, a nod -- whatever you think --
So while you're fictifying in full spectrum
I don't just stand there like some gaping rectum?"

Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey: I’m back in the world of Vanyel, having not been there since I was 16-years-old. I definitely remember parts as I read, and I’m surprised I wasn’t horribly confused (or maybe I was?). When you start Magic’s Pawn, you are not told what Herald or Companion are, nor a Bard, which Vanyel wishes to be. I’m not sure the Collegium exists in Magic’s Pawn; it seems more like the Heralds are in a castle? The setting is a little fuzzy compared to The Heralds of Valdemar trilogy.

Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall: I’m having loads of fun reading this book to my husband. The main character who is sure to save everyone from zombies is having a hard time because his sister just showed up to the Trekkie convention with a trio of dill holes. One of them hits on his sister, and the hero thinks: “He’d only just met this guy, but he’d already disliked him for years.” My husband and I could NOT stop laughing at this!

Next Week in Reading:

More Roots, more Magic’s Pawn, more Trekkie zombies. I’ll pick up Soft in the Middle, poems by Shelby Eileen about fat women/girls. I’ll try to get back to Paul Laurence Dunbar, whose poems I didn’t touch this week. I’m also going to start Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor, a memoir about his time in prison.


  1. In Canada, most of my generation knows Sarah Polley from her days as a child actress on “The Road to Avonlea”. She’s a little bit older than me but I feel like I watched her grow up and it’s so cool to see the stuff she’s doing now. I haven’t watched “Alias Grace” yet but might have to check it out soon.


  2. I really liked the Alias Grace series! My husband I were thinking of going to the Lego movie, but I wasn’t sure I would like it (for some strange reason, I don’t like cartoons) but your recommendation has changed by mind!


    • Did you like the first Lego movie? This one has all the same great elements! We had a lot of fun watching it. I think it does a good job of inserting material that’s funny to adults that kids won’t full-on get. There is even a joke about Chris Pratt, the actor who voices Emmett, being heavy and then getting ripped.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I still haven’t watched Alias Grace, but I really, really, want to. I saw on GR that you’re reading the book now. I hope you like it – it’s my favourite of her novels (so far!).

    Oh, how we loved the first Lego movie! I wish the kids were still as into it as they were then. I’m sure we’ll eventually watch it anyway. It’s just not as urgent as it used to be. 🙂


    • The Lego 2 movie was extra fun because there are so many adult jokes snuck in there. If your kids are older, they may appreciate it in a different way now. I AM enjoying Alias Grace so far, and it seems fairly close to the show (I’m about 60 pages in). Margaret Atwood produced the show, so I’m sure she had a lot of input, and the magnificent Sarah Poley wrote the script.

      Liked by 1 person

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