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When Tara Met Blog
Thursday, February 3, 2005
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
I saw Broadway's new musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels last night. The film turned musical is currently still in previews and stars John Lithgow.

I liked the original late 80s film with Michael Caine and Steve Martin, so I was skeptical seeing it with new actors and as a musical, however I was pleasantly surprised. The whole show was really fun and filled with an exciting and electric spirit that captured me and the audience.

The Academy Award nominee and Emmy-winning, John Lithgow, was of course great as Lawrence Jameson, the classy seasoned con man/gigolo played by Michael Caine in the movie. Lithgow sang his numbers wonderfully and played the comedic character with ease in a seemingly effortless way. In the Steve Martin role as the unpolished cheat is stage actor Norbert Leo Butz, formerly of Wicked.

There were lots of added jokes relevant to recent public figures and pop-culture events that had everyone laughing. The show also included the audience in on their jokes by stepping out onto the balcony, having a staged usher sing or looking out at the filled seats and commenting: "Someone might need me in the second act."

The songs were fun without a corny dramatic feel. There is actually a love song called "Love is my Legs" that makes fun of love songs in general and big Broadway love ballots, which was a riot.

The sets were lively with an island vacation feel to them and would constantly spin into a new set, even as the characters were walking on it. How the stars never tripped or got dizzy is beyond me. The costumes though were my favorite. The dancers would come out in these really pretty gowns or tango clothes, plus the general wardrobe fit perfectly with the setting.

The new script also added in a diverting and cute side romance between two secondary characters that wasn't in the original film. These characters are played by the amusing Joanna Gleason and Gregory Jbara.

Sorry I keep mentioning the word fun, but that is what the show is, fun. The musical officially opens March 3 and will sure to be the next "The Producers."

PS: Another entertaining and silly musical that's out now is Wonderful Town with Brooke Sheilds, I wrote a brief reveiw of the show in November here

Posted by Tara at 7:21 AM PST
Updated: Thursday, February 3, 2005 5:53 PM PST
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
Quiet on the Set

Speaking of Law & Order in my Jan 21 post, it seems that Law & Order: Criminal Intent will be filming on my block today. I guess some murder suspect or criminal will be living on my block, lol.

Hopefully I'll be able to see something this time, the last time they were filming on my street for an upcoming film called Prime with Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep I had missed everything. When I was heading to work, they were setting up and the actresses were still in their trailers, but I did manage to swipe a muffin from their catering table, and then when I got back from work they were closing up shop.

The bad thing about them filming here is that they blocked off my block and my mother is driving down from Connecticut to deliver a rug for my apartment today. It looks like we'll be shleping the rug and other goodies from a few blocks away, urghh!

Update: no luck!
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Yay, When Tara Met Blog is listed under the Top Links section on Blog Rescource

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Friday, February 4, 2005 9:18 AM PST
Monday, January 31, 2005
Are orgasms overrated?
(sorry for the abrupt heading, but you knew it was only a matter of time til I addressed something sexual)

From January 2005 issue of Redbook:
90% of women are still satisfied even if they don't have an orgasm every time they make love, according to a study at Sheffield University in England. The research also revealed that the vast majority of women find the sensuality of cuddling, kissing and touching every bit as fulfilling as a climax, says Paula Nicolson, lead researcher and professor of health psychology at the university. "We found that women's sexual pleasure occurs on many levels other than simply orgasm alone," says Nicolson.

Talk amongst yourselves ;)

The Future of the Cinema...

Last night I went to a panel discussion at NYU about independent films and their impact on Hollywood. It was moderately interesting, but during the Q & A near the end, New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott was asked about the future of movie theaters now with the popularity of DVDs, Netflix, and streaming videos. He responded that sleeper films can now have extreme success in home theater, take Napoleon Dynamite for example. He responded that "Movie's released in theaters are now like long trailers for their later DVD release." He went on to say that in 10 years ago, home theater might replace movie theaters, which can start to seem antiquated to new generations. Of course people will still want to see films on the big screen, right? However I know because of time and money I have not been able to see many films in the theater as of late. What do you think?

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 8:20 AM PST
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Magnolia Cupcakes---my Kryptonite
It is a blessing and a curse that I live near the famous Magnolia Bakery. I have to pass by the little shop on the corner of Bleecker and Eleventh Street in Greenwich Village each time I walk to campus and back home again.

The smell of their cakes made on the premise lure me in and usually you can even see the cakes being laden with icing by employees in front of the passing windows, taunting me. Worse still, is that when ever my friends come to visit they insist we walk to the bakery for their delicious butter cream cupcakes and I find I'm accompanying some out-of-towner friend of mine twice a week, especially since they are open till midnight, damn them.

The bakery opened up in the West Village in 1996 and their cupcakes were made famous to non New York residents after an episode of Sex and The City showed its stars eagerly consuming them. Now, tour buses dock on the corner and bring groups of tourists to delve upon the shoebox-sized shop.

I usually know better and try not to visit on the weekends because starting on Fridays and lasting through Sunday there is literally a line around the block. When my friend stopped by on a Saturday night, we waited for 20 minutes in the cold, lined up 11th street. In line we spoke with a gay couple who also live nearby and have been coming here for years for the German Chocolate Cake. In front of us were two groups of young women from DC and California, posing for photos underneath the blue awning marked Magnolia Bakery.

Inside the demand for cupcakes makes it necessary for the staff to constantly make more cupcakes in a side room and an employee to steadily fold take-out cardboard boxes. There is a sign on the window that says "Limit: One Dozen Cupcakes Per Customer." The store itself is really small, but they manage to cram and I mean "cram" at least 15 to 20 people inside the old-fashionably decorated store. Another employee mans the door and allows more customers in, only once others exit. That's how tiny and popular the store is.

When you are waiting with cupcake boxes in hand to select these divine eats, sometimes they run out of the vanilla cupcakes, which are better and more moist than their chocolate ones, and that's when things can get a bit ugly. But the quick working staff usually bring out two new trays within 5 mins.

This most intriguing part is that although the bakery is a big hot spot and included on NYC tours, it remains true to its unpretentious roots. The store doesn't even have a website, yet has published two cookbooks that are ranked #3,847 on Amazon. The inside of the store has a 50s dinner appeal with Formica counters and wallpapered walls.

If you plan on visiting the city or the area soon, this bakery is a must ... hey, and I'll go with you.

The Magnolia Cookbooks:



My other magnolia cupcake post, yes I am obsessed.

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Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2005 12:54 PM PST
Saturday, January 29, 2005
The Devils Candy
I'm reading "The Devils Candy" (1991) by The Wall Street Journal reporter Julie Salamon who chronicles the making of the film version of The Bonfire of the Vanities, one of Hollywood's all-time biggest flops. So far it's an absorbing read, mainly because I'm a film buff and the name dropping that goes on is very interesting.

BUT...on the back flap a reviewer writes the following description to talk about how powerfully this book chronicles the destruction of what should have been another great picture by Brian DePalma:

"Like watching a World Trade Center tower topple onto Wall Street." --Kirkus Reviews

What a weird metaphor to have used, but how could Kirkus Reviews possibly have conceived that 10 years later the world unfortunately could very easily picture such devastation in a less figurative way. In hindsight the quote also makes the title of the book "The Devils Candy" take on new meaning.

Here's a photo of the back cover

Posted by Tara at 4:29 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, January 29, 2005 4:46 PM PST

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