Good news: Nellie McKay has a new cd out: "Normal as Blueberry Pie." It comes from a line from South Pacific. If you've never heard her, check out her much-acclaimed cd "Get Away From Me" and a song called Sorry. (Yes, the cd debuted a short time after Norah Jones's "Come Away With Me.") She's independent, plays a mean piano and ukelele, sings standards, raps, writes lyrics, has already starred in a musical on Broadway and now channels Doris Day in her new cd. As I write this, a film called Lover Come Back plays by chance on the tv in the background - with Rock Hudson and Doris Day. (Ms Day is 87 and lives in Connecticut.) I don't see any local appearances yet for McKay, although she will be on Prairie Home Companion Nov. 21.
In the meantime, we'll have to settle for Erin McKeown, who performs Monday, Oct. 19, at Jammin' Java in Vienna. I highly recommend her and will be there.
I saw A Serious Man (4 red dots) yesterday and was impressed, and I'm not always a huge fan of the Coen Brothers. I thought A Country for Old Men was all style, but enjoyed Fargo and Millers Crossing. A Serious Man opens somewhere in snowy Eastern Europe with people speaking Yiddish. Unfortunately, I didn't have my mother with me to see if the translation was accurate. (I could pick up some of the words from when my grandparents used to visit.) The movie thought-provokes and prods, without any big-name stars. It was good to see Adam Arkin in a fun role - always loved him on Northern Exposure. If there's a moral, it's probably that the "hero" doesn't really do anything wrong but gets tread upon in the shuffle. Sometimes, I feel that any action I take is better than inaction.
Attended the closing night of the Asian Pacific American Film Festival last night, and what a great surprise to see a terrific American film called Children of Invention, directed by Tze Chun, who attended. It's about a Chinese single mother living illegally in Boston with her two children, a boy 10 and a girl 7. She is enamored with pyramid schemes and it finally gets her into trouble, leaving her two children alone. Chun gets great performances from the two kids, nothing over the top; he said it was especially difficult given that you have a maximum of about 6 hours a day with the kids. But they were very professional and had all their lines memorized right away. We will be hearing more of Chun in the coming years, and if he can get a DC release, I will write more about him and the film myself.
Prior to Invention, a short Australian film called Crocodile was shown about a young boy freeing himself from the contraints of life. Again, it showed a lot of talent in its writer-director Maura Milan, who lives in LA and is now at work on a short about celebrity impersonators in Koreatown. Afterward, she explained to me the difference between a crocodile and alligator. Hopefully, we will be seeing more of her and her work in next year's DC Shorts Festival.
I saw a documentary called La Americana at Campus Progress last week and was very impressed. It focuses on a woman from Bolivia whose daughter becomes a paraplegic, forcing her to go to New York to try to earn enough money for her well-being.
On the Schedule
Oct. 13 Come to the Bike & Brunch Happy Hour at the Cleveland Park Bar & Grill
Oct. 14 I'll be reporting from The Washington Ballet's first show of the year, Don Quixote, at the Kennedy Center. (Tickets are cheaper than you may think.)
Oct. 15 The Culture Club Meetup will gather at the Smithsonian American Art Museum for their monthly jazz in the glorioius Atrium there. This is a nice event for ample time to schmooze and hear great music from the Afro Bop Alliance.
Oct. 16 It's Third Friday in Georgetown meaning the openings for the Galleries in the Sea Catch square - great appetizers, wine and the wonderful Parish Gallery has a new opening as always - Joanne Kent
Oct. 17 The Arabian Sights Film Festival will have a reception at the National Geographic following its showing of Masquerades.
Oct. 21 Bike and Brunch will have a group at the PWYC of Lost in Yonkers the DCJCC. Tana Hinken and the wonderful Holly Twyford star. Meet between 6 and 6:30.
Oct. 27 Woolly Mammoth will have a PWYC of their new play Full Circle, and it sounds fun. The promo says to wear comfortable shoes. (Also a PWYC Oct. 26 but Redskins play that night.)