The Daily(ish) Review

The Daily(ish) Review: Flagstaff and Prospera

I need to avoid reading about domestic politics for a while. I think the U.S. is headed in a dangerous direction, and not because of some grand Russian plot. I'll save those thoughts for another post. For now, it's time for a delicious cup of...you guessed it...Nescafé Clasico. It's delici...inexpensive.

Let's look at something more fun than politics and tech. Off to the LA Times. Well well, an article on Flagstaff, Arizona, one of my favorite towns.

A look at Flagstaff, Arizona, where Apollo 11 astronauts trained before landing on the moon (Melinda Fulmer)

"Before Neil Armstrong made that giant leap with a walk on the moon 49 years ago, he and other Apollo astronauts took smaller steps for mankind, training for the lunar landing in Flagstaff, Ariz."

- Very cool. I had no idea.

"To honor that local history and the lunar landing’s 50th anniversary next year, Flagstaff is planning a yearlong celebration, kicking off with a launch party July 20 at the Orpheum Theater."

- Also very cool. I've never been inside the Orpheum, but I've walked by it a few times. It's in the heart of old Flagstaff.

"Activities will include presentations by historians, vintage film clips and demonstrations by scientists about the moon, lunar mapping and Apollo astronaut training in Flagstaff in the years leading to the launch."

- LA Times, I think you're a good paper, but it looks like we're on separate sides of the Oxford Comma fence.

"Farther east Cinder Hills Overlook gives you a good view of other volcanic summits, including Double, Haywire and Stewart craters."

- Is further/farther a matter of preference? Off to Google. That was a productive trip to Google. I just learned about Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl, on the Quick and Dirty Tips site. Here's what Grammar Girl has to say on the topic:

The quick and dirty tip is to use “farther” for physical distance and “further” for metaphorical, or figurative, distance. It's easy to remember because “farther” has the word “far” in it, and “far” obviously relates to physical distance.

"THE BEST WAY TO FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ.

From LAX, American offer nonstop service to Flagstaff on Saturdays. American, Alaska and United offer connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares from $342, including taxes and fees."

- I'd use American offers...

Verdict: Cool little article about a great town. I didn't realize that we were coming up on the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. It reminded me of my favorite Onion article that claimed to have a copy of the actual conversation between Neil Armstrong and NASA. It went something along the lines of "Holy f*(k Houston, we are walking on the f*&king moon." "Roger Eagle One, we copy and understand you are walking on the f*(king moon."

I'll add a recommendation for where to eat in Flagstaff: Macy's European Coffee House and Bakery. It's been a while, I assume it's still open.

That was a quick one. Let's do a bonus round.

'The Tempest' at the Old Globe: Kate Burton casts a benevolent spell as Prospera (Charles McNulty)

"Casting a woman as Prospero in William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is no longer a novelty. Helen Mirren starred as Prospera in the 2010 Julie Taymor film and, more recently, Harriet Walter put her indelible stamp on the role in an all-female “Tempest” that originated at London’s Donmar Warehouse.

What distinguishes Kate Burton’s performance in the entertaining Old Globe production, which opened last weekend at the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, is the compassionate spin she gives the character."

- I'm a little tired today, despite the deliciously inexpensive Nescafé, but reading that introduction to the article made me think that coming up with intros for theatre performances must get challenging after a while. How's that for a random thought?

"Often portrayed as disturbingly angry if not callous and cruel, the protagonist of “The Tempest” has good reason to be embittered. Twelve years stranded on an island after being overthrown in a coup that was led by his brother, Prospero, the rightful duke of Milan, has been brooding over his grievances while developing his formidable occult powers. His sorcery and conscience are put to the test as he works out his revenge on his way toward partly forgiving his wrongdoers."

disturbingly angry if not callous and cruel...Great wording!

- The comma use here and the switch to Prospero vs. Prospera threw me for a second. At first, my cobwebby brain read it as "his brother, Prospero".

"Alexander Dodge’s set, a jaunty playground of flotsam and jetsam, is strewn with cinema seats in a production that revels in the open theatricality of the play."

- Another wonderfully descriptive sentence.

"Ariel (Philippe Bowgen) is dressed like a figure skater on his way to a gymnastics competition presided over by Liberace..."

- If that doesn't create an image for a reader, nothing will.

"When Dowling turns up the camp, as he does in the pageant of spirits Prospera arranges to entertain Miranda and Ferdinand, the sampling of pop songs in gooey Broadway style is a real hoot."

- McNulty is a really good writer.

"Lizan Mitchell as Gonzala (another role converted from male to female) imbues her counsel to Robert Foxworth’s grief-distracted Alonso, who’s mourning the son he believes has died at sea, with a flaming moral urgency.

The supporting cast is solid enough. René Thornton Jr. as usurping Antonio and Daniel Ian Joeck as opportunistic Sebastian, Alonson’s untrustworthy brother, are power-hungry in all the ways that make Prospera understandably ambivalent about returning to so-called civilization."

- Alonso vs. Alonson. I think I may have spotted a typo. I'm not familiar enough with the play to be sure. (I also want to add the standard disclaimer that it's not a gotcha, sniping effort. I've probably made several typos in this post. I would like to do more freelance editing and proofreading, though, so I want to assemble some examples of what I can bring to the table.)

"But here — thanks to the vaudeville deftness of Robert Dorfman’s Stephano and Andrew Weems’ Trinculo, both having a field day with Manoel Felciano’s preeningly lecherous Caliban — the comedy is reborn."

- ...preeningly lecherous Caliban...I wish I could write like that.

"Burton’s is a kinder, gentler and a tad less complicated Prospera than we have become accustomed to. But the portrayal is a tonic in these abrasive times."

- ...abrasive times...I'm glad it's not just me.

"Burton’s handling of the poetry, revealing a mind awakening to its own emotional blind spots, made me wish that the scene could be played for all the politicians throwing their hands up at the humanitarian crisis at our borders."

- So much for escaping domestic politics. But art and Shakespeare have never been about escape. Good connection by McNulty.