It’s been a rough couple of weeks as my husband and his family have been very involved getting his mother settled into a new assisted living facility after her recent hospital stay. She’s awfully confused, but she is finally resting in a new room surrounded by her favourite pieces of art, photographs and furniture.
Today we had the great pleasure of celebrating Father’s Day with our children and we spent the day in Niagara-on-the-Lake dining and watching the musical Grand Hotel. More info follows below:
Grand Hotel at the Shaw Festival is frankly not one of the more memorable musicals I’ve ever seen. It ran on Broadway for 3 years starting in 1989 but it is a rather lacklustre musical set in 1928 Germany (rather like Cabaret). It also has a narrator (like the emcee in Cabaret), but there the comparisons end. It never really comes alive; it misses the opportunity to paint a picture of what was happening in Germany at that time; despite some terrific performances, it lacks any major showstopping tunes, and has a very peculiar plot centred on characters that kind of lack charisma. Anyhow, going to musicals at Shaw and Stratford is a family tradition and I loved the opportunity to spend the day with my children.
The Band’s Visit (Israel 2007) is for those who watched the Tony Awards and were intrigued by the musical that won 10 awards including Best Musical. This little film inspired the Broadway show about a police band from Egypt that visits Israel to play at the opening of an Arab cultural centre and accidentally winds up in the wrong town. Very sweet and understated.
Animal Kingdom (Season 3 – 13 episodes) Oh my! This California family commits crimes in order to stay together.
Younger (Season 5 – 12 episodes) Yikes! The shit is about to hit the fan as Liza’s deception has been revealed to her boss Charles, whom she really really likes.
Tabula Rasa (9-episode miniseries from Belgium). How fabulous the ending of this show was! I never saw it coming! Great mystery about a woman with amnesia who is implicated in the disappearance of a man. There is absolutely no comparison to Marcella or Safe two Netflix mysteries which both had very contrived endings.
Fauda Season 2 (12-episode season from Israel). Mesmerizing story about undercover Israeli operatives trying to stop a terrorist. Non-stop suspense!
Tesla (documentary film from American Experience on PBS) What an intriguing genius this man was. His inventions are still coming to fruition in the form of cell phones, wifi, etc. A heartbreaking study of a mad genius who was truly ahead of his time.
Five Came Back (3-episode miniseries) The wartime contributions of five prominent Hollywood film directors during WWII are profiled. With narration by Meryl Streep and commentary from Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, Lawrence Kasdan and Steven Spielberg. Magnificent and heartbreaking to see the real life footage that these directors compiled. I was so gratified to see the tribute to my favourite film, The Best Years of Our Lives, which was commented on by Steven Spielberg, as it is also one of his favourite films. This 1946 film directed by William Wyler is a touching look at 3 WWII veterans trying to readjust to civilian life. Bring a hankie.
New mini series alert: Sharp Objects (based on Gillian Flynn’s novel) is coming to HBO next week:
The Affair (Season 4 – 8 episodes) This series returns tonight and is apparently now set in California!
Billions (Season 3 – 12 episodes) Wow! What an ending to this season. Very intriguing and satisfying as the cat and mouse game was getting a little stale.
Patrick Melrose (4 episode miniseries) You can still catch up with this one which is worth watching for Benedict Cumberbatch’s tour de force performance.
Handmaid’s Tale (Season 2 – 13 episodes) What an episode this past week! Canada had a starring role!
Dietland (10 episode miniseries) A very intriguing black comedy that combines the story of the self-awakening of a struggling fashion magazine ghostwriter with the mystery of who is killing a series of sexually abusive men in NYC.
Pose (8 episode miniseries) I am fascinated by Evan Peters’ role as the married man in love with a transsexual woman in this world of 1986 which looks at the ball culture world and the transvestite/transexual culture that was emerging.
Deep State (8 episode miniseries) Dark and murky intrigue in the Middle East.
Mr Mercedes (10 episode miniseries) Terrific ending to this tale of a retired cop on the trail of a serial killer.
Nashville (Season 6 – 16 episodes) The melodrama of this long running series now in its final season continues as the band deals with its Yoko Ono wannabe.
Imposters (Season 2 – 10 episodes) This dark comedy focuses on a female con artist who marries people and then disappears with their money. It’s rapidly coming to an end and has sadly been cancelled but will likely live on via Netflix for those who haven’t yet discovered it.
Still loving my late night entertainers Colbert, Noah, Maher, Bee, Oliver, etc. They keep me sane!
It’s going to be a busy week! Aside from the usual golf, mahjong, canasta, etc. I am hosting 5 of my high school girlfriends at our place in Thornbury as we all celebrate our 65th birthdays together. There will be lots of food and laughter! Finally, we are celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary next weekend with two other couples who also got married 45 years ago. More food and laughter! Have a wonderful week and special hugs to everyone dealing with health issues.