Another Voice Silenced

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Price winning author/Russian gulag inmate, died today at age 89.

I’m a HUGE fan of Russian Literature, but, to me, Solzhenitsyn was a lot like Tolstoy. Each had epics (Gulag Archipelago; War and Peace) that are AMAZING, but what sticks with me are the shorter works:

— Tolstoy: Family Happiness, The Death of Ivan Ilych
— Solzhenitsyn – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (honestly, one of the most painful and beautiful short stories/novellas).

Who are the new Russian authors?


Last night, we went to see the opening performance of a local community group’s production of Rent.

We had seen a professional production of this show, oh, about a decade ago in Chicago, and greatly enjoyed it, so I was interested to see how this version would compare.

Not bad – actually, pretty damn good.

It was a really fun performance. Extremely well cast, and performed with enthusiasm.

The player cast as Collins had an amazing voice, and – according to his bio – he is still in high school. Man, do I feel like a talentless loser…

And I had forgotten about the role played by the Maureen character – and in this production, she damn near stole the show. A petite blonde with an incredible set of pipes and a palpable fearlessness. And – this is something I noticed – she really was having fun (but in character) up there. During the last number, where the entire cast forms a line across the stage and sings, she was (subtly) boppin’ to the music, holding hands with the Mimi character, just really into it.

The only downside was the sound – sometimes the voices were too soft. Roger was really hard to make out for most of the show, unless he was really pounding something out. Maureen was clear first act; sometimes soft in the second.

But it was opening night – time to iron out the kinks.

Great play – solid, very enjoyable performance.

And I’ve been playing the Rent soundtrack the entire time I’ve been composing this entry…one of my favorite CDs, actually, and I’m not a musical theater buff.