Monthly Archives: March 2007

JB Continued…

it’s a slow monday. waiting for my agarose gel to solidify so I can run DNA on it.

i know i said in the previous entry that I wasn’t going to talk about the Jersey Boys anymore, but I lied. ^^ i realized that i forgot to talk about the star of the show, as well as the incredible deven may.

Christopher Kale Jones is a beautiful singer – and cute too! I always get chills when he sings “Sunday Kind of Love” in the church, his voice literally soars across the theater. I love his “My Eyes Adore You” as well. His acting is amazing as well – the whole auditorium stops breathing during the table scene when they’re negotiating for Tommy DeVito.

It’s such a difficult part – singing and acting wise. Singing – obvious, due to the high notes and having enough stamina to last through a show (or two) every day. Acting wise – it’s hard b/c you span many decades of Frankie Valli’s life. CKJ handles both aspects effortlessly and believably and always goes beyond expectations every time I see him.

Deven May – he’s an amazing singer! A Broadway veteran for reasons explained by his great stage presence and star-quality voice. My favorite part is watching what he’s going to do with his voice in “Apple of My Eye”.

Bottom line: go see it. Check out the tour schedule to see if it’s coming to your town.

my initial review of the show when it was in previews: here

sort of in the same vein – actually, not really, but jen‘s blog writes about a very important issue. Medical insurance is so important and there are so many people who are uninsured in the U.S. I love how Artist Access really targets a population of people who are often uninsured – artists in all different fields. This program targets people in the local area of NY, but serves as a good model for what other companies in other locales can also do to address this important need in society. This program basically offers medical care for artists, in exchange for their artistic services to the hospital, through performing in the lobby to helping cheer up sick children through puppets. It serves as a great option for artists who couldn’t pay for medical care otherwise.

Get the word out! Educate yourself and others.

Sherry baby

michael ingersoll, deven may, christopher kale jones, me looking deliriously happy, erich bergen, and diane

christian hoff, jen also looking deliriously happy, daniel reichard, robert spencer

due to popular demand (or, admittedly, one person’s demand ^^), i’m posting up my pics with the SF cast of jersey boys, as well as jen’s picture with the original broadway cast of Jersey Boys. it was great, i got to take a picture with all of them together. they are really such a nice group of guys, they’re always nice enough to chat with me and answer my million questions and take pictures.

so, i finally got a chance to see the original broadway cast in NY two weeks ago. i was truly naive in order to really think that they couldn’t POSSIBLY be better than the SF “Sherry” cast. however, the original broadway cast is also phenomenally talented.

It was really interesting to note the differences between the two casts. The biggest difference was the pacing of the show – in NY, I could definitely tell that these guys had done this show a million times and knew the show inside out, and thus it was very fast paced. I felt like because of the fast pacing, a lot of the jokes were not able to be savored, or the message wasn’t able to sink in. It really felt that some of the lines were skimmed over. The biggest difference in character, I thought, was that of Nick Massi (played by robert spencer on broadway, and michael ingersoll in SF). In NY, the really funny parts were performed almost perfunctorily so that the audience didn’t really get a chance to react or to laugh b/c the moment passed too soon. In the SF cast however, michael ingersoll usually delivers lines and lets the audience really savor the humorous moments (“read the bible – improve your mah-eend“). perhaps in a way, robert spencer reflects the character of nick massi in a more “true-to-his-character” sort of way, because in the show, Robert Spencer is like the Ringo of the cast. I love how Michael Ingersoll makes his part seem like a bigger part of the show, compared to Robert Spencer. I hope I don’t sound mean, because Robert Spencer is still a phenomenal performer and the nicest guy. This is my opinion.

Daniel Reichard also doesn’t make his “Bob Gaudio” very funny. Someone was bold enough to ask Daniel Reichard at the stage door a question which I didn’t hear, but Daniel Reichard answered that the cast is very tired and they’ve been doing this for a long time. It sounded like a defensive response, which I’m sure he was trying to answer as honestly as possible, but I hope the question wasn’t too rude. I love how Erich Bergen makes his “Bob Gaudio” a more humorous representation – esp in the “Oh What a Night!” scene, which is supposed to be a very funny scene. One of my favorite sort of “not-so-obvious” moments in the show is watching him perform backup in the song, “Stay”. These little moments really make the show for me.

Having said this, the NY cast is phenomenal at singing. That is really exciting to watch.

ok, enough about blogging about the Jersey Boys!

jersey boys: the sherry cast

the phenomenal SF cast of Jersey Boys on the Tonight Show this past week:

it was a really high energy, fun performance, which was worth staying up and being curled on my couch for. i also really thought terence howard’s interview was hilarious, which preceded the cast performance. altho most of the time, I don’t think terence howard was trying to be funny. ^^

back to the Jersey Boys – the SF cast is truly phenomenal, and the show is amazing, as I’ve mentioned many many times before (andy stop laughing). If you live in the bay area, go see it! No matter if you don’t know who the Four Seasons are (admittedly, I had no real interest in the group until this show), it’s still going to be moving, funny, and a great show. I also loved the writing – one of the writers was a writer for one of my favorite movies, Annie Hall.

i’ll write more on my thoughts on the Jersey Boys later – I got to see the original Broadway cast in NY last week, and the differences and similarities are so fascinating.

you wouldn’t think it, but I do work. ^^ gotta run to the hospital for class.

dance medicine

i ran across a really interesting article in the LA times, thanks to a link on one of my favorite websites, thewinger. USC is opening a new center specific for “dance medicine”, which I think is a fascinating idea. It’s designed to target populations of dancers of all expertise, ice skaters, and cheerleaders. this population encompasses two of my favorite hobbies, dance and ice skating! Not cheerleading, I’m afraid ;), unless it’s cheerleading members of my lab for their experiments to work.

i’ve been thinking a lot about my future and which specialty i should accomplish as a doctor. I’m currently watching my med school classmates go through the residency match hell right now, and it’s disappointing when people end up with their 10th choice, or don’t match at all, leaving them for the dreaded scramble. it really makes me think about picking a good residency in which I’ll do what I love, as well as avoid living in places like the Appalachian mountains or Detroit. My ultimate dream would be to somehow work with dancers – I don’t think I could survive being surrounded by orthopaedic surgeons for the duration of residency, but maybe something else? I know it’s hard to do anything else and not feel like a pawn of the orthopods, but if it meant that I could work with dancers, it might be worth it.

for some reason, the past few days i’ve been running across multiple stories of injured dancers lately. they struggle through a tough time in such a short span of their professional career, where time is really of the essence, and often the resources are scarce. these stories really inspire me to do something to change and to help the system. a few stories here – a funny one here, and three dancers on thewinger.

the article also mentions how they made doctors don leotards and try a dance class. hilarious. i would pay money to see some of my classmates (fred? hehe) and some of my medical school professors do this.

“Pfeffer’s passion for dance medicine grew from his experience as a junior member of the cardiothoracic team involved in famed choreographer George Balanchine’s heart surgery nearly three decades ago.

“I held George Balanchine’s heart in my hand,” he said. “My job was to hold his heart very, very still while the main surgeon did the bypass surgery.”

Afterward, Pfeffer and Balanchine talked in the intensive care unit.

“One night, he was comparing doctors and dancers and how they express their knowledge in different ways,” Pfeffer recalled. “He said, ‘Never minimize the intelligence of a dancer who uses his or her body to teach us such great things.’ I remember thinking, ‘One day, I’m going to take care of dancers.’

Sounds “corny,” he mused, “but there are some things in life that play out that way. ”

article here

i often wonder, do i ultimately want to be a dance doctor so i could get free dance tickets? that would be a nice perk.

a shortbus encounter and a little bit of marriage

my last theater event was today – for the next few days, at least. ;) probably going to head out to SF to check out the SF ballet again soon tho, their program 5 is ending this week. i’ve always wanted to see fancy free.

ABT’s Fancy Free with angel corella, jose manuel carreno, and ethan stiefel.

today, i went to see the play, twelve angry men on tour, with george wendt from cheers fame. it was a really good play, but so unrealistic! if people are fighting so hard to defend their stance, they would never change their mind. anyways, brought back bad memories of my nightmare jury room experience. the acting in the play was superb. i’m falling quickly in love with the genre of plays, which is a fairly new genre of theater for me.

the best part was meeting alan mandell, whom I recognized as the ex-mayor of New York in Shortbus. i passed by the stage door and saw him there, looking around for his sister. he was so glad to know that I was a shortbus fan and took time to talk to me. he said the most disappointing part about the movie was that the director wouldn’t let him be in the orgy scenes. ^^ he said that jay was very very sweet and everyone was really fun to work with. he was asking me if i bought the dvd and saw the outtakes – apparently a few of his scenes got cut, and I think he was wondering what was in the outtakes.

i also caved and bought the Company revival CD as I was driving home from the Josh Bell concert. I blame the postconcert traffic, which forced me right by a place to buy CD’s. oh and perfect timing, this CD got reviewed by the SF chronicle today. this song is sung by the thrilling raul esparza.

“Marry me a little,
Love me just enough.
Cry, but not too often,
Play, but not too rough.

Make a few demands
I’m able to fulfill.
Want me more than others,
Not exclusively.
That’s the way it ought to be.
I’m ready!
I’m ready now!

Marry me a little,
Body, heart, and soul.
Passionate as hell
But always in control.”

raul esparza – he’s so cute!

p.s. thanks to for a link to my blog. i’m a bit embarrassed b/c i didn’t even see COU and had the hardest time finding tickets.

Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

I got another chance to see the amazing Joshua Bell. i saw him last year in a recital setting. this time, he was with the legendary Academy St. Martin in the Fields, where he led them in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

For quite a while, I’ve been trying to put my finger on the musical style of Joshua Bell. I know that he’s very musical, but in a much more unexpected way. For me, the ultimate musician in terms of musicality is Yo Yo Ma – a cellist whose heartwrenching musicality is always so moving. He’s always a joy to listen to. but Josh Bell is so different – definitely musical, but not so much in an emotional way, but in a more of a clean, fresh, new way that engages your brain. Yo Yo Ma can move you to tears, but Joshua Bell makes you sit up and lean forward. Bell makes you hear a very trite passage (like the entire Four Seasons) in a very new way. I’ve heard the Four Seasons millions of times in my life, and tonight, I heard new submelodies I’ve never heard before, or another way of playing a passage by placing subtle accents in a unique way. Bell’s talent truly lies not only in his clean fresh style, but also in studying the piece of music before him and presenting it well to the audience.

Josh Bell was “conducting” and playing the violin solo both at the same time, conducting mostly through his body movements. This multitasking is more tenuous and difficult; in addition to the monstrous intricacies of the solo violin part, this really requires that a group listen and follow well. There was a moment in the summer movement when josh bell wasn’t so clear on one of the passages and I felt the whole ensemble falling apart for a scary few seconds. But the harpischord and the bass really came in well by compensating and then keeping the beat together. I was really impressed with the professionalism of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Their sound also sounds like one unit, not a group of separate entities.

I can’t help feeling that their performance here is a rehearsal for their performance tomorrow in SF. Oh well. I hope he comes back again next year.