We had a little memorial time for Samantha last night at rehearsal. I got to show the theater group Sam's DVD, which was valuable because most people had only known her for the past 7 or 8 years, if that. But several of the younger castmembers were in their early teens (or even younger) when Sam started working with Pandemonium, so that's a huge chunk of time where they are concerned. The older college kids and twentysomethings I knew as much younger kids when I helped run a hobby store at the Junction in West Seattle. It kind of drives home the fact that we've established ourselves in this community.
It's been 13 years since we arrived in West Seattle from Renton. We originally moved here because our housemate-to-be really loved the neighborhood. We just wanted to be in Seattle - Sam & I knew nothing about the different neighborhoods. Now, I'd never want to live anywhere else in the city. We're on bedrock, we have some of the largest lots in the city and often the highest property appreciation. We have a great mix of national branding and local mom & pops. We have a beach. We have parks. We have a ferry to Vashon Island and a water taxi to downtown. We have great pubs and awesome food. We were among the first in the country to get broadband. We have some of the best schools in the state. We have our own newspaper, and summer festivals that draw people from all over Puget Sound. We have a real sense of community. What we don't have is a first-run movie theater or a really first-rate theater culture. We do have ArtsWest, which is a nice facility, but their season is pretty uninteresting and many feel it is poorly administered. To see real vibrant, dynamic, original or just interesting theater, you usually have to go downtown. 5th Ave, Theater Schmeater, ACT, Empty Space, etc. So I'm psyched that Twelfth Night will be an anchor tenant at the new Cooper Arts Center and we can really crank things up a bit in West Seattle.
After seeing 21 Grams, I felt I needed a change in scenery. Saw the following:
50 First Dates: very charming Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore romcom. Has all the hallmarks of the charming Sandler romcom. Nothing of substance, but very cute and good date fare.
Team America - World Police: While I wouldn't call myself a huge South Park fan, I do sometimes enjoy the comedy stylings of Matt Stone and Trey Parker. And this was a riot to watch. It was like every over-the-top ultra-patriotic Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer piece of shit action movie ever, and played totally seriously... only with marionettes. It goes places I didn't think even Parker and Stone would ever go. Oh, but they went there. I laughed aloud several times.
Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle: I found this film to be remarkable because of its unremarkable-ness. It's a totally harmless misadventure a la After Hours, or Dude Where's My Car, but with ethnic actors in the lead roles... and aside from some cursory exploration and debunking of cultural stereotypes, the film is not about The Korean Guy and His Indian Roomie. It's about two friends who get stoned, get the munchies and decide to drive to a White Castle for sliders and fries. So in that regard, I saw it as a huge step forward. The fact that you could have cast anyone of any ethnicity in either role speaks volumes.