After I Returned

There was a lot going on. Chicago conference remains my major concern: it is just two weeks away, and there are so many things that still should be addressed! I am working them out one at a time, but still!

On the positive side – I am going through my to-do lists, and I am doing a lot of cultural activities! I guess it will take a while for me to compensate for the pandemic cultural desert.

Things I’ve done so far.

Last Wednesday, I went to see “Tina” – Tina Turner musical.

I chose an outfit that I didn’t put on for a while, and my coworker liked it so much that she insisted on taking a picture of me. So that’s how I was dressed on that day:

I liked it, but I was not crazy about it, in part because the music was just too loud to enjoy – the first time in my life I regretted I didn’t have earplugs.

Earlier that day, we had a book club discussion at work. Believe it or not, but that was the first time in my life I participated in the book club, and it was only because it was at my workplace. We chose the book collectively back in February: first, people were just suggesting titles, and then we had a vote on Slack. When the book (“Never let me go”) was chosen, our hR sent copies to everybody who signed up (or ebooks or audiobooks). I already had my audiobook purchased several years ago; I just never came up to reading it.

As I mentioned earlier, I had mixed feeling about that book. Although it is very well written, the whole plot seems to be very artificial. Although I understand that the idea was to highlight how humans make excuses to pronounce other non-humans when it is convenient to them, I did find the book convincing. Possibly it’s because these days, we know that cloning cells and even stand-alone organs are more achievable and less expensive than cloning humans. And I can’t relate to books that can’t make me believe that whatever is described in the book could happen. As usual, the problem might be with me rather than with the books :). In any case, it was a relief to find out during our book club discussion that some other readers shared my feelings.

On Friday, it was “Cry it out” – a play written by Molly Smith Metzler and presented by Above The Law – a small theater just across my house. I’ve been to one of their performances before and loved it, and wanted to see another show. Since it was so close, I suggested that my mom and Igor also come, and I invited my friend MaryAnn. Since the theater is so tiny and each performance is sold out, I booked our tickets back in February. I was glad that everybody, including Mary Ann, could make it! I found a play synopsis from some other theater just to give an idea of what this play is about. The “Above the Law” theater cast was amazing, as always :).

On Monday, I listened to Bach’s St. Mattew Passion, presented by Music of Baroque. I remember hearing this piece for the first time – in the spring of 1991 when I was pregnant with Vlad and Anna. I believe it was the first time it was performed in the Leningrad Philharmonic, and listening to unmistakable religious music felt very revolutionary. It made such a profound impression that I still remember what the soloists looked like.

This time, it didn’t feel revolutionary, just a beautiful music. I didn’t stay till the end because I knew I won’t get enough sleep, and I had the whole week of cultural events ahead.

On Tuesday, I went to the Member’s Event at the Field Museum for the opening of the new exhibit “First Kings of Europe”

I will blog about it separately because I want to show more pictures.

And finally, yesterday I saw “A Soldeir’s Play” at CIBC Theater. Although this performance was a part of Broadway in Chicago, it is not a musical (several musical numbers are included, but overall it’s drama based on the movie of the same name).

Chicago Tribune noted in the review that it was very symbolic that the play premiered on the night when Brandon Johnson won the mayoral elections!

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