// Life Cafe//

This is the saddest thing to happen for a huge fan of the hit Broadway musical, subsequently a movie, RENT. They are closing down the Life Cafe at East Village. For those who don’t know, the East Village Life Cafe is the setting for the musical and where Jonathan Larson, the mastermind of RENT, wrote most of the musical. I’ve never been to the Life Cafe, frankly, and was on my to go list when I visit New York. Now I won’t be able to see it.

I came into the RENT bus quite late, 2005/6 when the movie was shown here, but the first time my sister and I saw it we became instant fans! We have seen the movie several times after, falling in love with the music over and over again. Our Siamese cat, Missy, was the “beneficiary” of watching the movie over and over again when she was a baby, in 2007, that I now actually think she’s also a fan because when I play RENT's music, she sleeps, but when I play say Avril Lavigne she complains. I remember wondering if Life Cafe was real and after researching discovered that it was real and that fans would go to the place to pay tribute to Jonathan, who died the night before the off-Broadway premiere. RENT was the musical that introduced me to Idina Menzel and Adam Pascal.

The year RENT opened, in April 1996 at the Nederlander, was the year I turned 13. I’m sure that, even if I live in New York, I wouldn’t be able to see it, although I know people at that age watched it. Open as we are in the family, I wouldn’t have understood the musical and would probably need some explaining. When RENT became one of the yearly adapted productions in the Philippines, 1999, I started senior year and there were a lot of expenses, and we don’t have that much money because my sister and I weren’t working yet. So, in 2010, when it was staged again, my mum treated us to it as a Valentine’s and a going-away-for-a-while gift knowing that we really love the show. It was revived in Broadway last year.

It saddens me that this landmark for the RENTheads will be closing. If and when I go to New York, I won’t be able to go and enjoy and pretend that I’m part of the La Vie Boheme scene. I hope that the Broadway revival will hold a fundraiser so that the Life Cafe will stay open. I want to see it standing there in all its glory when I travel one day to Alphabet City.

Video of the day: Poker Face sung by Idina Menzel from the DVD Barefoot at the Symphony available this March.

Idina sung this in the Theatricality episode of Glee (S01E20), a duet with Lea Michele who plays Rachel Berry. Idina has then sung it in her Symphony Tour, accompanied by hilarious explanations. She has also called it, somehow in one of her symphony tours, the baked goods song.

Also, it is never an Idina Menzel concert when there is no swearing involved. The camera pans away in this clip, though, the moment when Idina says the F-Bomb. She also has the best facial expressions when explaining why she chose certain songs for her set list.

Mouse Rat ft Duke Silver Catch Your Dream (And Shackle It To Your Heart)
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// Liz//

It was quite a long hiatus for this season’s 30 Rock mainly due to its creator/writer/producer/actress Tina Fey’s pregnancy with her second child. Like most of the fans of the show, 12 January couldn’t have come faster so when it came I was excited. Then I read the backlash on Tina’s character Liz.

Honestly, I didn’t watch the series until April of last year when a friend recommended it to me. I like Tina; I don’t like Alec. I don’t know what it is in him that I didn’t like that I didn’t like to see him on my TV, or the PC, every week. First off, when the series started that was when I also started working. Second, when I resigned from the job, my sister gave me a copy of FRIENDS, my favourite sitcom – since high school, all 10 seasons of it. Third, I like to play online games. So when my friend recommended it to me, because I said I like Tina, I gave it a try. Bam! Not only did I love it, I watched all five seasons in a span of probably a week and a half and Alec now has a special place in my heart.

So, Liz. Everyone looks for a TV or movie character that they can relate to or would want to be their friend. Liz Lemon is both: a loyal friend and someone who’s having a difficult time to find love. Season 6 of the show started with Liz finally having a great boyfriend, Criss, and she’s very happy. It is a far cry from the Liz we have known for five years. She finally had someone to spend Valentine’s Day with. She didn’t result to calling a tree Bon Jovi or 14 February being Anna Howard Shaw Day. Then the backlash started.

I read articles about how the character suddenly became a little girl (NPR’s The Incredible Shrinking Liz Lemon) or how Liz became a dumbass (Slate’s Has Liz Lemon Become “Dumbass Homer”? in support of NPR’s article). In my opinion, the people who say that the Liz character hasn’t grown much in six years just isn’t used to Liz being happy. She’s always been dependent of Jack Donaghy, her boss-friend, always asking for advice about this or that, and always had to please him because he likes to see her harassed. Why can’t they give the girl a slack for being happy? For five seasons, she worried about her love life, about how she’s going to be a spinster, and her work. Of course now, she’s going to act like a little kid because she’s totally in love (and Tina Fey throws the cutest tantrums). She never acted like that around her former lovers – Dennis, Floyd, Drew, Carol – because she always thought about her work and never thought about herself. Now, she’s finally thinking about herself AND thinking about her work.

We don’t know the fate of Liz and Criss yet since the season has just begun. The writers of 30 Rock usually like to surprise people. I just hope that some people be happy for the character, whether or not she is in love. She’s most of us anyway, if not all.

This is personal
Whatever I feel or think
Whatever I like