Regular DVDs also look better, although movies (we tested with The Matrix) seem to fare better than television DVDs (Gilmore Girls -- about which more later, just started Season 5) so far, maybe because movies are in higher resolution to start with. I had been worried about standard definition cable on a SD TiVo, but that's been fine too, as has the Wii. One loser, though, is the PS2 -- FFXII looked like ass, and Lego Star Wars didn't do much better. So (thanks to R, who dropped by before dinner last night), we brought the old 27" TV upstairs and hooked the PS2 back up to it. I've long wanted a better TV up here, and having the PS2 means that we can also watch DVDs up here, which will be especially nice during the winter when the living room gets super cold. I played a couple hours of FFXII this morning, and the set-up worked out really well.
We still need to make a couple of tweaks (like finding a place to put the center speaker, which used to live on top of the downstairs TV), and we had to give up the VCR because the upstairs TV only has one video input, but overall I am really happy about this upgrade.
Also on Friday, I went to a show with the other two librarians: Point Break Live, a stage show based on the Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze movie about bank-robbing surfers. Most of the characters are played by actors, but one key role is recast every night: Johnny Utah, played by Keanu Reeves in the film, is an audience member, selected by popular vote, reading off cue cards. This is every bit as wacky and fun as it sounds. The cast was uniformly great, including our Keanu -- he was a short, geeky, chubby guy with a bowl cut, who read his lines with just the right combination of blankness and intensity, tossed his hair for dramatic effect at all the right times, and was just generally a good sport all around.
We also lucked out with a special surprise guest: Kathryn Bigelow, the producer and director of the original movie! Apparently she was in town for other reasons and asked to participate. She played the Lori Petty character as well as the director of the show (yes, really; I checked the cast list and those two roles are normally played by the same actor). She was clearly having a blast, and I thought having her there really added to the experience.
If you haven't seen the movie, well, let's say it's not great art, but it's a ton of fun (it was one of our go-to rentals in college), and the play did a good job of capturing it: The bromance between Johnny and Bohdi (the Patrick Swayze character) is played up for all it's worth; the cultural references are updated and made even funnier; goofy props abound: a kiddie pool, cloth waves, fans for the skydiving scenes; just the right amount of scenery was chewed. If you're up for some wacky theater and don't mind a drunken audience (and the risk of getting water/beer/fake blood on your clothes -- they sell cheap ponchos at the door for $1 that are well worth the price), I totally recommend it.