This is a very pretty young man.
This, however, is an absolutely beautiful mature MAN. Talk about aging gracefully.
Observe that prominent brow, the line of his aquiline nose, the strong, stubble-covered chin and that beguiling bit of extra flesh beneath it.
Those amazing, expressive eyes, deep set and fringed in a pair of lashes any woman would envy, framed by bold masculine brows that remain blissfully unpruned.There is a slight crease between them as if he is lost in thought. The lines, the crow’s feet are visible, seemingly unretouched.
There is majesty here, and gravitas, and pensiveness. The face of a man who has lived and loved and felt deeply. And there is oh, so much masculine beauty.
Not a pretty boy. A beautiful man.
I can hardly bear to look away . . .
(lower photo edited from Robert Ascroft’s wonderful portrait collection of RA)
The Japanese premiere of The Hobbit. A huge and very enthusiastic crowd was on hand to welcome Richard Armitage and the rest of his co-stars and director to the red carpet. An amazing number of autographs were given by the lads in record time and Richard also posed for photos with fans and spoke several times in Japanese. Which is just sooooo cute.
How did he look? Judge for yourself.
I have admitted to really being in the holiday spirit these days. I’ve started breaking out the Christmas scarves and this particular pair of specs always makes me feel like Mrs. Claus. I need a little red mob-cap with white lace trim . . .
Saturday only further cemented my festive feelings. Benny and I headed to Montgomery late in the afternoon for our evening at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. We are both big fans of “A Christmas Carol” (our favorite film version being from 1951 and starring the incomparable Alistair Sim as Scrooge) and we sat tonight and counted up. It is five times we’ve seen ASF’s various stagings of Dickens’ classic tale (another year I was seriously ill and unable to attend). By attending one of the two preview performances (the show doesn’t officially open until early December) we scored great seats (second row) for a very reasonable price.
I had to confess it was not my favorite of the adaptations they have presented. It had a somewhat sluggish second act that could have used some tightening up. Nonetheless it was very enjoyable, ASF’s customary high-caliber production, with lots of talented actors, detailed costumes and sets, and good use of the Festival Theatre’s revolving stage and trap door and lots of atmospheric stage fog.
One thing I did really like about this version was adding Dickens himself as a sort of narrator and actor within the play, taking on roles such as Fred’s dim-witted but good-hearted friend, Topper. Dickens , who went on tours where he gave readings in which he performed portions of his novels for the audiences, was also an enthusiastic amateur magician who performed for his large family, and several magic tricks were incorporated into the play.
The author also seems to be pulling invisible strings as the master puppeteer, causing bells to ring, thunder to crash, and mysterious figures to rise up in the fog . . .
And I do love how it “snows” at the end of each production. I like to look around and watch the faces of children in the audience, who are clearly delighted to see the white stuff–even if it isn’t the real thing. You don’t see a lot of snow in Lower Alabama. And Tiny Tim was downright adorable.
Before the play, several of the production’s carolers, clad in Victorian costume, performed Christmas classics in the front lobby, with the giant statue of Shakespeare looming behind them, a festive wreath of holly adorning his brow and another in his hands. I was wishing I had my camera with me. Benny tried to take some photos with his phone, but–they didn’t turn out, alas. Knowing I couldn’t take photos of the actual play, I hadn’t packed the trusty Olympus. Always be prepared!
Not only did I get to enjoy this classic holiday tale on stage, I also got to do some shopping, my feet comfortably enclosed in a pair of red leather high-top Nikes that Benny dug out of the closet for me. My beloved “elf shoes” of years past, red suede Reeboks, have had to be retired. But with the colorful holiday ribbon I found at Target and the jingle bells I should find in the multi-purpose room, my elf shoes will return! Now I know what my go-to footwear will be this Christmas season.
I was trying to find a copy of the Rolling Stone’s Hobbit issue, but had no luck there. However, Benny came through once again for me. His sharper eyes discovered a Hobbit Tribute magazine dedicated to our friends at TheOneRingNet. So naturally I had to snap that up. Benny and I also looked over the Hobbit/LOTR display at the big book store we were visiting.
Funny thing is, I seem to already have a lot of it—books, Thorin’s action figure . . . who’d a thunk it? Ah, Thorin . . . will it only be three weeks now from tomorrow that I finally see him in glorious 3D? It shall, it shall!!
And then I come home later and see that new photo of Richard at the airport after a 24-hour flight on Servetus’ blog and am gobsmacked at how fine he looks. Good grief, imagine this on the red carpet. The mind boggles. The heart palpitates. Drool seems to be forming in the corner of the mouth.
It’s freezing cold tonight after another big atmospheric change here. But I feel snug and warm and not just from my cozy PJs and the layers of blankets and the cuddly tuxedo cat on my feet. Feeling all holly jolly–and having new Armitage goodness to contemplate–warms the very cockles of a girl’s heart. Have a happy Sunday/Monday, my dears.
Oh, and I almost forgot. My beloved Alabama Crimson Tide beat their archrivals, the Auburn Tigers, 49-0. They were pulling first string players off the field by the fourth quarter to give them a rest and keep from further running up the score. Now we have bragging rights until this time next year and a good chance at another National Collegiate Championship, which would make it two in a row. Rooollllllll Tide!
Manly and masculine without feeling the need to be “macho.” Strength without the need to “throw your weight around.”
Confidence without cockiness. A keen intelligence seen in those eyes. Intelligence and that glint of mischief.
“I take my craft seriously. Myself? Not so much,” they seem to say.
There’s the hint of a smile playing about those well-shaped lips. The smile of a man who handles life’s challenges with grace, aplomb and good humor.
A man easy to admire, adore and desire.
And I never grow tired of looking at you, listening to you, reading your words, Richard Armitage.
(Oh, and thank you for those biceps. The world somehow feels safer when I see those biceps.)
This is an edited version of a review I wrote for Ep 5 of Series 3 of Robin Hood, originally posted at my Live Journal blog and enhanced here by some artwork and GIFs from that same episode. All hail Glamour Guy as Guyday Friday continues . . .
Robin made the announcement: “He’s back.” And oh, my heavens, he certainly is.
Guy of Gisborne, of late in the hands of Prince John, returned to Nottingham after two episodes – two entertaining episodes, albeit, but
definitely missing something essential to this viewer – and I wanted to scream for joy.
I admit I was quite awestruck by Guy’s sheer beauty. Surely it is illegal for one man to be that attractive?
Indeed, PJ (who looks quite the dandy himself, judging from the publicity stills and previews) must have sent Guy to the royal spa, providing him with a good bath, a shampoo and deep conditioning treatment for his tangled mane, followed by a pristine new suit of clothes.
Mind you, I thought he was gorgeous, all dirty and greasy-haired and mad-eyed. Such is the splendiferousness of the actor named Richard
But after that long, dry spell, to see my darling Guy sleek and well turned out once more, what a treat!
To gaze upon that sexy smirk, that commanding look and see a cool and confident Gisborne (if only for a short while, until the writers had him foiled by Robin once again. Sigh. Well, the show is actually “Robin Hood” and not “Guy of Gisborne: Team Leather Forever,” more’s the pity).
Back to Guy’s hair (I am a bit obsessed with it at the moment, can you tell?). Guy could have starred in the medieval version of a Pantene shampoo commercial with that lustrous, dark mane (such an exquisite frame for those strong masculine features), rumbling those words, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” in that rich, chocolate voice of his.
Oh, I don’t hate you because you’re beautiful. I have to wipe the drool forming on my chin, fan myself a bit; rub my eyes to make sure I’m not imagining a mere mortal could look that scrumptious.
But I certainly do not hate you.
As for the rest of the show (there was someone on-screen other than Guy? Oh, right, there was), that poor, sad old lion was a bit ridiculous. I was quite hoping Robin would decide to show his bravado and stick his head in the lion’s mouth, with Leo biting it off (assuming he still had any teeth), but no such luck. (Sorry, any Robin fans out there; you must understand I am Gizzy’s girl through and through.)
Of course, poor Guy gets thwarted yet again–why would I expect anything different?–and has to return to Nottingham Castle with his ego somewhat wounded but his glorious mane perfectly intact. I swear, it’s hard to say which is the most beautiful proud stallion outside the castle gate, Guy or the horse.
Izzie (the sister we never knew existed) is quite beautiful and indeed, her mane of dark hair, light eyes and lovely bone structure remind one of Guy. I do think Isabella is going to be a real thorn in big brother’s side, between outrageous flirting with PJ and her obvious interest in Arrow Boy. I must say Robin certainly seems to be over Maz, not that he hasn’t been since the end of the first episode.
Do I sound catty?
Glad Little John got some more screen time; sorry it was his chesticles and not Guy’s we got to glimpse. We haven’t even had a tiny bit of Allan’s bare chest this season, yet everyone else seems to be doffing their shirt. Writers, writers . . . . remember, it isn’t only children who are watching.
Methinks Vasey is feeling the heat. He is sounding quite like the Red Queen screaming “off with their heads” as he tries to convince everyone he is still the man in charge. Vasey seemed shocked and rather glad to see Guy back – don’t you know he quite missed having him to berate?
Really looking forward to Toby Stephens as Prince John in next week’s ep. I suspect the talented and toothsome Mr. Stephens will provide us
with a deliciously evil PJ . . .
*author’s note: Oh, if I had only known just how treacherous that bunny boiler sister would prove to be . . . my poor Guy!*