21 March 2005
That quote has been running through my mind all evening. It's from Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe, which is probably my favorite of the G&S operettas.
I remember the first time I went to a Lamplighter cast party. This was hot stuff. A cast party. Those are the things where you expected to find Noel Coward lounging against a piano, and famous actresses in long ball gowns holding cigarette holders and sipping champagne as everyone waited up for the reviews to come in.
Well, the reality of community theatre cast parties is far from the picture that Hollywood has painted for us. It's a bunch of people all slammed into a house that was meant to hold far fewer of them than it is at the moment. Everybody has a casserole or some sort of nibble to share. There is hovering around the food table and loud talking and trying to elbow your way through to a door to get some air, only you'd probably encounter the pot crowd outside smoking. The partying went on until the wee small hours of the morning.
Cast parties for the Davis Comic Opera Co. when we first became active usually included music, people gathered around the piano to sing--I always liked those.
It's 40 years since we attended our first Lamplighter production and nearly 30 years since we attended our first cast party. There have been many cast parties under the bridge since then, and other gatherings of Lamplighter friends, most of whom are still part of the partying crowd.
Tonight we attended a "surprise" birthday party that our friend Will (the same one that we went to Old Sacramento with last weekend) and a friend of his threw for themselves. "But don't tell me, whatever you do!" he said more than once. Will is just a couple of months behind me in age and decided that 62 was a good age to throw himself a big shindig.
It was held at a good ol' boy boat club down near 3-Com Park, or whatever the heck the Giants stadium is called these days, and there was a nice view of the Bay Bridge behind the dock next door.
All the usual suspects were there. There was Jill, who mentioned that she had just passed her 67th birthday. Rosemary, whom we hadn't seen in years, looking no longer the sparkling ingenue that she used to be, but still fit as a fiddle. John is now retired and not doing much--kind of what I'm doing, in my "retirement"--watching television and surfing the internet. There were more wrinkles, more grey hair, more "love handles" than we saw 30 years ago.
The groaning board of food was still there, heaped high on top of a pool table covered with a table cloth and disguised by three vases of flowers. But people didn't hover as much and it didn't seem to disappear as fast.
More people (like me) stood around drinking water or soft drinks than the wine guzzling days of old. Willa and Henry split a glass of beer and then drank soda water.
Jill left first and others began to get ready to go too. Walt asked if I was ready to "head over the rim," which I was.
When we left the party, I noted that we had been there not quite an hour and a half, but we were all worn out.
We had left the house at 6 p.m., had driven 80 miles, had gone to a party, and were home half an hour before midnight.
Yes indeed, fairy revels are not what they were!
Will says, "They sure feel the same. Just takes less time."
This has absolutely NOTHING to do with this entry, but you must go check this slide show. Some people are SO clever!
And while I'm at it, thank you all SO MUCH for the
lovely good wishes by e-mail and guest book on my Journalversary. It was very nice.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The birthday boys dueling with cake knives.