Today in My History

2000:  Some Days are Diamonds
2001:  Zippers and Spinach and Kidneys
2002: 
"Lyrics by Bev Sykes"
2003: 
Arnold and I Clean House
2004: 
The Gods Apologize
2005
It Never Rains
2006: Having the Last Word

IN MY OPINION
Brigadoon
Noises Off
(feature)

Books Read in 2007
 
Updated: 11/06
"Copper Beech"




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HOW NOT TO BE A CRITIC

17 November 2007

A good tip:  If you're sitting in a small theatre and you have nobody sitting between you and the only person on stage, it's never a good idea to fall asleep.  The monologist met the audience out in the small lobby after the show tonight.  I bundled up in my red jacket (covering up my distinctive t-shirt....as if I wasn't already conspicuous by my mere size) and slunk off in the other direction, not wanting to find out whether he noticed that I'd been dozing.

I'm not sure why I was so sleepy.  True, I didn't have a pre-show nap this afternoon, but I didn't think I needed one.  But maybe the fact that I was up too late last night trying one last time to get that damn BookSmartStupid program to work before I wrote the review for the show we had seen last night had something to do with it.

The review hadn't been a difficult one to write.  "Noises Off" is an hilarious show and the production is just great.  My biggest problem was cutting the words down to my standard 750.  I wanted to make sure I had adequately reviewed everyone involved in the project--down to the people who wrote the very funny program.

In the morning Walt and I were off by 9 a.m. and on our way to Kaiser.  This is becoming routine now.  I dropped him off for his 9:40 x-ray appointment and I went off on an unsuccessful search for a gas station (I know there must be gas stations in Sacramento...somewhere...but just not where I was looking).  I met him at Orthopedics and they took him early, since his x-rays took less time than expected.  It meant we were home by about 11:30.

The doctor's report is noncommittal.  I guess the x-rays must have looked OK because he is now scheduled not to return until December 6, when his cast will be taken off and then we'll see how it has all healed and how much physical therapy is going to be involved.

I was scheduled to do an interview at 1 p.m. so we had time for lunch before heading out again.  The interview was great fun.  It was with Paul's former boss, Bob Bowen, who, 30 years ago, had this crazy idea, thanks to an article he read in Women's Day magazine, to put on a children's version of The Nutcracker.  All five of our kids were in that very first production, did several productions after that, graduated to the tech crew and Ned is listed in the 2006 program as having worked on set design.  So The Davis Children's Nutcracker is very near and dear to my heart and I'm writing a feature article for its 30th year anniversary.

I brought Walt along with me for the interview, since he has been involved with the show, off and on over the years, and since we have been involved in many projects with Bob, whom we consider a friend, over the years. 

It was old home week, and such a great time reminiscing about all the things that have evolved as a result of that very first Nutcracker.

I left the interview all jazzed about other interviews I'll be doing for my article, and I have the first line already written:  "Davis would be a much different town today, if Bob Bowen hadn't liked beer and pretty girls."  How's that for a "grab-ya" opening?

We had dinner and then drove back to Sacramento to see this monologue show.  It was held in a very small theatre, the very theatre where several years ago I had the embarrassing zebra incident, in fact.  We were so early we had time to stop at Starbucks for a gingerbread latte (since Mary has been mentioning them and making me jealous), and were early enough to attend the prologue before the actual show.

I don't understand people.  OK, the show itself doesn't start until 8 p.m., but there is a woman standing on the stage talking about the show and a group walks in and proceeds to stand there, almost directly in front her, discussing, in normal tone of voice, where they want to sit.  Talk about rude!  Another couple sat in the front row and continued to talk while the speaker tried to talk over them.

With Walt's arm in a cast, seating at theatres is getting tricky.  I always try to get a left aisle seat for myself so I can stretch out the knee that doesn't like to bend ever since my bike accident four years ago.  But now Walt needs the arm of a seat to rest his arm on, so he also wants to have a left aisle seat. 

This particular theatre is only four rows deep and it is angled in such a way that the aisle separating the right section from the middle section is only the width of about half a seat in the top row, so Walt could sit in the right section and I could set in the middle section, with no chair in front of me, and we could both be taken care of -- his arm had an armrest and my knee had no chair in front of it, so I could stretch out, and the space between us was less than the width of a theatre seat.

But, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, the danger of this is that I am essentially sitting at the top of the stairs, not actually IN the row of seats, which means that if the actor looks at the stairs, all he can see is me, all alone....asleep.

I suppose that will factor into my review at some point.  Perhaps not admitting that I was actually sleeping, but mentioning that the show could be just a tad shorter.  It was good, but not outstanding.  Too much seemed repetitious and not funny enough.

Or maybe I just needed that nap this afternoon.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Orange Court, Davis

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