2000: Where Is God?
2001: Walking and Gawking
2002: Older than Dirt
2003: Land of Plenty
2004: New York, New York, that Wonderful Town
2005: Home Free
2006: Handwriting on the Wall
2007: Nobody Ate the Kraft Dinner
IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2008
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19 May 2008
First of all, you must, must see the new video, "My Rising Up," which I added to "Look at These Videos." The Gay Men's Chorus in San Francisco is going to be performing a cantata of Steve's music in December, but they are doing one of the pieces in their spring concert and Steve took a video of a rehearsal. My god, did this send chills down my spine. And in the middle I actually had tears in my eyes. I don't know if it's because it's that good or if it's because I was imagining what Steve must feel to be watching this. I suspect it's both.
So it's been a three-show weekend, and fortunately all three plays, while quite different from one another, were all pretty good.
We started Friday night with a performance of Measure for Measure at the University. As I have stated ad nauseam in this journal, Shakespeare is not my forte and I knew nothing about this particular play. But I did some studying beforehand so I had a vague idea of what was going on.
I was not prepared, however, for modern dress, electric colored wigs on bump-and-grind dancers, and musical numbers tossed in at random. I could have done without the music, which was forgettable, but the production was pretty good, and the performers were all excellent. The best I can say is that it was a Shakespeare production that kept me awake (of course I don't mention that in a printed review!)
I really, really didn't want to to go see A Number at Capital Theatre Company, which performs on the Delta King riverboat in Old Sacramento. It wasn't that I didn't like the play (which I had never heard of before), or that the theatre company tended to do bad productions. On the contrary, they are one of my favorite groups because they are generally excellent.
No, my reluctance had to do only with the fact that it was a comfortable 78 degrees in the house and an UNcomfortable 100 degrees outside! Going to the show would involve putting on SHOES, and long pants and actually feeling the heat. I'm so very spoiled by air conditioning!
However, it was worth the trip. This is a play by a playwright named Caryl Churchill and has been called "the first 21th century play." It involves the subject of cloning and is a discussion between a father and son, who has just learned that he is a clone...or is he the original? It brings up the question of what makes us who we are. It reminds me of the lyrics to the song in A Chorus Line which says "Who am I anyway? Am I my resume?"
The play is only 65 minutes long, but gives the audience much to ponder at the end of it. And the two actors, Gillen Morrison and Loren Taylor, were simply outstanding.
We ended the weekend with a matinee production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Woodland Opera House. I've noticed that on three-show weekends, the third show just really seems like going to work, no matter how good it is. This was a matinee, so the senior citizen buses were parked in front of the theatre and at some point Walt announced that I was the youngest person in the place.
I remember when the Lamplighters joked about a "sea of blue hair" at Sunday matinees, though this particular matinee had at least one fellow in the most amazing pompadour that I was sorry I'd forgotten my camera. It was an unnatural gold and piled higher than Elvis', which made me glad that have chosen to age au naturel!
The show itself was pretty good, though it's either the acoustics of the opera house, or all of our aging ears, but there was a gathering of other audience members in front of us at intermission, all complaining about being unable to understand the dialog. One guys said "I can't figure out what's going on...but at least it's a nice way to get out of the house" and then added that "you really can't beat the old musicals!"
We ended the weekend with dinner out at a local restaurant. This is a place that sent me a coupon for a free dinner for two, if I would be one of their "secret shoppers," reporting back how my experience had been -- they contacted me in response to a letter of complaint I had sent about experiences on Easter weekend.
Anyway, we had a wonderful dinner, with starter, wine, salad, entree, and dessert. About 50% more than we would normally eat on a night out, but all was well. Unfortunately, the waitress did not live up to a lot of the picky bits that they ask about on the form (didn't give us information on specials, or offer freshly grated pepper for our salad, or ask if we wanted dessert, or offer coffee when she brought dessert). But I filled out the "secret shopper" form and thanked them for giving us the chance to participate.
So, having now reviewed the restaurant, I'm spending the rest of the evening working on the reviews for the 3 shows.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
MILES TO NOWHERE: 38 miles