Today in My History
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
2008: An Artsy-Fartsy Weekend
Books Read in 2009
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
VIDEO OF THE DAY / WEEK / WHATEVER
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SAYS YOU x3, UP WITH A TWIST
19 May 2009
How do you soften the realization that it is the 13th anniversary of your youngest child's death? And that you are spending the afternoon at a memorial service for your children's beloved teacher?
You concentrate on remembering the day before, of course, and the third day of taping of Says You shows.
On Sunday morning I woke up having finally had a full night of sleep, knowing that Lester was safe at home in Boston, and that I had plenty of time to get to San Francisco for the final day of taping Says You shows.
Char was going to attend this taping session with me and I made arrangements to meet her at the Lafayette BART station. We decided to go in to the City early because it was also the day of the running of the Bay to Breakers race and lord only knows what traffic would be like. It actually wasn't bad at all, since the race had been run earlier in the morning. It was parking that was impossible (I told Char they need to hang a sign on the Bay Bridge that San Francisco is closed because all the parking is taken!)
We drove out to Presentation and got there about an hour and a half early. And there was no parking. I wondered where all the rest of the people who would be coming over the next hour were going to park. Char and I took the very last spot within a multi-block area and we walked to the theatre. We were early, of course (actually we were the first people in the audience to arrive) and the two USF girls who were ushers found us chairs so we could sit in the hall while the day's musical group practiced behind the theatre's closed doors.
There is always some local music group which plays for Says You shows. The first night it was a kind of bluegrass/folk sounding group; the second night it was a woodwind quintet. So who knew what the music would be for this taping. But then I heard someone singing "Sempre Libre" from La Traviata and figured they were going with vocal music this time, since San Francisco is such a big opera town. I was enjoying the music and laughing at myself because there I was in the old Lamplighters theatre and could have sworn that the person singing was the Lamplighters' own Jane Hammett, whom I first met when she did Something's Afoot back in 1984, I laughed that I was so out of touch with opera that all sopranos must sound alike to me.
We waited a long time until the house was opened, went to our seats, smack dab in the middle of the theatre and waited for the show to start. Soon, Assoc. Producer Zack Moore came out on stage to tell us the show was about to start and to introduce the day's musical group -- THE LAMPLIGHTERS! Well, six Lamplighters, four of whom were friends of mine! What fun! What a terrific surprise. I sent a quick text message to Walt and settled in to watch the show.
Musical Director Baker Peeples was at the piano, so he doesn't show in this photo, but yes it WAS Jane Hammett (left) I had heard, as well as Rick Williams, Jonathan Spencer and two newer women I don't know (so don't remember their names).
They treated the audience to a good sampling of G&S at their various moments in the show, including the ubiquitous "Three Little Maids" and the Matter-Matter trio from Ruddygore (which really impressed the audience with its rapid-fire patter). Host Richard Sher was in 7th heaven, stating that he had long wanted to have Gilbert & Sullivan as part of the show. (Whether he really meant it or not, who cares--it was a great line!)
(Jane didn't sing La Traviata, but she did sing "Poor Wand'ring One.")
This was, needless to say, my favorite of the 3 days of tapings -- the marriage of two of the best parts of my entertainment life.
At intermission Char and I went outside to get a breath of fresh air, when Jonathan walked by the door of the theatre and saw me standing by the door to the theatre. I waved and he came out, followed by the other three people who were as surprised to see me there as I was to see them there.
When we left the theatre after the show there was a large group of people gathered outside on the sidewalk. I decided that these were folks who were waiting for someone in their party to go the mile or two away where the car had been stashed and come to pick them up.
On the way to our car we passed a woman in a shocking yellow sparkly cheerleader outfit and later a guy with bunny ears and another guy in some outlandish costume. We figured these were Bay to Breakers stragglers.
In any event, the Sunday taping was the best of the three days, even though by the end of the weekend I had driven around 500 miles and had a minor auto accident on Saturday night. It was all worth it! I just wish Walt had been there with me to enjoy it.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is better viewed full size.
MILES TO NOWHERE: 106 miles