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Today in My History

2000:  Do You Still Love Me?
2001:  The Master at Work
The Whole Tooth
Virtual Miracles
The Miracle Worker
Just Like a Real Reporter

2006: 15 Seconds of Fame
2007:  Tradition

2008: With a Little Help from PhotoShop

MacBeth (feature article)

Books Read in 2009
Updated: 11/16
"Dragonfly in Amber"

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 9/4/09)


The Manicure from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

And on You Tube

Look at these Videos
Stupid, Callous, Homophobic, Hateful Legislation
This is Amazing--Tragic, but Amazing
Today's the Day
Web Side Story

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My Fair Lady Puppies

Mirror Site for RSS Feed
Airy Persiflage

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16 November 2009

I remember a time when I thought I was busy when I went to two shows a weekend and a time when I hated three show weekends.  This is a four show weekend!

Thursday night I froze my buns off in the appropriately named Deathstar on the UCD campus.  Some warm-blooded students had decided it would be just dandy to put on a production of Macbeth in a concrete arena where we had to sit on concrete steps too wide to use the step behind you as a backrest, in 40 degree weather, for three hours.  As I wrote in my review, even Lawrence Olivier couldn't give a performance good enough to justify the discomfort!

Fortunately, it was a good production, with some weird things in it (the witches, or "weird sisters" redefined the word "weird," with jerky, spasmodic movements that seemed to have no rhyme or reason to them, except that they spent a lot of time draped over each other and, given their flimsy garb, it may just have been for body heat!)

Saturday night it was opening night for the Davis Musical Theatre production of "Carousel."  I bundled up for the cold night air getting to the theatre and by Act 2 the heat in the theatre was making it difficult for me to stay awake, but I'm glad that I did because it was a good show (and I was grateful not to have to be bundled in a quilt to enjoy it!)

The thing about these old chestnuts that we've known from our cradles, though, is that if you examine them under a microscope, they really do not send very good messages!  We all remember Billy's soliloquy and ghost Billy watching his daughter dance on the beach and the stirring "You'll Never Walk Alone," but how many hone in on the fact that this show romanticizes spousal abuse?  Billy hits wife Julie and later when he returns from the afterlife for one day, he hits daughter Laurie out of frustration.  Somehow this gets turned into the incredulous question "have you ever had someone hit you and it didn't really hurt at all?" Julie Jordan, aka Mrs. Billy Bigelow, has just given a perfect example about why battered victims continue to put up with their partners' abuse!

what's the use of wond'ring
If he's good or if he's bad?
He's your feller and you love him,
That's all there is to that.

Saturday night I saw an amazing performance by Matt K. Miller, who plays 40 different characters in a one-man show called "Fully Committed."   Very funny.  Miller is the overworked appointment coordinator at a posh New York restaurant, trying to deal with the chef, the Maitre d', the hostess, and a co-worker, who claims to be waiting for someone to come and tow his car (when, in fact, he's on a job interview), as well as a collection of eccentric customers calling for reservations at the restaurant.  Truly a tour de force for an actor, and Miller, who must lose a couple of pounds at each performance, is outstanding.

Walt missed out on all three of these shows since he was working his own show, "Amahl and the Night Visitors," put on by a brand new theatre group pieced together from lots of people who used to perform with the defunct Davis Comic Opera Co.  Walt has been working on the set, and the show opened last night.  Because of all the other shows I'm working, I won't get a chance to see this show at all, since it runs only the one weekend.

But Walt and I went together today to the fourth in my four-show weekend, my favorite show of any year, the Lamplighters annual Gala (the 44th--we were at the very first one and have been to almost all of them, skipping a few when the kids were babies). 

This year's show was "Star Drek:  The Generation After That."  There was a "Star Drek" gala many years ago--I can't remember if I was still working on the Galas then or not, but I think not.  Anyway, technology has come a long way, Baby, and this one was much more technologically impressive but still had all the funny things that Galas are known for, brilliantly blending Gilbert & Sullivan with well known Broadway musicals.

The crew of the Starship were, for example,  Capt. James T. Quirk, Officer Mr. Schlock, Lieutenant Solo, Lt. Ihearya, and Nurse Beth L. Temple. with characters from "West Side Story," "Carousel," "The King and I," "Sweeney Todd," "Annie," "My Fair Lady," "Cabaret," "Cats," "Wicked," and "Guys & Dolls." 

Lyric rewrites have become so much more sophisticated since I was working on them...and they now have supertitles, so you don't miss any of the cleverness.

We also discovered a hertofore little known talent of J. Geoffrey Colton, whom I have known forever.  Who knew he could tap dance (kinda sort almost)?

Following the show there was the traditional champagne reception, in the reception hall of Herbst Theatre, overlooking the San Francisco City Hall.

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We had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with a couple of friends from the company and then headed home, meeting some very hungry puppies who had been waiting for about 4 hours for their dinner.

So my four show weekend has come to and end and next weekend there will be only two shows, but both of them will be in New York City.


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An historic moment:  The History Writing team meets for the first time!
Left to right:  Artistic Director Barbara Heroux, Kathryn Fox Ma, me, Alison S. Lewis



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