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RUNNING A MARATHON
4 March 2014
I know a lot of people who run marathons. I have two children who run marathons. I'm lucky if I can make it down the driveway to the sidewalk, so I don't think I'm going to be running any races in the foreseeable future...or indeed ever.
However, that does not rule me out for a marathon.
I am in the middle of a marathon right now.
Since I started being a critic, my usual schedule involves one or two plays to review in a week, during periods when everybody is opening a new show. Occasionally I have three shows to review in the same week, which I consider a lot of plays in one week.
However, from the 28th of February to the 15th of March, I have nine shows to review. That's the most I've ever had in that short a period of time.
I've already seen two of them.
On Friday, we were at the opening night for South Pacific at the Davis Musical Theater Company.
I hoped it was a good omen for the next 8 because it really was a lovely production, with strong performances, a beautiful look, despite the small budget, and I was kind of sorry I hadn't brought my mother to it.
The next night was Sacramento Theater Company's Romeo and Juliet, the first time the 69 year old company has ever done this particular Shakespeare tragedy.
This, too, was an excellent production, with a particularly athletic Romeo (whom I last saw playing a wrestler in the very active The Excellent Entrance of Chad Deity) and a lovely waif-like Juliet. They set it in 1930 on Varona, New Jersey and the warring families are from the Italian mob and the Jewish mob. Somehow it works.
I managed to get both reviews written right away, so I have no backlog hanging over my head.
I took Sunday off to watch the Oscars, which means that on Tuesday I'll be seeing a production at the B Street Theater in Sacramento called Wrong for Each Other. I know nothing about this play, but B Street is a new theater to me and this will be only the third show I have seen there. However, the previous two were excellent and the company has a very good reputation.
On Thursday, I see the university production of The Grapes of Wrath, which I am sure is going to be good. I love Steinbeck and the university usually does quality stuff. I'm looking forward to it.
Friday we drive out to Winters to see You Can't Take it With You, which I have always considered the story of our family! Winters is the least "professional" company of the group, but one of my favorite places to review, not only because they give me cheesecake and champagne on opening night, but also because the actors know they are amateurs and are just having such a good time on stage that you can't not love them.
The next night a brand new theater company, Art Theater of Davis, is opening Chekhov's The Three Sisters. I have never seen a Chekhov play, so I'm curious. I'm also curious about this new company. I'm writing a newspaper article about the group and the show.
Then on Sunday (that's 4 nights in a row and only one break on Wednesday when I am not reviewing!) we will be at the Woodland Opera House to see a show called The Second Best Bed, another show about which I know nothing, but which the web site describes as The neurotic and nerdy Midwestern grad student and her celebrity-obsessed buddy arrive at a remote English B&B seeking a long-lost Shakespeare play and the key to its whereabouts--the famous second-best bed the Bard left to his wife. Soon, a curmudgeonly professor, a glamorous has-been actress, and a busybody L.A. tourist join the hunt while trying to avoid the creepily mysterious innkeeper. A world premiere of a fresh and witty spin on the classic bedroom farce, written by Sacramento playwright Matthew Abergel. Sounds like a fun romp.
Then I get a day off and Tuesday am back in Sacramento to see the Blue Man Group at the community theater. I'm not a big fan of Blue Man Group, which we saw once in Chicago, but they are entertaining. I am leery of this group since they do a lot of audience participation stuff, at least they did in Chicago, and I am not into audience participation, but the Sacramento venue is huge and I think I will be fairly safe.
And finally, I round out the 9 on Saturdy with 4000 Miles at Capital Stage in Sacramento, a wonderfully funny, touching and ultimately surprising play about growing up and finding home.
After that I am free and clear until the 29th when I am back at Sacramento Theater Company again for its next production.
Now you know why I rarely get to the theater to see an actual movie!
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