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YOU CAN'T TAKE THE GRAPES WITH YOU
8 March 2014
I'm getting a little punchy. Last night we saw The Grapes of Wrath; tonight we saw You Can't Take it With You. I may be starting to mix the two...
For some reason, I was very tired last night. It wasn't that the book store was so busy that it exhausted me, or that I hadn't had enough sleep (for me) the night before, but I was just sleepy. I think having a sore throat (which is gone today) may have been a contributing factor. I also try to take a nap before I review a show...just "in case." I enjoyed the show, but had a very difficult time following it and didn't hear a lot of the lines.
I've stopped complaining in reviews about not being able to decipher lines on stage any more. It happens so regularly now that I figure my problem is either that I prefer (and request) seats toward the back of the theater, or that I'm 71 years old and my hearing isn't as acute as it used to be. Walt is complaining about not being able to hear too, but he can't hear me if he's in the kitchen and I'm in the family room. We both have difficulty hearing each other when we are in the car. We're both getting old!
I had read "Grapes of Wrath" during my "Steinbeck period" in the 1980s, when I re-discovered him and read almost everything he ever wrote. "Grapes" was not my favorite, but I certainly knew the story. I also remember seeing the movie at least once and those iconic scenes of Henry Fonda being all noble and stuff when he says goodbye to Ma Joad on every "best of Hollywood" shows. But I had not seen the play before, and what with the difficulty hearing much of the dialog, I was afraid I might have missed some key points.
Before I wrote my review, I thought it would be good if I watched the movie again. Bless streaming Netflix. Five minutes after I had that notion in my head, Walt and I were sitting in the family room calling up the movie on the new Roku and watching it. Roku and streaming were very. good. ideas! In fact, Netflix doesn't have You Can't Take it With You to stream, but Amazon does and I may decide to watch that again before writing the review, though the production we saw tonight was certainly much easier to follow.
If you're not familiar with this play, it's about this crazy family that when I first saw it may years ago (when the kids were still living at home and we were hosting foreign students), I swore was the story of our family. There was the girl who danced around the house, the guy who was always playing music, Mom always writing something (she writes plays) at the typewriter and a host of people in and out of the house all the time, principal among them a guy of questionable citizenship who helps Dad build fireworks in the basement, a Russian ballet teacher and his cousin, the Grand Duchess, now working at a restaurant in New York.
It wasn't exactly our family, but had enough familiar elements that I recall it being hilarious to us.
We sat with Debra LoGuercio DeAngelo, the theater critic and editor of the local newspaper.
I have occasionally done theater reviews for her when she can't review herself. The last time we saw a show together, we anticipated a bad show and she brought a flask of vodka, which we shared!
The show was fun. It had some rough patches, but I usually allow for rough patches in community theater, and it did make me want to come home and watch the movie before writing the review, just to check out a few things.
Tomorrow my first Chechov play...expect there will not be a lot of
laughs in this one!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Russian nuclear subs in Sevastopol in September.
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