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November 18, 2019
The four of us went to the high school musical last night. A show I did not have to review, but it was directed by a friend of the kids' (and ours) and he raved about it, so we went. It was held at the Brunelle Theater, a building named for the former music teacher at the high school with whom all of our kids had dealings at one time or another (except possibly Jeri). It's a 500 seat theater and was essentially filled last night, which is amazing. It may be because it was the closing performance...and also because many students came to see it moret than once.
The show is an original one called Ranked and takes place in a slight dystopian time (later than 2019, anyway) and examines the stress high schoolers are put under as they build their social standing around the standard of “above” or “below” average.
Most of the first act (complete with quite good music) centers around those who are "above average" and their attitude toward those who are "below average." Big lists on either side of the stage are updated regularly and give the ratings of each student.
At the end of the first act, there is a crisis...similar to the recent scandal of parents buying their kids' way into college, and so the school suspends the rating system for a week, which is, at first, a terrible trauma for the above average kids especially because they don't know how to act without knowing where they are on the list.
But as the days wear on, they start talking to the "below average" kids and learn the life events that have helped to lower their grades. By the time the ranking system is started again, the attitude of all the students has changed.
But how long will that last?
It's quite a good show that obviously resonates with the students. The problem with the production is, of course, the perennial problem of good actors who project well and less good actors who can't be heard as far as the edge of the stage. I thought I was being so smart because I made sure my hearing aids were fully charged, and then forgot to put them in, so I missed about 3/4 of the dialog, but fortunately Marta, who has no hearing impairment, said she couldn't understand a lot of it either.
But for once I didn't worry about it because I didn't have to come home and try to figure out how to write a review about a brand new show that I didn't understand most of!
Marta is a happy camper. Ned finally got their hot tub hooked up and heating.
Setting up the hot tub was more complicated than I thought it would be, since the base had to be built (Ned carried many bags of gravel), an electrical line needed to be run (and approved by the city), and when he finally got to the point where he could fill it, it had been such a long time since it was used that it ws full of crud, so it had to be filled, emptied, cleaned and filled again. As of this writing, it is still heating (must be about 102 degrees, Ned tells me) but by the time you are reading this, I'm sure they will have had their first soak. So they are ready for winter to come.
While waiting for the tub to empty for the first time, Ned took some of the discarded lumber that has accumulated during the past few months, and built a birdhouse, which now overlooks the hot tub.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7174