Today in My History

2000: Touchspace or Cyberspace
2001:  Law of the Land
2002:  Making Molehills Out of Mountains
2003:  Judy & Ethel Together Again
2004:  It's All Routine
2005:  An Eddie-like Dog
2006:   Here We Go Again
Beaver Lake

2008: Mrs. S Graciously Declines Your Invitation
2009:  It's Greek to Me
2010:  Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little
2011:  Going to the Head

2012: Shrinkage
2013: An Unbelievable Story
2014: Sunday Stealing
2015: Down Memory Lane
2016: Sister Kathleen
2017: Chrysanthemums
2018: Day Off
2019: Saturday 9

Theater Reviews
Updated 3/10

Books Read in 2020
 Updated 7/28
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(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
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Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

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3 Aug 2020

A penpal wrote yesterday asking me about the best theater I had seen.  My answer to that question is usually the play, Grounded, a one-woman show about a bomber in Vietnam who had to leave her job because she was pregnant.

After her child was old enough, she realized she missed her job and went back to work, only now she wasn't asked to fly a plane and bomb from the plane, she sat in a building in the Nevada desert and watched the potential targets on a computer screen and bombed them from the comfort and safety of her Nevada office.

The emotions that the pilot experiences, both having to give up flying because of pregnancy, and then realizing that with the computer screen she could actually see the people she was killing (she ended up in a mental institution) was chilling and the actress who did it was outstanding.  It stands out as one of the best straight plays I have had to review. 

(Ann Hathaway got rave reviews doing this role in London, but it would be hard to beat the community theater production we saw)

But long before I became a critic ... or even thought of being a critic ... there was another performance which I would rate as one of the most memorable I have seen on stage.

It was a very small part, but I still remember it.

It was a production of Deathtrap at the Curran Theater in San Francisco during my Lamplighters years.  George Ede, the actor who was playing the small role of a lawyer at the very end of the show was a friend of our Lamplighters friends Woody and Phil and, knowing that we were going to be seeing the show, they invited us to come and have cocktails with George before the play (or maybe it was the night before).

He was a delightful man and we enjoyed meeting him and spending time with him.  He invited us to come backstage after the show.

So we went to the show, about which we knew nothing, and found it exciting.  Kathleen Freeman, a character actress I'd enjoyed for a long time, was also in it and the show had surprising twists and turns.

George played an attorney who has one scene at the end of the show.  He is in conversation with another actor, and the most memorable moment I can think of in theater is when the other actor said something embarrassing to George's character and he blushes full red, from neck to head.

I doubt that any other actor could have done live on stage, that without the help of a film special effects crew.

As you can see, he has white hair and a pale complexion that just works for the blush to be noticeable even at the back of the balcony. 

It was amazing.

We went backstage after the show and took him out for coffee.  As we sat down I said "Ok...how do you do that???" and he said that it's just a matter of knowing where in the other actor's dialog he knows that he has to start holding his breath so that at the right moment, he turns bright red.

I think of all the things I have seen on stage in my life and yet, today, some 30 years later, that's still the very first thing I think of when I think of special things I have seen.



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