Today in My History
The Right to Know
Books Read in 2020
GERMS 'N' STUFF
6 March 2020
The coronavirus business is getting kind of scary. It would be easier if we could trust the information coming out of the White House, but we just don't know what is true and what is not. Is it going to "miraculously" disappear when the sun comes out in the spring, as the president reassures us? I dunno. It's spring in Seattle and that's where there are the most deaths and new cases. Trump tells people they should just go to work anyway if they feel sick. Swell. Great way to make things worse! And the person who is in charge of giving us all the current information is the Vice President, not any physician.
I fear it's only going to get worse.
My mother has to see the doctor today. Fortunately, she's not in a big facility that needs to be locked down to prevent the old people from getting sick (one of the other facilities in town is taking some steps to minimize possible contamination). But her problem is a lesion they discovered a couple of weeks ago. Her doctor prescribed something topical for it and said she would be out of town for 3 weeks, but that if it didn't improve, she should see one of the other doctors. It hasn't improved, so I called yesterday and she will be seen today.
But while I had a Kaiser person on the phone, I asked what Kaiser is doing about possible the coronavirus. If you have symptoms do you go and see your doctor? walk the halls of Kaiser? sit in the waiting room? and interact with all the staff before you are diagnosed?
I was surprised to find out that what doctors are doing now is video exams. So before you can see a person, you first have a video conference. In fact, the person on the phone asked if I wanted a video conference for my mother, which was kind of not what she needed since Sandy thinks the lesion needs to be drained. I'm also trying to imagine what it would be like with a video conference with my mother, who doesn't want anybody to see her bare skin! It's going to be awkward enough in the exam room. I hope this is a one-time exam because taking her to Kaiser is one of the things I dislike the most.
We saw two shows this week. The first was Hamlet in Sacramento. I have such a difficult time with Shakespeare shows because I never studied Shakespeare and while I have now seen a lot of the plays, I don't know them as well as perhaps most of my readers do. Every time I sit down to write a review of a Shakespeare show I think of one of the critics a long time ago who reviewed a Kabuki performance and scoffed that it was "just a bunch of men in drag." I don't want to sound that uneducated when I review Shakespeare, but I am, and I always realize it when we drive with the other critic in town who knows Shakespeare as well as I know Gilbert & Sullivan and who lets me know what has been shortened and has lots to say about each production that I would have no way of knowing.
Especially Hamlet because though I have been a critic for twenty years I have never seen Hamlet. I can do a decent Macbeth and can struggle through the comedies, but I had never seen Hamlet before and this was a special production set in modern day.
The one thing easy to review was the actor who played Hamlet himself. He was outstanding (even the other critics agreed). I've watched him grow through many productions in the area and this was like taking a big step forward. He was mesmerizing and I talked a lot about him.
I also did what the San Francisco Chronicle did with G&S shows they didn't want to review -- a good portion of the review was spent telling the plot of the story, which most people know anyway. But I did a plot summary and mentioned the other actors, all of whom were quite good.
But I am never satisfied that I have given the best kind of review for a show like this.
The second show was easier. When you think of Robert DeNiro, you probably don't think of musical theater, but he was the original director for A Bronx Tale, a musical of his movie of the same name.
Theater has definitely moved away from the light plots of Rodgers and Hammerstein and things like The Music Man. This concerns a young boy's admiration for the local mob boss. There is lots of blood, gunshots, and all the things you expect in a DeNiro movie. But the music was good. The set was fantastic (and I had to give credit to the designer just so I could write his name: Beowulf Boritt. I somehow can't imagine a tiny baby named Beowulf!
Dancing was great and the music, while not memorable, was good -- written by Alan Menken, who has done so much music for Disney films like Beauty and the beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The review was much easier to write
than for Hamlet.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7288