I need to ease into this entry, much the way I need to ease into my chair for the next few days, so I’m going to start with the lighter fare…
Part I: Life Outside the Theatre, or: Life’s OUTSIDE the Theatre?!
Half Price Books comes through once again
Stopped by HPB this past Saturday before heading to Sunset for my weekly two-show workout. I’ve got a nice little routine in place for every time I visit. First I hit up the clearance section, then head over to the children’s books, then Plays and Poetry, non-fiction end caps, and a then the CD bargain racks. To each their own, but this system’s the one that keeps me going.
I picked up six neat-o music selections the other day, and because I know you’re just as interested in hearing what they were as I am in hearing how they sound…
- Mrs. Fun: “They Are Not A Trio,” feat. kd lang and Milwaukee’s own Flora Coker
It’s been a while since I’ve been to Summerfest, so I imagine/hope Mrs. Fun is still part of the lineup there. Acid jazz isn’t generally my genre of choice, but I have to say I do always enjoy watching and listening to these women perform. And they draw the best audiences! I see from their website they were involved somehow in Phranc‘s “I Enjoy Being a Girl” (’89) but does anyone know in what capacity they worked together? Phranc. Can you imagine? Gosh– how fun! How– how Mrs. Fun… She’s a life lover too, you know.
- Loreena McKennitt: “Live in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts” (05/94)
Every time I listen to McKennitt I think of this family I babysat for when I was in high school as every time I went over I’d pop in the mom’s “Book of Secrets” cd. The oldest boy was friends with my brother and he and his siblings were all geniuses, the children of creative genius parents. The mother covered about 40% of their home’s floor space in extravagantly luscious trompe l’oeil paintings that made you want to stick to the carpet to ensure her work would last longer. That family made me happy, just knowing people like them were around.
- Jem: “Finally Woken”
I figure I’ve got to see what she’s all about, and I assume a better way to start is with the older stuff before fame entered the picture in quite such a potentially influential way.
- k.d. lang and the reclines: “Angel With A Lariat”
Don’t know a darn thing about this one, just know I enjoyed “All You Can Eat” an awful lot and this disc was only a buck.
- Luscious Jackson: “Natural Ingredients”
With cover art that screams “1994!” I can only imagine this album will chuck (Taylor) me back into a desire to pair a small print floral dress with Docs and a cardigan. That was such a comfier time. Can we go back to that? Please?
- Nelly Furtado: “Whoa, Nelly!”
This is an absolutely fantastic and fun album. Every track is at the very least enjoyable, and at the most downright super great. Too bad she got all trashy when the money started rolling in. *shrugs* At least we’ll always have “Whoa, Nelly!”
I also picked up a book of Spanish literature of the 1700s – 1900s. It’s great because the intros and biographies are in English, but the texts are in their original Spanish, and I’ve been looking (casually) for something like this for a while now. So yay for that.
*nom nom nom*
Okay– but have you tried the California Topper? OMG, fellows. Oh. Em. Gee.
Sun and Stars
I’m re-reading the first four A Song of Ice and Fire books in preparation for the eventual release of A Dance with Dragons. (No rush, George. Didn’t mean anything pressing by “eventual.” You take your time. Do it right. Release it around my birthday in March and I totally owe you a Coke.) It’s amazing to catch all these tiny details, these character subtleties, this second time around. I love- or hate- every character even more upon re-reading their stories, and am even more excited than I was before about book 5 coming out. If you are even remotely a sci-fi fan, a fantasy fan, a historical fiction fan, a regular fiction fan, or able to string letters together to form words: Read George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Amazing books. You will not be disappointed.
Matthew, James, and Joel: You have to live the life of a ASoIaF character for a year. Who do you choose and why?
Part II: The Remaining 94% of Last Weekend
Jane the Phoole came to the show on Friday night and let me tell you: I was ecstatic. I heard from a fellow actor that she was in the audience that night and I was instantly aflutter with nerves and excitement and– well and worry! You’ve got to be at the top of your game when Milwaukee’s official jester is present!
I look forward to seeing her every year at the Bristol Ren Faire, so it was a real treat to see her at Sunset– sans the usual regalia, no less. She said she enjoyed the show, which is either a wonderful review for us, or a moment of great acting from a great actress, because she was entirely believable when she said it. So good for us or kudos to her. Either way somebody still wins.
Bore me once, shame on you. Bore me twice…
“It is a hopeless endeavour to attract people to a theatre unless they can be first brought to believe that they will never get in.” Charles Dickens in “Nicholas Nickelby”
An interesting quote, that, given the fact that the four people in Sunday’s 2pm front row LEFT after the first intermission. I guess when people realize they can get into a theatre they may be faced with the prospect that they have no desire to remain there. Actually, I had no desire for three of those four to remain either so perhaps it’s just as well.
First there was an older couple on the end of the row, featuring a grumpy looking woman with an expression that’d curdle gasoline, and a man who kept sprawling out to find the best position in which to GO TO SLEEP during the performance. If you don’t like comedies. folks, don’t waste your time or money on attending them. No one will mind if you’re not there. In fact, most would probably prefer it that way, yourselves included.
Then there was a couple in their early 20s in the middle of the row. The girl was smiling and laughing throughout the first act, but her boyfriend could barely bring himself to remove his chin from his hand as boredom with our antics ate away at his soul. I know none of you ladies would ever leave something you’d already paid for and were enjoying just because your boyfriend was a humorless Philistine, but this poor young woman did exactly that. Take care, sister. This promises to be one pointless sacrifice among many, I fear…
“Ruth Arnell sat on a wall…”
Because people leaving at intermission should not be an event in itself but rather a hirbinger of greater ills to come, I proceed with caution as I dive into the rest of Saturday’s rather distressing 5pm show.
So first the light board reboots itself at the top of Act II just as the intermission music fades and the curtain opens. No lights, no sound, no action. Just… darkness. Darkness and actors stranded on stage in that darkness with no clue what’s going on, forced to stay in character and improvise as nothing continues to happen. That, ladies and gentlemen is what we call the “joy of live theatre.” It is also what we call “a real drag.” No matter– these things happen. The show must go on! And eventually– it did.
And then Act III hit.
All in all it was fine, and to tell you the truth I don’t think a darn thing happened for most of the act that anyone not involved in the show would’ve noticed. A key prop malfunctioned, cutting short a rather involved and quite comical bit, but again: who’d know?
Things are moving along just fine from then on until about 5 minutes before the end of the show when I’m on the upper mezzanine of the set and I accidentally catch my earring on my finger and hurl it down onto the stage floor below. An annoying, and clearly unintentional, attention grabber from the action in front of me, but again: these things happen.
Immediately thereafter I’m supposed to run down a flight of stairs in 3 1/2″ heels to talk to another character. This is something I’ve been doing for a month down these same stairs, with this same actor, in these same shoes. But for some reason… For some reason this one time my right foot- my dominant foot for crying out loud!- slips in my shoe and I crash onto the stairs, landing hard on a rear end not nearly as padded as I’d thought, before sliding down four stairs to the sound of gasps from the little old ladies in the audience.
And let me tell ya, folks: That fall hurt more than my pride. I finished the scene and then burst into tears as soon as the set door closed behind me. Ain’t no pain like a pain in the ass. Luckily Jenny was there to literally *run* to me, throw her arms around my shoulders, and offer the kind of sweet, tender encouragement that only the awesomest among us can offer. She’s a gem, that Jenny Ko. A diamond in the rough.
The tears eventually subsided, the 8pm show came and went (awesomely, I might add), and much to my delight there doesn’t appear to be any swelling. (Leave it alone…) Still quite a lot of pain, though, as it’s tough for something to heal when you keep sitting on it. Work especially is a real bear as every time I go to get up from my desk I end up spending about a minute wincing and rising at odd angles a few degrees at a time, hoping that either no one is noticing or that they’re all doing me the embarrassed courtesy of pretending not to see. I’ll take what I can get.
Finally! Geez louise. You know– I’d intended to make this video a good month ago but just never got around to it. I wanted to make a couple, make them kind of informative, include pictures from rehearsals, get footage of people involved with the show talking about why in the world they’d voluntarily get involved with something like this. Yeah. You see how that didn’t happen?
Video homework: What play should I get people together to read this summer?
“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” Edgar Bergen