Friday, July 21, 2006

Lots To Do This Weekend

'Pump Boys and Dinettes' at the Studio Theater.

'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers' at RSP

'Falsettos' at DMTC

Auditions for 'West Side Story', also at DMTC.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Transient Global Amnesia

Apparently my brother-in-law suffered this for part of the day. He's been working for weeks on photo albums for his parents, and he just presented them as a gift. Tonight, according to my sister, he's baffled why there's so much photo debris on the work bench.

I pray this TGA doesn't return.

I know I have memory issues. Remembering names, whether of people and things, is a problem. That's one reason I keep a blog: as a memory crutch. If I write down a name, I'll have a better chance of recalling it. But I've never dropped a whole day, or forgotten entire projects.....
Dancing Through The Decades - 50's

Last Saturday, DMTC hosted another one of our fundraisers, modeled after the theme of decades. We were after the fifties this time.

A good time! Since no one was performing, per se, everyone had a chance to relax. I was impressed with new patron Leanne, who carefully crafted a poodle skirt. She recommends Balkan dancing at the UCD I-House on Sunday evenings, as well as Israeli folk dancing on Thursdays, and both of those sound attractive. I'll check them out as soon as feasible. I danced with several others too - Sharon Nielsen, etc.

As the evening wore on, people started doing more karaoke. I did 'Proud Mary' with Dian Hoel (don't ask why I was shaking my nalgas at the audience, or why Dian made to slap them).

A good time for all!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Getting To Yes - "Annabelle", At Thistledew Dessert Theater

On Friday, several of the DMTC folks went to Thistledew Dessert Theater to see "Annabelle," starring recent DMTC standouts, Brennan Cull and Buffee Gillihan. Thistledew is a marvellous little place, in the basement of the Victorian at 19th and P Street. Several other theater folks were there too - Chelsea Beatty and Jerry Lee, for example.

"Annabelle" was the third show of this summer's Local Playwright's Festival, and it was written by James Moran. After this preliminary outing, and after changes in set and lighting, among other things, the show will be presented to the larger theater community, either at Thistledew, or maybe at a place like the Delta King, later in the year.

The show is basically a reminiscence of a romance, and each of the two characters tells their own view of the romance. It's full of wry observations and love songs, but because of it's backward-looking nature, it requires attention: it's not for those with ADD, or Game Boy addictions. It's more for the love-struck!

To keep the play moving forward, the playwright uses the device of an inexperienced, comic theatrical player (Brennan) to Buffee's experienced straight-man, exploring the various meanings of the word 'yes.' It's all quite fun.

Both Brennan and Buffee are wonderful singers, and they sing their songs well. On several songs, Buffee sings in a pop style that reminded me a bit of Mariah Carey. Brennan has a wonderful song just before intermission (if my memory wasn't a sieve, I could remember the title). In comments afterwards, several people mentioned that many of the love ballads were quite similar in nature - 'silly love songs,' of the sort that Paul McCartney rose so quickly in defense of. This is true, but somehow, I couldn't help but think how out-of-place something like a march would be.

Make a point to see "Annabelle" when it is staged again!
More Stupid Light Posting

Work, work, go away, come again another day.... I discovered a big error in some of the stuff I do at work. Just took ten months to discover it. Oh joy!

I was looking for my digital camera. Three weeks passed, and I was still looking for it. Turned out it was where I always put it, for charging. Three weeks passed by, and I didn't look at the west wall of my office, where I keep the camera for charging. And the west wall is covered with pretty art work too. That's just pathetic....
Life On The Ranch

E.: Get outta here!
A.: I'm trying to finish up as quickly as possible.
E.: Stupid!
A.: If you don't stop throwing water bottles, I'm calling the law!
E.: Alien! Ugly!
A.: Stay back!
E.: Stupid! Evil!

Monday, July 17, 2006

New Mexico Literary Travelogue

Here is a fun article regarding new, and fairly new, writing regarding New Mexico:
New Mexico is a world of almost blinding clarity and color. The vistas are vast. The hot peppers are eye-watering when fresh and bright blood-red if left to dry. Summer sunsets nearly make you want to weep.

...Yet it's the spooky human history pulsing just beneath the surface that makes New Mexico such a fascinating place; any real reckoning with the literature of the state has to involve a reckoning with genocide and apocalypse.

... No single book renders that moment better than Cormac McCarthy's 1985 novel "Blood Meridian." A tale of an amoral group of bounty hunters roaming the borderlands in the late 1840s, "Blood Meridian" is perhaps the most unsparing treatment of genocide and moral depravity ever written. And the most shocking thing about it is that it was based on real events. In a high, biblical language that owes much to Faulkner and Melville, McCarthy chronicles the exploits of a gang of scalp hunters, modeled on the infamous Glanton Gang, who killed the region's natives without remorse. Eventually, enthralled by blood lust, the bounty hunters turn on the very citizens who'd hired them in the first place. The killing only ends when the group itself is mostly extinguished -- in the end all of them but the judge, a giant, hairless albino and multilingual philosopher, a serial rapist and murderer of children, and a figure of such demonic vitality that he can only be compared, as many have pointed out, to the great Shakespearean villains.

...It should be noted that all of these books deal with a geography much larger than that encompassed by what is now called New Mexico, and when they do deal with New Mexico it's mostly with the part I live in and know best, which is the southern third of the state. There's a wonderful saying we like down here: It ain't new and it ain't Mexico.
I never knew any albinos when I lived in New Mexico (but a friend says he knew a whole family in the southeastern part of the state), and I never knew any hairless folks either. Probably got swallowed up in the vastness....
Erik Kleven, RIP

James informed me today that Erik Kleven had been killed, in a head-on collision on Highway 16, near Rancho Murietta. (It seems quite the year for head on collisions: first John Hancock and Juan Ramos, and now Erik). Erik played in numerous community theater shows over the years, particularly with RSP.

Strangely, I don't believe I knew Erik, even though he lived on Sloat Way, which runs right next to my house: for all I know, we may have been next-door neighbors. In any event, Erik is an important part of the musical theater community, and he will be greatly missed, not only by those who knew him, but by those many more who knew him only by his music.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Satire - Cultural Context Matters

Here is a funny, even a heartwarming story, about how a German-born antiabortion activist picked up a proabortion story from The Onion, didn't realize it was satire, published a blog post attacking the story, was viciously mocked in turn, yet somehow didn't lose his cool, tried to find the humor, and used the whole incident to try and further his mission.

The fellow explains:
The funniest thing about the whole ordeal, said Pete, is that "I come from Germany -- a German economy, a German culture, German friends. And Germans have no humor." When he first came to the States, he said, he worked at Wells Fargo, where he befriended "a bunch of good old boys" who used to prank him. "They'd tease me to the point where I'd say, 'Really?' and they'd say, 'No, you idiot! When are you going to get it?' So I've been struggling with this kind of thing for a long time."
The article explains:
The Onion is a satirical newspaper founded in 1988 by University of Wisconsin students and is these days published weekly from New York. The piece that inspired Pete's July 6 extended smack-down was a 1999 Op-Ed by fictional columnist "Caroline Weber." Pete did not realize that the Onion traffics in satire, and that the piece was a send-up of the notion that pro-choice activists are actually "pro-abortion." Weber's outrageous claims that she "seriously cannot wait for all the hemorrhaging and the uterine contractions" and that "this abortion is going to be so amazing" did not tip off Pete. In an utterly unironic retort, he cited lines like, "It wasn't until now that I was lucky enough to be pregnant with a child I had no means to support," and "I just know it's going to be the best non-anesthetized invasive uterine surgery ever!" to illustrate his disgust with the author.
Sorry About The Light Posting

It's been hella busy at work, and they lack that critical element: a sense of humor about blown deadlines.