May 21st, 2012


The Last Catch-Up Entry: Mostly About Entertainment

Most people I know are trying to go out more. I am trying to go out less. The last cuple of weeks prove that I have not succeeded at that. Let's start with the weekend before this past one...

The Secret Garden: On that Friday night, I went to see the St. Marks Players perform The Secret Garden. The score of this musical is absolutely lovely and I know it well enough to have stopped wondering if the book would make any sense to someone who didn't know the source material. Overall, they did a good job, with particularly strong performances by Alex Stone as Dickon and Emma Kelly as Mary Lennox. A few of the other performers had trouble being heard over the orchestra. That is at least partially the fault of the sound system, but must be frustrating to people who don't know the show and want to hear the lyrics. But, all in all, this was well worth seeing and I was humming bits and pieces of the score for a few days afterwards.

Killing Women: This was a new play, produced by Pinky Swear Productions, which I saw Saturday afternoon at Spooky Action Theatre. The concept, involving sexism in the murder for hire business, was promising. To quote a cartoon I once saw, "it's not easy being a wife, a mother, and a hit man for the mob." There were also cute little nursery rhyme parodies between scenes, e.g. "The Lying Cheating Husband" to the tune of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." But, overall, the play lost its focus along the way and had a very weak ending.

God of Carnage: Sunday brought me to my beloved Signature Theatre and their production of Yasmina Reza's dark comedy about two couples whose discussion of a playground incident between their sons deteriorates into an illustration of the savagery lurking beneath the surface. I will admit that I am not sure what to think. The play is extremely funny, but it is also decidedly over the top. I like to think that we're better than this so it is uncomfortable watching the nursery antics of supposed serious grown-ups. I should note that the performances were all excellent, with all four actors seeiming very natural. I will particularly call out Paul Morella as Alan, the self-absorbed lawyer who takes every cell phone call and refers to his own son as a savage. I guess the bottom line is that this is entertaining but disturbing.

Roberto Rodriguez and the Cuban Jewish All Stars: When I saw this listing on the calendar for the Washington Jewish Musical Festival, I couldn't resist. (For anyone who doesn't know, my grandparents met and married in Havana.) The mixture of klezmer and Latin music was, indeed, right up my alley. It would be impossible to listen to this music sitting still and about the only thing that could have made for a better evening was more room to dance. All that energy on a Monday night, no less. Wow!

Friendship Heights Village Storytelling: On Wednesday night, Jane Dorfman filled in for Stephen Hollen, who had a family emergency. She told mostly Celtic stories and did so with her usual charm and grace. It was worth the schlep to Maryland.

Stitch and Pitch: Friday night was Stitch and Pitch at Nationals Park. This is a promotion to get women to come to baseball games by encouraging them to bring their needlework. I don't really need that incentive, but the ticket price was good. The Nats managed to lose to the Orioles, but the game was close enough to be exciting. And I did get through several rows of my second attempt at the socks.

Flora the Red Menace Saturday afternoon brought Flora the Red Menace at 1st Stage in Tyson's. I was glad I had left myself extra time to get there, as the theatre was fairly hard to find. (It is hidden among gyms and auto body shops.) I really wanted to like this show, which was Kander and Ebb's first. Alas, I found much of the score uninspiring and I was annoyed at the failure to provide a happy ending. That may be more realistic, but I still like shows with a nice uplifting final love song.

Story Swap: Saturday night was the monthly story swap. In this case, it was at Marc's. The lovely weather meant we could sit in a circle outside. Bill made the mistake of bringing up werewolves, prompting me to tell "Uncle Morrie and the Werewolves." This may not have the worst puns I've inflicted on people, but it must come close.

Knitting: Finally, Sunday brought knitting group. I finished the toe increases on the socks and worked a little more on Frankensweater. There was also the usual banter.

Everything Else: There has been much time filled with work, errands, and life in general. There has not, alas, been enough sleep, but I am trying to get caught up on that, too.