Nude With Vioin: I saw Little Theatre of Alexandria's production of Noel Coward's Nude with Violin on Sunday. I figured that parking in Old Town is always a hassle, so took the metro and walked from the King Street station. It's a little over a mile and a pleasant stroll in good weather. It's a good thing I was running a bit late, as I would otherwise have stopped in a used bookstore. And, while I did peek in briefly at Fibrespace (a yarn store), I didn't have time to make the decisions that a real shopping expedition would have entailed.
As for the play, it's Coward's snide look at modern art. A famous artist has died and members of his estranged family (along with the art dealer who promoted him) have gathered at his Paris apartment. The butler, Sebastian, reveals a secret about the artist - and various people (a Russian countess, a Southern belle, a Jamaican evangelist) show up with their own revelations. All in all, it was pretty funny, helped along by a strong performance by John Barclay Burns as Sebastian. My one complaint was that the director seemed unwilling to let the dialogue carry itself and the members of the family were in constant unnecessary motion. People in a living room deciding what to do tend to sit in one place, in my experience, not get up and move to another chair every two or three sentences.
Audience demographics: I have probably mentioned this before, but I find it slightly disturbing that I am one of the youngest people present at a large number of the plays I go to. I'm 52, which is hardly a child. In this case, I figured out why after the show, as a van from a retirement community pulled up to collect more than half the audience. I suspect that part of the problem is that it is most convenient for me to go to weekend matinees, but I worry about the future of theatre.
Celebrity death watch: I'm sure everybody saw that Eddie Fisher died. I am fairly sure my parents must have had a record of "Oh My Papa," since that's the one song I associate with him. Obviously, he became a lot more famous for his failed marriages than for his work.
Baseball, Part 1: It ain't over till it's over.
Baseball, Part 2: It is pretty much over for the Washington Nationals this season, but there has been some improvement. Yes, they're again at the bottom of their division, but there are six teams with worse records this season. My office had an outing to Thursday's game, with about half the group going (along with some family members). It was a good game, with a few excellent fielding plays by the Nats. Danny Espinosa looks like a good addition to the team. I was also glad I got to see reliever Drew Storen pitch, albeit for just one inning. He's the kid who turned down the Source of All Evil in the Universe in the 2007 draft in favor of going to Stanford. The really cool part of his story is that he is going back to Stanford in the off-season, working on finishing his degree in mechanical engineering.
I was, by the way, deeply disappointed when my boss not only didn't sing along to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," but didn't even stand up for the 7th inning stretch. That is just wrong.
Sexism: A nail salon in Maryland charged a man two bucks more for a mani-pedi than they charged his female companion. This is not acceptable. He filed a lawsuit and I am of two minds about that. On the one hand, it's silly to try to collect huge damages over that amount of money. But how else does one get the message arcross that discriminatory pricing is wrong?
Death penalty: Virginia executed Teresa Lewis on Thursday night. What bothers me about this case is that the two men who actually pulled the triggers got life sentences. (One of them committed suicide in jail.) There was at least some evidence that Lewis was manipulated by one of those men, who said he wanted to become a big hit man. Yes, she was guilty of murder, but it seems unfair that her sentence was harsher than that of the other two people involved.