fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Weekend Whirlind

On Friday night I went to see American Century Theater's production of One Night With Fanny Brice. This is essentially a one-woman show, written by Chip Deffaa, with a piano accompaniment. It was rather too literal a look at Brice's life, so came across as "I did this," followed by a song, repeat ad infinitum. Though Esther Covington, who played Ms. Brice, had a reasonable voice, her dancing is unimpressive and she has no sense of comedic timing. Combine that with accompaniment by Tom Fuller that often drowned her out and the result was a remarkably dull performance. A show about one of the funniest people ever to perform on a stage should have the audience laugh more than once or twice.

Saturday night was Tellebration! This is an annual evening of storytelling around the world. I performed at the event at the Kensington Row Bookshop in Kensington, Maryland. The Beltway traffic getting there was about the third worst I've ever encountered, so I was glad I had left myself a lot of extra time. I told two stories. In the first half, I told a Mongolian folktale I've used the title "Two Foolish Old People" for, though rechecking the book I got it from (which I also misremembered the title of) it is called "A story of the foolish and silly old people." It's short and funny and, therefore, made a good opening piece. The piece I told in the second half is Border Crossing, a personal story that attempts to answer a probing question an official asked as I entered Karonga, Malawi. It gives me a chance to make fun of weddings I've been to (all of which are real, though not all of which actually involved members of my family). I generally say that all of the stories I tell are true, whether or not they happened that way, and the minor exaggeration in this one is a good example.

As for the other tellers, Anne Sheldon told "The Tiger's Whisker" and a Vachel Lindsay poem about Johnny Appleseed. Bob Rovinsky focused on weddings and dance. His "seven pits" dance (which parallels the 7 stages of man) is always enjoyable to see. Laura J. Bobrow did a clever story about a girl called Rhonda, after the ballet term "ronde de jambe." Last but not least, Cricket Parmalee told a complex Arabic folktale about a princess who defied an order for there to be no women in a neighboring kingdom. Jane Dorfman ably emceed the evening.

The formal concert was followed by an open mike, the highlight of which was hearing Zoe Sagalow tell the circular story about the mice searching for the most powerful husband for their daughter. I had time for a quick browse around the shop afterwards and was seriously tempted by a theremin they have for sale. I may well go back and buy it if they still have it the next time I am in the neighborhood. (Which may not be that far away, as there is a Volksmarch in that area in December.)

Sunday was occupied primarily with knitting group. It appears that every woman I know who is under 40 is pregnant. Well, except for the two who just had babies in the past few weeks. And the other two. At least baby stuff is quick to knit.

Finally, all I can say about this past week's episode of The Amazing Race is that Chad just got what was coming to him.
Tags: knitting, storytelling, television, theatre

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