fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Plane and Simple

I went to L.A. for a symposium last week. I was able to leverage off the trip to get some face time with someone I often need information from, which is always useful. I'd thought that the Thursday afternoon session would be particularly relevant to my job and, accordingly, booked a red-eye home. Unfortunately, the panelists deviated significantly from the topic and I didn't learn as much as I'd hoped to. It did, however, give me an opportunity to ponder what the difference is (if any) between a "conference" and a "symposium."

Overall, it was probably worth the trip. And, if nothing else, I saw a few people I hadn't seen in a while, including someone I know from college.

I survived the red-eye and went home to unpack, shower, and pack. In this case, I was off to Chicago for the weekend for a frequent flyer seminar. I learned a few tricks, but the major value was just hanging out with other people who are at least as crazy as I am. The seminar part paid for itself as I won one of the door prizes (a Hyatt gift card). I also had a chance to have dinner with someone I'd traveled with in Papua New Guinea. And I showed off my usual style at the Saturday night Halloween party by wearing a baseball cap with the logo of the Source of All Evil in the Universe, along with devil's horns and tail. That's right - I was a Damn Yankee.

I had to leave early on Sunday so I could go to a concert performance of Sondheim's Saturday Night at Signature Theatre. I knew a few of the songs already (including the title song, "A Moment With You," and, of course, "So Many People") and should really know more of the songs better as I do own the recording. At any rate, the show lacks the complexity of some of Sondheim's later work, but it isn't bad as early work. There are some cheap laughs, but there are also plenty of clever lyrics. There are also some songs I can't quite make up my mind about, e.g. "In the Movies" which is funny enough but requires the audience to know a certain amount of movie trivia to appreciate. The real weakness is the book by Julius and Philip Epstein, who (speaking of movie triva) went on to write the screenplay of Casablanca. The plot is thin and implausible and the happy ending is way too hard to swallow. Despite all that and the minimal staging, I still really enjoyed the afternoon. Even a lesser Sondheim score is still worthwhile and that, combined with fine performances from several Signature regulars, made the show highly entertaining.

Finally, I went to a happy hour (and dinner) last night with some of the flyer talk crowd. There was quite a large happy hour turnout, but the dinner was not actually organized and four of us just went to Silver Diner instead of wrestling with the potential long wait at Liberty Tavern. Still, it's always good to hang out with other crazy travel folks.
Tags: musicals, theatre, travel, work

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