Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Turning Straw into Gold

By 11 a.m. this morning, I was convinced Jeri and Phil and Alice Nan were dead.  Or at least mortally wounded. We knew they were headed north from Santa Barbara and were driving Hwy 101 so they could stop at the Burger Queen en route.  Whenever Walt or his sister or Jeri travel, they send one word text messages to each other along the route, letting them know where they are at any given time, so whoever is at the other end can keep track of progress.

But when 11 a.m. came, and there had been no text messages, not even in answer to my two to them, I figured the only reason was that there had been a terrible traffic accident.  I knew they had arrived in California all right because I'd had the photo of Joe and Alice meeting them at the airport.

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I decided to call.  I called Jeri's cell phone and there was no answer, so I called Phil's cell phone and he didn't answer either, which made me more convinced that they were all dead.

But then I called Alice Nan.  I called her last because I knew she would be driving, but I also knew that she frequently talked in the car through her blue tooth.  She answered and the first thing I said to her was "So you're not dead after all..."

Turns out they had just forgotten to send mile markers.   They had left late and they were still a way from the Burger Queen, but they were fine.  And then the text messages started arriving - "San Luis Obispo" ... "King City"... and, as expected, eventually this photo of Phil and Alice.

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I didn't get everything done I wanted to do before they arrived (is anybody surprised?), but I did get quite a bit accomplished, most important of which was cleaning off the kitchen table and making a dent in the piles on the kitchen counter.   With that done, I felt better about going off without cooking dinner and leaving them to fend for themselves (with Walt).

I had to leave at 6 p.m. in order to pick up my friend Ruth and then double back to get my colleague Jeff but I pulled up in front of his house exactly on time, which was a first, I think.

This was the last show of the Music Circus season and it was La Cage aux Folles, a show I dearly love and which I have not seen in awhile.  I was really looking forward to it and I'm afraid that by intermission, I was extremely disappointed.  But it's going to be tricky to write that in a review (so I decided to write this journal entry first).  The actor playing Albin, the flamboyant gay character, the star of the female impersonators' club happens to be black.  And I don't think his being black was the cause of my disappointment, it was his portrayal of a character I love.  He wasn't flamboyant enough, I didn't feel a chemistry between him and Georges.

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(This theater comany sucks at publicity pictures.  I can't beieve
this is the best picture of Albin and Georges in the packet of publicity photos!)

The instrumental arrangements of his music were different, a blues sound where it should have been a music comedy sound, which kind of made the action drag (no pun intended).  I sent off a text to Jeri (who had arrived in Davis by that time) and told her how disappointed I was.

I will admit that the actor nailed the musical's signature piece, "I am what I am," standing there as a defiant Diana Ross, livid at his life partner Georges and their son, and that ended the act on a positive note, performance-wise.  Something must have happened at intermission.  They must have had a pep talk, because Act 2 was head and shoulders better than Act 1 and when Albin arrived in the personna of their son's mother and fooled the son's fiancee's parents, it was golden.  

So I left the show feeling much better about it than I would have had I left at intermission...which shows you, children, why you stay to the end of shows you think you don't like.  You never know how much it is going to improve!

By the time I had dropped Jeff, and then Ruth off and driven back across town to home, it was after 11 and everyone but Walt had gone to sleep, so I still haven't seen them, but there are signs that they are here, and I look forward to seeing them all in the morning.  Or later in the morning (as it is already creeping toward sunrise as I write this).

Day 51:  I love this picture.  It's so rare they will sit still for a photo!

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