I was proud of myself for getting both reviews of the show we saw last night finished and sent off to the respective publications. Usually, I find writing two different reviews of the same show a challenge, but not for this show. I almost always sweat bullets trying to get it right and to make the two reviews sound like I didn't plagiarize myself. But it was easy to take a slight different perspective on this for each paper this time. I kind of like what I wrote for the Sacramento News and Review:
Watching Capital Stage’s Love and Information, by award-winning playwright Caryl Churchill is like sitting in front of your television and clicking through the channels one by one, pausing briefly to see what is going on.
Eleven talented actors, some of the best Sacramento has to offer, play ~100 characters during 50+ scenes over 95 minutes. There is no plot to intrude on the action and you’d think this would be a big mess, but it works beautifully.
Under director Benjamin T. Ismail, the show moves at a fast clip and in the end, you realize the importance of “communication” in our lives, the sad, the funny, the informative.
Churchill takes the audience on an exhilarating carnival ride. Take two giddy teenagers mooning over a popular star and contrast to a conversation with an Alzheimers patient, or learning how scientists test chicken brains, or various words for the thing we put our dinner on as we sit down to eat.
We have developed short attention spans and this show plays into that. We get a glimpse, but only a glimpse of the lives of others and then we move on to the next scene. It’s the equivalent of theater in 140 characters, like Twitter posts.
It sounds as if it wouldn’t fit together, but it does. This is innovative theater at its finest, thanks to the skill of all involved (no small amount of which includes the technicians who designed the set, the lighting and the sound, all integral to the success of this show).
Capital Stage is offering its audience an opportunity to see a unique, highly acclaimed new play which should not be missed.
The difficulty with reviewing for the News and Review is that you have to give stars, 1 to 5, to show how much you liked it (I was SO glad when we got rid of that star rating system at The Davis Enterprise!). I was going to give it a 4 because it really was fun, but the more I wrote my two reviews, the more I decided I really liked it, so in the end I gave it a 5.
Before we went to the theater, I had to prepare dinner. Usually on Sacramento theater nights I cook a frozen dinner but we were in luck yesterday. Our Brasilian daughter, Sonia, stopped by for a visit with her daughter Denise (who is going to grad school at UC Davis). Sonia is an artist, living in Napa with her vintner husband and so they are close by, but not THAT close by and we don't see each other often.
They could only stay a short time, but she brought me a sample of her newest "invention." One Brasilian food I use to make and absolutely love is something called pao de queijo, which are little cheese breads. They are made with cassava flour instead of wheat flour and there has never been a time when I did not think I had made some horrible mistake as the dough, which feels like silly putty, looks grey and unappetizing. But somehow, after it has chilled, when you roll it into balls an cook it magic occurs and the most delicious thing emerges from the oven as your finished product.
Brasilians who have lived with us have said it tastes like the real thing. I don't think I could make it any more because I don't think I still have the recipe.
But Sonia, after a lot of experimentation has created a gluten-free pizza using pao de queijo for the dough. She gave us one of her vegetarian pizzas and it was delicious.
She had taken it to Whole Foods, which immediately wanted to order 25 of them, after tasting the sample, but unfortunately there are all those messy rules and regulations you have to go through before you can sell something like that professionally (thank goodness I didn't know about that when I was baking and selling cakes!) and banks are reluctant to give you a loan if you have no experience, which you can't get without a loan. So she's in a Catch-22 situation and I don't know what is going to happen with her potential business.
But if she can't get it going the world will miss out on a delicious treat (and I won't be able to get another pao de queijo pizza!)