Friday, February 5, 2016

Wit (W;t)

Having gotten "into" theatre, my world of reading interests has greatly expanded. Almost routinely now I'll order scripts to read when plays come around that I know nothing about. "Wit" is one of these. I just finished it last night (pretty quick read). As the playwright herself puts it, "The play is not about doctors or even about cancer. It's about kindness, but it shows arrogance. It's about compassion, but it shows insensitivity." It's pretty heavy but has its light moments. And guess what? It's witty! The SLO Little Theatre will be running this show April 29 – May 15, 2016.

Friday, January 29, 2016

St. Augustine's Confessions

This is one of those tomes that I've managed to avoid all my life. Disadvantage me. I got motivated to give it a go when then men's reading group at church (which I cannot attend due to timing) took it up. So, after the intro and three full chapters, I'm all in. Pretty heavy, lots of references, fascinating ideas, phrases that turn in all manner of ways. Very religious, obviously, so don't be surprised. I even got excited telling Lynn she might want to plow through the first chapter or two because of the babyhood, parenting, learning, discipline, and related topics covered.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Immortal Nicholas

What a wonderful Christmas experience. I'm something of a Christmas connoisseur - movies, songs, books, versions, from the very warped (like Bad Santa) to the disgustingly sweet (like some movies on "that" channel can get). I've studied St. Nicholas, even wrote and performed a short 1-act about him. I thought I had seen every angle there was.

This book is altogether different, captivating, inspiring, thought-provoking. I guarantee you've never contemplated the Christmas Story from this angle, let alone St. Nick's story. I couldn't put it down, about 4 hours straight through; good thing it was something of a lazy Saturday afternoon (after adding some Christmas lights to the back deck).

Just get it and read it. You can thank me later.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dracula

I've just started reading Bram Stoker's Dracula to Serafina (and Lynn who takes to listening in sometimes). We're only 20 pages in. It's very significant reading. The vocabulary is immense, the sentence structure is complicated, and the imagery is astounding. And Serafina is engaged. It helps that she played "The Child" in a stage version of Dracula (with Cuesta College Theater Dept, last October, see some pics), and that makes for interesting discussions comparing the original writing to the play. I haven't read anything as demanding in a very long time; loving it.

Be warned: there are significant adult themes and horrifying (imagine that, in a horror story!) descriptions of sexual predators and mental illness. Not for the faint of heart, and not for any-aged person who doesn't have a basic grip on the world. Fortunately, it's never explicit (IMO), everything is done with imagery, leaving the mind to fill in the blanks as it can. Your mileage may vary. The lowest age I saw mentioned as appropriate was 8th grade, and some suggested "adults only".

When we get done, I'll come back and update this post with any additional thoughts I may have about the experience of reading this with a well-grounded 4th grader.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Picasso at the Lapin Agile (and more)

Did you know Steve Martin wrote plays?! The SLO Little Theatre is doing Picasso at the Lapin Agile this October. It all takes place in a bar called the Lapin Agile (Nimble Rabbit) in Montmartre, Paris where Einstein and Picasso fictitiously meet, along with a couple other characters that fill out the evening. It's a fun exploration of the nature of art and science, pretty funny, too. I would have liked to play Einstein in this adventure, but alas, at the time, Al was a youngster by my standards. As fate would have it, though, I did try out for the play and got the role of Schmendiman. What a great experience; a few photos are here.

Here's the Wikipedia entry.

This book also contains three other Steve Martin scripts: Zig-Zag Woman, Patter for a Floating Lady, and Wasp. Don't buy the book just for any of these, but as "extras" they can be fun, and they're short.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims & Rush Revere and the First Patriots

Fascinating romp through history with "Rush Revere" and a time-traveling horse. Kids are eating it up, I understand, and I enjoyed them, too. Limbaugh received the "Author of the Year" award at the Children's Choice Book Awards for these titles.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Proof

SLO Little Theatre is doing this play in the next few months, and I was intrigued by the father/mathematician character - so I bought the script to see what it was really like. Fascinating, quick read (couple hours max). This play explores many things: love, science/math, genius/insanity, family, and even has a mystery element to it. You will relate if you're trying to decide whether to fear or hope that you become like your parent(s).

Update: I auditioned for the father/mathematician role. I told you it was intriguing to me. My first theater audition ever. It's a little daunting to prepare and present "two contrasting monologues". I thought about backing out at the last minute, but realized this would be my only opportunity to show off what I'd put hours into. So I auditioned. Audience of one, the director. Felt surprisingly good. Afterward, I mentioned to a friend that I couldn't remember saying half the lines; he said that was a good sign. I didn't get the part; nobody goes one for one. Except Serafina.