Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Story Part 146 – I’m Addicted…

To plays, I love plays, I am fascinated by plays.

In October I went to see "A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder" at the Hartford Stage with some friends, it was the fourth musical that I saw, the first was down in Stratford at the Shakespeare Theater when I was a senior in high school and it was “As You Like It” that was set to music and in modern times (instead of horses they rode around on dirt bikes). The next play that I saw was also a musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and it was at the Hartford Stage but it was over forty years later and it was the first play that “Diana” saw.

Before I transitioned no one that I knew went to plays or movies or dinners, back then a night out on the town meant hanging out at the local bar. I think it was a guy thing, we don’t want to be seen hanging out with other guys at a play or at an up-scale restaurant… people might get the wrong idea. But sitting around a bar staring into your beer was okay. You just went to plays when your date dragged you along and you could blame it on her and have plausible denial, not admitting that you enjoyed.

I think what attract me to plays is one that it is live, that you are watching with a hundred of other people, that I am attracted to the technical aspect of the play (lights, moving the scenery around on stage and special effects) and most of all I am amazed at how they can remember all those lines. I have been to large theaters (The Bushnell – Wicked) to small intimate theaters (Theater Works – Doubt) and each theater has its own unique of set design and stage for the play. At the Bushnell you can see the tracks in the floor where they move the sets and large overhead bays where they have the backdrops hanging, while a small stage like Theater Works they just move a few props around to create different rooms. At the Hartford Stage “Rent” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” they used different levels to create different scenes.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, four of us went to see a play at the Long Wharf Theater (it was the first time that I have been there and it is a nice theater in the warehouse district of New Haven) to see “The Killing of Sister George
By day June Buckridge, played by Kathleen Turner, plays Sister George on the hit BBC radio show Applehurst, tending to the sick and poor.  By night, she chews on cigars, swills gin and lets nothing and no one stand in her way, including her long suffering “secretary” Childie. When Applehurst’s ratings plummet, the show's producers decide to kill off Sister George in the hope of recapturing the audience.  In real life, June refuses to go quietly from her starring perch in this bawdy and witty comedy.
The play was so-so and the second half was better than the first half which rather bland. I didn’t like the performance that Kathleen Turner gave but I liked the supporting characters (Clea Alsip & Betsy Aidem) better, I think they gave a much better performance than Ms. Turner (The Hartford Courant review is here).

After the play we went to dinner at Brazi's Italian Restaurant (right next door to the theater) and I thought it was very good, I had the Pork Chops Scarpariello (Center cut chop broiled and topped with hot cherry peppers, garlic, roasted potatoes in a brown sauce); however, the waiter was paying more attention to the four young ladies at the booth behind us than to the four old folks.

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