Saturday, March 19, 2005

Pastrami Tops Voters

Sat through William Shakespeare's "As You Like It," directed by Sir Peter Hall, at the Ahmanson Theater tonight. (A lot of folks didn't make it through the entire 3 hours and 15 minutes.) I admit it -- I don't get Shakespeare. Thee, thou, whilst leaves me cold.

Renee Rose has told me several times to just let Shakespeare "wash over you" rather than worry about understanding every single word. Well, I tried and I came up dry, again.

Sir Peter Hall cast his daughter, Rebecca Hall, in the leading role. But you can't charge "nepotism" here. Rebecca Hall is great in the role of Rosalind. A couple of years ago I saw her on stage in London with Brenda Blethyn in "Mrs. Warren's Profession," so it was nice to see her again.

During intermission Dave Hannon and I were hanging out by what is basically the backstage area of the Mark Taper Forum -- across the walkway from the Ahmanson Theater. We ended up chatting with the understudy covering the role of "the Son" in "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?" That show closes tomorrow and the understudy has yet to go on . I told him I'd have my fingers crossed for him tomorrow. And I got to tell him about Elaine Stritch's great story of being an understudy for Ethel Merman (who never missed a performance).

Dave and I tried to have dinner on the way to downtown at Lowenbrau Keller -- a German restaurant near downtown that I like and have been going to for over 20 years. Even though the restaurant was more nearly empty and we arrived at 6:30 they said we'd have trouble finishing dinner by 7:30 because "there was a party ahead of us."

So we ended up eating at King's Bar-B-Que, which is kind of a dirty place with good food just a few blocks from the Music Center.

GeezBob and Rui are out of town so I dined alone at Langer's for lunch today. This means that instead of eating at one of our regular booths I was banished to the "Crazy Counter" -- so-called because that's where all the crazy people eating alone sit at Langer's.

I sat next to an old biddy who kept trying to strike up a conversation. "Is this your umbrella, honey?" "Those fries look good, honey." "Is that a radio, honey?" she asked about my Crackberry. My one word answers did little to discourage her.

Sometimes I fantasize my late-Mother is communicating to me via strange ladies I meet. If she's going to that much trouble I also assume she's reading my blog, in which case I apologize for not answering her today.

Celebrity Sighting: Saw Los Angeles City Councilmember (and Mayor-to-be?) Antonio Villaraigosa at Langer's today. Actually, I need to check the Celebrity Sighting Rulebook to see if this counts -- I've seen him there on several previous visits. But unlike the past, his presence today created a stir in the restaurant. "There he is, the one in the red jacket," I heard one man say. You can chalk it up to making it into the run-off for Mayor.

Villaraigosa seemed to alternate between working the room and sitting down to eat his sandwich. My favorite part was when his advance-dude came running in with a cell phone and gave it to Villaraigosa. I could hear his side of the conversation standing in front of the revolving dessert case, "So you think I should go there......OK then, I'll leave right now.....I'll be there in a few minutes." And then he sat back down to finish his sandwich. Gotta love a politician with his priorities straight.

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