Friday, July 20, 2012
Thanks to JeezBob I got to go to the Staples Center Monday night and see the Circus from a Luxury Suite.
I've been going to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus since I was a little kid and just love it.
Walking through a throng of protesters assembled on the sidewalk in front of the arena was a new experience. I sure hope the PETA extremists are proud of themselves for making the 7-year old boy in front of me cry by getting in his face about the "bloody show" he was about to see. Talk about "abusive."
I took a quick trip last weekend to visit Death Valley. I was intrigued because the temperature had reached 128 degrees on Wednesday.
I stopped by the Furnace Creek Ranch for lunch. The buffet wasn't very impressive but there's not much else for 100 miles in any direction, so what are you going to do?
I found this great, unnumbered, one-lane two directions, partially paved road to drive into Death Valley.
It reminded me of the last time I was there over 25 years ago. I borrowed my Grandmother's car to make the trip. Upon my return the first thing she said to me was, "How is the car?"
After lunch I spent a few minutes looking at the exhibits in the Borax Museum -- housed in the oldest building in Death Valley.
I enjoyed learning that Twenty-Mule Teams were normally made up of 18 mules and 2 horses. The mules were arranged with the smartest two in the front of the train, with the next two smartest following -- all the way to the dumbest two who were stationed right in front of the two horses that immediately preceded the wagons. I don't know how they determined which mules were "smart" and which were "dumb."
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Just how sturdy are the bones of "La Cage Aux Folles," the show with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Harvey Fierstein? The bus-and-truck version that has pulled into the Pantages Theater in Hollywood put it through a real test tonight.
George Hamilton -- an actor who can neither sing, dance nor act -- yet is cast in the lead role in a Musical due to his fame (and his suntan) couldn't wreck it.
Christopher Sieber -- channeling a two-legged Tootie Fields -- an actor who CAN sing, dance and act, couldn't find a spark of life in the moribund Hamilton. Squeezing into unflattering costumes, the large Sieber who loomed over the surprisingly diminutive Hamilton, couldn't wreck it.
The tinny, tiny on-stage orchestra made up of only a handful of musicians couldn't wreck it.
The on-stage trombone player visibly shaking the spit out of his instrument during a quiet love song couldn't wreck it.
The terrible miking and amplification couldn't wreck it.
A five-minute pause during the First Act when the show stopped and the house lights came up due to "computer problems" couldn't wreck it.
Even an extra-long 20 minute intermission, no doubt to cope with the technical problems, couldn't wreck it.
It's just that indestructible.
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Last night I saw J. T. Rogers brilliant "Blood at Gifts" at the La Jolla Playhouse.
Hard to imagine a play exploring the U.S. and British roles in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of the 80s could be entertaining -- but this one truly is. It's also very political and makes the point that what a country like ours does now has implications down the road -- something we all too often forget.