Yesterday I drove from Stuart to Ft. Lauderdale to meet friends at Primanti’s. I told the server I’d be a nuisance since I would be there for quite a while. She didn’t mind, but she didn’t really understand either. I tipped her a total of about $10 so it wasn’t a total loss for her, and although she left just before I did (after about four and a quarter hours), she didn’t really seem to mind.
First to arrive, by surprise, was . It was his birthday, and while his devoted wife (Hi Erin!) prepared for his party, he snuck off to hang out with me. Caught without a present, I bought his lunch, and before he left, [liha] and [ModernAngel] showed up. They kept company with me until, again somewhat by surprise, and showed up with Miss Anna in tow. And since they were in the middle of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weekend, I bought their lunch too. It was a day for doing nice things.
Then I saw my brother-in-law-to-be in a local production of West Side Story with a cast of kids from age 11 to 18. It’s a hell of a tough show to do, and young amateurs do well if they’re getting 80% of it right. This cast got 95% of it right, and it was an amazing show overall. The emotion was dead on — it’s got to take a lot out of them, because they weren’t “just acting”. The choreography in all but the most confusing and complicated numbers was very good.
I feel awful for the young woman who was asked to sing a part that called for an important duet far below the strong part of her vocal range. She’s very talented, and did wonderfully at everything she possibly could have, and I can’t wait to see her on stage again. I fervently hope the director will match her with an important role more successfully. I never thought a blond could sing Tony’s part so convincingly, but even without looking Italian (and despite ghoulish lighting on his first song that showed only his forehead and cheekbones), he did such a good job that I expect him to find regular paid work in a theater soon.
I’ve heard rumors that the next musical will be set in a Jewish village (not to name any names, since the contract hasn’t been signed), and if so, I do hope that they find a dialect coach. The actor who played Doc in West Side Story sounded as if he’d never heard an old Jewish man in his life. And that, again, is not his fault — it’s up to the director to recognize that merely speaking Yiddish-based lines like ‘Dig’? I’ll dig you an early grave is what I’ll dig doesn’t make the presentation convincing.
Jodi thinks I’m being hideously unfair in criticizing the show so closely. I feel that they’re aspiring to Broadway shows and should be held, firmly but with affection, to the standards of the craft as practiced on Broadway. Nobody ever made it to the big leagues by being told “That’s pretty good for an amateur”.
Today I read Secret Letters from 0 to 10 (Lettres d’amour de 0 à 10) by Susie Morgenstern, a family friend. I knew she was good, but I didn’t know she was this good, or that other people knew it! How little I knew.
I’m looking for a tan-through bathing suit. If I have to drive out to the beach to find one, I will, but I can’t help thinking I could find one closer and cheaper if I knew where to look…