What if the Bard had written the Big Lebowski?
It was of consequence, I should think; verily, it tied the room together, gather’d its qualities as the sweet lovers’ spring grass doth the morning dew or the rough scythe the first of autumn harvests. It sat between the four sides of the room, making substance of a square, respecting each wall in equal harmony, in geometer’s cap; a great reckoning in a little room. Verily, it transform’d the room from the space between four walls presented, to the harbour of a man’s monarchy.
On our most holy Sabbath I am sworn
To keep tradition, form and ceremony.
The seventh and the last day rests the Jew;
I labour not, nor ride in chariot,
Nor handle gold, nor even play the cook,
And sure as Providence I do not roll.
Hath not a Jew rights? Hath not a Jew hands,
Organs, bowling-balls, Pomeranians?
If you schedule us, must you not do right?
If we step o’er the line, do we not mark it nought?
The Sabbath; I’ll roll not, God-a-mercy.
Hail, masters! I crave thine able readiness
To be dealt with roughly, as the Sodomites.
For men of sport have noted that our play
In semifinal hour draws on apace.
By Jove! I’ll wager well, Liam and me,
To thrash thee soundly at the fair tourney.
Yea, well, that be, forsooth, thy opinion, sir.
Well; but be forewarn’d. It reach’d mine ears
That combustible Walter, o’ercome with rage
Did shed good sense, and raise his sword in play.
I fear not such jade’s tricks, an seeing ill,
Would snatch the burden from the jealous knight
And pierce his gizzard with the wrongful steel,
Points up, as said of Coriolanus.
Thou speakest rightly, sir. No man misdeals with Joshua Quince, by Jesu.
[Exeunt QUINCE and O'BRIEN]
Nay, fear him not, nor his unworthy joys.
Recall the tragic tale of the pageboys.
Brilliant! Fucking brilliant! (a little more after the fold)
Friday night we went to SF Opera’s annual Opera at the Ballpark at the Giant’s AT;&T Park. It’s a free event. All you need to do to get tickets is to register online. My company is one of the major sponsors, so we had didn’t have to sit with the hoi polloi (we did anyway).
Our luxury box was the 3rd base dugout. That’s the Giants dugout in case you’re scoring at home. There was a bar with beer, wine and soft drinks and an appetizer table with cheese, empanadas and other little bites. We got to sit and enjoy fine food and the opera in the same place Barry Bonds used to spit sunflower seed shells (and around the corner from he used to shoot up).
The opera was Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti which was being performed over at the SF Opera house and simulcast on the stadium’s Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision scoreboard. Here’s the setup courtesy of the SF opera website:
In a feud between the Scottish families of Ravenswood and Lammermoor, Enrico Ashton of Lammermoor wrongfully holds the estates of Edgardo Ravenswood. In addition, Enrico’s political activity against the king has placed him in a perilous situation, and he has resolved to reestablish his family’s position by marrying his sister Lucia to Lord Arturo Bucklaw.
The plot follows familiar themes. Lucia is in love with some dude, but her brother, Enrico, wants to marry this other dude. Lucia goes crazy. She kills her arranged husband. She dies. Then the first dude kills himself expecting to be reunited with Lucia in heaven (won’t he be disappointed.)
A couple of observations:
- I know the opera was written by an Italian, but it’s about Scotland, so there should have at least been one Hamish among all the Enrico’s, Edgardo’s and Arturo’s.
- The video on the stadium’s 3200-square-foot HD TV was impressive, but the sound wasn’t synched so it was kind of like watching a badly dubbed kung fu movie.
- It was strange watching the opera while people all around us were eating garlic fries and corn dogs. Just didn’t seem right.
- Even with all this death, there just wasn’t enough blood for my tastes. I need more gore in my opera
- The opera makes for great people watching
- The government needs to start a program to provide full length mirrors for the stylistically challenged.
It was supposed to be a freezing night (as many are at this ballpark) and we were warned repeatedly to bring heavy jackets and blankets, but it was a perfect night, I’d say in the mid-70s. It was just perfect for enjoying the opera.
Last week I did something I haven’t done in years. I went to a play and it was great. I don’t what’s been keeping me away from the theater. Apathy. Laziness. I don’t know.
Anyway, It was great. I went to see David Mamet’s Oleanna. It was fantastic. Just two actors. Mamet’s typically tight and naturual dialogue. And to see the play performed in such an intimate setting, there were about 125 seats, was really special.
This play is something of a mindfuck. The two characters are a male college professor and a struggling female student. The opening scene involves the student visitng the prof to explain that she just doesn’t understand what’s he trying to teach her. The professor is trying to explain it her and help her unserstand. All the while the phone keeps ringing and during the subsequent phone conversations (just as an aside, I think it’s a great feat of acting to pretend like you’re talking to someone on the phone and this guy made it look easy) we learn that the board is considering granting him tenure and in anticipation of this, the prof is buying a new home with his wife. But the board’s decision is anything but foregone and his relationship with his wife is being strained to breaking because the real estate deal is going awry.
In the next scene, you find out that the student, based on their interaction in the first scene, has filed a sexual harrasment suit that has threatened not only his tenure, but his job. There was a certain off color story told by the prof and he did put his arm around her at one point to offer some comfort, but from my perspective, it was all incredibly innocent. And I think that was the point. I don’t how succesful he was, but I think Mamet was trying to demonstrate how easily it was for two different people to share an experience an perceive that experience in a commpletely different light.
Without givng away the ending, let me just say that the relationship between the teacher and the student dissolves and the play ends with what I thought at the time was a bizarre twist, but in retrospect seems more like a logical conclusion.
Tonight I went to see Spalding Gray preform his new (“work in progress”) monologue called “Life Interrupted”. I’ve been wanting to see him perform for years, ever since I read “Swimming to Cambodia” on an overnight train ride from Melbourne to Sydney back in 1993. I even extended my stay in New York just so we could catch the show which is only on Sunday and Monday. But when I called the theater this afternoon to reserve tickets, they told me it was sold out. SOLD OUT! SHIT!
We decided to go anyway. I figured someone wouldn’t show up and we could snatch up a pair of tickets. We walked down Columbus Ave and caught the subway down from 59th street to East Village where lies the PS 132 theater. The dude in the box office said there was a decent chance there would be some one selling tickets, but they didn’t sell no-shows because people sometimes came as much as 20 minutes late and would be pissed if the theater sold their seats. So we waited and waited and finally at the last minute, litteraly right at 7:30 when the show was supposed to go on, a woman walks in with one ticket to sell.
Here we had something of a dilemna because both Josh and I wanted to see the Mr. Gray and neither of us was willing the see it while the other waited for an hour at cafe or walked around the block a few dozen times. The box office dude came to our rescue and said he could sell us one seat, which might be standing room, if we bought the one ticket from the woman. So everyone was happy.
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