arei.net - theatre
Twelfth Night, Spring Awakenings and Glenztravaganza

Every year in July Jennifer holds the annual Glenztravaganza, an event of unspecified link celebrating my old age.  This year she out did herself with not one trip to the theatre, but two wonderful trips.

Friday night we headed up to Ellicott City’s Patapsco Female Institute to see the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company‘s production of Twelfth Night.  I’m one of those rare huge Shakespeare fans out there and Twelfth Night is one of the plays I have never seen nor read before.  We had never been to PFI or a CSC production before, so it was a complete shot in the dark for us.  Jennifer made a nice picnic lunch and we got there early to eat and attend an informal lecture.

The informal lecture was fine, the instructor very passionate and intelligent on the subject, but somewhat focused on the basics.  I had hoped it might talk a little more about understanding Shakespeare as Jennifer often has a great deal of difficulty with that and getting her more comfortable with it will mean more play attendances for Glen.  I don’t suffer from that because I know that just about every Shakespeare writes is meant pornographically.

The production of Twelfth Night itself was excellent.  Both Jennifer and I enjoyed it and we both were very taken with the woman playing Viola.  We both independently felt that she really captured the role and was an exceptional actress.  We came away from the entire evening wanting to see a lot more from this company and planning our next visit for Julius Caesar.

The very next day Jennifer whisked me away to DC for a showing of Spring Awakening at the Kennedy Center.  This was a good production with lots of energy and a good show, but we just weren’t crazy about it.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a fine show, a very good cast and an excellent production.  Just the story, the music, none of it grabbed us the way some other shows have grabbed us.  I like to judge my musicals by how much I feel like I need to buy the music when I get out of the show.  I didn’t have any urge to rush out and buy the CD when we left.  I do remember Duncan Shiek as a a perform from back in the 90’s and a lot of the music definitely had a familiar ring to it.  It was good, just not amazing, which I seem to have come to expect from my musicals.  I loved Avenue Q immediately, for example.

After Spring Awakening we went to the District Chop House and Brewery for dinner, it being my Brithday and all I got to pick.  I was in the mood for a good steak.

We spent sunday relaxing by the pool, watching movies, playing games, and just generally being really low key.  I’m a lazy person at heart, so relaxing is always a good thing in my book.

All in all, an amazing Glenztravaganza weekend.

Avenue Q

For Christmas Jennifer got me tickets to go see Avenue Q at the Warner Theatre in DC.  We went yesterday and rolled a little Valentine’s Day celebration in there as well.  It was a wonderful show and I am completely enamored of it now.  However, there’s this odd choice that the viewer of such a show must make and it’s kind of breaks the expectant theatre model… the question is, do I watch the puppet or the puppeteer.  I tried to watch mostly the puppets, but at times I also noticed I was watching the puppeteer as well.  It got kind of confusing.  And it’s not helped by sometime some puppeteers are doing lines for puppets they aren’t controlling.  Very odd when I actually think about it.

Ultimately, as I said, I loved the show and it was a great christmas present and valentine’s day outing.