It was time to shake up my routine. I decided to take a half-day off to do fun, unusual things my wife would also enjoy. We began by arriving for the Grand Opening ceremony of our little town’s Farmers Market. All the newspaper said was “9am Goat Parade”, which was enticing. It turned out to be an annual ritual to celebrate Spring’s arrival. After the ribbon cutting, a small group of kids (some held by kids), musicians and goats in vegetable-covered hats marched through the stalls several times, and into a tented area. Two-week old goats were available to interact with and be petted by children of all ages.
We have an abundance of local creatives. I’ve never lived in a town where you can drive a few miles from home and see imaginative products like steampunk potholders, fruit-based hand softener and light switch covers painted in Impressionist colors. My spouse (the gatherer) was very happy.
Though the weather gods smiled on the goat parade, after an hour it began to sprinkle. Time to move on to the next event. We have an Art Deco movie house that features a smart balance of independent and mainstream films. I had seen “Oz, the Great and Powerful” in 3D there, but this morning’s event was for a more select audience. On weekend mornings The Rose Theater programs digital simulcast presentations of plays and opera from overseas. We came for a performance of Alan Bennett’s new play “People”, broadcast live from the National Theater in London.
Mr. Bennett’s an old favorite of mine. He was part of the original cast of “Beyond the Fringe”, a groundbreaking satirical review of the early 60s that inspired generations of British comedians that followed. Bennett played reticent authority figures in the show, including an Anglican Reverend explaining an obscure passage of scripture.
He became an accomplished playwright. The last of his work I had seen was The History Boys, about teachers at a boarding school tutoring working-class boys to give them a chance at getting into the best colleges.
People has a similar pedigree to The History Boys: the same author, director and one of the lead actors. It’s got a smaller cast, but it covers one of the same themes of the previous play; the process of regret and eventual acceptance of the way modernity heartlessly bulldozes the past. Frances de la Tour plays a destitute noblewoman trying to prevent her stately house (now in great disrepair) from being acquired by The National Trust, because she doesn’t want all those PEOPLE trooping through her home. She tries an amusing series of schemes to save the house, including selling it to venture capitalists who want to relocate the whole building, and renting it out as a location for a porn movie. It was affectionate and hilarious.
We finished early enough for me to zoom over to the Urgent Care just in time for helping out with a couple of trauma cases. It’s nice to be appreciated at work! In the evening we popped over to watch the newest episode of Doctor Who with our pals, the other expatriate entertainment industry refugees. Larry (http://tvwriter.net/) gave me a copy of his book about his past adventures in the biz, Turning Points in Television, and the new EP from Gwen’s daughter’s band Yevtushenko. They play clubs, and are just getting hot and gaining an audience, an exciting chapter for any band. I don’t entirely understand their music, and it makes no difference. I can celebrate their joy in making it.
That’s a perfect day for me; friendly animals, music, bright colors, humor, healing, adventures in time and space, and good company all day long. What more could anyone ask?