June 21, 2018

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – It always reminds me of ‘From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’

Dateline: New York, New York –

My laptop is acting wonky and I doubt I’ll be able to get it fixed until I get home, so I am typing this on my phone which is as annoying as all get out but needs must. Updates may be a bit shorter because of this. Ah well…

The run of late sleeping ended this morning with eyes open at 6:30. I got up, had a constitutional, and breakfast before doing some housekeeping and laundry. I’m about half way through this trip and starting to run short on clean clothes. I thought about buying some new ones but thought figuring out a strange washing machine might be more cost effective.

I spent the afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I hadn’t been for a while as Tommy was not much of a museum goer. He liked sculpture and decorative art, but usually only if it had practical purpose and he did like going to galleries and studios and meeting artists and learning about their vision. Museums, not so much, he’s the only person I ever knew who went to Paris for a week and skipped the Louvre. I had to go to the two departments at the Met that he enjoyed. The costume galleries and the musical instruments collection.

That was followed by a ramble across Central Park, ending up at the Dakota (Rosemary Woodhouse was not in evidence) and then down to Lincoln Center for dinner and the new production of My Fair Lady at the Beaumont. Bartlett Sher has been reimagining the classics there in new productions over the last decade. I saw The King and I a couple years ago and caught South Pacific on tape, but not live.

This production hits more than it misses. Having A younger Higgins and older Eliza so they are of an age ups the tension and both are very good in their roles. Lauren Ambrose doesn’t have Julie Andrews’ miraculous voice but acquits herself fine. She just sounds thin compared against our collective memory of the original cast recording. An unrecognizable Norbert Leo Butz brings down the House with Get Me To The Church on Time and it’s always a pleasure to see Diana Rigg live.

The set is gorgeous, with a great coup de theatre in the ballroom scene (which was moved from the end of Act I to open Act II). I noticed a couple of trims in the book and in one verse of Let A Woman In Your Life. I saw the London revival with Jonathan Pryce about 20 years ago. This was better.

My Fair Lady – Seattle Civic Light Opera – 1988

Higgins is a bucket list role. Heck, so are Doolittle and Pickering but I’ve never been on stage in it. I did one production 30 years ago at Seattle Civic Light Opera where I did props and set decoration. I’m still friends with a bunch of folk from that production (Ken Magos, Scott F. Arend, Teresa Mosteller, Paula Podemski, Daniel James Cole). My best memory of it was creating all of the book bindings for the study set. I titled them all and they were all not very nice jokes about the Seattle theater community of the day. Fortunately, they could not be read from the audience. I believe that was also the show where a squirrel ate its way into a major transformer blacking out a large portion of North East Seattle and requiring the rescheduling of a performance.

New adventures tomorrow

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