Category Archives: musicals

Maybe he’s leaving town – don’t let him get away! Hurry and track him down!

Remember last weekend, I went to (and then summarily snuck out of) Guys and Dolls? (Not because it was bad, but because poor cousin J. was getting antsy and I adore her.)

I was recapping Act II for her in the car on the way to the mall (in brief, because when you think about it, not a hell of a lot happens in Act II) and I was trying to think of the songs we’d missed. The only ones I was sad about were “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” and “Sue Me” (which I love irresponsibly – this is the first song I heard from the musical, many and many a moon ago, put on a mix by a very wise friend back in the glorious heyday of cassette mixes, sigh…and it remains my favorite to this day.)

Then I realized we’d missed “Marry the Man Today” and I was humming it a little in my house that night and thought…wait a minute. Whoa.

I don’t think I ever really paid attention to the lyrics of this song before (mostly because I kind of hate this song.) And once I did, I’m totally overjoyed that cousin J. didn’t hear it, because it’s kind of terrible and the last kind of romantic advice she needs.

Let’s take a look at this gem of a song, shall we? (my comments in italics. Because I’m fancy.) Oh, a little background, in case you need it: the two female romantic leads sing this to each other while they’re deciding whether or not to marry the MALE romantic leads, who they love, but who are CADS! CADS, I TELLS YA! (They’re not really cads, they’re just really, REALLY into gambling, to the point of ignoring their ladyfolk for it.)

And if you want to listen to it, rather than read my (MOST EXCELLENT, by the way) commentary…

Marry the Man Today (music and lyrics by Frank Loesser)

At Wanamaker’s and Saks and Klein’s
A lesson I’ve been taught
You can’t get alterations on a dress you haven’t bought

At any vegetable market from Borneo to Nome
You mustn’t squeeze a melon till you get the melon home.

(So don’t mess with something until you own it. Until it’s your property. OK. Fine. Heh, Borneo to Nome. Odd.)

You’ve simply got to gamble

You get no guarantee

Now doesn’t that kind of apply to you and I

You and me.

Why not?

Why not what?

Marry the man today.
Trouble though he may be
Much as he likes to play
Crazy and wild and free
Marry the man today
Rather than sigh in sorrow
Marry the man today
And change his ways tomorrow.

(OK. This, this right here? This is where the song takes a REALLY WORRISOME TURN.)

Marry the man today.
Marry the man today
Maybe he’s leaving town
Don’t let him get away
Hurry and track him down
Counterattack him and
Marry the man today

(OK, so first you’re going to marry him in order to change him into the man you want…then you’re going to, I don’t know, stalk him, attack him, and FORCE him to marry you. That’s not at all off-putting.)

Give him the girlish laughter
Give him your hand today
And save the fist for after.

(Hmm. I don’t…I’m going to hope this just means, like, shaking your fist at him, but the way this song’s going, I think it’s about punching.)

Slowly introduce him to the better things
Respectable, conservative, and clean
Readers Digest
Guy Lombardo
Rogers Peet
Golf!
Galoshes
Ovaltine!

(Because whatever he’s into SUCKS. You know best. You gotta train him. Like a puppy. DON’T YOU PIDDLE ON THE GOOD RUG, HAROLD! *fist*)

But marry the man today
Handle it meek and gently
Marry the man today and train him subsequently

(What did I say? Train him. TRAIN HIM. Have a treat, Rover, that’s a good boy.)

Carefully expose him to domestic life
And if he ever tries to stray from you
Have a pot roast.
Have a headache
Have a baby
have two!
Six
Nine!

(If he tries to leave your iron fist and terrible household of trickery and deceit, feed him, deny him sex, or GIVE him sex, and tie him down with NINE CHILDREN. This is a great marriage. EXCELLENT advice.)

STOP!

(Yes. Please stop.)

But marry the man today
Rather than sigh in sorrow
Marry the man today
And chance his ways – change his ways – his ways
Tomorrow!

(AND SCENE.)

OK. Now, I realize this musical was first produced on Broadway in 1950. This was a very long time ago. Amy’s Dad was a wee bebeh! Amy’s Mom wasn’t even BORN yet! It was a different time! A time in which…well, apparently, women needed to trick men into marrying them, using any means available to them, then if the man wasn’t EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANTED (and they seem to want some sort of pipe-smoking dorky sweater-wearing loser with no will of his own) they wear him down using MORE trickery until he is CHANGED! And everyone lives happily ever after. Right?

Wait, not right? No?

What about the guy?

The woman’s happy as a lark, with this changed guy who’s exactly what she wanted all along…but is this GUY happy? This guy who, apparently, can’t do anything right unless he does everything the way she wants him to, and once he gives up everything he is, she’s finally happy…but who is he now? And how can he be happy, being this ghost of the person he was before?

I know love is compromise. I’m well aware of that. This situation isn’t compromise, though. This is one-sided; compromise means BOTH people change. This is sexist garbage, is what this is.

BUT AMY! you are saying. THIS WAS A SONG WRITTEN IN 1950, SURELY THIS ISN’T SOMETHING WE WORRY ABOUT NOW!

See, it is, though. I know a lot of people who’ve broken up (marriages, serious relationships, what have you) and I hear, over and over, the same thing.

I thought he/she would change, once we were together.

Or, the opposite: He/she thought I would change, once we were together.

I asked them over and over to stop doing (whatever it is) and they just wouldn’t and I couldn’t take it anymore.

If they loved me, why wouldn’t they change?

Do you remember, a long time ago, we talked about the frog and the scorpion? This is very much a frog and scorpion situation. You knew that person was a scorpion when you picked them up.

If you get together with someone with the endgame in mind that you will change him or her to better suit your needs, you are a., a jerk for getting together with someone who has things about them that bother you so much that you need to change them in order for the relationship to work for you and b., you are in a losing game, because no one’s going to end this scenario happy.

I’m telling you right now: once you get older, you learn to pick your battles. What’s worth getting up-in-arms about and what’s worth letting go. And you learn that no one’s perfect. And you learn that life’s not a rom-com. And you learn that you can love people not only DESPITE their flaws, but BECAUSE of their flaws. Because those flaws make that person more real, and more alive, and more yours; you wouldn’t recognize that person without those flaws. (And you know what? You’re not flawless yourself, special snowflake. That person’s overlooking probably a lot of YOUR flaws, too. Keep that in mind, sunshine.)

I’m going to give you an alternative to that song.

Marry the man today – if you can’t imagine a life without being married to them. Don’t attempt to change their ways tomorrow. Their ways may or may not change. Go into this with your eyes open. Can you live with the person you’re marrying if they remain exactly like this the rest of their lives? If not, how about you don’t say yes to the dress. There’s someone out there better suited to you, and someone out there better suited for him, as well.

Go ahead and marry the man today. I’ll totally cheer for you. I’m all about the romance, yo. But if you try to trick him into it (or reverse those genders, this works for the fellas, too) and then slowly chisel away the man who DID marry you, and someday you wake up and you’re married to a stranger and he leaves you because, well, that stranger no longer wants to be married to you…

…you really have no one to blame but yourself.

And they say theater is an unneccessary art. LOOK AT ALL WE’VE LEARNED TODAY.

Happy weekend, you romantic fools. Go woo like the wind. Do me proud.


Spaceships and hookers and the lack of murder houses: a weekend of adventure!

I know! Three days without me. WhatEVER did you do with yourselves. Oh, what’s that, you didn’t even notice? FINE. GOOD. SEE IF I CARE NEENER NEENER.

This was a weekend of all the busy-ness. Things going on all three nights. It’s like I almost have a life. I KNOW! It’s most impressive and I wouldn’t want to start getting a big head about such a thing.

BUT, because what would all the things be if I didn’t SHARE them (like, for example, if I had a huge box of animal crackers – wouldn’t it be so much better if I shared it with others? Yes. Yes, it would) YOU, my most favorite readers, get recappy goodness of what happened over my weekend of debauchery. Except there wasn’t any debauchery, really. So, just, my weekend, then. Fun, right? Totally fun.

Let’s get crackin’! Like we have nuts! Only we do not have nuts!

NO NUTS!!!!

NO NUTS!!!!

Friday night was “see a play and have dinner with friend K. and then run home and review the play and then go to bed super-late and wake up early Saturday for work and be all the cranky-tired” night. So that’s exciting, right? Yes.

So friend K. came over right after work and met Newcat. Newcat liked friend K. but also gave her a pissy look that I have decided is Newcat’s default face. Newcat also hissed and growled at Dumbcat, as she does, so K. knows I’m not making up the Thunderdome currently occurring in my domicile. Then we decided to go to Ruby Tuesdays. Because it was easy and fast and on the way and also sometimes I just want salad bar. Don’t you ever just want salad bar? And they have edamame on their salad bar, and I could eat my own weight in edamame.

WAAAAANT.

WAAAAANT.

So we ate all the salad and talked and talked and talked and then it was off to the theater to watch the play.

I have been very lucky in that the plays I have seen over the past five months that I’ve had to review have, on the whole, been quite good. I’ve only seen two I didn’t like very much, but I didn’t hate them, so was able to write a review that wasn’t a total pan. I don’t like to write really negative reviews. Because I work in theater, so I know how hard everyone works. And I know how devastating it is to work that hard, and get just a totally negative review that makes you feel like you’re crap. I’ve been there. I know.

But then I think, if I was just a person, reading the paper, looking for guidance about whether or not I should see a show, and I read a review and it was all “good! Good times!” and I went, and it was TERRIBLE, how would I ever trust that reviewer or that paper’s theater reviews again?

In short: the play was terrible. If I wasn’t reviewing it, I would have left at intermission. And I don’t do that. I am stubborn. I stick it out. ALMOST all the time. I think I’ve only left performances four times since I moved to the area. And I’ve seen a lot of terrible plays in my time. A LOT.

So I sat there and watched this show thinking, “I can’t give this a good review. I just can’t.” Because it wasn’t just my OPINION it was bad. It was perplexing why this show was chosen; the acting was…well, there were about 8 people in the show, I think, and 4 of them were watchable. That’s how the acting was. The others were…not. Just not. And the direction was…lacking. It was nonexistent. In happier news, the set was pretty, as were the costumes. So not ONLY did I have to sit there and watch a terrible SHOW, I had all the angst about having to write a bad review of a local theater group.

But I did it. I totally was true to myself and wrote an honest review. I said nice things about the people who deserved it, and I was not the HARSHEST toward the people that didn’t. Because even if they were terrible, they still worked hard. And today I read the review from the reviewer from the other paper and his review was very similar to mine, and he’s been doing this a long time, so I’m going to assume that it WAS a terrible play and I’m not even making it up in my head.

ANYWAY, then I worked all day Saturday and the highlight of that was that on Sunday, one of our clients was doing free cabs for St. Patrick’s Day. So people wouldn’t drive drunk, you see. But the drunks thought they should ALSO be doing them on SATURDAY. Because our big St. Patrick’s Day parade was Saturday and everyone gets drunk in the streets for that. So they kept calling us all drunk and belligerent and all “YOU NEED TO PICK ME UP I AM DRUUUUUNK!” and “THIS IS ILLEGAL!” and, my personal favorite, “THIS IS *hiccup* BULLSHIT AND YOU ARE BULLSHIT! Nah, I’m just kiddin’. GOODBYE!” I’m so glad I wasn’t working on Sunday when the ACTUAL drunks were calling. These were just pre-drunks. Practicing drunks. Baby-drunks.

GET ME A CAB, LADY!

GET ME A CAB, LADY!

THEN I went home for an Office Space group watch with sj and crew. You can totally read our shenanigans, thanks to sj’s kickass Storify skillzzzzz. Oh, and before that, I went to Rite Aid to get…crap, I don’t even remember what I was getting, something. But they recently retooled our Rite Aid so it’s pretty and the aisles are wider and the floors are shiny-new and so as a consequence are discontinuing some things, and are having a huge sale on them. Some of those things are high-end hair-care items. Which are all now 75% off. Like, FANCY shampoo and conditioner. FOR $2!!! Which I totally bought. Then I went back today and bought the rest of it, because then I’ll have enough shampoo and conditioner for like months and it’s really good, for the same price as the cheap crap is, normally. WIN WIN WINNNNNN!

SO GOOD. And it smells like fruit punch.

SO GOOD. And it smells like fruit punch.

WHEW! Let’s take a quick breather before the end of this, ok? I mean, it’s already really long, but I need to pee and give Dumbcat some treats and find something to watch on the teevee.

I AM BACK! I feel much better, I hope you all do as well. Relaxed? Good.

So SUNDAY, I got up all early and got ready and drove to Poughkeepsie! To see C. and C.! ADVENTURE! The drive to Poughkeepsie was fine and there were very few people on the road, which was nice. I dislike people. Also, Dad was all, “SO MANY DRUNKS WILL BE ON THE ROAD!” but I think they weren’t drinking yet at 9:30am.

Also, as somewhat of a side note, I realized just before I left that I needed to put money on my EZpass. If you don’t live in New York, that is the little plastic thingy on your windshield that lets you drive on the highway without paying at the toll in cash moneys. But I haven’t reupped it in a while. And didn’t know my password or my username. And the website was a nightmare. And kept timing me out and kicking me out. ALL I WANT TO DO IS PUT MONEY ON MY EZPASS NEW YORK STATE! Aren’t you all hard-up for money? WHY WON’T YOU TAKE MY MONEY!?!?!? But I persevered and WON and had money on my card and then found out it didn’t take effect for 48 hours. So probably all my traveling caused fees on my card. That was NOT a win. I really need to plan ahead for such things.

Damn you, EZPass!

Damn you, EZPass!

ANYWAY, I got to C. and C.’s lovely new house and it was SO EXCITING!!! It is the prettiest house. It is the only red house on the whole street and it has a DRIVEWAY and a YARD and will have ROSES when the weather gets nicer. Listen, I kind of almost had tears. I don’t have many friends with houses. Or if I do, they live far away and I don’t get to see them. This felt very grown-uppy to me.

So I got to have a tour of their house! And the INSIDE is even better than the OUTSIDE! It was built in the 40s and it’s totally old-fashionedy. But not in a weird gramma way. In a history way. It has good history. You feel good when you walk around in it. Safe and good. It’s a house that’s been around for a long time and will BE around for a long time and it feels like it knows you and has absorbed all the good vibes of all the people who came before and it’s cozy and it’s got cool quirky things like a huge basement without even any ghosts! And a whole BATHROOM in the basement! Like, with a SHOWER in it! And a whole sunroom where you can sit and read in the sun! And the whole upstairs is like an attic but also a huge bedroom with little cupboardy closets built right into the walls! And it has the most beautiful wooden floors that just glow and shine! I walked around like I was touring the Taj Mahal. And in my mind, I was. I can’t imagine I would have liked the Taj Mahal any more than I loved C. and C.’s new house. It is the most perfect house for them.

Meh. It's no C. & C.'s house.

Meh. It’s no C. & C.’s house.

I didn’t want to be a weirdo who puts photos of their new house all over the internet but I DID take SOME photos because there were some things that needed to be documented because they just tickled me so damn much.

This is C.’s cat reading Body Dump, which, if you remember, was the book I mentioned a while back about the MURDER HOUSE IN POUGHKEEPSIE! As you can see, her cat is very enthralled. C. is LESS enthralled. “That book is terrible,” she said. “You’re reading it and it’s like, there’s terrible writing, and then there’s this.” I told her that I have found many true-crime novels to be this way. It IS, however, by the person who wrote Lobster Boy. So what could go wrong, really?

This was outside the bathroom. C. (BOY C., not GIRL C.) told me that every house had one of these, but I have never seen one in my life. I like how dramatic this is. It is SO RED! It is an EMERGENCY SWITCH! LOOK OUT! EMERGENCY!  Also it looks so old-fashionedy, doesn’t it? Like it’s from ago? This is kind of blurry. We were in a hurry to hit the road at this point.

This is the BEST thing. This is the control panel for an old-fashioned alarm system that is not hooked up anymore, but I think it looks like the control panel for a spaceship. I think every house should have one of these. It gives the house a lot of old-fashioned charm, right? Also, if these lights started going off in the middle of the night, it would be like the past had come back to get you. Also, I decided the basement was an old bomb shelter. Whether it was or not, who knows, but I like to imagine things. It makes every day a calvacade of wonder and mystery.

Sadly, we could not go to the murder house, because C. researched it and it had been torn down. TORN DOWN! So we could see where the murder house WAS but not the murder HOUSE. Oh, the march of progress. (Apparently, the house was…smelly. From the rotting dead people he kept in the attic. I know. I KNOW.)

UPDATE UPDATE! So it was BOY C. that said the murder house was razed, but GIRL C. emailed me this morning with the following link and said IT IS STILL THERE! She’s tenacious, right? So we’re totally going to creep it next time I visit. Also, you have to watch this video because the guy on it makes me laugh and expects us to believe that he had all the hooker-sex back in the day.

Then we went to a diner that ALSO looked like a spaceship for lunch. SPACESHIP DAY!

And of course I had waffles. I am obsessed with waffles. Also, there were little jukeboxes on all the tables. Which I find adorable. If I lived my perfect life, I think I might eat every meal in a diner. EVERY MEAL. And sometimes I wouldn’t even eat waffles. Sometimes I might eat french toast or pancakes. (I would, however, always eat bacon.)

Then it was time to go to the play! The theater was about half an hour away and my GPS didn’t take me the same way it took C. We took separate cars because it was half an hour closer to home for me to leave from there. So my GPS took me down weird country roads and I was fairly sure it was the wrong way, but it actually was NOT the wrong way, and the theater was kind of in the middle of nowhere.

(OH SIDE NOTE FOR SJ! On the way to C. and C.’s house, I drove past a very funny hotel that I THOUGHT was called TAK Hotel, and I started saying “TAK! TAK AH LAH!” at it and laughing like a moron and wondering who would stay there but then I realized it was called PAK Hotel and that was not at all as funny and kind of confusing, actually. What kind of name is Pak for a hotel, I ask you? Also, this is not going to make any sense to the rest of you unless you’ve read Stephen King’s Desperation or The Regulators.)

So I got to the theater and it was LOVELY, even though it was in the middle of nowhere. C. told me that people in Rhinebeck have mucho dinero, so I suppose that explains it.

It’s brand-new and looks like a barn and has lots of parking and when it’s summer, it must be just beautiful up there. So green and lush.

Inside, it’s even better. Huge and echoey and clean and new and shiny. I was quite enamored.

The stage is deep and the seats are at an angle so everyone has good sightlines but they also gave us plenty of room to move. I was super-pleased.

And in even BETTER news, the show was A. MAY. ZING.

The set was gorgeous. Things came out of the flyspace and up out of the floor and the choreography was BRILLIANT and almost all of the actors both sang and acted beautifully.

ALMOST, I said. Come on. I’m a little picky. Problems: the lead girl, instead of doing her own thing with the role, decided to play it like Lea Michele. And I feel that’s the lazy person’s way out. In comparison, the actor playing Melchior did his own thing with it, and he was STELLAR. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Also, a few of the actors in smaller roles were VERY flat, but they danced well, so I’m not sure what I should pay more attention to. And, in news of the WORST, the actor playing Moritz (who, when I saw the touring Broadway production, stole the show) was such a scenery-chewer that C. and I were totally distressed. He’s supposed to be SOMEWHAT over the top, but OMGGGGG you guys. He kept trying to upstage everyone else. And when no one else was onstage, he was attempting to upstage himself. HE WAS OUT OF CONTROL.

However, the rest of the show was brilliant. The set was gorgeous and the music was amazing and I totally got tears and at one point our Melchior totally came into the audience to do some leapy things and at intermission I said, “You love this, right?” to C. and she had glowy eyes of love and I was SO PLEASED because the only thing better than getting to see one of your favorite musicals is sharing it with one of your most beloved people who haven’t seen it before and having THEM love it, too!

Then it was over and it was time to go home and as always, that is sad. Goodbye to C.! Goodbye to happy theater! Goodbye to Rhinebeck!

The GPS took me ANOTHER weird way to get to the highway down ANOTHER podunk highway. Oh, I totally forgot to tell you that on the way to C. and C.’s house, I went past a road that was called “Hooker Road” and that seemed ill-advised. Who would want to live on Hooker Road? I wouldn’t even think hookers would want that, because then everyone would know what they did for a living.

Then I got home and there were NO drunks, so Dad was totally wrong about the plethora of drunks I was going to encounter. Or maybe they just weren’t driving yet since it was only 7pm, who knows.

And THERE ENDS OUR TALE of WEEKEND OF ADVENTURE! It was all very much successful, even if all these things made the weekend go by in a quick quick flash and now it’s the week again and it’s like I didn’t even HAVE a weekend. Next weekend is less busy, with only one play to see. More resty-time. And right now we’re having a super-duper-snowstorm so that’ll be fun driving tomorrow. Huzzah!

Happy…what day is this. Tuesday? HAPPY TUESDAY TO YOU ALL!


Penguins and punk rock and cats in casual officewear and I am not sleeping enough.

Quick “I am not dead” check in.

I am not dead. But if I don’t get more sleep, I’m going to be dead, so this is going to be the shortest post known to man, seriously.

The show is going beautifully; we have a pay-what-you-will preview tonight, we open tomorrow. Well, if the SNOWPOCALYPSE doesn’t hit. We’re supposed to get like a foot of snow on Friday or something. Dad’s all freaked out. “I AM WORRIED ABOUT THIS SNOW SITUATION!” he bellowed when I called him.

I'm in the 10-14" area. Gulp gulp.

I’m in the 10-14″ area. Gulp gulp.

We will either cancel or not cancel. I don’t know. We’ll see.

I wanted to embed this but apparently I cannot so you have to go the extra mile and click, but it’s worth it, I promise.

The inimitable Elaine posted this to my Facebook wall the other day and I have played it a billion times because I can’t get enough of it.

It is a penguin falling. It’s like ten seconds long. You have to watch it, because if I tell you what happens, it ruins the cute factor. PENGUINS YOU GUYS PENGUINS BEING ADORABLE.

Also, I saw American Idiot the other night.

I was blown away. That is not a spoiler for my review, because by the time you read this, my review will already have been published. (There it is, but it costs you $2, sorry, all.) It was fantastic. It was grungy and raw and loud and edgy and intelligent and so unlike anything I’ve seen locally that I just sat there and alternately grinned or had my mouth agape for an hour and a half. I am not a very good reviewer. If anyone knows I’m the reviewer, they can probably tell the tone of my review by watching my face in the dark as the show progresses. I have no poker face. If I like something, it’s painfully obvious. (And, conversely, if I dislike something? Look out, I have the MADDEST FACE EVER. Or if I’m sad? ALL THE CRYING.)

This was my favorite song. Mostly because it made me cry tears of real teariness right down my face. Sometimes I like to cry, like when something’s very pretty. Sometimes, when it hits when I’m driving home from the theater and I think of a sad thing that didn’t come to mind before that very moment and is heavy in my heart, I do not. Because you know how they tell you not to text and drive? Crying and driving is ALSO not recommended. Because of the vision issues.

Please ignore the stupid popups in this video. I don’t know what the hell.

My beating heart belongs to you/I walked for miles til I found you/I’m here to honor you

(NO, I didn’t know about this song before the musical. See, I don’t listen to whole albums very often. We’ll be talking about this in a future post when I’m not getting 5 hours of sleep a night and walking around like a zombie and making the same typo three times in a row. So I knew SOME of the songs in the musical, but not many. Just the ones that they’d played on the radio, pretty much. I totally just downloaded the whole musical for my phone and am now seeing that iTunes is going to get me in a lot of trouble because it makes it very easy to spend money.)

Now I have to go to bed. I am so tired sometimes I am seeing double. I asked sj if I could dress Dumbcat like me and send him to work for me today. She said I could, but he wouldn’t even put on my shoes, so that was a bust.

Why yes Momee's boss I wuld love to tyep that fore yew but I do note know how to use the glowy type box thank ewe where are my treeetz?

Why yes Momee’s boss I wuld love to tyep that fore yew but I do note know how to use the glowy type box thank ewe where are my treeetz?

Happy happy whatever the hell day it is today and I hope you are all well and good and that you are filled with ribaldry. We all like ribaldry, right? Right-o, we do.


Introducing Le Tigre Suisse. Ooh la la!

Let’s talk about tiger murder.

According to this article the lovely sj sent me, there was a murder at the Chesterfield Zoo in Richmond just a few days ago.

A 5-year-old female tiger named McCoy took a swat at Kumba, a 2 1/2-year-old male. Kumba walked away, then circled back and attacked McCoy. In less than 2 minutes, she was dead.

The title of the article says they were mates, so this adds a layer of romantic intrigue to this murder, really.

So what happened here seems to be that this cougar of a tiger, McCoy (she’s TWICE HIS AGE!) apparently got pissed at her partner for something (I would assume, since he was so much younger, he was doing something like flirting with tigers his own age, or he told her that the stripes she wore that day made her look old, or when she said, “should I get a fur-lift?” he didn’t IMMEDIATELY say no) and she swatted at him with her paw full of claws. Well, Kumba walked away (probably to count to ten, like therapists tell you to do) but he’d apparently had enough. Maybe he had dreams of not being saddled with an older lady anymore, or wanted to have unfettered sex with a younger tiger who was really bendy, I don’t know his life. So he let his anger get the best of him and he CIRCLED BACK and he ATTACKED HIS LADYFRIEND. (A divorce would have been quicker and easier, Kumba. Just letting you know.)

Look how this movie COULD have ended. We were really lucky with what we got.

Look how this movie COULD have ended. We were really lucky with what we got.

“In less than two minutes, she was dead” is very chilling and sounds like something from a Lifetime movie or that terrible 20/20 or something that gives me nightmares and then I start thinking there are killers in my closet AND I WILL BE NEXT.

A third tiger was in the enclosure at the time of the incident Saturday but was not involved in the attack. The zoo’s fourth tiger was in a different area at the time.

Zoo staff responded within minutes, but (zoo director Jim) Andelin said they were unable to do anything.

“Even if it had happened in front of us, we couldn’t do anything,” he said. “We certainly wouldn’t go in there with them.”

A tranquilizer, he said, would have taken at least 10 minutes to work, or five times longer than the attack lasted.

He said Kumba was placed in isolation. He has been back in the outdoor enclosure but is continuing to be held away from the zoo’s other two tigers.

Andelin said he and his staff were reviewing a videotape of the attack but had yet to figure out what happened.

“They had been together for 8 months,” he said of the tigers. “I can’t say there’d never been an incident, but that’s how they play. I don’t know what caused it to go too far this time.”

So sj sent me this article last week. And we both agreed, this was a very sad article. I mean, tiger death is very sad. We all like tigers. They are warm and furry and beautiful and striped and stalky and when they yawn they show all their teeth. EVERY LAST TOOTH!

Sooooo sleepy! And toothsome!

I do like that Kumba wasn’t put to death for killing his ladyfriend. Also, “I don’t know what caused it to go too far this time” is ALSO from a Lifetime movie. Watch for this story to hit your televisions in Spring 2013. I’m assuming the title will be The Love That Claws and Scratches. Or perhaps Tiger Tiger Murdering Bright.

However, after I read this, I totally got the giggles. Then I put my hand over my mouth because they were kind of inappropriate giggles. Then I KEPT giggling, because once I start, I really can’t stop. I used to be the worst in church.

“Oh, this is sad,” I emailed sj. “I kind of laughed that there was a third tiger in the enclosure but he was not involved. He was like SWITZERLAND, yo. ‘I’m not getting involved in this petty bullshittery,’ said the third tiger.”

Immediately, sj emailed back. “I LAUGHED TOO AND FELT LIKE A HORRIBLE PERSON!  ‘I knew that Kumba was bad news!'”

This is why I love sj. (Among a billion other reasons, like she will stalk people for you without even being asked, and also knows what I’m thinking sometimes BEFORE I DO.) We both immediately picked out the most inappropriate thing in the very sad tiger-murder article and got the giggles about it.

So for days we’ve been talking about the Swiss Tiger. sj even came up for a name for him: Le Tigre Suisse. ONLY, with further RESEARCH, Le Tigre Suisse ISN’T a boy. SHE IS A GIRL. And there is SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON HERE.

SUISSE

SUISSE

(Also, this reminded me of that Will Ferrell Saturday Night Live pet talk show skit where they said “Mr. Bojangles is really a girl! Mr. Bojangles is REALLY A GIRL!” and it always made roommate C. and I giggle like morons.)

Mr. Bojangles is really a girl!

Mr. Bojangles is really a girl!

sj told me tonight that “A third cat in the enclosure, Amare,  McCoy’s sister was separated from Kumba after the attack, and acted as if nothing had happened.”

Le Tigre Suisse was McCoy’s SISTER! And, in news of irony, “Amare” means “love” so she was a LOVER, not a FIGHTER, therefore that’s why she was Switzerland.

So of course sj has SOLVED it. (In case you weren’t aware, sj is one of the best emailers in the history of emailers. Hands down. You get an sj email in your inbox, you have sunshine. End of story.)

“AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED!  Zomg, it was totally set up!  She wanted Kumba for herself, and so they had this WHOLE PLAN to take out McCoy so they could be together forever.  They just didn’t think it would be CAUGHT ON FILM!”

This reminds me of one of the murders in Chicago. “The Cell Block Tango,” right? The “Cicero” one? The “my sister, Veronica, and I did this double act…and my husband, Charlie, used to travel round with us…I come back, open the door…and there’s Veronica and Charlie doing…the spread eagle.” THAT ONE. Amare (le tigre Suisse) and Kumba were SO doing the spread eagle. Or the spread tiger, I suppose, let’s not be speciesist.

He had it comin'! He had it comin'! He had it comin' ALL ALOOOOOONG!

He had it comin’! He had it comin’! He had it comin’ ALL ALOOOOOONG!

So this is all a huge plot between Amare and Kumba so they could be together and she did NOT understand whatever the female version of bros before hos is and therefore set up her OWN SISTER to be MURDERED and now her boytoy is in isolation and I bet she’s feeling pretty lonely right about now. Also pretty stupid because listen, even if you’re in love with their husband, that’s still your SISTER, Amare also known as Le Tigre Suisse.

sj sent me this; it is a photo of the sisters in happier times.

I’m going to assume Le Tigre Suisse is the one being licked and looking all bored. And our poor McCoy is the one who thinks EVERYTHING IS FINE but really she’s about to be NEFARIOUSLY MURDERED.

What have we learned today, blogonians?

  • sj is most literally the best
  • sj and I find the most inappropriate things hilarious; this is why we are SYMPATICO and I LOVE HER
  • tigers are going to be the next subjects for Lifetime movies
  • it takes ten minutes for tiger tranquilizers to work; plan appropriately, kiddos!
  • don’t fall in love with someone half your age; they might just murder you with their claws
  • “le tigre Suisse” is the funniest name ever and I’ve been giggling about it all night long

THANK YOU SJ FOR ALERTING ME TO THIS VERY IMPORTANT NEWS STORY! And for being the best emailer. You are truly une amie magique. Et une licorne arc en ciel. Je t’aime!


I am illustrious and also notable. And Dad is New Found Landing.

I have TWO very exciting things to talk about today. One Dad-related, and one ME-related. Because it’s all about me, jellybeans. ALL ABOUT ME. Well, and Dad. Also Dad.

First: you know how we weren’t counting chickens? Well, let’s see. One, two, THREE chickens. Some chickens have come home to roost.

Uno, dos, TRES POLLOS!

A few weeks ago, my most lovely theater friend C. sent me an email. “Amy, do you want to do this?” she said. “They invited me, but I’m unavailable.”

It was an opportunity to be part of a panel being held at one of our local theaters (one of our BEST local theaters) – a panel of local critics, talking about the critieria for critiquing new works of theater. The other panelists are other local critics. BIG DEAL CRITICS. Friend C. said, “email these people back and tell them you’re taking my place” and I said, “um…I think I should be a little more humble than that, C.” and she said, “I never got anything I wanted in life by being humble, Amy.” C.’s a spitfire. I want to be her when I grow up.

So I sent off the email and the guy said they’d get back to me and I waited and I waited and I thought, “well, they don’t know who I am. So that’s ok. Even though I want this. I want this very badly.” But as I’ve mentioned, me and good things are not on the best terms, always. So I’ve learned not to hope much. Well, I still hope. That sounded depressing as hell. Of course I still hope. I just play it close to the vest. Because if you blab about your hopes and they don’t come through, then you are sad and people think you’re a loser and blah blah blah counting chickens you know the drill. Plus your poor little heart gets all crushed-like.

Stupid feathery hope.

But on Friday at work, I got an email saying, “Amy. YES. We would VERY MUCH like you to be part of our panel. Send us a bio, we’ll start sending out publicity.”

I AM PART OF A PANEL. An “illustrious” panel, no less!

Wait, wait, I’ll show you. Just a minute.

Capital Region Media Notables Selected 

for 

 CRITICS CIRCLE 

Jeffrey Borak, Amy Durant, Michael Eck, Bob Goepfert, Byron Nilsson, James Yeara & Benita Zahn Join the New Play Discussion 

Two Plays and Musical Dominate More Than 120 Submissions;

Grammy-Award Winning Composer Tops Musical Selection

Albany, NY – October 29, 2012 – In the first joint artistic venture for both organizations, Albany-based Capital Repertory Theatre and Proctors of Schenectady have called on the expertise and experience of six Capital Region notables in the field of theatre and entertainment for a professional dialogue on new plays received as a result of a statewide invitation for new work as part of an inaugural NEXT ACT! NEW PLAY SUMMIT.

Special Events include CRITICS CIRCLE 

The NEXT ACT! NEW PLAY SUMMIT includes special daytime events designed to shed light on new play development including discussions with the featured artists. Complimentary refreshments will be available at all events.

The highly anticipated CRITICS CIRCLE panel discussion will take place on Sun. Nov 4 at 1 – 2:30 PM at Capital Rep. Capital Region subject-matter experts in theatre will comprise the Circle: 

WNYT news anchor BENITA ZAHN will moderate the Critics Circle, which will include JEFFREY BORAK (Berkshire Eagle), MICHAEL ECK (critic and frequest contributor to the Times Union, BOB GOEPFERT (The Saratogian), AMY DURANT (Daily Gazette), JAMES YEARA (Metroland)and BYRON NILSSON, (Words and Music blog and Metroland contributor). 

According to Capital Rep’s Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, the contributions of the Critics Circle will be an invaluable asset to the festival.  “Being able to bring insight to patrons, artists and playwrights about the process of reviewing a new play is a part of the “circle of life” for new work.  We have an illustrious panel of critics, who all care about the arts in the Capital Region and take their work very seriously.  This is a wonderful opportunity to get behind the scenes for an insider view of issues facing art critics today.”

About the CRITICS CIRCLE Contributors

Broadcaster BENITA ZAHN will serve as moderator for the New Act! New Play Summit ‘s Critics Circle.  Ms. Zahn co-anchors News Channel 13 Live at 5 and 6 with Jim Kambrich. Her outstanding work has garnered numerous awards, including being named one of the 100 Women of the Century by the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce; the Arthur Kapner Spirit of the Chamber Award, a three-time Emmy nominee, NYS Broadcasters award recipient, Gold Medal and Bronze Medal – New York Festival’s International Television, and the Distinguished Communicator Award from American Women in Radio and Television. An avid runner, Benita also is active in regional theatre. Her theater credits include performances at the Fort Salem Theater, Albany Civic Theater, Schenectady Civic Theater, Schenectady Light Opera and Park Playhouse. She also is a member of the Singer Anchors – with WRGB (CBS 6) anchor Jerry Gretzinger and WNYT  (News Channel 13) and Jessica Layton. The trio originally joined melodic forces with Jay Kerr at the Fort Salem Theater to produce a fantastic evening of song and banter.   Since their debut at the Cabaret at Fort Salem Theater in November, 2009 they have been successfully touring the area.  Their holiday show is booked at Vapor and The Century House. Benita is on the boards of Kelly’s Cause, Building on Love, which supports Ronald McDonald House and Park Playhouse.

JEFFREY BORAK has been the Berkshire Eagle’s entertainment editor and theater critic since April 1986.  Before coming to the Berkshires in April 1986, he covered city hall in Beacon and then Poughkeepsie, N.Y, for the Poughkeepsie Journal, before becoming that newspaper’s entertainment editor and theater critic. Mr. Borak has acted and directed with community theaters in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. and Poughkeepsie, and acted with Ghent Playhouse and Albany Civic Theater. He lives in Pittsfield, MA, with his wife, Judaic mixed media artist Wendy Rabinowitz.

MICHAEL ECK has been commenting on art and culture in the Capital Region for nearly 30 years. A freelancer, he has been the Times Union’s chief theater critic since 1992. (He also has contributed music reviews and general features to the paper since 1986). Nationally, Eck has written for Backstage, Billboard, AOL, Amazon.com, The Austin Chronicle, Fretboard Journal, Southwest Airlines Spirit, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, No Depression and many other publications and websites.

AMY DURANT has a B.A. in Theatre from Binghamton University and has been working in theater, both onstage and off, for over 25 years. She has been the Artistic Director at Albany Civic Theater for two years and has worked on a number of their productions over the last eight years. She is also a theater reviewer for The Daily Gazette. She has worked at a number of theaters in her career and is proud to call the Capital District, with its rich arts culture, her home. 

BOB GOEPFERT  A local arts critic for more than 30 years, Goepfert is a former executive director of the Palace Theater in Albany.  His reviews can be found in the Troy Record, the Saratogian and on air at WAMC.   

BYRON NILSSON  has been reviewing theater, music, dance, movies, restaurants, and more since 1984 for such area publications as Metroland, the Schenectady Gazette, the Albany Times-Union and writes a blog Words and Music. He is a professional actor and member of Actors Equity SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild. His plays have been performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre and the NY Fringe Festival.

JAMES YEARA has an MA in Theatre Education and has been writing about, producing and directing theatre for 25 years.  He is a mainstay critic at METROLAND and founder and producer of Wit and Will improv troupe. He teaches theatre and dramatic literature at Bethlehem High School.

Are you so excited/impressed right now? I AM PART OF AN ILLUSTRIOUS PANEL. Look at these PEOPLE! And our moderator is a NEWSLADY! I have always wanted to meet the fancy theatery newslady. Everyone says she’s very nice. (She also acts. That’s why she’s also theatery.)

So I have to talk in front of a PAYING AUDIENCE OF PEOPLE. Not JUST people. FANCY PEOPLE. The people that attend this theater are the fanciest. It’s a very nice theater. Luckily, I’m talking about a thing I know something about – I’m in charge of choosing the new work for my theater every year, plus I review plays, and you all KNOW I’m very judgmental, so I’m not going to have to either make things up, or just sit there quietly and nod. But still. SCARY.

I’m Willow with the stage fright. Not when I’m ACTING. When I’m PUBLIC SPEAKING.

Yes. Yes, I know. I used to act. I used to get up in front of LARGE ROOMS FULL OF STRANGERS and TALK. At LENGTH. I also blog daily and talk to STRANGERS. I know this. However, acting/talking in character (even if blog character is pretty close to Amy) is nothing like getting up in front of people and being YOURSELF. I sometimes have to get up and do the curtain speech in front of my theater, and the curtain speech is like two minutes long, and I have to PEP TALK myself before that damn thing, and I almost HYPERVENTILATE. Here’s a secret: I’m a total introvert. I’m PETRIFIED of this.

However! My four years of theater training (that I will be paying for for…well…the rest of my life, let’s be honest) and my…let’s see…yep, 25 years of FREE theater training (I did my first show when I was 13. THIRTEEN! Can you even imagine? Little 13-year-old me. Aw, me) have taught me a lot of things, but one thing that is very important and I have used it in a million billion places.

I’m very good at pretending I’m not scared of things.

Inside, I’m hiding in the pots-and-pans cupboard with my cat, but on the outside, I’m loud and I’m brassy and I’m all smiles and I’m happy and wide-eyed and confident as hell. I realize in telling you this, I’m totally blowing my cover, but there it is. I’m really, really good at playing a character when I need to, and that character is Confident Amy. (And when I’m comfortable with someone, I don’t need to play Confident Amy; Confident Amy is naturally there, and THAT’S nice, because it’s a lot easier to not have to ACT like I’m confident and just BE confident. Acting is EXHAUSTING. You know how people are all “actors are LAZY!” Nope. Acting is EXHAUSTING. You have no idea. It’s a lot of work, wearing someone else’s face and mannerisms for an extended period of time.)

Anyway, there’s the scoop. Next weekend, I’m not working Assassins for THREE OF THE FOUR DAYS. I know! I will miss it. Thank you, friend K., for being my fill-in light person. I love you so much. Also, you are very good at talks and advice and making me giggle, and you are one of my favorite people in the whole world, and I am so glad I know you. So, anyway, next weekend, one day I’m reviewing a show; one day, I’m ushering at my theater; and one day, I’m talking in front of a large room filled with people about theater in some REALLY FANCY COMPANY. Which I think makes ME fancy company, right? HOLY HELL WHEN DID I BECOME FANCY. Even if it’s only for the one day. BRIEFLY fancy.

I promise I will not forget you when I am a fancy person. Well, except Ken. I’ve already told Ken I’ve begun to forget him. Who’s Ken, again? Bon vivant what? Friend in Germany who?

KEN IS NOT AMUSED BY MY SHENANIGANS.
(I totally ganked this from the interwebs, Ken. Because your face makes me laugh like a moron. Wait, that came out wrong. KEN I LOVE YOUR FACE. Just, THIS EXPRESSION is very funny. There. That’s better. Kind of.)

OK, now DAD news. Dad is in NEW FOUND LAND! I’ve been missing him all week. I have to write a blog about where Dad is, because he sent me a website to his hunting tour place, and it’s…well, it’s filled with accidental hilarity, I can’t lie. But I can’t access that from here. I’m at the theater, you see. No internetting here. We’re getting ready to open the matinee. The house should be opening any…minute…now and the show starts in 20 minutes and then I have to run to Staples before it closes and print some things because my home printer is not working. You can put all the ink in it, but then it says “NO INK NO INK.” Well, you are a liar, printer, and I hate your face. I will talk about the printing of things at a later date, maybe. They are chickens. Uncounted chickens. I have to print some uncounted chickens. At Staples. Won’t they be surprised when THOSE pop out of the printer all uncounted-like and buck-buck-bucking around.

So Dad’s been calling me every day and I have missed EVERY SINGLE CALL and that’s been so sad but last night I went to bed at 3am (don’t ask, you wanted a blog Sunday, didn’t you? Then I had to stay up until 3am) and was SUPPOSED to sleep IN but then Dumbcat decided he wanted to snuggle at 8:30ish so he was all “mreeeow? Purr. Meee? Mooo? Purrr. Meee! Meee! MEEEEEoooooo!” and headbutting and he was SO CUTE even though SO ANNOYING so I woke up to pet him and then I was awake. So then the minute I got up he immediately occupied my warm spot so I SEE YOUR NEFARIOUS PLAN, MY BOY. VERY evil. SO evil. So later I woke HIM up to cuddle with HIM. See how HE likes it. (He liked it very much. He was so happy he DROOLED.) So I wandered around the house like a zombie-person and then the phone rang all “PRIVATE NAME PRIVATE NUMBER” at 9:15am and I was like, “WHAT THE HELL NO” but I answered it because if it was a telemarketer, I wanted to shout at them. But it was DAD! From NEW FOUND LAND!

He was all, “Well, I GUESS YOU HATE ME” and then I had to explain that I was working on a play and he was all, “NO PLAYS YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED” and I said “Dad. DAD. IT IS ASSASSINS” and he was like “I didn’t know there was a play about that assassin friend of yours” and I said, “NO. It is my favorite musical of ALL TIME and I have wanted to work on it for TWENTY YEARS and sometimes you have to DO things even if the TIMING is not the BEST” and he thought about it for a minute and then agreed. This is why I have the best dad. (Also, I want a play about Ken. How much fun would a bon vivanty assassiny musical be? Someone write a musical about Ken. The lead character has to play a ukulele, though. That is non-negotiable.)

Let’s just look at this photo of John Lennon playing a ukulele for a few minutes, ok? Because it makes me happy.

Anyway, Dad will lose cell phone reception soon, as he is going into the WILDS looking for MOOSE so I won’t talk to him for a couple of weeks or something. I caught him up briefly on all the fanciness going on in Amy-land – he was duly impressed – and he told me he rode a very big ferry and didn’t even fall off one time – and I was duly impressed. (Right before he left, someone drove their van off a ferry, which I think is kind of hilarious. Not on PURPOSE. By ACCIDENT. I know. It’s all very sad. But also kind of funny. I don’t think anyone DIED or anything. THAT wouldn’t be funny. I mean, I have a dark sense of humor, but it only goes so FAR.)

Here’s a van being rescued after falling off a ferry. Aw, van.

Dad and I talked for about 10 minutes and it was very nice and I miss him like crazy because Dad gets me more than anyone else because, other than the insane political divide we’ve got going on, we are (shh, don’t tell) VERY SIMILAR. All of my weird personality quirks, like the chicken-counting and the insane crazy crippling loyalty to our very very few chosen loved ones and even the we’re totally introverted but VERY good at pretending we’re not when we need to be so no one knows we’re not? All Dad-things. I might look like my mom, but this personality is almost 100% Amy’s Dad. (Which makes Mom INSANE. “Why didn’t you get even a SINGLE ONE OF MY TRAITS?” she will ask. I have no answer for this. Not a one. It’s not like she wasn’t AROUND for my childhood. If anything, she was around MORE, as Dad worked and Mom was a stay-at-home-mom until I was 12. Genetics and nature-vs.-nurture, they’re funny things, right? Right. Also, Amy’s Brother is just like Amy’s Dad, too. So…sorry, Mom. You lost the genetic lottery. I don’t know what to tell you.)

This is a very long blog post. I’m at the theater, what the hell else am I going to do? I’m typing inbetween looking up and watching the show. I’ve watched it 6 times in a row now and I’m not even a little bored, by the way. This is a very, very good show. Sondheim’s on my list of people I want to meet someday. It’s a short list. The Clintons, Stephen King, Joss Whedon, Sondheim. Kevin Smith was on the list but I met him so I got to cross him off. Although I WOULD like to meet him someday where I didn’t act like an asshole weirdo stalker-person. I WAS SO STAR-STRUCK MY WORD. (I’d like to meet a lot of other people – a LOT – but those are the IMPORTANT ones. Oh, well, of course, this list does not count my real-life far-flung loved ones, who I would give my left arm to meet. That’s understood, right? Right. I don’t need that left arm anyway, it just gets in the way and I’m a righty.)

Ooh, you know what Sondheim’s beard means, right? That’s right. Bon vivant.

OK. This needs to come to an end. So there’s Dad-news. More Dad-news to come soon. Later in the week, maybe? And AMY-news. Such exciting Amy-news. This week’s been great. Assassins and being on a panel and then this uncounted chicken thing that I can’t talk about yet and other various awesome things. Just a great week. Love you, week. Thank you, week. I needed you, week.


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