On Jealousy, Campus Exploration, and Good Entertainment

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…
Shakespeare, As You Like It

I’m pretty jealous of my friend. Her daughters attend the relatively local and highly desirable San Diego State University. They have joined a performance club that meets once a week, and tonight we were treated to their Showtunes Showcase. From torch songs to comedy, these fabulously talented students dished out some great entertainment.

The Husband and I ditched the two high school boys and went off looking for the Experimental Theater on campus… getting lost… twice. We’ve never visited anywhere on the campus except the basketball stadium (Go Aztecs!). When we finally arrived at the right building we had missed the first of a dozen songs, but immensely enjoyed about a dozen more show tunes. Wow! What an amazing group of students! Seriously, if you have a university or community theater near you, get out and get viewing! I can’t believe we haven’t done something like this sooner.

Seeing these girls, friends of my girl, reminded me how close she came to attending SDSU and it makes me sad… I miss The Girl. But, as The Husband reminded me, I’ll probably be sick of her malarkey after only three days this Christmas break.

I’m looking forward to her malarkey.

Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” Marvelously Meets 1920’s New Orleans at San Diego’s Old Globe

Magnificent sets from Shakespeare's
Magnificent sets from Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” at San Diego’s Old Globe Theater. (Set Designer Alexander Dodge). Hopefully it is all right to display this photo that I snapped last night???

Usually, I prefer to see a theatrical production in it’s original format- musicals with all the songs, operas with full sets, not minimalistic productions, Shakespeare in all it’s Elizabethan splendor.

The Old Globe Theater of San Diego presented a superb rendition of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” that I swear should not be missed! Director Scott Ellis‘s 1920’s New Orleans setting for this play was MAGNIFICENT. I would like to know if this was his recreation or a previously produced version- I gather from our “Performances” magazine/playbill that this is, in fact, his baby. In January, he was described as “the busiest director on Broadway,” with three shows running simultaneously. This same Daily News article mentions his San Diego production, and I am beginning to get the idea that we are really lucky to have this director and his take on “The Comedy of Errors” here in San Diego.

On leaving the theater, I enjoyed forcing my opinions on the crew of teens that we brought with us last night. They had to listen to me, I was their ride home, HA!! I think that all the Shakespeare that they study should be viewed first, and then read. They need to see this language alive, intact, and played back-and-forth between actors, not the dry, difficult context of the he-said, she-said, dialog on a dull page.

Our Exchange Student (we’ve exchanged The Girl, who’s off to college, for her friend) will be reading “Hamlet” for his AP senior English class. I told him I’m going to find the best production of Hamlet that I can locate via Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any other streaming services and make him watch it.

San Diego's Old Globe Theater presents Shakespeare's
San Diego’s Old Globe Theater presents Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” This picture comes from the Old Globe’s web page, click the picture to link to their site, or try this link: theoldglobe.org

August Theater Pick: Mel Brooks’s “The Producers” by The Rialto Community Players

My mom has been having fun with community theater for decades. If she isn’t acting in a play, she is ushering or attending productions, often with her friends on stage… which isn’t a rare occurrence since after all these years, she seems to be familiar the entire California theater community.

producers-8.5x11-01-796x1024Last month she saw a production of Mel Brooks’s “The Producers” that she enjoyed so much, she told people about it for days afterward and set my family up with reserved seats as soon as we could nail down a date to attend. Of course, at least one of her friends was in this show. I’m so glad we reserved the seats, because there was a full house and we all laughed our heads off. The local actors killed this show, they really nailed the jokes and timing. The Inland Empire has some great talent- well done, everyone!

run-for-your-wife-01It is too late to see The Rialto Community Players production but if you have access to iTunes, you can rent the 2005 movie version of the musical version that we saw today- it’s available on iTunes to rent for $2.99. Next up the local company will be performing another comedy, “Run for Your Wife” for three weekends in September. Some of the same cast will be in this show, and we are already looking at dates we can attend.

Get out and support your local theater, everyone, and enjoy a great show!

Little Personal/Family Victories… yea!

Just a short post about how I’ve wanted to see my friends daughters perform ever since we met at our children’s school six years ago…

Finally!

While we may have missed the opportunity to see one of their fabulous flamenco shows as they have moved on to a different dance company, we were rewarded with an outstanding show this afternoon.

Lovely young men and women, with these two my favorite stars!

Whoops- only snagged one of the girls in costume.
Whoops- only snagged one of the girls in costume.

“Though she be but Little, she is Fierce.”

Saw “Midsummer Night’s Dream” with The Girl. I’ve never seen it before and always wanted to, so when she announced that she had control of the TV for homework’s sake, I joined in. I loved it when the “Though she be but little, she is fierce” line came up- I forgot that it came from this play and was surprised to see what the scene was like that contained this favorite quote.

Yea for English assignments that mean I get to watch Shakespeare that I had yet to see!

The lovely featured photo at the top came from this wiki page. It is a detail from a painting titled “The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania” by English artist Joseph Noel Paton in 1849.

I found this print on  etsy.com and it is available for purchase... click the pic for the link
I found this print on etsy.com and it is available for purchase… click the pic for the link

February Theater with The Mom- The King and I

I can’t believe it- this will make two months in a row that The Mom and I have made it out to a theater venue. Last year we thought it would be a great idea to try to see some production each month and we got in a grand total of ZERO. Hot Damn, mom, we are on a roll!

Picture form the Welk Resort's website for their production of Rogers and Hammerstein's "The King and I." Click to go to the site...
Picture from the Welk Resort’s website for their production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I.” Click to go to the site…

I’m actually the tag-along on this trip with my parents as they already had plans with their marvelous friends to go see Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I.” Off I drove to meet them at the Welk Resort for the show. This is a great theater, not a bad seat in the house! We all really enjoyed the production, I mean, really- you can’t miss with classic American musicals, can you?

This is the best thing in the world for me, I never want to go out in the evenings. I have long said that I turn into a pumpkin after 7:30 PM. There is a fabulous Mom’s Club at my church, and I usually don’t make our Mom’s Night Out each month. I’m just too pooped! The Husband, thoughtful man, encourages me to get out in the evening with friends, but I rarely do. Even The Boy and The Girl, when they were younger and emerging independents, tried to reassure me that they were fine home alone. I never intended to be the hovering type, I just liked being home with my family, and still do. And actually, I’m pretty sure the kids just want a night at home by themselves to binge watch on Netflix with microwave popcorn… thanks for getting your brother hooked on “Arrested Development,” dear daughter.

January Theater with The Mom- Pirates of Penzance

Last year my mom and I decided that since we enjoy theater so much, we should try and see a play at least once a month… grand total that we made it to? Zip. We didn’t make a single one outside of my teen’s high school productions. This year we are determined to hit 12 shows, dammit!

Tonight the family saw a youth theater production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, yea! We brought grandparents, teens and a spare boyfriend- I tell you, I’m going to commit to getting out to do these new activities once a month and invite as many people to come along so they hold me to it!

This show was FABULOUS! We hope to see more productions by the J*Company Youth Theater at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center this season. “Annie” is up next this March, followed by “West Side Story” in May, and both will undoubtedly be fine shows.