Monday, September 11, 2006

Better than sex

E had a great weekend. First, one of our college kids stopped by late last week and emptied two rooms of furniture. He and a couple roommates filled the small moving truck with stuff and took it to their new off-campus rental house. One of the empty rooms will be our home office. E placed the order for the custom cherry wood furniture. The other room will be a guest room. Furnishing it will have to wait a couple months. Until then, guests will have to sleep on an air mattress.

But the big day for E was Saturday. That was the day we agreed that we would clean the garage. It was not going to be a simple sweep out and dusting. I am a packrat. I hate to throw anything out. I often have emotional attachments to my stuff, even if I don’t use it any longer. E is just the opposite. If it has not been used in a year, then out it goes. Cleanouts tend to be the most stressful activity we do together. Fortunately, I have been preparing for this day for a couple months. We had postponed the garage cleaning several times. I was finally emotionally ready for it. We got rid of a lot of stuff. A large pile was donated to Goodwill. A second big pile was hauled off to the dump. We didn’t have any full-size arguments. I didn’t cry about throwing anything out like I have done in the past. And E was ecstatic and overjoyed by the time we finished. Having such a clean garage was better then sex he said!I love my clean garage!

The day was topped off by going out to see a wonderful musical. One of my favorite musicals is “Grand Hotel, The Musical”. It is not done very often. Set in Berlin 1928, it features a cast of characters intertwined in a series of fateful encounters: the fading ballerina on her last tour, the charming but cash desperate Baron, the dying bookkeeper looking for life, the typist that longs to be a star, and the failing businessman who foreshadows the coming Depression. I saw a good production of it about 10 years ago but E has never seen it. A local, amateur theatre company just opened their season with it. We were not expecting much other than getting a flavor of the show, seeing how the plot plays out with the songs we knew from the CD. However, we were totally blown away by the production. The singing and acting was great and the choreography and direction was excellent. It was as good, if not better then some of the professional shows we’ve seen. It is playing in Foster City until October 1st at the Hillbarn Theatre.
Grand Hotel, the musical
cast of Grand Hotel


Castle of Stink said...

Growing up in south Georgia, I had no chance to see Broadway theatre. I was a theatre major in college in south Georgia, but still had limited experience as an audience member. In graduate school (in theatre), I was finally able to see a Broadway touring show. It was Grand Hotel.

I loved theatre. It was my life. But that production proved to be everything that I knew theatre could be, but had not yet experienced. Tommy Tune's choreography alone changed my life...

Will said...

As I'm taking an early retirement from MIT next June so I can finally move up to New Hampshire with Fritz, I've begun the process of culling out the house.

I've been here thirty four years and have raised two daughters from toddlerhood here. So, you have an idea, I think, of just how much is here. But it's proving to be surprisingly easy!

I designed "Grand Hotel" about ten years ago. The director was a train wreck and it turned into a very painful experience. I know it's unfair to the material, but he ruined the piece for me and I would never go near it again.

Substance Abuse said...

Librettist Luther David and songwriters Wright and Forrest created a musical adaptation of Grand Hotel in 1958 entitled At The Grand. In this version, the ballerina Grusinskaya was changed into an opera singer, and the role was played by Joan Diener.

David said...

Thank you for your kind words for Grand Hotel. We tried really hard to put on a great production. Unfortunately, a local reviewer was not as kind. It hasn't stopped having sold out shows though!

I'm glad you enjoyed the show!


Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

I love Grand Hotel. I really believe it's one of the great achievements in the genre.

Another gay dad said...

I love this quote that comes from Tommy Tune's memoir 'Footnotes' where is talks about the problems/issues of getting Grand Hotel to work on the Broadway state: “I hate it when it gets ugly on a show. It always does though, and you’ve gotta be hearty to survive. If it’s not the writers, then it’s the producers or the cast. There is always turmoil, but if you’re lucky some good can come of it all. I have always tried to be kind to everyone, but please don’t mistake my kindness for weakness. ‘The play’s the thing.’”

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