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Off-Pear Theater

A small theater company started about 10 years ago in a small section of a row of industrial shops at the end of Pear Avenue in Mountain View. They named the company The Pear, and the space Pear Avenue Theater. Two years ago they either lost their lease or just decided they needed a better space, and now they are located in a more up-scale row of shops, less industrial and more office-ish. It is not on Pear Avenue (but one must access it via Pear Avenue two blocks away due to one-way traffic patterns).

After doing mostly nothing this morning, I headed to The Pear's new home for the first time. I keep forgetting how close they are, and I keep forgetting to check what their schedule is. Ticket prices are reasonable.

The new place has about the same amount of parking (not enough if they sell out the house) a larger lobby (but too small for a real concession counter), and more audience seating (90) and a much safer riser with better sight lines. The stage appears to be the same size, but there are a lot more light instruments, and it's a more professional arrangement (designed instead of thrown in there).

7 plays today:

The Telecommuter spoofs the concept that engineers who work from home waste all their time on online distractions and look at work as an unwelcome interruption. Especially when in-the-office tech support calls in a panic during his online poker tournament or online church confessional.

Wave Walker is a more serious fantasy, a woman distraught over her daughter's drowning inadvertently conjures up the spirit of the sea by writing an angry poem at the seashore. Nicole Martin does a superb job of representing the ocean, gliding across the stage, pointing out the absurdity of being anthropomorphized. I didn't understand the ending, it needs to give us a bigger clue.

Transcontinental made my eyes leak a little. Set in early 20th century San Francisco, the daughter of a chocolatier who runs his shop is visited by a favorite customer, who delivers a bolt of cloth from the store in which he works. She has the hots for him, but...  April Culver, a stunning redhead, plays the shopgirl. Early on I decided I'd propose to her, if things don't work out with this guy.

Birders places a woman and a man in the same part of the forest, in search of a sighting of the same rare bird species. It's a lot funnier than it sounds, especially if you're familiar with birding. It looks like it might be leading up to a "birds of a feather" romance...but no spoilers here.

Shirley's Chair sees three of the actresses transformed into old age home residents who have been a bridge foursome for a long time, but now that Shirley has died, they are trying to play four-handed games with three people. All three have unique personalities, and the way they handle the missing person situation is dizzying. I think this was the best-written of the plays, so I'll credit Max Guttman as the writer.

Fictus Aegritudo reminded me in a way of The Producers. An unemployed man with a computer and internet connection makes himself CEO of a non-profit for a rare disease (Fictus Aegritudo - I had to look it up, it's Latin for "Framed By Illness") and launches a fund drive, which is going to make him rich. His wife tries to show him the immorality of this scam, but he's certain it's legal and they'll be millionaires.  And then...he is saved by the subtly telegraphed trick ending.

Alternative Text --Send
brings the smartphone-carrying spirits of Juliet, Desdemona and Lady Macbeth together to excoriate the spirit of their author, and attempt to force a rewrite of their tragedies non-misogynistic into happy endings. And Lady Macbeth wants a first name, to boot. It gets off to a good start, but the writing starts to get scattered and it all fell apart for me when I was ready for it to end but another character is introduced, who adds nothing to the story. Desdemona is played by April Culver and I am in love again. :-) 

Tomorrow I'll see the next 7 works, and stay for the talkback session.

Home, mostly because it was raining on and off with high winds and dark clouds. An early dinner of chips & dip followed by beef pot pie with a dessert of apples, walnuts & honey. I wanted to add blueberries, but the bowl was too small.

Last night I slept well, but was up at 6:30, Spook had head butted my hand and meowed, and after being petted she moved out of reach and went back to sleep. So I did too. Finally up at 9.

Plans for tomorrow:
The usual morning stuff
Pear Slices
Talkback
Coffee with Janice (there's a Starbucks on Pear Avenue)
Take out the garbage

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