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April 20th, 2013

Sat

Officially back to being a lazy bum couch potato on weekends. Yay!

Woke up around 9, caught up on Elementary and The Mentalist on Tivo. The former is a copycat of the latter, but shifted to NYC and using the sexy Lucy Liu as the sidekick to a totally non-sympathetic genius. There is no chemistry there. There is no chemistry anywhere in Elementary, though the writers keep trying to create sexual tension. This episode they bring in Lucy's character's mother, who gives the "It's easy to see you are in love with him" talk, which falls flat because there is no love there, at all.

The Mentalist's writers, on the other hand, have built in ginormous sexual tension between the too-cute-for-her-badge boss and the very sympathetic genius. And also between two of the other regulars. They even had some Bad Romance for a while between a badge and one of his slutty informers.

Played with both cats, did some stuff online, then at about 1 I got dressed, hit an ATM, and tried out a new massage place about a mile down the street I live on. It was pretty good. 80# Chinese waif tap danced on my back. Or at least it felt that way.

Back home, made some late lunch, then off to Palo Alto for an invitation-only party for Palo Alto Players supporters. Very little in the way of food, meager selection of drinks but they at least covered all the bases. Check-in gave away the plot - they handed me a pre-printed subscription form with my name on it. Legal size paper, when a postcard would have sufficed. I really should not be on their list - I perform there, I've never bought a season ticket.

They announced the next season in what could have been a very exciting way had they executed it well. They didn't. The format was this:
A lectern at the corner of stage right. A mike stand at the corner of stage left. a projection screen hanging in the center. 

They started by projecting a high-def clip of a Latino dance number on the standard-def projector. For those who don't live and breathe video, this means the actors were very tall and very thin and it hurt my brain. After the clip they showed a hand-written black and white slide with the name and author(s)of the show.

For the first show, a musical, the person who will direct the show goes to the lectern and says a few words about the show. Then a young woman goes to the mike stand and sings/screeches a tune from the show, battling for all she is worth to sing in every possible key. She mostly succeeds. My brain hurts more. The show is In The Heights, which won a Tony because every show on Broadway which is set in NYC wins a Tony. The only thing the director had to say is the show is hot. Here is the clip they showed:
http://youtu.be/7PjplS0UwwA
They cut it off at 1 minute.

Next up was God of Carnage, which got some crayon drawings and stick figure drawings about children fighting, then the hand-drawn slide and the director's speech. I have heard good things about this show, and I know the director is good too. But it's a 4-person cast, sure to be boring for me.

The Heiress is hyped with some too-short clips from the 1949 movie with Olivia de Havilland, whom the director incorrectly identifies as a Palo Alto native. She was actually born in Japan, and raised in nearby Saratoga. She went to Mills College way on the other side of the Bay. Bad slide, director's pitch did not make me want to see this show.

Now comes the real WTF. We get a clip which starts with the theme from Les Miz, with some video and custom made (typed, this time) slides which sounded like teasers for LM, then all of a sudden Frau Blücher says her name, and then we get a bit of Igor and Dr. F., and then a snatch of Dr. F and the Monster in Putting on the Ritz. Ugly b&w slide again, director says how thrilled he is to be directing this masterpiece, Young Frankenstein, which is almost nothing like the movie. Executive Director Peter Bliznick steps up to the mike stand and launches into an impressive rendition of Putting on the Ritz, joined by The Monster. That was well done.

Now the screen shows a bunch of poorly edited moments from the ancient TV show I've Got a Secret and the mystery man is finally revealed as claiming he invented the TV. No ugly B&W slide this time, but a colorful one in the shape of a TV set which announces The Farnsworth Invention. No director for this yet, the Players' tech director gives the promo. Meh.

The lights come up in the audience for volunteers to pass out subscription sheets, these are green instead of the yellow pre-printed ones. Seems the pre-printed ones are good for tonight only. The green ones have the non-special prices. Lights go back down and we get three more short speeches encouraging donations and subscriptions.

When it seemed to all be over, the volunteer coordinator tells us there is one more thing, from Miss Saigon (opening on the 26th). Two young people step up to the mike stand and sing "Sun and Moon". Katherine Dela Cruz and Danny Gould. Ms. Dela Cruz totally knocked it out of the park. I am so seeing that show. She looks to be about 15, he looks about 20. He did okay, with a mike. She doesn't need one. The good news is as the piece progressed, he started to rise to her level.

All that only took till 7:10. Plenty of time, so I took the El Camino all the way home, a very long and slow trip but worth it to see all the new stuff. They have taken the covers off of San Antonio Center, and it looks very modern. Further down, my favorite Thai restaurant was on its last legs last time I went by, it is now a grand opening Chinese place. There are two new, smaller Thai places, Rice and Thai Lemongrass, down the road a piece. Lots more changes. I did a couple of U-turns to take closer looks.

Plans for tomorrow:
Drive to SJ with the new lens, have fun at the Songkran festival. I thought they were having it in one of the big parks, but it looks like it is in a not so big parkng lot not far from where I parked for Brigadoon. It is going to be interesting to see how they fit everything into that space.

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