Kings and Things

This week, I used a lot of spoons*. Not wasted, just a lot of them. There continues to be stress at work, but I’m trying to change that. No, there were other things. Sunday afternoon, I went to see an updated Cosi Fan Tutti at CCM, set in the middle of the 20th century, sung in the original Italian, updated translation displayed above the stage. They quoted Beatles songs and used slang from the 60s and 70s. It was pretty cool. I especially adored Despina. Sure, I knew her, but that’s beside the point – she was still good.

The Lion King, presumably official.
The Lion King, presumably official.

Tuesday evening was the big show. The Broadway touring company performing The Lion King. I thought it was phenomenal. Apparently, how well they did depends on the night you were there. A friend of mine went the next night and thought it was a bit flat. I had a seat on the floor, on the aisle. I had the money, and an available discount from my ArtsWave membership, so I got my orchestra seat. I prefer to sit on the aisle because I want at least one guaranteed armrest, and room to look around the person in front of me. I’d forgotten that some parts of the performance go through the audience, including the initial procession. The show does follow the movie fairly closely. It begins with a call for the subjects to see the dedication of the new prince, Simba. The callers sing out to get everyone’s attention, and they come from everywhere in the Pridelands to see. In this case, they come from the lobby up the aisles. There were giraffes and zebras, gazelles, an elephant, and on my side, a rhino. I haven’t begun to figure out how to describe that moment, when you see a puppet, a costume, and a person (or four in the case of the large elephant) walking down the aisle. Your rational mind knows it’s not real. It’s not even designed to look real, but to be a representation. It feels real, though. The woman playing Rafiki was brilliant and hilarious, Scar was an ass – perfectly so – and Mufasa was majestic. The wildebeest stampede was unnerving; the way they staged it, the wildebeest kept getting closer and closer. Again, not realistic, obviously tricks of the trade, and yet realistic. They made every effort to make the show resemble the movie, to the point where the characters were expected to sound like their movie counterparts. Jeremy Irons’ oily, sardonic speech patterns with Scar were echoed beautifully, I thought, and the audience recognized that. He got as much of an ovation as Mufasa and Simba(s) at the end. Reminded me of a couple guys I dated or wanted to. There’s a reason I’m single…†

Butterfly Magnolia_0094a
Random daffodil because I couldn’t think of where else to put it so it made sense. Hope to get out today.

A friend of mine works the show, so I got a backstage tour, too. Another friend of mine happened to be there that night, which I didn’t know until I texted the first friend to set up a meeting. We all know each other. Same high school. Getting to see the costumes up close was fantastic. Standing on the empty stage was difficult. I know it’s hard for me to watch choral performances unless I’m involved; whenever I see them, I want to be singing, not just listening. Much as I enjoy seeing a good performance, I’d rather be in it. Well, I used to do theater, too. Stage makeup does have a distinct aroma, with a hint of motor oil. For me, it’s also as calming as sniffing a can of Play-doh.‡ I’ve missed it, quite a bit. There are a lot of community theater groups around here. Somehow, this little provincial town grew a fairly decent artistic community. Haven’t figured that out, yet, but there is a ridiculous amount of talent around here. If I didn’t have my choir, I’d consider it. Consider, probably not do. I lose too much energy at work, and I need to have enough to clean up around here so it’s at least livable if not spotless. My choir takes energy, but it’s only a 2x a week commitment on average, with summers off. It helps a lot, so it’s worth the energy.

Anyway, good show, bittersweet backstage tour.

Wednesday and Thursday, I had meetings that could help change my future, both with people in a department I’d like to be. I like my employer, I just don’t care for my job. I’d rather stay with the same company if I could, but I need a change. I have to change.

Perfect illustration.
Perfect illustration.

There’s not much else, really. Fabulous show, meetings for progress, choir rehearsal…oh, and a new trailer for a little fantasy, beginning on a desert planet with space debris. I might have watched it a few times since Thursday evening. Just a few, barely into the double-digits.I remember my concern and consternation when I first heard Disney had the rights. Are they going to Disney-fy it, or are they going to stay true to the admittedly simplistic formula? As long as it works, right? I’ve still got a bad feeling about this◊, but I’ve learned that no matter how jaded, how disappointed with life, the Star Wars fandom are really optimists. Think about it – The Phantom Menace was only okay, and Attack of the Clones caused me traumatic amnesia. Revenge of the Sith was the best of the three, and it had its own issues (pretty quick transition from whiny kid to evil killer, for instance), and yet we are still excited – cautiously optimistic, really – about a new movie. We write our numbers on a white board at work, so that we can make others on our team feel inadequate and hopeless. I may have turned one of my zeros into a Death Star…


*Helpful little metaphor. It’s not my everyday life, but it does help explain why some days, when I’ve done nothing, I will continue to do nothing. I’m exhausted!

†As I’ve noted, if he’s kind to children and animals, respectful of human life, compassionate, employed, and able to care for himself, I’m apparently not interested. Psychopath? Ooh, baby!

‡Stress-reduction technique. Scent is a powerful tool in memory and relaxation. At my last job, someone observed that when she sniffed Play-doh, she felt herself relax and think a bit more clearly. I tried it too; it works. It’s tied to memories of innocence and peace and fun. A number of us had small cans of it at our desks so we’d have it available when things got really rough.

◊I couldn’t help myself. Someone did note on another video, however, that they didn’t use it quite right in the prequels. In the original trilogy, it was when things were going as they were supposed to, but something still felt off; in the prequels, it was when they were very obviously in trouble. Yay, obsessive fandom!


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