Saturday, August 13, 2011

events of the days

1. Friday afternoon, the last Menlo prelude concert of the season, featuring Mendelssohn's Octet. First violinist had vigor, but curiously banked it down at the moments he should have been letting it out at full force. Lovely ensemble work, though, and the zip got sizzling in the scherzo and finale.

2. Saturday afternoon, Woman's Will, the all-female Shakespeare troupe, doing Midsummer Night's Dream in the park. Yes, like the clergyman in the old joke, I have now seen a female Bottom. The park was the front lawn of the Danville Public Library, I having missed the performance nearer to home last weekend. Loud voice projection almost but not quite carried over the street traffic. Generally good acting in depth. I liked the Helena in particular: her voice had the high piercing tone of Kristin Chenoweth, and also the strength of Kristin Chenoweth, which is considerably rarer. Minimal staging: set consisted of a curtain, and costumes were basic: males were depicted with men's trousers and occasional other bits: a tie here, an oversized sport coat there. Script interleaved with bits of 60s songs (Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher), lyrics for a few of which were printed in the program in the forlorn hope that the audience would sing along. One of these was "I'm a Believer" which they said was by the Monkey's. The Monkey's what?

3. Saturday morning, not so good. Spent an hour at home waiting for a service representative who did not show up. Finally, half an hour after the store opened, reached someone there by phone who said he'd had a sudden death in the family. Sorry to hear that; entirely reasonable excuse for canceling; but if he could call the office and let them know what happened, someone should call the waiting customers too. Not a good way to treat people, regardless of the personal tragedy, and I'll be taking my business elsewhere.

4. Followed by worst-ever restaurant experience; I can't say restaurant meal because I never got anything to eat. Visited recommended legendary hole-in-the-wall joint (not in Danville, but somewhere vaguely in that direction) for their signature dish. Discover at ordering counter that the health department objected to the way they made it and closed it down. Nonplussed. Glutinous maitre d'-cum-busboy asked me what I wanted. (No menu.) Me: "What do you have?" Him: "What do you want?" Me: thinking but not saying, "You don't have what I want, so what do you have?" Worked something out that didn't excite me but sounded passable. Shown to table, briefly fussed over. Then sat there for 40 minutes with no food. Time, not pressing earlier, began to. Gave up and left, ignoring glutinous cries of "Made to order! Take time to enjoy your food!" Not 40 minutes without any, buster. Not going back there again, ever.

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