austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We're not quite certain what has happened to us

The first play we took in was a one-woman show, with a few slides and recorded bits, about the tattooed woman from a circus telling of her life story. bunny_hugger's friend said he felt almost from the start the author (who performed) was a Tom Waits fan and, yeah, one of his songs is used briefly. The play felt ... well, meticulously researched, to me, and I felt like I could feel the work which went into it, although it somehow fell a little short of being alive. Granted, a one-woman hourlong play is necessarily going to feel a little staged, but I felt too much like I was looking at a construct.

The other play was held in what was long, long ago a church or temple of some kind, and was later converted into a nightclub, which closed, and after years of abandonment is apparently being reconverted into a playhouse. Cool, especially for features like the stained glass windows and the dark wood balconies. But less cool for actually watching a play. The damaged plaster and peeled such isn't a serious problem, although the lack of lights on the main stairwell was. But the only spot they had really good for staging, right now, was an alcove which produced more echoes than there were actually vertical surfaces in the room, and since the floor was flat, and we were way in back, we could see only when the actors stood up and walked around, and heard maybe about half the play. What we did hear in this play, about two rather seriously broken people meeting in a bar and falling in love, was interesting and involving enough, and it even ended happily for all the roughness in the characters and their backstories.

Also on the streets of Old Town, or O-Town as some of the signs were calling it, was a band playing various surf music pieces as well as the Theme from Peter Gunn, which added to the local-festival atmosphere. We also managed to pass then about fourteen times over the course of the evening because we ended up at the shows we did attend by a series of accidents: we kept going to venues only to find them closed tight and showing no sign of human occupation. At least one of them we realized was because the particular play wasn't showing that day. Others were just mysteries.

Trivia: An 1852 report to the United States Congress estimated there were over 40 thousand American seamen on vessels engaged in the foreign cotton trade. Source: Big Cotton: How a Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map, Stephen Yafa.

Currently Reading: Berlin Embassy, William Russell.


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