I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

October 27, 2015 - 12:07 p.m.

Circling the Songbook

Yesterday's therapy session was odd. I was tired and enervated perhaps from the infection and antibiotics. My therapist at least thoughts that what it was so didn't push anything. I felt like staying home and not going and I'm not sure I accomplished much from going. I came straight home, I didn't even stop for some much needed milk and half & half. I hope I have enough for this morning's coffee. When I got home I took a nap.

I did get myself out of the house for my late evening plan, to see The Circle Songbook Fall 2015 Concert. What is the Circle Songbook? It's an organization of theatrical songwriters. What do I have to do with it? The Amazing Anna Dagmar is a member, produced the show, and had songs in it. I've heard Anna a folkie singer/songwriter and jazz musician and loved her but in musical theater she's found her true métier. I can't wait for her collaborations with Kevin Wanzer to be produced. When Dagmar & Wanzer are household names and people bring them up I'll say, "Oh you mean Anna?" Yes I intend on being totally obnoxious. .OK I won't. I'll just think it inside. Oh and tell you because I show you the real me, warts and all. He want to see a picture of my wart? I didn't think so.

The show was at the Laurie Beechman Theater on Theater Row, 43rd Street West of 9th Ave. I made good time and got there early. Anna had emailed me a ticket. I got a little panicky as I had the email on my phone but the attachment with the ticket wouldn't show up. I went downstairs to where the theater is, it's below a restaurant, and was asked my name. When I gave it I was told, "You're on the list and your friend is waiting for you." That made things simple. The friend was Fred. In a sense we met through Anna. He knew Anna through the Vienna Teng community and met Allison Tartalia through her. I met him at one of Allison's shows where Anna brought him over to say hi to the other Chicks with dip I was sitting with, probably Carolann, Sharon, and Meg. I know when he left we said, "who is he?" I knew that I sort of knew him from online.

Fred got there even earlier and got a seat down front. I joined him and Eric, yes I remembered a stranger's name. I'm good. He was a stranger to Fred too. He knew one of the singers. I looked back and saw Aviv and went to say hi to him. Only then did I realize that Anna was standing there talking to him. Hey she had her back turned to me and I'm blind. Don't judge. Bad enough I have a wart.

The format of the show was two songs got performed from each show of the participating songwriters. They were not performed by the artists but my musical theater actors. There are no sets but they are acted not just sung. It gives you a taste of the musical. Anna and Kevin's is Kids These Days which they describe as a Gypsy jazz farce. I loved it. I've always known that Anna writes great music but Kevin is a true wordsmith, such clever use of language. Anna played the piano. The cast, James Dean Larson, Jason Simon, and Jen Eden were marvelous.

Anna had one song, You Bring the Child in Me that she did perform latter in the show.

The entire evening was great. These are all talented songwriters and actors. Kevin wrote the lyrics for two of the other shows. He is not just talented but prolific. I hope there were producers in the audience, these shows need to see the light of day, well OK not day, the light of theatrical lighting. None of it was generic Andrew Lloyd Weberese Broadway. Much of it including Anna's struck me as classic Broadway in an avent garde setting. You can come out finding yourself humming the music but might get some odd looks if people paid attention to the lyrics.

I had neglected to eat dinner first, I couldn't get myself to get out of bed to make it. But that was fine as there was a minimum so I had dinner there. I did think that might be the case as I've been there before. The Laurie Beechman Theater is not a traditional auditorium theater, it's more of a nightclub or cabaret. What's the difference between a night club and a cabaret?

After the show I hung around to talk to and congratulate Anna. I ended up spending some time talking to Alan who was sitting across from Aviv. It turns out he goes to NERFA too. He is a fan of Heather Pierson. I got to tell him that she's doing John Platt's On Your Radar. See I'm always working. I ended up walking out with Anna and her husband John. I did not recognize him though we have met. I did remember what he does and that I like him. See I can do some things for myself.

Anna had a baby 16 months ago which is wonderful but it has meant that I have seen her far less often than I used to. That's sad. So somebody has to produce this show then I can sit in the theater and watch it with her.

Anna was a counter-example to a hypothesis I had and pretty much shot it down. Sometime during the day as I was going into and out of sleep I thought of a musician whose name I won't mention. I will use feminine pronounces as that's what the Wise Madness style manual says to do when speaking of someone of undisclosed gender. I have no idea why I started to think of her. She's an excellent musician and composer. I realized that she's a case of someone that is more interesting than her music. I often speak of people that are more interesting than their songs. I usually blame that on not being adventurous enough, trying to write songs that fit what they think other people want to hear as opposed to what's inside them. But this is the opposite, the music was great and intricate and filled with content but the composer was not that interesting to talk to. I thought to myself, OK that makes sense, she expresses herself through her music not her speech. She's interesting just her conversation isn't. Perhaps that’s true of the musicians that are primarily composers as opposed to lyric poets who write music to accompany their words. They aren't word people. Sounds like a good hypothesis, right? But then I realized that on Sunday I saw Matt Nakoa and yesterday I was going to see Anna and they are both people that I have had long conversations with and love talking to. Anna is one of those people whose eyes will start to glow when talking about music. She gets totally involved and excited and I know exactly what that feels like inside as I get the same way. Then I realized that I know a lot of serious trained musicians and for the most part they are interesting to talk to, hey otherwise I wouldn't get to know them well. So while I'm sure there are plenty of people that I don’t' know that can only express themselves through their music it's by no means the norm.

The trip home was a bit rough. There were train issues and I ended up standing most of the way. To make it worse the trains crawled much of the way, there must have been track work going on and they had to be careful of workman on the tracks. I could hear them sounding the warning horn. My leg was not at all happy about that. I was knocked out by the time I got home at 1 AM. I took changed my bandage, took my pills and went to bed. I hardly spend any time on my computer which is unusual.

I have nothing on my agenda for today other than buying milk and half & half. I wish I could watch the World Series but I don't have a TV and I don't want to watch in a bar. If anyone living in a place I can get to wants to invite me over to watch I'd take my gimpy leg with me and cheer on the Amazin's. Let's Go Mets!





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile October 27, 2015
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