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
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
September 24, 2013 - 1:17 p.m.
I updated late yesterday, after 6 PM. You might have missed it. Read it now. It's a good one. Shake it Up Chicago . As for the title, the jokes aren't always for you. The last joke wasn't for you either.
I checked yesterday and there was nothing on my calendar. And then late in the afternoon I checked and "Anna" appeared. That's all I had written. I knew what it meant. It was the ingenious Anna Dagmar. She has been working on a musical for what seems like ages. She's writing the music and Kevin Wanzor (If he wasn't tortured in middle school with that last name I want to have gone to his school. He's such a Wanzor). I have been talking to her about it since she started and last night was my first chance to hear some of it. The program was "The Lyrics of Kevin Wanzer." There were four songs from the musical he's doing with Anna and another four from a musical he is doing with Andrew Fox. It's sort of like having a friend that's been pregnant for months and wanting to see it. This isn't the birth, just a sonogram. There was an ensemble playing the music including Anna on piano for her songs. Musical actors sang the roles. Kevin set up the story.
I made it to the D-Lounge right off Union Square about 15 minutes before showtime. I did not expect the packed house I found. I also didn't expect most of the tables to be reserved. I did find a chair at a table with two people on it who said I could join them. Only after I was sitting there for a while did I see that the table was reserved too. I figured as long as nobody stopped me I was fine. I was.
It was hot and cramped and one of the guys at the table though nice enough to let me sit down didn't know how to share space. He was all stretched out which kept me bunched up. I was not in the best state of mine and Anna's songs were NOT first. I'd have to sit through the songs from the first musical.
The musical is based on a failed TV show about Cupid being banished from Olympus in modern times and not allowed back till he's made 100 matches without the use of his arrows. He teams of with a psychologist love life advice columnist. This did not sound promising. So here I was in a negative mind set and was immediately turned around by the songs, they were great. I want to see this musical! The songs reminded me of something and it took me a while to figure it out. Then it hit me, Groovelily! Now I love Val and Brendon's songwriting so that is a good thing. It was high energy and funny and musical and with well crafted lyrics. Before I made the Groovelily connection I thought, "Ervin Drake would approve." That's high praise. He's the guy that wrote "Good Morning Heartache" and "A Very Good Year." Christine Lavin gives him credit for improving her songwriting as he knows the importance of using exactly the right word. No assonances for him, only true rhymes.
I loved it so much that I was now worried that I'd love it more than Anna's. I knew her subject matter seemed a bit iffy. For LARS is based on a movie about a guy that falls in love with an inflatable sex doll and the town he lives in coming to accept her as part of the community. Yeah. Very high concept. So I awaited with trepidation hearing it. And once again I was worrying for nothing. Now I knew Anna could write but if you don't have the material a musical won't work. This does. And no what it sounds like? Nope not Groovelily. It sounds like nothing you've heard before including Anna's own music.
I'm going to do something dangerous and talk about my guesses on motivation of a friend. It's much safer writing about strangers. Anna started as a jazz musician that studies at the Eastman Institute which seems like they are more jazz oriented that Julliard and more classically oriented than Berklee. Anna's music has always shown the roots but jazz was her starting point. She then decided to become a singer/songwriter. If it wasn't for that I wouldn't know her. There's still jazz in there and she'll even throw in a classical piece now and then especially if I'm around to request it. But the progression has been clear on her albums. So now she's turned her hand to musical theater. She always looks for a new challenge. She always succeeds in that challenge which is a good recipe for boldness.
So LARS like Hedwig is a musical whose concept made me cringe that is wonderful. They are high concept but that's just the starting point. They are both much deeper and explore what it means to be human. I can't wait to see it produced. One of the songs would be perfect for Anna to do with four other Chicks with dip, "Just one of the Girls." Enough of them have theater experience to pull it off. I want to see it at the next Chicks show! There might be difficulties as Kevin has a say in it too, But if he says no he's such a Wanzor.
There was a second program that followed, The Demo Release Concert of Small Town Story. It's a musical about a small high school in Texas putting on a production of Rent. This sounded pretty good but once the adrenaline stopped flowing I was once again hot and cramped and hungry so I left. I felt bad about missing the show and that I didn't get a chance to tell Anna and Kevin how great the four songs I heard were. Now Anna will know Anna tell Kevin. Tell Andrew too, I didn't know what he looked like so I didn't plan on telling him in person.
After the show I went to Trader Joe's. I know I was just there but I forgot to pick up Irish butter. So I picked that up along with shredded pepper jack cheese and a chocolate, caramel, peanut butter snack. I then hopped on the subway and headed home. I was then hit by the tons of bricks and fell asleep. I woke up just where I had to switch trains. I always do that. But when I was on the platform waiting for the I realized that I left my bag of groceries on the . Yes I am an idiot.
I ate a boring meal at Popeye's. OK it's late now I have to post this and eat. Kathy is eagerly waiting to read this.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
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