Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cats and Musicals

Sunday night another season of Endeavorended with one main character shot, another resigning, another transferring and Fred Thursday alienated from his wife and brother. It felt as much as a series conclusion as a season ending so I immediately went to Google to search “season six Endeavor” and was thrilled to read that there will be one.
I hate most television but every so often something comes along that mesmerizes me. My first experiences with television as a source of delight were I Claudius and The Singing Detective. Of late, The Durrells in Corfu and Endeavor are my television passions.
Monday morning my worst nightmare happened twice: Both cats got out of the house and at one point Sheba thought it would be fun to chase Fred away from the house. I panicked but both times successfully wrangled them back into the house.
I took Jacques to the petroglyphs and he loved seeing them. He’s seem them all over the world but never in Canada. Then we had lunch and then off he flew to Vancouver. He was a fabulous guest and our dinner together Sunday night meeting wonderful other diners was something I will never forget.
I returned home from the seaplane terminal to chill and revel in solitude. I did some reading and was floored by something I read.
The March 12, 2018 edition of the New Yorker  included a review of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s autobiography, Unmasked. In it the he recounts a lot of infighting with his production partners and the author of the article, Adam Gopnik, cites a pattern of infighting in the production of Broadway musicals. Here is an amazing paragraph from the article:
“But a musical has no natural author. It has five or six or seven. The composer is the actual author of the most powerful emotional beats in the piece—we remember Richard Rodgers’ music in Carousel far better than any other element—but composes tend to be inarticulate and are often outtalked. The book writer, as he is archaically still called —elsewhere, simply, the playwright—is the most important maker; but though he provided the structure in which the songs may take place, no one recalls the structure, only the songs. the director is often powerful to the point of omnipotence, but no one except the special groups of insiders will ever think of the show as his. The lyricist, meanwhile, has a reasonable claim to being the true author of the show—the music’s emotional force takes on specific meaning only through the words it accompanies—but he often ends up the most invisible of all. Meanwhile, the choreographer believes himself to be the natural author of all the things the director is doing badly, but is also sure that the director will get the credit even if the choreographer  ixes them. Add to th eis  the truth that songs that delighted salons of backers bore audiences silly, and that the things that worked perfectly in rehearsal die a dog’s death onstage, and you have a natural abyss of authority.”
Today, early, I am off to Vancouver. I meet friends for breakfast and then spend the afternoon with my asthma team. Tomorrow: Breakfast with my friend Cathy, then Dr. Shoja and then home to Sheba, Fred and Ethel.
Last night at 8:00 it was 32° and I had to wash Sheba because she dug a hole in the yard and was covered in dirt. When I was finished I was as wet from sweat as she was from bathwater. Thursday is predicted to be 23° and I can hardly wait. There’s even a chance of showers in the following three days. I’m fine with that.

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