Sunday, September 12, 2004

Glass Armonicas and Men named Thomas

And lots of Vaudeville in various contexts.


I spent 14 hours this weekend in a small booth on the Wells Fargo parking lot explaining CSMA's programs to various parents and showing their children how not to cut themselves on heavy foil. Microsoft entertained us with various "children's music" groups and clown shows. The underwear jokes, slapstick and songs about dinosaurs became a little grating after a while. When are they going to resurrect Punch and Judy?

Sat. night I raced up to Union Square to meet the Wobbly. (Currer, I parked in your granpappy's garage). After an unpretensious repast at the Pinewood Diner (the waitress didn't know what the specials were... the lettuce was iceburg.. but the chicken breast was freshly grilled) we watched the Black Rider at the Geary Theater. It was fabulous. I don't want to give it away, so I won't go to deeply into the plot. The production was fantastic (minimalist Julie Taymor, and lots of dramatic lighting). Tom Waits wrote the score, so it was like ironic freak show music (but the singers were talented... they only sounded terrible when they wanted to). I dragged the Wobbly down to the orchestra pit to talk to the glass armonica* player. His name is Thomas and he's from Paris, and no, he isn't going to die of lead poisoning. What a relief. Go see it. I can't do it justice here.

After the show we wandered around debating whether or not to get coffee at Starbucks. As we discussed it, we walked passed the Weinstein Gallery on Sutter St and I screamed so loud that I disturbed the other pedestrians. They had two odd nerdrums hanging on the wall. I never thought his stuff would make it to our provincial city. I am sure I left a lot of grease on the window from my face. His flesh just glows, and his painting srip with story. {sigh} such a night of aesthetic exstasy.


*its an invention of Ben Franklin's. A series of nested lead-crystal bowls that rotate on a spindle and the player rests her finger on the edge as they spin. Its the same concept at playing wine glasses. Wobbly thought it sounded like a theramin. They stopped making them in 1830 becuase the players all ended up in sanitoriums, from lead poisoning.

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