Well, it has certainly been a while since I’ve chatted at you. Last we spoke, our new kitten Max had broken his own sternum. He seems to have healed from that, and has gone on to scratch our other cat’s eye, for yet another trip to the vet. He is adorable and his name is being expanded to Maximilian because of the millions he is going to cost us in medical expenses. He is napping on my lap as I type this, between stints of attacking Ratty and vomiting on my hardwood floors.
I haven’t blogged since Thanksgiving, which was lovely. Our friends Trevor and Joey had us to their beautiful mid-century modern home in West Hills, which is literally over the river and through the hoods, as far as one can drive without packing luggage. It was a really fun and delicious potluck with a huge gaggle of friends. The next day, Albert and I organized Thankswigging 2, our second annual wig-hike in Runyon Canyon. The purpose of this is to work off some of our calories from the feast, and to avoid Black Friday. I am much more thankful about hiking with friends, than I am for beating up strangers for bargains on products that none of us need anyway.
Friday night after the hike, Albert got violently ill from both ends. Then we learned that everybody from Thanksgiving was getting sick. I believe it was the flu and not food poisoning, because I didn’t get sick until Sunday night, and it lasted for four days. I’m not going to blame anyone because I probably got it from Albert…who probably got it from Eric Whitaker! Of course, this was just days after I passed on getting a flu shot from my doctor, when I said, “Flu shots are for old people!” Karma quickly projectile vomited out of my old mouth.
Well, it hasn’t been all disease and doctors since November. We went to a tree trimming at out our friend John Price’s and a fun white elephant party back at Trevor and Joey’s. We also went to holiday parties at our friend Maggie’s place, at the W in Westwood for Albert’s work (thanks for your patience with my blogging, Ellen), and at our friends Art and Aaron’s beautiful home in Pasadena. We get around.
I also have a couple of theater reviews for you. Albert and I went to see the play Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, downtown at the Taper. This show was on Broadway in 2011 with Stockard Channing and Judith Light, who won the Tony award for her performance. I didn’t love this play about a liberal writer confronting her conservative parents about secrets from their past. JoBeth Williams was excellent in the Stockard Channing role, but Jeannie Berlin couldn’t carry the role for which Light won her award. The character is great, and there were times when the actress nailed it, but other sections when she was just reciting text. The problem could be in the material itself, which I often felt was too repetitive. The lead daughter came off as a liberal whiner, and her parents as misunderstood one-percenters, with a secret I didn’t care about by the time they revealed it. Skip this one.
Last night we went to the Tony winning revival of Anything Goes, downtown at the Ahmanson. First let me say, that I don’t love old-fashioned musicals or jukebox musicals, and this is both. This show dates back to 1934 and is packed with the hits of Cole Porter. It has been updated and revived many times since then and I can pretty much guess why—two numbers. The big tap-dancing Act 1 finale “Anything Goes” and the Act 2 showstopper “Blow, Gabriel, Blow” are spectacular. They are really amazing to watch. The rest of the show feels like filler. With that said, it is beautiful filler. The songs are pretty and the costumes are gorgeous. Also, Rachel York as Reno Sweeny is unbelievably good. She is a true triple threat in a very demanding role and she is stunning. So, if you like old-fashioned musicals, this one is done VERY well. If you don’t, then buy cheap seats on goldstar.com and bring an old person, or just watch those two numbers I told you about on YouTube.