The big event of this week – heading up to see our son, 150 miles away, where he is the technical director for the theatre department of a college – and it just happens to be the same college he graduated from.  That makes this rather special, as far as Wilma and I are concerned. 


He graduated in December of 2010 (a half-year early —- THAT’S MY BOY!!!) and immediately got work out in Ithaca, New York, then in Syracuse, NY, then back to Ithaca, then out to a theatre in Colorado Springs, and now to his alma mater.   He’s done a great many things in theatre in those different venues – mostly building sets, and finally getting to do some designing at this present gig.


So Sunday morning, we jumped in the van and drove our way there – got there just in time to meet him and his girlfriend (who is also a theatre geek) for a nice brunch in a small Italian restaurant… unusual for a Sunday noon lunch, but it was fine … They took off to their duties at their different theatres (him to his job, her to a local small theatre that had hired her as stage manager….) and we killed some time at the mall – Wilma has a penchant – almost an addiction – to kitchen stores.  She bought a gizmo that slices and dices and stores garlic.  I spent no money – which is a bonus for me.


Then to the play.  Our son wasn’t even there – the show had been running for two weekends now, and this was the closing performance.  I don’t want to get into a review of the actual production – that’s not necessary here, but I would like to discuss the type of show they did, and maybe a little of the script itself.


Three words, folks – contemporary social theatre.  Hot topics like family tension, abuse, homosexuality, lesbianism, unwed pregnancy, suicide… In this particular play, all these topics were present in more than just a passing thought…. This kind of theatre is not happy, not joyous.  I am not a big fan of this style == and that’s my own thing, you certainly may find it worthy, but I find it rather fruitless.


As the play continued, each character had a chance to  — well, yes, — BITCH about how tough they had it, how their situation was all someone else’s fault.   This is okay in theatre, but I merely prefer some learning to come out of such strife… and at first, it looked like this play wasn’t going to get there.  At the end, there was a bit of hope, a bit of resolution, but it certainly was overshadowed by the topics and how those topics were handled.


I guess I look for theatre to be uplifting, one way or another – either through a good story and script, or through a fine performance, or both… Yes, life has its drama, but to condense it so much into one plot line is a bit much for me… the key phrase being ‘for me’, since I realize others feel differently – and there will be those who would take me to task – and that’s fine, too.


So much for contemporary social theatre.  And now for the more mundane.


I have a request.  If you have any pull with the bowling gods out there, tell them to lay the heck off this guy.  Two weeks ago, I had the worst week of the year.  Last week, I did worse than that.  I look to go into tomorrow’s three games with a better mindset, aiming for relaxing, for controlling my speed approaching the lane, and over thinking technique.


I can only hope…..