January 25, 2006


Earl and I went to see the national tour of “Oklahoma!” at the local theatre tonight. We had been “Broadway Theatre League” members years ago but after a couple of years we dropped out and hadn’t been to a production in quite a while. I bought these tickets as a Christmas present for Earl, thinking we could make a date night of it, which we did and enjoyed very much.

It’s unfortunate that we didn’t really enjoy the performance.

Both Earl and I are very familiar with the show. My high school performed “Oklahoma!” when I was in 8th grade and though I was just an audience member for that production, I remember the energy radiating from the stage inspired me to become involved in local theatre and the following high school productions. Earl is very familiar with the movie version of “Oklahoma!”. I sang tracks from the score in a dinner theatre/ensemble type setting in college. A number of years ago we attended another high school production of the classic musical.

We both agreed that the high school productions we had seen in the past were better than the national tour version of the show tonight.

Tonight’s production just lacked energy. Period. The set was sparse. A stalk of corn, a windmill, an old woman and a butter churn was all that was on stage when the show opened. The backdrops were wrinkled. The lighting was not good, creating shadows where shadows should not be. The pacing was mind numbingly slow. The majority of the cast seemed like they were simply going through the motions. And the actor playing Curly sang through his nose. The show started at 8:00 p.m. on the dot. Intermission didn’t come along until 9:45 p.m. One and three quarter hours for the first act! There were some bright spots in the production; the actress playing Laurie had a beautiful voice and Gertie Cummings’ obnoxious laugh was played to the hilt. And luckily, there was a very handsome dancer on stage with a nice full beard who was wearing a pair of chaps and a cowboy hat (and some other clothes too). That held my attention during the crowd scenes.

Intermission finally rolled around and Earl and I did something we never had done before. We left before the second act. Sadly, we weren’t alone by a long shot, evidenced by the relatively large number of people that headed to their cars when we did. We went out and got a bite to eat.

We still had a nice time together. We were just disappointed in the show. Perhaps the second act surpassed the first in energy and pacing, but I somehow doubt it. Tonight was the second night of the two day run here; I had heard rumors that the review in the paper this morning was not good. Now I know why.

Straight Up.

I am going to come absolutely clean right here in front of the world. I never thought I would ever say this to my partner Earl, let alone everyone that reads my blog or stumbles across this on a Google tangent, but the time has come and I must announce it.

I am totally infatuated with Paula Abdul with this season of American Idol.

There, I’ve said it.

She has entered the realm of diva-dom. And that’s a good thing.

Last year, Paula seemed a little bit off kilter. Well, let’s face facts, she seemed downright drugged and it was like she was in her own little euphoric haze and she didn’t share any with anyone else. Then the whole Corey what’s his name scandal started to bubble and she came out of the fog and into reality and it all eventually settled down. This season, it seems like Paula has pulled herself together and I think she is doing a great job on this seemingly mean run of American Idol auditions.

One thing about this season that is making me a little crazy is all this hoopla about Randy and Simon’s “anti-gay” comments, for example, that one guy that was named something like Brandy that looked and acted and sounded like a girl, which is perfectly fine, but Randy couldn’t tell what gender he was. I don’t know about you, but if I went out of my way to go to the hair salon and ask for my hair to be cut into a Dorothy Hammill haircut and had my eyebrows tweezed slimmer than the ladies’ from Abba’s, I wouldn’t be offended if someone made that mistake either. And now that I think about it, I’d probably still have a beard through all this, which wouldn’t help differentiate me from women in some parts of the country, so you can see the reason for some of the confusion. I mean come on, if you’re going to go out of your way to be as androgynous as possible, then don’t be upset if people guess ‘wrong’. I’m just saying.

But back to Paula. I found it very charming when the policeman last night wanted to dance with her and she responded with an “I’m not allowed” (I snickered). She was gratious and fully rooted into this dimension and reality. Eventually Randy and Simon dragged her up to the guy so she would dance but she was such a good sport about the whole thing.

She has gone out of her way to find something positive from some absolutely hideous auditions and I think that’s wonderful. She even tried to coach the boy with no teeth but he wasn’t having any.

Paula baby, you’re back on my playlist and cocked (no pun intended), locked and ready to rock in my CD player. I’m feeling the Vibology.