July 13, 2009


Intermission at The MUNY., originally uploaded by iMachias.

The celebrities were out in celebration of my birthday as Earl took me to see “Godspell” at The MUNY at Forest Park. That’s right, real live celebrities smiled as they walked by; it was none other than Georgia Engel (most famous for playing Ted Baxter’s wife, Georgette, on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) herself. Some claim she was making her way to rehearsals for her appearance in “The Music Man”, but I really think she was there to wish me a happy birthday with her trademark wide smile. Our eyes met. She didn’t say the words “Happy Birthday” but the spirit was certainly present.

Anyways, Earl took me to see “Godspell”. One of my favourite musicals, “Godspell” is a fun show to watch because the music is groovy in an early 70s way (and now with a 21st century twist) and because the script is so open to interpretation each production is unique. This show was no different; it was the first time I had seen the musical take place on a playground. Interestingly enough, the order of musical numbers was rearranged significantly. The instrumentation and vocals were pretty true to the early 1970s version of the movie, though there was a touch of American Idol going on with some of the solos, but the reordering of the numbers brought a different meaning to “A Beautiful City” in particular, as that was used to close the show instead of the reprise of “Prepare Ye” and “Day By Day”.

I have to admit that I was completely entranced with the two individuals providing the sign-language of the show. They worked together and kept within the emotion and timbre of each scene. I have seen many sign language interpreters do a rather robotic translation of their given task, these two individuals were animated to the point of being in sync with the performers but not outdoing them. I was pleased to see the cast recognise them during curtain calls.

One thing that bothered me about the show is the need for a verbal and written announcement to remain seated until curtain calls have been completed. It irks me that some folks bolt out of the auditorium during the last number or closing monologue of a show or even during the curtain calls. If you can’t find it in yourself to applaud for a few moments during curtain calls, recognising the talent for their hard work, no matter how deserved, then quite frankly you should buy the cast album and enjoy the show from your car stereo because that’s apparently where you’re all fired up to go to.

The MUNY is a wonderful outdoor theatre that seats 11,000 or so. According to tonight’s program, Mary Wickes loved it there because it’s romantic and we all love Mary Wickes so there you go.

After the theatre we made our way to the local Cheesecake Factory for cheesecake before calling it a night. This has been a really special birthday for me. I have been buried in well wishes from many people today (and thank you everyone!).

I remarked to Earl tonight that I am truly blessed. There are many people that make my life as great as it is and I wouldn’t trade one moment of it for anything else.


Skyward., originally uploaded by iMachias.

Today is our first full day in St. Louis, so naturally we set out to see the the Gateway Arch.

It is nothing short of impressive.

We rode in on the MetroLink because one should always strive to take mass transit/light rail whenever possible. We arrived at the Gateway Arch around 11:00 a.m. The lines were short and by 11:15 we were boarding the south tram for our ride to the top. When we purchased our tickets the cashier asked if we were claustrophobic and of course neither of us are. When we were paying I noticed several people gathered around this display of a pod-like thing. I didn’t think much of it until it was time to board the tram.

Five people squeeze into this pod-like thing. It’s so small in there that if you’re over 6’1″ or so, you have to stoop forward whilst you’re sitting so you can enjoy the four minute trek to the top of the Arch.

I have to admit that I would have been feeling slightly freaky if it hadn’t been for the small window in the door that allowed one to look out at the innards of Arch as we made our way to the top. Once at the top we were given the opportunity to look out the small windows on either side. I took a bunch of photos, which you can see here.

After our descent to the ground (a three minute ride on the tram) we watched a 30 minute movie on the building of the Gateway Arch (the engineer in me is wicked impressed) and then we walked around Downtown St. Louis for a bit, joining in on the festive atmosphere of tomorrow’s All-Star Game.

We are now relaxing for a bit at the hotel before heading back out for the evening. Earl is taking me to see “Godspell” at the MUNY at Forest Park tonight,

We are definitely off to a great start.

Oh, by the way, I turn 41 today.