Send in a Little Night Music

A weekend at a country estate, a fading actress, a troubled son, an older man infatuated with a younger girl, a jealous husband, a duel, unspoken affections realized – sounds like Checkov? Or just an overly familiar theatric structure? Add some music, some great costumes & you have a first class Stratford production.30jns01Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, our first Stratford production was fairly familiar to me, thanks in part to the unavoidable Send In The Clowns but mainly because over the past year I’ve seen, via TCM, the original source – Bergman’s Smiles of A Summer Night. His sweet yet ironic look at marriage, fidelity with a touch of magic. Also, via TCM, I saw the film adaptation of the stage musical. The film was a bit of a mess but I did enjoy Elizabeth Taylor in it, even her rather naive singing had some appeal.30jns02I love function musical instruments as stage props – in this case a piano that seemingly floated across the floor to define new rooms, new potentials, & a class system. The show opens with a literal & figurative Greek chorus that appears periodically to underscore or presage the plot points. Men in tuxes, ladies in glittery gowns, & songs in complex triplets. They step in out of scenes to be dinner guests, waiters – stunning duets, trios, quartets that carry and envelope the the show. In fact at points they seemed to enjoying the performance more than the featured players.

The story line – that’s what google is for – moved along quickly & featured, like the chorus, various triads of relationships – 3 smiles, a woman with 2 beaus, a husband with a wife & mistress. A touch of French farce, a play-within-a-play which should have been a lot more fun that it was.30jns03Perhaps concentrating on the complex music lead to a rather restrained performance – too much concentration on hitting those right notes than enjoying hitting those right notes. But hit them they did. I enjoyed the pull & tug of the layered trio Now/Later/Soon; the darkness of Every Day A Little Death; Act 1’s rousing closer – A Weekend in the Country.

The ‘hit’ Send In The Troops, I mean, Clowns was given a superb treatment by Yanna McIntosh & musical director Franklin Brasz – simple oboe started it with the right feeling of tenderness but they resisted pathos for an unexpectedly touching moment. The orchestra was strong but never outshone the singers – loved the use of harp & sweet cello.30jns04Performances were uniformly strong. No one stood out though. As I said earlier I felt the show was just a bit restrained. Perhaps this is the difference between musical theatre & Broadway musical. Oklahoma! vs. Night Music? It is an enjoyable production, beautifully staged with stunning costumes, & a compelling musical score. Highly recommended but maybe not for the kids.


An American Hero

he is our hero

he did what any red-blooded American

has dreamed of doing

has longed to do

but has never dared

he taught those degenerates a lesson

that they have deserved

for decades

same-sex marriage wasn’t enough for them

now they are cutting their dicks off

flaunting their fake tits in our faces

he wasn’t taking it anymore

he did what others lacked the guts to do

he took back his dignity as a man

showed them he wasn’t going to tolerate

their constant whining for rights

in the face of his deeply held religious convictions

he stood up like a man

became a martyr for cause

the victim of their

insidious eroding all that is good

it was their own fault

for being out late at night

for dancing to Satan’s music

for kissing in broad daylight

where children might see them

for using bathrooms

that normal folks were now afraid to use

for mistaking the first round of gun fire

for the Skillerx remix of Lady Gaga’s

soon to be released single

for not ducking fast enough

for being so busy sucking cocks in washrooms

for fingering one another’s ass hole

slathering the shit on each other

in degenerate pleasure

for smearing their come and shit

on the Declaration of Independence

for wiping their stinking ass slime

on the pages of the Koran

the Torah the Bible

the Crucifix

for using their entitlement

to wipe that fecal spunk

on the American Dream

his American Dream


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