Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Universe and Daniel Radcliffe's Penis

Rabbie Burns was right, the best laid plans of mice and men often do go astray. Not like my plans are ever well laid though.

            This is how things go when I make plans. I decide to do A. The Universe says, no, you will do what I want you to do. I decide to do B; the Universe says no. Repeat for C, D, E, etc… until I stumble upon what it is the Universe wants and it allows me to proceed. Apparently, last night, what the Universe wanted, more than anything, was for me to see Harry Potter naked.

            I wanted to see Spring Awakening. It’s closing on the 18th so if I don’t see it within the next few days I probably never will. But by the time Sadie and I got to the box office the student rush tickets were all gone (and sorry, I wasn’t going to get up at 6am to get tickets- or pay full price). Then I remembered that I wanted to see Speed the Plow because Norbert Leo Butz is in it for a limited time. Turns out I misremembered just how limited his time there was because when we got to the box office they informed us, yes they did have student rush tickets and that Norbert’s last performance was the night before. Thwarted again. We gave Billy Elliot a go but the guy at the box office curtly informed us that they did not have student rush tickets. He seemed somewhat insulted that we would think his theatre did that sort of thing. Then, we basically flipped a coin on whether to try for Equus or the Little Mermaid. You can guess from the above paragraph what happened next. After finally procuring tickets I went off to SoHo to meet up with Paul and Anna.

            There are some people in your life that you just fall in with immediately and things are just easier than they are with most everyone else. You’re more relaxed, funnier, more yourself. Sadie is one of those people for me, so is Paul.

Paul and I met on a backpackers’ tour through southwest England and Wales. He managed to save me from death and dismemberment many times as I was the stupid American who continued to look the wrong way before crossing the street. (I also can’t help remembering that I was rather embarrassing over the tour guide. It’s not my fault, though, he was Scottish. Scottish accents make my brain go loopy. When a Scot is speaking I cannot be held accountable for my actions… ANYWAY…) I remember walking through Shakespeare’s house at Stratford-upon-Avon, they had it all decked out even so far as an assortment of fake foods, as if Mrs. Shakespeare was going to hurry into the kitchen to start on dinner before Will got home from a long day at the theatre. And I felt the need to make such asinine comments as, that’s the ham that Shakespeare was eating when he wrote Romeo and Juliet (I mean, why else would it be in a museum?). It was funny at the time.  

            I hadn’t seen Paul for 5, almost 6, years and I had forgotten just how easy of a friendship we had had. It was nice to just fall into that, even if only for a day. They left that evening for 3 days in Dubai before returning to Australia. The “they” including his finacee, Anna whom I got to meet yesterday. She is lovely. I friend requested her on facebook. We went to the planetarium; we totally bonded.

            All too soon –insert sad face here- it was time to say goodbye. I went off to meet up with Sadie at the Shubert for Equus. Which was fantastic. I had read it senior year of high school, but, as that was 10 years ago now, I had forgotten pretty much everything other than that a kid blinds a bunch of horses and then talks to a shrink. Which, I guess is a pretty fair plot summary. But the play is so much more than plot.

            It was a very bare, very grey set. Sparse. Four, large blocks were all that was used in the way of furniture and the cast manipulated them into becoming what they needed them to be for each scene; a chair, a bed, a psychiatrist’s couch. You didn’t need to see the fabric, you believed that they were there. The cast was great. Richard Griffiths was phenomenal. And the writing. God, the writing. It’s a haunting play; disturbing as fuck, but God, Peter Shaffer’s words. Here’s an example:


Martin Dysart: All right! The normal is the good smile in a child's eyes. There's also the dead stare in a million adults. It both sustains and kills, like a god. It is the ordinary made beautiful, it is also the average made lethal. Normal is the indispensable murderous god of health and I am his priest.


I mean… fuck. The whole play is like that, brilliant sentences violently, and sometimes almost silently, sprayed at you, covering you like a damp you can’t get out of your clothes no matter how long you hang them to dry. Writing like that makes me feel terrifyingly insignificant, in the most amazing way.


I wrote a sentence at intermission that I am rather fond of. Kept it in my head all the way home, sitting on the train back to Ronkonkoma, saying it over and over until I found suitable fellows for it. It is, apparently, the start of something new. Who knows, maybe a play. Maybe a screenplay as it seems all the money is in L.A. and none in New York. Whatever it may be it is new and that’s exciting.


All in all, it was a very good day.

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