Our Town was wonderful.
It was heartwarming, heartbreaking, poignant, funny, life-affirming, universal. The cast was uniformly excellent, including my husband, who astounds me each and every time I see him onstage. The perfect Dr. Gibbs.
The two young actors who played George and Emily were simply amazing. They broke my heart. I got to meet everyone backstage after the show and I’m sure I gushed – couldn’t help it. As always, theater is a small world. The young woman who played Emily is close friends with the young woman who plays Ophelia in Hamlet. The woman who plays the Stage Manager is very close to the woman who plays Gertrude in Hamlet. I love that about theater.
Our Town is sometimes thought of as that play everyone has seen or done, or the play that was done when you were in high school, or an old-fashioned play that doesn’t resonate today. I beg to differ: It’s one of the greatest American plays ever written. Simple, yet complex. About a small town, but about every town, every city, every place. Heartbreakingly profound. Brilliantly written by the incredible Thornton Wilder.
I confess, I hadn’t read it in years and I told Don I wasn’t sure I’d ever seen a full production, so the whole experience was deeply powerful for me. Luckily, I had my kleenex in hand for the last act, because I needed it. For those of you who haven’t read or seen Our Town, I will just say that the last act takes place in a cemetery. Thoughts of my mother, my brother and all those dear to me who have made their transition couldn’t help but come to the surface. Oh my goodness, it’s so moving.
I’m proud of my husband. His work is always excellent and he makes it look easy. Believe me – it isn’t.
We drove back here to Hartford after the show and a little girl got to see her dad. She did a few little jumps of joy, which tells you how happy she was to see him. We all took a walk in the park. I made some scrambled eggs and toast. We sat on the sofa and cuddled for a wee bit. Then the Hill-Sparks family hit the hay. We’re both more than a bit sleep deprived, so this will be a low-key day, just hanging out and enjoying our little family being back together after six weeks apart.
I got to New Haven with just enough time to spare to run into IKEA (which is just down the road from the theater) and get a new Ektorp slipcover for my blogging chair. It isn’t a great fit, but it does the trick until the day comes (will it ever?) when I have enough money to get the chair reupholstered. Since I’ve had it for about 15 years, and it’s quite old, I’m not holding my breath. I also bought a mug for Don to use while he’s here because the mugs supplied by the theater are too small and the handles are way too small for Don’s fingers. I would love to have had the time to look at all the displays but I was on a mission and I had only 20 minutes to power walk through the endless aisles to find what I needed.
Today we were jarred awake at 6:30 by the endless sounds of trucks backing up. More crane work. There has been construction work right next to Don’s building the whole time he’s been in New Haven, so we both feel inundated with constant noise. Really? They need to start work at 6:30 am? In Don’s case, he was woken one night at 1 am by trucks unloading and voices shouting. Are you kidding me?
Which begs the question: What happened to basic civility? Don’t bother, I already know the answer. It’s becoming a thing of the past.
Ending on a positive note: Don is here!
(Book Review today on Just Let Me Finish This Page: a wonderful satire, Lost for Words. Stop by!)