Thursday, December 22, 2016

We used to lick stamps

We attended our first UI Theater Department play since the building was closed for repair and remodeling.  We saw "Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike."  It was billed as a dark comedy, but it really amounted to two hours of members of a dysfunctional family arguing with one another.  And for some reason, the playwright threw in multiple references to Anton Chekhov.  There was a picture of Chekhov on the wall, there were several arguments about whether the cherry trees in the backyard constituted an orchard ("The Cherry Orchard" is one of Chekov's plays), one young neighbor girl decides Vanya reminds her of an uncle, so she'll call him "Uncle Vanya" (another Chekhov play), the family is composed of two sisters and a brother (as opposed to Chekhov's "Three Sisters").  Well, you get the drift.

At one point, Vanya gets really upset and starts to rant about how the world is changing too much and too fast for him to keep up.  In his rant, he cites as an example of the changes in the world the fact that we used to lick stamps.

We also went to see "Fiddler on the Roof" at the local performing arts center.  That is one of my favorite plays, but for some reason their fiddler was never on a roof.  He walked on and off the stage periodically.  The first version of the play I saw many years ago had the fiddler sit on the roof through the entire play, mostly in the dark but under the spotlight from time to time.  Not sure why you'd have "Fiddler on the Roof" without having the fiddler on the roof.  It loses something...