Sunday, July 25, 2010

(Amanda) spitting into the wind

This weekend has been very busy! Lots of running about, being touristy, riding trolleys, teleporting to Timbuktu with a toucan and a (touch-screen) telephone.... also a lot of needless alliteration, but that is only in my mind...

Saturday we drove up to Quincy to the Adams National Historical Park. This was a great idea. The drive could not have been easier (three turns off of the freeway), we got in for free (as students) and the tour was very well run. It was pretty standard National Park fare, with rangers reciting the scripted bits about each site - but the sites themselves were so interesting and the rangers so clearly enjoy their jobs that it was easy to have a good time. We visited the birthplaces first, the houses where John and John Quincy Adams were born (the houses are right next door to one another, because John Sr's father accumulated the properties around his original home from many people). Then the trolley takes you to "Peacefield" where John and Abigail lived after they returned from England, during his term as President. This is a lovely house now, but it sounds like it was quite the fixer-upper when they bought it, sight unseen, while they were overseas. The best part (aside from the 18th C. portraiture in the house) is the library (or, rather, the Library) that Charles Francis Adams (John's grandson, John Quincy's son) built in 1870. It is one small-ish room, two levels, and is filled floor to ceiling with books (roughly 14,000 of them). It has such a lovely, studious atmosphere.

When we got back "home" I decided to stick around for that night's performance of Twelfth Night. Now, I have *very* strong opinions about the way this show should be done, it is one of my favorite Shakespearian comedies, and I have both acted in it and directed, yeah, I am invested in the show. I must say they did an absolutely amazing job. There are only 7 of them (well, 6 and a technical director who pops in occasionally) so they had to do some serious cuts and line consolidation just so they could make all the required exits, entrances, and costume changes, but these worked really well overall. Feste lost a lot tho, which is a shame, but I think it was made up for by, well...everything else. *sigh* so much awesome.
For Romeo and Juliet they cover the beard of D who plays the Nurse (and Paris, and, and...) with a thin hankie, pined to her coif. In 12th Night, W plays Maria and Sebastian, and for Maria they made no effort to cover his beard. Somehow, after the first scene, this was not distracting or strange at all. I am going to chalk this one up to Theater Magic and darn good acting. It really is amazing what you can get away with once the audience has bought into the vision...

Today we took the ferry to Provincetown, where we wandered around (we found this amazing military surplus/junk/clothing store (where, among other things, I got a Czech military surplus single serving pudding is grand!), ate lunch (chicken fingers and spicy fries), climbed the Pilgrim Monument (built to resemble a campanile...nothing like characteristically Roman Catholic architecture memorializing the first landing of the Pilgrims on Cape Cod...this country is weird), ate ice cream (soft serve made in the store! mine had vodka, kahlua, baileys, and chocolate chips in it...because apparently I like my ice cream made of liquor...), wandered around some more, buried our feet in the sand at the harbor, and caught the return ferry. I am only vaguely sunburned around the edges, so I shall count today as a rousing success.

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