A Travellerspoint blog

Shakespeare and Philip, Who'd Have Thunk It!

semi-overcast 52 °F

Today was another long and eventful day. Our B&B doesn't serve coffee until 8:00 and breakfast at 9:00. Getting up at 6:30, by 6:35 we'd be raving lunatics without coffee ... so we head to the local co-op to by coffee, banana and paper and have a lovely morning.

Ben's crew was doing a Change Over from the Two Trains Running set to Taming of the Shrew. They start at 9AM and the set has to be secured and ready for the 1:30 showing. Due to a snafu at the B&B we were a little late getting to the theater but Ben's crew was still hard at work preparing down stage. Below are some pictures of how the set comes together - Ben is in the yellow shirt.

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The stage is set and I assumed they're done. Nooooo, Ben tells us that where we are sitting is the vom and we'll need to move. We learned a vom is a pathway for actors to enter and leave stage. Two Trains didn't need a vom. The vom was covered and audience seats were bolted into place. Taming of the Shrew needed the vom - here's how it goes:
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By the time the stage was set and the vom opened; Philip was agog that this coney island setting was for a Shakespeare play and was kicking himself for not getting a ticket. He decided he'd go and would buy a ticket but Ben was able to comp him a seat. Later he told Ben and I it was the most fun he'd ever had not always understanding the dialogue.

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I went to see King Lear - done in the round - very intimate; only 6 rows of seats circling the stage. The staging was 2013. The props were primarily all kinds of lighting because in the play, sight is the ultimate metaphor.

I've been on the move since 6:30 and I'm beat. Good night.

Posted by ChinaBecky 21:11 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Nephew, Theatricals & Funk

overcast 58 °F

Not so many pictures yet - we're mostly walking, talking & laughing with Ben. It's 2 years since he's had the benefit of his aunt's recommendations & advise as to how to manage his life - so I have lots of ground to cover in 4 days! Fortunately Philip is here to provide a buffer for Ben. A job he does well. Yesterday they were walking down the street discussing movies - they were a block ahead of me before they noticed I wasn't with them.

Friday Ben took me to see "Taming of the Shrew" done Rocky-a-billy style - definitely a novelty! Later we went to a bar where the production staff hangs out. It was fun to see the actors come walking in and the energy of the room fantastic. This morning Philip and I got up early and went walking - found a co-op with great coffee and then walked some more. Ben met us about 12:00 and gave us an impromptu tour backstage. We learned more and more about what goes on behind the scenes and the work he does. We watched "Two Trains" and then talked about it to each other and everyone in range for the rest of the evening. We met up with a couple of Ben's friends for Mexican food before calling it a night. Tomorrow we watching a Change Over with Ben's boss and then I'm going to watch "King Lear."

Ben is showing us a series of pullys, some with weights others mechanical that are used to lift not only scenery but props - for instance during My Fair Lady 16 hats are lowered from the ceiling via the pullys and they needs to land on the actor's heads at the right time.
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We're in one of the Elizabethan prop rooms
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Ben and Philip in the Elizabethan Stage looking out on the outdoor seating - holds 900.
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Ben and Me
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Posted by ChinaBecky 21:39 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Prius Heaven

10 years ago we arrived at SFO, picked up our rental car and it wouldn't start - turned the key; we heard Nothing. Since we were still in the rental car garage; it was easy to go back to the desk and say - give us a new car; yours won't start. It was a Prius....dah! Well since then, it's obvious that little car has multiplied many, many times - there are thousands in California, we were on constant Prius Alert - there's even a Prius SUV (doesn't that somehow defeat the purpose?) Our dear friend, The Sostmanie's, have a Prius. So ever thinking of our trips together and how we can afford travel - Philip's come up with the plan that they should drive their ooooold Prius to San Francisco - where they are popular taxi's - we saw them everywhere. Philip and Jim could be taxi drivers...while Laurrie and I could, well uhmmmm, needs to involve gardening - maybe we could work at the Botanical Gardens - yes! That's the plan!
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Posted by ChinaBecky 18:02 Comments (2)

Sharing The Road With A Tree

overcast 53 °F

After a surprisingly good breakfast - smoked salmon, spinach, egg scramble - we were off to Crescent City. The road twists and turns and 40-45 MPH is the top speed. The sun is gone - it's both foggy and cloudy.

Yesterday and today we notice trees covered with something that looks like Spanish Moss but these trees look dead. Spanish Moss in South Carolina doesn't kill the trees. I checked the web and yes - at least 3 varieties of Live Oak in 7 coastal counties are being wiped out with this plague. From a distance, it looks like trees just ready to bloom and then up close, the sight is grotesque.

Our main destination today was Avenue of the Giants. The woods along the road is awe-inspiring. The ground floor is covered with madrone, oak, maple with redwoods towering above them in the mist.
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We stopped at Trinidad because ... well that's where you stop for clam chowder. I think I was a teenager the 1st time I came here.
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We arrived in Crescent City; Philip was expecting a northern Mendicino - which CC isn't! We decided to push on to Grants Pass, Oregon.

Posted by ChinaBecky 19:24 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Coast Highway Bliss & Occasional Orange Barrel Blues

sunny 66 °F

Another beautiful day and a breakfast at Boudins. We load up the car, check our maps, turn on Greta ... and we're off - to find out way to the Golden Gate Bridge and Hiway 1 North. Amazingly easy leaving the city and we were soon in Marin County passing by our 1st homes in Mill Valley and Larkspur. Not too much looks the same. Someone told us Marin is the richest county in the USA. Passing on up into the hills of Petaluma and across the hills to come out at Bodega Bay. The coast north of San Francisco is completely different than the southern coastline. Up here it's more high cliffs & wind swept tops. South the mountains simply plunge into the water...the road is high above the pacific but you can see the road for miles. The northern coast twists and turns on itself and every corner is a surprise.
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Ft Ross was closed so we drove on.

Stopped for lunch in Mendicinio - it's a beautiful artist colony and because it's off the beaten path - it stays under the radar for winter tourist. The building are mostly 19th century, built by the New Englanders.

Eventually we decided to head inland and try to make a little time. Spent the night in Willits. Had amazingly good fresh red snapper fish & chips.

Posted by ChinaBecky 19:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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