Return of the Mack

There is an alternate reality where Mack Brown beats Clemson with a better two-point conversion call and in that reality, I’m working a full-time job where I’m excelling. Instead, I’m in the lackluster parallel universe where we may see good ol’ boy Dabo play for another championship, and I continue to find gainful employment. This also would’ve been a lot more relevant had I posted this around the time UNC failed to defeat their neighboring rivals. Except I didn’t have a rejection email from a job I had interviewed with and that time, and I didn’t have the urge to start writing something again because who’s not excited for another reboot?

I seem to come back and forth to this blog and I try to reinvent in a multitude of ways to keep myself interested in doing it, or rather to rationalize why I’m paying 20$ a year for this domain name. It’s not like I even grew tired of writing play reviews, I think it was more I wrote a couple on an internship email and never posted them and once they deleted my email account there; thus, losing those posts forever I gave up the idea of continuing with my play summaries. Or I just found that I continue to enjoy about 85% of the plays and musicals I see and others I just leave with such apathy that it doesn’t inspire me to write 760 words about it. So what am I rebooting this blog to now? I have no idea. I don’t want to write about the employment process or lack thereof because that’s depressing and I’m not here to bring down the mood. I’m here to raise the roof on the hypothetical party that I’m probably not invited to because it’s a work event and no one wants to bring an unemployed basement dweller to impress their boss with his comments about that last season of a TV show that nobody watched.

So what is this for? Am I here to ridicule the elites who refuse to do anything other than to bow down and kiss the feet of China? Am I here to be yet another person disappointed in Lebron’s status of money over the ethical treatment of humanity. Am I here to give my thoughts on the current Democratic presidential process due to their being a debate tonight in an hour or so? Nah man, of course not. I’m here to just sit at a laptop and type something with only one initial sentence in my head planned and see what happens. I just want all the local magazines, websites, heck, they can even be global, I’m still willing to be hired to critique fine arts and entertainment. I’m also here to critique the post office who seems to have a very ineffective strategy of delivering me a single parcel and making me traverse through the streets of uptown Washington Heights to hopefully locate my package of dog toys. Maybe I’ll write about my attempt to even think of a Halloween costume that has some appeal that isn’t solely to make myself laugh. Or there’s a chance I’ll write to remind myself to work on preparing things for my partner’s upcoming birthday because I keep saying I have “big, big plans” and then forgetting to start them with any sense of urgency.

Really though, I think I’ll just keep inserting random paragraph breaks even though I’m not moving onto a new subject, but it looks cleaner when I do like it this. All I know is that my brain seems to work better when I’m writing out my nonsensical thoughts and maybe having a person or two find a glimmer of enjoyment from my nonsense. It’s either this or see what local therapists accept Medicaid because I might as well accept any form of health insurance I can get until I find a job. I think in an ideal world, I do both of those things and more, and that’s why I like writing these things out. Because I can put my words to paper (as paper as the internet is) and actually makes me realize things that my subconscious is telling me to do and struggling to get out. So blah, blah blah, I don’t know when the next one of these will even drop nor do I have any idea of the topic at hand that it’ll cover. I can just promise you that it’ll be more frequent than the last one was to this, except I also imagine (because I won’t look back and look it up) that I made a promise like this before and I ultimately failed to deliver. I gotta stick to my word one of these times and I think this time it’s for real. Hopefully. So it goes.

True West

Every time I think of the title of this play, I think of the film Slow West. Or maybe I get it confused with True Grit? I guess it doesn’t really matter because it isn’t either one of those and I only mentioned that because I had to google the title to make sure I got it right before I started to write this. That’s actually not true. I didn’t google anything and I’m just hoping for the best with the name of this play.

Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano. One is the stars of one of my favorite film trilogies ever and the other rode a corpse of Daniel Radcliffe as a farting zombie jetski. No, no, I love Paul Dano too ever since seeing him as the mute son in Little Miss Sunshine. There have been moments where I try to see a play just because it has some celebrity as the star (the one with Lucas Hedges and Michael Cera, the one with John Larroquette, the one with that guy from Elementary, if I ever see that Bryan Cranston one, etc) and then there are times I try to see a performance because it’s one of the few plays I have the written text of. Do I have multiple books of Sam Shepard’s plays? I do. Have I read a single one? I haven’t, but it’s not like a play acted out is anything different than what you’d read. It’s just the acted version of the dialogue. So really is it even worth reading a play if you can’t see it acted out? C’mon now, kids enjoy Shakespeare a lot more when they can see it live than when they have to read it in high school English class. Kids are also stupid though and don’t appreciate art. Not me though, a true artist who respects the output of the other artists in the world.

I already wrote a post or two about John’s Daly Daughter and I can throw her another quick shout out here tonight as well. I am forever connected to Patti Smith, and I am forever connected to Bridget through the lightning bolt we both embody. Pretty sure saying embody makes it sound like it’s coming through our spirit and not something permanently tattooed and maybe it’s both. The point is, Patti Smith and Sam Shepard themselves got matching tattoos. Not matching in the identical sense, but matching in the how twins can not be identical sense. I know there’s a title for that but I don’t want to look that up either so I’ll just go with what I said. It’s why I got all his plays, it’s why I wanted to be more connected to him because of the connection I had with Patti and Bridget. I do realize I’m just going from John Daly’s Daughter to Bridget; whatever, their names are interchangeable. I get distracted and I already forgot what my point was. I just wanted to throw more recognition at Bridget/John Daly’s Daughter because this play, the excitement for this play was spearheaded by my excitement for Patti Smith, my bond with Bridget, and it was a culmination of everything that led me to wanting to watch this.

One of the benefits of going to a play with another person is the conflicting opinions that could arise. I guess that could be a blessing or a curse and can almost apply to anything that go with a second person to. It really is nothing special about a play experience and I only mention it all because of the enamoration I had with the play and how my partner thought it was one of the worst things she’d ever seen. Okay, her exact words weren’t worst thing she’s ever seen. It was more, “That was one of the least favorite shows I’ve seen in New York.”. Which could be vastly different than worst thing ever because even the worst of Broadway could be better than a lot of trash elsewhere. Again, I can’t speak for her feelings but hey, maybe my love for it was blinded by my prior history with it.

Why do I start new paragraphs haphazardly? I’m also not sure about that, it just happens. Probably for the same reason I randomly throw in a semicolon for no reason; it just happens.  The play though, ah yes, the play. A play of two brothers, a play of mainly only two brothers that comprise the principal cast. There are some other characters thrown in there, but this is a tale of two brothers. The nerdier, more established, high strung brother and the rebel, unemployed, hustler brother. I am not expert on the play, though I feel I know more about it than most shows I watch. Just because of my connection to Sam Shepard and just because on podcasts I’ve listened to this play comes up. I think of how John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman did this play together, switching the roles of the brother for every performance. During the first half of the show, I thought that made complete sense because one character seems much more fun to play than the other. Though it was in the second half where mental breakdown started to affect both brothers that both really got to unleash the reigns of civility and dive deep into debauchery. I realize I get close to 1000 words before I even start to talk about my actual thoughts on the play and then I’m already thinking about how I should wrap this up before it gets too long.

In conclusion… I jest. Really though, some things are hard to describe and even harder when you saw them over a month ago. Watching a man cook 12 toasters worth of toast after he drunkenly proves to his brother over and over again that he’s a guy that’s rough and tough enough, badass enough to steal something is a sight to behold. Especially when the entire theatre fills with the smell of burnt toast and you’re not sure if you’re having a stroke or not. Watching two men dissolve into drunken degenerates who struggle to write a single screenplay is a sight to behold. I like watching the gradual downfall of people when it can be pulled off well and I think it worked out within just a couple of hours. You could sense the relationship, the tenseness, it brewing and it actually concluded culminating in dramatic fashion.

Again, do I know how much of my enjoyment was garnered just because I have a personal connection to the work? Of course not, I don’t think I could reasonably figure that out and that’s okay. I did enjoy it. I went with someone who did not enjoy it. That’s theater baby! I feel compelled to read more of Sam Shepard’s work and to see it played out. Get it? Played. Play. Puns. As soon as I wrote that last sentence, Kudzu the dog, just gave me a look saying “Are you serious man? C’mon, you’re better than that.” I am not sure if I’m better than that in the slightest so I’m just going to end this prematurely or post maturely because I’ve written too many words anyhoo. So it goes.

The Cake/55 Shades of Gay

The majority of these plays, musicals, what have you that I’ve seen, I haven’t seen alone. I have nothing against going to the theater alone, I’ve done it plenty of times in my life for smaller more independent ventures and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. The majority of the shows I’ve seen during my stay in NYC have been with a lady friend that blossomed into something more romantic along the way. I only single her out because as our relationship evolved from a friendship into an actual relationship, I’ve managed to stay awake during most of the shows we’ve seen together. I do not know if that’s to her credit or if it just because when I see shows with her that an intermission is included. I didn’t even realize that until just now, but ninety minute showcases without a pause to walk around and grab a refreshing beverage are the death of me. Or they’re at least the coma of me because I find it almost impossible to not fall into some form of slumber. I also mention out the lady in my life because these were two shows that I saw with men. One a roommate, one a cousin, actually them being men really doesn’t influence anything at all and I think it’s more that they were one act plays and I just have a hard time staying awake in a dark room even on uncomfortable chairs. At the very least with Cousin John, I saw another musical with him earlier in that day that was lovely and that I was totally awake for. I was also with the aforementioned Brazilian belle. Is that a coincidence? That I was awake for it? I don’t really think so at all and was probably more closely related to the fact that it was a musical and had a damn intermission!

This will be one of the shorter posts because thinking I could adequately even speak in detail about these shows would be a complete lie. These were some of my more recent shows too, these weren’t a month and a half ago, this was just a couple weeks ago. Hell, 55 Shades of Gay was literally less than a week ago. I will devote a single paragraph to each show because though I’d like to give a riveting play by play, I can safely say that through both of them the vast majority of my commentary would involve my head falling forward and snapping back up as I say “Don’t worry, I’m awake,” to confused looks beside me. One fun fact about both these performances is that they were primarily dominated by gay men. I want to specify that I am not homophobic just because I was unable to stay awake. It has nothing to do with my personal beliefs about the LGBTQIA+ and just rather my personal vendetta against plays over an hour without an intermission.

The Cake with Cousin John. What is there to say about The Cake that hasn’t been said already? Something about baking, something about an older woman having questionable takes on lesbian relationships, something about a straight woman’s failing marriage, something about a lesbian couple’s failing relationship. Then it somehow all gets resolved in the end and I guess that’s a happy ending, but I’m pretty sure the main woman still has questionable, wrong views on homosexuality based off a too literal reading of the Bible? The most memorable thing about this play is that Kitty from That 70’s Show was the star and some actors were better than the others and it was very obvious which did not do the play any favors. Cousin John was not a fan and I think both of us wished we’d probably have chosen something else to do instead. Regardless, it was only 25$ each and if that’s the best thing I can say about a show, then maybe that’s not a roaring approval. My main memory of this is both trying to resist falling asleep and having an intense desire to use the toilet. The combination of these two events led it where I started sweating profusely and still went in and out of sleep. There’s your review, put it on the poster.

At least with 55 Shades of Gay, the other person I was with enjoyed it. Again, it’s not like I plan on going into these performances just to fall asleep. In my defense, there was at least 15 minutes of just waiting for the show to begin after the start time and that just don’t fly with me boy. Are there key memories from this event? Sure, like a lack of intermission. Also, an empty coat rack that only me and Michael used. There were some Mexican beers being offered and there was also a bathroom line that got very crowded. I know the story impacted him, I know it was about a certain European country with progressive gay policies that later got changed when they actually started having gay people try to utilize them. It was Serbia, it was Serbian, it was the Baltic states? Listen, I went in and out of sleep very quickly and I couldn’t help myself. I think after the third time of elbowing me to keep me awake as well that Michael just gave up and I try as I might, I succumbed to the slumber. It’s like I want to go on a beautiful commentary about how it was a great modern art represtentation of the LGBTQ experience in eastern Europe, and I wish I could but I can not. It’d be doing a disservice to try to make up false claims that are based off hazy memories. Regardless, regardless of my own views on “modern dance burlesque”, I’m glad to see minority populations getting representation and making more and more art. I’m interested in their art, I think their art is important, even if I’m not fully understanding or comprehending of it, keep at it.

At the very least, I hope I gave a good enough time to my roommate for him to want to come to a show of some sort at some point again in the future. I understand theatre isn’t for everyone and my passionate fandom for it might be a bit more extreme than some other people, but it’s definitely something that’s more enjoyable to go to with another person. Seeing a movie? Just as fun alone. Seeing a play? There’s the time where it’s brightly lit before hand, there’s the intermission (hopefully!), there’s the post show processing at a too expensive bar. It’s more of an experience and it’s an experience that works even better with others. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone that can hopefully assist in keeping you awake. I’m also just happy that I go to take Cojo/Cousin John/John (depending on his mood) to his first Broadway show. The first Broadway show I am yet to write about and instead have just reviewed some thoughts on a show he probably wish he didn’t see. Still, there will be higher praise for the other show he witnessed and I think it’ll inspire him to come to some more shows if he ever returns to the city. I need to shut up though, this “review” is one of my longest ever and it’s for two shows that I barely remember. So it goes.

Choir Boy

The problem with mobile rush tickets is that you can think you’re going to get a solid deal for 25$ just by logging onto your app at 10AM and purchasing a ticket that you’ll pick up right in front of the theater when the show starts. Maybe my experience of immediately being able to purchase my first tickets through the app made me think that every other time would be so seamless. During the month of January when I had 2 days off due to winter break from classes, I tried to see theater if I could during the off time. Apparently, Thursday morning theater is some of the most damn popular theatre in the fricking city. Every week I would try to get one single ticket for myself, trying multiple times a week, and I would fail every single time. Would I ever succeed in my task? I wouldn’t, but I’d get the ticket someway even if it required me spending an extra five dollars.  This is another classic incident of me writing a “review” of the show weeks after and doing my best to recapture the feelings I had during the experience.

I like how as I start this second paragraph, it’s been two weeks since I finished the first. At one point I’m going to write enough of these in a row where I actually get back in the groove and I start busting these out without months in between. Because I do think it’s both interesting to see how I may feel reflecting back on an event that happened in the past, showing truly how much it impacted me, but at the same time, I think I include a lot of bullshit to like make it seem like I’m actually a writing a decent amount of words. With this play though, it started off a collection of incidents where I managed to sit in the first or second row for every show. Little did I know that my next time sitting in such a close vicinity to the stage would be over a month later, except I’ll just think it started off a trend. Granted, like a movie at a movie theater, sitting in the front row of a stage production isn’t always the ideal positioning. Especially when you find out the stage is like elevated 5 feet above from the ground level of which you are seated and you find yourself in direct eye-line with some very solid knees. I want to be clear that these were good looking knees and just because they were covered by a pair of slacks doesn’t mean I couldn’t tell the amazing piece of leg underneath. Why a singular leg? Legs. Every actor had great legs, and I don’t think there was a single woman included in the entire show.

I went to this show knowing nothing more except for that it was written by the Oscar winning writer of Moonlight, or rather the movie Moonlight won an Oscar though the script is typically important for that. I did think it was going to be a musical, and rather it was more a play with songs involved. A play that actually included songs as songs and not plot devices which is a rarity to see. What kind of songs they were though, hearing such harmonies between men of low voices, high voices, it was truly mesmerizing. I say that because in the past month or so, I’ve seen Broadway musicals where the two leads who were specifically in a singing play were supposed to harmonize and just two voices could not mesh nearly as well as 5 tonally different voices blended together here. I don’t remember the specific number of butts seen in the show, but I think it was around 3 bare booties. One remember’s all booties when they are but six feet away from aforementioned butts and I can safely say they were just as nice as the knees. And the moment of seeing butts did confirm that the previously mentioned knees hidden by slacks were some solid knees as well. I can tell a nice knee!

I mention Moonlight because as well all know that was about a gay black boy and him growing up throughout three acts of his life. Choir Boy is about the dealings of a black teenager in a Catholic prep school and his dealings with his life in that environment. Again, I wasn’t actually expecting a play with songs, rather thinking it’d be a full blown musical so I was definitely shocked by the tenderness, the pathos, the full blown devastation one could feel while in the midst of this show. It was much more emotional than I ever figured it would be, it was much more tender than I ever thought it would be, it was a much more beautiful story than I thought it would be. It didn’t answer all the questions, it didn’t give every character a happy ending, It felt real though. Real in a way of which I could try my best to relate even though I’m not a gay black teenager in a catholic prep school with a voice of an angel.

I do feel I was beginning to get on a roll and actually thought I was going somewhere with the review and then I realized I should’ve probably done that 500 words sooner. So I’ll there, and I’ll actually be proud of myself for retaining some of the knowledge of seeing this play back in January. Do I think about it often? I don’t, it doesn’t come up on my day to day interactions, but when expressing these thoughts here the whole play started to flood back to me. And that’s what I like, I like that maybe I’m not thinking about all these theater performances on the daily though there’s something within them that resonates with me long after I’ve seen them. I think that’s about all you can ask for in theater, at the very least make it memorable. So it goes.

Big Apple Circus

At least I saw this show in 2019. I mean, it might’ve been almost a month ago but I still have some vague memories and recollections of it. Mainly whenever I go to any circus, I both have fleeting thoughts of “I could totally pull this off with a couple months training” followed by “Why did I ever consider this was in my realm of possibilities of pulling this off?”. It’s stressful at the circus. It’s stressful at the circus. Do you see that stress? I had to type it twice because of it. I’ll just speak in interest of full disclosure. When did I start writing this? Over a week ago? And it was like already a month after I saw the circus. Do I remember anything? Do I feel the need to hit a certain word count? Is there answer “yes” to both questions but it applies more towards on than the other? Am I writing random rhetorical questions in order to pad said word count? Am I wondering if there are still soup dumplings in the fridge back at my home?

So the circus…a magical arena. A magical arena that I thought was much bigger than it was so I bought more expensive tickets, even saying to my date “Oh, I think they’re going to expand this before the show starts” explicitly to make myself feel better about spending more money on the tickets. Instead, I realized it was a smaller, more intimate circus experience than I was used to, especially considering this was New York City, and a difference of 25$ each would’ve only put us about 20 feet further away. I can’t even remember the last time I went to a typical circus though. I do recall the Ringling Bros or Barnum and Bailey declaring bankruptcy and with that I thought the art of the circus died with them. Then there were all those comments about animal cruelty that could be related to forcing elephants and lions to entertain four year olds. Regardless, it did remind me why everyone loves the circus. It’s just a fun, delightful, light hearted romp that can both cater to the young ages and keep it entertaining for the adults who take care of them. Just so you know they apparently replaced lions and elephants with dogs and horses. I was a little disappointed overwall without a typical, stereotypical clown costume though we did have our customary clowning. I just think I like the idea of multiple clowns, a clowning family that can get together in their little car and it amuses me. Maybe I am the reason that circuses cater to the toddler audience because based off what I missed in the show, it definitely wasn’t some acrobatic theatrics, but just face painted men and women fitting into a tiny car.

What else happened at the circus that I saw over a month ago? Again, I remember extreme theatrics that I like to pretend that I could do while knowing no matter if I trained my entire life I would never be able to do anything similar. Why do I think I can balance anything, let alone while standing on a ladder without supports? Do I think I could trapeze and my body be 3% body fat while also being able to do a multitude of somersaults in a row? Again, I like to think I could while truthfully knowing I would have no potential ability to do that ever. Gosh, I think this is the closest thing I’ve done to a review that’s 50% rhetorical questions or more. I try to hit a certain word count even though it doesn’t really matter because it’s not like people are counting this.

Let’s finish with a focus on the circus. Trapeze artists are great. Dogs that can do tricks are great especially when you live with a dog who’s poop you’ve had to clean up off the floor. You know those super well trained dogs aren’t doing none of that. Are there other things I remember fondly? Oh yes, I did enjoy eating that cotton candy because who wouldn’t want to eat straight sugar? Gosh, I’m just doing more questions. This was a mistake waiting over a month to review this. It’s not even a theater show so I don’t even feel the need to particularly include this. I enjoyed the circus, I’m glad I went, I’d go again, go see circuses, go see theater, go see acrobats, go see clowns. Not my best review, but not everyone is a winner. So it goes.

Why do we care about sports? Part 2

As I sit here, in another saddened stupor after another inexplicable Patriot’s win, I wonder why do people watch sports? I remember after the Patriots started the season 0-2, there was an article about how the Patriots would shake off their rusty start and win the Super Bowl. People laughed at the headline because it was obviously a joke and it couldn’t be true because that wouldn’t make any sense. There’s no way a quarterback closer to middle age than the prime of his athletic career could somehow lead to his team to another championship. His best receivers are what? One of the best tight ends ever that’s damaged into a heap of scraps, a tiny white slot receiver, a Josh Gordon that was cut for another drug misuse? And yet they did win. They always win. There was never any doubt they would win. I have no idea why I thought I should cheer for Sean McVay and his human pile of garbage QB, Goff. Don’t they have one of the most elite D-Lines in history and the Patriot’s O-Line doesn’t even have a player taken before the third round? Of course. And Tom Brady got sacked once or twice? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN EVERY YEAR? WHY DO WE THINK IT’LL BE DIFFERENT ANY YEAR? WHY DO WE GET OUR HOPES UP FOR THE BELICHECK DYNASTY TO END? DID I AT LEAST THINK THAT IF SABAN LOST THAT BILL COULD LOSE TOO? I JUST DON’T KNOW WHY I TRY ANYMORE. I’m tired of caring and being let down. Oh great, I can’t wait for the NBA Finals and for the Warriors to win again. Sports suck. Dynasties suck. Tom Brady and Bill and co suck the most even if they are some of the GOATs. Whatever. I can’t wait for next year to inevitably get my hopes up and crushed all over again. So it goes.

Why do we care about sports?

I rooted for Oregon Ducks way back when when they played Auburn and Cam Newton. I rooted for Alabama and they did me well about 50% of the time. I rooted for the Colts. I rooted for the Chiefs. I rooted for the Saints. I don’t care if people say Nick Saban is just the college version of Bill Belicheck or however the spell you his stupid ass name. I wasn’t born in New England, I have never been a racist pasty person from Boston, I didn’t go to the University of Michigan and have some reverence for Tom Brady. No. The reason I don’t enjoy watching the NFL is because for at least 75% of my life, I’ve had to see Tom Brady and his drinking water will stop sunburn spouting ass get to the damn Super Bowl or the AFC championship forever. Does anyone enjoy Tom Brady? No. He promotes pseudo science and tomatoes or some other malarkey that makes no actual scientific sense. I hate the NFL. I hate Tom Brady. I hate having allegiances to teams when it all doesn’t matter in the long run because the Patriots will manage to screw up everything I hold dear to me anyway. I don’t care if you think Clemson vs Alabama V is bullshit or not. Because it sure is better than dealing with the Patriots and Tom Brady and Bill for the last 15 years. I guess let’s go LA Rams but as soon as they that, they’re going to lose as well. Who ever cares anymore? So it goes.

Blue Ridge

It’s past midnight. That means it’s officially two weeks since I saw this play. Is there a reason that I write these reviews a week or more later than when I initially saw them? There isn’t. If anything, it’s just procrastination. Or maybe I can think of some deeper thematic meaning that I totally will make up on the spot and yet run with it like it’s deeply philosophical. I think I wait so long to write about the play because I’m not a true critic, I can’t critique as well as the professionals, but I can write what I remember about the experience and the overall feeling that the show offered. Which is a new take that you can only get from my deeply personal reviews, so take note the New Yorker, NY Times, New York magazine, and any other Pulitzer prize-winning publication.

I saw the play with a lovely Brazilian because I like to show those who aren’t from the area the magic of the theater. I try to donate my time to the less fortunate so that they too can see the beauty of Broadway. Some call me a modern day Gandhi and I don’t like to think of it as that inspiration, but I do what I can. Regardless, what matters not is the company I had during the show but the show itself. Except I made a whole thing about how I don’t entirely remember the show itself. Look, this review could be all over the place and that’s why I implore one of those Pulitzer prize-winning establishments to hire me a full-time assistant and editor. What do I remember? I do remember how the woman at the bar said I was the only person to get two drinks of their moonshine concoction. I remember that the theater was a converted church on a random street and I didn’t think it was the actual location. I remember how shocked that I got middle seats in the first few rows when I only paid 25$ for a ticket a month before the show even was. I remember that after the show I went to a Mexican restaurant that had passion fruit margaritas and tacos that were extremely juice and a server who never stopped refilling a water glass after you had more than one sip.

Was the show itself important? Of course it was. What was it about? A woman that slept with her principal who was married and smashed his car after her feelings weren’t truly requited? A support group, twelve-step programs, drama within the program and outside of it. Again, this would be a lot more detailed had I written this the next day (which I initially planned) instead of two weeks later. But again, am I a good critique? As I told my partner to the show, “As long as something is well acted, I think I’ll enjoy it.” Which this was. Compared to The Waverly Gallery which I felt had some problems with tone and vocal tones, this was just a real-life glimpse into the few months of some deeply troubled Appalachian folks. I left the show thinking that I enjoyed the show, that the elderly couple in front of me wasn’t the smartest for not understanding the show entirely. C’mon lady! The ending was very understandable if you just remembered a little bit of context!

One day I’ll write a review when the words of the stage still resonate in my heart. Until then, I’ll comment on the experiences, the meaningful moments gleaned from what I experienced. Until I’m forced to rate things on one to five stars, I will talk about things that matter long after the event. Because that’s what important. What still rings true after the fact. Anyone can write a play, not anyone can craft an entire experience. Though, to be fair, the experience I remember is not really the result of the playwright but rather what I felt myself. Still, isn’t that what’s important? I ask this like I’ll get a response when I’m just speaking rhetorically to myself. I feel like I should write more words but I also started this last night at 1 in the morning and I’m finally finishing it the next evening. Do I have more thoughts? Probably. If you want to know, just ask. That’s speaking for the two of you who will actually read this. If you don’t care, then just let me ramble. I’ll keep doing it regardless of reads or doesn’t. So it goes.

The Wedding of John Daly’s Daughter!

I’m taking a short hiatus from my newfound theatre review career (which I’m still waiting for it to take off) to recap and write about the beauty of the love of Bridget and PK. I don’t think I’ve ever written two blog posts about a person so I hope Bridget takes this as a truly special honor and tells her grandchildren about it years down the line. What an interesting relationship I have with Bridget, in the fact that I’ve only met up with her now two times in my life. The first resulted in us getting matching tattoos and the second was me being invited to her wedding. I can only assume that the third will involve me helping her in the delivery room if past experiences are any indication of how I always end up around for momentous events. I know I normally try to limit my cursing in these posts anyway, but I’ll ensure I do so in this post specifically so Bridget can hang this framed copy in her den for all of her giant Irish family to see.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. For I am a modern day Charles Dicks, I like to start with a reference of his that makes no sense to the context of Bridget’s wedding. Or does it? We did have a book club together (RIP) so I’ll consider it relevant. Like all good weddings, a man arrived late to a rehearsal dinner after being scammed by a cab driver with suitcase in tow. Who was that man? I was that man. I walked in, pink backpack representing my zany flair, and seemed to have my hand immediately kissed by a boy who really liked kissing hands. If there’s anything I can tell you about the Daly clan, it’s that they know how to make someone welcome. For instance, my associate, Javier, had not even met Bridget until the day before her wedding. Of course he’d been in a group chat with her for what feels like hundreds of years and they’d developed a bond, even if as pen pals. By the time I got there, he was referencing all these folks by name that I still didn’t know by the end of the weekend and it seemed like he was already a part of the family. Calling someone Aunty so and so and Papa John. I don’t know how much I actually have to expound upon regarding the rehearsal dinner for I only was there for the last 45 minutes of it anyway. They did call soda, pop though. It’s these kind of tangents that are going to not have this prominently displayed on her wall. Let’s head onto the wedding.

The glitz, the glamour, the old adorable priest. Nothing like a ceremony at a Catholic church where you have no idea what to do for over 75% of the traditions. Did I feel a little weird as one of the few people who didn’t kneel before I walked into the pew? Or as a person who didn’t know what to do for Communion so I just sat there? Or when there was a Peace Be With You moment where you shake hands with everyone and I didn’t know what was happening so I shook someone’s hand and said: “Nice to meet you.”? I realize this is mainly just a retelling of my events of her wedding, but again, I’ll throw in some schmaltzy things as well. When the bride walked down the aisle, the whole congregation spontaneously burst into tears and gasps of the great beauty that walked before us. There was a lot of kneeling involved in the ceremony, there was a lot of healing, and there was a lot of peeling. Peeling onions because the tears were flowing. I know it’s typically chopping but it didn’t work with the sentence structure. Again, I’m not sure everything that actually happened during the wedding because I was very focused on getting as many good shots of Bridget (and PK) as I could for the international spectators who wanted to be at the wedding and couldn’t. What else is there to say about the wedding that hasn’t already been said? It was a beautiful ceremony, it was a beautiful church, I realized I was the only male in the entire attendance that wasn’t wearing a tie, and it took me a long time to realize that the pianist was singing songs and it wasn’t a recording.

Should I already have moved onto the reception? I’m not sure, but I didn’t think I would already have this many words which is making it seem like it’ll be a few pieces of paper framed in the den by the time I’m finished. The reception, wow, what a reception! Let me tell you, the only downfall of a coat check woman and an open bar is when you realize you have no cash because of a scummy cab driver and you feel guilty every time you get a drink and mutter under your breath, “I’d pay you if I had money and/or you took cards for tips”. Did they ever hear me? I do not know. But their face of disdain as I continue to not slip them a dollar will forever be burnt into my corneas. Oh right, the wedding though. What a wedding, lemme tell ya! There were many types of appetizers, there were seating placements with chocolate attached, there was a bathroom with gold in it! What else can be said about the reception? Knowing me, a lot more redundant information. I did conclude the night thinking “I want to be Irish.” Just for the sheer fact that they love imbibing and they love doing dances where they do a lot of kicks. As an aspiring tap dancer myself, I think it could do me well to learn from the Lords of the Dance. When one has such a collective of people as Bridget and Paul did for their wedding, I think one can ascertain that these are people who are beloved. That people don’t fly from out of the country, from out of state to see people that they consider a mere acquaintance. I love Bridget, my bud Javier loves Bridget, I love PK vicariously through her love, and obviously, hundreds of other people must as well if they showed and stayed throughout the entire ceremony and afterparties. Though it may have taken the beginning beat of Mambo #5 to get me and brown boy to the dance floor, we did, we shared merriment with the Irish, with the Jennrichs, and we got to watch Alabama beat Oklahoma in the college football playoff.

I will conclude on schmaltz because I don’t need to waste more words on the complexity of the squash bisque or the deliciousness of the assorted desserts. I could speak about the heart wrenching, heartwarming, speeches by both the parents of the bride and groom, the beautiful words spoken by the sister, by the brother, but I’ll just end on my own thoughts. I have known Bridget a long time and though we’ve rarely been around each other in person, I consider her a dear and close friend. I’ve watched her bloom and blossom from a young lady to a still young married lady. I may not have seen her grow in spirit with my own eyes, but I’ve watched her evolve and become a better and better person. Who do I have to thank for that? I would like to say myself and though I imagine I did a lot with those limited engagements we had together, I have to give credit to Barb, to Papa John, to Cait, and most importantly to PK. Though I barely know him, minus the fact that he has an extremely strong grip, I will always be thankful for him for the happiness he brings to Bridget. If he was a big reason that she’s been much more absent in the group that brought us all together, I can only imagine how amazing he must be to take time away from me, Effy, Javier, and the various characters that have come and gone throughout the years. Just because I don’t know him doesn’t mean I don’t know Bridget and again, seeing the change in her throughout the years or in the more recent years, I am thankful for him to have ignited. Papa John and Barb and Cait did an amazing job molding such a wonderful woman, and Paul was there to apply some finishing touches to create the person that we all cherish dearly today. It was a beautiful reception, it was a beautiful ceremony, it was and is a beautiful couple. Again, I can’t wait to be in the delivery room, possibly as a nurse, probably as a doctor and I know I’ll see PK and Bridget beaming at one another then just like they did the entire wedding and just like they will until the end of time. Congratulations to the married couple, and may your love last as long as time, and then some more. So it goes.

The New One

Editor’s Note: This post has nothing to do with 2019, the New Year, or anything related to the Earth completing an orbit around the Sun.

Author’s Note: I do not actually have an editor because if I did these “reviews” would be much more streamlined and coherent. I, myself, don’t even edit my own self because it’s much easier to just word vomit onto the page.

Does seeing a stand up comedy show on Broadway really differ that much from seeing it in a theater in Orlando? After doing a rigorous experiment comparing the two, I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t much of a change. Granted, in only one version do you get to see a hundred props fall from the ceiling onto the stage and are able to witness Mike Birbiglia demonstrating the use of his handmade, homemade sleeping contraption. Plus, I got a chance to sit in both more comfortable chairs and closer to the stage. I don’t think that has anything to do with a local theater vs a Broadway theater other than the fact that I paid about the same price and got more comfort via Broadway. So there ya have it kids, if Mike is touring in your city, instead fly to Broadway on the off chance you get a nicer seat! Mike, if you’re reading this, you’re welcome for both the promotion and I will accept any form of free stuff that you offer. Thanks in advance.

Mike Birbiglia’s, The New One, is around a 90-minute story/comedy set that is essentially about his experiences of becoming a new father as a man who never wanted kids. I don’t expect this review will create a giant influx of new viewers to check out his show currently running on Broadway for the next month, but in case I do have a widespread appeal and influence that’s unbeknownst to me I won’t divulge many more details of the plot. It’s also because yet again, I saw this show like two weeks ago and have had so many holidays in the time since then. Plus, it is still a stand-up comedy special so it’s more specific jokes I’d have to remember compared to explicit plot points so it’s harder to recap in general. If anything, the main takeaway of this review, or really to sum it all up would be that I paid for me and others to see it six months before and then I paid for myself and others to see it again. It’s not like it changed, it’s not like it was a new story compared to what I already knew. Did I get the more comfortable seats and the props falling from the heavens? Yeah, I got that but I just wanted to see it again because I laughed so much the first time. I laughed so much and thought to myself, this is really relevant to one of my best friend’s who just got married and is now expecting a baby. Now I saw it again and thought, this is really relevant to one of my best friend’s who’s been married for almost a year and has a new baby. As a not new parent, or parent, or someone who isn’t expecting to be a parent until he adopts his son, Reginald, as a 35-year-old single father, this show might not directly pertain to my life. However, Mike Birbiglia’s knack for storytelling and jokes, in general, is what draws you back in. I can think of the concept of the jokes, I can think of the gist of them, but if I tried to actually quote them it would just bastardize them and make them sound painfully unfunny. Which isn’t the intention because again, I’ve been a big fan of Mike (I say this because I pretend we’re friends) for years and I don’t want to do him any disservice.

Look, don’t expect these reviews to be less rambly and brambly than before or don’t think I won’t have tangents that are completely nonsensical because this is a little more polished. It could be the fact that I wrote this in essentially one sitting, or the fact that it’s much harder to review a stand up except by saying it was hilarious, I laughed a lot, and my eyes teared up as well. It’s poignant, it has a sense of beauty to it, and it’s a comedy experience that few comedians can rival. Mike can both tell jokes and tell a captivating story and you’re enraptured either way. See his movies, watch his specials, read his book, and well, get yourself tested for testicular issues because they’re more common than you think! So it goes.