For those of you who don’t know, i have almost given up on movies. i will go anytime, anywhere to anything with my grandson. But those opportunities are rare. i will go to any movie either of my daughters would like me to accompany them. Fortunately, Maureen has given up on me going to movies with her and she is satisfied, probably even happier going to to movies (she’s a movie buff) with friends or alone.
But stage productions, that’s a different story. i blame Sarah.
When Sarah was majoring in drama at San Diego State, i went to all sorts of productions. It was supposedly a support thing. But in truth, i enjoyed all of them, even those without Sarah in the production.
i have been to several since she graduated and moved to Austin. i have promoted Maureen and i going to those at SDSU and elsewhere.
Tonight, it was like some kind of fusion, some extraterrestrial voodoo. Maureen had caught the promos for this play in the newspaper a couple of months ago. She got us tickets.
The title of the play was “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” It was at the Old Globe. No, no, not that “Old Globe” in England, but the replica built in 1935 in Balboa Park. The big differences are the audience has seats where those folks watching back in that other one stood, and this one is fire proof, even air conditioned.
So we have a representation of the heart of the beginning of great drama, aka Shakespeare and the Old Globe to start. Then the play’s author is Steve Martin (the reason Maureen was enthralled enough to get the tickets). i was skeptical, even though i’m a theater fan. One of the actors, although not the star but nevertheless a headliner was Hal Linden.
Now, i haven’t had too many brushes with fame. But one was when Sarah was around three and we were at the PGA West clubhouse for lunch, hosted by our Sarah’s godparents, Frank and Jan Kerrigan. Hal Linden walks through after finishing his round. He spots Sarah, comes over to the table and after introductions, picks up Sarah, tosses her into the air, and hugs her for several minutes.
i must say here that Sarah’s sister Blythe may have the edge here. When Blythe was three, we were waiting at a gate in LAX for someone to arrive. Bing and Kathryn Crosby came off the flight in the first group. Kathryn saw a beautiful young child, came over, asked our permission and picked her up. They laughed and Kathryn showed Blythe to Bing commenting on how beautiful she was. Then several months later, we were at the baggage claim at LAX. Blythe dashed away from us and grabbed onto the leg of a gentleman waiting for his luggage. It was Rod Serling, the guy who brought us “The Twilight Zone.” He picked Blythe up, laughed, gave her a hug and then gave her back to us.
But Hal has been one of my favorites even if he hadn’t had his moment with Sarah.
Now mind you, Hal wasn’t the premier actor in this show. But he was great as “Gaston,” the old sardonic Frenchman…and boy, did he play that clarinet at the end. The play was interesting in that Steve Martin envisioned Picasso and Einstein meeting, which they never did, and analyzed their genius and proclivity for women with wit, irony, and a touch of deep thought.
So it was a beautiful night, a play doing things a play should do for someone like me in a beautiful setting with a beautiful date. We walked back to our car, parked by the Natural History Museum under the colonnade of buildings along El Prado, built for the Panama Exposition in 1915. Discussing our options, we decided on a nightcap nearer home. So we stopped at Romesco’s, a “Mediterranean” bistro with a tapas bar in the back. There, we had a desert with a Tempranillo (Maureen) and a Manhattan on the rocks (me).
That stop is the reason this is being posted tonight rather than last night.
It was, as i imagined, a night for folks to enjoy while growing old…together.
i kept thinking, “i hope my friends can have nights like this.
“It makes it all worthwhile.”