So last night’s play was a musical The Secret Garden, based on the classic children’s book. I could just about remember the plot, having read it maybe 68 years ago when I was 12? Since I buy two seats on a season pass to the Bus Barn, excuse me the Los Altos Stage Company, I put out an email to the 6th floor asking if anyone wanted to come along. Dr. Margaret did, so I had company.
The Bus Barn is a tiny house, with seats for maybe 90 people? And a stage area that is maybe 35 feet wide and deep, starting about 3 feet from the front row of audience. This show was a huge effort for them. First off, they have no orchestra pit, so the 10 musicians were lined up along the back wall of the stage. Then they had a total cast of 18 people, and for some numbers, they were all on stage at once, which made the stage about as crowded as a cocktail party. Everyone performed their parts well. The young actress who plays the central character, the orphan girl Mary Lennox, was excellent, both for singing and for acting.
There was a technical shortcoming in that only girl Mary had a mic. The other players just had to project as best they could, which would be no problem, in such a small room, in a spoken play. But in this show, a lot of the dialog was in song lyrics, and the singers had to compete with the live instruments behind them. And a lot of intelligibility was lost. I couldn’t parse a quarter of the lyrics. Frankly it would have been better with no orchestra, just a piano for accompaniment. In fact the whole show would have been better, Dr. Margaret and I agreed on the way back, if it had been heavily edited, about half the roles tossed out, and the music simplified.
Up and about early. Watered the plants, fed the hummingbirds, did the puzzle. At 10 I went down to meet with Kass. She is running the Hanukkah celebrations in the lobby for the next 8 nights, and will use the little rolling lectern for audio. We got it out and tested it, and I left it in her care for the next week.
Then it was time to go to the SWBB game. This was a big one, against Tennessee. Long-time fans remember the literal decades of rivalry between Stanford and Tara, versus Tennessee and Pat Summitt. Pat died several years ago, and the Tennessee program is not the powerhouse it once was, in fact this past week they were dropped out of the top 25 rankings for the first time in forever. But it’s still a big deal when they come here. The usual car-pool of 4 was down to just me and Patty, plus Patty’s niece twice removed, or something, a nice young woman named Hailly.
Stanford started slow and seemed baffled by Tennessee’s defense. The score was tied at the half. In the third quarter the Lady Vols took a lead of up to 9 points. In the fourth quarter, Stanford remembered what they do, and took back the lead and won by 10.