Monday, February 20, 2017

A Theatre by the Sea

This past summer didn't involve much gardening.   We opened a theatre in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.  I worked as the general manager, while hubby produced, directed, and acted.  I spent the bulk of the summer looking at this.

This is the set for our production of Souvenir.  It's a tale of friendship, music, and living out your dreams.  Featuring the formidable Florence Foster Jenkins.  I loved that show.  I watched it around 50 times this summer.  It never got old and I still cried at the end every time.  If you ever have the chance to catch a production of it, please do.  And don't let that awful Meryl Streep movie turn you off. (full disclaimer, I'm not a fan of Meryl's acting)  This script is far better.  In the right hands you will laugh and you will cry.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about then this is your chance to discover something amazing.

The real Florence Foster Jenkins
Florence Foster Jenkins was born in 1886 and was something of a child prodigy.  Playing piano.  However, she dreamed of being a singer.  She desperately wanted to be a singer.  She begged her father to send her to Europe to study singing.  He refused and rightly so.  Florence might have been good at piano but a singer she was not.  She was actually an incredibly bad singer.  But she was young and impulsive and so she ran away and eloped with a man her father did not approve of.  All because he wouldn't let her sing.  Her father was also impulsive and he refused to provide Florence with any money, although he was quite a wealthy man.  Sadly Florence's husband left her and she was reduced to living in near poverty and teaching piano to pay her way.  Florence had tenacity.  Then her father died and suddenly she inherited a family fortune. 

Can you imagine what Florence did?  Oh yes.  She sang.  She moved to New York and formed her own musical society.  There she met Cosme McMoon, who became her accompanist and lifelong friend.  They made an unlikely duo.  An elderly woman of questionable musical skill and a young talented gay man.  This play features their friendship and all the ups and downs that a friendship brings.  They laugh, they tease, they argue but most of all they are there for each other, supporting each others dreams.  Right to the end.

It still brings a tear to my eye.  Life isn't always kind but it all comes down to what you make of it.  Believe in yourself and have fun.  People who love you will always be there for you.

If you're interested, this is an an excellent and fun interview with Souvenir's playwright, Stephen Temperley.  It features clips of Florence Singing and comments from her dear friend Cosme McMoon.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hello Again

This is rather embarassing.  It looks like I just up and left without saying goodbye.  The computer says I haven't posted here since June of 2015.  That's almost two years gone by and not a word from me.  What a disgraceful lack of manners.

I have no excuse but I can say that in the course of two years a lot of life can happen.  Gardens flourish, and then are neglected.  Jobs change, moves occur.  In the last two years I began courses toward a degree in legal studies, took a new job working in law and then changed course and opened a theatre with a husband.  I moved to New Brunswick, and then came home again.  There have been arguments, illness, joy, tears and laughter. 

and then the other day I saw this photo

and suddenly it was time to write again.