I walked up to the farmer’s market this morning without expecting to find much– I’d gone to the market on Wednesday and there were few vendors and none had much. Quite a few vendors were there this morning and I got all kinds of stuff– some absolutely gorgeous beets, new potatoes, leeks, kale, lettuce, two kinds of cheese and some lovely shell peas. Few vendors have shell peas and those who do pick them too late, so they are starchy and bitter. Blech. But these were young and tender and sweet. When I got home Madeline and I sat on the porch and ate them all.
When I was growing up my dad always had a very large garden every summer– it helped to feed our family of six. I loved peas, even then, and have wonderful memories of taking a basket, walking down to the garden, and happily picking a basketful. I would then sit on our screened porch and eat the whole basket, generally without any help from anyone. I’m sure I was willing to share, and I know I did share sometimes. I was often home alone– I am much more of a home-body than the rest of my family– so I guess I just got first crack at them. I ate most of the ones this morning, and apologized for being a pig. My daughter said it was fine, since I love peas so much. I said she loved them too, but she said she just likes them, but I love them. So maybe the rest of my family didn’t quite have the passion for them that I do.
We had our first performance of Cinderella last night and it went very well– the house was sold out, or close to sold out. Some of the cast members are young adults that I first met 8 years ago on the first show I ever worked on, and it is wonderful to see them grown up, still performing. I’ve said it will be my last show for a while, and it has been such a good one to be my last.
The only thing I don’t like about the show is the music. Because of our small venue, we couldn’t have an orchestra, but the directors did not want just a pianist– they wanted the orchestral sound. So we bought the rights to a full computerized orchestration. In many ways it’s fantastic– the music is very well performed, and the program has a lot of flexibility, it’s actually quite amazing. But it lacks something– it’s almost too perfect. It’s much like the difference between studio performances vs. live performance. Of course, sometimes a live pit orchestra can have its difficulties– I’ve been involved in shows where the pit overpowers the singing, or in ones where they seem to be fighting each other every step of the way. So we don’t have any of that. But vamping is a big part of a musical, due to timing, and when the recorded orchestration vamps, it sounds just like a record skipping– it’s the same thing over and over, with no human vagaries or imperfections. It’s actually sort of horrible, and even somewhat stressful during scene changes– I find myself rushing to make it stop!
Well, we tried it, and it has good points and bad, like anything else. And as the technical director said, this production is teaching us a lot, including that the venue is not the best one for large, lavish musicals.