Coming Out of Left Field

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Amazing "Oliver", not so amazing Oliver

Went to see the ART's production of "Oliver Twist" the other day. Knowing the theater's avant-guard rep (and also knowing this was a new adaptation, not the musical), I was a little apprehensive. But it was a very good show -- swiftly paced and, overall, wonderfully acted. The Dodger in particular was very good ... it wasn't until afterwards that the wife and I realized we'd seen him in quite a different role in "Kissing Jessica Stein".

There were only two minuses. The music wasn't very memorable -- it was authentic and served a narrative purpose, so it naturally wasn't something you go out of the theater humming. (If anything, you can't help humming the music from "Oliver!") And the actor who played Oliver was too old for the part (at least 16) and far too meek. As our niece and nephew pointed out, he spent all his time either crying or saying, "Yes, sir." The one time he was supposed to stand up and defend himself, he ended up doing this very slow, one-handed push that wouldn't have knocked over my grandmother, let alone a sturdy boy. I know this wasn't supposed to be a feel-good musical, but would it have hurt to give Oliver even a little pluck?

Monday, March 05, 2007

One for the "kids say the darndest things" department

This happened to my wife, not me, but it's too funny not to share:

The other day, one of the classrooms at my wife's school was celebrating "Fenway Park Day." A number of the children were wearing Red Sox apparel, and one little boy was sporting a shirt from spring training, which prompted the following conversation:

Wife: "I want to go to spring training."
Boy: "You can't."
Wife (a little taken aback): "Why not?"
Boy: "You have to be 4!"

Pause, while my wife tries very, very hard not to crack up.

Wife: "Oh. Well, when I'm 4, can I go with you?"
Boy (exasperated at how silly the teacher is being): "No! You have to go with a grown-up!"

Usually when my wife asks kids how old they think she is, the guesses start at 12 and up, so this was definitely a first.

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