By Tim Smith
Where A r [ts] Thou?
You have heard the term, “it’s either feast or famine,” and such is the reality when you author a work such as this.
When that feast is laid before you, however, it must be enjoyed, so get ready, we will break this hearty bread together.
On November the 4th I was sent a text by a long-time reader who reminded me that it was the birthday of Will Rogers.
I know that some of you have inquired when Will was going to return to this column, and I am working on that.
From my friend’s text, and something I had not heard about Mr. Rogers’ climb to celebrity: It was, and through of all things, his (calf) roping ability. Here goes:
“It wasn’t until he moved to New York City, though, that he truly began turning heads. He was in the stands at Madison Square Garden when a wild steer broke loose from the act and charged the audience. Rogers stood up and lassoed the steer. He made the front pages the very next day and job offers rolled in…Rogers was in the Guinness Book of World Records for throwing three lassos at once: one went around the horse’s neck, one circled the rider, and the third slipped under the horse and looped all four legs together.”
T’s tube: Visit YouTube and watch the outstanding 2017 production of the musical “Oklahoma” as presented by the BBC Proms. Three points to consider: If you have not seen a musical classic, especially one that defined the genre, (in 1943), this is a must.
Secondly: Apart from savoring our rich musical theatre history, it is also an opportunity to hear the lush score by Richard Rodgers, along with the original orchestrations penned by little acknowledged Robert Russell Bennett.
And finally: With the production team’s strict adherence to the score, the flow of the script, advanced through more than just a few passing nods – or steps – to the original Agnes De Mille choreography, will further compliment the viewing experience.
The performance takes a while to get started, due primarily to the use of open staging, but don’t drift away to soon, it will suddenly grab your attention. The latter can be directly attributed to the wonderfully fresh and witty performance turned in by Lizzy Connally, playing Ado Annie. From her first entrance, a nod to the masterful book written by Oscar Hammerstein II, who also wrote the lyrics, the show takes a turn towards balance-the light, and the dark yet to come. We are assured through Ado Annie, that we will be “OK” in the end.
While on the classics: A colleague texted to inform me that his sons had secured tickets to the Rolling Stones: No Filter Tour concert at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
In talking with him later, he alluded to the fact that it was quite the experience, with a sound system that was, in his words, “over the top.”
He was impressed with the tribute to the band’s late drummer Charlie Watts and when I asked him about the reported heavy rains, he said that a few drops had fallen. So much for any speculation.
He then offered that one of the major local papers wrote about the event and did an accurate job of capturing the evenings’ essence.
Mr. Rogers would be so pleased, that in this case, at least, what was learned – was from the paper.
The art of communication was featured during a recent Rotary meeting where a young man who had worked in the West Wing of the White House as a special assistant to the president and assistant staff secretary presented, “A Front Row Seat: Life in the West Wing.” This was one of the finest presentations that I had been privileged to experience in my nearly 29 years of Rotary membership.
To hear the dedication from this professional was an affirmation that service still matters and is taken seriously. President Trump was well served.
The Magic Kingdom/Epcot: What was fun was becoming re-acquainted with the rides that we had enjoyed in the years when we lived an easy drive from Disneyland. For Epcot fans: Don’t miss the (just opened) Ratatouille ride, based on the Disney film. Use the phone app to schedule, a must, then, hold on.
Connections made, locally inspired, in our town – since 1/06.
See you at the local newsstand.
t A s