Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Sundries, 70

Going with a new logo. Get over it.

1. AOTW--The competition was tight this week. At first I was certain I would name the two drivers who were heading south on Aurora-Hudson Rd. while we sat the stop sign on Old Mill, waiting to turn left (north) on A-H Rd.  Better description: It was a T-intersection; we were at the top of the T waiting to turn left. Two cars--one right behind the other--approached from our left, so we waited, and then both--at the very last second, turned on their right turn signals and turned onto Old Mill. Meaning: We had to sit there and wait to get out onto A-H Rd., which, of course, we would not have had to do if they had used their @*@*@*# turn signals!

But a better--and winning candidate--presented himself/herself on Friday night. We were in downtown Cleveland for a production of King Lear (see below) at the Hanna Theater. We were in the Hanna Parking Garage. In a slot. When we came out, ready to head home, someone (the AOTW) had parked virtually right behind us in a place where there is no slot. At first, I thought we would not be able to get out at all, but after some masterful (!) geeing and hawing, we managed. I said some bad words.

2. My father would be in deep mourning today: His beloved OU Sooners lost yesterday to the despised Texas Longhorns. Dad's Ph.D. was from OU, and his best friend from college, Paul Sharp, became not only the president of Hiram College (when Dad was teaching there) but also, later of OU. Dad loved college football (and high school and pro and playground and backyard), but he adored the Sooners.

3. Joyce had an idea for me this morning. We were walking over to the Open Door Coffee Co. for our Sunday morning with the Times, and I was reciting to her (as is my wont) some of the recent poems I've memorized. She suggested I get a tin cup and a little footstool and stand on Hudson's Main Street and recite poems for money. I said I'd put up a sign:

Feeling low? From bad to worse?
Drop a dime, and hear a verse.

The only scary thing: I think she was serious.

4. This week I finished the very fine book Fallingwater Rising: Frank Lloyd Wright, E. J. Kaufmann, and America's Most Extraordinary House (2002) by Franklin Toker. I'd bought the book because of our recent trip with our grandsons to see the house. It's a fine book, and I especially enjoyed the sections about the actual construction--and the choreography between owner Kaufmann and architect Wright (a love-hate dance). I was less interested in the overlong post-construction story. But it was fun to read about the enduring problems they've had with the engineering--especially the cantilevers supporting the balconies. (They had some serious problems early on--and some publications called the house "America's Leaning Tower of Pisa.")

I learned, too, about Kaufmann's "libidinous and unfettered private life" (58). It seems, too, that the Kaufmanns are responsible for all the trees and vegetation around--the place looks like the forest primeval in some ways (thank you, Mr. Longfellow), but it was all carefully designed and planted.

Astonishing research. Profound understanding of the construction.

5. Friday night we drove to the Hanna Theater in downtown Cleveland (where there was an amazing amount of traffic for Garth Brooks and Gladys Knight with the O'Jays and other attractions) to see King Lear, a Great Lakes Theater production that really didn't work for me. (I told Joyce that if she hadn't been with me, I would have left at intermission.) So much mumbling and failure to do an actor's principal job: deliver the lines comprehensibly. The three daughters--sadly--were especially weak, each in a different way. Lear himself--Aled Davies, a long-time GLT favorite, principally a character actor--was very competent and did a much better job with his lines than most of the others--but I thought his voice lacked ... color? He was loud, soft, yes, but emotional coloring was not what it needs to be. The Fool--Tom Ford--worked hard to communicate the humor--very hard to deliver the lines the Bard wrote for him, lines that in some cases are confusing to modern ears. He managed with his talent and exaggeration (necessary exaggeration) to entertain even when the meaning was obscure.

And the character of Edgar (J. Todd Adams)--who, to escape execution, is forced into hiding as someone, well, homeless and mad--appears later on sans shirt and looks as if he's spent all the intervening time in a gym and consuming protein drinks. The guy was cut--but not really the look, I don't think, for that particular part. You don't want the homeless guy looking more fit than everyone else in Cuyahoga County. (What abs!)

They had a major technical glitch near the end--some scenery was misbehaving--and they had to stop the show at a very emotional moment to fix it. (Some people left.)

Very small house--maybe 1/3 full? Sad to see. The company has done some wonderful productions over the years. This was not one of them.

Lear with daughters Cordelia (left) and Goneril

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