Dawn Reader

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Stratford Sundries, 2017-2

City Hall
Stratford, Ont.
July 31, 2017
 1. Last night I finished one of my Bedtime Books (the stack I read from most every night), the 1862 novel No Name by Wilkie Collins, whose complete novels I've been slowly consuming. It's a story that concerns two daughters who lose everything (financial) when their parents die--and we discover that those parents had never been married. English inheritance laws at the time, well, disinherited them. We follow the story, mostly, of the younger daughter, who vows to recover what's lost by a variety of ways--all of which fail. The novel winds round and round the spool of coincidence (necessary in a 19th-century novel when no one had a smart phone!). And, of course, being a Wilkie Collins' novel, the story kind of works out ... with a lot of darkness before the sunrise. Love reading his work--always astonished at how those Victorians were so productive! And prolific ...

SPOILER ALERT: I loved the final few sentences: The younger daughter, Magdalen, has found a man to love, and it's not until the final page that each reveals to the other the nature of That Lovin' Feelin'. Here's how Collins writes it ...

She looked up, still clinging to him as she clung to the hope of her better life to come.

“Tell me the truth!” she repeated.

“With my own lips?”

“Yes!” she answered, eagerly. “Say what you think of me with your own lips.”

He stooped and kissed her.

2. This morning we began our routines here: down to Coffee Culture, where we eat breakfast and read, then to another coffee shop (Balzac's), where we read some more; then back to the room to work on the computers and have a quiet lunch together (a nice little fridge in the room!).

Our first show this afternoon (2 o'clock at the Festival Theatre, the Festival's prime venue) is Tartuffe, the 17th-century comedy by Molière (1622-73). Will write more about it in a few hours! ...

... a wonderful, inventive production with two of our Stratford favorites: Tom Rooney (title role--the sneaking, lying, deceptive man who has insinuated himself into the life and family of Orgon (Graham Abbey)). A very funny contemporary rhyming translation with some naughty words, a flash of Tartuff'e's bare butt--and more than one allusion to Pres. Trump (bigly, kovefe, et al.)--each of which got a huge laugh, I must say. Canadians! (Okay, I was laughing, too.) Minor characters--all good, too, especially the caustic grandmother (played by Rosemary Dunsmore), who just will not believe that Tartuffe is a con artist.

3. While resting after lunch I continued reading more of the new Michael Connelly novel--The Late Show--a novel that introduces a new lead character for him, Renée Ballard, an LAPD detective who's fallen out of favor for reasons I'll talk more about when I've finished the book.

Anyway, what made me smile today was some of Connelly's metafictional horseplay. (Connelly's fans know that he's written many novels about Harry Bosch, a cranky older LAPD detective now featured in an Amazon streaming series--Bosch.)

Here's what he does in The Late Show: Ballard recognizes a dead woman as a minor actress who has played some minor TV roles ...

She had played a part in an episode of a television show called Bosch, which Ballard knew was based on the exploits of a now-retired LAPD detective who had formerly worked at RHD [Robbery Homicide Division]. The production occasionally filmed at the station and had underwritten the division's last Christmas party ... (40).

4. Tonight--we go to the Studio Theatre (where they do their more experimental productions) to see The Breathing Hole--a play about which I know zilch! I will blog about it tomorrow!

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