A Fish Tale

From “Questions I Tormented My Father With

“What’dya think Pete? Less than an hour and we caught a whole bucket of pickerel.”

“Yeah. All right, I guess.”

“All right? It’s been one after the other.”

“We’re done.”

“Done?”

“We’re fresh outta luck.”

“Only a minute since the last one.”

“Yeah, and the last one got off the hook and escaped.”

“So?”

“So he’ll tell the others to watch out. Bye bye fish.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“We’re all done. Might’s well go home.”

“A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”

“A quitter gets to watch Captain Midnight.”

“Don’t be a wise guy.”

“Do fish go south like birds?”

“No! And you know they can’t talk, right?”

“Whales squeal to each other.”

“Who told you that?”

Sea Hunt.”

“These pickerel can’t resist our tasty sea worms.”

“Who knows what they been eating? They don’t look right.”

“Now you’re skating on thin ice.”

“No ice here. If we were ice-fishing, we’d need an auger for the hole and a fish house.”

“We’ll quit when I catch the next one.”

“When’s that gonna be?”

“Few more minutes.”

“Already been a few more minutes.”

“Shut up! You’re scaring the fish.”

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93-year-old Woman Nabbed for Impersonating Glenn Gould

It’s not often that a wondrously bizarre story drops into your lap.

But when it does, I believe it must get told, and as soon as possible. Have you ever heard of News of the Weird, that syndicated email column begun in the late 80s? It supplies digests of outlandish stories that happened the previous week, like a woman canceling her marriage to a ghost because it “kept disappearing.” Well, this is one of those stories. And it happened to me.

Continue reading “93-year-old Woman Nabbed for Impersonating Glenn Gould”

Best Friend

Had I known I’d be writing about Steve, my first adolescent friend, I would have carried my Brownie Hawkeye camera around with me more.

IN WHICH I learn that friendship is more complicated than enemyship.

I’ve never been friends with anyone in the same way I was with Steve Demetrious. It was one of those “more than” relationships. We were more than schoolmates, more than movie companions, more than teammates, more than confidants.

A Cinderella That Creates Genuine Magic

Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, Opera del West performance of Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon. Music by Jules Massenet, Libretto by Henri Cain. Artistic Director: Eve Kochen Budnick. Stage Director: Rebecca Kratzer. Cendrillon: Jennifer Jaroslavsky; Prince Charmant: JoAnna Pope; Pandolfe: Craig Juricka; Madame de la Haltiere: Suzanna Guzman; La Fee: Sulgi Cho.

August 11, 2019

Kudos to Eve Budnick, Artistic Director for Opera del West’s Boston Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End! She performed miracles in such a small performance space, turning it into a magical version of Jules Massenet’s opera, Cendrillon (Cinderella). The production included hefty vocal work by Craig Juricka as Pandolfe and Suzanna Guzman as Cinderella’s conniving mother. Jennifer Juroslavsky was stunning as Cinderella, based on her wide ranging mezzo and emotionally nuanced performance. Her pairing with JoAnna Pope as Prince Charming was splendid, particularly in the second half, when these two marvelous mezzo-sopranos came together. There was excellent choreography in this production by a set of wide ranging young women who imparted this tiny stage with a sylvan atmosphere. Such a fairytale-like quality was a large part of Massenet’s frame of reference and it lended excellence. The use of broad-based humor when appropriate (such as the scene with drunken sisters at the ball) kept the opera light.

Cendrillon included a spectacular South Korean lyric coloratura soprano, Sulgi Cho, as the fairy wielding a goodly amount of power over the fairy tale. Her soprano voice had a high tessitura and seemed pretty effortless most of the time. Her excellent makeup and costume made her look suitably otherworldly.

On a personal note, I think it’s a real shame that superb groups like Opera del West are limited to such tiny spaces that do not fully allow the dancers to be graceful and the opera singers to really let loose when the librettos require. However, such limitations will not prevent me from going back to future productions. I expect them to contain just as much magic as this one does.