#147 - Theater Review: Lido Elementary's Production of Where the Wild Things Are

The cast of Lido Elementary's Where the Wild Things Are churns out a jittery, but ultimately winning performance in the Middle School Gym

Where the Wild Things Are
, the show currently running at the Lido Elementary School (although in the Middle School gym,) reopens the case of Max vs. Max's parents as it plays out against a sprawling backdrop of year-long nautical adventures, rapid-sprouting room jungles and a gaggle of (possibly) imaginary beasties.

The show is tightly plotted, the action moves along crisply and although the whole production clocks in at a tight 26 minutes (a boon for theatergoers toting younger siblings) the action never feels cramped. This was an opening morning show, and, as you might expect, the cast would have benefited from some additional rehearsal, but I'd expect those jitters to iron themselves out as the show's run gains momentum. The musical numbers "Born to be Wild" and (spoiler alert!) "Back Home" are clear winners you'll be humming over juice boxes later in the car and although some of the Act 2 numbers seem to suffer from a lack of attentiveness and performers needing to pee, the only significant criticism I will level against the show surrounds the choreography. It is, to put it mildly, extraordinarily literal. Please, Mrs. Christianson, give us some credit as an audience. It is not necessary to have the cast mime binoculars over their eyes to accompany the lyric "lookin' for adventure" nor spend the entirety of the song "Good Bye" actually waving good bye. We are an educated public and these gestures feel like pandering. Still, overall, with an energetic cast, inventive and occasionally surprising direction and a tried and true storyline, Where the Wild Things are will prove a tasty snack for beasties both big and small.
3.5/4 stars.

Young Oliver C. turns in a risk-filled, but ultimately star-making performance as Narrator 14 of 63.

#146 - The Effect of Wife Proximity on Pie Presence in the Connolly House

Here's the data on a trend I've been observing for some years. I haven't drawn any conclusions based on the numbers yet, but I think some of the ramifications are apparent.

#145 - Memoir Excerpt Available Online

For both of you who've been clamoring for an excerpt from my forthcoming memoir, I Went Away, But Then I Came Home Again, a former writing teacher of mine has put a chapter on her website. Check it out here and enjoy!

#144 - Photo Essay: Winter Beach

This is a photo essay I call "Winter Beach." I take a lot of long walks and runs on the beach near my house--although, because "beach walking" doesn't sound tough enough for me, I call it "beach striding!"--and I love the way all the summer paraphernalia looks in the winter. Somehow, I find the idea that these things continue to exist in seasons other than summer very appetizing. I like how these objects we associate with sun and fun don't know we ascribe them those roles and bear up in winter the same way they do in summer. It's like a rose bush, in a way. We think of the flower as the "rose," but I doubt the roots, stems and leaves see it that way.

These pictures are presented in the order they were taken. This essay depicts a single walk down and back across a three and half mile stretch of Long Beach, Long Island. My suggestion is that you open a second window in your browser and listen to this song as you view these. If you click on any image, you'll be rewarded with a larger, higher resolution version of the picture.

Enjoy the beach in the winter.